We’ve probably all heard the whining that what websites you do is “working” for Google, meaning that what you do ends up being searched by Google, and Google can earn advertising money from it.
In fact, Silicon Valley’s biggest companies rely on advertising revenue: Google, Facebook, YouTube are all the same. Are these companies destined to be the most upstream of the internet? BitClave, a company from Silicon Valley, does this by relying on a de-centered search of blockchain technology (decentralized). With what “de-centric search” Can you have the ambition to challenge Google? Silicon Valley Spy (public: Guigudiyixian) gave an exclusive interview with BitClave’s CTO, associate professor of research in electronics and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (Associate R-Professor) Patrick Tage (Patrick Tague).
Retail + Blockchain =?
The company, founded in 2016 in Mountain View, Silicon Valley, noticed a phenomenon at its inception: No company built new products on the upper floor of the blockchain, so they wanted to pry the leverage of the blockchain.
At the same time, BitClave has been focusing on retail technology because the retail industry is slow to adapt to technology and has a lot of room to optimize. Retail + Blockchain? This is not the advertising industry! BitClave’s goal is to use blockchain technology to remove intermediaries and connect consumers and businesses directly.
Their other goal: to give consumers the data they generate themselves. Every time we browse a page, every transaction is valuable information, and YouTube or Facebook lets you use their products for free because these companies benefit greatly from this data. BitClave wants to do is break this data monopoly and give consumers the power to decide on their data: consumers themselves decide which businesses can see their data, rather than having those giants control all the data.
How do BitClave use it? Don’t worry! It’s much easier to use this system than to open a blockchain account and become a miner to dig a mine.
The app side of BitClave looks like a shopping site, but the app won’t be attached to a normal browser, but will be a separate app. When a user wants to buy something, he goes to BitClave’s app to search for goods, such as: “I want to buy a mountain bike in the next 24 hours.” When the system receives a search request from the user, the search begins behind the scenes. When a buyer browses these search results, each point opens a search result, and the buyer receives a little reward from the seller as a reward for expressing interest in the seller’s product. When a buyer sees a desirable item, the buyer will contact the seller directly or go to the seller’s offline store.
On the other hand, merchants will also have a similar user background (dashboard). On the back of this user’s platform, merchants can upload their ads, videos, images, and more. They can also screen keywords in a targeted way, or decide how they will be found by buyers. For example, merchants can search above: All searches that contain my brand in the past week. This search from the merchant will match the user search mentioned above.
In this way, the connection between the merchant and the customer is established. Compared to traditional “data integrators” (such as Google, Facebook, Youtube), this way of using distributed books to advertise and trade, if implemented, the main benefit is that consumers and businesses can bypass the intermediate data integrator, trade directly, and data integrators (as shown in the figure above Google) ‘s loss becomes a gain for both buyers and sellers.
Currently, 15 companies have joined the BitClave Ecosystem (ecosystem). These initial partners are, in a sense, like a testing ground: BitClave can build the system first–albeit very small–and prove the value of the system to every participant in the system.
If it can prove its value, BitClave can attract more companies to join.
Tague said that in these 15 companies, some companies are blockchain companies, they are willing to join BitClave because they are looking for a “blockchain friendly” (blockchain-friendly) new advertising model. What do you mean, “block-chain friendly”? Many of the companies in the development zone block chain technology are just trying to challenge the existing way. Take Google and Facebook, for example: If a company wants to advertise its products, it goes to Google or Facebook, and that’s what these blockchain companies want to challenge, going around and giving money to their competitors. As a result, these blockchain companies are looking for BitClave to advertise, hoping to take advantage of BitClave’s blockchain platform and bypass intermediaries.
“Test Fields” how to expand the scale?
The scale of expansion depends largely on blockchain technology itself, Dr. Tague said. From a technical point of view, some aspects of blockchain technology are slow: in the case of Etheric Square, it is slow to do smart contracts between blockchain. At present, BitClave focus on the application, rather than on the etheric square. Part of the BitClave system runs on the blockchain, while the other part runs outside the blockchain, but can also read or get data on the blockchain.
Therefore, to increase speed or scalability (scalability), the data is separated from the blockchain and processed under the chain.
If you think it’s a bit abstract, think of it as a mobile app connected to the Cloud (example: a picture on your phone): Some data is sent to the cloud (and cloud-synchronized pictures), but there’s a lot of data and operations that only happen on your phone (for example, there are pictures in your phone’s memory, Or you edit the picture on your phone).
Change “cloud” to “blockchain”, mobile app or mobile app, which is the concept we just said.
How do you draw an anonymous exact portrait? To maintain the anonymity of users, but also to carry out accurate portraits of users, does it sound inherently contradictory? Tague also admits that this is a big challenge for BitClave: How to enable users to prove their authenticity without exposing their true identities.
Once anonymous, user authenticity and search authenticity are difficult to guarantee: such as using robots to create false accounts. How to solve this problem?
If the merchant has an intention to trade with the buyer, the merchant can ask the user for additional information: for example, to provide evidence of the link between the user’s virtual identity and his or her true identity. Similarly, if someone searches for two different items in two different identities, he can prove to the seller that the two searches were sent by the same user. BitClave allows people to link up their different searches. Of course, if users don’t want the two searches to be linked, they can also choose not to respond. In this case, if the buyer does not want to reveal his or her true identity, the merchant will not trade with it.
It can be seen that buyers and sellers of the use of intelligent contracts to exchange data, in fact, is a kind of bargaining.
How do you create an anonymous and precise virtual identity on BitClave?
The user creates a publicly visible personal information page that contains his/her gender, age group, income range, and so on: These factors can help the seller to have a basic understanding of the user, but do not have to disclose information unrelated to the transaction. These information, which contains someone’s gender, age group, and income range, is not enough for the public to guess who the person is, but enough to help the merchant speculate on the customer’s buying preferences.
In other words, with this information, the user is actually creating a “user Portrait” (persona). If needed, users can create multiple user portraits: For example, a hotel where the user is traveling may be a lot more advanced than the hotel he pays for when he travels, then he has two portraits of “business personality” and “tourist personality”. If you don’t look behind the connections, these user portraits look like individual people and barely coincide with each other. Because of the anonymity of blockchain, each person can theoretically create countless user portraits.
Sometimes, sellers don’t need to know if there’s a connection between these different personalities, such as you have a “business outfit” and “casual wear” two personalities, and businesses interested in your “business outfit” personality are not interested in what kind of travel shoes you wear. But there are times when merchants can benefit from “analyzing the connections between different personalities.”
For example, you are going to buy a car, both as a commuter for work and as a long distance to travel, when sellers can combine your “business personality” with “leisure personality” to become a personality and analyze its characteristics, you can draw a more accurate user portrait, improve the chances of successful trading.
What about cooperative merchant fraud?
BitClave is trying to figure out how to rank different participants in its ecosystem. All transactions are retained in some form on the blockchain, so users can view past transactions, the history of a business, past transactions of a business, and comparisons with other similar businesses.
One of BitClave’s medium-and long-term plans is to design a ranking/reputation system that tells you whether to trade with someone or a business, a bit like credit score, which is now used for bank loans. The difficulty is that the anonymity of the blockchain system itself and the ranking system are inherently contradictory. That said, if a user wants a good credit ranking, he or she may be more willing to reveal a little bit about himself, and if the user just wants to be anonymous, he will certainly not want to disclose more personal information, and therefore a little lower in the ranking system. At the end of the day, decisions are in the hands of users.
A slice of Google advertising revenue?
It’s not that easy! We all know that when you search for goods in Google, it will transfer you to other websites. Search for bikes at Google, which may take you to Amazon. And BitClave is not the same: although it may have a web version, BitClave is not planning to work with Google.
In the final analysis, BitClave and Google are two parallel search systems, Professor Tague said. One of the main differences between BitClave and Google is that Google searches for things that already exist online, especially if a product has been online for some time, and Google’s algorithm can greatly optimize search results. And the BitClave way is to search for what you want: if the items you search for exist online for only one day, you can barely search for this item on Google because Google’s algorithm will keep it low. But if you use BitClave’s system, and the seller of your search for goods is also a partner of BitClave, the merchant will be able to contact you immediately. Professor Tague mentioned that the Google,bitclave approach was more “consumer-led” and “demand-driven”, while Google’s search was “responsive” (responsive) and relatively “passive”.
Another difference between BitClave and Google is that advertising on BitClave can accurately measure ROI (ROI). Advertising on Google, merchants can not know exactly who looked at its ads, and do not know how many people after watching the ads to buy products, it is difficult to measure their return on investment.
But running ads on blockchain platforms, all the behavior is traceable: This person points in and looks at my ad, I give him a few tokens in return, and then they buy my product. Compared to Google, the current advertising carrier, BitClave, a small sampan that is more “consumer-led” and more accurate in measuring ROI, has its soft spot: The success of BitClave depends largely on the number of businesses it works with (that is, in its “ecosystem” Within the merchant).
The more merchants there are, the greater the choice for buyers; if there are only dozens of merchants, the entire system is clearly ineffective. At a time when BitClave’s ecosystem is small, it’s quite difficult to compete with huge search engines like Google. As a result, BitClave’s competitive advantage is small companies: BitClave can help small companies find their potential customers more precisely, and these small companies can decide which customers can see their ads and save a lot of money. In addition, it doesn’t matter if a giant like Amazon joins the new unnamed merchant: New small merchants join Amazon and may not escape the last few pages of search results for a long time–although its products may be good.
And on the BitClave, there will be no such problem. Looking at this advanced way of advertising, do you think BitClave or similar companies will pose a substantial threat to Google?