With several blockchain-based solutions looking to disrupt the highly-centralized industry of mobile app stores, tech startup AppCoins has thrown its hat into the ring with its own open protocol that seeks to unify transactions and trust in the app economy.
While other projects are focusing on decentralized applications (dApps), AppCoins will target the mainstream by creating a distributed protocol with Android users in mind, aiming to disrupt this economy by eliminating intermediaries in the system.
The app economy – growing yet held back by persistent problems
The app economy is a burgeoning market, with some 2.1 billion smartphone users worldwide generating over $77 billion in annual gross revenue. By 2020, this is projected to double, propelled by smartphone use, cheaper devices and wider network coverage in the developing world.
However, app stores are notorious for being plagued by inefficiencies and bugs. Worse still, there s a prevalent trust issue with using app stores, with users unable to distinguish between genuine apps and malware that could slow down or even damage their devices.
Owing to significant commissions also charged by app platforms for listing titles, most in-app purchases (IAP) tend to be on the costlier side, making them inaccessible to the low-end market. The alternative, in-app advertising, is an unattractive solution, itself riddled with malware and third-party intervention.
The underlying issues are many, but the main culprits are unsuitable payment models for emerging economies and non-adult users (who are not of legal age), a lack of a trust system between participants of the app ecosystem, and an absence of an app standard which clarifies clear interfaces and enables easy market entry for new players.
— AppCoins (@AppCoinsProject) November 30, 2017
The AppCoins solution
The AppCoins network is an open and distributed protocol built upon the Ethereum blockchain. Its main goal will be to first mitigate, then eventually eliminate, the deficiencies of current centralized platforms such as app stores.
It envisions the removal of intermediaries to result in drastically quicker and lower cost interactions in the app economy, using blockchain innovation to build more efficient app store technology for simpler, yet more sophisticated interactions such as app advertising, in-app billing and app approval.
This will also lead to a more efficient economy, redistributing cost savings and revenue to end users and developers – a removal from traditional models where the app store retains most, if not all, of the revenue generated.
From every advertising purchase made inside the app store, as much as 85 per cent will be distributed to the user – who must then utilise it to buy goods or services within games and apps (IAPs), effectively returning revenues to app developers. Parallel to this, advertising and IAP transactions will be used to establish the reputation of the developers.
In summary, the AppCoins protocol will be dictated by three main principles:
It will enable open and transparent standards to facilitate trust without sacrificing, indeed enhancing, privacy.
By eliminating unnecessary intermediaries, revenue shares are larger and redistributed to end users and developers.
3. Community focused
The app community will be able to freely access knowledge through open source code.
The AppCoins ICO and AppCoin token
To power this ecosystem, the AppCoin token (APPC), which is an ERC20 compliant token for the Ethereum blockchain, will represent the AppCoins native currency. AppCoin tokens will be used by developers to advertise their apps to users and users to conduct IAP transactions.
It utilises the sophistication afforded by the Ethereum network, allowing for concepts like “proof-of-attribution”, smart contracts and state storage, enabling cryptographically-secure means to reach an acceptable digital agreement between users and developers.
The network is expected to be launched within the next year, leveraging on the existing base of 200 million annual users of the Aptoide app store – the team behind AppCoins. In five years, Aptoide projects for more than 1.3 billion users of AppCoins powered app stores.
To raise funds for the development of the AppCoins protocol, a pre-sale was launched earlier in the year, selling more than 20 million APPC tokens to over 800 participants.
In less than two weeks, AppCoins will hold a public ICO from December 13th, 2017 to January 15th, 2018. It will make available 160 million APPC tokens for sale at a base price of 1 ETH = 2,295 APPC.
— AppCoins (@AppCoinsProject) December 6, 2017