According to a report from app analytics firm App Annie, the global app economy will be worth $6.3 trillion by 2021, up from $1.3 trillion last year. During that same time frame, the user base will almost double from 3.4 billion people using apps to 6.3 billion, while the time spent in apps will grow to 3.5 trillion hours in 2021, up from 1.6 trillion in 2016. (1)
AppCoins claims that the current app economy has three main problems:
Advertising; Relies on many inefficient middlemen, increased cost of user acquisition for app developers, reduced transparency and generating fraudulent transactions.
- App monetisation and in-app purchase (IAP); IAPs rely on payment methods and flows that are not accessible to many users. Especially in emerging markets where the transactions costs are high, with significant margins being taken by payment processors and other FinTech middlemen.
- App approval; Inefficient process related with users’ cybersecurity and apps quality assurance that is currently being handled by each centralised app store with non-transparent flows and policies that affect developers’ and users’ trust.
AppCoins is an open and distributed protocol for app stores based on the Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts. It proposes to move all three flows, mentioned above, to the blockchain. This removes intermediation and redistributes the value released in a way that creates incentives for end-users, developers and app stores alike. According to AppCoins, this protocol brings the the following advantages; Advertising, App approval, Payments and App rankings. (2)
In advertising, the protocol guarantees not only that the users install apps but that they pay attention to it for at least 2 minutes. AppCoins calls this Cost Per Attention (CPAt). The value invested by the developer in CPAt is used to award users with AppCoin tokens.
App approvals are made universal and more transparent through a developer reputation system. The reputation is tied to the financial transactions on the public ledger and is auditable.
With the AppCoins protocol, advertising transactions are on the blockchain. Developers publish ad offers to a certain app store by creating a smart contract. The tracking of the app installation and usage occurs via Proof-of-Attention, reducing fraud.
It works as follow: The developer pays for the user’s attention (CPAt). The user receives 85% of advertising revenue in their wallet, with this value the user can pay for in-app purchases. The app stores will receive 10% of the revenue for distributing the APK and for being the oracle of the smart contract. OEM’s who distribute the solution in their devices will receive 5% for the role of pre-loading the app stores and bringing their user base to the system.
Within the app users can pay with Appcoins for in-app purchases. In the same way 85% of the revenue goes to the developer, 10% goes to the app store and 5% to the OEM.
Nowadays, users already have tools like comments, ratings and malware flags to rank apps and, inherently, developers. These important feedbacks are analyzed by quality assurance teams, which is an inefficient and costly service. AppCoins protocol provides an automated governance system for app approval based on the developer’s ranking.
The developer ranking system is stored in the blockchain, which the app stores have access to. There are three levels of reputation for the developer; Trusted, Critical and Unknown.
The trusted status is defined by the interaction or volume of transactions of apps and not the downloads.
In the whitepaper they mentioned several strategies to promote AppCoins adoption. The strategies are; The initial support of Aptoide (app store) (3), the creation of the App Store Foundation (encouraging other app stores to adopt AppCoins), the users’ compensation system and the trust of customers.
Users will be able to make purchases without the need of credit cards or other form of payments. Users with low financial resources will also be able to do purchases thanks to donations from other people.
The first app store to integrate the AppCoins protocol is Aptoide. With over 200 million active users, 4 billion downloads and 6 years on the market, it is one of the biggest third-party Android app stores. Aptoide projects that more than 1.3 billion users will use app stores powered by AppCoins in 5 years.
Team and advisors
The AppCoins team consists of 18 professionals in the area of Engineering, Management, Operations and marketing.
CEO: Paulo Trezentos He was founder and maintainer of LinuxCM, a Linux distribution with more than 700,000 users between 2007 and 2011. He is also the CEO and Co-Founder of Aptoide. (4)
COO: Álvaro Pinto He has been advocating, for more than 15 years, the adoption of open technologies and open standards in private companies and in the public sector. Álvaro has a degree in law. (5)
There are some interesting advisors involved. The CEO of Tenx at the time of their ICO, Chris Miess. (6) The Operations Senior Strategist of Google Play and the Head of Platform Partnerships at Ripple, Ryan Terribilini. (7)
One of the first partnerships is a strategic partnership with Kyber Network (8), an on-chain, instant and liquid platform for exchange and payment service that allows anyone to seamlessly receive payments from any token. In other words, a user could pay in any ERC20 cryptocurrency while the developer could receive the payment in AppCoins.
Another partnership is with Indorse (9), a platform that aims to give back ownership of the data to the user, and allow them to profit from sharing their skills and activities on the platform. This will allow Indorse users to verify the ownership of any app on Aptoide App Store and will let Aptoide users check an Indorse developer’s reputation.
AppCoins recently announced its strategic partnership with Utrust (10). This partnership aims to bring the power of Utrust payments to the Aptoide ecosystem.
‘18 Q1: They are planning to release the first beta version of Aptoide with AppCoins support.
‘18 Q2: The rollout of AppCoins on Aptoide App Store, as well as other app stores that joined.
‘18 Q3: Production rollout to all Aptoide clients.