Last week, Bunz, a social bartering platform formally launched #PayPeopleNotPlatforms, paying customers with a stablecoin, BTZ (pronounced bits), for watching in-app ads or taking part in branded surveys.
Social media and digital platforms like Google and Facebook that exploit your private knowledge for their very own functions and revenue be warned, this is among the first ripples of a a lot bigger client wave that’s coming.
Over $325 Billion was spent on promoting globally final yr. Bunz believes that individuals ought to personal the worth of their private knowledge and that manufacturers can pay folks for entry to that knowledge. Welcome to the sharing economic system the place knowledge is the brand new oil – what Airbnb did for lodging, and Uber did for transportation, Bunz is doing on your private knowledge and time – rewarding you with BTZ on your consideration and contribution to a networked group.
Bunz first launched as a social platform permitting customers to commerce stuff with one another – my lamp on your carpet. A cashless barter transaction between people is on the fitting aspect of the planet’s sustainable agenda relating to reusing “our stuff” and producing much less waste and landfill. Founded in 2016, paradoxically as a secret Facebook group, the Bunz app has now accomplished over a million trades and could be present in each main metropolis throughout Canada, in addition to in rising pockets all over the world – together with Australia, the UK, the US, and Japan.
In 2018 Bunz launched BTZ, a cost token, that’s earned and spent with different platform customers or redeemed at native retail outlets. With a rising person base of 300,000 customers, 200 retail outlets, three.5 million transactions in BTZ and over 80,000 wallets holding BTZ, Bunz is poised to take off.
“Bunz has been a leading innovator that is trying to use new economic mechanisms to change the power dynamics of the digital economy and our broader society,” says Glen Weyl founding father of RadicalxChange, a worldwide social motion, “they were a winner of our ProjectxChange competition for the best start-ups in this space.”
Sascha Mojtahedi, the CEO and co-founding father of the Bunz app, is a person on a mission. The Bunz roadmap has been developed with its customers (customers) and companions (companies) on the coronary heart of its proposition. Rewarding Bunz customers with BTZ for his or her knowledge and participation in branded surveys and promoting is all a part of the grand plan.
Since the January 2019 beta launch of #PayPeopleNotPlatforms, companies reminiscent of Lyft, Wealthsimple, and KOHO have sponsored Bunz surveys and collected useful knowledge associated to their enterprise, with over two million survey insights generated so far. Most importantly, advertisers instantly compensate each Bunz app person who chooses to take part within the surveys.
“We were excited to partner with Bunz as we’re always looking to explore new, innovative ways to reach consumers. What really appealed to us about the Bunz platform is how transparent it is – users know exactly what information they’re providing, and to whom,” mentioned Kate Chippindale, Partnerships Lead at Wealthsimple.
I caught up with Sascha to get the backstory on Bunz, an introduction to BTZ, how the token works, why it’s so widespread with customers, and the place BTZ and Bunz are heading sooner or later.
Lawrence Wintermeyer: How did the concept for Bunz come about and when did you notice token may rework the buyer proposition and expertise?
Sascha Mojtahedi: Bunz happened as a result of all of us have an excessive amount of stuff – it’s a easy and enjoyable strategy to publish one thing you aren’t utilizing anymore and get one thing you want in return whereas assembly some wonderful folks regionally. As the variety of barter trades approached a million in 2018, we realized we would wish a forex to resolve the classical financial points that forestall bartering from scaling, the “double coincidence of wants”.
BTZ solved these points by guaranteeing folks can transact even when they don’t have what the opposite particular person needs and has unlocked a higher potential for our market. The Bunz group has achieved over three.5 million transactions in BTZ already.
The factor that makes BTZ particular is that individuals can’t purchase it – they earn it for his or her knowledge, consideration, and contribution to the Bunz group. The present social contract with platforms like Facebook is damaged – you utilize their platform without spending a dime whereas they monetize your knowledge for his or her revenue. We created a substitute for conventional knowledge monetization and promoting that serves folks first.
BTZ is a digital forex backed by the demand for knowledge and consideration, we prefer to name it knowledge-backed cash. The transformative piece is that BTZ is a spendable type of knowledge that acknowledges its rightful homeowners – folks not platforms. Data is the forex of the web and we’re democratizing so that everybody can earn and take part in its worth.
Wintermeyer: What are folks utilizing BTZ for and what are the important thing options they like in regards to the Bunz app and the ecosystem?
Mojtahedi: People love Bunz as a result of it connects them with different superior folks of their metropolis and helps them dwell extra sustainably by way of exchanging items. People are inclined to accumulate a variety of stuff and are beginning to notice that it’s less expensive and higher for the atmosphere to reuse as an alternative of all the time shopping for new, Bunz lets you discover folks to commerce your stuff with.
BTZ is used to finish barter trades when customers don’t have what the opposite particular person need. BTZ may also be spent at over 200 native companies in city areas throughout Canada to do issues like feed your self: cafes, eating places, and bars; groom your self: hair, nails, and tattoos; or spoil your self: clothes, data, and artwork. BTZ will quickly be redeemable at outlets within the US and Japan.
Everyone on Bunz has a profile, can publish gadgets they aren’t utilizing, pays one another by way of the app with BTZ, and can evaluate one another after the commerce is full.
Wintermeyer: What do customers need to do to earn BTZ?
Mojtahedi: There are quite a lot of methods to earn BTZ. By activating your pockets you earn BTZ, in the event you invite mates to the group each of you earn BTZ, in the event you publish one thing that receives curiosity on the app, you earn BTZ, in the event you reply the day by day sponsored survey you earn BTZ (over 15,000 folks do that day by day) and in the event you publish one thing and commerce it, you may earn BTZ.
We are launching quite a lot of new social and video options that may earn customers BTZ for rising and sustaining the group.
Wintermeyer: BTZ is an Ethereum sensible contract, what makes it totally different from different cost tokens?
Mojtahedi: BTZ is an ERC223 that you would be able to ship by way of a bridge between the Bunz app (centralized) and the Ethereum Mainnet (decentralized). BTZ is a stablecoin nevertheless it’s totally different than different steady cash in that when a model pays Bunz for knowledge or promoting, 60% of the cash is deposited right into a treasury and BTZ are launched to the group for interacting with it.
An issue with many cryptocurrencies is that they pressure the accountability of possession on folks. We made it straightforward for everybody to take part within the knowledge economic system by way of BTZ and present folks with the choice of transferring their BTZ from the app to Ethereum Mainnet, however we don’t pressure it on them nor can we make folks purchase it.
What makes it significantly totally different from different stablecoins is it’s simpler to make use of in the event you don’t perceive cryptocurrencies and is earned on your knowledge, consideration, and contribution to the community. It’s some Robin Hood sh*t however with BTZ, as an alternative of shillings.
Wintermeyer: What has the retail service provider response been to BTZ, how shortly has the redemption community grown?
Mojtahedi: Businesses love BTZ as a result of it helps develop the group that helps their enterprise by exposing them to new prospects and helps them higher perceive what attracts folks into their store, and how folks prefer to spend. Some retailers are doing over 30% of their month-to-month transactions in BTZ with over $30,000 price of gross sales in BTZ per thirty days. In the final 12 months, folks earned and spent $1 Million in BTZ at native companies. We’re getting a variety of requests to enroll.
We made knowledge a spendable type of worth and outlets need to seize a few of this new spending energy because it’s not a share of an present buyer pockets. In quick, companies that settle for BTZ are promoting extra by accepting knowledge as cost and we guarantee they will redeem it in opposition to a treasury for .
Wintermeyer: What are the important thing advantages advertisers have realized through the beta and how do you see this rising?
Mojtahedi: Brands are realizing that with BTZ, there’s a substitute for paying Facebook or different platforms to succeed in prospects. It’s a non-zero-sum sport on Bunz the place manufacturers get to work together with the group in a approach that’s knowledgeable by knowledge, whereas individuals are additionally being compensated for his or her info and engagement.
Facebook and different platforms have confronted a variety of backlash for his or her exploitative knowledge practices, and manufacturers who pay these platforms are making that exploitation potential. BTZ represents an alternate. Brands care about their prospects and need to do proper by them – they only didn’t have the chance earlier than Bunz and BTZ.
Wintermeyer: What are a few of the new app options being deliberate on the roadmap?
Mojtahedi: Platform options have gotten ubiquitous – it is washed out and practically all of them provide one thing related. You can count on Bunz to have the identical options that the remainder do however with the pay folks not platforms mentality.
The new social options will allow folks to run teams which can be geographical or curiosity-primarily based. Admins can cost a payment in BTZ to members and earn for rising and sustaining their group. It’s a departure from the way it works on Facebook at this time the place admins aren’t compensated for his or her work.
On the video entrance, we don’t need to give all of it away simply but, however we’re engaged on a “Speaker’s Corner” play that may give a vox pop platform to customers powered by BTZ.
Wintermeyer: Will we quickly see Bunz and BTZ in different international locations?
Mojtahedi: Bunz simply employed our first worker in San Francisco! We are planning on launching there in addition to Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo in 2019.
Anyone, wherever on this planet can be part of by downloading the Bunz app at this time, begin incomes BTZ and get buying and selling with their area people. The launch of outlets that settle for BTZ relies on the place the group is rising the quickest. So invite your pals – the sooner your group grows, the earlier we might be launching outlets so that you can spend your BTZ!
Wintermeyer: During such an thrilling part of development, what retains you up at night time?
Mojtahedi: What retains me up at night time is guaranteeing that Bunz creates a extra sustainable future for everybody – economically, environmentally and socially. We are at an inflection level in historical past – we all know what we’re doing just isn’t sustainable and wants to alter. We consider there’s a resolution by way of higher worth distribution, by connecting folks in significant methods and by decreasing waste by way of higher distribution of products regionally. I spend most of my time fascinated by extra methods to distribute worth derived from knowledge, consideration, and contribution to a community again to the those who make it useful.
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