As a project looking to give users full control over their digital rights, Blockstack is piloting a new app mining program that encourages app creators to create new applications directly on Blockstack’s platform and earn rewards in bitcoin. The goal is to expand the decentralized app ecosystem while financing developers who build the most popular applications.
Patrick Stanley is the head of growth at Blockstack. Speaking with Bitcoin Magazine, he says that app mining is a system where developers are rewarded by Blockstack and other participating companies for creating apps that community members actually want. The stronger and more popular an app is, the more money the developer will earn.
“Right now, app mining is an experiment,” Stanley mentions. “App developers bring value and resources to the community. We’re looking to coordinate early on and test out the concepts early. If everything works well, we’d like to transition things to the Stacks blockchain.”
Once an app is created, it is examined by both of Blockstack’s primary app reviewers: Product Hunt or Democracy Earth. These reviewers rank each app according to its quality, with the highest ranked apps earning the most rewards.
“The idea is to eventually have many app reviewers that are elected by the Blockstack community,” Stanley says.
At present, Blockstack has several tools designed to assist app founders with their endeavors including Blockstack Auth, which the company insists that all developers add to their apps as a login model. Blockstack Auth works as a quick sign-in feature for programs like Facebook and Google by issuing users with private keys and unique names rooted in the blockchain, ensuring the identities in question always stay registered to their respective users.
“The identities are all part of an open social graph,” Stanley says. “Over 80,000 names are on the Blockstack network already, and they’re all sovereign identities. They are then stored on a system that gives users access to their own private, encrypted cloud where they can store all their app data.”
Payouts to app developers have already been delivered for the alpha run, but payouts for the first official month of the program will begin in December. For this inaugural month, a total of $100,000 in bitcoin will be rewarded to contestants.
The app mining program will launch as a centralized platform, which Stanley said "is not something that is a downside in the near term. . .We’re maximizing coordination and experimentation prior to decentralizing App Mining for the long term benefit of how it is constructed."
“We’ve been engaging with many app developers, and for the next year or so, we’ll be having lots of conversations with our community and working to arrive at the best solutions for checks and balances, governance and voting,” he explains.