Can blockchain be leveraged to shed light on the truth? Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher, said that knowledge is what is true. But in modern times, truth is obfuscated by uninformed opinions, media bias and sales pitches disguised as advice.
Knowledge.io will launch its initial coin offering (ICO) in January and its founders want to leverage the blockchain as well as testing protocol known as Knowledge Scores to see how much people truly know about a variety of topics. Those who achieve high scores can earn tokens as immediate rewards for their expertise, and the founders hope that these digital coins will eventually gain monetary value in a Knowledge marketplace.
If the concept gains adoption, it could impact how we shop online or learn in the classroom or corporate training environment.
In 2016, American consumers spent over $88.2 billion shopping online over the holiday season, according to data compiled by Statista. That kind of spending is what makes insights about the way consumers interact with brands valuable, according to the founders interviewed. It’s estimated that a business has roughly a 60-70 percent chance of selling more products and services to an existing customer compared to just 5-20 percent for a new customer.
Insights are valuable for improving the impact of budgets. But how do you know if the marketing consultant you just hired is truly an expert or a novice pretending to be one?
A Knowledge Score gets calculated based on a user’s understanding or expertise on a wide variety of topics. The founders say they'll initially focus the applications in four industries: ecommerce, recruiting, digital advertising and education.
“Knowledge.io solves the problem of being able to utilize data that scores how much a person knows about different topics, and records it to a blockchain,” says Marcia Hales, COO of Knowledge.io.
“We’ve all received a report card. Some people achieve high scores on standardized tests, people go on to have advanced degrees, but very infrequently do these scores ever matter in your day to day activities beyond your salaried employment or hourly wage as a loose expression of those scores.”
Anyone who participates in the Knowledge ecosystem can earn tokens and spend them in a marketplace. While the traditional education system typically offers employment incentives after graduation, Knowledge experts can gain immediate token rewards for validating their expertise. Thus, proponents argue that the gamification of acquiring information is more useful than traditional methods — because the digital age has shortened cycle times that make it appropriate to give people immediate incentives when they add value, or insights.
In this case, knowledge translates to purchasing power.
Information exchanged on the platform are securely recorded on the blockchain. Various stakeholders, such as advertisers, educators and companies, will be able to see where users fit in the knowledge funnel. This allows stakeholders to provide users with information that’s pertinent to their knowledge level.
“Innovation in ad tech has been centered mostly around automation of the buying process via programmatic and real-time bidding technologies,” says Hales. “The Knowledge Score idea came from the realization that most data providers in the ad tech space are using different algorithms on a relatively similar set of data, often with conflicting data points across providers.”
“People consume content when they read an article, or interact with some consumer product, but this technique cannot use deterministic methods to understand the knowledge level of a user about a topic or set of topics contained within the article or related to a product, service, solution, location, etc.”
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