2key is a blockchain-based referral service which aims to monetize the process of generating online referrals in a more equitable manner than a traditional system. The referral’s industry is a permutation of word-of-mouth marketing, whereby individuals pass along leads and links to potential new customers in exchange for rewards.
“Sharing links online to products, services, and content creates economic value,” the 2key team stated in the white paper. “When we share a link online and people follow it, we create gains for the sellers of the products, services, or content related to the link we have distributed. However, in the current marketplace, people who fuel economic growth through online word-of-mouth don’t earn a fair share of the value they generate.”
How’s 2key Different from Traditional Marketing Systems?
2key views its system as an inversion of the typical master-slave relationship that’s dominated the internet since its earliest days. This system involves a powerful central processor, server, or company, which then either controls or rents access to many smaller systems down the line. The evolution of peer-to-peer technology, like the blockchain, breaks this relationship and introduces an opportunity for companies like 2key to subvert existing advertising paradigms.
In the current model, large corporations like Facebook and Google control access to their users with onerous price points for small businesses and overall qualitative control. It’s difficult for small businesses to truly leverage the potentially awesome power of the internet due to the limited number of people they can reach through the bottlenecks imposed by large companies. The tracking mechanism known as a pixel is emblematic of these concerns, 2key stated in its white paper.
“The big problem is that currently only mid-sized businesses and up can afford to assimilate a pixel into their site; the integration requires constant technical and operational support on the business side, and requires there to be a business website to begin with – not always the case for solopreneurs and small businesses,” the team stated. “Moreover, the pixel is siloed inside the business site and doesn’t provide tracking of the user on his journey outside the site, missing out the ability to accurately attribute marketing influence to the final conversion.”
Peer-to-peer systems like 2key blow this bottleneck open, 2key says, by eliminating the portal through which interactions are typically tracked. They also eliminate the wasted effort of bot or spam mailings. In essence, the system is asking you to tell a select number of your online friends about a certain offering in exchange for a reward. Spamming and other irrelevant shares are punished via an automated system.
How Does the 2key System Work?
2key’s referral system operates via a series of bids and offers between influencers and advertisers. The actions of influencers are recorded on the 2key blockchain and rewarded via smart contract triggers.
Vital to this system is the idea of reputation. This limits the interference that can result from automated bots or the spamming of links to irrelevant sites.
“Each contractor, influencer, and prospect using 2key contracts is assigned reputation,” the white paper stated. “Reputation is monitored and persisted via the 2key administrator contract through the 2key contracts, and is persisted into the uport identities of the various parties.”
A scoring system is used to translate the actions of influencers into a reputation score, which directly affects the rewards each influencer is able to get.
“The 2key reputation scoring system optimizes for reputation, since it is the social currency at the heart of social sourcing, and the more market cap in reputation that is amassed in the network, the more efficient it will become,” 2key stated. “Reputation on the taxonomy can be amassed both as a contractor in this category and as an influencer/prospect in this category.”
Who’s the Team Behind 2key?
The CEO of 2key is Erez Ben-Kiki. Before founding 2key, Erez founded marketing firm EBK Olam in Tel Aviv, Israel. He also previously worked as a social media buyer for William Hill. The company’s chief technology officer and co-founder is eiTan LaVi. LaVi previously served as the director of data science at Keywee, a content delivery system.
What’s the Market Like?
2KEY is an ERC20 token with a total supply of 1 billion. The coins will be minted, with about 45 percent slated for sale at a price of $0.095 by the end of 2018.
What’s Next on the 2key Roadmap?
2key plans to hold a presale in the third quarter of 2018, with the full token sale taking place by the end of the year. The company plans to concurrently create a system for exchanging fiat currency for 2key tokens within the 2key system itself. The company’s core referral products are due to be launched in the first quarter of 2019, with the roadmap into the second half of 2019 dominated mainly by adoption and promotion. Technological development and product improvement is an ongoing process, the team stated.
2key seeks to serve a niche market within the web economy, and it seeks to use blockchain technology to do so. 2key makes a convincing case for the centralization and control of the existing referral economy. In other words, if Facebook and Google don’t want you to see it, it’s exceedingly difficult for it to actually get seen. In addition, 2key presents a strong incentive in the form of peer-to-peer monetization for passing along referral links. Ultimately, the 2key system will rest squarely on community participation and valuable partnerships, and 2key appears to have a stable of these already in place – including Bancor, Uport, Inbound Junction, and Hilltop.
Decentralization is a core concept when it comes to nearly all cryptocurrencies, and the 2key ecosystem is designed to leverage that to the fullest extent. The fact that it is an ERC20 token might also eventually come in handy, providing interoperability between 2key and other Ethereum platform decentralized applications.