Could blockchain ever solve the issues inherent to online dating models? The Hicky ICO certainly thinks so, and with good reason. The legacy online dating sites are rife with fake accounts, security vulnerabilities, and matching algorithm issues. Hicky.io strives to solve all of these issues, and the Ethereum blockchain is here to help it achieve its goal.
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Finding a Better Solution for Online Dating
Hicky.io identifies the risks and flaws of the current online dating services in their whitepaper. These include the following:
Risk of information theft: dating platforms are attractive targets for hackers looking to prey on users’ personal information. The 2015 Ashley Madison hack alerted us to the vulnerabilities of the centralized platforms. Attacks such as these can result in the loss of financial details, as well as personal information that can be used to extort the victims affected.
Fraud: according to a 2016 study, approximately 10% of all online dating profiles are fake. This can pose a threat to authentic users, and the FBI estimates that roughly $100mln a year is lost to scam artists claiming romantic interests for money via fraudulent accounts.
Wasted time and money: a 2011 New York Times article reveals that 30% of men lie about their career and financial positions on their dating profiles and nearly the same amount of women lie about their weight and height. This false advertising can lead to disappointing encounters and a feeling that the participants have wasted their time.
System inefficiencies: in terms of this final point, the whitepaper states, “While online dating platforms promise to improve the chances of finding an ideal partner, the evidence runs in contrary to this thesis. A 2017 study found that 22% of Millennials think technology has made finding love more difficult, with 57% saying they’re lonely (Forbes, 2017).”
By putting a dating service on the blockchain, Hicky.io can solve the problems mentioned above. The blockchain will reintroduce trust and democracy to online dating by decentralizing the network, while the cryptographic, distributed nature of the network is going to ensure the security of its profiles.
Hicky’s dating service won’t be run by a single entity. Instead, it will be run by and propped up thanks to its users. “The users of the network are literally stakeholders and are thus incentivized to build and improve the platform in a way that benefits themselves,” the whitepaper states. Thus, the platform will evolve according to its users’ wishes, and user interest will always come first as users will be arbiters of their own fates.
In addition, the blockchain’s distributed network will keep all user information encrypted and protected from a single point of failure unlike the already existing systems. This is going to insulate user information from those hacking risks the legacy dating services face. Furthermore, Hicky.io’s ID verification system will make sure that only legitimate, real users are able to create accounts on the platform.
A Decentralized Autonomous Dating Network (DAD)
Hicky’s DAD system is where all of the online dating magic happens. It is a decentralized network powered by the Hicky token to facilitate Hicky.io’s online dating solutions. The project’s whitepaper sums up the platform quite succinctly:
“ DAD is a fundamentally human system. Just as in the real world, people decide who they would like to pursue and their behaviour is judged by their peers. DAD functions as a monitoring system that rewards people for behaving well and punishes them if they don’t. This is done through financial incentivisation using the underlying token economy . The result is a democratised, fair, secure and effective dating platform.”
Upon registration, users will be able to secure their profile using multiple verification methods. This includes a facescan coupled with an ID check. In addition to this authentication method, whenever a user wishes to engage in conversation, they must submit a vocal verification by answering 1 of 36 predefined questions.
All messages on the platform are strictly peer to peer and fully encrypted, meaning no one outside of the two members involved can access the contents of a chat.
If a couple decides to go on a date, the Hicky provides a system of staking and financial incentives to encourage good behavior. For example, if Alice and Bob decide to go out with each other, both must commit a number of Hicky tokens to be locked in a contract until the date is over. If either of them behaves poorly (e.g., acts out, doesn’t show up), then the other can submit a case to DAD’s conflict jury. The jury reviews the case and decides how to proceed, whether by issuing penalties or dropping the case. Thus, good behavior is rewarded and bad behavior is punished, creating a more effective and self-governing platfrom.
For more information, check out the hicky.io the website. The main token sale started on Valentine’s day, and is currently running.