This post is in the form of questions asked of the students of the Coursera course “Blockchain: Foundation and Use Cases” built and taught by Consensys Academy. It examines my own case study for an implementation of blockchain technology in a Dapp called Gryd.
What problem is this trying to solve? What is the value proposition of solving this problem?
There is not a reliable real-time directory of free and low-cost services in the world where people can review them as well. This costs donors trillions of dollars misallocated and results in misuse of funds for ineffective services. Gryd is solving this problem by letting everyone know where these resources are, how effective they are, and constantly engaging the key end-users of these systems, i.e. the charitable recipient/citizen.
How will a blockchain be applied to this use case? Which component pieces will be utilized? Will the blockchain used be public, private, or consortium and why? Note: It might be beneficial to walk through the decision tree that was introduced in Module 3 Lesson 3: When to use a Blockchain (Limitations and Misconceptions).
The public blockchain will be utilized in order to run a smart contract that is used to authenticate/CRUD an identity via uPort as well as CRUD a review that one has posted to the network or a listing. The uPort identity will be used to sign reviews, update reviews, post questions, or other blockchain transactions. The only data visible will be the content of the listing, the abstract identifier and the public keys, so no personal data will be publicly available.
If a token is used to digitize an asset, store value, or to provide access to the blockchain, explain why it is needed? How will it be used? If it is not used, explain why ETH or another native token is all that needs to be utilized.
A token will be utilized and rewarded to various people who are members of the community submitting, updating, and removing listings and reviews, as well as moderating the community according to community guidelines of prosocial engagement with stakeholders, etc. All members of the community must be stating their role in the listing that they are reviewing or posting for review. Ideally, members are verified end-users of the organization, not key stakeholders such as donors, volunteers, or even case workers or administrators. In this way, we are aiming to give voice to the often voiceless end recipient of the charitable organizations, implementing a timely feedback cycle for employees of the organization and administrators as well as donors and the general public. The user will have control over the off-chain claims and owns the data/material submitted to the blockchain. Early users are compensated at higher rates in tokens, than later users for their early adoption of the technology. Overall, the public blockchain will restore power to those who these services were meant to empower in the first place, the end user, while providing valuable feedback to key stakeholders, employees, administrators, and donors on their efforts.
Are there other factors to consider in this use case?
There are many other factors to consider in this use case, such as accessibility of the Dapp to the end-user, which is why mobile-first development will be used to streamline the Dapp into the hands of the end user most effectively as mobile technology is more widely adopted than laptops/desktops. The authenticity of reviews is also suspect, but tried and true elicitation and intellectual honesty will make the community uniquely reliable in these cases. Bad actors will be sussed out by their lack of reputation/tokens and their unique identifiers, and/or their troll-like ways.
Overall, Gryd will solve a crucial reliability problem in free and low-cost directory listings, as well as give a voice to the currently muted voice of the end-user. It will also save donors millions of dollars ineffectively spent on non-solutions for these end users.