(STORM) - Gamified Micro Tasks
(STORM) – Gamified Micro Tasks
What is (STORM)?
Currently, the freelance marketplace is fraught with industry leaders such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Amazon who charge up to 40% in transaction fees to use their services. The middlemen within this process overcomplicate it and the costly fees they choose to incur creates a negative relationship between the content poster and the content creator. Furthermore, freelancers want the opportunity to earn more while simultaneously keeping what they actually earn. That is why the StormX team has rebranded their popular micro-task application BitMaker into Storm Play and has simultaneously integrated blockchain technology into the platform and has introduced their (STORM) token. Storm Play is the user portal, and the Storm Market is the micro-task marketplace where promotional user engagement tasks are performed. Such as playing games, trying out service subscriptions and other related tasks. Although, the long-term vision is to separate the marketplace into three distinct task categories.
1. Promotional User Engagement (Storm Play)
2. Freelance Labor, ranging from micro-tasks to app QA testing to no longer independent contract-style engagements. (Storm Gigs)
3. Shopping-related opportunities where users can learn about or sample retail goods and services. (Storm Shop)
StormX envisions the Storm Marketplace as a fully decentralized platform where anyone will be able to offer or engage in storm tasks by using Ethereum blockchain-based smart contracts powered by ERC-20 STORM tokens. Currently, the Storm marketplace consists of two participants; Storm Makers, and Storm players. The Makers are those who solicit engagement (i.e: advertisers, companies, etc). Storm Makers create tasks in the marketplace by using STORM tokens to place tasks on the market. On the other hand, Storm Players are the market participants who choose to engage in Storm Tasks created by the Storm Makers. As a Storm Player, you receive Bolts for completing specific tasks within the Storm Play App.
Bolts themselves cannot be withdrawn from the Storm Play App. However, they can be redeemed for; Bitcoin, Ethereum, or STORM. In the future only STORM tokens will be redeemable with Bolts. After its launch, the Storm App will be a centralized platform for a short time. Although, StormX has been diligently working in the background to create smart contracts that will fully decentralize the process of task creation, and user engagement in the Storm Market. Thus removing any inefficiencies and thereby enabling both, Storm Makers, and Storm players to directly interact with one another in an open, transparent platform powered by STORM tokens.
To date, Storm Play has garnered a market consisting of 250,000+ monthly active users. As of August 2017, Storm Market Participants have access to 187+ countries, 250k monthly active users, and over 1 million downloads in total. This means that advertisers who choose to list on the platform have the potential to acquire customers through exposure in the marketplace.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the process of adding game-like elements, such as micro-tasks, to help create more active user participation. By integrating game mechanics into non-gaming contexts, such as websites, apps, and services. This is done in order to boost the users’ motivation for participation, enhance the level of engagement, and increase overall user loyalty. It is the process by which a game related framework and relative mechanics are layered onto a service thereby effectively helping to achieve business results for advertisement reaching objectives. Overall, the gamification of micro-tasks in the Storm Play marketplace can turn monotonous work into a much more enjoyable user experience by gamifying the process.
STORM tokens as a smart contract
STORM has been implemented as an ERC-20 token that will eventually be run by smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. The STORM token, once implemented, will have the option to be used in conjunction with the Bancor protocol. However, the Bancor protocol will not be enabled at launch. In the future, Storm Play will add various tools and features in the Storm Market that can be paid for using STORM tokens.
The application developed by the StormX team, Storm Play, is the platform where users can perform Storm Tasks. These are the smart contract templates for agreements that are made between the advertisers and the users. The processing by which this is accomplished will reside on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Therefore, Storm Task transactions will be validated, executed, and enforced by Ethereums global network of nodes. These tasks can define timelines, milestone markers, payment terms, and other such advanced features. An example of these tasks would be;
- Download a mobile game/app
- Keep this application downloaded for X amount of time.
- Play the game to level 5 and defeat the Dragon.
- Rewards will be issued after the user signs up for subscription services.
Furthermore, StormX is also considering the implementation of additional categories of micro-tasks and smart contract use-cases within the Storm Market. One of these examples would be, Storm Shop. This market channel would give users the ability to learn about, or even sample various retail products. Or as the example states, it could be used as a shop to earn a feature where users earn rewards as they make purchases in the Storm Shop.
The Storm Gigs feature is described as part of the companies vision, and it will be used to increase the number of gamified micro-task opportunities or similar freelance opportunities in the overall Storm Marketplace. In this way, increasing the overall number of ways for market participants to complete tasks and earn useful rewards. An example of GIGS in it’s Alpha Stage was mentioned in this Tweet by Simon Yu the StormX CEO.
Simon Yu – CEO & Founder
As stated in his profile, Simon is known as; The Business Prodigy. At age 19, Simon turned a $100 gift into a $500,000 business which is explained more in-depth here. Since then, he has channeled his vision and ability to execute to grow a small dorm room project into a multi-million dollar venture with millions on users. He has been featured in Forbes, NASDAQ, and Business Insider.
Jason Child – Director of Engineering
An engineering generalist with over 18 years of experience in systems integration, IoT, and the on-demand economy. Jason previously served in various engineering roles at Intel, Leviton, and General Electric. Additionally, Jason is an entrepreneur who founded, and is the director of engineering of, Perceivit.
Jon Nolz – EVP of Business Development
Jon has more than three decades working in the digital advertising and marketing sectors. Previously, Jon served as the vice president of Kochava, and vice president as well as general manager at HipCricket. Also, Jon served as V.P of marketing at Infospace.
Bill Shihara – CEO and Founder of Bittrex
Bill leds the popular crypto exchange Bittrex and is one of the earliest investor of Storm. He has extensive knowledge in cybersecurity having worked as security response for Amazon, Blackberry, and Microsoft.
Charles Hoskinson – CEO of IOHK (Cardano/ADA)
Charles guides IOHK, and leads Cardano, as well as Ethereum Classic. He has a background in mathematics and cryptography, and even co-founded and served as CEO of Ethereum.
Jeff Pulver – Pioneer of VoIP, Founder and CEO of Vonage
Jeff is the co-founder of Free World Dialup, Vonage, and Zula. He’s best known for shaping the worldwide market acceptance of VoIP, and has extensively written about VoIP telephony.
Brian Kelly – Contributor on CNBC Fast Money & Founder of Brian Kelly Capital LLC.
Brian is an investor, author, and a financial markets commentator with expertise across global financial market sectors, macro-economics, and digital currencies. In total, Brian has over 20 years of experience in the financial markets and authored “The Bitcoin Big Bang – How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World”
It’s clear that the StormX team is made of very strong players with key skill sets, and it’s great to see they already have several years of working experience prior to this project. Additionally, they have a well-rounded team of credible advisors who can help steer the team towards it’s goals and further help solidify the vision presented by Storm. Lastly, Storm actually has a very well-defined use case, in a proven market sector, with sizeable user reach, and already has a working product.
Product Review – Storm Play
The product itself still has bugs to work out. For example, some tasks, after completion, do not properly reward the user. However, after some time spent personally completing challenges, I have confirmed that the Storm support team does resolve problems. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you use any product at an early stage such as this that it’s new. There are many avenues being explored and when rewards don’t work Storm has to contact the third-party merchant to resolve the issue. That being said Storm Play, in a qualitative sense, is very interesting because a Storm Maker must first purchase STORM tokens before they are able to be featured on the Storm Market.
These companies have already dipped their proverbial toes in the crypto water and are featured on the Storm Market:
– Uber Eats
– Hello Fresh
– Blue Apron
– Womens health magazine
All of these companies are currently featured in the Storm Play marketplace and it means they have either purchased STORM or, there was a pilot program they signed up for, and I have been unable to find any publicly available information that defines which. The takeaway is that all of the above companies are expressing interest.