Welcome to the first post by the SolDate team. This post will outline the size of the dating industry, problems, the purpose of the SolDate app, its token, how we got here, and our plans for the future.
Introduction to the online dating industry
A January 2018 survey revealed that 12% of 18–29 old people admit being in a relationship with a partner or spouse they met online. Though matchmaking is one of the oldest industries in existence, with its 500 million users worldwide, online matchmaking is now having a moment of its own.
This article explores the business of dating: the market size of dating apps, problems with their products, and how blockchain can solve them.
Online Dating Industry Market Size
According to a research firm, dating services in the US alone is a $3 billion a year business, growing steadily over the past few years. Around 15% of US adults, or around 50 million Americans, say that they have or continue to use websites or mobile dating apps in their pursuit of romance. While these numbers are promising, it’s interesting to note that some analysts indicate that revenue growth for the industry is projected to slow through 2022. Others, however, predict that revenue is expected to grow 25% by 2022.
Once love was just a feeling between two lovers, now it has been overrun by middlemen data sharing, complicated behavioral, cross-device user data tracking, and most importantly money seeking organizations. These apps are broken and, in our view, unethical. The promise of online dating services was to create a more efficient site for finding love, the hope was that the Internet, the latest kind of “new medium” would arrive with a transparent and efficient matchmaking service, unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Instead, the matchmaking ecosystem that has evolved over the past two decades is bewildering a variety of middlemen and complexity and became money-seeking greedy organizations.
Despite being a large industry, there are many serious problems with all these dating platforms.
1. User Data — People share information with others too easily when they are dating online, with a quarter (25%) admitting they share their full name publicly on their dating profile. One in ten have shared their home address, and the same number have shared sensitive photos of themselves this way, exposing them to risk. All other current platforms use a centralized data storage solution and are vulnerable to attacks besides that they can misuse user data by selling it to third parties for profits.
2. Privacy Violations- People are concerned for their safety when they date online, with some of the main concerns involving worries about IT security — for example, 63% are concerned about the device they use for online dating becoming infected and 61% are concerned about their data being stolen or leaked from the dating app or service itself. By installing code on websites and apps that log your activity in your browser, both the sites themselves as well as third parties can figure out who you are and what you want or need. Armed with this data, they then try and sell you more relevant products and services. That’s how companies track you online and why you so often see those seemingly magical ads that keep following you around the internet.
It’s your data, isn’t it? What gives companies the right to spy on you? Though you might not mind companies seeing what products you view, it’s a different story when they start examining your medical history or probing your dating life.
3. Lies and Fake profiles — A study of over 1,000 online daters in the US and UK conducted by global research agency Opinion Matters found some very interesting statistics. A total of 53% of US participants admitted to having lied in their online dating profile. Even when the person on the other end is also interested in dating, they can easily misrepresent themselves by fake profile pictures and lies about their physical appearance.
4. Personal safety issues — Any kind of social media account carries some privacy risks, but online dating is different from Facebook or Twitter because users are encouraged to share sensitive personal details publicly with people they don’t know. People have been known to capture and publish screenshots of online dating conversations, either to brag about their dating prowess or to embarrass the other person. It could be extremely embarrassing if a friend or co-worker accidentally saw intimate details about you as they browsed an online dating site. Currently, there are no safety measures to prevent this type of violation.
5. Recurring Memberships: These apps don’t let users access the most crucial and important features without a membership. They do not show you who liked you back or restrict you from sending messages over a limit until you get their memberships. Their only goal is how they can make you pay for their overpriced memberships. These memberships don’t come in a single piece, for using different features you have to pay for different memberships and hence every time users end up paying much more money than they should have. Also, these membership subscriptions come with an expiry date on them, and when it expires users need to pay again to continue using these apps.
We are morally bound to solve all these problems by introducing SolDate, but discussing all the solutions here will make it a long read. So, we propose to explain the solutions one by one through subsequent medium articles and the whitepaper.
How SolDate is aiming for a change?
SolDate will be a decentralized, transparent digital dating site backed by the powerful technology of Solana blockchain. SolDate derived its name from “soulmate” and indicates its origin and function as Solana and Dating. It will have its own utility token named “DATE” to govern all the functions of the app. There will be no recurring membership payments or distressing advertisements when you use SolDate.
The DATE token, a token-based on Solana, is an important element of SolDate app. Users will be able to access all the features of the app by just holding DATE tokens in their wallets. Unlike memberships, DATE will never have an expiry date and can be used for as long as you hold them. DATE will be a fixed supply, deflationary token as one of its functions involves a burn mechanism.
Match Rewards: This is our little surprise for the community. Unlike these other apps, SolDate will not match users randomly but it will allow users to control with whom they want to be matched and reward them. More on DATE tokenomics, its use cases, project roadmap, and rewards will be discussed in upcoming articles.
The SolDate DAO — Our ultimate goal is to evolve towards a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), where all decision rights will belong to the platform users.
The DATE token, awarded to the active users of the platform, will act as the governance instrument: it will enable users to vote on multiple upgrades and decide how the platform should develop further. This makes the governance of the platform directly responsive to our most active users and brings SolDate closer to being a public service operated by the community members who value it most.
Our Team and Vision:
Our development team is involved in Crypto and Blockchain for the last 6 years and has more than 3 years of combined experience of building Web 3.0 apps for clients all around the globe. We plan on remaining anonymous as some of the team members cannot be public due to employment issues.
We started building ideas around SolDate when Coronavirus crushed our social lives with the fear of infection and lockdowns. We started with Ethereum but the speed and high cost of transactions made it impossible. The growth, speed, and cheap transactions of the Solana ecosystem ultimately make it the right fit for SolDate right now.
The objective of building SolDate is to show the world that Blockchain and crypto can solve any problem more efficiently and it is not only about Money, DeFi, and NFTs but it can also be integrated with our feelings. Being involved with nearly 500 million people around the globe, SolDate can become the next big catalyst for the mass adoption of crypto and blockchain.
We will release our website and whitepaper soon. All the aspects of SolDate platform will be discussed in the whitepaper and subsequent medium articles.
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