A Singapore-based startup, SearchTrade, has introduced a system to allow all parties in the Internet search engine process – the searcher, the owner of the key word being searched, the builder of the app using the search engine, and the advertisers – to profit from the process using bitcoin. Using bitcoin, the system redistributes the revenue among the stakeholders in the process, rather than allowing all the profit to flow to the big search engines like Google and Bing.
“Search is the single most important activity on the Internet,” said Vishal Gupta, co-founder and CEO of SearchTrade.
Everyone does it, every day. Search drives far more traffic than any social network or viral news site, and it makes a ton of money.
“We’re asking people to imagine how much better the Internet would be if everyone could share the benefits of that activity.”
Searches’ Four Stakeholders
Bitcoin micropayments make it possible for all stakeholders in the search process to share in the rewards, Gupta said.
The four stakeholders are:
- The person doing the search
- The person who “owns” a keyword being searched
- The builders of apps that use the search platform
- The advertisers who pay to advertise among the search results.
SearchTrade takes the revenues paid by the advertisers and pays the other three parties, proportionate to their role in the process.
SearchTrade uses a search engine based on existing platforms and is building its own additions. Gupta said developers are building more localized options since he wants to give users as much choice as possible.
Three Ways To Earn Bitcoin
Stakeholders can earn payments in three ways:
- By searching. Performing a search earns the user a small fraction of a bitcoin, which goes into the user’s wallet.
- By “owning” key words. SearchTrade provides an exchange platform for users to buy and sell key words. Users can buy key words they think will be popular in searches. Each time someone searches that term, the system rewards the “owner.” The key word prices are set by the open market.
- By building web and mobile apps that use SearchTrade’s platform. Developers earn bitcoins when a user performs a search using their app, even if the searcher is not a signed-up SearchTrade user.
SearchTrade is seeking developers to build hundreds of apps that include its search facilities. About a quarter of the revenue is shared among these developers.
SearchTrade limits the number of searches per user to 40 per day. This is to deter “click farms” – operations that game advertising systems by using them 24/7 using cheap labor. SearchTrade also limits access to individual IP addresses.
Founders Bring Experience
SearchTrade, founded by Mumbai natives Vishal Gupta and Rashmit Gupta, currently has a team of 23. This includes 12 active mobile, web and database developers.
Vishal Gupta is a Founding Member of the Bitcoin Alliance of India, a non-profit organization that arranges bitcoin meetups in different cities and engages with law and government organizations on determining cryptocurrency policies. He is also founder and CEO of Moving Trumpet Communications, which specializes in “out-of-house” or outdoor (OOH) advertising in the Indian corporate market.
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