During the Internet boom of 1995 to 2000, there was talk of a “goldrush,” as ambitious startup companies hurried to claim new online territories—whether it was to be the leader in pet food sales, email or online entertainment.
Today’s Bitcoin startups show some of the same tendencies. Who’s going to be the biggest Bitcoin SV-powered social media provider? Who’s going to be the YouTube? And who’s going to be the search engine?
CityonChain is a Chinese startup that has something in common with Craigslist, in that it’s planning to provide local information and services. But its goldrush opportunities are not for itself, but for its individual users. It offers them the chance to buy and sell a kind of city franchise—the right to ‘own’ each city, build its City\onChain traffic and business and to be a kind of online mayor/CEO for the place.
The startup began just a few months ago, by posting a map of the world and inviting people to pay it a dollar to ‘buy’ any city. Yes, you could own New York City for just a dollar—and nobody else would be able to have it—on CityonChain, at least.
Then the fun starts. As the owner of a city, you can decide whether to populate its site with messageboards, photos or information about local businesses or to take sponsorship from anyone who wants to appear on your site.
Or you can act like a money-making property mogul and sell the whole city to a new owner for a profit. If you look at the CityonChain site, you can see the transactions that have taken place on each city. For instance the Chinese city of Shanghai was bought for $1 on June 11 this year, sold for $1,200 on June 12 and then for $3,500 on October 24. The owner is now saying it’s not for sale. Each time there’s a transaction on the site, CityonChain takes a small cut.
Ivy Dang is CityonChain’s Chief Marketing Officer. She says that city owners can generate revenue from a variety of sources. For instance, they can initiate ‘city chats’—messageboards devoted to particular subjects, created by the city owner. “When people chat, they also generate revenue for the city owner.” That’s because they have to pay a little—in BSV, through Moneybutton—to post. But if they receive ‘likes,’ then they’ll be paid back in return. And each time, both the city owner and CityonChain also get a small slice of the payment.
Ivy says that CityonChain is a sign of the growing reputation of Bitcoin SV in China. While the BSV community is busy with development, producing products and creating value, rival cryptocurrencies are only focused on speculation: “Buy and sell, and they just want the price to be high—they don’t care about the technology, they don’t care about the future.”
CityonChain is hoping to raise money to hire more developers and has big plans for the future, says Ivy. They’d like to attract more Internet users who are new to BSV—and that means simplifying the process that’s required before a new user can get started on the site.
Hear more from Ivy Dang in this week’s CoinGeek Conversation podcast:
You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.
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