Matchpool, the incentive-based community platform that is touted as allowing anyone to open their own “matchmaking pool”, is to launch a crowdfund campaign later this month in a move described by the blockchain start-up’s CEO and co-founder Yonatan Ben Shimon, a former hedge fund manager, to disrupt the dating scene on a “global scale.”
In the run up to the start of the crowdfund, which is scheduled to commence on March 25, the company has also announced that Hermione Way, Tinder’s former head of European communications, brand consultant and digital marketeer, has joined the Matchpool advisory board.
As an advisor, Way who has appeared on has appeared on media channels including BBC World News, NYTimes, Wall Street Journal, and TechCrunch, will provide guidance on global communications strategies while the company works to modernize the centuries-old matchmaking profession.
Dating services as a market, which comprises segments spanning online dating websites, dating apps and matchmaking and dating coaches, has been estimated recently to be a $2.5 billion business in the U.S. alone according to a report by Marketdata Enterprises Inc. Online services are cited to account these days for around 70% of the market’s value.
Whilst at Tinder, which is part of Nasdaq-quoted Match Group Inc. that also owns dating platforms like OKCupid and Match, she helped grow the brand across the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Spain and Italy. Commenting in the wake of her appointment she said: “By combining blockchain technology with incentive-based matchmaking, the company has great potential to be a major player in the online dating industry.”
Like a ‘Slack meets Tinder’, Matchpool allows individuals to create ‘pools’ – similar to Slack Channels or Facebook Groups – to facilitate connections among friends and niche communities. The blockchain-based service has the grand aim to disrupt the multi-billion dollar dating industry and modernize the centuries-old matchmaking profession.
And, I’ve been wondering for a while when blockchain technology would be harnessed and applied to the dating market. After all, Decent, a blockchain content distribution platform in Switzerland founded by Slovak techs focussed on media and entertainment sectors, last October gained support from the adult entertainment industry (through producer Naughty America), backing blockchain technology in an effort to fight piracy. Open-Source, Decent’s platform utilizes the blockchain to ensure what it touts as “trust and security.”
Commenting on why Shimon, who studied at Bar-Ilan University (BIU) in Israel, got involved in this project in 2016 and feels it can work against what is already out there on the market, said: “I noticed that all the people in the world have a universal truth. Something that we all value and incorporate into our life. And, it doesn’t matter if we are Japanese, Chinese, American, etc. We all need and rely on trust.”
Citing a Ted Talk where Rachel Botsman spoke on ‘The Currency of the New Economy Is Trust’, he added: “Trust is hard to gain. It’s earned. Matchpool’s currency is also trust and that trust is the cryptocurrency, Guppies.”
That according to Shimon, who managed a long-short securities hedge fund and has managed a portfolio of crypto currencies in recent years, is what the current online dating platforms don’t have. Namely, the community, trust and rewards for extending yourself to help others.
“Since it’s on a blockchain, there is also trust in the technology and fairness of rules/payments,” added Shimon who holds a BA in nanotechnology from BIU, one of Israel’s leading universities located in Ramat Gan. “In addition, on the Matchpool platform, anyone can create essentially a dating site. I want to do to dating platforms what wordpress did to blogs.”
Current Dating & Matchmaking Model
As regards to what, if anything, he and his team feel is wrong with current dating or matchmaking model and how blockchain technology can change things, Israeli national Shimon reflected: “There isn’t anything extremely wrong with online dating, except for the lack of immediate human connection. But it can be much better.”
Revealing that he moved from being a hedge fund manager because he felt that he “didn’t bring enough value to the world” and wanted to create something that solves a problem, he added: “It can be less expensive, involve more trust and create more meaningful connections before people actually meet in person. Furthermore, it is expensive to open a dating site for a niche community, so the only sites that survived were the ones we hear about today.”
The Matchpool CEO indicated that they want to enable anyone to create and foster connections and moreover “enable anyone become a matchmaker – and get paid for it!”
The former hedge fund manager who worked in Tel Aviv in that role added; “Matchpool is mimicking more of how the real world communicates – via trust – not via swipes. Meeting people due to common interests in pools on Matchpool where you have someone else interceding on your behalf already immediately cuts down the barriers of online interaction.”
The beauty about a blockchain he asserted was that it “allows for peer to peer interaction” and for individual rules or contract creation “without a middleman micro-managing things.”
It is understood that the dating foray is just the first use case for Matchpool’s endeavours. “We see endless opportunities,” asserted Shimon.
On this note he posited: “Have you ever wondered if the introduction you did actually turned into something fruitful and what if you were compensated for something like that? Connections and community are part of who we are and to have that on a blockchain seems natural.”
According to a recently published Matchpool whitepaper (dated March 20) jointly written by Shimon and co-founder and Solidity developer Philip Saunders that described the platform as a “decentralized matchmaking protocol” to help as many participants as possible to find love, it stated that it can also be used “as a more generic platform for any kind of paid membership community”.
Matchpool’s Crowdsale & Guppy Token
Turning to the upcoming four-week crowdfund, participation is encouraged by the platform’s Guppy token (GUP). Matchmakers on the platform can earn ‘Guppies’ for successful matches, while individuals can earn Guppies for their participation.
And, it all comes as Hermione Way joins a Matchpool advisory board that already includes JDate founder Joe Shapira, Ethereum CTO and Co-Founder Dr. Gavin Wood, Steem CEO and Co-Founder Ned Scott, and CoinFund Co-Founder Jake Brukhman.
Matchpool’s crowdsale is officially slated to begin at 13:00 GMT this coming weekend (Saturday) for its GUP token, a cryptocurrency created to fuel incentives on the platform. The funding is capped at $5 million (m) Ethereum (ETH) equivalent, which is the market price measured against the US dollar at the time of the crowdsale.
Then when Matchpool launches, GUP tokens will be used as deposits for opening pools and as rewards for creating matches. Token holders will then be able to trade or sell their GUP on reputable cryptocurrency exchanges.
The first hour of the crowdfund campaign has been dubbed a ‘Power Hour’, during which 1 ETH will be exchanged for 120 GUP. Thereafter the price will altered to a ratio of 110:1 and remain there for three days. Thereafter it will decrease to 100:1 and two weeks later adjusted again – to a level of 90:1.
Once the $5m of ETH equivalent is raised, the smart contract will stop accepting new exchange. And, at the end of four-week crowdsale period – should it be needed – token transfers will be locked for one month.
Although Matchpool reveals that the total supply be 100 million (m) GUP tokens, during the actual crowdfund itself 60m units will be sold. The total amount that will exist at the beginning is set at 80m, with all the user incentive tokens to be distributed over the first two-year period.
The start-up’s whitepaper presents too the elements of the platform. This spans Ethereum smart contracts, which handle the “trust-sensitive ownership” and reward structures, as well as the core game logic that makes it work. Let’s hope it’s totally secure in the light of the Madison Ashley website hack.
A two-year roadmap is also laid out for launching and scaling the network, including a detailed specification of the Guppy token, which will play an integral role in its development. Having honed the vision for the platform last December, after the crowdsale is completed is expected that the release of the production platform worldwide will be rolled out this summer in August. Happy dating.