As the time passes we realize that the world we live in changed a lot in the past 10 years. While we are caught up in our daily routines we don’t realize what a huge impact social media has on our lives especially on our time.
Peerity aims to reestablish the connections between us online and also offline. With the sole purpose of creating communities or peer groups which will be rewarded for their actions on the social network but also in real life. If you are tired of pushed adverts, trolls, and click-baits and also want to get some insights from a person inside the industry check out Peerity and the interview with its CTO and co-founder Brenn Hill.
Cryptostreet: I would like to start by asking you how did you begin working in this industry? How did you discover it?
Brenn Hill: I did not discover it as an industry until recently, but I’ve bought bitcoin years ago. I was interested in mining and other things and I’ve kind of drifted away from it when bitcoin crashed. And I’ve become a digital nomad traveling across the world and started seeing more and more ways in which the traditional banking system didn’t work and that a lot of the traditional approaches didn’t work.
Cryptostreet: Can you give an example?
Brenn Hill: In Ukraine, there is a giant building with a bitcoin sign on it, because their currency had just crushed. It was after Russia has invaded Crimea and they were having a lot of problems. So, of course, the cryptocurrencies began to become more and more interesting to them. That got me thinking and I’ve moved back to Asia and it kept going and it began to explode here too, in countries like South Korea, China, and Japan. So that’s how I’ve made my entry as a whole.
CryptoStreet: We’ve seen on the official website of Peerity that you are trying to redefine social media. How will you do that?
Brenn Hill: The way we look at it is that there is a couple of fundamental problems with modern social media. One is that you are a product and the whole experience of social media is to basically use up your time and make you “push buttons” so they can sell you advertisements. It doesn’t really matter if you get something good out that experience. It just matters if you push buttons for whoever owns the platform.
CryptoStreet: Yes, you get lost in it after a while.
Brenn Hill: Exactly! And the thing is, capturing your attention isn’t intrinsically bad, but it’s bad when you don’t get anything for it and for your time. For example, you pay a really good attention to a concert or something, well that’s a good thing. It means you really had a good experience. But paying a lot of attention to meaningless adverts may not be the best use of your time. There are other problems besides trolls, adverts and the time lost. And that is you are not rewarded.
CryptoStreet: So Peerity tries to reward people?
Brenn Hill: Yes. Because if people aren’t being rewarded by the social networks they use, they’ll come up with ways to find a reward and a lot of times that ends up in being a “troll”. Because when you can get people upset you can feel important. And it is the same when they try to provoke a response that’s why we have all the click-baits online. We think that all these are related problems, and what we want to do is have a social network [Peerity] that rewards you for being PROSOCIAL. It rewards you for being community orientated.So if you reward people that really changes the dynamic, and we have to ask ourselves what are the prosocial behaviors and that really depends on what community you are part of. For example, if you are part of a political community and posting political rants that might be okay for that community. But if you are interested in a community that is dedicated to basic economics or music or any other thing that’s not the community for you. So we really believe that things need to be opt-in.
CryptoStreet: So the conversations will be built around a topic?
Brenn Hill: We don’t see it as topics. Because that will be the object of discussion. We want to build communities around the topic. And the communities can be as simple as “people in this city” or “people who want to wear black”. It’s not really a topic, it’s a group with which people can self-identify. And that can look like anything, we really try not to say “ok that has to be about a topic, it has to be about guitars”. I think that’s the wrong standard, saying what this is about as opposed to saying ok this is our community and letting the users choose.
CryptoStreet: So how did you come up with this idea. I understand that there are problems in social media, but how did this vision come to surface?
Brenn Hill: So for the different founders I think it all came together in different ways. For me despite being an engineer, I’ve worked in a lot of artistic communities in the past and I saw the power of getting together with people who were head similar, and it wasn’t even again related to a topic, it was like “we are about this” or “we are like this”. This really works, a lot of people are opt-in and work powerfully and it taught me that one of the things that social media networks are trying to do is making you say “I am this person” which is totally wrong. Because people from different communities have different identities, who I am as a programmer or at work is different from who I am with my parents. So it’s a way to express yourself and experiment. And the key for Peerity is that it didn’t come as a vision from a single person, it came from all of us and every co-founder contributed to it.
CryptoStreet: The pre-sale starts on November the 1St. Can you tell me more about the token sale, how will it be?
Brenn Hill: We are running it on Ethereum, it starts on November 1st and the first run of tokens are at about 0.20$ and for 1 ether you’ll get around 1500 Peerity tokens. And that will run the next 30 days. It works like the other ethereum token sales, you’ll need some ether and the address posted on our website. You send ether to our address and you receive the ERC20 tokens.
CryptoStreet: Are you and your team interested in creating some alliances in the future? And with whom?
Brenn Hill: Yes of course, and what we really want is to bridge the gap between online and offline. So if someone is being prosocial offline and they are throwing events, if they are having parties or just trying to make the world more connected we would like to find ways to make that happen. From the beginning, we had this idea of venues that would host Peerty events. If you would want to make the equivalent of a meet-up you could register and get some of the tokens for helping to facilitate that event. Because one of the problems that you can see is for the people who’ve done meetups or hosted events they don’t get rewarded all the time. We want to reward them too. And alliances with record labels would be great, connections with other projects as well.
CryptoStreet: One last question, as a developer where do you see the blockchain technology in the next years?
Brenn Hill: For the moment I think we are still in its infancy and we can say that bitcoin was blockchain 1.0, ethereum was blockchain 2.0. I think we are still 2 generations away from where it really really transforms the world. So we are seeing the beginning and there is a bunch of things that have to be solved. All the networks are still too slow for everyone to move their transactions and besides that, there are attempts by many governments to lock it down because they feel threatened. There are going to be some battles they’re going to have to be fought. And it’s going to be hard. But on the other hand, I think that in the next 5 to 10 years many things will change and the blockchain will reach a threshold when it comes to speed and transactions.