Indorse; A Similar Blockchain-Based Platform to LinkedIn
With the development of Blockchain-based technologies, the growth and development of applications and different infrastructures which are busy working in this network are steadily increasing. Offering extensive and numerous capacities, Blockchain has changed the shape of many applications. Many old social networks and past applications can be offered and introduced to the world with the help of new technologies in the world of Blockchain. One of these social networks in LinkedIn. LinkedIn social network is a professional network wherein the people with different specialties, and occupational as well as professional capabilities introduce themselves to the others in the form of a user account. Besides making communications and forming various communicative networks, the present people in the social network can address doing scientific and professional exchanges in academic and occupational fields too. Indorse is a social network which can be assumed an equivalent to LinkedIn in the world of Blockchain. As the name shows, with the help of Ethereum, Indorse assists the users to be confirmed by the experts. In fact, Indorse Platform works according to Blockchain-based technologies and has been founded on a decentralized network. With its help, the users join a network where they have the possibility to introduce themselves like what takes place in LinkedIn. The only difference is that there is no central management in this platform. In addition, verifying the members’ information is carried out by the other users in it, and there are other features for the users’ more participation in developing the network and income for it and themselves.
First Part: Indorse Platform
1.1 How Can Indorse Platform Be Described and Why Is It Selected as One of the Blockchain-Based Networks of Indorse and Why Should It Be Investigated?
Indorse is a platform which can make a revolution in the world of professional communications, so it accordingly employs new models of tokenization and decentralization of communicative networks. The objective of this Blockchain-based social network is to create a social network in the world of professional working. Indorse social network uses a type of scoring system and internal encouragement in a way that it asks the users to register their skills and professional achievements in the network and receive score through verifying other users’ professional profile; that is, both through registering the information of the personal profile and verifying the resume and professional abilities of the other users which have been registered in their profile, it makes receiving score and reward possible for every user present in the network. Exactly the same can be observed in the traditional version of Indorse, i.e., LinkedIn. The people cite their skills and specialties in LinkedIn, and the other users address confirming such capabilities and skills. The difference between these two social networks, Indorse, and LinkedIn, is that in Indorse, this confirmation can lead to receiving score and reward for the user.
Indorse has been launched by a Singaporean company and is furthering it. In fact, the users will receive the reward and score through confirming each other and participation in Indorse network. These rewards and scores will be donated to the users from the users’ income achieved through promotions. This network can play an important role in furthering professional, academic, and working route. Considering the fact that it uses Blockchain technology in its structure, the possibility of offering fake information to introduce people in their occupational profiles will dramatically decrease, and it is a worthwhile achievement for a working social network to continue its activities based on honesty and correct data. Going beyond a ceremonial form and being highly functional are two other points in this startup which attract the attention.
What Are the Objectives and Missions of Indorse Startups?
Indorse is located in Singapore and continues activity and development in this city and country. It shows that a brilliant future waits for it. Two main reasons are proposed for this claim. First, Singapore is one of the important cities of the world where the workforces from all around the world and with different cultures and nationalities are living and working. This variety causes forming a network which is set to attract users from around the globe and register their professional profiles to focus on connecting different people more mindfully and meticulously. A startup which has been founded in a diverse field in case of people with different nationalities and abilities will surely have a deeper and more extensive view in making wide and extensive communications among the people across the world. Second, the mentioned startup is in a city which is one of the main and most important cities in the world in the field of activity in the world of Blockchain and its related technologies. Hence, it has a blooming future, and it seems that there will be potential capacities associated with it with booming power. This network was released to the market in October 2017 and has been on the pathway of the increasing growth from then on.
• The Manner of Using Blockchain in the Mentioned PlatformIs the Role of Blockchain in Indorse?
• Is a platform which continues working based on Blockchain network. In this network, the users shoulder the responsibility of the information and published data and receive some scores and rewards through making communication with each other and confirming each other’s specialties which brings about the material value and leads to growth and development for the Indorse social network. The more this growth and development gets, the higher income Indorse will achieve through promotions. As a result, this network gets bigger and bigger, and greater incomes will be earned for it.
• Distinguishes Indorse from similar traditional social networks like LinkedIn is the verification of the users’ claims in their personal profiles. On the contrary to previous networks where the users were able to have any kind of claim about their skill and specialty, everything gets clarified and verified in Indorse. The users cannot have merely some faux claims about themselves and their specialties. It is the others who confirm them and receive a score in lieu of them. But how? Every individual should offer some documents denoting his/her claim about his/her capability and specialty when he/she claims featuring them. The other users who are in a similar field of activity to it should confirm or reject his/her claim. In case the consensus in the ideas of the individual’s claim concludes that the claim is correct, Indorse will confirm and show the announced skills and capabilities in the profile of each user.
• Works in decentralized infrastructure and based on Blockchain. With the help of new technologies which remove the possibility of decentralization from the management of a network, data management, and dominance on them will dramatically extend on the part of the users. In fact, the attempt of Indorse developer team is on increasing the users’ participation and control on the personal data. This control is possible from each user on the published data on the network just via technology like Blockchain, which proceeds in a decentralized route.
• Second Part. Platform Structure
• Structure of Indorse Platform and Five Important Elements of this Structure and Describing Them
• Is the Indorse Structure and How Does It Work?
• Of the main demerits of older social networks such as LinkedIn which is in the world of centralized technologies like Indorse, is the lack of users’ privacy. Moreover, there is no data protection and information ownership. In other words, when no money is spent by the users, they will not be any control and dominance on their data and information. To put it more precisely, they change into a product under the authority of different companies and organizations; however, according to Blockchain technology, there will be no such performance in decentralized social networks. Specially Blockchain derivatives like Ethereum won’t let the users and their information turn to the products under the power of different companies and organizations.
• Is an open software platform which lets the developers and engineers make decentralized applications. A similar system is used in Indorse too such that it has a similar social network system to LinkedIn, but the users themselves control and protect personal data. The users will gain access to some rewards through sharing their data and using this platform.
• And the rewarding system is run based on Blockchain decentralization and tokenization principles. Tokenization removes sensitive data from the users and replace it with an undetectable and confidential token which has the capability of being stored in a cloud system.
• Five Most Important Features of Indorse Structure and How Does It Work?
• Attempts to completely resolve the problems which have formerly been in the older social networks. Hence, in its design, five most important features have been considered, they will be listed and delineated:
• new income method for the social network;
• independence and autonomy of the data from the users;
• Building trust for the users informing relationship with them;
• Decentralizing social network control and management
• Authentication and confirmation of the users in the network.
In short, the five most important features of indorse can be listed as income, independence, users’ autonomy, building trust, decentralization, and authentication for the users.
• Of the main problems of more traditional social networks compared to the networks and applications which work based on Blockchain is the issue of Income. More traditional social networks make income through selling the users’ data and information. Because of this, they endanger the users’ privacy and data, and in fact, a cycle of income is formed for them that the main element of income which is the users’ data and information makes a profit just for the centralized social network. Such a thing does not seem just; that is, earning income from the data which are another’s, and there will be no benefit from the incomes, of course. It is not the case in new decentralized social networks such as Indorse and the other users have a role and share in the income too. The users in Indorse can gain some scores which are acquired through publishing their information or confirming the others’ information for them.
• Users will take measure in buying tokens from this network. The users can help making income for themselves and developing the network through receiving tokens. Those who buy existing tokens in Indorse are network users and will not be deprived of rewards and scores in this platform. The users are allowed to build their personal profiles and publish their personal information in the field of their work and job like LinkedIn.
• Are given some tokens too through taking such measures and doing other activities. Welcoming this network has been suitable so far, and predictions imply that about 200,000 to 300,000 users will be in this platform up to the end of 2019. Personal benefits and the possibility of making income in Indorse cause a dramatic daily increase in the users’ participation in this network compared to the other social networks.
1. Independence and Autonomy
• possibility of data autonomy and independence Indorse gives its users are considered among significant features of this network. In traditional social networks, all things further in a centralized manner, and there is little control on the data and personal information by the users. In fact, when the users’ information is published in the centralized and traditional social networks, there will be no more control on them. Traditional social networks sell the users’ information and data and make income from it. The strong connection which exists among the companies selling the users’ data and different commercial companies causes centralized networks to gain access to a source of income which is profitable for them. In addition to applying data in commercial fields, the users’ data are of high value in different information affairs. This means that the party the decentralized companies deal with can be the people other than commercial companies which are seeking to sell and introduce their various products. Anyway, in a platform like Indorse, you will not face such issues. Making income in the network is different from the users in this system, and the users and their data are not the lever of power in the way of making income. The users in this platform address working in partnership and collaboration with Indorse.
3. Trust Making
Centralized Social networks make decisions that are focused on their users. There is no cooperation in decision makings and its process, and everything takes place by a centralized network. In this situation, users see themselves in opposition to the network, and there is always kind of a paradox in the relationship between users and the network. And that is the reality of it. It means that the social networks that operate on centralized infrastructures are not in the same path as their users’. The reason is that this type of networks’ income method is dependent on users and in order to develop their income sources they need to take measures in which there is no place for cooperation and may even exploit users. For example, remember when in the registration process in such networks, in order to complete the process, users are required to choose “accept terms and conditions.” It is obvious that each user has to accept this in order to pass this step and get to his or her personal profile. Now, it doesn’t matter whether he/she agrees with them or not, and this is why trust making does not take place and a reciprocal relationship and trust not form between users and centralized social networks. This is not seen in social networks that are Blockchain-based, such as Indorse. As a result, such platforms can gain the trust of users easily. The trust formed in this way is really valuable and is indicative of an infrastructure and network that if it comes to fruition, will be known as the result of trust-based operations and the relationships between users and the platform and its owners. These days, users’ haggling power, or rather their social network power is much more than before. Perhaps this reciprocal trust and relationship is a sign of more freedom in the world. If so, this is really admirable.
The heart of the Indorse social network beats through the participation of users. In these social networks, users can use shared data many times over to make income and attempt with their consistent participations in creating income for themselves and the network. Of course, this is another advantage of decentralized social networks like Indorse, other than the advantage of the precise and valid introduction of themselves on the infrastructure of the network. In fact, people’s professional presence and their resume in the network can be a great source of income for themselves and others. The lack of a central control to manage this process and the present decentralization in this network are among its lovely advantages. Indorse team builds and develops this network in two parts. In the first part, Indorse is a decentralized network that helps create professional credit for users, and the other part is the reciprocal, possibly that it considers for making income for itself and users. All these measures are taken in cooperation with the users, and there is no central observation and main team to direct these operations.
A part of the Indorse business model belongs to the purchased ad space by advertisers. It means that part of the platform is given to companies and other people in order for them to advertise. A part of these tokens go to those who have a role in the content creation of this network. In other words, users who have played a role in making income will have a share in receiving income that is earned via data and their information. In addition, through the Blockchain technology that is used in this program, the possibility of managing data’s security will be much more than centralized networks. The founders of Indorse have used Ethereum to launch this network, and the reason for it is that Ethereum provides the needed infrastructures to develop tokenization and smart contract operations. Also, it makes it possible to use storing systems like BigChainDB and InterPlanetary File System.
Owners and inventors of Indorse believe that there should be some type of cooperation between the users and managers of the network in the income method and management of social network data. They want to create a new paradigm here:
“To be clear, we are not against advertising, and we are most certainly not against social media. However, we are against the centralization of social media. We believe the solution is a new model of social networks – a decentralized one that places ownership of the information back in the hands of the members.”
How Is the Structure of Indorse?
The main nucleus of Indorse operation is based on the combination of different technologies. Among these technologies are:
The structure of this network is built on a decentralized network with no server. The content and codes of Indorse are written on IPFS, and the Blockchain of Ethereum is the computation motor of this network that is responsible for transparency. Each user in the network can operate in two roles: claimant or moderator.
The story of users’ activity in this network began when a user introduced his resume and made claims about his expertise and profession. These claims can be about the person’s abilities or his/her job background. For any claim, there is a need for submitting reason and document which need to be confirmed or rejected by other users. Both the users that play the role of claimants and those who are observers, can gain authentication through their activities in the Indorse network.
If the claim of users is confirmed by others, their validity increases; otherwise, their validity would decrease. With an example, the possibility of investigating the structure of Indorse will be clearer:
• Ms. A joins Indorse and publishes information about her resume and professional background.
• She starts building her profile, and by completing her identity information, she makes some claims about her resume. For example, she claims that she graduated from Harvard school of economics in 2017. She published a link of her graduation and confirming documents with respect to this claim in her profile. Indorse platform chooses random users who can either confirm or reject this claim.
• Mr. B is one of the people who have been randomly chosen to investigate the claim of Ms. A. This person finds out about this by receiving a message saying that he has been chosen for investigating the authentication of a claim and after going to the profile of Ms. A and seeing her graduation link, he will approve her.
• After the claim of Ms. A is investigated by different users that the system has chosen, it will come to a final conclusion; a score is given to her and those who have approved her claim receive a score.
• After a certain time, the scores of users turn to rewards whose costs are compensated by advertising in the infrastructure of Indorse.
2.2 Investigating Certain Performance, Practicability and Scalability, Registration and Activity in the Network, Security, and Privacy, and Costs How Is the Certain Performance of Indorse in Reality?
As it was mentioned earlier, Indorse uses an internal score and reward giving system. In addition to this system, an authentication system has also been considered in it. This means that users are not only encouraged to publish information about themselves, but it also means that through participation in the network and being approved by other, they receive scores and rewards. Indorse is looking into active participation of users in furthering and developing the network. Among other stakeholders of this network are those who come to this network for advertisement and engage in purchasing ad space by IND tokens.
Simply put, and in a nutshell, the activities and practices of Indorse can be listed as follows:
• An attempt to restore the controlling of data to users in social networks;
• Creating a network to value the participation of users in the development and growth of the network;
• A network to establish clear and valid professional communications;
The structure and form of the activity of Indorse are such that there should be no hesitation in its absolute acceptance by users. In fact, users are constantly looking for gaining benefits. This is a completely normal behavior for customers in any market. When there is the necessary infrastructure for a user to be able to have a completely reciprocal participation in the development of the platform, surely the performance of the system will improve day by day. Participation is the missing link in centralized networks and applications. Any interaction will only be meaningful if the parties to the interaction can speak to each other in a useful and shared language. Speaking with each other and making communications are what make it possible for new platforms to develop. Blockchain and decentralized networks are here to promulgate the power and possibility of enjoying conditions in favor of everyone in the world.
How Are the Practicability and Scalability of Indorse?
As long as the activity of users in the network increases, their score will also increase, and by increasing their scores and receiving tokens, they can receive their reward. The way Indorse works is such that it is designed in a way to require the participation of a group of users in order to gain benefits and income, and for this reason, users will attempt to join this network even if through verbal advertisement. As it was mentioned earlier, it is estimated that by the end of the year 2019, the number of active users of Indorse will become three thousand and this number will be very considerable for a new platform that has only begun its activity for two years. Providing tokens for users who are active in making a claim or approving one is a very suitable method to keep the already existing users. In fact, the active participation of users in this network will greatly persuade them to remain in this network. In general, it can be said that the scalability of Indorse in keeping the already existing users and persuading new users to join the network is very high.
How Can People Join Indorse?
By going to the Indorse platform and registering in it, users can build a profile to introduce their professions in this infrastructure and be active in publishing professional content in their own field or approve other people’s resumes and information. As it was mentioned, in order for people to make claims in their field of abilities, they need to give links to a source. For example, for their college degree, users need to give a link that is redirected to the website of their college. As a result, a third party is also involved in this platform. But it should be mentioned that Indorse does not communicate with third parties and users are the only people who give links and connections to the third party. In fact, there is no interaction and cooperation between the third party and Indorse.
How Is the Security of Users Provided in Indorse?
Any kind of fraud and exploitation of the platform in order to offer fake information will be carefully investigated by Indorse. This matter can be followed up on by users via sending messages to the investigation and surveillance section of Indorse. But remember that this infrastructure is a decentralized network, and Indorse does not interfere with the data in any way and is not responsible for investigating the process of providing content. Approving or rejecting the claim of users is followed up on in their own personal profiles by themselves and in a random way.
How Much Does It Cost to Use the Indorse Platform?
Using the services of Indorse is free, and there is no need to pay any money. But there are also other services provided by this network for users, which in case users want to use them they have to pay for them.
How Will the Future of Indorse Be?
The world needs platforms that circulate data and information with great precision. The lack of fraud and the possibility of using methods and capacities that make the stream of data reach users in different ways well is among the benefits of networks like Indorse. The possibility of establishing an atmosphere in which both the users and owners of different platforms gain income and grow is a quite a brilliant idea. It is time for users of different social networks and applications to make some income and benefit of the circulation of their data in the world. This benefit will be the needed momentum for the growth and development of information and communication technologies. The future is bright!
[Beebom] “16 Blockchain Applications You Can Start Using Right Now, Beebom Contributor”, 9 February, 2018
[Indorse] Information from official website
[SBR] “Blockchain-powered social media start up Indorse raises $10m in recent ICO” 26 Jan, 2018
[Investopedia] “How Blockchain Can Solve Social Media Privacy” Prableen Bajpai, 5 Oct, 2018
[Indorse] “How Indorse Works — Working Model” Gaurang Torvekar, 25 May, 2017
[Strictlycrypto] “Top 5 Ways Blockchain is Changing Social Media and The Internet” 17 Dec, 2018
Dr. Pooyan Ghamari