There are basic principles of blockchain technology that make them very applicable to specific use cases, and not very relevant to others. Experty.io is an interesting project in this respect. It is a project that aims to provide a market for people to link up with domain experts and get their consultation, with the expert being paid for their time.
In this ICO review, we will look at the basic technology underlying Experty, how strong of a pitch and team they have, and the details of the ICO itself.
It is worth noting that there are other non-blockchain solutions in this space, such as clarity.fm and freelancing platforms. Platforms like clarity.fm provide non-blockchain solutions for this issue by allowing entrepreneurs and professionals to select an expert and schedule a VoIP call where they bounce their ideas and concerns off the expert, in return for payment. Key to the future of Experty is whether blockchain tech brings anything to the table in this case.
The problem and use case: billing for advice
As mentioned above, there are existing direct competitors to Experty operating already. Most notable is clarity.fm which bills through PayPal for access to timed calls with experts in any field. Another option is Upwork, which is a traditional freelancing platform on which you can find many people offering their time to consult on-call on a wide range of issues from marketing strategy to graphic design.
The shortcomings of these platforms are what Experty is looking to address with their blockchain platform. Firstly is the simple economics of the equation. Sites like Upwork charge 25% of the amount billed to the user. This is a pretty hefty charge considering how little work is required on their end. Secondly, there are several problems regarding transparency in such an arrangement considering that the service is centrally controlled and records and user profiles can be changed at will by the company providing the platform – this issue of centralization being one that decentralized ledgers were designed to address.
Finally, there is the issue of payment processing. The main reason for middleman platforms like clarity.fm or Upwork is the protection and arbitration they give against fraud or failure to pay. However, this requires a longer wait and more manual processing for payment which is far from ideal.
How useful is blockchain technology for this kind of problem?
Experty have some straightforward plans for alleviating these issues. Users will be able to quickly set up a profile after browsing the available experts with whom they can consult. Once this is done the payments are handled via blockchain.
As per the Experty white paper, “Our mission is to encourage the adoption of cryptocurrency on a global scale by creating an intuitive, easy to use application that is suitable for wide-scale usage… This will let companies obtain the talent they need, allowing the blockchain community to continue to expand and flourish.”
There are three main aspects of their value proposition they emphasize: speed of setup and payment, security, and decentralization.
Concerning speed, the strict nature of blockchain data storage and processing allows users to interact with the platform with minimal input from the staff of Experty. Contrary to the weeks it requires to get set up and paid on the likes of Upwork, Experty is quick.
Regarding security, blockchain records give transparency and automated clearing using escrow.
Finally, there have been a lot of criticisms of apparently shady practices by the likes of Upwork. Experty promises to be decentralized and transparent.
What’s the verdict?
Experty seems to provide a decent use case for blockchain. As we mentioned at the start of the article, the value given by blockchain varies per domain. In this case, blockchain seems like it will deliver value but not be a total game changer like in industries such as insurance.
So, on the whole, this would be a moderately promising ICO. It is likely to be a slow burner and could edge out incumbents long term. The team seems to be going about that the right way, with some ringing endorsements from the likes of Inc.com. Overall, the entire project looks like it has its affairs and strategy well organized.
The pre-ICO for the EXY token is complete, and the ICO will be taking place in 2018. The event is not open to US-based investors. The token is ERC 20 based, and the project is run in Switzerland with most the team being Polish.