Is the dating industry a perfect match for Blockchain?
The National Retail Federation of the United States estimates that almost $20 billion will be spent by U.S., consumers this year on valentine's day. Also, most online dating apps and services will be busy during this period. According to Pew Research Center, Americans within the age of 18 and 24 that use dating apps in 2016 are three times those that use such apps in 2013... — by Susan James
Like it or not, every valentine's day promises big revenues for retailers, restaurants, and hotels.
The National Retail Federation of the United States estimates that almost $20 billion will be spent by U.S., consumers this year on valentine's day.
Also, most online dating apps and services will be busy during this period.
Having shaken off the stigma associated with them, online dating services are now seen as a means of finding new partners.
The dating services industry is estimated to now be a $3 billion market.
The industry's growth is attributed to developments in technology and generational turnover.
Obviously, online dating has grown from being just matchmaking sites to the use of apps such as 'tinder' and 'coffee meets bagel'.
With Millennials’ preference for technology, they have been using these apps to find partners.
According to Pew Research Center, Americans within the age of 18 and 24 that use dating apps in 2016 are three times those that use such apps in 2013.
As if that was not enough, within the same period, the number Americans within the age bracket of 55 to 64 using these apps in 2016 doubled those using these apps in 2013.
The Blockchain is also looking for ways to penetrate the industry.
Lately, there have been lots of online dating services looking to build on the Blockchain technology.
Examples of such services include; MatchPool, Hicky, and Ponder.
Also, DECENT, a Blockchain company is already testing and applying the Blockchain technology to stop piracy in the adult entertainment industry.
It intends to intensify efforts to use Blockchain to cut off the distribution of content within the media and music industries.
“Having been called an internet of value, the Blockchain seeks for news to reward people for their time and effort. This leads to the creation of a better online dating system where match rates will be higher, time spent on browsing and messaging will be less, while more time will be spent on meeting real people” - Manshu Agarwal, CEO, and co-founder of Ponder.
The adoption of mobile has led to a complete revolution in the online dating environment.
These days online dating no longer involves paid matchmaking, apps are now being used to connect those who are interested in dating one another. To make the process of matchmaking more effective and as simple as swiping from left to right, the apps make use of features such as geolocation, messaging and cameras.
Hence, users can have a faster and more suitable experience.
Even at that, there are those who complain their matchmaking experience is still generic.
Hence, they are unable to find their choice of partners.
Also, there is a lack of trust among users since there are a lot of fake profiles and information on these services.
As a matter of fact, there have been cases of harassments being reported especially by females.
Hence, it was not a surprise when it was reported that just 5 percent of Americans met their spouse on online dating services.
There is also the issue of security.
Last year, Ashley Madison, a dating platform, was susceptible to attack such that their users' private and explicit pictures could have been completely exposed when hackers got hold of their customers' data and threatened to release it on the internet.
The information contained in the data that was stolen contained users'; names, emails, home addresses, and credit card information.
With such happenings, then the issue of centralization cannot but be raised.
A near-perfect solution to this problem will be Blockchain. The reason is that it helps to secure data and transactions. Also, it incentives user involvement.
Hicky, MatchPool and Ponder are aiming to leverage on the decentralization and encryption features of the Blockchain technology to secure the users' information.
When data is decentralized, hackers no longer have any point they can exploit to cause havoc.
So, is the dating industry a perfect match for Blockchain?
If the start-ups are to monetize their efforts, they have to execute their plans and get buy-in from users.
By implementing the above strategies, more serious and meaningful relationships can be achieved among users.
Then, the dating industry and the Blockchain technology can be regarded as a perfect match.
This article was originally published on @susan_james