Community Platform Tapatalk Taps Blockchain to Improve Online Forums
Tapatalk Inc., the startup behind the popular application that aggregates discussions from several online forums, is working on a blockchain project that will see the use of the technology to improve how online forums operate, increase user engagement, and eliminate the challenges related to running online forums.
Tapatalk’s blockchain initiative is called TAPx and the company will be making a series of releases with the initial phase expected in Q2 2019, Eric Sternbach, COO of Tapatalk Inc., told CoinJournal.
He said that by utilizing blockchain, the company hopes to solve anonymity problems, optimize forum value, provide immutable reputations, and allow for verified trades and transactions.
“We believe that blockchain can be used to help forums thrive by providing improved anonymity of individual users, and reduce the forum owners’ challenges, including the ability of keeping out spammers and trolls, and improving member engagement,” said Sternbach.
“Blockchain can also be used to develop a decentralized, immutable reputation system for individual users that can be used by forum owners to welcome new members, and reduce the friction created by the current safeguards used to keep out the bad guys.”
Sternbach cited the three central pillars of utilizing blockchain for online forums as identity, reputation and reward. He said that blockchain can be used to create “a decentralized Reddit” by creating common systems for all forums, all the while enabling these forums to remain independently owned and operated.
“Blockchain can be used to build these solutions that will help increase forum’s users privacy, and reduce risk of inadvertent hacks/disclosures,” said Sternbach. “And for forum owners, these solutions will help reduce the likelihood of spammers/trolls, and improve retention and frequency of visits. This leads to a more active and robust community, and for those for-profit forums, increased revenue with no associated costs.”
The project is currently being developed by Tapatalk’s existing development team as well as selected partners. Sternbach said the company was unable to disclose any of these partners publicly at the time.
In connection to Tapatalk’s newly unveiled blockchain initiative, the company recently announced the establishment of a blockchain advisory board that will counsel it in building the TAPx platform. Three blockchain experts currently compose the board: Jeff Atwood, co-founder of open source internet discussion platform company Discourse; Sam Kazemian, co-founder of Everipedia, a blockchain encyclopedia; and Sanjay Sabnani, founder and CEO of CrowdGather.
US-based Tapatalk Inc. provides a mobile-first application of the same name for forum owners and their members. For end-users, Tapatalk brings all major Internet forums in one place. For forum owners, the Tapatalk mobile app layers on top of existing community software to provide a seamless native mobile app experience for members. The app is said to be used by over 200,000 forums in 186 countries and claims an aggregate user base of 300 million.