Hicky ICO Review: Decentralized Online Dating on the Blockchain
When it comes to finding the love of your life online, there are a number of Apps that may come to mind. You could try Tinder, Bumble, Happn or some other variant.
These are all well and good when it comes to the stated objective of finding a partner, yet they come with a few important disclaimers. These are centralized applications where development and storage takes place on servers controlled by the company in question.
Why should your intimate conversations and sexual preferences be subject to the terms and conditions that are present on one of these sites? This is where Hicky comes in as a blockchain based dating application that wants to shake up the online dating industry.
Hicky is currently going through an ICO and taking contributions from investors. We will take an in depth look into the platform as well as the ICO and give our view on the potential returns for the investor.
What is Hicky?
Hicky is a dating application that wants to create a decentralized dating ecosystem. They want to try and overcome many of the scams and chatbots that people are often presented with on the latest dating applications.
According to a statement by the company, the Hicky app wants to increase the quality of the interactions and had this view on the current dating applications:
Without seeing what’s on their screen, someone swiping on Tinder could in fact easily be confused with someone sling-shotting angry birds. Both require about the same amount of attention, and both result in about the same amount of satisfaction
Hicky is not only developing an application that can be used on the blockchain but they are also raising development funds through the sale of their own native token. Whether these tokens can be seen as “Utility tokens” still needs to be determined.
The company started this ICO fund raise back on the 14th of February. For those with a keen eye on dates, this was valentine’s day.
Cupid would be proud!
Unlike many other ICOs that attempt to raise a great deal of funds without actually having a product to speak of, Hicky already has a functioning application. This is great for those people who want to get a sense of how the application will be used.
How Hicky Works
Hicky makes use of Blockchain technology in order to build a highly secure and fully trusted dating application. This is something that many other dating apps tend to struggle with as they have to rely on manual verifications if they want full authentication.
Although the mobile application looks quite similar in UX to many of the other ones that are online, it differs substantially in how its algorithms match people. For example, Hicky makes use of particular “categories”. This helps to refine the search of those users on the Hicky platform.
Another problem that users are often faced with these days is false information or misrepresentations. Many people often use deceptive pictures, lie about themselves or worse, make fake profiles.
In fact, this is such a common occurrence with online dating apps that they have even got a name: Catfish.
In order to remove the Catfish from the online dating pond, Hicky makes use of advanced algorithms that can weed out the fake profiles. They are able to most effectively match you up with real users that have given verifiable information.
They have even labelled their dating network as a Decentralized Autonomous Dating network. They have chosen the quirky acronym “DAD” in order to represent this. Hence, if users have any disputes on the platform, they can take them to the DAD in order to arbitrate in an autonomous manner.
Once you have downloaded the application you will need to go through a number of steps in order to create your profile and verify yourself. Below are some of the steps that need to take in order to create your profile.
As with many of the other online dating applications, you will need to create a profile for yourself and upload all of your photos. However, once this has been done the application asks you to take a selfie.
This will be used for face verification purposes. They also require some form of national identity document. They will compare the image that you have provided as a selfie with that of the ID document.
This is something really quite unique with the Hicky platform. They use voice verification in order to make certain that there is indeed a person that is setting up the account. This is done to ensure that no bots or scammers are setting the up the accounts with false information.
Swipe Left of Right
In much the same way as traditional applications, the users will then embark on the process of attempting to find their prospective partners. Once they have found someone who is also interested in speaking to them, the conversations can begin.
These conversations are not stored on a centralised database but are sent directly to the person in question using a peer to peer message. They will also use the Whisper VS protocol to make sure that these conversations are kept encrypted and secure.
Keeping them Honest
This is where the native token comes into play. When the users have agreed that they would like to go on a date, then they can stake their tokens into a fund called the "date deposit". This will be held in these smart contracts until the date has been completed.
Once the date has transpired, and both users are content with it then they will be given the tokens back and they can continue building their relationship. If, on the other hand, there is some sort of a conflict (no show or rude behaviour), then the party can complain and the DAD will step in to resolve it.
The Benefits of Hicky
There are a number of benefits that Hicky has over the other established dating applications. The most important of that comes down to the manner in which your data is stored and used. This is also particularly relevant in the case of the latest Facebook revelations.
When you are uploading your information to a service such as Tinder, all of your pictures, information, messages and relationship preference’s are stored on their servers. This means that they are a prime target for a hacker to steal this information. This has happened to a number of other dating sites including one of the largest, Adult Friend Finder.
Another benefit of using an application that is able to verify the information of users is that it wil decrease the chances of fake profiles. These fake profiles could either be people who want to meet you for nefarious purposes or they could be scammers who want to solicit funds from you.
Through the grouping algorithms at Hicky, users are aligned most effectively with potential suitors. There are less discouraging experiences than people may have on other platforms such as Tinder and the like.
Technology on the Hicky Platform
Hicky uses blockchain technology to properly authenticate user information and keep their data secure. Once a user has created a profile, their information will be stored on the blockchain. This is an immutable store of the users information and cannot be changed.
Indeed, there are many people that are realising the benefits that come from the blockchain for personal identification records. Companies such as Civic.com are already using the blockchain to store this data for important KYC practices.
Other benefits of the blockchain ecosystem is that the platform has no central authority that will determine the direction that it should take. It will evolve organically and grow according to the amount of user interaction with a system that is governed by pure code.
Moreover, given that the blockchain is a public ledger with a record of all transactions that have occurred on it, it is completely transparent. There is no opportunity for the developers to change something on the platform without those using it to notice.
You can read more about the technology behind Hicky in their whitepaper.
Overview of Hicky Team
The Hicky project is led by Julian Fuchs, Patrck Schwetlick. Both have extensive experience in internet based businesses and digital start-ups. They also have similar previous financial experience with both having worked in banking.
While the team is based in Berlin, the company itself is registered in the British Virgin Islands. They have also got some really experienced advisors who have worked in similar companies. For example, they have Hermoine Way who is the Ex-head of communications at Tinder as well as Timothy Galebach who is the co-founder of Blockmason.
The Hicky Token (HKY)
As stated, Hicky is in the middle of a token sale at the moment. They are selling ERC20 tokens called Hicky tokens (HKY). Below are some of the most important details of the token sale:
- Token: HKY
- Pre ICO: Completed
- ICO Crowd Sale: February 14th, 2018 - March 14, 2018
- Crowdsale Price: 1 ETH: 7,500 HKY Tokens
- Token Type: ERC20
- Platform: Ethereum
- Hard Cap: 36,000 ETH
- Soft Cap: 3,000 ETH
Potential Challenges and Concerns
While the project does indeed offer an interesting turn on traditional online dating applications, it is still a highly competitive market. Although they offer the benefit of being decentralised, it is not immediately clear that people will switch to an alternative because of it.
It is also quite hard to see how the native token will be used apart from merely staking. It does make sense to impose a monetary cost on those dating for bad behaviour but there will need to be more use cases in order for the token to appreciate.
Many people have also commented on the pushy marketing tactics of the ICO by some members of the team. While we can understand the annoyance of some, it does seem like this is quite common in the ICO space currently. The team has to get the message out.
Should you Contribute?
The Hicky concept is quite an interesting one. When it comes to online dating, there are far too often people who are left with unpleasant experiences. Apps such as Tinder have received quite a bit of negative press in the past for their many failings.
The notion of using the blockchain to decentralise our matchmaking and securing our data is forward thinking. Moreover, making sure that the person setting up the account is verified produces an added incentive for others to join the platform. This could create a positive feedback loop for adoption.
While there may be some questions as to the amount of adoption that the app is likely to receive, one can hope that the Hicky team will have a comprehensive marketing strategy in place. In order for the token to appreciate in value, this adoption is key.
Should you buy Hicky tokens?
While we cannot give investment advice, we can say that the Hicky project appears to be reputable. If the app is able to get the level of adoption the team claims, then the tokens could be worth considering. It is up to the individual to determine whether this adoption is likely.
Disclaimer: These are writer opinions and should not be considered investment advice
Images via Hicky.io
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.