DigitalBits seeks to address points of friction challenging blockchain adoption today. Namely, the lack of large, vibrant ecosystems raises the issue of switching costs, while complex user interfaces are intimidating for consumers. Working directly with brands, DigitalBits looks to optimize the infrastructure of established brand ecosystems while integrating directly with existing applications, allowing users to enjoy the benefits of blockchain technology within a familiar setting.
DigitalBits is a protocol layer blockchain built to support consumer digital assets. Although the blockchain is general purpose, the technology has been catered towards the growing asset category of branded currencies. Targeting brands allows DigitalBits to address the millions of users engaged within these communities, and move them simultaneously onto the blockchain. Branded currencies can yield a number of benefits for both brands and consumers, including cost savings, built-in loyalty features and enhanced marketing intelligence. Interest in this asset category is growing among notable brands – Facebook has begun development of the Libra Project while Walmart is actively exploring blockchain patents.
Branded currencies refer to a store of value and a medium of exchange for goods and services from a specific brand or merchant; this includes any physical or digital form of payment from a merchant or brand, such as coupons, loyalty points, and gift cards. The loyalty and rewards points industry represents a massive existing market and represents a traditional form of branded currency. However, billions of dollars in capital and millions of users are still subject to dated technology, resulting in breakage and the accumulation of idle capital.
The Evolution of Legacy Systems
Loyalty points and rewards have played an integral role in the relationship between brands and consumers. They transformed a strictly transactional interaction into a lasting relationship, rewarding consumers for repeat business while allowing brands the power to influence behaviour and drive engagement. However, these programs have failed to move in lock-step with today’s technology, and are archaic by comparison.
Points are siloed. They may possess monetary value, however, this is only recognized within their respective programs. Many times consumers find themselves with value they are unable to apply to offerings that they want, negatively impacting perceived value. Additionally, changing program requirements and difficult redemption processes make utilizing points all the more challenging. These points of friction contribute to the approximately $16 billion in points that go unused in the United States every year, never to be redeemed.
Enhancing the Points Economy
DigitalBits allows for the tokenization of both new and existing points programs. Utilizing a token standard, assets are able to easily communicate and interact on-chain, circumventing interoperability issues faced by legacy systems. Considering more than $50 billion in points are issued annually within the US alone, the tokenization of the points economy looks to enable a vast amount of capital.
A Problem of Incidence
The perceived value of points is limited by their lack of applicability. Facilitating cross-program value transfer allows programs to communicate, but does not guarantee trades will settle. Issues arise similar to those faced in barter systems, where problems of incidence limited when assets could be traded.
Multi-Hop – Liquidity for On-chain Assets
DigitalBits’ built-in decentralized exchange utilizes multi-hop technology, enabling trades to be completed up to 6-intermediary hops. The DigitalBits DEX amalgamates all order pairings within the ecosystem, to ultimately satisfy the initial trade. This helps bring liquidity to assets that may lack an active direct market, and gives on-chain assets the feel of “digital cash.”
In The Pockets of Millions
The points economy exists within the pockets of millions worldwide, with approximately 3.3 billion unique memberships held within the United States in 2014 – 64% of consumers said that they would not consider a credit card without an associated loyalty program. People are familiar with these programs, and enjoy engaging with them. The tokenization of the points economy will allow multiple cards and applications to be amalgamated into central hubs that are easier to navigate. Additionally, users will be able to leverage the full value held in their accounts, as opposed to a multitude of disjunct points. Users will be placed in the driver’s seat, in full control of their points, and the ability to utilize them how they see fit.
Bringing Product to Market
DigitalBits engages an enterprise go-to-market strategy, targeting brands and enterprise-grade adopters in a top down approach. The technology has been constructed integration ready, optimizing the application backend infrastructure without imposing significant changes to learned behaviour, allowing for the easy consumption of technology.
In addressing brands and enterprise, DigitalBits assumes a position to reach multiple users in a holistic manner. Instead of requiring users to download new applications and learn about blockchain, DigitalBits will be integrated directly into applications they know and love, enabling them to do more without necessarily having to know more.
Lastly, DigitalBits’ core team and advisory board are stacked with seasoned industry veterans. These are individuals who not only have experience creating great technology, but effectively bringing it to market as well. These efforts have been furthered by DigitalBits Early Access Program, which over the course of 2018 has worked closely with brands to understand their needs and requirements, and develop appropriate solutions.
DigitalBits have selected an impactful first use-case in the sector of branded currencies. Addressing an asset category that is widely engaged with, the tokenization of brand ecosystems could stimulate adoption where today’s blockchain industry has all but stalled. As DigitalBits begins to integrate large brands into its ecosystem, the potential for this blockchain seems limitless.
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