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But that was the bad old days of fiat money. Now there are dozens of love-based cryptocurrencies — LoveCoin, CupidCoin, Erosium, Nubilo — with market caps in the mid nine-figures. The year-old genius behind CupidCoin just bought the state of Tennessee. Luna, which bills itself as blockchain-optimized dating. They caught my attention by hiring Aella, previously featured on this blog for her adventures taking LSD megadoses weekly for a year.
And they maintained it because — well, goodness knows we need new dating sites now that OKCupid has devolved into an off-brand Tinder clone. Most dating sites suffer from attention imbalance: Luna solves this by making attention a commodity tradeable on the free market. Stars can be bought with dollars and vice versa , so popular users can actually earn money reading all the messages sent to them.
This system has some pretty powerful advantages. Market forces are the known solution to the problem of connecting resources to their highest-value use. But everywhere this solution is tried, it runs up against its one great weakness — rich people with mild preferences can outbid poor people with strong ones. And even a well-off person might hesitate to send out a hundred messages a day, every day. Also, really good information about preferences in exchange for a biased system that favors the wealthy has been the deal Capitalism has been offering since Adam Smith first put quill to paper; it seems kind of weird to back out now.
A more practical issue: Neither of these seem like too high a bar. Better is their offer to provide data, including how often users respond to messages and how often users meet with other users:.
I have bots pretending to be pretty women try to friend me on Facebook something like once a week, even though I have no idea what their endgame is or how this results in them making money.
Luna claims that their model gives them a profit only when it succeeds:. At Luna, we intend to structure the token economy in such a way that our system is rewarded when users achieve their goals, thus aligning our own incentives with those of our users and ensuring that all data, AI, and machine learning technology will be used to actually connect people…the approach consists of two parts:.
As described in 3. Luna intends to take a small fee for this transaction, but only if the recipient responds to the message within a window of a number of days yet to be determined. If the recipient does not respond, or only responds after more than this number of days, this fee will be re-paid to the sender. The number of Stars transferred to the recipient, however, will remain the same, whether they respond to the message or not.
Possibility of tipping in case of successful offline dates. Once users have rated their experience, Luna will then allow them to choose whether to leave a tip of their choice in the form of Stars. As this is a voluntary option, it should have no effect on user feedback. Tipping a platform is an infeasible idea in the context of currently existing dating apps; however, the free and direct-to-user benefits of Luna may register to users as something more resembling the mechanisms of Wikipedia: A tipping option may thus encourage a feeling of alliance with Luna in the user.
Luna may adopt a collaborative filtering algorithm developed by Dr. In addition, Luna may use advanced NLP techniques in conjunction with IBM Watson to integrate additional information from the contents of messages sent in-app, as well as from social media sources such as Twitter, if users choose to provide that information.
I find the idea of letting users link their social media accounts to provide more data really fascinating, and this reassures me that the attempts at incentive-alignment above really do have them thinking about how they can do better. For us to ever find out [how to design a match algorithm that really increases human happiness], we are going to require an open data ecosystem around computer dating.
Just getting rid of that dynamic once and for all would be a great result, but I think that Luna offers far, far more. By establishing the decentralized paradigm in dating, Luna helps to remake dating culture. Luna is not a service or a place, like Tinder or a bar.
We could pay the best people in the world to design algorithms to match other people, and make them happy. Why is their crypto token more efficient than paying for Second Life in Linden Dollars, or any of the other silly token currencies that have existed forever on the Internet? So what is blockchain doing for them? The null hypothesis might be: It employs some people I know and trust.
Some people use Intellect to wrest a secret from Nature: To test their prize they build a Sampo, a machine churning out a hundred varieties of human happiness — from loving marriages to ecstatic sex to just sitting on the couch cuddling on rainy days.
They give it to the public gratis. In the process they all get super rich and donate the money to curing malaria, good compounding upon good. Also, the whole thing is done in a weird and pointlessly-complicated format that adds nothing except a giant middle finger aimed at government regulators. What could be more beautiful than this? One last thought on the blockchain issue: An anarchist commune may have some spectacularly brilliant collaborative dispute-solving mechanism, but none of that matters, because the people involved will be the sorts of people who would join an anarchist commune , ie ridiculous and completely ungovernable.
So the most interesting and distinguishing feature of Luna, at least to start with, might not be the tokens, or the incentives, or the machine learning. I could make a lot of cheap jokes here, but whatever weird hyperplanes through categoryspace further the difficult and desperate project of human-seeking-human are good and worthwhile in my book.
I hope that lots of libertarian women find lots of security-conscious men and make lots of beautiful, high-price-volatility babies. Would there be a good way to tell for sure after the fact, other than in the small fraction of worlds where the site is very successful?
Here are some indications that a coin is either a deliberate scam or pointless, which in practice are hard to distinguish. But seriously, what is the advantage supposed to be here of a blockchain over a centralized ledger? I had the same question, I was wondering if maybe you saw something I missed, and apparently not.
But this seems contradicted by Vinay Gupta being apparently one of the main concept guys and also a long-time crypto person.
That seems like a pretty uncharitable reading. In a better world, the people with the money would find the concept itself valuable and not need the blockchain window dressing to be interested. This is a scam on the investors , not on the users. So they are manipulating the investors to make them put their money into something they would not otherwise have invested in, and the manipulation itself adds no value to the asset, and in fact likely subtracts it, due to all the costs and risks of having to implement a new blockchain and hope that it is adopted.
This sounds like more or less the same type of thing. It strikes me as quite like a book editor insisting a writer insert a love triangle into an already-fine story. Have made a long comment, explaining my involvement and perspective, but it seems to be stuck in a moderation queue? Oh, perhaps then Scott just almost never looks at it, unless he wants to dig out a specific post by someone who got his attention. Although I would argue that for most users, that is functionally identical to not having a moderation queue.
Yes, this blog does have an Akismet -powered moderation queue, so your original comment could be stuck in it. Thankfully, it looks like you successfully posted your long comment later, further down in the comments. Yes, I came up with the mechanism a couple of years ago, then chanced upon a team that looked like they had the rest of the pieces necessary to make it go. It was a very fortuitous meeting! Intermediate position between scam and not-scam: It uses the blockchain to build hype now, but once the bitcoin bubble bursts, they will switch back to more conventional technology.
Remember, the only function of a blockchain is to avoid double-spend attacks without trusted authorities. If a trusted authority exists, then she can always verify transactions with much less technical overhead. Though a transferrable claim that can be double spent probably has little intrinsic value, rendering the need to avoid mis-spends moot.
This is really important for money-like digital assets, i. Even very trustworthy people or organizations may not be trustworthy when millions in value a day is being spent. Or alternatively the people may be trustworthy, but their computer systems may not.
Even though the trusted authority may fail, the smart contract can limit the space of outcomes to a specific hyper-plane. The sports score publisher can declare that the Jaguars won, even if the Patriots actually did. Hence this lowers the incentive to cheat. Scalable and reliable internet infrastructure is really expensive and painful to maintain.
You spend millions a year paying DBAs boatloads of money so they wake up at 3 AM when your servers crash. Operating a public facing internet service is like defending a fortress in a zombie apocalypse.
In fact way way more problems, because blockchain consensus comes with an order of magnitude complexity than even very scalable centralized databases. The cost is certainly less visible, because the miners are paid either in the form of seigniorage or transaction fees by the users. That does not seem right to me. Both physical money and the banking system already have perfectly good ways to prevent double spending.
There was no reason to invent a new technology to prevent that. Preventing double-spending attacks is just a necessary precondition for a blockchain to be usable. When applied to a currency: His point is that although blockchains are the most prominent distributed databases at the moment, there are other choices that are often better.
Both physical money and the banking system are, in their current forms, dependent on large centralized institutions that are ultimately backed by the power of the state. Because the whole point is to create a new currency.
Not in selling mate advertising. The daters are supposed to be the critical mass that gets the bubble started. If you look at the issues with OkCupid right now you see the problems with a centralized ledger. I laughed around After that click, a checkbox appears to add a timecode.
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