What Is KARMA?
KARMA is a grassroots start-up founded to revolutionize the way humans interact with each other. KARMA is a community of individuals who believe in helping mankind one action at a time and incentivizing those actions. KARMA is a Decentralized Application built on EOSIO that is set to deploy an MVP in Q3 of 2018.
That is quite the interesting and innovative idea. After reading the whitepaper, I was surprised about how short it was to be honest. But there was enough detail in there to have a good idea of what this Dapp will be about and how it will go about doing so.
KARMA DAPP Technology
From a technology standpoint, it seems that Karma aims to get a strong flagship product before considering branching out. What I mean by that is that they are not looking to be a base on which people start building their own app.
In terms of function, KARMA has pretty much what you would expect of a social media app without changing the terminology. Things like:
- User Profile
- In-App Wallet
But there are a few things that are new such as The Idea Generator which will:
[…]spark ideas as to what someone can do next to provide value for others in the world. There will be a simple interface for users to click a button and get a KARMA idea. If they want to get inspired further, users can simply continue to click the button and another idea will appear until they find an idea/action that resonates with them to act on, record and then post within the app.
Like any incentivized system they have to deal with abuse. Their way to deal with it is through “downvotes” like on Reddit. There will also be a spam reporting feature that will work on a 3 strikes-rule which mean that the post will be frozen until it goes into arbitration.
Content Reward Mechanism
Types of Reward
90% of the content rewards will go to the authors while 10% will go to the development of the app. This content reward will be split as follow:
- 75% to Video Posts
- 25% to Photo Posts
Staking Token For Stronger Upvote
Staking KARMA adds value to the entire ecosystem and solidifies trust for the long term in the KARMA token by taking it out of circulation for an extended period of time. The minimum time that a token must be staked for is 3 days. If a user unstakes their tokens, they will become available to move again after 3 days. Users are incentivized to stake their tokens to have a stronger upvote within KARMA.
The concept is very similar to what Steem has done but on a much smaller time scale and without the curation rewards. It will be interesting to see how it will play out once put into practice.
KARMA Token Airdrop
Distribution is one of the issues faced when bootstrapping a token economy. At the beginning of the cryptocurrency revolution, proof-of-work was the number one for people to acquire tokens. Then came ICOs and Airdrops. Airdropping on EOS token holders enables KARMA to distribute instantly to 100k plus individuals globally at no cost. It also increases the value EOS token since so many projects decide to airdrop their tokens on its network.
Here is the breakdown of KARMA’s airdrop:
My Review of the KARMA DApp
From the get go, KARMA seems to borrow heavily from the Steem blockchain incentive mechanism while tweaking a few things here and there for it’s specific purpose. To me, there is nothing wrong there since as far as we know, Steem with it’s apps (steemit.com, busy.org, dlive.io, d.tube) are the most successful social media dapps out there.
What I like about Karma:
- It’s a fresh idea in the social media space
- They are airdropping and getting a wide distribution of tokens
- The 3-day staking process
- No curation rewards (votes have to be given freely without opportunity costs and profit incentives in their case)
- The Idea Generator
- The Freemium Model (no pay to play)
I don’t have an objection to the project from a technical sense. They seem to be using the right technology for the job (no transaction cost/bandwidth model) and they are not reinventing the wheel in terms of mechanics.
My worries about this project are more philosophical…let me explain:
Point 1: Jesus, Hypocrisy and “Praying in Public”
There is something perverse about advertising your own good deeds publically.
Jesus talked about that when denouncing the Pharisees in Matthew 6:
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
When you start doing good deeds for recognition or money…You are no longer doing something out of love.
Love according to Aquinas is:
Willing the good of the other as the other.
Doing an act of kindness or love is it’s own reward. The more I think about it, the more the concept of advertising your virtue leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Point 2: The line between helping and enabling is thin:
As a Christian, I constantly have to deal with this moral dilemma.
So many times, we think we are doing the “loving” things when we are in fact creating dependence or enabling bad behaviors.
Sometimes, willing the good of another means telling the cold hard truth or stop paying their rent for them. From the outside, what you are doing may seem harsh or “unloving” but you are indeed “willing the good of the other” by stopping the process of enabling something that may harm them down the road.
If you haven’t seen Poverty Inc. or read “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor”…it’s worth looking into. There are countless examples of Do-Gooders going out thinking they are helping while actually hurting the people they pretend to help. This happens mostly because those people think the ACT itself is the good thing rather than the result.
An example of that is Toms Shoes that by giving a free pair of shoe to kids who don’t have shoes…killed the shoe industry of the countries that kid lives.
Another example was when there was boycotts on sweatshops…after the boycotts, according to a Unicef report:
Child workers, most of them girls, were summarily dismissed from the garment factories. A study sponsored by international organizations took the unusual step of tracing some of these children to see what happened to them after their dismissal. Some were found working in more hazardous situations, in unsafe workshops where they were paid less, or in prostitution.
By the platform focusing on videod that showcase the “ACT” rather the result, I think we’ll see a whole lot of Do-Gooders showcasing their virtue rather than what they are actually accomplishing.
As of today, this project is not yet out and is expected to be online in Q3 of 2018. I might do another review then to see how the launch went and how people are using it. It will be interesting to watch for sure