If you've been following our regular Weekly Updates you may recall that in July 2018 we conducted a hackathon to encourage DApp development using the Credit Protocol. We're pleased to announce the winning entry: Gifter, a Google Chrome extension that tackles the issues of privacy, security, and loss of value within the gift card industry.
We sat down with the team at 6Side, developers of Gifter, to learn more about their young blockchain technology company, their history and their plans for the future. Let's meet the 6Side team of Liam Cope (CEO), Hunter Schofield (CTO), Akshay Sood (COO), Connor Dear (Developer), and Michael Romao (Developer).
Let's start with a quick introduction. Tell us a bit about 6Side, your team and how you all got started in the blockchain technology industry.
Hunter, Akshay, and I all connected at university because of our similar interest in the future of technology. We attended a few different "Biz Tech" conferences and after that, we started to jump into case competitions as Team Blockybois. One of the last case competitions we competed in was hosted by MLG Blockchain in which Blockmason was a sponsor. In the second round, we had to expand on several ideas presented. One of them was a gifting application utilizing the Credit Protocol. This submission led us to the final round and received quite a bit of praise.
We decided we would pursue the development of the application and change Blockybois to 6Side. Once we became 6Side, we decided to expand our team. I recently connected with Michael Romao, who was a friend of mine from high school and seeing his interest and passion towards tech, we decided to recruit him to into our team. He recently graduated from University of Western Ontario with a degree in Software Engineering.
Your DApp Gifter won the Credit Protocol Hackathon. Give us the "elevator pitch" for Gifter.
Gifter is a Google Chrome extension built on Blockmason's Credit Protocol. The extension allows retailers to implement a gift card system that is not only more affordable than traditional methods, but also offers more value to both consumers and retailers. Gifter allows the retailer to collect useful user data while ensuring anonymity for the consumer. Along with that, users can trade, sell, and send gift cards to any other Gifter user.
How did you come up with the idea for Gifter?
The inspiration for Gifter came from a case competition hosted by MLG Blockchain. We did a substantial amount of market research on the idea of gifting via the blockchain and found it to be an exciting project and decided to pursue it.
What are some of the challenges the 6Side team has faced in working on the Gifter project?
As with any new venture built around a new form of technology, there is a learning curve and some experimentation to be done. One example was creating the Use Case Authority Contracts (UCACs) for the Gifter extension.
Initially, there was a little bit of a learning curve for some of our team. Blockchain is pretty new, and there was a lot of experimenting and ideation to be done.
Why is Gifter innovative and why do you think it's something that the world needs?
Current gift cards are not only inefficient concerning purchasing, trading, or in the actual act of giving but they are also very insecure. The security protocols surrounding physical or e-gift cards haven't changed since their inception. Gifter tackles all those issues at the root. Not only does it make gift cards easier to purchase, trade or give to whomever one chooses but also provides increased security to them, thanks to the immutable nature of blockchain. This refurbished system means that retailers do not have to worry about chargebacks that occur due to gift card fraud.
Using Gifter, retailers can implement a gift card system at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems meaning that smaller businesses who weren't able to afford such a system before, now can. Gifter also provides extremely valuable consumer data analytics to retailers while giving the user 100% anonymity, thanks again to the benefits using blockchain technology.
With the situation that recently arose with Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica case, we can see that it is necessary to provide complete privacy to users but still somehow manage to use their data effectively. Gifter is using blockchain technology to solve some of the problems that have long plagued the gift card industry but have never been tackled before. In our opinion, Gifter is an innovative product and something the world needs.
What are your plans for Gifter from now through the end of 2018?
We are currently developing Gifter and are planning to launch the extension in early 2019.
A random question: if you weren't building 6Side, what would you be working on? What's your "passion project?"
I think I speak for the rest of the team when I say that if it wasn't 6Side it would be something else in the tech world. I think having the chance to build something that adds value to our world is a passion in itself.