Blockchain technology is now increasingly being used ever since the popularity of cryptocurrencies reached its peak. The various potential benefits of this new technology have led to its variety of different use cases, including the digital content sector. Of all the projects that have focused on applying blockchain technology to this sector, BOLT is a well-known example and the focus of this review.
What Is Bolt And How Does It Work?
BOLT is a project aimed at building a versatile cryptocurrency ecosystem, including a wallet that focuses on the decentralisation of digital content services. The said ecosystem focuses heavily on mobile device users and content creators of emerging markets and works towards creating a self-sustaining entertainment network.
The platform is aimed at providing various benefits in terms of reducing streaming cost and speed requirements. It also facilitates direct streaming via its official mobile app. One of BOLT’s main priorities is the targeting of smartphone users, including ones with a low bandwidth, providing them with first class delivery in a secure and reliable environment. BOLT runs on top of the ZIlliqa Blockchain, to take advantage of its high throughput and scalability capabilities.
The Bolt Ecosystem
BOLTs’ solution is built on top of the aforementioned Zilliqa blockchain, using a proprietary technology aimed at reducing data usage related to streaming videos by more than 90 %. This allows users to stream high quality videos on mobile devices by using a system of micro payments. This replaces traditional systems which do not provide an accurate and fair way for users to pay for the content they watch. As a result, the BOLT ecosystem is beneficial for content creators and digital service providers by providing higher liquidity.
In May 2019, the BOLT team announced that their entire token ecosystem would be migrating to the Binance chain.
About The BOLT Token
The BOLT token is the platform’s native currency, required by users to access services on the platform. Users can earn tokens in numerous ways by participating in the community. For instance, content publishers can earn tokens from users viewing their content. Additionally tokens can also be earned by users who help the community by participating in voting or any other content moderation process in the community. Users can also earn tokens by translating content into different languages. The value of tokens allocated to each task is decided by the community itself through voting.
BOLT token holders can use the token for paying fees on the platform, including access to BOLT services, advertising inventory, premium content and micro data bundles among other features.
Use Case of BOLT
Apart from focusing on content creation, the BOLT platform also provides solutions for the payment for digital services. Some of the issues are mentioned below:
- High Minimum Transaction Charges: Third party providers such as Fortumo or Google Pay can charge high transaction fees which can extend upwards of $1 USD. In emerging markets having salaries less than $10 USD a week, this becomes a problem. BOLT offers an opportunity to those who cannot afford high minimum transaction costs.
- Payment Gateways Lack Global Scalability: Most payment gateways in emerging markets lack global scalability and are local in nature
- Credit Terms: Credit terms from payment gateways are usually high, ranging from 120 to 160 days after the user complete his/her payment. Digital service providers thus suffer from limited cash flow and a lack of liquidity.
- High Commission Rates: Many payment gateways charge exorbitant commission fees from the digital service provider.
BOLT aims to achieve its objectives and solve these issues in the following ways:
Business/ Liquidity efficiency: Partner enterprises of BOLT are compensated instantaneously through the tokens collected through user transactions. This eliminates the need for waiting 120 days or more to receive payment from payment gateways.
Bundling BOLT tokens: To encourage BOLT token usage across the platform, BOLT offers certain bundling deals with selected service providers.
For Billing Users: BOLT Partners can bill their users for accessing their service via a single BOLT token, rather than using fiat currencies. The value of the token, which is secure and tamperproof cannot be counterfeited or affected by any external geo-political events. As a result BOLT partners get increased liquidity if they hold a more BOLT tokens.
How Are They Unique?
Even though there have been several projects that have aimed at similar markets and use cases, BOLT’s offering seems to be a comprehensive solution for the same. The BOLT team, which consists of more than 30 members worldwide spread across different continents is reflective of the project’s global outlook as well as its intention to work in emerging markets.
Additionally, unlike other projects of its type, the BOLT project has already rounded up a collection of reputable partnerships. This includes industry leaders such as Citizen TV and NTV of Kenya, NHK world and Al Jazeera. Other partnerships include Kenyan Telecommunication Company Safaricom, Rakuten, and the International Cricket Council to name a few.
Advantages of BOLT:
Target Group: The team behind BOLT is aware of the nature of markets they have to target. This helps in avoiding direct competition with other, more traditionally centralized platforms which cater only to banking customers.
Partnerships: With a list of impressive partnerships already achieved, BOLT is well on its way towards achieving an industry presence. Additionally, partnerships with projects such as Oxademy and switcheo network are aimed at hosting a larger number of educational content.
User-friendly App: The BOLT+ App is extremely simple to use with quick registration and verification processes. Users can access relevant media according to their personal preferences. The User interface is fast and responsive and would be helpful for targeting the vast untapped audiences in emerging markets.
Challenges faced by BOLT
Lack of Marketing: A general lack of marketing as compared to other projects of its kind may hamper its initial reach to a wider audience.
Competition: Even though BOLT does not have any direct competition, industry heavyweights such as TenCent and WeChat offer similar services with huge existing customer bases.
The BOLT project looks like a promising one which has the potential to be successful. The fact that BOLT has already amassed several major companies as partners would further help them enter into emerging markets in Asia and Africa. The BOLT token is currently valued at $0.008193 USD as of 25/11/2019 by coinmarketcap, ranked 490th, and a market cap of $3,412,295 USD. The token is already traded on several markets in exchanges such as Hotbit, Bitsonic, Binance DEX and Kucoin.
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