Earn.com is a social network and two-sided marketplace that allows users to earn digital currencies by completing microtasks. The platform’s goal is to become a decentralized network that allows anyone to join the network and receive payment for their productive work.
Like other social networks, users have public profiles and can interact with other users on the network. Earn.com, however, allows users to also earn digital currencies by performing small tasks. These include quickly replying to emails, filling out surveys, labelling images, and referring new users to the network.
Although participants are currently using digital currencies like Bitcoin to purchase microtasks on the site, the company is looking to launch a proprietary token, Earnable. Unlike traditional digital currencies, users cannot mine or publicly buy the Earnable token. The token-based system will provide users with a portion of the network utility in exchange for their time and effort, serve as the internal currency of the network, and represent an API key for issuing paid tasks on the network.
Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox; Jeff Skoll CEO of Expedia; and PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin see great potential with this new social network and are all early investors in Earn.com.
The Earn.com platform
While social media platforms and two-sided marketplaces exist, Earn.com’s unique value is its ability to allow users to buy actions from others in a fast and timely manner.
A great example is a salesperson who uses the network to pay to receive a reply from an executive. Or a CTO who asks thousands of engineers to attempt to fix a bug. Or even entrepreneur who wants to get in contact with partners at venture capital firms.
While the platform draws many similarities to LinkedIn InMail, it extends the services available on that platform. On LinkedIn, senders pay LinkedIn to contact individual users. The user does not receive a cut, and the sender cannot send mass messages with complex tasks attached. Earn.com is also similar to marketplace Mechanical Turk since the platform allows senders to pay users to complete a specific task. On Mechanical Turk, though, it is impossible to target or retarget users.
The Earn.com platform combines the missing elements from both products and extends them to allow senders to contact specific people or specific groups of people to get a task done in exchange for digital currency. While tasks can be varied and broad, the simplest and most popular task is a reply to an email. The result of paying for someone’s time is a high response rate and quick task completion. By paying a small sum, the senders are buying actions from users and not just their attention.
Why introduce an Earnable token?
While Bitcoin had significant advantages over fiat currency based payment methods, launching an Earnable Token will theoretically help Earn.com bootstrap and grow into a more scalable a social network.
According to their whitepaper, the Earnable token is designed in a way where any user can acquire the token. The Earnable Token incentivizes users to build up both sides of the marketplace as basic tasks like verifying one’s page or inviting their network onto the platform will result in tokens as a reward. Creating a company token also allows new features to become possible once the network possesses significant amounts of the digital currency. For example, users may be able to stake Earnable tokens for a specific period of time to rank more highly in search results. By switching to an Ethereum-based token, Earn.com can also make use of more sophisticated smart contract based tasks in the future.
While Earn.com has a long way to go, it has backing from many powerful venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz, Data Collective, Khosla Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Yuan Capital.