What Is AppCoins?

AppCoins (APPC) has held its ICO and is up nearly 300% since being added to Binance last Friday. But that’s not what interests me the most about this small market cap asset.

Beyond the Big Boys

If using bitcoin is one way of saying “f*** you” to the banks who until now have largely controlled our money, AppCoins is equivalent to saying “hell no” to Apple and Google, whose respective app stores sadly dominate the mobile landscape.

AppCoins was created by Aptoide, an existing player in the mobile app industry. Its alternative marketplace runs on the Android OS and boasts 200 million users worldwide. The team’s goal is to disrupt the current app store duopoly and bring more transparency & efficiency to this space. It plans to do so by marrying blockchain technology and smart contracts with app stores (not just its own).

Compared to current marketplaces, this protocol seeks to reduce intermediaries which currently inflate the cost of advertising apps, to encourage in-app purchases and other forms of app monetization, and to streamline the now-sluggish app approval process (I’m looking at you, Apple). The idea is that by moving everything to the blockchain, this ecosystem will become transparent and all parties will be incentivized to fully participate. For instance, individual developers will be ranked according to their trustworthiness according to past transactions, and a transparent dispute system will be created.

The AppCoins themselves are ERC-20 compatible tokens which run on the Ethereum network and will be allocated based on what the team calls “Cost per attention” (the Basic Attention Token utilizes a similar concept). Tokens will be granted to users in exchange for downloading apps and giving them 2 minutes of their attention, and can be used to make in-app purchases (but not to purchase the apps themselves).

If the people behind AppCoins have their way, the end result will be an ecosystem which serves users, developers and, importantly, other app stores that choose to implement this protocol. To that end, the project “aims to become the universal language of the app economy.” AppCoins claims to be “app store agnostic” but will focus on Android apps for now.

Of course, it remains to be seen if the Aptoide platform stands a chance against the market leaders in the long run. After all, even corporations such as Amazon and Samsung have tried and failed to make a dent in the area of app marketplaces. Nevertheless, you can’t deny the concept of an open and immutable protocol is exciting and revolutionary. If this particular project doesn’t pan out, hopefully another one like it will.

Again, while the early investment aspect is exciting, I encourage readers to do their own research on AppCoins and decide for themselves whether they’d like to be a part of this. Just as Substratum promises to revolutionize the internet by allowing equal and unfettered access to the internet for everyone – no matter what the FCC and the cable companies have planned for us – AppCoins represents a chance to free the world from the dominance of the ‘big boys’ in the mobile app industry and usher in a new world in which apps and mobile advertising works for everyone, freely and fairly.