Pryze Uses Blockchain For Automated Sweepstakes Promotionsbr>
Pryze is an automated sweepstakes protocol built on the ethereum blockchain. It allows companies to hold sweepstakes competitions, handling all processes involved in launching and managing sweepstakes using a single platform.
Jupiter Research claims over 80% of all Internet users have participated in an online sweepstakes or contest in the past year, and an additional 50% enter them once a month. However, companies encounter significant problems and challenges launching and managing their digital sweepstakes competitions using the tools available in the market today. What’s more, contest runners must put sweepstakes prize money in escrow, an extra step that uses resources and introduces friction. It is the responsibility of contest runners to prove they picked winners fairly and that winners are properly paid out, both somewhat complicated tasks.
The Pryze platform leverages blockchain technology to solve these problems, offering a one-stop-shop solution for the entire sweepstakes process. Supported by ConsenSys’ Token Foundry, which provides the technical expertise to enable decentralized applications and platforms to launch highly secure and well-designed tokens, enabling buyers to make use of ethereum software.
Founder and CEO Peter Franklin’s chance meeting with top angel Gil Penchina at a non-profit event lead the two to found Pryze. Franklin talked with Block Tribune about the venture.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: This is a protocol. Tell me how it’ll work from a customer standpoint and an operator standpoint.
PETER FRANKLIN: We created the Pryze protocol to easily automate sweepstakes and XPRIZE style competitions. So, from a consumer standpoint, we have two really major events. One is the creation of the event, in which someone uses Pryze tokens to create that event with different properties. And we have the entering of the event, for which we have a consumer app that really facilitates the process and makes it one-click entry, collects data information, encrypts it, and really makes the whole process very easy. We utilize the underlying technology of the blockchain to manage escrow, to manage the data collection and things like that, which traditionally have been hard things to accomplish, but now that we have the technology of the blockchain, become very easy.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Who’s the target audience here?
PETER FRANKLIN: The target audience is really anyone looking to market anything. Traditionally this has been businesses or XPRIZE-style competitions. But we’re also really excited to partner with people doing token-generation events. We’re partnering with Gameflip right now. We’re helping them run a sweepstakes with some of their tokens as the prize. So they get a great network effect from that and also really easy data collection for collecting peoples’ email addresses, their wallet addresses, also necessary KYC information like their first name, last name, things like that. And, in return, we have a platform that we can, if consumers obviously opt-in, we can market to those consumers for future token generation events or future events of any kind that may interest them.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How large is your audience right now?
PETER FRANKLIN: We’re still in beta phase, so we’re keeping it pretty small. Obviously looking to expand that here very soon. We’re talking with some very big names that we’re looking to announce in the next month or two and very excited about that. Obviously our website, our email list. I think it’s hard to say exactly how many we’ve reached. I mean, I think anybody who uses the Internet is potentially a target audience.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What was your biggest obstacle in putting this together? I imagine that the legal barriers were high, especially since they probably change from territory to territory. Take me through the process there.
PETER FRANKLIN: Sweepstakes obviously come with a lot of regulation overhead, privacy policies, different regulations by state. Different countries have a lot of different regulation. And this is a lot of the overhead, in general, for creating these events. So, we are working really closely with our legal team to remove as much of that legal hurdles for other companies and folks running these events as possible and really streamline the process.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Do you have to silo with the territory?
PETER FRANKLIN : Yes. So, currently we’re targeting the US to start, and looking to expand internationally from there quickly afterwards.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What is the timeline on that?
PETER FRANKLIN: International, I think, will depend on our user base. US, we’re looking to launch here shortly.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What’s the differentiation of your site versus others who are trying to mine the same field?
PETER FRANKLIN: This gets me really excited. Of all of the people that we’ve talked to, we haven’t heard once that someone else is using blockchain for this particular application. So, we get very excited about that. Obviously there are traditional sweepstakes companies that will assist with running these processes, but none of them have the underlying technology of the blockchain, because, to be frank, it hasn’t been invented yet. So this idea of a decentralized smart contract that can hold money, pick a winner fairly, and prove that they paid out the money is, to be honest, totally new and we’re the first in the space that we know of, and we’re really excited about it.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: There’s been an issue with Parity Technologies and its wallet being hacked. There’s been other issues along the way. Are you at all concerned about that? What’s your take on it?
PETER FRANKLIN: I think that’s an awesome question. Personally, and honestly, I think Vitalik said it best in strongly supporting those who are working at writing simpler, safer wallet contracts, and auditing and formally verifying the security of existing ones. I think that’s the key point. And then, beyond that, my personal take is, to use a metaphor, if you’re using a hammer to build a house and you accidentally hit your hand, it’s really not the hammer’s fault. And I think that’s what Vitalik is getting at in that. Now, on the counter-side, does that mean we have to be super safe and move super securely? Absolutely. Absolutely. We need to make sure we’re using these tools correctly. That’s why we’re involving Consensys, who’s helping us with security audits and many other kind of techniques to make sure we’re doing the right thing. And obviously nothing is ever guaranteed, but we’re doing the best we can.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Tell me about your ICO plans.
PETER FRANKLIN: We’ll be announcing details on upcoming events and launches from our website and newsletter that you can check out on pryze.com.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: So do you have a date in mind?
PETER FRANKLIN: Well, we have not announced anything. And we’ll be reaching out through those channels if and when things become available.