KuCoin AMA With Presearch — Search Privately, Receive Better Results and Get Rewarded With PRE
Dear KuCoin Users,
Time: April 2, 2021, 12:00-13:36 (UTC)
Official Website: https://presearch.io
Vision Paper: https://www.presearch.io/vision.pdf
Colin Pape — Presearch Founder & CEO
Q&A from KuCoin
Colin: Thanks for having me! Really appreciate your support!
We are glad to be here with the KuCoin community! It is such a great group of people, and we are happy to work with the KuCoin team! You guys are fantastic!
Q: What is Presearch?
Colin: Presearch is building an open, decentralized search engine that offers private search, better results, and rewards for those who use it. Presearch currently counts more than 2 million users, with more than 1 million daily search queries.
The Presearch team has already developed and released various products, such as the Presearch engine, browser extensions, Presearch Marketplace, Keyword Staking (advertising model), user nodes on testnet and a sustainable ecosystem. The team is currently exploring sidechains and building out the infrastructure for user nodes on mainnet, which will power the complete search ecosystem.
The quality of the new engine matches that of top competitors, and in some ways outperforms them thanks to community packages that feature rich on-page information (e.g. when searching for crypto tickers) and privacy.
The Presearch PRE token is the key medium of exchange within the Presearch ecosystem and is used for the following purposes:
- Rewarding users for using Presearch as their search engine, and for referring friends.
- To stake against keywords, providing the staker with free traffic.
- Node staking. Any user can run a search node, those who stake 1,000 PRE or more (more PRE staked = more search queries served = more rewards) get rewarded to do so by helping to power the decentralized search network.
- To fund development projects undertaken by the community.
You can check out the site to search via https://presearch.org, those interested in running nodes can go to https://nodes.presearch.org and anyone interested in advertising can go to https://keywords.presearch.org.
We are building an awesome community over at https://t.me/presearch, and we are grateful for everyone's support!
Q: What is your experience in the field so far Colin?
Colin: Good question. So, I’m an entrepreneur, born and raised in Canada.
I originally began my career as a developer and in addition to leading Presearch, I'm also the CEO of ShopCity.com, a platform for communities to support their local businesses through.
Back in 2011 I ran into an issue with Google, which suddenly demoted ShopCity's websites to page 8 of the search results. I experienced first-hand how much harm this can do to businesses that rely on digital advertising. This opened my eyes to how powerful the search monopoly is, and motivated me to start Presearch.
I am a libertarian and voluntaryist, and I'm dedicated to preserving and expanding our personal freedom and liberty, both online and in the real world.
With more than 20 years experience in the world of local search, I'm very familiar with the search space and see some tremendous opportunities to do things differently than other established search engines are doing.
I'm excited about the use of the PRE token within the ecosystem and the ability to use that unit of value to align the interests of everyone in the Presearch ecosystem - supporters, searchers, advertisers, node runners, team members.
I think it's a much better model than most traditional engines, where their various stakeholders have different motives and agendas and there's a general misalignment, particularly around users, which are viewed as just monetization opportunities, leading to tracking and other privacy-invading practices to increase monetization.
Q: What are some of the major milestones Presearch has achieved to date?
Colin: Well, I’d say Presearch has achieved various milestones throughout the past couple of years.
First, we have a working search engine that has seen major improvements throughout the different project phases. At the end of January, we launched the first version of the decentralized node-powered search engine, which enables us to now provide private search results that match the quality and experience of top competitors.
Next to that, there’s a revolutionary ad marketplace powered through keyword staking.
Anyone can become an advertiser, by soft-locking (staking) PRE tokens on specific keywords. Upon a match with a user’s search query, the user’s ads show up on the top of the search results page. Currently, traffic is free meaning users only have to purchase PRE tokens and stake them, which can be unlocked or modified at any time. Over 60 million PRE out of 500 million total is currently staked on these keywords by individuals advertising their affiliate links, by small business, but also by larger corporate enterprises.
With the launch of the node-powered engine, user nodes are currently run on the testnet. We've seen tremendous interest already, and currently there’s more than 1,000 active nodes running on the testnet.
These node runners earn PRE for providing the search infrastructure we need to handle user searches while preserving search privacy. It's a great model, and the response has exceeded our expectations so far!
Our community continues to grow and we now have more than 2 million registered users who search more than 1 million times per day. It's one of the most-used projects in the crypto space already, and all of this has been accomplished with little marketing.
We are now shifting into marketing mode and recently hired a PR firm and added two marketers to our team to help ramp things up! We're looking for some pretty explosive growth this year now that the new search engine experience is so much better than before, and in this climate where people want to protect their privacy.
Q: Having mentioned how many people are currently registered on Presearch, how has it grown?
Colin: The Presearch search beta initially launched late 2017. We hoped to see about 50-100k testers initially, but thanks to our referral program user registrations snowballed and we grew beyond 500k users within the first 6 months.
Throughout the years our team released various products in their search ecosystem, including keyword staking (advertising model), the Presearch marketplace, browser extensions, and recently the V1 launch of the decentralized node-powered search engine, with nodes currently running on the testnet.
As we’ve been fully focused on development, we haven’t actively marketed the search engine. The 2 million registered users mainly came through the existing referral program. Now that we’ve launched the decentralized search engine and feel confident about the search results quality, we’re shifting into a more active marketing mode.
Q: Why would people use Presearch rather than other search engines?
Colin: We're excited to always add new members to the project, and it's really easy to get started by going to https://presearch.org/signup
Our community members have pointed out various reasons why they’d use Presearch over other competitors. There’s a brief summary displayed here on that: https://presearch.io/about.
First, Presearch is a community-driven project. There’s a great community that engages on a daily basis. Through our Presearch Telegram community, people can ask questions, have discussions, provide feedback and make suggestions. This is something that’s not offered by our competitors and our users love it!
Second, privacy. There are other search engines that offer ‘private search’, though not in the same way we do. By using search nodes, we can ensure all search queries are anonymized and users have a fully private experience. It’s possible to use the search engine with or without an account. For maximum privacy, if you don't log in, there's zero trace of you on the system. If you want to earn tokens, then you'd need to provide your email.
Third, better search results. The Presearch Engine offers more complete search results. We are leveraging the existing indexes that big search engines spent billions of dollars on and then building our own community-curated index on top of it. We aim to continue to remove search bias as much as possible, be more censorship-resistant and provide as relevant and complete search results as possible.
Many of our community members stand with us in our battle against the abuse of dominant market positions. There are a few major companies controlling almost the whole internet. It’s clear these companies do not have the same ideals as when the internet was first created, and we're fighting to bring control over personal data and information access back into the hands of our users.
Lastly, members can earn rewards for searching, for running nodes and for referring others to Presearch.
Q: What are Presearch nodes? How do they work?
Colin: Great question! We're really excited about nodes!
As mentioned, Presearch nodes are responsible for powering the whole search ecosystem. Currently, this is done on the testnet, but the developers and beta participants are working hard on getting ready for user nodes to migrate to mainnet. We'll have an announcement on the mainnet launch date shortly.
This is how search nodes work:
A new way for Presearch community members to participate in the ecosystem. A user does a search on Presearch, their query is sent to the gateway server.
The gateway server anonymizes the search query removing their IP address, device information and any information to make their search anonymous.
The gateway selects one of the nodes that run on a distributed network of computers, based on the speed, location and trust level of the node.
The node retrieves results from all sorts of sources, including existing search engines, databases and APIs, which then gets sent back to the gateway, which then displays the search results and keyword ads on the user’s screen.
The user receives a PRE reward for their search query, and the node operator receives a PRE reward for processing the query.
I should add the link to the nodes info page: https://nodes.presearch.org.
Q: What are the next major updates for you?
Colin: As far as next updates, there’s a couple of things we’re really prioritizing at this moment.
First, we're working on an updated version of the Vision Paper. This Vision Paper is a working document that was published in July of 2020. It’s important we update this as it reflects what we have accomplished to date, what we are working on currently and what users can expect in the near future.
Second, by now everyone has experienced the current high gas fees on the Ethereum Network. As a project that processes tons of withdrawal requests on a monthly basis, this has been a major challenge. We’ve unfortunately had to shift away from covering the cost of reward withdrawals, which are currently between $10 and $30 per transaction. Users can cover their own fees to receive their rewards, but it’s simply not sustainable for the project to do so while gas costs are so high.
As a result, we are currently working on a bridged token on another blockchain, which has significantly lower gas fees.
Third, the team is working hard together with the community on building and releasing a stable user node testnet. From which user nodes can migrate to the mainnet and power all search queries on the network. This is going to be a huge accomplishment and makes Presearch the world’s first major search engine that offers private and decentralized search queries.
Fourth, users can expect to see an improved mobile experience in the near future. More information on this to follow shortly.
Later this year, it is planned to also release various other major developments that improve the advertising and reporting experience, serving nodes, data sharing rewards, indexing nodes, and more.
Q: You earlier mentioned what PRE is used for, what is the current circulating supply like?
Colin: That’s right, so to summarize again PRE is the utility token used throughout the whole ecosystem.
It’s used to reward users for participating within the ecosystem, for keyword staking (advertising), for node staking, and community bounties. There’s also various future use cases for the PRE token that are going to be integrated at a later phase to make everything as decentralized and community-driven as possible.
Over 400 million PRE tokens are currently in circulation, and the maximum supply is 500 million PRE, so we're more than 80% of the way to the total PRE available.
Out of this 400 million PRE, more than 80 million PRE is currently staked between keywords and user nodes. This is a major accomplishment and we’re looking forward to seeing even more users participate in this as the experience continues to evolve and improve.
On top of that, a large number of PRE tokens are voluntarily held by community members, team members and crowdsale (2017) participants on the Presearch platform. These PRE tokens haven’t moved in a long time and are being held by great supporters of the project.
Q: Who uses Presearch? Who would you like to target?
Colin: Generally, it's people who are privacy-conscious and who want to support a more diverse ecosystem on the internet.
Our members are looking to help end the search monopoly and help develop a community-driven alternative to big tech.
We are attracting people who are crypto enthusiasts and who love altcoins.
As well, with node operators, it's people who want to help actively support the project by providing the infrastructure needed to power the project.
Our members come from all over the world and all walks of life.
Many of them are referring their family and friends to the project and helping us spread the word, which is much appreciated!
Q: How can KuCoin community members start using Presearch? And where can they find you?
Colin: We'd welcome your community members to join us for sure!
Anyone can start using Presearch as their default search engine in just a few steps.
First, it’s possible to search either with or without an account. Those who decide to register can earn PRE rewards as well as participate in keyword staking and node staking.
Then, in order to set it as your default search engine you can either do so manually or simply use our browser extension which sets it for you on your desktop.
Our extensions can be accessed via https://presearch.org/extensions.
That’s really all there is to it. You can now search directly from your URL bar or through Presearch.org.
As for finding us, first, we have a great Telegram community channel: https://t.me/presearch.
We’re also on Twitter with our news account and community accounts:
To learn more about the project, we’d recommend you to check out our project page at https://presearch.io.
Free-Ask from KuCoin Community
Q: There are many projects that are considered decentralized and are great competitors to Presearch, recently the Brave Browser announced that it will develop its own search engine as well. Why should users choose Presearch as the best option?
Colin: Great question. Yes, Brave is entering the search space, as well as video chat and other apps.
There are a number of key differences...
We think we are significantly different in our focus on token utility within the ecosystem - you can actually use PRE for various functions within the Presearch ecosystem, whereas BAT is more of a behind-the-scenes use.
Additionally, our search experience is actually decentralized and powered by the community through user nodes, something no one else is offering. This is a great opportunity for those who want to help challenge big tech's dominance of the web.
I'd say we are more grassroots and community-driven. Even a project like Brave was VC funded and based in Silicon Valley. We're more of a counterculture project, I would say.
Our search results and experience are becoming world-class, and I believe that our community-curated index to overcome bias and censorship are going to be a huge advantage moving forward.
Ultimately, there is room for many search engines, and currently, with Google taking more than 90% of the market share, there's huge room for growth for a number of competitors.
Q: Give us a brief about the experience your team had with the partnership with KuCoin.
Colin: That's a new question that no one has ever asked.
Honestly, KuCoin has been wonderful to deal with. We've been very happy with their customer support, the functionality of the platform and just how they've operated in general - communication has been great, and the hack last fall really demonstrated that they are here for the long-term and that they will ensure that they do the right thing, even when it's very challenging.
We were impressed by how well they handled that situation and it only served to build our confidence in the KuCoin team.
We're grateful for their support and happy to work with them to make PRE more accessible to millions of people!
Q: My question is when would we be getting the Mobile application for Presearch. I've been a member since last year now and I consider using an application to search easier than going through the web.
Colin: Thanks for your question on mobile.
It's been an area where we haven't been as focused until recently.
We currently have a new iOS browser in alpha testing that will enable you to easily search privately with PRE through the search / URL address field.
This has been a missing link, for sure, and we're excited to roll it out in the next month or so.
Q: Despite being in the market for some time, relatively very few people are aware of Presearch and actively using it. Just wondering why the world isn't as excited by Presearch as I am and what are you doing to bring mass adoption of your platform?
Colin: Thanks for your support!
We really haven't focused on marketing as we've been trying to build out our full ecosystem before adding millions or tens of millions of users. Pretty much all of our growth has come organically through our referral program.
Now that we are preparing to launch our mainnet, have a working advertising platform, user nodes, etc., we're ready to roll.
We've had a missing marketing asset that we just acquired, so now it's time to ramp up growth in a huge way and spread the word!
We have lots of promotions planned for within the crypto space and to reach non-crypto users, with a target to reach 10 million registered users by the end of 2021.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share or you want us to know?
Thanks for the opportunity! Really appreciate the chance to connect with your Telegram community!
And thanks to everyone for tuning in and the great questions!
Take care everyone!
KuCoin and Presearch have prepared a total of 20,000 PRE to give away to AMA participants.
1. Red envelope giveaways: 8,300 PRE
2. Free-ask section: 450 PRE
3. Post-AMA activity: 11,250 PRE
Activity 1 — Quiz: 7,500 PRE
Activity 2 — Price Guess: 3,750 PRE
. . .
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