By Madison Alworth
Crypto start-up StreetCred wants everyday New Yorkers to map their city, and the company is paying them in Bitcoin to get the job done.
"You can earn points for going around the city and adding and taking photos of any place that you go that's of interest to other people," CEO Randy Meech said Monday in an interview on Cheddar.
StreetCred's app, MapNYC, isn't the first mapping product out there, of course. Google's version similarly uses crowd-sourced information to beef up its offering. But Meech sees a key downfall to that option.
"One of the problems is, it's very restrictive and very expensive for other companies to use," he said. "That's really our mission. We are trying to make this data very accessible, very open, basically, for others to do anything that they want with it."
Meech hopes to address those concerns by running his app on a more decentralized blockchain.
"What we're looking for is for communities to be able to create data and be compensated for that, or to share it with companies who need the data," said Meech.
Bitcoin is the currency of choice, since it's currently the one most visible to the general public and therefore has the potential to attract more contributors. But StreetCred does have bigger ambitions.
"We are a crypto company so we will likely be having our own token at some point," Meech said. "One of things we wanted to test, before we get to that point, is will people do this for crypto?"
Creating a game out of it may help. Every time a user posts a location, he or she gets a point, and prizes will be distributed among those who post the most. As of this week, there are eight Bitcoins up for grabs in the app's contest; the top prize equals one Bitcoin, or approximately $6,200.
StreetCred is focusing on its hometown of NYC to start, but Meech said he plans to expand beyond his test city. MapNYC launches on September 24 and will be available for both iOS and Android.
For full interview click here.