Blockchain technology is increasingly being applied in social apps and services. However, there is no single decentralized environment with the potential to compete with traditional social networks or messengers. In this article, we are going to review U°Community platform — its functionality, technological background, and prospects.
U°Community positions itself as a social platform for the creation and governance of online communities. It includes functionalities of social network, media platform, payment system, and blockchain explorer. The platform is powered by U°OS blockchain and is its main interface. Every user’s action, whether it is upvote, downvote, follow or comment is a so-called “social transaction” which is being recorded in a public ledger. Currently, the network is in its testnet stage and the mainnet is expected to be launched the next quarter.
The main advantage of U°OS over other blockchains is its consensus algorithm called DPoI, which stands for Delegated Proof of Importance. The algorithm introduces the concept of “importance°”, which is used for measuring an account’s influence within the network and consists of its stake, incoming transactional activity, and social activity. At the moment U°Community is the only dApp utilizing these activities for importance° measuring. Importance determines the voting power in electing delegates (block producers and calculating nodes — nodes that calculate importance°) as well as the share of UOS tokens’ dynamic emission.
The algorithm of dynamic emission was implemented for stimulating the network’s growth. If the network is being expanded the algorithm distributes UOS tokens among all the network participants accordingly with their importance° rate. Thus, every U°Community user claims to their own share of the network’s wealth.
U°Community profile is also an account in the U°OS blockchain. Every account has public and private keys generated from a seed phrase during registration. The platform currently does not require a user to provide any personal data such as an email or phone number. A user can voluntarily set up their displaying name, bio, or links to other websites. The profile contains a feed with posts and publications (their own as well as shared) which works similarly to Facebook’s profile. There is also a cover picture, list of followed and following users, “trusted” people (trust — is also a blockchain transaction), list of communities and displayed importance° rate — a number which constantly changes.
Communities are meant to be the main feature of U°Community. Community’s functionality resembles the Facebook groups, so it allows to publish content in them, have discussions, appoint admins, etc. On the platform, you can see the community of philosophers, machine learning and numerous corporate communities.
The content on U°Community can be a post, publication, or comment. A post is a short-read published on one’s own profile or a community’s profile. You can attach media, tag people and so on. A post can be upvoted, downvoted and commented. A publication is a more complex type of content, perfectly suiting for long-reads, resembling publications on Medium. A publication has an advanced and intuitive textual editor. Unlike posts, each publication has its own importance° rate, consisting of the number of upvotes and its quality (overall importance° of upvoters). The top publications can be seen on the U°Community’s main page. The system of tags allows you to quickly navigate throughout the website. Each tag also has its own importance° rate.
As for the content monetization, unlike Steemit’s model, where the author gets rewarded for a single piece of content, U°Community rewards users with dynamic emission accordingly to their importance°. In other words, it rewards a user for their general “usefulness” for the whole network.
Besides social networking features, U°Community provides users with the tools for blockchain network’s governance. In the “Governance” section you can vote for block producers and calculator nodes. As can be seen from the tabs marked “coming soon”, there will be also a possibility to vote for projects and ideas. So, users are empowered to take part in the platform’s development. Unlike the approach of DPoS consensus where your voting power consists of your stake only, in DPoI, your voting power is proportional to your importance° which includes your recognition and approval from the community.
According to the roadmap and public statements made by U°OS team, the following features are to be implemented: offers, “donate” buttons and an advanced interface for DAC and DAO governance.
UOS token is the core token for U°OS ecosystem and the only currency supported by U°Community. This summer, a limited number of ether-based UOS tokens was offered to public through IEO and listed on Bitforex and P2PB2B exchanges. According to the team’s statements, these tokens will be 1:1 swapped to mainnet UOS tokens once the mainnet launches.
Despite the apparent complicity, the multifunctionality of U°Community fits into an intuitive interface. Moreover, the project is oriented to the community to a great extend and seeks to implement a truly decentralized governance model. If the team be able to realize their promises regarding DAC & DAO, U°Community can take over a prominent place amongst social dApps and become a convenient environment for networking. Considering its mechanism of network growth stimulation established in the protocol, U°Community has a potential for rapid expansion. Let’s wait to see the mainnet launch.