The app economy has three main problems:
1. Advertising. Relies on many inefficient middlemen, increasing the cost of user acquisition
for app developers, reducing transparency and generating fraudulent transactions.
Nowadays, only 4% of the app downloads are triggered by advertising.
2. App monetisation and in-app purchases (IAP). Still not massified and can be costly. IAPs
rely on payment methods and flows that are not accessible to many users. Especially in
emerging markets where the transactions costs are high, with significant margins being taken
by payment processors and other FinTech middlemen. Currently, only 5% of users purchase
items in apps.
3. App approval. Inefficient process related with users’ cybersecurity and apps quality
assurance that is currently being handled by each centralised app store with non-transparent
flows and policies that affect developers’ and users’ trust.
The solution is AppCoins, an open and distributed protocol for app stores based on the Ethereum
blockchain. It proposes to move all three flows to the blockchain. This removes intermediation
and redistributes the value released in a way that creates incentives for end-users, developers and
app stores alike.
In advertising, the protocol guarantees not only that the users install apps but that they pay
attention to it for at least 2 minutes. AppCoins calls this Cost Per Attention (CPAt). The value invested
by the developer in CPAt is used to award users with AppCoin tokens. IAP will grow with users using
their earned AppCoins or by purchasing them through exchanges. App approvals are made
universal and more transparent through a developer reputation system. The reputation is tied to the
financial transactions on the public ledger and is auditable. A dispute system will be created so that
AppCoin owners can vote to rank developers.
The AppCoins business model will have a considerable impact on the app economy. It enables
a transition towards a circular economy, reusing value that was previously drained by intermediaries.
For now, the AppCoins protocol will focus on the Android market, which has 81.7% of market share.
The first app store to integrate the AppCoins protocol is Aptoide. With over 200 million active users,
4 billion downloads and 6 years on the market, it is one of the biggest third-party Android app stores.
Aptoide projects that more than 1.3 billion users will use app stores powered by AppCoins in 5 years.