Despite being one of the most relied-on resources for customers looking to choose a product or service, the online review world has a couple of black eyes— it’s not always as transparent and forthcoming as we’d like it to be.
However, the technology behind Bitcoin may have a solution.
Revain is looking to be a reliable, regulatory force in online reviews by utilizing the technology behind Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Ethereum open-source code—silver to Bitcoin. It’s a platform for consumers to leave reviews for Initial Coin Offerings, the process of launching a new coin, so they can calculate risk of investment; Cryptocurrency exchanges; reviewing fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG); and e-commerce.
Wait! First, what’s Bitcoin exactly?
Launched in 2008, Bitcoin became the first-ever decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency. It is built on what’s called the Blockchain and is considered the world’s first-ever indelible, public ledger. It can’t be hacked or corrupted.
Every transaction is recorded on the computers, or nodes, that trade or use Bitcoin. And users are anonymous. So, if I sent you one bitcoin, that transaction would be validated and recorded on the personal computers of those involved in the Bitcoin network. If someone wanted to hack it they’d have to steal the data from every computer involved in moving Bitcoin around. On the contrary, were we to go through a bank like most transactions are conducted, someone could just hack into that bank’s database, find the transaction, and steal it along with all of our information—an all-too-common story.
It’s a large selling point in Bitcoin and the some 1200 other Cryptocurrencies that have surfaced in recent years. Instead of relying on a bank as the trusted third party to hold currency, those involved in cryptos rely on the fact that Bitcoin is decentralized and backed by the public ledger, which is, again, indelible. Unchangeable.
What’s this got to do with online reviews?
Well, Ethereum, another form of Cryptocurrency was developed on open source code, allowing anyone to build unique programs and coins off of it. It’s partially the result of there being so many coins out there.
One of those is called Revain. This coin claims to be the first review and customer feedback platform based off of the Blockchain. It is completely incorruptible and unhackable. Once a review is submitted, it is recorded on the Blockchain and can never be deleted or edited.
Like many review platforms, reviews through Revain can be disputed, but that conversation is made 100% public. Every review is vetted for authenticity by both artificial intelligence and manually. And there’s another perk: Customers are rewarded for honest, authentic reviews.
Once a review is vetted by Revain’s process, the customer is paid an RVN Token, which is a stable coin used for all internal operations. That can be traded for an R token, which is meant for all external operations like buying other coins, crowdfunding Revain itself, and then converting to dollars if someone wants to (right now an R Token is worth about $1.42).
How does this all help?
As mentioned earlier, there are some sketchy things happening on both sides of the aisle in online review land.
Something our very own Ginger Jones wrote a fiery rebuttal to is Yelp’s policy on filtering reviews, which allows the site to pick and choose which reviews are posted on a businesses profile. Even Google has its own vanishing act using algorithms to choose which reviews post.
On the other side of the spectrum, businesses out there are even rewarding customers for posting positive reviews about them, offering anything from discounts to free stuff and beyond. This means there are tons of reviews out there based on lies, helping neither the consumers nor the business.
Down the middle are businesses, review platforms, and customer editing their reviews, whether it be change of heart or by way of incentive. While we encourage updating reviews, it should be constructive and transparent. A customer leaves a business a nasty review, the business should reach out, offer their apologies, and provide some incentive to return for another try, then ask them to rewrite their review. But what about a business potentially finding a way to edit reviews, or a consumer suddenly backing out of their negative review because of backdoor coaxing or, an actual site editing reviews. Yikes.
Go on (?)
Since Revain, Bitcoin, and Blockchain and all this crypto business is still in its very infancy (like the internet in 1995), we’re not 100% sold on it, but it’s pretty stinking cool.
One thing we’re not sold on is in Revain’s video. They mention that companies who manage other companies’ online management will alter reviews or even delete reviews so their client has the highest review rating possible. Revain will prevent that. As stewards of the industry, we don’t condone anything close to this sort of activity. While WebPunch hopes for a high star-rating for our clients, we also aren’t afraid to hear the dirt. Negative online reviews are a bummer, but can lead to a stronger and more successful brand.
Regardless, this is the first of its kind and its exciting. But just like Cryptocurrencies didn’t stop with Bitcoin, we think online review platforms utilizing the Blockchain, won’t stop with Revain. We’re interested to see what happens next.
To understand more about how the Blockchain works, check out this 2 minute video.
Matthew Van Deventer is a content creator for WebPunch. As a dealer of words he dabbles in journalism and loves a good story, whatever the medium. Matthew lives outside of Denver, CO with his wife, daughter, and pup, Chewy.