The Kin search engine has been developed in Scotland and turns the traditional ad-based, data-harvesting model on its head.
Better Internet Search, the Fife based company behind the unique Kin search engine is doing things very differently.
They have ditched the traditional ad-based revenue model that is universally used by search engines, instead they have developed a new model with a community-based ecosystem and revenue share that enables users to participate in the development and success of the platform.
Blockchain and web 3 ideologies are the foundations of the new platform. This not only facilitates the highest levels of user privacy, but also provides a mechanism for community rewards. Users and supporters’ participation within the platform is the catalyst for both community and revenue growth. Digital tokens with a finite supply are used as incentives and recirculate within the company’s ecosystem. The ‘tokenomics’ model used is explained fully in the company’s white paper.
Pioneering the Next Generation Internet
Kin is the brainchild of serial tech entrepreneur, Dr Gordon Povey, who filed his ideas for a new type of search engine into a patent (now granted) back in 2017. He then worked with cyber-security expert Prof Bill Buchanan and his team at Edinburgh Napier University, and with a grant from the European Union’s Next Generation Internet project they were able to demonstrate a proof-of-concept in the lab.
The Kin revenue model is based on brokerage (finding what people want to buy) rather than advertising (convincing people to buy what you want to sell) and is effective because online sales are now high and continue to grow. Almost all online sales are the result of searches and advertising tends to reduce the efficiency of this process, and biases decisions in favour of known brands and large advertising budgets. This works in favour of the advertiser rather than the customer, but Kin reverses this bias.
The minting of digital tokens on blockchain via a smart contact ensures that only a limited volume of tokens can exist, and this enables the company to raise funds via token sales to supporters. The first of these opened on 1st November 2022 and on 1st December the tokens purchased will begin to be distributed into supporter’s digital wallets.
The growth of the Kin community (and the continuous need for user rewards) creates a demand for the finite tokens and increases its value over time. Profit sharing provides a fund to buy and recycle tokens within the ecosystem. This gives the token its utility within the ecosystem and liquidity in the wider market. While raising funds via token sales is certainly not unique, it is very rare in Scotland and again underlines this company’s approach to doing things differently in order to disrupt the status quo.
The unbranded Kin prototype has been tested by early adopters around the globe and is available for Digital Scotland readers to try. The beta and full release version are scheduled for early in 2023. The above table demonstrates the significant differentiation that Kin has from other search engines in the market.