Author: Wang Yanhua
Youdeal founder Ken Dong describes Youdeal as “a Taobao for humans”.
The app already has over 50 million users from China, with people offering all kinds of services from across 300 industries–including fitness, translation, design, programming, and music.
Now, Dong plans to bring the app onto the blockchain. He sees it as the next breakthrough for Youdeal. He told Block Asia, “Blockchain can solve many problems we face. Trading platforms between humans lack trust. If trust can be built, it will decrease risks and be a great boost to the ecosystem.”
This move will make Youdeal one of the largest Internet companies in China to join the blockchain industry.
Dong told Block Asia that Youdeal is currently doing private sales, and its ERC-20 token is expected to be listed in cryptocurrency exchanges in August.
When asked about how Ethereum’s slow transaction speed may affect the feasibility of tokenising his business, Dong said, “We are like an exchange. The transactions taking place within the platform is still centralised, so they will not be affected by Ethereum’s speed. Only when users withdraw money out, the transactions will be recorded on the chain.”
Dong explained how blockchain will be used to build trust for Youdeal, “Important information will be recorded on the blockchain, such as ratings. Ratings are now on centralised servers. They can be changed by the operators, and then they wouldn’t be authentic anymore. That’s a risk consumers have to face. We need blockchain to ensure that all ratings cannot be changed.
“We will also use the encryption technologies of blockchain to protect users’ privacy.”
Besides trust building, Dong also thinks that blockchain will help Youdeal promote a more active community. He said, “Blockchain is not just a technological innovation, but a financial innovation, as it speeds up market capitalisation. Fundraising is made easier.
“App users will be both consumers and shareholders. The more users use the token, the more the value of it increases. Previously, it’s always one party spending and losing money and the other party gaining money. But now, the value of the token increases when you use it. So, users will be encouraged to use their tokens.”
He came to this realisation after his friend sold his blockchain business for USD 200 million. He said, “That has left an impact on me. I started to learn about the advantages of blockchain technology, and I realised that it really can fix a lot of problems.”
Dong told Block Asia that he has set his sights on Youdeal to become a globalised freelancer marketplace. It is going to be available for downloading in Thailand and Hong Kong in a few days’ time. Next, he plans to bring Youdeal to other Southeast Asian countries, followed by South Korea and Japan, and then Europe and America.
The token-based product has undergone testing, and the industrial-scale product can already be downloaded by people within Youdeal, according to Dong. He said, “We are only planning to open it to the public after the token is listed on exchanges in August, so users can purchase the token and spend it.”