This section explains App Mining, a program for developers. For Blockstack, App Mining is a crucial factor in the growth of both blockchain applications and users.
- What is App Mining?
- How apps are reviewed
- Reaching the final scores
- Determining how much an app is paid
What is App Mining?
Traditionally the term mining in cryptocurrency refers to the process of contributing compute resources to the network and earning a reward. On the Blockstack network, however, instead of just mining through computation, developers also can mine by contributing apps to the ecosystem and making applications the community wants.
Founders that build apps using Blockstack developer tools like Blockstack Auth get paid each month, in amounts proportional to that month’s app quality ranking. Blockstack PBC, in cooperation with App.co, currently administers the payouts. A set of independent app reviewers determines the monthly ranking during the pilot phase.
How apps are reviewed
Blockstack worked with a team of Ph.D. game theorist and economists from Princeton and NYU to put together a ranking algorithm which is fair and resistant to abuse. Blockstack uses the third-party reviewers: Product Hunt, Awario, TryMyUI, and Democracy.. These reviewers are independent, and generally rely on their own proprietary data and insights to generate rankings.
To learn in detail about the reviewers’ methods, see the page on who reviews apps.
Reaching the final scores
Once the reviewer-partners generate reviews, each app has 5 raw scores between 0 and 100 for the following:
- Product Hunt team score
- TryMyUI ALF score
- digital rights review
First Blockstack’s determine a ‘z-score’ for each ranking category community, team, likability, and traction. This is a statistical technique to account for different distributions of scores within categories. Second, Blockstack computes the average and standard deviation of each category. Finally, for each app’s score in that category, Blockstack determines how many standard deviations it is away from the average score in that category.
For example, let’s say a category has an average score of 60, with a standard deviation of 15. A score of 90 would get a z-score of 2, because it’s 2 standard deviations higher than the average.
Once each app has a calculated a z-score in every category, the average of those 4 z-scores results in a final number. A higher number is better than a lower one, and so apps are ranked from highest to lowest.
Determining how much an app is paid
For each App Mining cohort, there is a determined “pot” of total earnings that will get paid to apps. For the Alpha run, App Mining paid a total of $25,000 USD. However, in December 2018, App Mining began paying $100,000 USD each month, with earnings paid out in Bitcoin.
The top app gets paid 20% of the total pot. So, for a pot of $100k, the top app receives $20,000 USD. The next app gets paid 20% of the remaining pot. The remaining pot is $80k, and 20% of that is $16,000. This process continues until every app has been paid.
Here is a chart that visualizes the decay in rewards, depending on rank:
This first release of App Mining uses the initial version of our ranking and payout mechanism. Blockstack has taken care to be thoughtful and fair, but things may change as we learn more and get feedback from the community. Please let us know what you think by commenting in our forum or by emailing us at email@example.com!
The ranking and payout mechanisms are under constant review and are documented at the app mining’s github repository.