SnipCoin- The Future of News on the Blockchain
Snip is a decentralized, user-generated news platform where anyone can write a news story (“snip”) about a topic of their choice, and read news on the issues they care about. The platform has no editor deciding what’s fit to print and the decision which content to view is made personally, by community users. Snip’s goal is to become the place where people go to learn and stay updated on any subject - politics, tech, sports, art, philosophy, etc. The stories are presented to readers in an algorithmic feed, tailored to each user’s interests using open-source algorithms (detailed in section 2.4). People are busy and prefer to read concise content, so the platform will be oriented towards short content. Writers will be able to post content of any length.. The platform is powered by the community, with members writing stories, voting on the best stories, engaging in discussions, and rewarding contributors with tokens. The important role of community feedback gives writers an incentive to create high-quality content. The voting mechanism also assists in personalizing content for users, creating a feed which is truly valuable and interesting. By harnessing the power of the community, Snip aims to become the top news destination on every subject. Importantly, the product will be accessible to anyone, and will not require an understanding of cryptocurrencies and tokens. The Snip platform will feature a new Ethereum-based (ERC20) token named SnipCoin, which is used to buy products on the Snip network and to reward content contributors. The role of the token is detailed in the following pages.
How it works
At the heart of the platform is SnipCoin, a new ERC20 token.
- Advertisers pay with SnipCoin to buy ad space.
- Readers can tip writers with SnipCoin or pay for premium services like ad-free Snip, personalized audio podcast and professional content.
- Writers are rewarded with SnipCoin when snippets are awesome.
Freedom of Speech
As opposed to other platforms, users in the Snip community will enjoy freedom
of speech, without a centralized authority dictating right from wrong. Therefore:
1. Snip does not censor content on the platform.
2. Users will never be banned or shadow banned.
3. To ensure the integrity of the content, all posts and comments will be stored in
the decentralized service IPFS.
4. On the Snip website, content may be redacted according to local law, for
instance in cases of copyright violations or violent threats.
News stories need to be original and provide insight. Stories that copy content
from an existing news story (without consent of the creator) remain on the IPFS
network but do not appear on the Snip platform, and the writer is notified. Content
contributors are asked to provide references for stories (if such a reference exists), and
to decide on the percentage they want to share with the referenced publisher, with a
10% minimum, a figure which is subject to future changes based on the discretion of
the Snip company. Revenue sharing rewards original journalism and helps it flourish,
especially once Snip becomes a large platform where many people get their news. The
Snip company will share revenue with individual contributors, publishers or
non-profits (such as Wikipedia) but not with corporations or governments that offer
content for free. Of course, regardless of the Snip company’s policy, members of the
community can reward tokens for content on their own terms.
Personalization & Content Filtering
The Snip platform is intended to be the most complete news source on any
topic or current event. As a result, the volume of content will certainly be more than
any single user can consume. The solution is a personal feed with customized content.
The algorithm aims to reach a high hit rate , meaning that the feed should contain a
large percentage of articles which interest the reader. This enables high quality
notifications, keeping users informed about the topics they value most.
To reach a high hit rate, the content is personalized for each user using
open-source algorithms, some developed by the Snip company and some by the
community. Users choose their own preferred personalization algorithm when they
register, and can change it at any time. They can follow favorite contributors, boosting
them in the algorithm. By making the algorithms open source, as opposed to those of
platforms like Facebook or Twitter, Snip ensures transparency and allows for the kind
of constant improvement that only a community of contributors can achieve. In stark
contrast to today’s news publishers, Snip has no editorial board and does not decide
which stories are fit to print and which are not.
To assist developers, Snip provides an API and publishes sample datasets to
allow developers to test their own algorithms. The following is a partial list of features
which are or will be available to developers:
1. Post publish date.
2. Text features - keywords, topic, length, etc.
3. Reactions from similar users.
6. Marked as spam.
8. A list of the user’s followed contributors.
9. Contributors’ metadata including number of followers, region, language, etc.
The Snip company rewards developers for creating useful personalization algorithms
with tokens reserved for that purpose.
Users need to feel safe when using the Snip platform. Therefore, along with
choosing their preferred news feed personalization algorithm, users can add their own
rules to filter out content that they prefer not to see. For example, users may choose not
to view content they believe to be fake news, or content deemed to be of poor quality
by community members they trust. This can be done in a few ways::
1. Blocking posts or comments from specific users.
2. Blocking specific words (or word groups) from appearing in the personal
newsfeed or notifications.
3. Choosing a spam filter - users can choose their own spam filter (or no filter at
all), in the same manner as the personalization algorithm.
By default, these filters are not public so that each user’s privacy is protected. Of
course, users can choose to share these filters publicly if they want, allowing others to
Encouraging Diverse, High-Quality Content
Snip’s goal is to cover everything happening the world, but some things are
much easier to write about than others. For instance, it may take a writer 30 seconds to
share a funny anecdote, whereas explaining a complicated scientific breakthrough in
simple words could easily take the same writer 30 minutes.
If the only incentive for content contributors is the number of clicks or likes,
most of the content on the platform remains basic, easy-to-create content, and
high-quality content is not rewarded. To avoid this, the Snip company uses a portion of
the tokens as an incentive mechanism in the following manner:
1. Rewarding scarce content - Tokens will be added to content categories that are
poorly represented on the platform. If, for instance, there is a shortage in live
sports coverage on the platform, bonus tokens will be rewarded specifically to
live sports snips.
2. Suggestions from readers - If readers express interest in an event or a news story,
these requests are posted anonymously, and writers receive bonus tokens for
writing a snip on the requested subject or story.
Categories and reader suggestions are visible to everyone in the community
and all writers have the opportunity to collect the bonus tokens by writing an engaging
To assist the news feed algorithms and the incentive systems, contributors are required
to note the category of their snip. Some of the suggested categories are:
● Breaking News
● Science and Technology News
● Politics Op/Ed
● Live Sports
Machine Learning algorithms can help contributors with the categorization and
readers are encouraged to flag content if it is categorized incorrectly. An additional
algorithm receives the writer’s decided category and user feedback and decides on the
appropriate category. All algorithms are open-source and available to the community.
User data is private and is never shared with third-parties. User votes are
private and cannot be seen by anyone else, unless the user decides to share them.
Snip and the Open Web
The content published on the platform is searchable and available for everyone
to read and does not require logging in or providing personal information, such as an
email address or Facebook login.
Professional content, intended for subscribers, will be locked to non-paying
users. This is expected to be only a small minority of the content on the platform.
The Snip Token (SnipCoin)
SnipCoin is the exclusive token of the Snip platform, and can be used both for
rewarding content contributors and for rewards for the various services.
The total number of SnipCoins is 10,000,000,000 (ten billion), minted in
advance. The Snip company rewards contributors with SnipCoins from two sources:
1. An initial pool of 2,100,000,000 SnipCoins designated in the token sale (to be
detailed in this paper). The initial amount of weekly SnipCoins is 15,500,000,
and will decrease by 57,500 SnipCoins every week, until reaching 0 over 267
weeks (5 years).
2. The platform’s revenue - A large portion of the platform’s revenue (in
SnipCoins) is added to the pool, and a small cut of the revenue is passed on to
the Snip company.
Revenue from subscriptions and ads is expected to increase over time as the network
grows, and its share out of the total pool size will constantly grow. Eventually the
share of pre-allocated SnipCoins is expected to become negligible, as demonstrated in
the chart below.
To raise the funds required to continue platform development and maintenance,
a SnipCoin crowdsale will be held on September 29th, 2017, at 23:00 UTC..
● Our goal is to raise $8 million USD (hard cap). Upon reaching the goal the sale
will stop and no more contributions will be accepted.
● The minimum goal for the crowdsale is $0.8 million USD (soft cap).
Contributors will be refunded if the goal isn’t reached.
● The duration of the sale will be no more than 30 days .
● 10 billion SnipCoins (SNP) will be minted, of which 80% are designated to
the community and the contributors . The initial distribution of tokens will
○ 28% is available in the crowdsale .
○ 30% will be sold in the future token sale and will be locked for 3 years.
○ 21% is reserved for the initial pool of contributor rewards. This is kept
in a time-locked vault and released every month according to the
amount transferred to the contributors during that month, with a hard
limit of 90,000,000 SNP. A portion of the contributor reward pool is
reserved for community developers (bug bounties, contributing
○ 20.5% is designated for the Snip company and will be used internally
and for advisors and partner companies. Snip employees and founders
will not hold tokens prior to the sale and will not be rewarded with
tokens in the first 6 months after the sale. In the period of 6 to 12
months after the sale, Snip employees and founders will be rewarded
with no more than 4% of the total tokens.
○ 0.5% is designated for the Snip bounty, helping to spread the word
about the Snip platform before the crowdsale.
● Exchange rate:
○ The current exchange rate is 1 ETH = 310K SnipCoins (SNP). Since
the price of Ethereum fluctuates, the official ETH/SNP conversion rate
will be announced publicly a day before the sale. Unless Snip provides
an official update of the ETH/SNP conversion rate, the conversion rate
will stay constant during the sale period.
● The sale will start on September 29th, 2017, 23:00 UTC
The roadmap includes three stages as described below.
Snip 0.1 - Live Now
Includes interesting news stories on various topics, an option to tip writers, and
a subscription service which allows users to receive an audio version of the news. The
token system, once launched, will provide holders with subscription credits for the
Snip 0.2 - Alpha
An invitation-only version, used to test the initial product and receive feedback
from content contributors on the incentive model.
● Web version with basic UX
● Comments and voting
● Basic personalization
● Basic content filtering (anti-spam)
● Newsfeed API for community developers
● Payment to contributors for posts
Snip 1.0 - Public Beta
This is the first version intended for the general public, and includes the
following features, in addition to features suggested by the community:
● Web version with improved UX
● Mobile version (iOS/Android)
● Blocking/muting of accounts
● Several content filters and anti-abuse algorithms
● Bonus tokens for diverse content
Snip 2.0 - Full-scale product
● User profiles and tagging
● Additional Languages
● Ad auction support
● Ad-free subscription
● Improved personalization
● Payment to contributors for comments
● Professional content subscription