Hello! BlockTalkers & Blockchain Enthusiastic!
We recently hosted an AMA with Presearch, on February 10th at 02.00 PM UTC. Many of you might have participated or many of not. But we make sure no one missed out from the knowledge shared by Colin Pape, CEO at Presearch so here we are up with the AMA transcript, for those who missed the live session, this blog post will be a saver & feeder of knowledge for them.
Introduction Questions Asked By Team BlockTalks
Q1. Could you please introduce Presearch to our community in layman’s term?
Ans — Presearch is a decentralized search engine, powered by user nodes that provide results as good as the world’s top centralized search engines, but while protecting your privacy and providing you with rewards in the form of PRE tokens when you search.
We also have an innovative advertising platform that uses what we call Keyword Staking to determine which ads are displayed. Whoever stakes the most PRE has their ad displayed and there’s currently no actual cost for traffic until at least the end of June this year. :)
Q2. What are the major milestones Presearch achieved so far & what are in the future pipeline?
Ans — So last time it was the release of keyword staking.
Since then, we’ve accomplished a lot!
Got listed on KuCoin in April of 2020 and cut our supply 50% to 500m PRE, which is massive!
We secured a new CTO in June of 2020 — Trey Grainger is an expert on open source search and was previously SVP of Engineering at Lucidworks.com. They power search for Reddit.com and a lot of the Fortune 500 using open source technology (Solr/ Lucene).
We released a new white paper last July — https://presearch.io/vision.pdf with some great detail on the project and our approach.
After that, we revamped out token withdrawal management system to make us better able to withstand high ETH gas fees, though it’s become a problem again now that ETH fees are at new record levels. We are looking at different options now including Matic for L2 scaling, potentially different chains, etc.
During this time, we were working hard on our new decentralized search engine powered by user nodes.
In September / October, we got caught up in the KuCoin hack and had to do a token swap. It was fairly urgent to thwart the hacker, and so it wasn’t really on our roadmap and we didn’t have a ton of time to consider chain swaps. We stuck with Ethereum, but implemented a new smart contract which then enabled us to use decentralized exchanges like Uniswap. Our original contract was locked down too much and wasn’t compatible with DEXs.
So now we’re on Uniswap, and I think there’s close to $1m in liquidity there, which is great.
After that, we released a new website at https://presearch.io to better communicate what the project is about and provide more information on where we’re heading.
We followed up on that with the launch of a beta node operator program in December.
You can learn more about nodes at https://nodes.presearch.org.
If you want to be part of the beta, there’s a form to fill out that you can find at that site.
On January 28th, we soft launched our new decentralized search engine, which you can access by searching through https://presearch.org.
The results are WAY better than in the past, with more related information, rich content such as photos and videos, and the best part is that it’s being powered by nodes, which is enabling it to be much more decentralized. The current nodes are being operated by us, but sometime next month we plan to bring all of the nodes on the testnet onto mainnet, and then launch officially to the public.
We’ve been busy, but it’s been a super exciting year of progress, despite all of the covid stuff going on!
Now that we are getting into full marketing mode, we’ve expanded the team, hired a new PR firm that represents a number of top-tier crypto projects, and are getting ready to really go to market.
There’s a huge opportunity with the big tech backlash underway. Many people are looking for alternatives, and Presearch is starting to get recognized.
2021 will be all about growth — we are targeting 10 million registered users, up from our current 1.9 million.
There’s been huge interest in the node opportunity, which is amazing! A new telegram group that we launched less than 2 weeks ago already has almost 900 members!
Questions Asked on Twitter For Presearch Team!
Q1. What is the advantage of the new Presearch Engine powered by decentralized nodes and what strategies are you planning to expand the Presearch network and increase demand for tokens with ad stakers?
Ans — The biggest difference is the quality of results. It’s enabled us to have results as good as any of the top centralized search engines. The platform that we’ve created with these worker nodes is highly-versatile and can be used to access a multitude of resources on the web, and then incorporate that data into the platform.
The plan is to use this information for the underlying foundational data to ensure we have great results for any query, and then we are building our own index of community-curated content on top.
This will enable us to be censorship-resistant and to overcome any of the biases that exist in traditional results.
Tons planned to drive demand for keyword staking, but the first step is to really ramp up the user base. As it becomes larger and more engaged, then the ad platform is more valuable to advertisers.
Our head of keyword staking, Ed Reese, is building out a campaign to onboard many crypto projects onto the platform, and we already have a ton of interest, including from some top 100 projects everyone is familiar with that will be going live in the coming weeks.
We will also be holding regular webinars, setting up a keyword staking university / learning portal, doing outreach to agencies, and continuing to target affiliate marketers.
Q2. What are the hardware requirements to run a Presearch node? Do you have a guide to help non-technical PRE owners get the node up and running on their computer?
Ans — For anyone who wants more information on keyword staking, the url is https://keywords.presearch.org
The hardware requirements are pretty minimal — basically currently an Intel-based processor (we’ll be supporting ARM / Raspberry Pi in the future), 1 GB of RAM and a solid internet connection. Your software needs to be able to run Docker.com, which limits some OSes from working.
You can learn how to get going at https://nodes.presearch.org, and there are some instructions there already that are pretty straightforward.
We have everyone from tech CTOs to truck drivers running nodes currently — I believe there are around 400 nodes online right now, and many people have said it’s by far the easiest setup they’ve ever done!
Many are up and running within 15 minutes. We’re also working on some 2–3-click deploys on existing computing infrastructure with partners like ThreeFold.io and MNTank.com…
Q3. What is the top milestone you achieved so far since inception?
What are your plans and roadmaps for 2021 we should expect
Are there partnerships you would unviel how do you intend to dominate in the block chain space?
Ans — Definitely the launch of the decentralized search engine a couple of weeks ago. This is what we set out to do in our initial white paper, and it’s so exciting to see it all come to life! Sometimes it feels like we’re mad scientists in the classic “It’s alive! Muahaha!” scene!
It’s super cool to have so many amazing community members supporting us. I’m excited that we’re delivering this resource to people at a critical time, as more people are being deplatformed and censored. I really think this is going to be important to the future of freedom on the internet moving forward.
You can view the vision paper (https://presearch.io/vision.pdf) for our current roadmaps, though we will be releasing a new version later this month.
Not intending to unveil partnerships today, but there will be a constant stream of them coming throughout the year. There are some really complementary projects, and as our profile increases, we’re getting approached a lot to partner.
We have significant usage, a passionate community, real usable everyday tech, and a great team. People want to be associated with all of those things.
Our recently-announced partnership with ThreeFold.io is exciting, as they are some of the leaders in decentralized cloud computing, and it’s a really natural fit.
Presearch really is one of the lowest-friction on-ramps to crypto for people who are new to the space, and we intend to onboard millions into the world of blockchain! Maybe not dominate, but support mass adoption in a meaningful way. :)
Q4. Aside from being decentralized search engine, how would most people prefer to use this search engine instead of google? What is your marketing strategy to dominate online search worldwide if you are competing with google?
Ans —There are a number of reasons:
1. In time, we can actually provide better results than Google because of the community packages that will enable Presearch to empower tens of thousands of people around the world to contribute to the results provided. Google has huge money, but we can have more passionate people who are subject matter experts contributing and being rewarded.
2. We can provide censorship-resistant results that are not biased due to the views of a handful of Big Tech company CEOs. That is increasingly important in a world where access to information is starting to be restricted.
3. People can earn cryptocurrency and be rewarded for using the platform, providing infrastructure and spreading the word about Presearch.
4. People can actually be part of a movement to maintain and restore freedom of access to information on the web. For many, this is their primary motive for joining the project. We LOVE those people!
At this point, we are being realistic and we aren’t setting out to dominate search — we are already a viable project economically, and with any degree of meaningful market share, this will be a top 100 crypto project.
We are confident that we will get there as things ramp up throughout the year.
People are hungry for change and something like this that is totally usable in their everyday lives, and which enables them to be part of the change they want to see in the world.
Millions are quitting Big Tech, and while most are currently going to DuckDuckGo, it is still a big tech company, funded by VCs and pension funds, with only a limited connection to the community.
Presearch is built by and for the community, and with all of the value of the project being focused around the PRE token, as the network grows, all of the token holders will be the ones to benefit from this growth, through more utility for the token and their ability to use it for marketing and other purposes within the platform, with increased liquidity for those who are earning or reselling tokens, and with easier uptake from new members as the word begins to spread about the project.
As we get to critical mass, our early believers and our new members are the ones who reap the rewards. It’s a positive feedback loop that will eventually enable us to really take marketshare from the incumbents.
If anyone is looking for additional info on the project, our updates are on Medium at https://presearch.medium.com.
Q5. New this year BSC (Binance Smart Chain). What do you think about this BSC in Blockchain progress / development? Will you join the BSC later?
Ans —We are definitely looking at BSC. We’re discussing the potential for a side chain to help us distribute rewards, especially in light of the current ETH gas situation where transfers are costing $15 — $45… It’s not economical to do smaller transfers with those kinds of costs, and so that’s speeding up the potential adoption of a chain like BSC.
It does seem to check a lot of the boxes with low fees, fast transactions, a robust development environment, and of course, backing from Binance and having a potential doorway into that ecosystem is highly valuable.
Questions Asked by our BlockTalks Community Members during live Session to Presearch Team!!
Q1. How is the marketing and development of $PRE going? How many users in total do you have registered to your search engine since inception?
Ans — We are at 1.9m registered users so far, and recently crossed 1m searches per day.
Q2. You recently burn 50% of total supply. What was the reason for this token Burn? Will you burn more token in future?
Ans — It was really just to force us to focus more. In light of the covid situation, the bitcoin halvening, etc., we realized that we needed to step up our game, and this was one way to really force that to happen. No, there will be no additional reductions.
Q3. What is Presearch long-term vision about the industry which you are working on? Are you afraid some day there will be another project with more innovative technology can replace your project?
Ans — The long-term vision is a free and open internet, where users can be secure in their privacy and data, compensated for their usage, and able to freely move between services that best support their needs.
We want to build the internet that we want to use. Right now, it’s much to centralized, and the economics of it are completely broken with everything flowing away from users and into the pockets of just a few companies. We want to see this flipped, where users benefit alongside the platforms they support, in more of a partnership-like model.
Q4. I’m Interested in running a node on your testnet, how do I go about it, any guidelines to put me through?
Q5. Smart contracts are vulnerable to bugs, and even recently three big new DeFi projects were victims of this, costing users funds. How efficient and secured is your smart contract, and did you ever audit it via any external party?
Ans — Our latest smart contract uses the OpenZeppellin framework, which is the most established smart contract framework in use by many projects. It was audited by Peckshield, a top smart contract auditor. Security is definitely a serious concern.
Q6. While you build your project, do you take into account community feedbacks and demands?
Ans — Absolutely, we do! We are very community-driven, and we are active in our Telegram channels, constantly interacting with members and incorporating their suggestions and feedback into the platform.
Q7. What is your top 3 things for priorities in 2021? Could you share some plans for the upcoming year?
Ans — Launch the decentralized, node-powered search engine to the public sometime next month.
Market Presearch to people who are looking to quit big tech.
Target 10m registered users and a spot in the top 100 projects list.
Q8. How does Presearch plan to provide advertisers with more value while maintaining user privacy?
Ans — The beauty of search is that we don’t need to invade user privacy. They indicate their needs and have transactional intent when they search, so all that’s really needed for advertisers to obtain significant value is to know the keyword that was searched.
There is huge value already because the traffic is currently free. Google Adwords is insanely expensive.
As our user base grows, the value of ads will increase as well. There are a ton of interesting features we can provide to advertisers to improve their engagement while respecting users — ex. different UIs, different staking options, etc.
Q9. Using Presearch as a case study, could you tell us some of the benefits of decentralized search engine and why we should choose it over centralized alternatives like Google, go to hell, etc.?
Ans — We respect users and share rewards with them.
We preserve their privacy and put them in control.
We can provide better user experiences as we aren’t trying to do everything top-down — people can use community packages to build experiences that are triggered by certain keywords and provide users with really rich information right on the site.
Q10. For those concerned about Big Tech’s dominance, what is the advantage of being backed by Presearch, the alternative platforms Flote, Parler and MeWe?
Ans — I think the biggest advantage is that we actually listen to users, and the ability to contact and influence the project is much more egalatarian… Ex. anyone can jump in Telegram, and interact with us.
Google and Big Tech companies have huge walls up around them. To get feedback to them, you’d need to pass through layer after layer.
They are funded by VCs who are looking for exits. We are backed by our communities and therefore won’t sell them out just to make money for behind-the-scenes investors.
This drives completely different decisions and behaviors. We’re in it for the long-term to deliver value to our communities as our core mission and focus.
Q11. More than 1.5 million of people have already registered to use Presearch, what is you biggest audience at the moment? Are focusing in a special market like European or Asian and why?
Ans — Presearch is currently big in Central and South America. We are targeting growth in North America next, as it’s our backyard, but certainly want to see growth all over the world!
Q12. Does Presearch have an advertiser ranking system that reflects the quality of a particular ad provider?
Ans — There is currently a community feedback system, but no current advertising quality ranking system. That will likely come in the future, though we have some other interesting mechanisms available to use, such as inverse keyword staking that will enable community members to vote with their tokens to suppress certain ads. We feel like that’s an interesting way to handle quality control.
Q13. It’s your 2rd AMA in Blocktalks Community. why you need to do AMA again in this community? We really curious to know that what is the main purpose behind that?
Ans —Lots of new developments with the project, particularly the new search engine, and also many new community members here that aren’t aware of Presearch. We’re happy to stay connected to the BlockTalks community and count Comrade and Alex as friends. :)
Q14. Will Presearch collect data about their users location? Google has a log of users location, how will Presearch securely store this information?
Ans — Great question. So in the new engine, there’s a ‘globe’ icon that users can use to enable / disable location as a factor with their search results!
If someone turns it on, it basically takes your IP and then maps it against a database to resolve the general region — ex. city / county level. This happens in real-time. We don’t store the information on our end. This region is then passed into the query.
If it’s disabled, then no geographic information is included.
The way the node system works is that a node gateway removes all personally identifying information, passes in just the query, language (detected from the browser) and the location as outlined above to the node, and then the node returns results to the gateway. So nodes have zero access to user information aside from what’s provided to them.
Q15. The node is designed to stop periodically for a software update and need to be restarted, How are search queries coming to the node during this period handled? Won’t it impact the node reliability score?
Ans — When the node is offline, it doesn’t receive queries, so there’s no issue with them being unanswered or anything like that.
Nodes that are persistently connected will have a higher quality score than nodes that drop off frequently, and so they would receive less queries. However, restarts for a software update would not be enough to impact the overall uptime of the node or the quality score.
Q16. How do you plan to grow your user base to maximize advertiser value before going into paid traffic mode?
Ans — We are positioning ourselves alongside DuckDuckGo, which has been growing massively, to benefit from the exodus of people quitting big tech. We will continue to target crypto enthusiasts as well.
We have a timely opportunity, and so people want to share us all on their own, which is great wind at our back.
We have a number of campaigns underway — from PR to influencer outreach to paid ads, video marketing, sponsorships and other approaches that we are starting to activate. You’re right that we are focused on really ramping things up before we switch over to ‘paid’ mode.
The minimum stake is 1,000 PRE currently, and there is no maximum. Last I looked, Bitcoin was the top search term with more than 6m PRE staked. You can look for yourself at https://keywords.presearch.org.
Q17. How Presearch provides privacy to user data? How to be motivated of using Presearch? What Presearch users get from searching?
Ans — The basic approach is to collect and store as little data as possible.
If you want rewards, you need to provide an email address and a password, but basically that’s all we have. You can see in your reward history your search time stamps. That’s really all the data we have on record.
Presearchers receive PRE tokens when they search — currently 0.25 PRE per search up to 32 searches a day, but this amount is being reduced next week actually, and we are implementing our first version of our tokenomics engine to start shifting to more of a value-for-value model.
Q18. Will you provide Presearch users any analytic tools like Google Analytics does one day? It ‘d be very valuable indeed.
Ans — There definitely needs to be an alternative! It should really be independent though. It’s bizarre that we enable Google to be both the source of our traffic and the ones to validate this information. The wolves are guarding the henhouse.
Q19. What is the strongest advantage that you think will make this team lead the market? in contrast, what weaknesses do you have and how does the team plan to overcome them?
Ans — I think our biggest advantages are our passion for solving the problem, our respect for our community and our focus on creating killer token economics that will drive growth in a way not really seen yet with utility tokens.
Our weakness would probably be that we haven’t been focused on hype. Hype drives a lot of interest in the crypto space.
We’re starting to get better in that respect, but it’s taking a moment to shift gears.
Q20. Is there a fixed amount of any of these tokens and if not, how does supply of each token fluctuate as supply and demand grows or contracts within the Presearch ecosystem?
Ans — Yes, there are only 500m PRE tokens. They come out in the form of rewards or tokens purchased from the project. We are approaching a point where there’s limited supply to mint, and so we are developing a model where tokens are repurchased from holders to be provided to new purchasers.
Eventually, rewards will be paid for more directly by sponsors. Picture it if a sponsor ‘takes over’ Presearch for a day and has their branding on the platform, and in exchange, they cover the cost of rewards for that day. That kind of model. :)