The Next Big Thing in Crypto: Watch-to-Earn

The unique, innovative solutions offered up by the cryptocurrency and blockchain space in the past few years have been manyfold: from expanding access to financial services by building decentralized economic systems, to creating NFTs (non-fungible tokens) that can be applied to a plethora of industries ranging from fashion and art, gaming, event ticketing, video streaming, and many more.

Now, a new wave of crypto projects is emerging that build on the virtues of financial independence by offering internet users a way to make money from something they do every day: watching YouTube videos.

Watch-to-Earn (W2E) projects are those which make the everyday process of watching content on the internet profitable for the end viewer. Normally the video content industry sees revenue distributed between the content creator and the platform owners, with advertisers occupying a role between the two.

But the W2E movement brings the audience into the fold for the first time, allowing them to earn rewards not for suffering through mind-numbing adverts, but for watching and engaging with the content of their favorite creators.

Passive income is a familiar concept in the Web3 space, but its applications until now have been less than inspired. Staking coins in return for passive rewards has been around for years, but this imposes a big risk on the staker, who must lock-up a sizable portion of their funds in order to generate returns. Staking protocols typically see their rate of returns fluctuate wildly, making the endeavor unreliable as well as risky.

The GameFi (gaming finance) arena has also offered up the chance to generate passive income by playing blockchain-based games. However, these ‘games’ often resemble little more than one-click staking protocols with added graphics, failing to achieve success as one or the other.

Watch-to-Earn introduces the possibility for real passive income for the first time by integrating the reward mechanism with an activity that most internet users do every day. 

Projects such as XCAD Network make this integration seamless by offering up a free browser plugin that works natively with YouTube. Video audiences earn crypto rewards for the time they spend watching video content, and these rewards can then be traded and sold on the open market.

Content creators who take part in XCAD’s reward system create their own unique, customizable tokens to distribute to their fans, without disrupting any usage agreement they may have with YouTube or advertisers. 

In this way, Watch-to-Earn projects like XCAD effectively piggyback on the scale and success of an already established platform like YouTube, offering up tools that work in tandem with the platform, and not against it. 

Several projects have attempted to reward audience members for their viewing habits in the past, but these have typically been limited to their own specific viewing platforms, meaning users have had to hop around from website to website in search of rewards, which, in turn, has fostered a profiteering rush to the bottom.

With YouTube integration set to go live in the coming weeks, and Twitch integration slated to be unveiled very soon, XCAD would appear to offer an evolution of the Watch-to-Earn concept that makes watching videos on the internet profitable for the first time.

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