An article from July 2020, following India’s ban on TikTok, discussed that the few upstart apps offering similar services all saw a boost in their usage. The article also doubted whether any of these apps, including Roposo, Miltron, or Chingari, had what it would take to become a “TikTok patch” for the Indian market.
As Chingari breaks through the 85 million download threshold—with plenty of momentum to hit 100 million before 2022—it’s clear that some predictions do not age well.
The app and its story have been making waves throughout its meteoric rise. It is one of few social apps on the market that are creator-focused, attracting major talent to populate the platform with crowd-pleasing content while giving the lion’s share of revenue to the creators vs. the platform. This has attracted major pop culture star power, including Bollywood superstar Salman Khan as the Chingari brand ambassador.
In a single year, the app has exploded because it has set up a place where creators can make a living, and where users can enjoy the content. Based on their roadmap, this was the “easy” part. What comes next, if successful, will be groundbreaking. But can a social media platform incorporate crypto the way that Chingari has planned?
What kind of “Crypto” is $GARI?
Before we can dig into the planned use cases for $GARI, it’s important to understand, at least at a high level, what type of crypto platform is running Chingari and its $GARI token. When many people hear the terms “blockchain” or “crypto”, the first things they might think of is Bitcoin or similar cryptocurrency, the extreme amounts of planet-killing energy needed to mine it, the major gas fees for a single transaction, or the significant delays to verify a transaction.
To be clear: Chingari is none of these. It is run on the Solana ecosystem, which is a blockchain set up for networks like Chingari to have many different transactions take place very quickly—their current estimates are up to 65,000 transactions per second. For reference, this is 10,000 times faster than Bitcoin and even 2.5 times faster than the leading credit card. The key to this is their specific Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus model, the protocol that ensures the blockchain is processing and storing data error- and tamper-free.
The older model, Proof of Work (PoW), is where crypto mining comes into play and uses vast amounts of energy. Proof of Stake eliminates this work, allowing some platforms to manage their ecosystems in a carbon-neutral way. With major plans to expand its customer base, and plans to introduce many new possible transactions, Chingari is in the right place with Solana. Similar apps with a high number of planned users and transactions are also seeking chains like Solana or similar PoS models.
Planned Use Cases
Setting aside the question of “can they do it?”, let’s look at the plans for the $GARI token itself. What do blockchain platforms use their tokens for if not as a pseudo trading stock?
Crypto tokens can help a platform do many different things in three main categories.:
A key purpose of the $GARI will be as a governance token. For those unfamiliar, this is fairly common practice with crypto platforms and helps to decentralize and democratize how the platform operates. Simply put, users who have tokens can stake (agree to hold their tokens for a certain length of time) in order to be part of the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). More tokens stakes for longer periods mean more of a voice in the DAO. Members of the DAO can propose changes or new ideas for the platform, including using treasury funds to pay for developing new features. The DAO votes on proposed ideas, ensuring that the future of the platform is community-driven.
It’s important to note that users who stake tokens are typically rewarded via APY so they can watch their investment grow as a reward for showing faith in the platform.
Creator Collaborative Usage
In true innovation, Chingari plans to pave the way for users to not only support their favorite creators but to invest and potentially profit from their support. Users can stake tokens into a given creator’s “pool”; in a way, this is like betting on that creator’s success. The creator can make money out of the pool and use it to generate content; the gains from the creator’s royalties are used to pay back the pool and reward those who contributed. Businesses can also choose to back their favorites and help fund creative projects. Whether Chingari can successfully roll this out depends on a number of factors; this is a complex structure, with a number of players and motivations. It’s sure to have unforeseen complications, and their ability runs a test/innovate cycle as the feature is rolled out will determine if it is both feasible and popular with creators/fans.
The $GARI token will also play a role as an in-app currency, helping users and creators complete transactions smoothly without the help of external banking systems (which also helps Chingari seamlessly expand internationally). While Chingari is not the only platform with this feature on their roadmap, the extent of their use cases go beyond what other platforms, both traditional and crypto, have planned. This is because it introduces many different ways for creators to earn revenue—and for fans to connect with their favorite stars. According to Chingari’s roadmap, here are some of the plans for $GARI within the platform:
- Advertisers can approach and pay creators directly with $GARI
- Creators can convert their videos into NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which are unique, provably authentic creations; they can sell their content to fans on the platform’s NFT Marketplace, earning extra revenue for content they’ve already created (helping the work they’ve done earn money twice!), and giving their fans the chance to own what is essentially a custom collectible.
- Creators can use the platform to develop educational courses, which can be paid for by students with $GARI; this incentivizes creators to develop content that is both useful and entertaining.
- Creators can set up their own channel with specific services for fans, allowing them to earn additional revenue while at the same time giving fans very authentic access and helping them connect even more with their community. Creators can offer $GARI-paid services such as subscribing to their club (with extra perks for members), setting up a video call or chat, creating a personalized video message, giving a shout out, buying physical and digital merchandise, asking for other special requests the creator might be willing to do, and even giving a tip of appreciation. With so many potential revenue streams, savvy creators with something valuable to offer fans really can make a living using the platform, and without having to use separate platforms to serve regular and super fans—as many creators do; for example, setting up on both YouTube/TikTok and Patreon/Locals.
The $GARI use cases are at the heart of Chingari’s roadmap. They are extremely ambitious, and even the more common use cases are only just now being rolled out by the bleeding edge platforms. There is a lot of uncertainty because of just how big the plans are for the platform. However, if their team can pull it off, it will kick off the first Web 3.0 social media platform.
With 85+ million users, it’s possible that Chingari will act as a catalyst for the crypto adoption title wave that has been predicted since blockchain was first developed. Their progress has been solid, Chingari has aligned the incentives of creators and fans alike to adopt crypto through $GARI, and their business model balances growth for the platform as well as its population of creators. The only question left is, can Chingari pull off one of the most ambitious blockchain roadmaps to date? Given the astounding growth in the crypto industry over the last two years, and given a rising comfort level with crypto, the community might just help Chingari’s roadmap become reality.