Introduction & Features
Credit Protocol Usage Examples
Cost & Economics
Friend in Debt - Our First Demonstration of the Credit Protocol
Friend in Debt - Market Opportunity
Use of Funds & Roadmap
CP and FiD Roadmap
With an eye toward growing the Ethereum universe, BlockMason proudly introduces a jurisdiction agnostic social platform for creating and settling debts with friends on the blockchain: Friend in Debt (FiD), or as we like to think about it:
FiD is more than an application to simplify payment between friends. As you will see, we believe in the power of FiD to enable new types of local economies based on the liquid movement of debt and digital currency through trusted social networks. FiD provides a flexible tool for individuals, especially those without access to traditional banking, to financially engage their communities and build economic institutions that transcend political and geographic boundaries, lowering financial transaction costs, and encouraging the global development of the Ethereum ecosystem.
At BlockMason, we believe in more than just promises, which is why we invite you to test the current version of Friend in Debt right now. Even in this stripped-down, beta version of FiD, we hope that you will see our vision of a decentralized, social network of debt-tracking, lending, and credit extension for communities large and small. FiD enables a new and powerful system of social borrowing and microloans, one with which you and your friends can begin experimenting with today. We refuse to ask for your valuable time and energy without first offering a working product that demonstrates our ambition and proficiency.
Most importantly, we believe blockchain technology has enabled us to develop an essential application—one which empowers individuals to achieve decentralized financial freedom through a complex web of loans and payments within a social network.
We are building the new economy; join it.
We’ve all been there: confronting a neighbor who constantly ‘borrows’ laundry quarters; helping a friend repay the loan for his lambo; throwing haymakers in a fistfight incited by the complications of splitting a check. Friend in Debt, at its heart, is an application for solving such problems and saving friendships. Never again must comrades argue over who paid what when, or for how much. Whether it’s settling a series of dinner bills, recouping those plane tickets to Cabo, or recording invoices for official business transactions, Friend in Debt can handle any transaction you throw its way.
Additionally, boasting an interactive friends list and debt itemization mechanism, Friend in Debt combines the draw of social networking with the power of financial flexibility, a partnership that promises high user engagement, scalability, and even more efficient transactions for businesses of all sizes. Unlike applications such as Venmo, WeChat Pay, or Alipay, Friend in Debt enables a far more complex and rewarding web of transactions than simple spot settlement and immediate debt repayment.
Unlike applications such as Venmo, WeChat Pay, or Alipay, Friend in Debt enables a far more complex and rewarding web of transactions than simple spot settlement and immediate debt repayment.
Our flexibility and friend-sourced loan tracking offers a revolutionary development in the completion of financial transactions of any scale. Anyone who has ever requested a bank loan knows the pain of hand cramps or carpal tunnel caused by endless forms, the awkwardness of Inquisition-like face-to-face interrogations, and the torture of awaiting Credit Committee approval that may never come. By contrast, easier to attain microloans and payday loans are often exploitative, including high interest rates and payback schedules designed to exacerbate debt. Credit card applications, though less frustrating at the outset, too require time and energy, and no one can guarantee that efforts to secure credit lines through any of these options will result in success.
Meanwhile, each of us interacts on a daily basis with individuals we trust far more than banks, credit card companies, or payday loan hucksters. Friend in Debt makes it easy to financially engage with friends and coworkers, whether that is by tracking small social debts accrued through daily life or by managing larger loans negotiated between known parties. Before FiD, monitoring such social debt required significant mental overhead, often rendering the endeavor futile and leading to squabbles about payment history within friendships.
Existing apps that claim to alleviate such problems, such as Venmo, Wechat/Alipay, and various cryptocurrency wallets, only work for on the spot settlement—a surprisingly limited functionality when contextualized against the various complex debts and payments that can occur in a large social network. These platforms feature no way to settle debts at a later date, pay debts in increments, or automatically calculate and accrue interest, nor do they feature any functionality related to tracking and settling debts over long periods of time.
FiD will allow users to create, track, and settle debts in all major currencies on top of standard Ethereum wallet functionality, dramatically expanding the pool of possible users and use cases. In doing so, FiD effectively creates a platform for decentralized money issuance on the blockchain, only executed via a user-friendly, wallet-like interface that encourages widespread adoption.
FiD effectively creates a platform for decentralized money issuance on the blockchain, only executed via a user-friendly, wallet-like interface that encourages widespread adoption.
BlockMason launches Friend in Debt with an eye toward future development as well as present functionality. To promote swift and painless endorsement by new users, the Friend in Debt application will operate on both Desktop and Mobile, featuring hook-ins for popular app browsers including Status and Metamask. Additionally, FiD will offer an open, developer friendly backend API that permits any developer to build their own front end platform, which can be integrated into FiD. This setup enables the existence of many different front end interfaces from a variety of developers, all accessing the same back-end data. This API facilitates the smooth implementation of new features to be built on top of Friend in Debt. Therefore, if any developers conceptualize innovative methods for utilizing our platform—such as credit tracking or business reviews—they can implement their own vision via Ethereum smart contracts on top of the FiD contract base.
Because Friend in Debt allows users to carry and net debts over long periods of time, with periodic or on-demand settling of debt balance through ETH, it is essential that users have the most possible flexibility in determining how to send and receive payments.
Unlike typical Ethereum DApps, FiD employs the BlockMason Foundation protocol (see Foundation Whitepaper), which unifies login and identity credentials across multiple devices and platforms (iOS, Android, and Web). Our Foundation protocol frees users from the difficulties of switching between multiple devices and platforms or passing private keys from one wallet to another, essential components of our plan to enhance user interface and increase widespread adoption.
By lowering the technical barrier to entry for users, we improve user experience and ultimately increase demand for the FiD DApp. Even more importantly, incorporating the Foundation protocol allows FiD to potentially add new users easily with a temporary Eth address—such users can later migrate to other wallets while retaining their FiD account.
By utilizing the BlockMason Foundation protocol via the Credit Protocol, Friend in Debt addresses the most significant technical barrier to utilizing the FiD app by unifying the various wallet addresses of users under one ID. Integration with Foundation enables users to easily login to multiple accounts, wallets, and platforms without the burdensome and insecure sending of private keys. Foundation also allows for simple switching between multiple addresses whenever users choose to settle debts through Ethereum payments.
Friend in Debt offers an improvement to existing payment applications not only through user interface and functionality, but also through greater security. Venmo in particular has been subject to publicized exploits by scammers and problems with user accounts.
On July 19th, 2017, the Verge published a story of a Venmo scammer who stole US$25,000 in expensive camera gear in Los Angeles: The Verge: Venmo Scam - Fake Payment Merchant Clause Fraud
Contrary to what some may believe, transactions on Venmo are not instantaneous, and payments may be canceled or rescinded even after money has been marked as delivered to another Venmo user’s account. While Venmo offers various protections for users sending payments, Venmo offers little protection for users receiving funds, including those who were paid using stolen credit or debit cards, as in the above article. According to the account, Venmo first froze the victims accounts, denying them access to their existing balance. Then, Venmo informed the victims that because they had broken Venmo’s user policy by exchanging goods for money, they were not entitled to any recompense.
Contrary to what some may believe, transactions on Venmo are not instantaneous, and payments may be canceled or rescinded even after money has been marked as delivered to another Venmo user’s account.
Paypal, the company that owns Venmo, has been known to block users’ funds in their accounts and arbitrarily kicking users off the platform. Venmo has generated further headlines by locking users out of accounts for joke descriptions of their payments. Angelina Travels: Venmo Account Frozen
With FiD, no user will have to worry about their account being locked for purposes of humor or otherwise. Because FiD uses Ethereum to settle payments, and those payments are protected by the security of the blockchain, the uncaring bureaucratic mess of large institutions bear no threat to the user—no matter how funny that user is. FiD customers will always have access to their funds, be able to settle debts with the Ethereum they own, and be able to draw from agreed upon credit lines, mitigating any risk that comes from non-cash transactions.
With FiD…payments are protected by the security of the blockchain, the uncaring bureaucratic mess of large institutions bear no threat to the user—no matter how funny that user is.
The current version of Friend in Debt is already fully functional. While this iteration offers only a stripped-down, demo of the application’s future capabilities, FiD beta demonstrates BlockMason’s commitment to developing our DApp with vigor and efficiency. We refuse to blindly roll out a token sale, asking for ether on the strength of a Whitepaper and a promise. We have a product we believe in, and over the course of the token sale we will continue to release important updates that expand FiD’s functionality.
Right now, FiD maintains a friend list and allows for the addition, confirmation, and clearance of debts. All transactions are processed on the Ropsten testnet, allowing users with access to testnet Ethereum to interact with the app completely free. The beta version runs in Chrome and requires Metamask. fiddy.io
Everyday, BlockMason works hard to improve Friend in Debt, and we plan on releasing several new versions in the coming year, expanding its already awesome functionality. See below a list of proposed features that we hope to add in the near future.
Settlement of debts between wallets in ether, with autoconversion between the debt’s native currency and ether.
Group settlement features, in which friends can join a group, add common debts, and split them amongst group members.
The creation of payback schedules, to allow users to manage loan repayment in an easy and secure fashion.
Autopayments for recurring debts, such as weekly gardening, children’s allowance, or alimony.
Offchain settlement of debts to increase network speed and decrease transaction cost.