The following quote from the Magic Square White Paper¹ gives the best introduction into the project:
“Magic Square is a unified, integrated, interoperable space for users to discover and experience community-vetted crypto apps, and for crypto app developers to market and monetize their best applications. Magic Square is a multifaceted system that covers all the UX bases: The Magic Store guides users to discover the highest quality crypto apps with built-in integrated DeFi. Users sign in to all of their apps with one SSI-secured Magic Connect leading to their personalized Magic Spaces: where crypto-app experiences begin and end. Users and Creators discuss and collaborate in a dedicated Magic Community space.”
Before Magic Square, finding crypto apps was everything but simple and convenient. You would need to find each crypto app individually, through its webpage, social communities or maybe from a friend. A consequent research about the trustworthiness of each of those crypto apps would be necessary, which is very burdensome as information may be limited and the quality not guaranteed². Magic Square is basically building a crypto app store, where apps are community checked and approved. In addition, there are other interesting features such as one user sign in for all apps, paid community participation, lower entry cost for app listing, etc.
Why Crypto App Store?
Do you remember the clash of Fortnite vs Apple’s App Store back in August 2021? The whole conflict started when Epic tried to evade the commissions with an alternative payment system in Fortnite to reduce the price of its’ in-game currency by 20% if players bought directly from the company. Apple not only ousted Fortnite from its App Store but also blacklisted until the legal case was resolved. Epic had claimed that Apple has a monopolistic position with its App Store, essentially slowing innovation and competition.³ By forcing developers to use in-app purchasing Apple collected commissions of 30% on gross sales.⁴ Obviously, Apple defended its approach by claiming the commissions are a reasonable toll paid by developers to help cover the $100+ billion it has invested in mobile software.⁵ For comparison, Apple’s App Store sales grossed $64 billion in 2020. In September, the Court ruled in favor of Epic and ordered Apple to stop forcing developers to use in-app purchasing. However, the Court did not conclude that Apple’s behavior was monopolistic.⁶ After the ruling, Apple lowered the commission to 15% for developers making $1 million a year. This decision was justified by the company saying that “... internal studies find that apps tend to find greater success when they reach that ($1 million) amount.” Developers earning more than $1 million are still forced to pay 30% in commissions.⁷ Since the Fortnite initiated lawsuit, Apple has been frequently hit by new lawsuits. The most present lawsuit (as of 30th March, 2022) was filed by the Dutch Consumer Competition Claims Foundating over the App Store's developers fees, which seeks €5.5 billion in damages for alleged monopolistic behavior.⁸
Another issue is that there is no user-friendly platform for crypto apps. There are some crypto app aggregators, however, they provide a limited number of crypto apps and there is no screening or some sort of assurance of app legitimacy or security. Users would either need to use these aggregators or find each crypto app individually, through their webpage, social communities, airdrops etc. In addition, it would be required to do some research on the project trustworthiness and quality with the limited information provided by search engines - there is literally zero guarantee that those efforts would be fruitful. Furthermore, a mere crypto app aggregation also renders the efficiency and economical monetization of crypto apps for both users and developers.⁹
Magic Square Innovative Solutions
As per their lite paper¹⁰, Magic Square’s vision is:
“.... to develop the infrastructure that powers the growth and success of the crypto app ecosystem.”
Magic Square is building the first-ever DAO marketplace for crypto apps dubbed Magic Store. The marketplace will rely on a community of users and developers for app quality control. In a sense it is something like Apple's App Store for crypto developers, without the enormous commision fees.¹¹ Developers will be only required to stake 10,000 SQR tokens, 50% of these tokens are staked for the duration of the listing, 35% is paid to the validators (community) for their work, and 15% is paid to Magic Square.¹²In addition, within the Magic Store users will have a personalized dashboard called Magic Square, which enables easy and secure access to all crypto apps in one space. Users can also track all activity across their crypto apps and engage with the Magic Square Community. By merely using Magic Square, users will be eligible for certain rewards. The reward is dependent on “Magic Karma”, a personal score to quantify users' Magic Square activity. All likes, reviews, downloads, votes, challenges, transactions, staking, etc are quantified in a user's Karma score.¹³Lastly, Magic Square is also building the first multi-chain Software Development Kit that empowers creators to develop, validate, deploy, market and monetize their crypto apps.¹⁴
Magic Square Products
Magic Square offers 5 products in total, namely: Magic Store, Magic Spaces, Magic Connect, Magic Community, and Magic SDK.
Magic Store - The first crypto app store
Magic Store enables users to discover community - validated crypto apps and creators to market and host their crypto apps. It operates under a policy of complete transparency: voting results, user reviews, and live app statistics are displayed under each crypto app. In addition, users are rewarded daily for all their contribution, which can be as simple as giving a like. The daily rewards are redistributed based on “Magic Karam”, a personal score quantifying users' individual Magic Store activity. The following table contains the scoring methodology.¹⁵
Table 1 User’s scoring methodology:
Magic Spaces - All your crypto apps in one place
Magic Space is a personal dashboard that aggregates users' favorite crypto apps without the need to download them. It also allows users to organize the crypto apps to suit their needs and add any helpful widgets to customize Spaces. To connect to the apps and widgets hosted in Magic Space, users simply log in with one-click Magic Connect, which we will introduce next.¹⁶
Magic Connect - A one-click log in for all your apps
Magic Connect is a very cool feature, which on one hand enables users to connect all the crypto apps with one login, and on the other hand gives back to users control of their personal information and credentials.¹⁷ Magic Square apps cannot access users personal information and credentials unless explicit permission was given by the user through the Magic Connect interface. This effectively gives a higher degree of protection against identity theft by hackers.¹⁸
Magic Community - A system of governance and space for users and creators interaction
Magic Square operates as a DAO by governing all the decisions within the ecosystem. The validators are responsible for voting on the quality of apps to ensure maximal user satisfaction and security. An internal communication platform of the Magic Square ecosystem called the Community Zone serves not only for validators voting process, but also users can interact with the app developers, chat peer-to-peer, participate in contests and challenges.¹⁹
Magic SDK - A tool empowering creators
Magic SDK (Software Development Kit) is a comprehensive and easy-to-use SDK allowing developers to easily enhance their apps and provide more services. It supports the most common programming languages such as Java/Node JS/C++. In addition, SDK is open source so every developer can add more tools that will be used by the community of developers. Therefore, the essential tools included in the SDK will increase in time, but for the moment they include:
Payment System with Subscription Model - Accept one-time or subscription payments within your app;
Wallets - Infrastructure to integrate all the common wallets under one hood for the convenience of the user;
Trading Data Aggregation - Connection to more than 20 exchanges via a single API with access to historical data;
On-Chain Data - Access data across blockchains to track blockchain money-flow to enhance crypto-compliance and surveillance solutions;
SSI (Self Sovereign Identity) - One-click login to all crypto apps and services. The user decides which data to share;
Staking of tokens and NFTs - In-app solution for multi-chain staking for tokens and NFTs;
AMM - Get access to all available DEXs Automated Market Making solutions directly from your app via customizable UI;
Community Management Tools - Interact with Magic Community directly from your app to create polls, events, or challenges.²⁰
Token Utility and Tokenomics
Magic Square’s native SQR token will serve 5 most important use cases such as: governance, marketing, foundation reserves, referrals and creator grants. The goal of each use case is basically to share revenues within the community (which is accessed by staking SQR tokens), and promote individual crypto apps within as well as outside the community.²¹
Project Kickoff (Self Funded)
Completion of UI/UX and beginning of development
Comprehensive marketing research and work with Solana Testnet
Execute Performance Marketing Plan, and build the Magic Square Community
Release of Closed Beta including Magic Connect, onboarding of Validators, and preparation for Seed Fundraising
Release of public MVP and staking functionality
Global expansion with the release of localized versions of the Magic Store in Turkey and Brazil
Release of Magic Community and geolocation-based dApp discovery
Release of Magic SDK and Magic Contest System
Founders of Magic Square
Andrey Nayman, PhD; Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Andrey earned his PhD in Mathematics from Tel Aviv University. During his career he amassed 17+ years of experience in algo-trading, startups, and scaling tech oriented companies. His professional career started in Final (7.5 years) - one of the world's biggest algo-trading companies. After Final, Andrey served as a Head of Financial Products in Playtech (1 year and 7 months) - the world's largest online gaming and sports betting software supplier. Then he served for 2 years and 4 months as a CEO in Vidmind - a technology leader in OTT space. Right before founding Magic Square, Andresy served for 5 years as a Managing Director in Radical Ventures – one of the most active VCs in Israel.
Benjamin Vodovozov; Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer https://www.linkedin.com/in/benjamin-vodovozov/
Benjamin has over 15 years of experience in the Hi-Tech industry and over 10 years of experience in Digital Marketing, Branding and PR. His passion for online affiliate marketing led him to pursue this path ever since the age of 15. While he was working part-time all his life as an affiliate marketer, in the meantime he also served as a Project Manager at IBM, and Associate at Meme Global Media Group. Before Co-Founding Magic Square, Benjamin founded and still works part-time at Digital Galaxy Ventures, and Secure Stay - a 360 cyber defense solution to protect the hotel industry databases.
Magic Square could potentially become something like Apple’s App Store, more specifically in terms of popularity. Its timing could not be better as there is a desperate need for an app platform within the crypto community. Magic Square is also addressing the challenges of traditional app stores, which put a huge financial strain on developers revenue, by being governed as a DAO with a community sharing revenue model. Users will be rewarded for their time spent on improving the platform, while also developers will have a better and fair environment.
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