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Chingari: Going Web2 to Web3

By Superteam

Published on 2021-11-01

Learn how Chingari, India's leading short video app, is transforming the creator economy by pivoting to Web3 on Solana. Discover innovative features like social staking and NFT marketplaces.

The notes below are AI generated and may not be 100% accurate. Watch the video to be sure!

Chingari's Web3 Pivot: Revolutionizing the Creator Economy on Solana

In a groundbreaking move that could reshape the future of social media and content creation, Chingari, one of India's leading short video apps, has announced its transition from a traditional Web2 platform to a Web3 ecosystem built on Solana. This pivotal shift promises to empower creators, democratize earnings, and introduce innovative features that could potentially disrupt the global social media landscape.

What is Chingari?

Chingari is a short-form video sharing platform, similar to TikTok, that has gained massive popularity in India. With millions of users, it has become a hub for content creators and influencers. However, unlike traditional social media platforms, Chingari is now embarking on a journey to decentralize its operations and reward its community through blockchain technology.

The Web2 to Web3 Transition

The decision to move from Web2 to Web3 is a bold and complex one, especially for an established company with existing investors and a large user base. Sumit Ghosh, co-founder and CEO of Chingari, explains the fundamental difference:

"In web2, you build a company in a very traditional manner. You raise funds, hire a team, build a product, acquire users. Again, go to investors, raise more funds and grow. And then eventually, you IPO. You give exit to yourself, your investors, and a small group of people who were your backers. In web3, you basically involve the community."

This transition involves restructuring the entire company as a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), where token holders can participate in decision-making processes. It's a paradigm shift that aims to distribute the platform's success more equitably among its users and creators.

The GARI Token Economy

At the heart of Chingari's Web3 ecosystem is the GARI token. This native cryptocurrency will power various functions within the platform:

  1. Creator Rewards: Content creators will earn GARI tokens for their uploads, introducing a "Create-to-Earn" model.
  2. NFT Marketplace: Users can mint their videos as NFTs, opening up new avenues for monetization.
  3. Social Staking: A unique feature allowing users to stake tokens on creators they believe in, sharing in their future success.
  4. In-app Transactions: GARI tokens can be used for various in-app activities and features.

Social Staking: A Revolutionary Concept

One of the most innovative features introduced by Chingari is social staking. Sumit Ghosh elaborates:

"Let's say I discovered Thurme at the very early journey of Thurme as a creator. I stake my, whatever GARI I have, let's say I have half a million GARI tokens. I stake it on Thurme. This half a million GARI tokens go to a staking pool. And Thurme can actually take a loan from the staking pool, buy better camera, better equipment, better dresses, better equipments, you know, and make better videos, become a better influencer on Chingari and then, you know, whatever money Thurme makes on Chingari, I get a percentage of that."

This feature not only allows users to support their favorite creators but also potentially benefit from their success, creating a symbiotic relationship between creators and their audience.

NFT Marketplace and Creator Economy

Chingari's NFT marketplace is set to revolutionize how creators monetize their content. Every video uploaded to the platform can potentially become an NFT, which can be bought, sold, and traded. The revenue split for NFT sales is generous to creators:

  • 90% goes to the creator
  • 7% to the staker (if applicable)
  • 3% to the platform

This model incentivizes high-quality content creation while allowing fans to own a piece of their favorite creators' work.

Democratizing Earnings

One of the key principles behind Chingari's Web3 model is the democratization of earnings. Sumit Ghosh emphasizes that for basic video uploads, all creators will earn the same amount of GARI tokens, regardless of their popularity. This levels the playing field for new and emerging creators.

However, popular creators can still earn more through other means, such as NFT sales, paid DMs, video calls, and other creator economy features. This balanced approach aims to reward both content quality and creator popularity.

Chingari on Solana: A Strategic Partnership

The decision to build on Solana was not taken lightly. Chingari considered several high-throughput blockchain platforms before settling on Solana. Sumit Ghosh cites the ambition and supportiveness of the Solana team, particularly mentioning Raj Gokal and Anatoly Yakovenko, as key factors in their decision.

The Solana ecosystem's focus on community and its ability to handle the high transaction volumes necessary for a social media platform made it an ideal choice for Chingari's Web3 ambitions.

Global Expansion and Market Testing

While Chingari has already established a strong presence in India, the company is not resting on its laurels. Plans are underway to expand into Southeast Asia, with Indonesia being the next target market. This expansion will serve as a crucial test for the GARI token economy:

"We are launching Indonesia next month. There we will actually understand whether creators take GARI token as a serious incentive, where these are we TikTok. So do they leave TikTok and move to Chingari to earn GARI tokens? And if that happens, then there is no looking back."

This move could potentially position Chingari as a global competitor to platforms like TikTok, with the added appeal of a crypto-powered economy.

Challenges and Community Reception

The transition to Web3 has not been without its challenges. While the initial announcement of Chingari's $19 million funding round from global investors was well-received, the subsequent reveal of Bollywood star Salman Khan as a brand ambassador met with mixed reactions from the crypto community.

Sumit Ghosh acknowledges the skepticism that often accompanies mainstream celebrities entering the crypto space:

"Suddenly there was a lot of, you know, a lot of hate and, you know, these, I mean, because from, from X, we grew to 100 X in that, you know, in terms of recognition, in terms of people talking about DAO, and people talking about, you know, what we are doing."

However, Ghosh remains focused on the long-term vision and the potential impact of Chingari's Web3 model.

The Future of Social Media?

Chingari's Web3 pivot represents a potential paradigm shift in how social media platforms operate. By removing traditional advertising models and replacing them with a token-based economy, Chingari is attempting to create a more equitable system for content creators and users alike.

Sumit Ghosh envisions a future where Chingari could potentially surpass traditional platforms:

"I think it's bigger than TikTok, probably. I mean, I don't compare, I think Uber and Airbnb are not a real comparison. We should be compared to TikTok in terms of where we want to be."

Creator Economy Features

Chingari is introducing a suite of creator economy features that leverage the GARI token:

  1. Video Calls: Creators can offer paid video calls to their fans.
  2. Locked Content: Creators can make certain videos accessible only through GARI token payments.
  3. Live Streaming: Enhanced live streaming features with virtual gifts and monetization options.
  4. Audio Rooms: Similar to Clubhouse, creators can host paid audio rooms.

These features aim to provide creators with multiple revenue streams beyond just video uploads.

The Global Impact

The implications of Chingari's Web3 model extend beyond just the platform itself. By enabling a decentralized creator economy, Chingari could potentially bring significant global capital into emerging markets:

"I personally see a lot of global capital coming into India. I've been distributed evenly to our creators by, you know, with this. I mean, as if Chingari grows and is successful, a lot of global capital, which will flow into the GARI ecosystem, will eventually come to India and be distributed, you know, to these grassroots level creators."

This model could serve as a new form of income democratization, particularly benefiting creators from developing economies.

Technical Challenges and Opportunities

The transition to Web3 presents numerous technical challenges, from integrating blockchain technology into the existing app to ensuring smooth user experiences with wallets and token transactions. However, it also opens up exciting opportunities for developers and engineers.

Chingari is actively hiring across various roles, including AI/ML specialists, Solana developers, and backend engineers. This expansion of their technical team underscores the complexity and ambition of their Web3 vision.

The Role of Solana in Chingari's Vision

Solana's high-throughput blockchain plays a crucial role in making Chingari's Web3 vision possible. The ability to handle millions of transactions quickly and at low cost is essential for a social media platform with millions of users.

Moreover, Solana's growing ecosystem and developer community provide Chingari with a robust foundation for building and scaling their Web3 features. The support from the Solana team, including involvement in hackathons and developer resources, has been instrumental in Chingari's blockchain journey.

Regulatory Considerations

As with any project in the cryptocurrency space, regulatory compliance is a crucial consideration. Chingari has taken steps to ensure their token sale and operations adhere to global standards:

"The sale is being held on Republic, which is a very reputed crypto public sale platform to ensure that accredited US investors and global investors are able to buy the GARI."

This approach demonstrates Chingari's commitment to building a compliant and sustainable Web3 ecosystem.

The Potential for Viral Content Monetization

One of the most exciting aspects of Chingari's NFT marketplace is the potential for viral content monetization. Tanmay Bhat, one of the podcast hosts, highlights this potential:

"Imagine someone on Chingari makes some, like that Bachpankapyar, that kid, right? Imagine if that kid, like that kid became a meme, right? Then Badshah made a thing. Imagine owning that NFT on day one."

This scenario illustrates how Chingari's model could allow early supporters of content creators to benefit from viral success, creating a new dynamic in the creator-fan relationship.

Bridging Web2 and Web3

Chingari's transition serves as a case study for how established Web2 companies can pivot to Web3. The challenges they face, from convincing existing investors to restructuring their business model, provide valuable insights for other companies considering similar moves.

Sumit Ghosh's experience in navigating this transition, especially given Chingari's significant user base and existing investors, offers a roadmap for other entrepreneurs in the social media space.

The Importance of Community in Web3

Throughout the discussion, the importance of community in the Web3 space is repeatedly emphasized. Sumit Ghosh notes:

"In Web3 community is more important than capital or, you know, anything. It's the community that is running the product. That is very important."

This shift in focus from traditional metrics like user acquisition to community engagement and empowerment represents a fundamental change in how social media platforms operate.

Conclusion: A Bold Experiment in Social Media

Chingari's pivot to Web3 represents one of the most ambitious experiments in the social media landscape. By leveraging blockchain technology, particularly Solana's high-performance network, Chingari aims to create a more equitable, engaging, and rewarding platform for creators and users alike.

While challenges remain, from technical implementation to user adoption and regulatory compliance, the potential impact of this model is significant. If successful, Chingari could pave the way for a new generation of social media platforms that prioritize creator empowerment and community ownership.

As the project develops and expands globally, it will be fascinating to see how users, creators, and the broader crypto community respond to this bold new vision for social media. Chingari's journey may well shape the future of content creation and consumption in the Web3 era.

Facts + Figures

  • Chingari, a leading Indian short video app, is transitioning from Web2 to Web3 on the Solana blockchain.
  • The company has raised $19 million from global investors for its Web3 pivot.
  • Chingari is introducing the GARI token as the native cryptocurrency of its ecosystem.
  • Content creators on Chingari will earn GARI tokens for their uploads, implementing a "Create-to-Earn" model.
  • The platform is introducing a unique "social staking" feature, allowing users to stake tokens on creators they believe in.
  • Chingari's NFT marketplace will allow creators to mint their videos as NFTs, with a 90/7/3 revenue split between creators, stakers, and the platform.
  • The company plans to expand into Southeast Asia, with Indonesia as the next target market.
  • Chingari aims to remove traditional advertising models and replace them with Web3 business models.
  • The platform is actively hiring, looking to double its engineering team in the next three months.
  • Chingari's public token sale is scheduled for November 2nd, 2021, on the Republic platform.
  • The company chose Solana over other high-throughput blockchains due to the team's ambition and supportiveness.
  • Chingari is introducing various creator economy features, including paid video calls, locked content, and audio rooms.
  • The platform has several million-follower creators, including Saksham, Jannat Zubair, and Niti Taylor.
  • Chingari's founders still own more than 60-65% of the company's equity, which facilitated the decision to transition to Web3.
  • The platform aims to distribute global capital to grassroots-level creators in India and other emerging markets.

Questions Answered

What is Chingari and how is it changing?

Chingari is a popular Indian short video app, similar to TikTok, that is transitioning from a traditional Web2 platform to a Web3 ecosystem built on the Solana blockchain. This change involves introducing a native cryptocurrency called GARI, implementing a "Create-to-Earn" model for content creators, and transforming the company structure into a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).

How will content creators earn money on Chingari's new Web3 platform?

Content creators on Chingari will earn GARI tokens for every video they upload, regardless of their popularity. Additionally, they can monetize their content through an NFT marketplace where their videos can be minted as NFTs. Creators can also earn through other features like paid DMs, video calls, and locked content. The platform aims to provide multiple revenue streams for creators beyond just video uploads.

What is "social staking" and how does it work on Chingari?

Social staking is a unique feature introduced by Chingari that allows users to stake their GARI tokens on creators they believe in. When a user stakes tokens on a creator, those tokens go into a staking pool. The creator can then use this pool to take out loans for equipment or other needs to improve their content. As the creator earns money on the platform, the staker receives a percentage of those earnings, creating a symbiotic relationship between creators and their supporters.

Why did Chingari choose to build on Solana?

Chingari chose to build on Solana after considering several high-throughput blockchain platforms. The decision was based on the ambition and supportiveness of the Solana team, particularly mentioning Raj Gokal and Anatoly Yakovenko. Solana's ability to handle high transaction volumes necessary for a social media platform, along with its focus on community, made it an ideal choice for Chingari's Web3 ambitions.

How is Chingari planning to expand globally?

Chingari is planning to expand into Southeast Asia, with Indonesia as its next target market. This expansion will serve as a crucial test for the GARI token economy, determining whether creators will leave platforms like TikTok to earn GARI tokens on Chingari. The company sees this as a potential stepping stone to becoming a global competitor to major social media platforms, with the added appeal of a crypto-powered economy.

What challenges has Chingari faced in its transition to Web3?

Chingari has faced several challenges in its transition to Web3, including skepticism from the crypto community, especially following the announcement of Bollywood star Salman Khan as a brand ambassador. The company has also had to navigate the complexities of restructuring its business model, convincing existing Web2 investors, and ensuring regulatory compliance for its token sale and operations.

How does Chingari's NFT marketplace work?

Chingari's NFT marketplace allows creators to mint their videos as NFTs, which can then be bought, sold, and traded by users. The revenue split for NFT sales is 90% to the creator, 7% to the staker (if applicable), and 3% to the platform. This model aims to incentivize high-quality content creation while allowing fans to own a piece of their favorite creators' work and potentially benefit from viral content.

What are some of the creator economy features Chingari is introducing?

Chingari is introducing several creator economy features that leverage the GARI token. These include paid video calls where creators can offer one-on-one video interactions with fans, locked content that requires GARI tokens to access, enhanced live streaming features with virtual gifts, and audio rooms similar to Clubhouse where creators can host paid discussions. These features aim to provide creators with multiple avenues for monetization.

How does Chingari's Web3 model potentially impact global capital flow?

Chingari's Web3 model has the potential to bring significant global capital into emerging markets, particularly India. As the GARI ecosystem grows, it could attract investment from around the world, which would then be distributed to grassroots-level creators on the platform. This model could serve as a new form of income democratization, particularly benefiting creators from developing economies who previously had limited access to global audiences and capital.

What opportunities does Chingari's transition to Web3 present for developers and engineers?

Chingari's transition to Web3 presents numerous opportunities for developers and engineers. The company is actively hiring across various roles, including AI/ML specialists, Solana developers, and backend engineers. This expansion of their technical team underscores the complexity and ambition of their Web3 vision, offering exciting challenges in integrating blockchain technology with a large-scale social media platform. Developers have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects at the intersection of social media and blockchain technology.

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