How We Got Ivy League Students to use Blockchain Tech

For most blockchain-enabled products and services, achieving mainstream adoption has been a nearly impossible goal. Even the most celebrated projects in the crypto ecosystem struggle to expand their community beyond blockchain-savvy users. Augur, the famous betting protocol whose REP token peaked with a market cap of more than $1 billion and was utilized by other respected projects such as Sequoia-backed Veil, is used by less than 200 users on a daily basis. Veil ultimately shut down after 6 months of activity because “it tried to do too much, didn’t offer a good onboarding experience, and existed in a netherworld between being decentralized and regulated,” according to founder Paul Fletcher-Hill. 

Several months ago, a few of us at Columbia University started working on a project that would ultimately become Yup.io. Our vision is to accurately reflect and attribute online social capital by empowering people’s opinions, ultimately building a self-sovereign platform-agnostic identity based on social consensus. Our initial minimum-viable product is a browser extension that rewards users in money (via our YUPX token) and clout for rating anything on the web. It works on every site on the internet, but has overlaid  features for so