Ambia Fund, a Dover-based tech startup, is working on a social media platform called Belacam that would allow users to get paid for their work using digital dollars.
By integrating the platform with Belacoin, a proprietary "cryptocurrency," the idea is that users will pay a few cents each time they like a post. In a way, it's like a higher-stakes version of the image-sharing app Instagram.
The challenge, however, is getting people to understand the value in paying out of pocket for an interaction on social media.
"That's the biggest task," said Andrew Feldspar, spokesperson for Ambia Fund and one of a small team of founders. "They need a way to be rewarded for their work."
He added that the platform could be used in a number of different ways. Companies could reward users for helping to promote their brands. Individuals currently putting up content for free could monetize their work
But the platform is just the beginning of a longer-term goal. The idea behind starting off with a social media platform is that it will help make digital currencies more mainstream.
"The problem with cryptocurrencies is they're highly technical," Feldspar said. "If we can give [users] something they can relate to, they can grab onto it."
He said the company chose social media because it's such a universal medium. "It's another institution of society," he said.
In the future, the company plans to partner with other startups working on cryptocurrencies and delve into the fields of data verification and security.
The company currently has five full-time employees and two part-time contractors. Feldspar said he anticipates the platform will enter beta testing in April and launch in May.