Online dating has been around since the early 2000s but has only gained widespread popularity in recent years. In the U.S. alone the online dating industry is estimated to be worth over $2.5 billion according to data from Market Research. Today, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t used an online dating app at least once.
Thanks to online dating, users can now quickly see potential matches in their community and beyond. Expanding the dating pool to the online world has undoubtedly been more convenient for users, but it remains to be seen whether this method of finding partners is effective.
This evolution in dating hasn’t been without its problems. People are increasingly finding themselves victims of “swipe culture,” where they spend hours swiping through options with little reward. The emphasis of current dating apps is on physical appearance, rather than good behaviour both on and off the platform. The culture is geared more toward acquiring as many matches as possible, rather than having high-quality experiences with each match. Most dating apps do not offer users an incentive for being transparent and honest.
One major concern with online dating is identity verification. People falsify their information online, whether it’s their height, their age or other personal details, which can lead to users questioning dating safety online. Traditional dating apps do not currently have substantial methods for proving one’s identity online.
There’s also the issue of data leaks, with cases such as Grindr revealing the HIV statuses of its users to third-party applications, or Ashley Madison’s usernames being leaked, exposing people who were participating in affairs. Having a centralized system for storing data makes it easier for hackers to gain access to highly sensitive information that is frequently found on dating apps.
Blockchain in Dating Apps
The way we date and meet people has evolved, and some apps have utilized blockchain to take matchmaking a step further.
Apps built on blockchain technology can solve many issues such as:
Blockchain technology ensures that all data stored on the platform is immutable and transparent, while still providing security to a user’s data. In several ways, a useful application for blockchain is online dating, where people are looking to verify that their partner is who they say they are.
At the same time, users on a blockchain platform will be assured that their data remains private, and less susceptible to hacks because of the use of a decentralized network. By encrypting user data and marking it with a unique ID, sensitive information will be accessible at the discretion of the user, such as test results for STDs or financial information. A blockchain-based system allows for trust between users, thereby easing a pain point that has existed in online dating since its beginning.
IFFY for Dating App Users
IFFY is a verification system that allows users to securely share their medical records with anyone of their choosing in a private manner. This system demonstrates the benefits of blockchain in healthcare as a whole. Only those with an IFFY user’s IFFY ID can access their information, but this access can be revoked at any time by the user. Meaning IFFY can work alongside blockchain dating apps to ensure that users get to know their partners’ health, and stay safe when meeting someone in real life.