The Wonder and Curiosity that is CityOnChain
Upon recently seeing a tweet about Cityonchain, I decided to sign up. This site is very interesting. It has appeal on several different levels. The first thing you will probably do on the site is zoom in to find out that the map is a full resolution map down to street and building level. Currently most of the user focus is on acquiring and trading cities. Most recently, they added a chat feature built into the site that is presented for each city. Similar to yours.org, users pay for these transactions to chat and 'like'. The city owner can leverage an ad spot on the city page and can earn from the chat exchanges. Looking forward, there is so much potential in this as a platform oriented toward geolocated activities. These could be added as future features.
It is easy to envision many current apps that utilize maps and location being built into the blockchain through this app. They have a 'teaser' page for possible future features, which lists things like merchants and events. The map lends itself well to listings for real-world property rentals, hotels and travel, and restaurant reviews. There is a lot of money potential in those features if the user base grows and they facilitate user-generated content contribution and more advertising.
As a city owner inside the application, I am not interested in the prospective features shown for Dating and OTC. In the USA, people worry greatly about liability exposure if any harm comes to anybody dating or legal exposure if illegal activity is facilitated, such as money laundering using OTC. If Cityonchain does add Dating and OTC features, I hope they give city owners the ability to disable them for their city. For everything else, I see the potential as tremendous and exciting.
One feature I'd like for them to add is for offering a text name to the city in a fixed URL link. For example, San Jose could be cityonchain.com/SanJoseCA which would go directly to the home for that city inside the app. The site can charge the city owner to get a fixed URL link assigned. A fixed URL link enables the city owner to promote potential real world users on the outside to visit their specific city. This is useful to pull in more physically local users for the city. This is particularly true if somebody is engaging in a real-world event in their city. They can have signage with the city URL. It would increase app users in general and offer another revenue option to CityOnChain. I think this idea is a big win-win for all.
Currently it is a desktop app. The User Experience is primarily oriented around the world map explorer when the app is started. As users get settled into the site, they are more likely using fewer city locations in fewer geographies. As the site matures, they might want to set up an alternate view. A more direct view would be more suitable for a mobile app experience. I doubt that the mobile user needs the world map rendered when opening it. Rather, the default mobile view could be a user-specified city or geolocation-based.
As for the map of cities, many smaller cities in the map are missing from the app designation that would enable somebody to acquire it. This does not appear intentional. An area like St Louis has about 15 cities available, while some major US metros only have like 3 or 4. I hope they add a feature to let users request a missing city to be pinned and offered for sale. This will also increase the supply for newcomers to engage with the site at reasonable prices.
I have no affiliation with the site creators. I have acquired a few cities. I wanted to encourage readers to check out Cityonchain through their moneybutton login. I think it is easily the most engaging application I have seen for general usage of blockchain. If you have used Cityonchain, please share your thoughts on it below. The team of people developing this application deserve all the credit.
I have a long discussion with my additional thoughts on the cities being exchanged in the Paid Content area. It has been updated as of 08/01/19. If you are interested, please have a read.
2 of 2 reviewers say it's worth paying for
0 of 2 reviewers say it's not worth paying for