Hidden Gems

Gems: The Protocol for Decentralized Mechanical Turk

Today we will continue talking about the hottest blockchain startups, and this time we’ll be focusing on a rapidly developing project called Gems.

What is Gems?

Gems is a decentralized crowdsourcing platform based on the Ethereum blockchain technology, where people from all over the world can perform micro tasks on a paid basis which are provided by different employers.


The idea itself is not new, the market already has world giants that use it, such as Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT), Crowd Flower, etc. The innovation lies in the implementation of the blockchain technology for the realization of this idea, and it looks like this method can help solve certain problems of other existing businesses: lots of fees, difficulties with identity authentication and verifying workers’ skills, monitoring of work progress, payment for work, and platform usability.    

In 2013, The World Bank estimated the incomes of two biggest market players, AMT and Crowd Flower, at 120 million dollars. AMT says that the number of workers registered at the platform has reached 500, 000 people, and the number of customers using it every day is 1, 278 people. Thus, the potential market looks quite good and, evidently, will keep growing in the coming years.


Gems has already released the Alpha version of the platform where 1.5 million tasks were placed for just the first eight days. Apparently, the testing went very well and exceeded all expectations.


The project’s founders are brothers Rory and Kieran O’Reilly who have previously created and launched quite a successful project GEMS also has rather impressive advisors: Biz Stone, one of the founders of Twitter, Luis Cuencde, co-founder of rapidly developing blockchain projects, Aragon and Stampery.   


Gems is definitely one of the hottest projects that created quite a stir around token sales. What is particularly interesting about it is that it barely uses classic PR tools that are popular among other ICO projects. For instance, the project is rarely talked about in mass media, and if it is, the mention is limited to blockchain media.   

The project also does not have a classic bounty program, but it does have Gems Community Program that encourages Gems members to promote the project not for tokens but for an opportunity to book a place in a sale or a pre-sale. Judging by the number of views on YouTube, the program works extremely well.

The main traffic is created by listings, Reddit and Telegram are also widely used. As for Facebook, the platform doesn’t have a page there.  

Token Sale

The token sale originally scheduled for January 30th has been postponed indefinitely. The information is to be given shortly, so let’s stay tuned.


The potential risk is that the majority of the tasks subcontracted through these platforms are so-called AI tasks (artificial intelligence tasks). Gems is also planning to launch their first AI tasks module. On the one hand, we can expect a reduced demand on this kind of tasks, as the development of machine learning gradually makes them unnecessary and no longer required. On the other hand, there’s a such a wide range of areas that need machine learning that it is rather unlikely that they can run out of micro tasks for this particular purpose in the near future. Besides, micro tasks are not limited entirely to machine learning.


On the whole, the project seems quite interesting. Among its strong points are a high-potential market, clear idea, product availability, strong team and advisors. The weaknesses include insufficient transparency and lack of information on many key questions. For example, White paper does not have any information concerning the implementation plan, road map or the project’s team. Besides that, there’s still too little information on the token sale itself. Managing all the messages on the Telegram channel with as many as 45, 000 participants is not an easy task, thus many questions are left unanswered.    

All official info about Gems is available through:


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