After almost a year of slowly decreasing value, the cryptocurrency market has certainly lost a few fans this year. As prices continue to slide and more and more weak hodlers sell at a loss, the terms ‘cryptocurrency’ and ‘blockchain’ no longer command the respect they used to.
It appears to have gotten so bad now that new projects aren’t even selling themselves as cryptocurrencies anymore. In fact, a new project is using the growing anti-crypto sentiment to promote itself. If you have Internet access and don’t live under a rock, you have no doubt been invited to join Initiative Q – a new scheme that sells itself as “tomorrow’s currency, today.” Sound familiar?
Despite blatantly being a blockchain-or-similar cryptocurrency-like project, the information provided on the Initiative Q website goes to great pains to point out that “cryptocurrency bad, Initiative Q good.” How it’s different from any other cryptocurrency is not made clear – most likely because it’s not different, it’s just marketed to a different audience. It even avoids using the played-out crypto trump card, a “White Paper” – rather calling it a “Vision Paper.”
Crypto for Crypto-skeptics
Using the same narrative most new crypto-based ‘payment solution’ projects like Ripple and Stellar use, Initiative Q claims “Today’s payment systems are outdated,” and as a result, we all bear unnecessary costs. It goes on to point out that credit cards are old school and we can all have a digital solution on our mobile phones – the same idea Bitcoin already presented almost a decade ago.
The plan to distribute this new digital currency, the Q, is a reasonably simple airdrop plan used by pretty much every other budding new cryptocurrency. Only it’s done in a slightly different way – by using the clever marketing gimmick of ‘invite only’ – giving people the impression they are getting in on something early. Everyone who is successfully registered gets to invite ten friends and the more friends you invite, the more ‘Q’s’ you get – which might sound exciting until you realize that Q’s currently have no value.
Don’t worry though, they will soon, because this is a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ and:
“As millions join, advanced payment technologies are deployed, the payment system becomes even more popular, the Q currency becomes valuable, and awards to early users reach their potential value.”
It doesn’t point out how the currency will become valuable but then again, neither do most other cryptocurrency projects.
To be fair, it’s a pretty genius idea and the brainchild of Israeli serial-entrepreneur Saar Wilf, who also brought us Fraud Sciences which was acquired by Paypal – so maybe it’s got some legs. Basically, Wilf appears to have realized that while cryptocurrency is the future, the general population don’t seem very sold on it. Ever since the Silk Road debacle, almost anybody over the age of 40 thinks Bitcoin (and it’s multitude of offshoots) is just for criminals. So if you’re going to market crypto to the general public, you better not mention that it’s crypto.
I, for one, hope it moons soon – because I now have a whole bunch of these Q things burning holes in my virtual pockets.