By now, you’ve probably heard of the pseudo-cryptocurrency Initiative Q.
Many people with little understanding of either economics or technology have been sharing social media marketing relating to the scheme, which promises to change the future of finance, but appears little more than a successful data mining scam.
Initiative Q: Not Decentralised, Not Limited in Supply, Not Crypto
Even if you have no interest in the digital currency space whatsoever, there is a good chance you will have heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum, perhaps Litecoin, and if you have browsed social media recently, Initiative Q.
The revolutionary new monetary system that poses more questions than it answers has blown up all over Twitter and Facebook with people sharing posts inviting their friends to sign up.
A lot of Initiative Q’s marketing bares the hallmarks of a classic pyramid scheme.
You recruit your friends to signup. The more you recruit, the more Q tokens you will eventually receive. I do mean eventually too. The team behind the psuedo-cryptocurrency state that they will only be building the payment network itself in mid-2019. The eventual roadmap is much longer than this too.
Despite this slow-roll out and sparse detail-less future plans, there is an emphasis on speed for users to signup.
This too is something of a red flag. Each day the total number of Initiative Q tokens awarded for completing all the tasks given to each member of the scheme reduces. The current number of tokens given to each full member is close to 30,000. At their $2 trillion network valuation (more on that later) tokens are supposed to be worth a dollar each.
Then comes the scheme’s economics…
The total market capitalisation of all the Q tokens in existence is one day expected to be a massive $2 trillion.
There is no indication based on solid economic theory as to where this value has come from. The “ex-PayPal guys” behind Initiative Q clearly have no idea of the concept of value since they are saying they will create two trillion tokens out of thin air and give 80% of them away for nothing, whilst hanging on to 20% of them for themselves.
That’s a payday of $400 billion for the founders if this works – which it won’t because there will be zero buying pressure and a hell of a lot of selling pressure.
The Worst Part of All…
What follows is perhaps the feature of Initiative Q that makes it standout most as either an incredibly poorly conceived idea at best, or a straight up data mining scam at worst.
To combat what those behind Initiative Q believe to be a negative quality of Bitcoin and other cryptos – volatility – the company themselves state that they have the power to create new tokens to stabilise the price of the currency.
Essentially, Initiative Q’s only published grand plan is to replace the central banking system with one of their own. In comparison to the headless, independent, incorruptible base asset of Bitcoin to form a future financial system around, Initiative Q offers a centralised, unaccountable, barely known firm to play central banker for you. Revolutionary.
Clearly, none of this is going to work. Initiative Q will simply be shut down if it threatens national currencies in anyway.
That said, Initiative Q must be praised for its marketing department.
As a viral campaign it has been ruthlessly efficient. On my own social media channels I have seen people I would expect to have zero interest in disrupting national currencies sharing the links. What will become of Initiative Q seems an obvious “fail” based on the information it provides about itself. However, what becomes of the enormous cache of emails gathered from those wanting to cash in is much more interesting.
Featured image from Shutterstock.