Token Ecosystem Nobody Has to Pay For: Will It Work?
Crypto-projects have been facing some skepticism before the hype of 2017–2018. As money started flowing into the nascent industry, so did people aiming to exploit the liberties and naivety there. That period has passed and some of the former liberties aren’t there any more thanks to regulations.
The crypto-community has probably grown to be more diligent with projects trying to sell tokens to serve some greater good or bring obscene profits. Too many of those have turned out to be not much but a quick buck for the creators. On the other hand, the crypto-industry has grown to be more like a traditional industry with less outlandish ideas and more reasonable business practices. Arguably, it’s also getting less about pipedream ideas and more about business the further down the road we go, which is not a bad thing.
Given that, it is interesting to see how today’s crypto-community responds to initiatives like the Golden Ratio experiment, which we’ll tell about in this piece.
Community Effort to Bootstrap Value
The basic premise of the GoldenRatio project, full name Golden Ratio Token, is to create value for the token from nothing in 90 days. The goal, as laid out on the project’s website, is to show how the community can get a crypto project going without funding: no capital investments, no token sale in any form.
The initiative took off on April 7th, 2020, and will go on in this experimental phase until July 6th. Then, the team will evaluate the results and decide what to do next.
As of now, there is a small group of active contributors who help with necessary tasks like building and hosting the website or interacting with other projects, but the initiative was kicked off by a single person, Rob, who agreed to answer a few of our questions. Since the project doesn’t involve asking for other people’s money, the team behind it opted not to disclose real names for the sake of privacy.
“We are not an organization nor a company. We’re more of a community collective that is run on consensus. Active people have more influence in this way. At the moment there are around 6 to 7 people actively helping out where they can. The people behind the project came from many other projects and are active as volunteers there too,” Rob told forklog.media, “Some of the projects our members have been involved in are BSOV, SovCube, Coinjanitor, Mota, and PotCoin. There are also active people from communities such as Block to the Future, Cryptobrothers.eu and CoinGecko.”
From a technical standpoint, GoldenRatio doesn’t try to break ground. The token works with a simple smart contract in Ethereum and tasks like sending transactions are done manually. As the developers note, the project emphasizes community involvement, rather than particular technical know-how. Ethereum simply appeared to be an accessible and convenient solution with an established infrastructure.
“[Ethereum] is widely implemented, and easy to use. It would not require special blockchain tech or wallet development in these 90 days,” Rob said, “We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel.”
The token in question is an ERC-20 token GRT. Over the span of 90 days, the total supply of 16180 GRT is intended to be distributed among crypto projects that benefit the community.
The chosen projects each get 1% of the total GRT supply as a reward for their contribution. Meanwhile, GoldenRatio will negotiate listings on crypto exchanges and form use cases for the token. The aim is both to support good projects that may not have the deserved attention and to create an ecosystem for GRT, where it will circulate and gain value.
“By using GRT you are not supporting one product, but helping many projects. We hope that advocating collaboration between projects will also incentivize these projects to include GRT into their use-cases. Eventually, the revenue generated from GRT will get back to these projects.”
While there aren’t many concrete use-cases laid out for GRT as of now, Rob mentioned that the foundation is already in place for at least two areas of application:
“For the first 90 days, we aim for two own use cases, which are realistic to achieve. In this regard, we have support from Blockmatrix and many other developers. “One of the use cases has to do with marketing and data processing. The other use case will tap into an existing industry in gambling. The GRT itself is not used to gamble, but will be converted to fiat, making the GRT end up back on the market.”
Importantly, the premise about supporting other projects with GRT involves the process of actually selecting the good projects. The curation part is currently done by the group core contributors, who manually pick the projects and make the collective decision.
“The recipients are all projects either small or big that have been active in crypto. We try to support as many projects as possible, but the main criterion is that these projects should be contributing to the global crypto community. We check these projects to be community-orientated and their teams to be dedicated,” Rob noted.
Given the early stage and the small number of people involved, the curation process is kept transparent in a rather straightforward manner. The core members access a single email so everybody can see what’s going on, while more delicate things like the GRT smart contract are accessible only to Rob himself. Additionally, the core contributors each hold at least 1% of the total GRT supply, which makes it less reasonable for them to harm the project.
90-Day Roadmap and Progress So Far
The GoldenRatio project has 90 days in total to reach its goals and there’s a list of tasks to complete. The straightforward milestones on the roadmap are related to listing GRT on crypto exchanges and tracking websites.
So far, GoldenRatio is listed on the Resfinex platform and supported by Bamboo Relay decentralized exchange protocol. Over the late April, the project is planning to reach out to Etherscan, CoinGecko, Blockfolio, and CoinMarketCap to list GRT market data.
“We have several exchanges we’re talking to, and hopefully some will list us as we are a community project. Our aim is to be on 3 exchanges within the first 7 weeks of the project,” Rob commented.
Another significant step for GoldenRatio was the recent implementation of time-locking via SovCube, a concept similar to vesting in conventional finance. Now, GRT holders have an option to lock their tokens for a set period of time to show commitment.
Two weeks in, there’s plenty of other tasks ahead, but when the team behind the project is not limited to a particular number of people, a lot is achievable.
As for the future beyond the 90th day, the direction of the GoldenRatio initiative will largely depend on the community and the actual results of the experiment.
“After 90 days we hope to have created a decent token with a running ecosystem. All revenues from partnerships will be spent to buy back GRT on crypto exchanges, so the tokens can be used again in new promotions. We are also going to keep supporting the projects we donated to and the projects that have helped us realize the experiment,” the creator of GoldenRatio explained.
There has been at least one arguably successful undertaking of a similar nature in the past. As pointed out by a famous cryptographer Adam Back, Bitcoin was somewhat of an experiment with bootstrapping from no existing value. It took years, but the first crypto got traction and the rest is common knowledge by now.
GoldenRatio is aiming to pull off a conceptually similar experiment in 2020 when cryptocurrencies have grown infinitely more prominent and the market is saturated with all sorts of endeavors. Unsurprisingly, these conditions are reflected in the initiative: GoldenRatio seeks to help out decent projects that struggle to get attention.
From an outside perspective, it’s not clear whether the project will succeed in creating a thriving ecosystem in three months. Or in this case, whether the community will succeed in getting the token going.
In the end, it is meant to be an experiment. As long as there’s a result, it can be called a success. Not so much for the hypothesis being tested.
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