Payment is an integral part for most societies; most countries would grind to a halt without it. The trouble is they’re often one of the last areas to adapt to new technology.
Transactions are slow and expensive; a convoluted supply chain which creates big, unnecessary overheads. Potential answers can be stamped out and watered down by established interests, or simply don’t pick up enough traction to ever be adopted. Cryptocurrency was designed as a solution, but it faces its own battles. On some of the larger networks, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, payments are still expensive and slow. Some worry that the world has just swapped one bad option for another.
Initiative Q wants to be the better option.
What is Initiative Q?
Initiative Q is a payments network, not a cryptocurrency (they make that very clear). They see themselves as an ‘worldwide economic experiment’ to create a popular and viable payments solution for people all around the world. Initiative Q wants people to sign up to receive their ‘Q’ tokens. The project says that those who join early will receive more tokens than those who come late to the party. This is apparently to kickstart the network’s early adoption by getting as many early users in as possible.
Who created Initiative Q?
Initiative Q was created by Saar Wilf, a self-described ‘serial entrepreneur’. Before his latest project, Wilf established a company called Fraud Sciences, a payment tracking service reportedly sold to PayPal in 2008.
Although the website claims the team is comprised of ‘top experts’, no one else has been named.
Did you know?
The only other person, aside from Wilf, associated with the project is an economist known as Lawrence White. He’s a professor at George Mason University, a public research institution in Virginia.
A (very) brief history and the roadmap.
- June 2018 - Initiative Q is established as an alternative payments solution.
- July 2018 - The recruitment campaign begins.
- 2020 - Formation of the monetary committee
- Late 2021 - Proposed launch of the Initiative Q payment network
What’s so special about it?
- Free tokens - People who sign up to Initiative Q, which includes submitting a friend’s email address and promoting the project on social media, will receive Q tokens free of charge.
- Not a cryptocurrency - Initiative Q are adamant that they are not a cryptocurrency.
- Easy to use - The project says that its users will be able to buy goods and services by just tapping a QR code.
- Fraud prevention - Initiative Q says that users’ social media can be used to help validate identities. By analysing their online behaviour, it can also be used to determine whether certain transactions are out of character. This sort of data could go towards further payment implementations, such as creating an accurate credit score.
How are Q tokens produced?
So far two trillion Q tokens have been produced, to date. When the network is about to go live, tokens will be distributed to users who signed up. The amount of tokens users receive depends on when exactly they signed up; earlier users will receive more than those that signed up later. Whether this will logged and tracked on a specific blockchain, is still not certain.
Did you know?
Initiative Q expects the network to have anywhere between a 5-20 trillion daily trading volume, if they’re successful.
How does Initiative Q work?
Initiative Q will be a payments network. It says it has the potential to be just as scalable as many of the major credit card companies, but will be far more accessible to the global population than current financial instruments. Users will be able to use the network, and pay for goods and services with Q tokens, using the payment app. This is slated to be launched sometime towards the latter end of 2020. There is currently no hard cap for Q tokens. The project has said that it will appoint a monetary committee responsible for the project’s tokenomicsBitcoin, sometime before the network launches. Initiative Q wants to maintain 0% inflation rate. This committee will determine the total supply and will have the authority to add or remove Q tokens from circulation.
What can you do with Q tokens?
Q tokens will be used just like any other currency to buy goods and services. Although details are still scarce, the project has said that it wants the tokens to have parity with the US dollar, on a 1:1 ratio.
Did you know?
Initiative Q say they’re an experiment. If the network doesn’t get enough traction, they say they may decide not to go ahead with the launch. If that happens, none of the tokens will be distributed and those who sign up won’t be liable in any way to the project.
Is Initiative Q a scam?
Many industry insiders have called out the project for gathering millions of email addresses in an elaborate pyramid scheme. So far, the project's organisers have yet to ask for money from those who have signed up - the classic sign of a pyramid scheme. However, urging users to sign up and to sign others up is regarded by some as an early sign of something more sinister.
Initiative Q see themselves as an experiment, to overturn the existing, efficient payments structure. Some are skeptical however. There is very little technical detail available on the project; making it hard to evaluate correctly. Some have pointed out that its push to sign up as many users as possible makes it worryingly similar to a ponzi scheme.
The project denies this, saying that it doesn’t take any money from any of its prospective users. However some critics have pointed out that it might be an elaborate way to collect as many email addresses as possible. With more than three million people having already signed up, these addresses could make the project founders a great deal of money if sold it to the right people.
There is still no way to tell whether Initiative Q are who they say they are. Worldwide payments network or an elaborate hustle, the proof will be in the pudding, and this project is still baking.