What a scam!

If you read the first couple of lines on the Initiative Q website you may be thinking just that. Scam alert.

Who in their right mind gives away any form of money? Nobody does that, so the easy conclusion is that it’s a scam. Now before you really form the opinion of “scam”, let me dive into a few points and dispense some thoughts on why I registered, and perhaps why you should too. Perhaps my line of thinking is wrong and you can comment below on why you still believe that it’s a scam.

What is Initiative Q?

Initiative Q’s founder Saar Wilf, is an Israeli entrepreneur who previously founded a payment security company that was bought up by PayPal and now is the “mastermind” behind the idea. According to the website, this project is an attempt to create a brand new payment network and global digital currency. When you hear digital currency, you may (if you have heard of it) think of cryptocurrency, however, surprisingly that is not where this goes (not to the extent anyway, but I’ll get to that later down this post).

In plain text, Saar and team want to combine the “best ideas, innovations, and technologies developed in recent years…to allow safe, fast, and low-cost transactions, using a global currency.” Now for most people who aren’t tech geeks, you couldn’t really care less about any terminology or description of what the Q network is, yet I find it important to know the basic concept of this idea to understand that this goes beyond a scam, in a positive sense, and is more than just an MLM scheme or another form of pyramid “give me your money” bonanza. This page here describes the whole ordeal in an interesting way. You can also watch the video below if you want to keep things short.

Why I signed up?

Apparently millions of people have already signed up across the globe. When I first saw the invite, my bells went off saying the same thing a majority of us reasonable folks think; “SCAM!”

My curiosity got the best of me and I decided to have a read and do my homework. There are plenty of articles out there supporting both sides of the table. Nonetheless, the primary reason I signed up is that they DIDN’T want my money. My name and email address is all that was asked for and I figured what’s the worst that could happen? Do I get spam? Well then I just blacklist the sender and have my email provider take care of the rest.

Anyways, the catch to signing up was one of the first things that caught my interest, since “IQ” wanted to give me money rather than asking for it. See, with cryptocurrencies, it’s all about the supply side of the market, with many projects and businesses promising to deliver huge innovations and results. Now, while I am a fan of the blockchain and its potential, I fully understand the risks of crypto and the “make money fast scheme”. Many projects will succeed and utilize blockchain technology to transform our day to day lives, but many (like we see today) are already failing. All that aside, Initiative Q, looks on the demand side of the market. Like any real-world currency or digital currency, without mass adoption, no one really cares. So the model of, sign up, get a few potential Q’s to spend simply by getting everyone to mass adopt it quickly, will allow the product to reach the masses at a rapid rate, opens the door for quicker adoption of the technology, enabling consumers like you and me to utilize this payment method through eCommerce or brick and mortar retailers as they too want to get into the game.

Look at PayPal. Who would have thought that a simple email address would suffice to make, send and receive payments?

So the attempt to create this critical mass of potential users first is a genius marketing move. Nothing exists to date. No currency, no tools. Nothing.

Do I see other digital currencies in the crypto space that could fulfill what Initiative Q promises? Yes, however it comes back down to adoption. Having these crypto-based companies actually create real-life use cases (which many have), to lead to mass adoption, so that everyday users utilize blockchain technology for payments, transactions etc. are still in baby shoes. And despite Initiative Q being compared to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Qs are not fixed in supply or decentralized.

In the end, it simply came down to the good old “why not?”

I have nothing to lose, or do I? It’s a brilliant idea. A brilliant marketing scheme. It naturally raises many questions but also spurs thoughts on why this may potentially work. It could massively fail, like many other digital currencies before it. Yet, like other financial areas, why put all your eggs in one basket? This is an easy way to diversify and potentially, and I mean potentially gain some free “cash” along the way. I personally don’t see a Ponzi scheme (Bitconnect anyone?) or a pyramid scheme here. No one earns money off of other people. You are only incentivized to invite people you know because if you approve fraud accounts, you’ll be locked out. So invite friends, gain a few Q’s and grow the user base, so that the initiative gains value doesn’t really seem like a scam to me. On top of that, the company stated that if this project doesn’t succeed they’ll just destroy it all. Is it true, who knows, but we all know what Google, Facebook, and co do with massively more data on us than signing up for IQ, no?

Initiative Q is far from reality. It needs lots of people to use it. The more that sign up, the more value it will have. Again, it won’t make you wealthy. Think of it as a little gift card for being an early adopter of something. It goes to show how an idea, an experiment at this stage, can progress and hopefully improve our financial institutions, just the way many blockchain projects and others (Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc) are seeking to do.

So if you are interested, I encourage you to sign up. You really have nothing to lose except perhaps 30 seconds of registering and confirming your email address.

Feel free to utilize my invite link, however, do reach out to me and let me know that you did!

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