Bitcoin and other major digital “currencies” begin on the supply side of the market. And they have big promise: to make market transactions fast, efficient, inexpensive, and free from the control of central bankers and big banks. But they have a big problem, too: how to gain broad acceptance by a critical mass of users.
Thus far, none of the major digital currencies have solved this problem. They haven’t gained acceptance beyond the “technology enthusiasts,” a small group in the “Rogers Curve” — a model marketers use to explain how new products reach the masses.
Initiative Q claims to have a solution to this problem, by beginning with the demand side of the market. It is attempting to create a critical mass of users first, and then come up with the digital currency to serve it.
Simply put, there’s no digital currency to speak of, a “new” Bitcoin that will solve the problems of the “old” Bitcoin.
“Initiative Q is not the new Bitcoin,” says Shidan Gouran, President and CEO of Global Blockchain. “Initiative Q is actually highly questionable in its very concept, because it seems as if it was purposely meant to be mysterious. “
Why compare it with Bitcoin? Apparently, for the buzz such comparison is expected to generate in the cryptocurrency community.
“I would compare it as a “new bitcoin” in the sense of creating wide scale awareness and potential adoption, but it will function very differently in reality, “ says Jeff Ramson, Founder & CEO PCG Advisory Group. “Initiative Q is growing based on a brilliant social marketing scheme. They are growing the network rapidly, and I can see this as a self-fulfilling prophecy of a new payment system as they will have an enormous number of global users.”
A better comparison for this social marketing scheme would be a pyramid scheme, according to Gouran.
“The comparisons of Initiative Q to a pyramid scheme are spot-on, because that is exactly the way Initiative Q looks. They promise some kind of irresistibly lucrative payout, in exchange for what seems to be nominal consideration, with the first step being to recruit people who you know.”
Cryptocurrency trader Abraham Merkin would rather compare Initiative Q to Stellar. “Everything functional about Q Initiative is within the capabilities of Stellar, which is a better foil than Bitcoin.”
Still, Q isn’t Stellar. “It’s hard to say how Q payments expands on Stellar other than in its grandiosity. And although Stellar does have a distribution system for its currency, the viability and inter-organizational applications of the platform just give it greater weight than saying that ‘if all your friends buy this we’ll figure out the rest,’” adds Merkin.
That’s why he sees Q going the OneCoin way. “I see Q Initiative going the way of OneCoin… Another MLM adjacent pipe dream with a different piper.”