For web platforms considering a token strategy: cryptocurrency vs. dollars?

A lot of founders / teams have been asking if they should be adopting a cryptocurrency strategy.  This is understandable given the frenzy of fundraising recently and the ongoing dialogue about the potential for cryptocurrencies as an alternative business model for web platforms.

As “traditional” web & mobile platforms explore this option, there are a few important considerations (esp given the risk in this model):

1) What is the advantage of using a cryptocurrency instead of traditional money?  Answers could be: programmability, international exchange, earnability, etc.

2) Could I use an existing cryptocurrency (e.g., zCash) instead of launching my own?

3) From a revenue / value perspective, is there a model for value creation independent of funds that could be raised in an ICO?  e.g., are you just looking to raise short-term funds an alternate to an equity round, or is there a real value theory of cryptocurrency running inside your application?

4) Could you imagine such a cryptocurrency spanning beyond the borders of your own application?  Generally speaking, if there’s a more use = more value theory (i.e., “fat protocols“), there’s an incentive to go broad to increase use.

5) What is the model for internal economics around the cryptocurrency?  E.g., how would people earn it, and how would they spend it, within the ecosystem?

I’ll follow up with more on these in a future post, in particular #5, as I believe that is the most fundamental question.

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