The Daily 2 - Is Initiative Q A Scam

The Daily 2 - Is Initiative Q A Scam

I’ve been asked by a friend about Initiative Q and what my thoughts about it are. I’ve also seen multiple friends posting on social media urging others to sign up through their ‘exclusive’ link… so today, we will break down Initiative Q with what it claims to be, what it is, and what it isn’t.

You may have seen someone post on social media telling you about “the next Bitcoin” and telling you that it is by invite only and the sooner you sign up the richer you will become.. Or the more “Q” currency you will receive.  This is a marketing tactic to incite exclusivity and to promote urgency to join.

Initiative Q was founded by Israeli born entrepreneur and semi-pro poker player, Saar Wilf, and it is backed by CATO institute economist Lawrence White.  So there are some big names tied to it. One thing that I see claimed though is that it is built by Ex-PayPal people. Saar Wilf created a company called fraud sciences and PayPal/eBay bought that company in 2008 for $169 million dollars.  So that is the tie to PayPal. It’s not even built yet. So that claim has no merit.

The company claims they can create the next global payment network.  They claim that the “Q” currency will be worth 1 to 1 with the US Dollar. 2 trillion dollars i.e. 2 trillion Q in total.  But right now, it is worth zero because it doesn’t even exist yet, and they haven’t even actually chosen how they will build it or what they will actually build. It’s just a splash page explaining an idea, a social experiment let’s say. All it is right now for the company is a way to tackle the adoption issue before they even build what they believe people will want to use.

And so, I understand why people think this is a scam, as it has all the makings of a scam and has a super scammy feeling to it.  But is it really a scam?

Well maybe.  But maybe not in the way you think.  And I say that because, as of right now, they are not asking for money from anyone. They are “self funded” and that may be problematic because if you aren’t paying for a product, you are the product.  What do I mean by that? Well, to participate in Initiative Q, you have to give up your name and email address only after being invited from someone else. It is set up as a pyramid structure, but since it doesn’t collect any money from anyone, the company proclaims it is definitely not a pyramid scheme as they say that there is no money to send up the pyramid.  

However, by giving them your name and email, you are entering into a massive list, or database, of people interested in crypto and/or people that believe they can become rich for free. That kind of list is valuable, especially for fraudulent companies.  I’ve read that they’ve already signed up over a million people, could you imagine how much companies would pay for an email list like that? They are generating a huge list and, if you sign up, you are part of that list. Say you sign up, then what happens with your data?  That is a good and valid question.

As of right now, they say they will stick to their seemingly very good privacy policy.

But what happens if they get hacked?  As you’ve seen, this has happened to multiple big companies recently.  Also, since they are self-funded, what happens when they run out of cash… will they turn their back on their privacy policy and sell this massively valuable list of email addresses to fraudulent companies to pay the bills? Companies who will then market to you?  It’s possible.

So I see Initiative Q as a social experiment for gathering a following to something that hasn’t even been built, we don’t even know what it is… we just know they have, what’s seems to be, a very powerful marketing ploy to gather email addresses of a particular niche of people. Which can then be used to dole out these reserved units of q and try and ignite a new global payment system. So, is it worth it? That’s up for you to decide.

The issue I take with Initiative Q, is the way they are presenting themselves and the way they are marketing it. As it sort of perceptually aligns with and puts a stink on legitimate cryptocurrencies… cryptocurrencies which are already solving, albeit slowly, the problems that Initiative Q claims to solve… almost in the exact same way… but cryptocurrencies do it in a decentralized manner without a central authority. Initiative Q is completely centralized, which they claim is better. Of course, they would, they will be in control.

Let me know what you think about Initiative Q in the comments below.

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