Robin Laurén

Learning in Public

The Q currency

My proposed Q currency symbol

There’s a new currency in town and it’s called Q. Or more exactly, it’s an initiative in the making, by some ex-PayPal guys, to create a an alternative currency which they call Q. They’re kickstarting it by taking registrations from people. If you want in, you know me and i know you …

here’s my invite link:

The Q initiative is handing out a bunch of free Q currency and the quicker you react, the more Q you and i get for you signing up and me accepting you. Let me know after you registered, because I need to verify you on my end.

To keep up with the spirit of Q, please only follow the invite link if we know each other. The link will stop working once i’m out of invites.

And with that out of the way, here’s my thoughts (two cents, if you wish, though i don’t know if there’ll be a separate name for a hQ) on the currency initiative. It’s based on a rather lengthy comment i made on my Facebook stream.

So, some guys (gender-unspecific guys) decided that our current currency system is outdated and needs to be rebooted. Nothing new with that. There are at least 2600 parallel or alternative currencies that have been created, according to a post on the Christiania currency Løn.

This whole Q thing is really interesting. Who in their right mind would issue “a new money”? Or, why didn’t i think of that and become a millionaire? Or … who in their right mind would accept this currency as payment? Ah, these questions!

Money, more specifically Fiat currency, really is one of humanity’s great invention. Money in itself has no value, or very little value. It’s intentionally hard to burn to keep you warm and it doesn’t work well on the toilet. Metal money is even more worthless in itself.

Money as it is only has value because those who use it chooses to believe that it has a value. Think about it. Bills and coins in your pocket are really just paper/plastic/cotton/mix and metal that you and the person you’re having a transaction with choose to consider a token of value. Or worse, money is just numbers on your bank account(s), on your credit card, in your cryptocoin wallet.
But it’s a fantastic invention. We don’t have to carry around goods to trade to get wares and services; instead we trade tokens. And we get tokens from working, or stealing, inheriting, selling, trading and so on.

The Q initiative really wants to launch a parallel currency and while this certainly isn’t the first time some have launched parallel, independent currencies, few have survived. On the other hand, there are also success stories. Cities and countries have rebooted their economy using funny-money.

There are at least two twists here with regards to the Q. Acceptance as a currency, valuation of the Q and that people actually use the Q (when it’s launched in 20202021.1 Also, i’d really like to see the

People, both the initial ones who have Q and those who might take Q as payment, need to “believe” in the Q currency and accept it as payment. Then there’s how much one Q is worth. The Q Initiative aims for 1 Q = US$ 1. But as we know, the value of Bitcoin has been just insane. At launch, you would pay five bitcoins for a pizza. These days five bitcoins would buy you a car. Or Q might take the route of a failing share, losing its value after the initial hype.

This is related to how people will be using it. If speculative owners hold on to their Qs in hope that their value will once go through the roof, the Q will not be exchanged and the whole currency will fade.

Finally, you might want to say that you can’t just print your own money. Sure you can. See the earlier point, that a currency works iff people using it believes in it. There are over 2600 complementary currencies created around the globe, many of them thriving.

Still after all these questions, i joined the Q Initiative. Q was free to join, and i welcome anyone who likes to try to disrupt a huge existing institution. While it might not succeed, it might at least shake the foundations.

  1. Terminology footnote: I am not an economist, so the use of words like valuation, acceptance and speculative may be totally random here. I hope the context of my writing makes it clear what i’m trying to say. [return]