Looking into blockchains and loyalty schemes it becomes clear this is still complex. Especially as we are setting out to do a real project. Blockchain tech requires diving deeper into the world of the crypto currencies / tokens. Current legal uncertainties add to our caution at this point of time.
Blockchains have been around for a while now, but their introduction and use is still in its infancy. Bitcoin is the first system that was introduced in 2009 probably triggered by the transatlantic crisis in 2007/8. No need to add links here, if you want to find out more just google for it.
Other systems are f.ex. Ether (Ethereum), Litecoin, Dash and Bitcoin Cash, plus lots more. Bitcoin and Ethereum are leading the pack in total invested money worldwide by a very long way. There are plenty of exchanges where you can trade in them. China recently cracked down on them and that made the market value drop like crazy. You can make a lot of money if you understand how things work and what triggers rises and falls. The markets are not regulated, so there are no systems that will stop huge swings. Don't invest any money you need here.
And there are those telling the world that gold is much safer, that cyber currencies are Ponzi schemes, are like the tulip investments from 400 years ago, are fraud, are not safe and will disappear.
First of all these cyber currencies are not currencies, they are contracts. The contracts are written down and distributed, decentralised. The organisers cannot change them easily. The contracts are written into tokens and with encryption the tokens are unique and only accessible by the holder if you download them onto your computer in socalled "wallets". You can leave them at a bank or exchange, but there they are only as safe as your bank account. In your wallet they are as safe as your password and local protection. Thus, you can hold them very close to you and the register is copied to thousand of computers, but can only be accessed with your password and security details. As long as you keep those safe, you will be able to access your tokens anywhere; don't loose the password. When your bank gets robbed to the last penny, your money is gone until the insurance pays or the government steps in to the limits set out in the small print.
If the government, the central bank or external circumstances devalue the currency your money will be worth less. Your tokens will always be worth what the market is ready to pay. There is no central bank, there are sort of guardians of the system. There are developers, but they do not have a masterkey to your tokens. They make sure the system runs and the contracts are not changed. Basically they cannot be changed unless a vast majority of token owners agree. If a (big or resonable sized) chunk of tokens holders do not agree to a change they may decide to fork and retain their contract. This has happened in the past with for ex. Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, no big deal, you just have to decide to do nothing and stay with the majority or move off with the forking group. Sure, scary, but not too bad if you ever lived through devaluations of your own currency - read up on the Argentinien experience with the Corelito.
Right now the trading in these crypto (cyber) tokens is highly speculative and very volatile. Look at some historic charts and you could retire now hat you spent €1,000 or GBP or US$ on Bitcoins in 2011. And the chart here only goes to 2015. Since then Bitcoins went up to well over US$4,000 in 2017, touching the US$5,000 mark breifly before falling back to below US$3,000 in a matter of hours, but that would still be 30,000 times what the value was at the start. Do the math. But do not carried away, this opportunity was then and is gone. Ultimately crypto tokens are here to do far more than money can do and they need to level out and stabilise to the point that any exchange rate fluctuations against so called FIAT currencies like the dollar US$ or the € are a matter of the value of these and not the tokens. So, be careful and streetwise. The whole thing may be a craze, only time will tell. And remember, the crypto currencies are not designed for speculation and to get rich. They are designed for the future and a new World of economic stability and fairness. When that point comes and someone speculated to take her/his return out in US$, € or Sterling just before then they may be sitting of a pile of 1930s paper. We may be wrong, sure.
(Image on the right - Sweeping the pengő inflation banknotes after the introduction of the forint in August 1946)
However, Bitcoin is probably the closest you get to a cyber / crypto currency. Others like the second most traded Ether are tokens for a much bigger system with the potential to take over many functionalities of an economic system allowing you to trade across goods, services and incorporate all the functions banks, the admin department, book keeping and so on have. Just consider the savings and speed in trading. Dangerously mind boggeling. What should make Bitcoins far more stable and potentially rise in value like a rocket is the fact that it has a limit for the time it takes to generate the last of the 21 million bitcoins by 2140. No currency we have currently is in that way limited. Do those issuing the US$ and the € are limiting what they print? Will they be able to pay back the promise printed on that paper? Will they be able to promise stability?
Some relevant people say, blockchain - crypto token - technology will change the world (economy) even more, far more than the www did. Well, blockchains would not be possible without the www, so, the www will become even more important with the grwoing influence of blockchains.
It will come. We strongly believe in this. We are looking further into crypto token systems to raise finance at some point - well, once we have proven the app works, has a value and we can see traction.
At that point the whole venture will be valued and all supporting us on the way there shall participate in that. What that value will be depends on a lot of factors. It may be pennies, coins, cents, fractions of Bitcoins called satoshis or next to nothing. (Nothing might be a crypto token system one day.) But all that shall grow. Nothing shall be promised all may be gained.
Conclusion - to get going with the project, we will focus on the process of getting the app going. For the early steps of market reseach, feedback and testing we will keeps things short and simple - kiss.
To keep things short and simple we will start with a point system and transfer them to tokens once we have some results from the app and a serious investment path.
Any questions, send us a contact message.