Bertie

Meandering writer exploring all things, all things.

The Simple Truth that ICOs Forgot: Offer Value to Your Customer.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

You can no longer magic value from thin air. The new reality for cryptocurrencies to acknowledge. A product or service must deliver value: it supports and incentivizes platform adoption.

Ultimately, it’s the driver that dictates success.

As of mid-2018, over 1,000 projects have failed. Too many forgot — or chose to ignore — that to survive, you have to build something useful; although, this didn’t stop founders from raising $13.7 billion in the first six months of the year.

However, the second half has been a wake-up call — and cryptocurrencies must now adapt.

The Tide Has Turned

There was a moment when the technology could do no wrong.

Then several high-profile ICO’s were revealed as outright scams, robbing some $1.34 billion from unsuspecting investors, and sentiment changed. Worse, reports now allege upwards of 80% of 2017 ICO’s were fraudulent.

It’s finally become clear that cryptocurrencies had merely become a license to print money.

Coins gave no rights to investors. Founders abused their position by investing in anything — and everything — except the currency that investors supported in the first place.

So, even where projects succeeded, coins have often failed.

Regulators finally have the go-ahead to question the truth behind claims of the “highest potential returns.” Now, the entire blockchain community is suffering.

The SEC has taken a sour view: many projects raised funds without a use for their coin, so the commision has deemed such assets as nothing short of a security, ordering projects to repay investor funds as they should have been registered with federal regulators before ICO.

It’s hard to malign the actions of the SEC whose responsibility is to protect investors.

Particularly at a time when its often only the casual investor being defrauded.

The Silver Lining of a Market Collapse

To pile on the pressure, a “war” has broken out causing markets to tumble. A disagreement amongst the Bitcoin Cash community has escalated into a hard fork, illustrating even established projects can quickly lose their way.

The conflict has destabilized the market, which could not have come at a worse time for the recently prosecuted ICO’s. For a project that raised funds in Bitcoin or Ethereum at a value 5-times higher than the present day, it’s a costly exercise to pay back investors from severely depleted chests.

However, the market troubles offer a compelling opportunity for projects basing their proposition on business truths.

Look back a decade, Bitcoin launched with none of today’s fanfare, just a cool-headed focus on the coin’s purpose — and it still dominates the charts. It is the poster child of the blockchain. Yet, it’s an approach that only a few cryptocurrencies — including Monero, 0x, Decred — have followed.

They are each enjoying success — it’s time others adopt the value-first mindset.

1. Re-set the Standard with a Focus on the Solution

In the case of products such as Elitium, the project is launching from a proven business model — Boatsters.

Elitium’s customers have already shown a willingness to use cryptocurrency. So, Elitium is innovating the proposition by creating an all-inclusive luxury lifestyle platform on the blockchain, which will allow the team to develop a more holistic offering for its target market.

A native coin eliminates the unnecessary expenses of international transfers while letting Elitium create a bespoke, exclusive luxury experience with a tailored membership program — whose success does not rely on the capabilities or survival of another cryptocurrency.

Initially, the platform will enable instant payments and wallet-to-wallet transfers to streamline activity. Plus, Elitium members will benefit from partially anonymous transactions — purchases show as ‘Elitium payment’ — a feature many in the network enjoy.

2. Offer Value to Your Customer Base

Elitium’s focus is on utility. The coin — EUM — has a real-world use case to support a proven business model. And the blockchain enables the platform’s key features — establishing Elitium’s ecosystem.

Stability: EUM helps create a stable, sustainable, and independent network that can avoid the perils of other currencies’ volatility, potential manipulation, or a Bitcoin Cash-style war — all of which would undermine the platform’s integrity and jeopardize the service as a whole.

Innovation: A standalone currency allows instant conversions to Elitium-preferred fiat currencies (USD, EUR, JPY); it supports platform loyalty programs; it enables creative applications of blockchain technology in the form of the world’s first tokenized insurance.

Efficiency: Elitium operates in the luxury sector; a segment with many inefficient manual processes like the execution of contracts, customer requests, rentals, and refunding — leading to time and cost-intensive activities.

Yacht rental alone requires confidential document management, international payments processing and correspondence between several parties.

By implementing the platform using bespoke smart contract protocols, Elitium can custom-code processes to create a seamless transactional experience for a highly-efficient, user-friendly service.

Whereas many projects have failed due to a vision that lacked any basis, Elitium has a proven business model based on a real-world use case, only then evolving the concept.

As such, Elitium can afford to be bold in stating what its luxury lifestyle app can enable:

  • The mass adoption of cryptocurrency as anyone can access the Elitium app
  • A new means of investing in cryptocurrency via direct fiat transfers
  • De-risked purchases through the in-app EUM-Fiat exchange

A Coin’s Value Hinges on its Utility

For a currency to survive, it must serve a purpose. Yet, Invest in Blockchain notes fewer than 40 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies have a working product that benefits from the existence of a coin.

So, where is the value in the other 60 coins if they have no use?

Through its luxury lifestyle app, Elitium envisions handling significant volumes of customer-client transactions on a daily basis — with each transaction generating a fee or commission — and EUM settling all transactions to give EUM primary utility within the ecosystem.

Moreover, and as a second innovation, Elitium is creating an insurance token: EUMI.

The use case of EUMI is to reimburse Elitium Members in the event of fraudulent or malicious activity on an account, keeping user funds secure while protecting the tokenomics of the Elitium Network.

Combined with Elitium’s rewards program — with similar incentives to what you’d expect from American Express — you have a fully-fledged offering that reflects the gold standard in financial products.

Blockchain Enables Seamless Luxury Living

The ultimate ambition of Elitium is to “transform the world of luxury” for both consumers and partners — an ambitious target brought within touching distance through blockchain technology.

Smart Contracts

Elitium will be building on the Rootstock network to leverage its smart contract protocol, which offers significant benefits by eliminating the inefficiencies of the segment; for example, simplifying yacht rental through smart contract integrations with improved security in both the storage and transfer of sensitive information — personal documents, payments, I.D.

A native cryptocurrency allows for a proprietary roadmap that includes open API’s, so partners can innovate on top of Elitium’s network, releasing further value across the chain.

Consumers get to enjoy lower transaction fees, a custom loyalty program and extensive access to a host of desirable goods and services — not forgetting the unique EUMI insurance coverage.

Lifestyle App

Ultimately, consumers crave simplicity. Elitium’s luxury lifestyle app collates the most desirable offerings alongside exclusive, one-time deals, and maintains an always-on medium via an AI-powered personal assistant supported by equally progressive technologies.

Luxury brands and service providers crave access to an affluent consumer base, which the Elitium Network delivers in channeling a new segment of crypto-wealthy, supported by a competitive commission model for a broad value proposition.

Only Promise What You Intend to Deliver

Elitium’s concept came to light via a wallet-to-wallet ‘crypto-MVP,’ piloted at Boatsters and proving a need. Noticing its success, partners in the luxury sector wanted to participate in the network and, given Boatsters’ access to global luxury partners through Boatsters Black and other global affiliates — the Elitium brand took hold.

Now registered in Gibraltar, Elitium has a coin — EUM — that plays a fundamental role in its ecosystem; a fact that has enabled its registration as a utility token under local law.

So, where US projects have realized it doesn’t pay to second-guess the regulators — and you cannot outrun them — by collaborating with the Gibraltar government, Elitium has given its project a realistic shot at success.

Proof-of-concept multiplied by an identified market need equals no need for promises — it’s time to deliver on the product launch.

More by Bertie

Topics of interest

More Related Stories