A quick look at leading ICO listing sites reveal just how popular ICOs have become. Thousands are currently active or upcoming. In November, Pantera Capital limited partner Miko Matsumura reported that there are roughly 30 ICOs being launched per day.
With this growth comes challenges to stand out and create noise. Telegram channels are becoming a battleground for attention and social channels are flooded with enticing offers to capture the attention of crypto enthusiasts. It would only make sense that the game would eventually evolve.
While not yet on many people’s radar, the first recorded IBO, or initial bounty offering, has launched. According to Decryptionary.com, an IBO is “a limited-time process by which a new cryptocurrency is made public and distributed to people who invest their skills and time to earn rewards in the new cryptocurrency. Unlike an Initial Coin Offering where the coins are sold, an IBO requires more mental commitment.”
A quick search on Google reveals that the first mention of an IBO was in July 2017 by a company called U.CASH. U.CASH is a “blockchain based financial platform and digital asset converter network with a built-in cryptocurrency for payments of fees, execution of smart contracts and additional functionality.”
U.CASH’s IBO has a timeline similar to an ICO and claims to be the “world’s first Initial Bounty Offering”, dedicating the majority of network access tokens to users participating in the IBO. According to U.CASH’s website, an IBO is defined as:
“Initial Bounty Offerings are a way to crowdsource human resources, business development, marketing and user acquisition for blockchain technology ecosystems, by offering network tokens in exchange for contributions to the ecosystem.”
Traditional ICO bounty programs act in a similar fashion but have one main difference: they are typically limited in both the token equity distributed and timeline offered. Most traditional bounty programs are hosted on forums such as Bitcointalk and offer early ICO engagers with a chance to complete tasks in return for a token (“bounty”). These reserve pools are typically just a few percent of an ICO’s total token allocation.
In U.CASH’s case, their IBO includes opportunities to collect bounties during the full IBO period and offers incentivizes to bounty hunters for early participation. Bounties can be earned from tasks as simple as registering and validating identity. Other more detailed assignments include social media engagement and whitepaper translations.
The goal is to create a fairer distribution of tokens and help drive network growth. Given increased competition in the ICO landscape, an IBO makes sense. As projects fight for attention and try to gain contributions, structured long-term bounty programs could help incentivize frequent participation and create awareness around promising projects.
Disclaimer: The author has had a working relationship with U.CASH in the past and was introduced to the concept of an IBO by U.CASH leadership.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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