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What Is Initiative Q? Is It a Scam? How This New Digital Money Works
If you're wondering what Initiative Q is, and why all your friends keep inviting you to join, then join us as we explain all.
By Joe Coburn Posted in Commentary on November 10, 2018 6 min read
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Is it a scam? Could it be the next Bitcoin? Is Initiative Q even a cryptocurrency, and is it legal?

Initiative Q is the latest trendy project to set the internet on fire. While inviting all your friends to join sounds suspiciously like a pyramid scheme, you only have to provide your email address and name to get free (but worthless) “digital money.”

This digital money is worth nothing right now, and you can’t spend it anywhere, but it might be worth something in the future. You’ve almost got nothing to lose, so why wouldn’t you sign up?

What Is Initiative Q?

If you visit the Initiative Q website, you may end up with more questions than answers. Described as “tomorrow’s payment network”, Initiative Q is giving away their future currency with the aim of getting millions to join.

The best way to describe Initiative Q is PayPal 2.0. It uses a traditional central database to manage their payment network. There’s no blockchain involved at all, and you can’t buy this cryptocurrency at any crypto exchange—but despite this, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that Initiative Q is a cryptocurrency. Comparisons to Bitcoin are all over the place, and the alleged benefits of Initiative Q over cryptocurrencies are often repeated.

The digital money everybody is scrabbling to earn is called “Q”. This future currency drives the Q payment network. This network aims to unseat the likes of Visa and American Express and is working to be the number one payment network in the world. It’s not impossible, but it’s an uphill battle. A huge task.

Initiative Q boasts near-instant transfer speeds, low fees, modern technologies powering their network, and a responsible management system.

Initiative Q’s transactions work in a “unique” way. I write “unique” because it isn’t that different to cryptocurrencies, but it’s very different to many commercial banking providers:

In the future, making a transaction on the Q network will require you to buy an amount of Q equal to the value of your transaction or transfer. Once a transaction begins, agents compete with each other to perform the processing and gain a small fee for it. This transaction “may utilize a blockchain ledger,” but it’s not guaranteed. It’s almost like Initiative Q is riding on the coattails of the blockchain and cryptocurrency hype train in an attempt to build its own momentum.

That’s the theory at least. In reality, Qs are almost useless right now. You can’t buy any and you can’t spend any. No shops accept them and you can’t give them away. The main selling point right now is the (slim) chance of it turning into cash if Initiative Q takes off in the future. Initiative Q would have you believe you’re getting into Bitcoin on the ground floor, but in truth, it’s far less disruptive than Bitcoin ever was.

How to Join Initiative Q

Initiative Q is currently invitation-only, which seems odd given how popular they want it to become. It’s almost as if they are building enthusiasm and selling snake oil instead of working on a decent product. Cynical, I know.

By registering for a free account, you’ll earn several thousand Q—as of this writing, the sign-up bonus is around Q2,400. This amount will go down as more users register. And while it may sound like a lot, note that there are several trillion total Qs available, so Initiative Q will need to become bigger than Apple or Amazon for you to see a nice payout on the sign-up bonus alone.

To join, you need an invite from someone with an existing membership. Once joined, you can invite other users and gain additional Qs when they join. You can also gain Qs by performing other tasks in the future, such as installing the Initiative Q app.

A quick scroll down your Facebook feed may yield an invite, as may a chat around the office water cooler. If all else fails, Initiative Q’s Facebook page or Twitter page often have invites floating around.

Is Initiative Q a Scam?

It’s hard to classify Initiative Q right now.

It’s a novel idea that has potential, but they’ve spent a decent amount of money on marketing. By getting “rewarded” for inviting your friends, Initiative Q sounds an awful lot like a pyramid scheme, especially when your friends don’t get any extra Q for using your link.

You can’t spend Q right now, you can’t buy them, or send them either. The network may be up and running in the future, but here’s where there could be a problem. As you can’t use it right now, loads of users may go on to forget all about it. What happens to all those Qs?

When operational in the future, it’s tough to expect users to pay for Q when so many were given away for free. A projected price of $1 is bonkers given how many exist. It may as well be Monopoly money.

The competing agent way of processing transactions is an interesting concept, but this won’t work without a lot of users on the network. If nobody uses Q, then the agents won’t use it either, and it will die. That said, if it looks like a cryptocurrency, smells like a cryptocurrency, and sounds like a cryptocurrency, it probably is a cryptocurrency—except it isn’t.

Why not buy a cryptocurrency instead. You can have all the digital money you like, and you’ll gain some advantages as well such as decentralized servers, possible free airdrops, not to mention all the cryptocurrency wallets you can use to keep your coins secure. What happens if Initiative Q goes bust, or puts a huge fee on transactions?

If everyone owns Q5,000, it’s hard to imagine the price being worth anything significant. What’s the catch? Perhaps Initiative Q is harvesting your details, or maybe they want to sell the network in the future. Perhaps it’s a clever long-term scam and any real money you give them in the future will be as good as gone. Who knows? It’s all speculation at this point.

For the price of one email address and your name, it’s worth signing up to Initiative Q in the rare chance it actually does work out. But be very cautious about any future information requests! Email addresses, contact lists, browsing preferences, and habits are sold all the time, so don’t volunteer to be a guinea pig simply under the guise of more pretend money.

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