Quid Pro QUANT

A successful currency is generally assessed for its ability to serve as a unit of account, medium of exchange, storage of value – this article describes the use of QUANT as a unit of account in Asynchronous Quid Pro Quo relationships.

[QUANT is the cryptocurrency of the Integrated Engineering Blockchain Consortium (IEBC) with first issue and copyright on December 15, 2015 on the Bitshares blockchain and should not be confused with tokens of a similar name. QUANT is novel among digital tokens for representing value intrinsic to the ingenuity of people.]

The Experiment:

This article describes ongoing sandboxing of the QUANT at the IEBC where we give away QUANT to high impact individuals in exchange for their advice in support of IEBC operations.  The individual is then asked to offer their QUANT to others in exchange for their consult, and so on.  When they ask “How much is QUANT Worth?” our only instruction is that  “QUANT is worth what you say it is worth”.

  • We give large amounts, say, Q10,000 to Q1M depending on the person and their reputation.  
  • There is no implied conversion rate between Dollars and Quant
  • There are no work contracts

Results

  • Networks interact autonomously in interesting ways.
  • The free time that one person would give to a colleague appears to increase by at least 4 fold when the QUANT Token is exchanged.
  • The amount of QUANT that the person is willing to pay is proportional to the reputation of the person that they are asking to accept it.
  • The amount of QUANT that a person accepts for their consult is proportional to the reputation of the person asking.
  • The value of the QUANT network increases with each additional node.

Discussion:

Quid Pro Quo arrangements are often seen as a variation on the Barter system.   Barter systems suffer from the problem of dual coincidence. For example, a rancher and the Baker can only barter if BOTH the rancher wants bread AND the baker wants meat at the same exact moment in time.  The problem of dual coincidence is solved by social consensus that a third object, say gold, is acceptable to all parties and would be used as the intermediary currency .

One of the key characteristics of blockchains is the ability to record events in time.  This may allow for the idea of dual coincidence to be relaxed because the exchange no longer has to happen at the same moment in time. It further appears that those in possession of a diverse combinations of knowledge assets increases their likelihood of completing an initial transaction.  Within the right network, any two people would eventually find something to teach to, or something to learn from, another.

For example, a Lawyer and an Engineer may require a dual coincidence in their respective cases in order to complete a fair barter transaction. But when you add, “Blockchain enthusiast” to both the lawyer and the engineer – the probability of an asynchronous exchange improves dramatically.  As such, Asynchronous Quid Pro Quo exchange of knowledge assets behaves almost like that 3rd object – a medium of exchange – thereby reducing the dual coincidence to a single coincidence, or shall we say, a consensus.

Game Mechanics:

As with everything, we are interested in how different incentives can change standard behaviors from the current economic doctrine to something different.

The way to increase the probability of social collisions, and therefore the utility of QUANT, is to bring people together around some shared interest in physical time and space. There are no shortage of events, meet-ups, and conferences for people to attend in a wide variety of topics. The problem is that there is no way to identify which meet-up will yield the highest potential for QUANT exchange.

Fortunately, QUANT transaction records are stored on a Blockchain and can be analyzed for business intelligence related to both the surplus and deficit of knowledge in a target community.   Transaction records may provide a coefficient of value relative to the attendee that provides a high likelihood that a person will find the knowledge that they are looking for while also possessing the knowledge that is sought after.  The dominant strategy of the player will be to increase their value to a community.

Conclusion:

OK, not exactly scientific, but we need to start somewhere. These are our early observations from issuing over a 2 Million Quant across our network. In fact, the IEBC, at the time of this writing, is funded almost entirely with QUANT.   And that says a lot about our reputation.