On Mass Pay, Subscriptions, and expectations of money

Metronome Token
Aug 23, 2018 · 4 min read

When the Metronome team set out to build a cryptocurrency as if we had a blank slate and the knowledge of the past decade, we realized there were a few areas that needed attention. Engineering something that is built to last requires more thought than simply forking existing code and redeploying with a few tweaks. Due to these considerations, the team built a protocol it believes was built to last, with sound governance and internal mechanisms to support the ecosystem. Many headlines were drawn to Metronome’s Self-Governance and Portability–as the intriguing characteristics they are. However, it is just as important to consider some of the more banal aspects of Metronome as money. Banality is just as necessary in making a good cryptocurrency as innovation.

What we expect from money

Money is such an integrated part of our daily lives that we often fail to appreciate the massive role it plays–and what we expect from it in that daily, near constant, interaction. At its very base, money satisfies a few principles: ability to store value, move value, and remain fungible. What makes money viable is the degree to which it efficiently satisfies these criteria.

The United States Dollar is the world’s reserve currency, it is widely accepted, and on a denominational level it retains its fungibility. As far as our expectations for currency go, it is rather efficient.

Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, has struggled to fill this role neatly–so much so that prominent leaders in the cryptocurrency community have expressed their concerns over the current viability of cryptocurrency as an actual currency. Cryptocurrency has scaling issues, adoption issues, volatility concerns, ownership can be incredibly centralized, and there are use cases where fiat still has an edge. None of these things negate the fact that cryptocurrency is money, it’s just inefficient money–for now. Metronome has been designed to address some of these issues.

What Metronome does differently

Innovation is an important benchmark in all new technologies, and cryptocurrency is no exception. That said, we must also recognize that innovation can be just as much of a look back as it is a look forward. Metronome holistically viewed the cryptocurrency landscape and what is expected of it. Portability was both a look back and a look forward–fiat currencies are portable between ledgers, why shouldn’t cryptocurrency be as well?

Moving beyond some of the “cooler” technical feats, some other basic functions of money are neglected in many cryptocurrencies: the ability to mass pay (on Ethereum) and to handle subscription-based periodic payments. These have been, understandably, highlighted less when third parties discuss cryptocurrency functionality–it doesn’t grab much attention.

In spite of this, making a cryptocurrency act like a currency from the start was one of the Metronome team’s main goals. We wanted to launch it on a well-secured platform (Ethereum) with the ability to port to other chains, but recognized that ether (Ethereum’s native token) was not cut out to be a currency and its token standards, as they were, did not satisfy some of the needs of an efficient monetary unit. This is why we developed additional functionality for the ERC20 standard to have the advanced payment options such as mass pay and subscriptions. No other popular ERC standard has mass pay, and none have subscriptions. Even the Bitcoin protocol, while having masspay, does not have subscriptions.

Both mass pay and subscription functionalities were present in Metronome at launch, and are ready for use now. Payrolls and mining payouts on the Ethereum network can be executed with single transactions, meaning a singular fee. Subscription based content can finally begin exploring cryptocurrency as a recurring payment option. These features and how they work can be viewed on GitHub, and the Metronome community continues to make these functionalities even more user friendly via updated GUIs like the Metronome wallet. However, there is nothing stopping the community from using and exploring this functionality now.

Every aspect of Metronome aims to make it not just an efficient cryptocurrency, but efficient money. Ultimately, a cryptocurrency’s ability to be used as an effective currency is what will cement its longevity–and the team understood that when it built Metronome.

Conclusion

We believe that every aspect of Metronome positions it as close to ideal money as a cryptocurrency can be. Not all of these aspects need to be “sexy” and because of the Metronome team’s attention to the banal, vital features were not overlooked. At both a high level and daily practicality, Metronome is built to be a built to last cryptocurrency–something that can be used from high profile monetary transfers to the equally important video streaming service payment.

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The Metronome Team