Does your dapp need a token?
Simon de la Rouviere

Thanks for an interesting article — however I think we can take this further.

Tokens are just one way of incentivising certain kinds of social behaviour. In particular they seem to incentivise low grade social coordination, taking individual decisions which help the investment, shilling, promotion. An alternative but related approach is the allocation of ‘jobs’, ‘roles’, and ‘territory’ or to design of systems which specifically incentivise behaviours. For example:

  • A decentralised market could sell rights to manage, moderate and promote certain categories of market. Directly incentivising those managers.
  • A decentralised uber could sell geographical mayorships or guild memberships, or the ability to offer routing services.
  • A decentralised court could give rights to qualified arbitrators
  • Exchanges could give fees to market makers that add liquidity or reward ‘whales’.
  • Of course pyramid schemes or other things which benefit from network effects can directly incentivise people to recruit others.

The effect of a undifferentiated fungable token may be to turn a large mass of people into relatively uncoordinated and semi-motivated cheerleaders. The effect of designed roles or incentives may be to turn a smaller group into highly coordinated and highly motivated team. (They also are more Howey Test friendly)

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