A token to self-regulate tokens. But really.

  • There will be high intrinsic value for token issuers to list on the Messari registry, as it will send a strong social signal to investors and potential business partners that theirs is a reputable project.
  • The intrinsic value of the TCR to token-holders will also be high as it will spawn a vibrant and competitive ecosystem of proxy services, where token-holders can throw their weight behind the most judicious curators.
  • The curators will be incentivized to create tools that streamline issuer reporting, and increase application throughput without admitting projects that fail certain compliance tests.
  • The value of listing on the Messari TCR will grow even as the number of admitted projects grows because application costs will decrease over time and/or more robust filing requirements will be automated.
  1. This post is for discussion purposes only and must not be relied upon for any purpose. Forward-looking statements used herein are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual developments to differ materially from and be worse than expected or assumed by us. Yada yada yada. Don’t be a though crime vigilante.
  2. We’re not marketing a token right now. This is an idea, one for which we’ll engage counsel and advisors to help us think through in depth in the coming months, and which requires significant R&D to correctly deploy.
  3. From a legal and regulatory standpoint, we want to design this system in a way that minimizes or even eliminates retail investor participation. By design, they are not the target users: regulate-able institutions are.
  4. We think a Messari TCR could ultimately subsume many of the responsibilities of the SEC and their international equivalents, solving some of their trickier jurisdictional issues. As such, it is important regulators are engaged, but they are still merely an indirect stakeholder.
  5. We think a Messari TCR could serve as a much-needed backbone for all of the industry’s data services (much like EDGAR does today in the securities market) and pave the way for best practices and new mental models for what constitutes “fundamentals” in this emerging asset class. This should make Messari an interesting partner for crypto data services companies.
  6. We have no interest in getting rich off of this particular concept. We want this to succeed because our team is long-term greedy. The success of a Messari TCR itself would not enrich the founders or employees. That said, we have no interest in spending our time becoming martyrs for the crypto cause while many others get filthy rich building vaporware. The Messari project could be an important bit of industry infrastructure that belongs to the commons, and if it’s successful, we will be positioned to make a killing on ancillary products and/or services.
  7. That mindset is why you can maybe trust our intentions even if you’re skeptical at first. If the registry and token itself are well-designed, we could be awful, manipulative, and/or incompetent people, and the project should still thrive as intended.
  8. While we must create a model that offers token investors intrinsic value and a chance for ROI, we will be carefully studying how to mitigate the risk that a Messari TCR token could “pump” or that the system could become a target of sybil attacks or bribery attacks. We would need to create incentives that encourage early investors to voluntarily lock tokens.
  9. Given #7, this system probably only works if we are radically transparent about our investors and their stakes. We assume that a highly liquid secondary market emerges in the coming years, alleviating potential KYC and re-sale challenges.
  10. This is a big idea with numerous obstacles and a 90% chance of failure. But we also think it has a 90% chance of being more interesting than 90% of the other tokens issued this year.



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Messari Founder. Crypto since it was “bitcoin 2.0” Formerly ConsenSys, DCG, and CoinDesk. Sign up for my Unqualified Opinions: https://messari.substack.com/