Nimiq &

Research on Crypto Adoption

Team Nimiq
Dec 17, 2018 · 9 min read

“New technology is not good or evil in and of itself. It’s all about how people choose to use it.” {David Wong}

Team Nimiq is interested in learning more about how to achieve mass adoption in communities facing fiat currency instability and financial exclusion from banks in both a meaningful and responsible way. We believe that David Wong’s thoughts on technology are very true and that negative public opinion on cryptocurrencies is often driven by misinformation or the lack of information. That’s why it’s important to Nimiq that any mass adoption effort would also reflect our core values by striving to bring about positive environmental and social change.


Recently, Team Nimiq started exploring meaningful avenues for potential cryptocurrency adoption in communities that are challenged by their currency and access to banking. These efforts have resulted in sponsoring to create a cryptocurrency adoption proposal on behalf of Nimiq and the wider crypto community. The content of this proposal is entirely open source and everyone is free to use this initial work to develop their own crypto adoption methodologies.

We would like to share this first version of a crypto adoption playbook allowing the wider cryptocurrency community to help evaluate the approach and decide how to proceed. You should know that the blueprint outlined is intended to be a living document, meaning that it is open to further optimizations and refinements from the crypto, academic, charitable and entrepreneurial communities. We also welcome collaboration opportunities and insights from other crypto projects. The cryptocurrency space is too small for us to be divided and our hope is that this adoption effort and research can help bring the crypto community together to tackle the overarching problem of mainstream crypto adoption.

The purpose of this blog post is to give everyone an overview of the proposal, provide the community access to the full document at and collect feedback. An executive summary of the crypto adoption proposal can also be found at the bottom of this post.

It is exceptionally important to note that this plan is in a development and evaluation stage. The Nimiq team is assessing the ideas and any decision on whether to proceed even with phase one would only be made after further refining and peer-reviewing the proposal as well as receiving community feedback and support. We hope you will help us in this evaluation process and would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

The Wider Vision For The Plan

It’s no secret that there are many environmental problems in the world. We believe that many of these are inextricably linked to human development issues. Ask yourself what the root cause is for issues such as poaching or illegal rainforest logging? Why does it happen when the consequences are clearly so negative? To us, the answer is: People with limited options, particularly when faced with banking and fiat currency challenges, are more likely to exploit the natural environment around them to provide for themselves and their family in the short term. Poverty limits your options, particularly when it comes to long-term goals and investments.

Can cryptocurrency power a scalable, inspiring solution to provide a new way forward for communities most let down by their current fiat economy? After all, communities challenged with currency or banking issues are usually characterized by:

  • Poor payment infrastructure.
  • High proportions of the population are unbanked.
  • Native fiat currencies have a higher likelihood of being unstable.
  • Expensive mobile data.
  • Low levels of laptop/desktop ownership (mitigated by high levels of smartphone ownership)

In short, many challenged communities show characteristics where cryptocurrency could add real value as a medium of exchange. In contrast, the reality is that in fully developed nations the main use for cryptocurrencies at present is speculation. If USD/EUR/stable fiat works just fine as a medium of exchange (unless you are ideologically opposed to it), why would mass adoption of any crypto happen?

How To Give People A Hand Up?

The proposed adoption plan aims to create the most detailed case study on cryptocurrency adoption to date. This plan can be strengthened and executed in collaboration with the academic, charitable, entrepreneurial and cryptocurrency communities. The chief goals of the proposed case study are to:

  • Demonstrate that cryptocurrency can be adopted by an entire real world community.
  • Attempt to raise levels of wealth within the local economy, through the deployment of a local incubator. Many aspiring entrepreneurs in challenged communities are denied the opportunity of participating in the digital economy through a lack of access to traditional banking services, ‘know how’ and resources. The proposed incubator aims to remove such barriers and inject new money into the local community through revenues from outside of the community.
  • Promote academic research on the macro and wider implications of cryptocurrency adoption.
  • Create a repeatable process that can be used to identify and deploy further crypto adoption case studies in the future.
  • Leverage the case study and challenge the mainstream misconceptions that ‘cryptocurrency is only used by criminals’ or that ‘cryptocurrency does not produce anything useful’ by establishing practical positive impact purpose.

At Nimiq, we understand that general crypto adoption in communities facing currency issues and banking exclusion can only be achieved bit by bit. However, imagine if we succeeded in creating a process to identify and deploy successful cryptocurrency adoption case studies in every community around South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Consider the possible effect on the rhino population if poaching were no longer the dominant economic option for the poachers. This is how the proposed case study model ties in with our wider vision and how it could bring about positive environmental and social change.

Indeed, the potential is there to create an entirely new model for charity and philanthropy, entirely powered by cryptocurrency. We have no doubt that this outcome would make the world a better place and enhance the profile of cryptocurrencies in the mainstream media.

Plan Overview

When it comes to blockchain in academia, it appears that most research is focused on the technical side of the technology. At Nimiq, we think these efforts are important. However, so is research on the wider implications of cryptocurrency adoption. The proposed plan aims to provide academics with the necessary data to study cryptocurrency adoption and play a key role in shaping the case study’s methodology. TotalCrypto thinks this will further enhance academic interest in cryptocurrencies and would provide a foundation on which further crypto adoption research can be built.

This is why TotalCrypto is passionate about drawing on the expertise of selected academics in the initial research phase of the plan. It is also envisioned that other partnerships and collaborations will further increase the chances of cryptocurrency adoption in the case study area and further enhance its academic value.

It is proposed that the deployment of the case study is made up of three key components:

  • A local exchange: To swap local currency for crypto and back again. It is also recommended that the exchange acts as a crypto information center for the local population.
  • A real-life crypto airdrop: The idea is to sow the seeds of free enterprise and empower locals with the choice of how to spend their crypto. This airdrop would act as a one-time stimulus package for the local community.
  • The Incubator: Aims to promote local economic growth by supporting locals with the ‘know how’, tools and resources to create online businesses and compete in the global economy. This also provides a mechanism for new money to enter the local economy and drive growth. It’s proposed that crypto is used as the base currency for incubee salaries and company revenues. This would further deepen levels of cryptocurrency adoption in the case study area.

Next Steps

Do you think that this proposal is a good way to use NIM and is it an initiative you would like to see Nimiq pursue? We welcome the thoughts and feedback of the entire community and we’ll certainly take these into account when making our assessment on whether to proceed with phase one.

If this proposal is of interest to other crypto projects, we are happy for you to build your own adoption plans on it. Nimiq is passionate about making a contribution to wider crypto adoption and if this Nimiq sponsored research can also help other projects achieve this goal, then it’s certainly something we want to support.

We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback to improve the proposal.

Executive Summary: The Crypto Adoption Proposal

Phase 1: Analysis — Identifying a Case Study Location, Charities & Academic Help

Goal: To identify communities with the greatest chance of cryptocurrency adoption and create a ‘Case Study Recommendation Report’. This would shortlist the top three communities for cryptocurrency adoption and would detail the pros and cons of each location. Local charities operating in the potential case study area would also be identified to gauge the level of assistance Nimiq could get on the ground.

Approach: Conduct qualitative and quantitative research to help identify potential case study locations and further optimize the crypto adoption proposal.

Lessons From Academia: Past academic efforts from the area of anthropological research on alternative physical currencies could be drawn on to enhance the crypto adoption case study. It’s proposed that participating crypto projects are given a warm introduction to academics, whose research focuses on money, exchange, value, creativity, and social movements. An example of past work of these academics includes ‘Alternative (physical) Currencies and Social Movements: the case of the Mercado Alternativo Túmin’, in which they spent 18 months in the field deploying a case study. A crypto adoption case study could indeed be viewed as a natural extension of this existing work and it’s anticipated that there would significant value in collaborating to identify locations suitable for cryptocurrency adoption.

Phase 2: Outreach — Charities, Academics, Mentors, Gatekeepers & Entrepreneurs

Goal: To form partnerships to help with the execution of the cryptocurrency adoption case study:

  • Local charities: To help gain an even better picture of how things are on the ground. For example, how prevalent is smartphone ownership in the area? Local charities may also assist with the deployment of the case study or put participating crypto projects in touch with trustworthy locals to help with execution. Charities may also be the source of valuable insights on the adoption plan, which could lead to further refinements being made.
  • Gatekeepers: The role of gatekeepers is to oversee the day-to-day operation of the local exchange and incubator.
  • Academics: To help refine the crypto adoption blueprint with feedback and insights. The idea is to give academics the opportunity to play a key role in shaping the case study and ensure that it has as much academic value as possible. It is envisioned that academic papers on the case study would judge the success or failure of cryptocurrency adoption in the case study area.
  • Mentors & Entrepreneurs: Will be required to help support the incubator through mentorship and recommending resources to incubees. It is proposed that mentors would have their seminars live-streamed (like a TedTalk) and that knowledge base contributors would help compile an archive of useful online business resources for incubees to use.

Phase 3: Deployment — Committing & Making it Happen

Goal: Full execution of the case study.

Once the first two phases are complete, participating crypto projects would then be in a position to make a final assessment on whether to deploy the case study or not.

Proposed deployment actions:

  • Marketing: This could start during any of the three phases. A marketing drive will be necessary if the decision is made to deploy the case study. The proposed strategy is based on the creation and distribution of compelling content. This would highlight case study efforts, charitable partnerships, onboarded entrepreneurs and the academics who are collaborating on the project. At Nimiq, we like to think of this as marketing with substance.
  • In terms of distribution, advises the use of a journalistic approach to marketing by sharing content with editors of crypto and mainstream publications, YouTubers, Twitch streams and of course leveraging social media channels.
  • Educational Onboarding Video: It’s been advised that two different cryptocurrency onboarding videos should be created to share with the population of the case study area. One would focus on teaching people in the community what a cryptocurrency is, what the advantages are and how to use them. The second would focus on entrepreneurs in the community and tell them reasons for accepting crypto as a payment method.
  • Local Exchange Setup: Gatekeepers would then be sent to the case study area to set up the local exchange and onboard locals to help run it. Exchange operation rules, security precautions, and inventory can be viewed in the Cryptocurrency Adoption Proposal.
  • Introducing Crypto to the Local Population: It’s been proposed that educational videos are the best method to teach locals about crypto at scale and a Q&A session has been recommended after the video has been played. The onboarding session ends with locals being given some crypto at the local exchange to help sow the seeds of free enterprise. Entrepreneurs would then be asked to attend a separate session focused on the local merchant adoption.
  • Incubator Deployment: It’s been proposed that there would be a rigorous selection process and that the cryptocurrency community would vote on which projects are accepted. Onboarded incubees would then be helped by participating mentors and entrepreneurs to build and scale online businesses. It’s been envisioned that these businesses would focus on areas such as affiliate marketing, blogs, drop shipping, and service-based business. Incentive schemes for both the incubees and mentors have been outlined in the full proposal.

DISCLAIMER: None of the statements must be viewed as an endorsement or recommendation for Nimiq, any cryptocurrency, or investment product. Neither the information nor any opinion contained herein constitutes a solicitation or offer by the creators or participants to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.


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