Sustainability of PLU Rewards

Danial Daychopan
Published in
6 min readApr 6, 2023


Plutus customers have spent over $135m in value with their Plutus Cards, earning over 600k PLU in the last 6 months, all while stacking more than 2.4 million PLU to reach one of the higher reward levels.

Where Do PLU Rewards Come From?

Plutus created 20m PLU in 2016 to disrupt the traditional reward systems such as in-store reward cards by major retail brands or Avios Air Miles where your rewards are stuck within a single universe. The goal was to empower people by providing self-custodial rewards and give our customers the freedom to use them as they please.

We achieved this!

PLU enters into circulation from the Pluton Reward Pool which currently holds the remaining 16.8m PLU (84%) out of the 20m total supply.

How Are PLU Rewards Sustainable?

Over the last year, Plutus’ user base has grown exponentially due to increasing demand for higher reward rates. As a result, our customers are now stacking over 77% (2.4m/3.1m PLU) of the circulating supply to access additional Plutus Card benefits. This marks a significant increase from the previous year, where the figure was around 25%.

The rate of users stacking PLU (i.e. demand) has outpaced the rate of new PLU entering circulation (i.e. circulating supply) in the past 12 months. This is a crucial metric that we monitor.

As a result, we have continued to see stable and sustained growth of PLU Rewards over the last 3 years since Rewards 2.0 (November 2020).

How Does the Difficulty Adjustment Impact Longevity?

  • Currently, to unlock a Reward Level (Hero, Veteran, Legend, GOAT), cardholders must stack a certain amount of PLU.
  • Over time, the amount of PLU a user must stack to unlock each Reward Level will increase and this is known as the Difficulty Adjustment.

The calendar for this is outlined below:

The amount of PLU required to unlock a reward level

Although the upcoming Difficulty Adjustment will make it harder to unlock higher reward levels, it will also accelerate the depletion of the remaining circulating supply. This is because fewer customers will need to stack their rewards to exhaust all PLU in circulation, causing a supply shock.

The Difficulty Adjustment is crucial for the longevity of the reward pool, as it limits the emission of PLU by reducing the number of users who can easily reach higher reward levels that emit more PLU. With the current trajectory, the reward pool is expected to last for more than 20 years, but we anticipate it will exceed 100 years as the token becomes even scarcer due to its unique use-case within the Plutus app.

The following releases on the roadmap will have a significant impact on the Plutus Card’s mass market appeal and interest in PLU.

  • Difficulty Adjustment
  • Combined Account & Card
  • New Perks
  • US Expansion

Since the introduction of Rewards 2.0, Plutus has emitted 1.27m PLU to customers, which constitutes 6% of the total supply. Currently, a small subset of our customers are stacking 2.4m PLU (12% of the total supply). Due to outpacing demand and diminishing supply, unlocking higher reward levels will become increasingly difficult, leading to a supply shock that inadvertently extends the Pluton Reward Pool’s longevity.

What happens if the demand for the Plutus Card and PLU Rewards doesn’t grow?

Plutus’ business relies on demand for the Plutus Card, fortunately, the team has developed unique features and achieved product-market fit. According to our partner Solaris Bank, the card activation rate is among the industry’s highest at 61%, and over 50% of Monthly Active Users (MAU) pay for a subscription, which is 5–12 times higher than industry standards. Unlike many FinTechs that struggle to generate revenue and scale their business, Plutus has established a strong business model foundation before scaling, without external VC funding.

Given the facts, I am confident about the future, especially knowing we have a great roadmap and an excellent team, as well as an amazing bunch of loyal supporters, most of whom have been with us for years and seen our journey — we owe you a lot!

What is the life expectancy of Reward’s Pool?

Similar to Bitcoin, which emitted more of its supply to early miners due to lower difficulty levels and will mine its last coin in 2140, Pluton’s difficulty adjustment mechanism reduces token emission as demand from Plutus Cardholders (PLU miners) increases over time. After the supply shock and difficulty adjustment, we anticipate a decrease in the emission rate and a Pluton Reward Pool lifespan of over 100 years.

How do we control abuse of the Reward Pool?

We have always wanted to create a rewards token with multiple use cases and as few barriers to entry as possible. As a result of our success in achieving this, our customers have given their rewards a value that has attracted many new customers, as well as some who have attempted to use our leniency to abuse PLU rewards. This negatively impacts everyone else who is earning and stacking PLU for their genuine everyday purchases.

To safeguard the program’s integrity, we implement measures such as manual audits and auto-refund reviews within 45 days of purchase. Additionally, we collaborate with third parties (chartered accountants and lawyers) to govern the Pluton Rewards Pool and prevent a single point of failure. However, going forward, we must take further actions by changing the approval process from a fixed payout date to a more dynamic solution to conduct deeper audits and eliminate any fraudulently earned PLU.

Admittedly, the manual process is cumbersome for both our customers and for the team, therefore the team got together last week to create a plan for an automated solution where both the transaction audits and the withdrawal process will be much smoother. Our aim is to complete the audits within the first 45-day refund review period and allow instant withdrawals once the reward balance moves from pending to available.

How Does The Future of Plutus Look?
We expect demand to continue rising as it has done, and we intend to continue adding more features centred around PLU this year and onwards. This includes dozens of Perks, bank-like features, redeeming PLU for paid features and more. For us, it’s important to continue adding utility so our customers can enjoy more use cases with their earned PLU.

Despite occasional teething issues (which we are determined to fix), we have witnessed a 2,300% increase in our card spending figures and a impressively high Monthly Active User (MAU) rate, along with the highest card activation rate in the industry, 61% (source: Solaris Bank).

These figures are humbling given our self-funded status, small team, and user base compared to most VC-funded Fintechs. Our metrics indicate the Plutus app’s desirability, and with our revenue model and planned roadmap improvements, I am highly confident that Plutus will become one of the few self-funded market leaders in the near future.

Have any questions?

Join myself and the Plutus team next week for a live AMA on Discord where we’ll discuss Q1/2 progress, PLU Rewards, the Modulr transition and more!

  • Where: Discord
  • When: Thursday 13th April
  • Time: 18:00 BST / 19:00 CET