Initiative Q is the brainchild of Saar Wilf, a serial entrepreneur who started his first payments start-up in 1997, and later founded Fraud Sciences, which redefined the payment security space and was acquired by PayPal in 2008.
Wilf has compiled a team of experts from a variety of disciplines, including mathematics, economics, and other social sciences. The economic and monetary models were developed with Economist Lawrence White, a professor of monetary theory and policy at George Mason University. White has published numerous articles and books on monetary theory and banking, including The Theory of Monetary Institutions, Free Banking in Britain,and The Clash of Economic Ideas.
The idea behind Initiative Q is to first create a critical mass of users, which can then be harnessed to create the world’s best payment network. Therefore, our primary focus is to get millions of Q members registered, after which we will continue recruiting the world’s top professionals in payment systems, macroeconomics, and Internet technologies.
Every Q network member wants to know how valuable Qs can become. If Initiative Q succeeds in creating a world leading payment network, it is expected that all Qs reserved today for members will eventually be granted at a value of roughly one US dollar per Q.
The following economic model explains the reasoning behind this estimate and the mechanisms used to maintain the long-term value of Qs along with the growth of the Q network.
Value: the Equation of Exchange
Therefore, in order to estimate the value of all Qs, we need to estimate the volume of transactions on the network as well as the velocity of money.
- Volume: The global volume of credit card purchases is over 20 trillion dollars annually. Since Initiative Q’s unique distribution method solves the adoption problem and opens the gates to many new payment technologies (learn more),
buyers and sellers will prefer it to credit cards. Q retail volume is thus projected at 5-20 trillion dollars, assuming successful worldwide adoption.2
Nevertheless, it is reasonable to assume that in the early stages, members will hold reserves as low as one month’s worth of expenses, resulting in a velocity of 12.
Dividing the economic activity estimate in the event of successful market adoption (5-20 trillion dollars) by the velocity estimate (2-12) results in a total value of between half a trillion to 10 trillion dollars.
Value: A cryptocurrency comparison
Value of one Q
Q monetary policy
- Every currency needs a sound monetary policy, in order to maintain public trust in its long term stability. A currency whose economic value fluctuates rapidly complicates trades and finance, damages the economy, and eventually pushes people to use other currencies.
- To maintain purchasing-power stability, the total amount of money in the economy (the “money supply”) should grow on pace with economic activity and the corresponding demand to hold money. In most countries money supply is primarily controlled indirectly, through incentives given by central banks to private banks.
- Initiative Q also needs a monetary policy to maintain the currency’s stability, but as a global electronic currency, it is not bound by these historical limitations, and can use more advanced monetary instruments while relying on accurate real time economic data. These monetary instruments are detailed below.
- It should be noted that Initiative Q’s monetary policy will eventually be overseen by a monetary committee that is directly accountable to all Q holders, and independent of the Initiative Q corporate entity.
Controlling the Q in circulation
The Q payment network’s purpose is to facilitate trade more efficiently than current payment systems and currencies. This requires that the Q be stable in value, so prices remain fairly constant and predictable.
To accomplish this goal, the reward Qs reserved for each member will be released for use gradually, at a rate that matches the growth in economic activity on the network, while maintaining a target exchange rate of one US dollar per Q.
Q’s main monetary instruments:
- Releasing Qs — Members who join Initiative Q can reserve Qs for free, with the specific number varying based on how early they join. These Qs will be released gradually as economic activity grows, enabling their use on the Q network and thus increasing the active current money supply.
- Activity incentives — Additional Qs can be issued to incentivize activities that promote network growth, such as a cashback reward on purchases, a bonus on conversion from other currencies, etc. This effectively creates a discount on Q-based purchases, which in turn attracts economic activity, which then requires issuing more Qs and so on. This positive feedback loop could fuel rapid growth of the network until it becomes a payment standard and can grow solely on the merit of its technological advantages.
In general, these monetary instruments offer much better and more direct control of the money supply than those used by today’s central banks. Central banks are bound by the historical limitations of the fractional reserve system — a system that requires them to operate through private banks. This results in long response cycles and unpredictable inflation.
The money supply must match economic activity to keep purchasing power stable. Therefore, since economic activity has no cap, the amount of Qs should also be uncapped.
Thus, while theoretically unlimited, the Q supply is controlled in practice. This is done solely through monetary instruments that may be used only for the goals of maintaining currency stability, and promoting adoption.
To meet this need, Initiative Q will feature a monetary committee that is independent of the Initiative Q corporate entity, to be appointed via voting by all stakeholders in the Q payment network. This committee will be in charge of setting and running the monetary policy: determining how many Qs to add or remove from circulation, and through which monetary instruments. Members of the monetary committee are financially incentivized to meet their goals by tying remuneration to performance.
As an additional means of instilling trust in the long-term purchasing power of Q, the monetary committee will continuously offer to buy Qs in exchange for USD (and other currencies) at the target rate of 1 Q per 1 USD. This will assure sellers they can confidently accept Q as a payment method.
This requires the monetary committee to hold large reserves of USD. The reserve balance will be publically available, assuring members that they can convert to USD at any time, thus supporting Q stability. As Q becomes a global standard, and trust in its long-term value increases, the reserve ratio can decrease.
These reserves are financed through two sources:
- Selling Q for USD — Buyers looking to benefit from the advantages of the Q payment network need to add Qs in their account, which is done by buying them from the monetary committee.
- Selling future grants of Q — This option is available to accredited investors who believe in the long-term success of Initiative Q. They can purchase (at a significant discount) the right to receive Qs in the future, that will be released according to the network growth — similar to the new members rewards.