Inc. (USA) - - UP NEXT - —AMY WEBB

In the next decade, your cus­tomers will pay for goods and ser­vices in ways that side­step tra­di­tional cur­ren­cies: with to­kens, block chainen­abled and dis­trib­uted units of value that busi­nesses can is­sue to trans­act with cus­tomers. A cur­rent ex­am­ple is Civil, a de­cen­tral­ized net­work for news with for-profit and non­profit arms that’s rais­ing cap­i­tal through to­ken sales to fund some of its work. Those who own Civil’s to­kens can use them to start their own news­room on Civil’s plat­form. And they can also use those to­kens to barter with oth­ers on Civil’s plat­form to, for in­stance, build out ad­ja­cent ser­vices and apps.

The value of to­kens is set by their is­suer, but that value won’t rise un­less there’s mar­ket de­mand for them. Think of them as a pri­vately is­sued cur­rency that skirts tra­di­tional is­suers, so what was once con­trolled by govern­ments will soon be avail­able to all, thanks to blockchain tech­nol­ogy and clever cryp­tocur­rency en­trepreneurs. In the near fu­ture, we’ll see new to­ken-based busi­ness mod­els, which could rev­o­lu­tion­ize not only how pay­ments are made but also pric­ing. That’s be­cause blockchain tech­nol­ogy can fa­cil­i­tate mi­cro­pay­ments with no trans­ac­tion costs: No smart mer­chant should ac­cept a two-cent credit card charge, be­cause that cost is higher than the price. But fu­ture busi­nesses might charge tiny amounts for cer­tain goods and ser­vices—all fa­cil­i­tated through tokenomics.

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