The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is considering creating its own utility token to capitalize on the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies.
Named after the agency’s acronym, the plan to launch TAT coin will have to navigate through Thailand’s complex legal framework and regulations before coming to life.
The Bangkok Post reported today that the TAT is in discussions with the Stock Exchange of Thailand regarding its ambitions and how the transfer of value can be achieved without introducing the speculative aspects of trading.
TAT coin “would involve the transfer of vouchers into digital tokens that could help operators gain greater liquidity,” according to the report.
Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT governor, said he values the potential that technologies like cryptocurrencies have to offer and believes it is a great opportunity for the Thai tourism industry to boost competitiveness in the short term by attracting cryptocurrency holders:
“We have to prepare digital infrastructure and digital literacy for our tourism operators in order to commence cryptourism as the traditional business model might not be able to keep up with the new changes.”
The TAT’s long term ambitions would see them to partner with the local Bitkub exchange to develop a tourism platform featuring the TAT coin and possibly non fungible tokens. Although Thailand is among the first countries in Southeast Asia to enact cryptocurrency legislation, NFTs are not yet legal.
Related:Thailand’s central bank outlines safeguards for a future retail CBDC
On Monday, the Thai government announced it would waive quarantine for vaccinated travelers in Bangkok and other nine provinces from November 1 onwards, in hopes to revive the economy, which has been one of the slowest in East Asia and Pacific to recover from the pandemic.
“The Thai economy will likely require a longer time to rebound owing to delay in foreign tourist return,” said Kiatipong Ariyapruchya, senior country economist of the World Bank for Thailand.
The World Bank released a report on Tuesday, further cutting Thailand’s economic growth forecast in 2021, bringing it down to one per cent.
As Cointelegraph has reported, crypto assets offer an alternative solution to transform government services and promote economic growth in the region.
In the last episode of “Altcoin Evolution”, we discussed hurdles that can prevent more casual crypto investors from acquiring some of the more obscure altcoins. Obviously, accessibility to investment is paramount to getting in the hands of consumers, and for projects to continue their own ‘evolution’. Despite continued market-wide shifts to make crypto more easily accessible, the road is still long and tumultuous.
Another “crypto-winter” is never out of the question, and how broader society at large adapts to digital currencies is still yet to be determined. Still, the potential hazards are flanked by the vast amount of potential upside with the developing tech and consistent emerging projects in the space.
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The Altcoin Evolution: You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got… More Questions?
Beyond last week’s coverage around accessibility, another variable arises in crypto from attaching tangible function to different coins. The questions are practically endless: What is the purpose of the project and token? How does it integrate into our current financial industry (or into other industries such as art and culture, or information systems)? Does the project have its own form of blockchain, or is it operating on one of the larger, more established arenas? Unique value propositions are paramount in any project, and these could include any number of things that can be derived from any of these questions.
Some coins are designed with specific usages in mind, often on existing blockchains, and are typically referred to as “utility tokens”. Let’s elaborate further: tokens generally break down into one of two buckets – utility tokens or security tokens. The differentiator between the two has by and large been established as the SEC’s Howey Test, which historically has been used to define a securities contract. Utility tokens are predominantly providing consumers with a product or service, rather than being seen as a traditional investment vehicle. Security tokens’ value proposition is typically pretty straight-forward, however things are not typically as clear with utility tokens in today’s landscape.
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A majority of these tokens, especially around the NFT space (which we’ve regularly turned to throughout this series), are currently working on the Ethereum blockchain. This applies to ECOMI (and it’s OMI token), as well as some of the original projects on Flow that existed before the FLOW token (such as CryptoKitties), both of which are referenced in earlier installments of this series. These were designed with the concept of providing access to goods/services, such as NFT collectibles, creating an economy based around exchange of the coin. In essence, a marketplace functioning sans fiat currency.
ECOMI is built on the back on the backbone of the Ethereum network. | Source: OMI-USDT on TradingView.com
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Is It, Or Isn’t It?
Of course, the lines between utility are often far from being black and white. Some NFT critics suggest that for the likes of NBA Top Shot, Topps MLB, or ECOMI, IP integration won’t be enough to carry the load. Critics of other NFT projects, like CryptoPunks or Bored Ape Yacht Club, often argue that the communities generated from this projects won’t have staying power (despite prices for CryptoPunks being as high as ever, approaching year five of the project).
Furthermore, while emerging and established NFT projects make for prime examples in this conversation, these criticisms don’t start or finish with NFTs. For many years now, the biggest Cardano (ADA) critics have furrowed their brow that the utility and use case around the coin was not clear and well-defined. Despite this, Cardano is the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Talk about an altcoin evolution.
Our objective here isn’t to make an argument for or against any of these projects, but only to emphasize that dialogue in the crypto-community around utility is ever-present. After all, the value of IP is often arbitrarily assigned even in contexts outside of crypto.
Don’t Stop Now… It’s More Than IP
Furthermore, utility of course doesn’t stop or start with just IP either. Writer and founder Zoe Scamanoutlined her recent perspectiveof “five key components of a crypto-native, fandom-centric brand”. The core components include Worldbuilding & Narrative, Cultivating Community, Status & Access, Open IP, and Shared Equity. These traits undoubtedly outline “value”, but the measuring stick is as unclear as ever. The bearish perspective would likely suggest that even these core components aren’t enough for true longevity, while the bullish perspective would state that these qualities can build NFT projects that will last a lifetime. Like many things in life, the reality likely lands somewhere in the middle of it all.
In all, the concept and evolution of utility coins is still relatively new and fresh – even when compared to the phenomenon of digital currency as a whole. The wild west is an apt metaphor for the developing landscape of purpose driven coins. However, as society’s reliance on digital innovation continues to gain ground, so does the opportunity for crypto projects to find more platforms to exercise use case.
A prime example just this week was the decision-making at OnlyFans,as reported on at our sister networkat Bitcoinist. As the site reportedly tightens down on adult content, the need for a decentralized, creator-first platform becomes abundantly clear. Many have speculated that some sort of crypto solution, such as the Bitcoin Lightning Network, could fill the void.
As DeFi and other use-case driven crypto projects inevitably move forward, there will be even more utility opportunities and functionality needs. The difficult part is valuing them. For emerging tokens and projects, demonstrating the problem and how the project addresses the problem, is vital.
In next week’s “Altcoin Evolution,” we’ll take a look at the final set of challenges – ‘selling’ a project or token to the general public and what it takes for crypto projects to stand out.
Related Reading | These Ethereum Indicators Show Whales Continue To Accumulate
Charts from TradingView.com, Image courtesy Jerry Sena
Tether.to, the blockchain-enabled platform that powers the largest stablecoin by market capitalization, has surpassed US$20 billion, underlying the increasing dominance of the most popular stablecoin.
According to a release shared with Blockchain.News, Tether tokens (USDt) perform a pivotal role within the digital token ecosystem, with many digital token spot exchanges now denominating pairs in Tether USDt rather than USD. Tether USDt is also increasingly being used in remittances and innovative projects in the digital token ecosystem, including those in the nascent space of decentralized finance (DeFi).
“As the year draws to a close, we can only reflect on Tether’s impressive growth,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Tether. “The market has spoken: People trust Tether and like using the most liquid and stable stablecoin. Tether will continue to be at the forefront of stablecoins’ innovation in 2021.”
Ardoino also made further comment on Tether’s organic growth via Twitter, he said:
“The most interesting part of Tether growth is that some it comes without marketing, it’s pure community and utility driven.”
Tether’s market capitalization has mushroomed to US$20 billion, having grown from about US$2 billion in February 2019. Tether works across a diversity of different blockchains, including Algorand, Bitcoin Cash’s Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP), Ethereum, EOS, Liquid Network, Omni and Tron.
@thecryptocaddy @CNBC It’s #Bitcoin that lack utility. #Gold is the most useful metal on the planet. TV ads will not effect the price of gold. The market is far too large. But they are very effective on a thinly-traded, highly manipulated market like Bitcoin where most coins are held by whales.