The idea for Incent was born back in 2014. It’s been a long road, but earlier this month we started issuing crypto rewards automatically to consumers as they go about their everyday spending. In short, it’s on!
The road to Incent has been five years long. It was some time in 2014 that the idea was first kicked around, as a tool for rewarding engagement on BitScan – the largest crypto directory and merchant hub at the time.
Before its time
Back then, the crypto world was a very different place. It was great to be an early adopter, working to promote a set of technologies we were sure would change the world, but everything was tougher. The tech was harder to use, there wasn’t the range of platforms and functionality available that there is today, and there wasn’t much in the way of regulation. It was also very difficult to connect crypto with the regular banking system in a way that would be seamless enough to appeal to consumers.
Crypto was still a big experiment. The whole ecosystem was untested, vulnerable to external shocks as bitcoin came to global attention and scrutiny properly for the first time. In the wake of the Silk Road bust, the fall of Gox and the aftermath of a speculative bubble, there were questions about what kind of role crypto might have in the future – whether it would remain a form of unofficial cash for geeks, or whether it would truly take its place within the global economy.
Here to stay
By the time Incent launched its ICO at the end of 2016, a lot had changed. Crypto was still in its infancy but it was clear that it wouldn’t just survive but thrive. US authorities hadn’t killed it, China hadn’t hamstrung it, the market hadn’t sold it out of existence. Innovation was happening, fast, with new ideas and platforms battling to improve on the shortcomings of their predecessors. Incent raised $1.1 million. It wasn’t much by the standards of 2017’s ICOs, but it was enough to get the project off the ground.
Even then it wasn’t plain sailing. We’ve had our share of technical and logistical challenges as we’ve figured out how best to deliver on the vision of putting crypto into the hands of regular consumers, and interfacing with the conventional banking system (more on this another time, but trust us – it’s no mean feat).
Earlier this month, we launched our product to the first Australian consumers. Anyone who registers and syncs their bank account with us gets rewarded with crypto as they spend – absolutely automatically and absolutely frictionlessly. When we started this project five years ago, ‘mass adoption’ was the holy grail for crypto, a kind of talismanic hope for the community. Now, we’re one of the first outfits to actually make it happen.
Alongside that, we’ve seen Bitcoin come of age. Crypto has arrived. Institutional bitcoin trading is imminent with Bakkt and LedgerX. Just in the last week, the news emerged that the SEC is seeking to run Bitcoin and Ethereum nodes, and US lawmakers are engaging with the reality that it would be almost impossible to ban Bitcoin, even if they wanted to. Every day brings something new.
Make no mistake about it: crypto is here to stay, and Incent is happening. Before long we’re going to be distributing crypto to thousands of regular people who have never held it before. It’s on! And we hope you’ll come along for the next stage of the journey, because it promises to be exciting.
With the launch of the platform, Australian users can access rewards in Incent tokens on every spend they make. To find out more, visit www.incent.com.