Why the Web Needs Token Based Economies

The cryptocurrency market is saturated with tokens.

There are over 2,000 of them according to Coinmarketcap — but the true number far exceeds that. What are all of these tokens? What do they do? And more importantly — who *needs* them?

While not every token that is created has a true *raison d’etre* (to steal a phrase from the French), a lot of them do and ATMOS, the token underpinning the Novusphere ecosystem, is one of them.

What qualifies a token as being useful? Because a token’s use is, after all, what it takes for it to be considered a utility token.

1. A token must be an integral part of the ecosystem of which it is a part, i.e., the token is a necessary component of the network’s function. Think of ETH for Ethereum or the EOS token.
2. The ecosystem itself must be in and of itself useful. In the case of EOS, there are DApps being built every day that deliver real value to the emerging decentralized internet. Think of Everipedia or our software, Novusphere, for creating censorship resistant content-sharing platforms.

If a token is baked into a network that meets the above criteria, then it can be said to be not only useful but also *necessary*.

And here’s the kicker…

We hear the question asked all of the time — why not just use USD? Why not just use such-and-such system that’s already in place and widely accepted, like Facebook, to achieve this or that end? The answer to that is simple: existing systems are centralized and benefit a small cadre of people with their hands very deep in the pocket.

At any moment that very cadre can pull the plug on the system, change its rules, or reorganize it so that it further benefits them and their people — what we’d call cronyism.

Token-based economies enable us to share and gather resources without having to appeal to higher authorities or regulatory bodies that control the keys to the kingdom. Instead, when we invest in our own systems and keep them running by virtue of active participation and maintaining a stake in them, we grow them stronger and take power away from the 1%.

Believing and participating in token-based economies *is* a political gesture, and it is the defining hallmark of the Web3, aka the decentralized internet.

To give you a concrete example of this, take our ATMOS token. When developers choose Novusphere software to build out unstoppable, censorship-resistant media sharing platforms, those very platforms will depend on ATMOS as an incentive for peers to work together.

If I need a specific type of content created and shared on the platform, I can create a bounty outlining the conditions and the amount in ATMOS that I’m willing to pay to get the job done. As a bounty hunter, you’ll decide whether you’re fit for the job and if so, you’ll get it done and post the content. I’ll review it and, if all is well, the ATMOS in escrow for the bounty is released to you.

That’s just one small example of the benefits of a circular economy based on cryptocurrency tokens, but it’s ramifications are powerful and the iterations endless.