TL;DR Low prices coincide with imminent launch and merchant adoption on this mainstream but seemingly little-known crypto project.
Incent is a blockchain loyalty currency that exists as a token on the Waves platform. It’s designed to plug mainstream shoppers into crypto by sending them tokens as a reward whenever they make a purchase. They can also spend Incent with partnering stores. Unlike normal loyalty points, which are printed by companies like fiat money, there is a fixed supply of Incent and they are bought and sold off the open market whenever they are distributed or redeemed. Incent has been around for 18 months now, but is just about to go live with its first real-world partners.
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Incent held its crowdfund in October-November 2016, raising a little over $1 million in BTC and WAVES (though the value of any crypto holdings will have risen enormously since then thanks to the bull market). Few existing loyalty schemes work, because they offer poor value for users. Incent’s idea was to create a completely new kind of loyalty currency that customers would actually take the trouble to earn and use, and that would genuinely incentivise repeat business for merchants.
The key feature of Incent is that it’s a blockchain token with a fixed supply of 46 million. Unlike normal loyalty points, you can give it away to other people or sell it easily on the open market. Whenever customers spend money and receive Incent as a reward, a small proportion of the money they pay the store is actually used to buy Incent off the open market – leading to growing demand. (When customers pay with Incent, it’s sold on the open market.) As a deflationary currency, it should have a bright future – it only takes demand to slightly outpace supply, or a few coins to be lost or forgotten here or there, for the value to rise.
Incent enjoyed some interest last year as volumes rose and the price peaked at $1; it’s now trading at about a fifth of that. Incent currently changes hands on Bittrex for around $0.20, though it recently dipped below $0.17 and seems to be heading upwards. You can also find it on the Waves DEX, with INCNT-WAVES being the most liquid pair.
- Incent already has a toolbar, which you can download in the form of a Chrome extension. This rewards you small amounts of Incent just for browsing the web. The toolbar is a kind of proof-of-concept that was launched to refine the software and gain initial users, and will likely be decommissioned in the future.
- There’s also an existing marketplace, where you can shop with hundreds of affiliate merchants. Each one offers you a rebate in Incent when you buy something – typically between 5 and 10% of your spend.
- Incent you earn on the platform is held in a hosted wallet – you’ll need to sign up and create an account to use the toolbar and marketplace, a lot like using an exchange. This means new ‘Joe public’ users won’t have to worry about downloading crypto clients and managing their keys.
- Incent can also be held in an external Waves wallet (you can download this from www.WavesPlatform.com, or use the web wallet at https://beta.wavesplatform.com/.
- You can send Incent instantly and for free to anyone within the platform, or withdraw your tokens to a Waves wallet (or exchange) for a small fee.
- Integration with the first stores will happen at the end of July. These are small independent shops and restaurants in Sydney. (There will apparently be around 15 to start with.)
- In November, Incent will be integrated with a number of larger Australian brands. There is currently no concrete information about which companies they will partner with.
- Working software already available.
- Marketplace is easy to use, with a good UX.
- Makes it very simple to acquire crypto for newcomers.
- Imminent date for business integration (around 1 month from now).
- Mainstream target market, not crypto world, so value is at least partly disconnected from crypto market cycles.
- The default hosted wallet won’t win over crypto purists, though it’s the only reasonable solution to attract mainstream users.
- The project has been around for over 18 months now, and the development lead time means it has sunk out of view in the wider Waves and crypto community. Whilst this offers bargains to new investors just before launch, it means momentum will need to be generated to show up against the background of a crypto scene that is far noisier than it was a year ago.
Incent is another one of those projects where the stars align: working software with a good UX, interesting idea with a large potential market, imminent launch, and a low price, meaning high potential ROI. If it does what it set out to do, things will be very different in a few months.
There’s a long, long road between ICO and market launch, and some crypto projects never make it that far – either running out of fuel or crashing and burning along the way. Incent is basically pulling into the car park at its destination. For all that, launch should be considered the beginning of the journey, not the end, and given the uncertainties of the crypto world there’s no telling what will happen next. But we do think it’s an exciting opportunity and about as solid a proposition as it’s possible to get in crypto.
One-year outlook: Very positive
Like all altcoins, Incent was hit hard by the downtrend and fell further than most. Prices have just come off a local low, driven by the sharp BTC sell-off, potentially posing a golden opportunity. This happens to coincide with coming mainstream business integration, which should drive price higher as it increases organic demand. Later in the year, larger partnerships are expected. It’s reasonable to believe the impact of these will be at least partially priced in upon release of that news, though there ought to be a fundamental effect in the consistent increased demand over time, too.
Time is of the essence here, since Incent already seems to have bottomed out and initial business integration is coming next month. Any announcements of partnerships may impact price positively – but conversely, in the thinly-traded market it occupies, even modest sells can cause a significant fall in value. One strategy is to buy early with funds you’re happy to allocate, and sell some on the way up. If you are not happy with the risk posed by this poor liquidity, a series of smaller buys over time may prove safer. Alternatively, you can still earn a few Incent a day by using the toolbar, and purchases on the marketplace come with Incent cashback.
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