BLOCK TRIBUNE: Tell me about the origin of this concept.
CHRISTOF WITTIG: I’m introducing today to you the LGBT token, which is an initiative to utilize the blockchain to achieve equal rights and acceptance for all members of the world wide LGBT+ community. The LGBT token is initiated by Hornet, a social network for gay men with 25 million users. And I, Christof Wittig, I’m the founder and CEO of Hornet, and I’m the president of the LGBT Foundation as well.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Will this be beyond sexual orientation? What would be the differentiation from other existing affinity programs?
CHRISTOF WITTIG: We believe the LGBT foundation is a very large community, worldwide up to 4-7% of the world’s population, with a very strong affiliation among each other and care for the equal rights and acceptance of each member within that community, or of that community. We believe this block chain initiative of the LGBT token is an ideal way to give this community a tool to self-organize itself, and to stand together, activating economic power to achieve those goals.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How do you see these tokens being used?
CHRISTOF WITTIG: We believe the token has three main utilities. First of all, being a member of the LGBT community is something elusive today. And the blockchain gives members an opportunity to claim or manage their identity and how much of that they want to reveal if they act on behalf of their sexual orientation and in the LGBT community. So identity management is the first key pillar. The second key pillar is a means of payment for services that are catering to LGBT consumers, and as such, opening up the understanding of that important consumer group for merchants and brands. And as such, kind of tokenizing the pink dollar, as it’s often dubbed. And the third element of the token design concerns the generation of funds for charitable causes. The token will be continuously mining additional tokens year by year on percent in aggregate. And those will be allocated towards charitable causes that make a difference for the LGBT community worldwide. So these are the three main utilities that are designed into the token proposal.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Which standards are going to be monitored for the businesses? Obviously if they sign up for this, they have an affinity for the community. But what standards are you going to impose on these businesses as far as services go, if any?
CHRISTOF WITTIG: For us, it’s important that we allow merchants and brands to identify in a permissive way and interact with the economic power of the LGBT community. If the LGBT community’s purchasing power was measured as GDP, it is $4.6 trillion dollars by some estimates. That would make it, if it was the GDP of a country, the fourth-largest economy in the world, after the US, China and Japan, and ahead of Germany and the UK. So as such, we believe that this economic power becomes accessible to any business that would like to better understand this important demographic in a permissive way. And so we welcome any business small and large, digital or brick and mortar, to roll out the pink carpet, if you will, and engage with this community in a permissive way, and that’s what the LGBT token is enabling with the blockchain.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: I guess what I’m asking is, it’s one thing for a business to fly the pink flag, so to speak. But if you want a slice of pizza, don’t you want the best slice and not necessarily one that is LGBT friendly?
CHRISTOF WITTIG: I don’t think these things are mutually exclusive. I think it is about allowing customers to make a choice between products that welcome them in their identity and support them by utilizing the token, the funding of charitable causes. So this is all coming as a proposition where on top of a good and quality product, merchants and brands have a way to differentiate themselves. And we believe that this is a, kind of, reward system for brands that are welcoming diversity, rather than the sometimes traditional way to boycott non-welcoming businesses. Our focus is to give the businesses that are welcoming an incentive to do so, and to do so even more, no matter what type of products they’re offering.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Tell me the details of your token sale.
CHRISTOF WITTIG: The token sale has been changing it’s approach in response to regulatory activity, which informs us about the nature of how a token sale is conducted in a compliant way in the US and overseas. So as such, we have decided to build the entire platform and make the utility available at the day that the token goes into public sale. So we are not pursuing an ICO in the traditional sense that we look for investment to build the platform in a public sale. But we only sell the token in public when the utility is actually fully implemented. This is made possible because Hornet, as the key sponsor of this project, comes with 25 million users of its app to the table, and can enable the promised utility from the get-go with the huge adoption amount out the gate. And that makes our token offer compliant as a utility token, and allows us to be in full regulatory compliance in most jurisdictions where we offer the token.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Sure. If all goes well when the token rolls out, what do you see the effect being on the LGBT economy?
CHRISTOF WITTIG: So here we propose with the blockchain a way for the community to self-organize itself. Today, the community is very factionized in countries or in the different communities, and the blockchain is basically bringing all these de-centralized groups and individuals together in a global movement that allows the community to tap into it’s economic power and activate it towards it’s readmission of equal rights and acceptance. So we believe that the blockchain allows a community to come together in a way that has not happened before. We are very excited about the effect that this new technology can have on such a community, and how it can enable the community to take it’s destiny into their own hands, and not be dependent on government, corporate, or non-profit handouts. But really self-organize itself.
Just conclusively, I’d say this is a great way to show how blockchain can help improve people’s lives. We believe that blockchain is a disruptive technology that allows for new ways to solve problems that have been prevailing for a long time. In this case, it’s a particularly well-suited, decentralized technology that helps to decentralize community to come together and work towards a goal that we all believe is worth working for, which is equal rights and acceptance for all its members worldwide.
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