The short list of reasons is:
We both have fairly extensive blockchain dev experience
There’s a lot of new capital and value creation in the blockchain space, and people are looking to fund public good projects. The community there is quite receptive to new market paradigms.
Transfers on Ethereum are fast and fungible with many other assets.
I think having a symbolic object could also be cool as well (and definitely welcome other projects looking to do them!), but the problem we’re more focused on is:
Letting project creators issue them at scale and let them be highly divisible.
Allowing funders to retroactively fund IC holders.
Both of the above two things are much harder to keep track of with a physical object.
The second point there seems like the one that’s actually relevant. It strikes me as unlikely that doing this with blockchain is less work than with conventional payment systems even if the developers have done blockchain things before, and conventional payment systems are even faster and more fungible with other assets than Ethereum. I’m reading the second point there as suggesting something like, you’re hoping that funding for this will come in substantial part from people who are blockchain enthusiasts rather than EAs, and who therefore wouldn’t be interested if it used conventional payment infrastructure?
(I agree that the “relics” idea is, at best, solving a different problem.)
You’re right that I expect there is a large group of both people and money who I expect to be interested in this because it’s on the blockchain which forms part of my reasoning. It also allows for better interoperability with existing Ethereum assets, which helps if you thinking making ICs liquid is important (which I do).
What I instead meant by the second point, however, is that moving funding to existing IC holders seems like it would be harder to do with traditional finance methods and easier with blockchain tech.
I haven’t worked enough with traditional finance protocols, but it seems like the process of querying all holders of the IC and then making payments to all of them could be more costly and complex, even when using something popular like Stripe.
Thanks! I get the divisibility thing, but why is it harder to retroactively fund IC holders with physical objects? Can’t you just buy the object and add it to your collection? Isn’t this basically how art works already—Museums pay millions for a painting from long-dead artists, so smaller collectors pay hundreds of thousands, and individual rich people pay tens of thousands.
Having electronic tabulation means that you can allow transfers to happen quickly, and you can also disburse funds more quickly to holders of the ICs.
I would imagine that keeping a consistent record of who holds a physical item would take longer to verify and maintain.
These problems seem like they’ve been solved satisfactorily by museums and the associated industries, though.
I agree that they probably have a good system in place for electronic tabulation, but museums generally don’t trade art at high speeds across many, many actors.
And it seems desirable to have ICs trade at volume and speed, which I think museums probably don’t have the specialized infra for, but blockchain does.