Constructing the µniverse (Part 6)

MuCo

Written from a future viewpoint…

MuCo began as a pan-brand attention and engagement tokens issuer. Brands and messaging service providers could buy tokens from MuCo and issue them to end customers. MuCo put a cap on the total tokens (µ) that would ever be in circulation. It auctioned a third at the start, it then had daily auctions where it incrementally issued new tokens (this was for a period of a couple years), and it kept a third for developers, miners, and others.

The early days did not see much interest. A few brands and email service providers used the tokens. Email was the first channel where the tokens were deployed. End customers earned µ for opens, clicks, other in-mail actions, streaks, and providing zero-party data. Very soon, brands realised that these atomic rewards were helping drive customer behaviour. This gamification in email led to more attention and engagement, and driving even higher conversions.

At the start, the tokens had little or no value. While there was a Mu Shop where the tokens could be redeemed for some digital goods, the consumer interest came from two factors: the thrill of earning rewards for specific actions, and the belief that the value of the tokens would rise in the future. An exchange offered a market for those who wanted to trade. Over time, a marketplace began to emerge where businesses accepted tokens in return for sales of some products.

The turning point came a few months after the launch of the tokens when an independent research study confirmed what the early adopters (brands and ESPs) had started to sense: tokens were driving changes in behaviour and solving the attention recession problem. This kickstarted the flywheel for tokens adoption: more brands started using them in emails directly and via email service providers, the exchange started buzzing as brands needed to buy tokens in the spot market leading to a steady increase in value, and consumers started wanting to earn more tokens by doing the actions desired by brands.

The problem of Attention Recession finally had a solution. Tokens embedded in emails helped drive meaningful actions. Brands controlled who could earn tokens, and thus had some measure of control on preventing fraudulent and frivolous behaviour. Consumers liked the fact that their attention (time) was no longer being taken for granted.

The success of the MuCo model led to calls for improving its governance. MuCo was a corporate entity, and even though there was a clear set of rules defining the issuance of Mu, there was a desire that it should be organised as an entity where no single person could wield power and change the rules to the detriment of the community.

It was time for MuCo to transition to MuDAO.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.