Earlier in June, lanzer proposed a radical new economic model for Gaia and most people missed it. On Tuesday, Lanzer confirmed that Gaia would be moving toward a more socialized economy when the new gold grant system is established.
For the purpose of this article, I'd like to tackle two points that stuck out from discussing this system with other longtime users.
- Gaia's introducing of its new currency, Platinum, is not the same as the new gold grant system and it is important that users make this distinction.
For the most part, platinum will briefly take the edge off the inordinate amount numbers and commas users have to deal with. However, platinum's only function is to represent the value of 10M gold. Therefore, platinum is really just a collection of gold and shouldn't even really be called a new currency. The economic equivalent of what Platinum represents is had western civilization only used pennies and society suddenly introduced a $100,000 bill into the mix.
- Whales, high paying users, and the top 1% of Gaia's users will likely lose a considerable portion of their value. "Middle" and "lower" class years will see their value increase dramatically.
Right now, Gaia is based on a quasi-free-market economy. Users can buy and sell at virtually any price they choose. However, Gaia is already a controlled economy. When Gaia introduces more currency into circulation, this causes the currency to lose its value. When Gaia siphons off the amount of currency put in circulation, the value of currency increases.
What lanzer has proposed is a system in which Gaia takes its control of the economy a step further and uses algorithms to change gold grants to accommodate for any flux in market prices, thus relieving prior inaccessibility for users to become rich.
Ultimately, what this system will do is strengthen lower and middle-class Gaians experience on the site. It won't be nearly as difficult for small and non-paying users to transcend the Gaian experience to quickly find themselves 'living the high life'.
For the top 1% of Gaia... this is the end of the gap between themselves and users who pay significantly less or don't pay at all. Assuming Gaia's plan meets their metrics for success, there will no longer be such a large divide.
It's our opinion that Gaia is banking on top tier whales and high spending users not valuing exclusivity but rather they will value hoarding and having large inventories. However, based on Gaians United editors' discussions with whales, there is a lot of uncertainty in this community in terms of how accessible an experience they've invested thousands of dollars for the years won't be virtually identical to the UX of those who invest considerably less.
In general, Gaia may not care what their highest-paying users feel about their right to a premium experience. So long as most Gaians begin to have a good time and enjoy a newfound sense of wealth and prosperity, perhaps Gaia's bourgeoisie won't be too upset...
Either way, our team is very curious to see how users across the board will be affected by the new gold grant system. We will be sure to bring you the latest coverage of this transition as it occurs. Be sure to follow us at @gaiansunited on Twitter and like us on our Facebook page for more information related to Gaia's economy.