Forbes recently reported on the new and upcoming currency titled simply "Initiative Q." Its supporters say it could be the "next Bitcoin," but its detractors say it is little more than a ponzi scheme. To be clear, whatever it is, it is not based on blockchain and is not crypto. The website isn't entirely clear exactly how the payment network will work, as it doesn't seem to be built yet.
Initiative Q has only been around for a few months, but is already attracting 100,000 new users a day. The draw is that simply by registering your email and name, you can get some of the currency (called Q's) for free. However you have to be invited by someone who is already a member. The sooner you sign up the more you can get. You are then encouraged to get others to sign up. The entire scheme is based on the idea that Q's will be worth something someday if there is enough adoption.
As noted in the Forbes article, since it doesn't ask for money in exchange for Q's, it isn't technically a pyramid scheme. That being said, there are many things concerning about it. Users are, again, encouraged to get others to join. Each user only gets a certain amount of invites, and once used up, they can upgrade to “Initiative Q Evangelists." According to the website, "Evangelists get additional time and invites to invite others and reserve new Qs."
The website has a lot of information on it, though parts can be rather jargony, and it never misses a chance to take a shot at crypto. On that note, I could not find much information on how the payment system is actually built. In fact, according to the website's own timeline, development of the payment network isn't set to begin until next year. Right now is the "Member recruitment campaign."
While it doesn't ask for money, there are many red flags in this new payment initiative. Questions abound and the project seems to be putting the cart before the horse by getting members before building a network. That being said, the proof will be whether this, Bitcoin, or something else gets adopted for the payment system of tomorrow.