Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes Champions ‘Points’ Over ICOs in Crypto Fundraising


In a recent blog post titled ‘Points Guard,’ former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes made a compelling case for the emergence of “points” as a superior alternative to traditional initial coin offerings (ICOs) and yield farming with regard to crypto fundraising and user engagement.

Hayes argued that points combine the best aspects of ICOs and yield farming while addressing their respective limitations. ICOs, he noted, allow retail investors to purchase a stake in a new protocol but often face regulatory scrutiny due to their sale to the masses.

On the other hand, yield farming rewards users for interacting with the protocol but can lead to rapid inflation of token supply and a subsequent loss of user incentives.

Is ‘Points’ the Game-Changer Crypto Needs?

Points are essentially a mechanism through which users are rewarded for engaging with a protocol. Unlike ICOs, there is no direct exchange of money for tokens, mitigating regulatory concerns. Similarly, unlike yield farming, points offer more flexibility in token emissions and timing, allowing projects to adapt to market conditions and user behavior.

One of the key features of points highlighted by Hayes is their lack of transparency. Unlike traditional token sales with transparent pricing, point programs give projects the discretion to determine the points-to-token conversion price and the timing of token airdrops, if they happen at all.

This flexibility enables projects to tailor their user acquisition strategies and incentivize specific actions that enhance the long-term value of the protocol.

Moreover, points offer a more equitable way for retail users to participate in token launches. With the decline of ICOs and concerns over VC unlock schedules, retail investors often find themselves at a disadvantage.

Points programs allow retail investors to engage earlier in the process, potentially securing tokens at a lower price and without the need to navigate complex pre-sale arrangements.

Potential to Be ‘Abused?’

Hayes acknowledges that point programs rely heavily on trust between users and project founders. While points can be a powerful tool for fundraising and user engagement, any breach of trust could undermine their effectiveness and reputation.

“A points program is only effective if there is a high degree of trust between users and the project’s founders. The user trusts that after interacting with the protocol, their points will convert into tokens at a reasonable price in a reasonable time frame. As points programs proliferate, there will be bad actors who abuse this trust.”

Nonetheless, Hayes remains optimistic about the potential of points to drive the success of token launches in the current crypto cycle.


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