A global lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community organisation is using blockchain to create a global platform and digital currency to connect businesses and consumers in the trillion dollar Pink economy.
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The initiative from the recently formed organisation known as LGBT Token will give the LGBT community a global economic identity and louder economic voice.
Blockchain technology is key. It will enable members of the LGBT community to register and self-manage their membership and their combined economic transactions to be secured and measured.
The power of the pink dollar economy is not well understood as much of the spending is not categorised. If merchants can better understand spending habits, they could better target the right products and services.
According to a whitepaper from LGBT Token, if the LGBT community were a country, it would be the world’s fourth-largest economy, with a GDP of $4.6tn.
“However, the power of the Pink Economy is often underestimated. LGBT Token will make this global economic muscle tangible and visible – by establishing a LGBT-centric digital asset to allow borderless transactions and exchange among an already global community, while safeguarding its members’ identities,” said the whitepaper. By understanding the group economic power, the community can exert more influence on businesses and even governments.
The project is the brainchild of Christof Wittig, CEO at Hornet, a social network for gay men, which has 25 million members globally. He said the LGBT Foundation will be open to the entire LGBT community, which is between four and seven percent of the world population.
Wittig said LGTB Token will use blockchain to register and manage the identity of members of the LGBT community.
Blockchain can help members self-administrate the community with secure and tamper-proof records. An LGBT cryptocurrency will be created, which, through a digital wallet, members can spend on accredited products and services.
“LGBT community members are not accounted for by any government – and shouldn’t be – so it is difficult for them to organise. Blockchain solves this by allowing people to define their membership,” said Wittig.
Members can then buy as consumers or supply as merchants, with services designed for the preferences of the LGBT community. “Today many businesses derive a significant proportion of their revenue from the LGBT community which is sometimes called ‘the pink dollar’ but it is not tracked,” he said. The platform could introduce permission based marketing where merchants and brands understand what the consumers really want.
Wittig added there will also be funds allocated to charitable LGBT causes by the community. This already happens, but the platform will reinforce this. “With the LGBT community organising itself, we can do this on a large scale.”
The project will create the first global LGBT community. “At Hornet, we have a global community, but this is focused on gay men and their needs,” he said. “This is the first time the global LGBT community will be able to self-organise. Blockchain is a reflection of the transient nature of the community, as it is free of borders and there is not government or organisation controlling it.”
Hornet, which is driving the blockchain implementation at LGBT Token, is a large technology company with experience, and will also work alongside third-party suppliers.