Anime fandom and cryptocurrency: two great tastes that taste great together? While that remains to be seen, anime fandom’s millions of global denizens remain too tantalizing a target for cryptocurrency companies to resist.
The latest currency to enter the space is Cosplay Token, a cryptocurrency based on the Ethereum blockchain—an open-sourced, less expensive alternative to Bitcoin. To succeed, Cosplay Token will need to sidestep the criticism that plagues its contemporary, Otaku Coin.
In fact, that was my first question for Cosplay Token spokesperson Ian Yun. How exactly does Cosplay Token differentiate itself from Otaku Coin?
“Although Cure is focusing much more on the creators and makers instead of general crowdfunding, in some aspects, such as payment, Cosplay Tokens (COT) will have overlapping markets as cosplay is deeply connected to the anime, comic and game industries,” Yun told me in an email. “In order to facilitate sustainable growth for creators and the industry as a whole, Cure is creating the Cure Protocol as well as a variety of other initiatives aimed at promoting growth within the industry and allowing cosplayers to realize their value.”
The full explanation is available in the Cosplay Token English language whitepaper, but to put it simply, cosplayers can mint their own sub-cryptocurrency Player Coins to exchange. The more fans demand a cosplayer’s subcoin, the more value that subcoin will have.
Yun said Cosplay Token came about as a way for fans to tip cosplayers they appreciate, and receive exclusive rewards in return. If this sounds a lot like Patreon to you, you aren’t alone. However, Cosplay Token says it will also be available much in the way real money is, and fans can buy goods or services with it anywhere that accepts its base crypto, Ethereum. Fans can expect it to stay affordable, the company says, because the currency will remain decentralized.
“The currencies and tokens themselves (COT, different Player Coins) will be decentralized and transferable the same as other decentralized currencies,” said Yun. “Platform initiatives and direction will be chosen and developed by [parent company] Cure WorldCosplay.”
According to the whitepaper, that just might be true. The paper breaks down that just 15 percent of tokens will return to the Cosplay Token team (reasonable next to Otaku Coin’s proposed 39 percent). The breakdown even accounts for how PR people like Yun will get paid.
More suspicious, however, is the sheer number of tokens the company plans to mint. For example, the company is about to give away 0.5% of the total Cosplay Token for free in an upcoming airdrop—which equates to $400,000 USD worth of tokens. Just how long will it retain that value? Optimistic fans ready to hop on board can join the airdrop here.
The same way Otaku Coin was backed by retail website Tokyo Otaku Mode, Cosplay Token comes out of Cure WorldCosplay, the largest global cosplay community, which will no doubt serve as a built-in platform and immediate audience for this cryptocurrency venture.
Perhaps it’s this trusted name that has convinced 17 cosplay influencers to get on board with the venture as ambassadors, including Kazumi Noomi, Rikachuu, and Miraiduh. They will have the chance to generate their own Player Coins, or mini economies within Cosplay Token.
With its many complexities over standard currency, cryptocurrency will always be a difficult sell to newcomers, even when it comes from a well-known cosplay community. And while cosplayers may trust Cure WorldCosplay with their photos and personal information, it remains to be seen whether they will trust it with their wallets.
That’s why Yun said Cosplay Token is targeting fans who are already cryptocurrency users first.
“As Ethereum is so widely used, many users have erc20-compliant wallets and already have prior experience storing erc20-compliant tokens,” he said. If that sounds like gibberish to you, you might not be among Cosplay Token’s predicted early user base.
Watch the following video to get an idea of how Cosplay Token is supposed to work:
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