You Might Be Using Algorand All Wrong

It’s not an investment. It’s an ecosystem. Well, maybe it’s both.

If you’re me, and I actually happen to be me so we’ll finally have something in common, you think you bought Algorand ($ALGO) “too late.” Maybe you snagged a handful of Algo at $0.61, but really it wasn’t many. You’ve been buying Algos at $1.20, $1.40, and don’t forget about that time you thought you were cute and bought the most you could at $1.77. 🤗 You also don’t have enough money to infuse it into something speculative, even if you like it a lot. Or you’re hesitant to tap into other capital that could become more valuable in other ways on its own. Instead, you just want something to happen. You are here for your gimme, and you wish to have it presently, thank you very much.

Why isn’t something happening? Why does Algorand seem stuck despite its brilliance? Where is its mass adoption event? It is here:

Let me preface this by saying that, while I have seen this in action in my support of PotatoCoins ($SPUD, an ASA), I personally have not yet set up my own donative arrangement using Algorand ASAs. But I began working toward setting up my own arrangement yesterday. That said, what follows is not financial advice, but rather it’s merely an example of one of many monetization structures that could exist within the current Algorand framework available to anyone.

Algorand has been touted as many things: a secure, scalable cryptocurrency with one of the most efficient of propagation properties available at its current value (Coingecko says $1.41 as I type this), the “future,” a comfortable place to store some savings and easily transact (that one’s from me). These things may be true, but Algorand is also an open-source monetization structure with nearly infinite variability.

Let’s pretend you stream on Twitch (go visit my favorite streamer, Rudyxx). You have a button to accommodate subscriptions to your stream, you can receive donations in Bits, you can share your Discord server or Telegram link with your audience, and you can continue conversations in those places off-stream. You can share the public address of your crypto wallet for those viewing your stream who may wish to drop some coins or tokens your way. Maybe you do that, maybe you don’t.

Through Algorand, a streamer may develop their own ASA to suit the needs of their stream in any way they’d like, and streamers may share Algorand wallet addresses used for streaming purposes to centralize their own economic framework.

If I were speedrunning Zelda 2 (yes, I used to years ago), I might develop an ASA called Crystals, which could represent the crystals that Link leaves in the pillars at the end of each palace he visits and then turns to stone. During my stream, I could share my Algorand wallet address and notify my audience that I will give them a proportionate share of Crystals to any donors of Algorand for each time I make it through a palace during my stream based on the amount they decide to donate in Algorand. I could explain that the Algorand donated would be used to (a) donate to a certain cause that I and my audience support, (b) pay for a new computer for my stream because mine is from 2009 (yikes), and/or (c) help me pay rent or any other financial obligation that I’m worried about. Naturally whether I actually use the Algos for these purposes is a matter of trust — as is whether I actually send my viewers Crystals — but for the continued success of an ongoing stream, one would likely want to develop trust among one’s own community over time by sticking to one’s word.

During my stream, I made it through 50 palaces (I kept dying to Thunderbird because I’m me). In my wallet, I received 5 Algorand tokens: 2 Algos from one address, 1.5 Algos from another, 1 Algo from another, and 0.25 Algos from two others. I would then give away my Crystals as follows: 20, 15, 10, 2.5, and 2.5, respectively.

I could then ask for the engagement of my streaming audience to go on their favorite social media platforms to give their own Crystals to other people in the Zelda 2 community who are willing to donate Algorand tokens to my stream wallet in exchange for their Crystals. (Of course, audience members may also use their Crystals to support their own personal efforts, thereby transforming a streamer’s work into a reciprocal benefit for the viewer. But in this example, the viewer wants to support the stream. Perhaps they just like the stream.)

If someone were a Zelda 2 fan, but were unaware of my stream or who I am, they may wish to have some Zelda 2 Crystals. Maybe they say, ‘Put me down for 2 Algorand worth’ to the person who holds 20 Crystals. And maybe that person gives away 5 of their Crystals to this person while my wallet accepts 2 additional Algorand. Or they may give away 10 Crystals. Or 2. The Crystals-holder may determine the value of my Crystals ASA by giving away all or some of the Crystals for whatever value they deem appropriate under the circumstances. Maybe they say on Twitter, “I’m auctioning off 20 Crystals and 20 of my own SPUD tokens to the highest bidder. Bidding starts at 5 Algorand.” Kind of like this person’s idea:

Now my streaming wallet has 10 Algorand in it. It receives more Algorand as other members my streaming audience deliver their batch of Crystals to people new to my stream or who just want to collect ASAs for collection’s sake. Maybe some Crystals remain in the wallets of those who enjoy the stream for future use, or perhaps they decide to use them in future giveaways. Maybe the people who recently received Crystals but who are unaware of the stream end up checking the stream out, and the stream’s audience base grows accordingly.

Now my streaming wallet has about 42 Algos in it. It’s been gaining Algos on its own through Algorand’s Pure Proof-of-Stake protocol within Algorand Wallet. Next time I stream, perhaps I’ll give away a Triforce ASA to the person who redeemed the most Crystals last time. Maybe I give an ‘Excuuuuse Me, Princess’ ASA to someone who tells the funniest story or joke in the chat. Maybe those two other tokens have different properties or social value than my Crystals. And maybe someday I’ll share some of the income from my streaming wallet with a few of my most loyal audience member friends to support their streams with my own Algorand donations if the Algorand in my wallet grows in a manner so as to allow me to do so without any major impact to my own bottom line.

Under this arrangement, if the value of Algorand remains between about $1 and $2, as it seems to have done for the past few months or so, then we have an easily sustainable arrangement that compares to using dollars or Euro in a similar way. As the value of Algorand increases — if it does (and who knows if it will) — then we have a situation whereby a user of this financial framework will have developed what could be meaningful, sustainable, long-term wealth generated by and through their own entertainment.

Any streamer can use Algorand for this purpose no matter what the value of Algorand is. If it goes up to $5, maybe we’re talking about donations of 0.5, 0.2, etc. Algorand from the audience instead of entire tokens. Not only is Algorand scalable in a usage sense, but it’s also scalable so as to allow the economic framework employed to be sustainable no matter what Algorand’s value may be. After all, transactions cost 0.001 Algos. This isn’t your older sister’s Etherium or your Grandmother’s Bitcoin.

I’d urge Twitch streamers — or any other person who wishes to monetize their interests using Algorand — to find a cause that they believe has meaningful impact on society, and to use the power of their own monetization to provide at least some of their income to that cause.

I personally intend to support many causes over time. But right now, I support Boston College Law School, specifically, The Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger Public Service Legacy Fund.

If you should have the means to do so, I would appreciate — as an alumnus — anyone reading this to consider a small, recurring donation here.

I will also gather donations at the Algorand wallet address listed below. As I mentioned above, it is a matter of trust as to whether I will actually use the Algorand in this wallet for deposits to the Fund. It is my intention to do so to the extent I am able. This also means that I may need to maintain a portion of the value in the wallet to cover my own personal income tax obligations (income “from whatever source derived” is what’s taxable, right Professor Ring?). That’s why I would prefer if people would donate on their own through Boston College Law School’s website shared above.

That said, nothing’s easier than kicking a few Algos into a wallet, so here you are:


Named after a character from Delany’s novel, Nova, who likes to write. I’m a composer, lawyer, oracular scientist, and friend of cats and dogs. 😻🐕