Initial Coin Offerings are well known by most to provide funding to a blockchain project before it is viable or at least before it is operational, while a reverse ICO is defined as the integration of a blockchain protocol into an already existing business operation, whether profitable or not. Many potential reverse ICO scenarios are possible with an unending list of applications for all types of businesses from tech companies, to pharmaceutical manufacturing, to Uber and the like.
Decentralized blockchain is set to change business operations forever. The first reverse ICO was carried out by KIK, a messaging platform, and their new token was implemented after having raised nearly USD 100 million. Regardless of the success of this reverse ICO (the token has since been stagnant), this move was a groundbreaking step in the evolution of the fund raising process.
Another potential revolutionary move that could provide a positive boost for blockchain tech would be putting the entire United States Postal Service on the blockchain in an epic reverse ICO. Current postage rates stand at .50 cents and continue to increase while the Postal Service continues to lose hundreds of millions to over a billion annually.
Their operations are atrocious; with thousands of bureaucrats receiving salaries not commensurate with performance and being protected from termination by the AFL-CIO, a quasi-mafia syndicate that has destroyed jobs, hurt competition, frivolously wasted dues, and funded political activity with which many members do not agree, not to mention the organized crime connections.
The status and service of the US Postal Service is disgraceful for a first world nation, and Congress does not care and has been unwilling to fix it. No business could operate in the ‘real’ world with such massive continuous ongoing losses and a dismal crumbling infrastructure. But the USPS, regardless of not receiving federal funding, can’t go out of business. The benefits and retirement plans are lucrative and are likely untenable in the long term, therefore postage costs will continue going up with uncertainty as to whether or not it can stay in business with all the competition from the tech sector and private industry. If the USPS fails to evolve, it will certainly go extinct.
The reverse ICO team would be contracted out by the government and might receive a certain amount of cash along with tokens, probably free mail shipping for life, in exchange for their services, and the blockchain operations would be tested in particular smaller markets first, to assess viability. The amount of tokens may be 100% pre-mined as they would always continue to circulate from user back to the government, for example a number set at 100 billion tokens with a price of .10 cents each may be a reasonable start. The tokens should not all be released at once and not be publically traded to avoid speculation and price volatility. If the price of the USPS token begins to increase, more can be released into the market to reduce the price.
The entire current mail tracking mechanism the USPS uses would eventually be scrapped in favor of the open blockchain where full data on every letter and package would be easily accessible after being registered on the blockchain. Certainly, the tokens would be purely utility tokens as they would not be purchased for investment or profit but used solely to power the shipping platform and would be consumed in the process, regardless of their centralization. The blockchain data records could be dumped every 3-6 months to allow for speed and efficiency of the blockchain.
Most USPS operations would become automated with little need for front-end staff to check in packages and a reduced back-end staff as all letters/packages would be automatically scanned and redirected without need to manually read shipping labels. All senders/customers would be required to purchase USPS tokens directly at a USPS location or online, and could then easily scan their packages and pay for shipping immediately at the shipping point through shipping machines or buy and print shipping labels at home without any need to wait in line at a service location. All shipping information would be encoded on a simple small QR code, cheaply printed and attached to any item to be shipped.
No more receipts with tracking numbers would be needed, as the shipping info would automatically appear on the blockchain in the sender’s phone app, greatly saving expenses and resources. The sender would only stick a simple QR code on the letter or package with all necessary shipping info that could be quickly scanned by USPS scanners and delivery persons to obtain the return and sender’s addresses and which would include full payment info, along with any other essential instructions that the sender could type into the shipping machine, at home or by phone. The small QR code could contain far more information than can currently fit on a shipping label. Once printed, the label may only be read by USPS code readers, not customer phones, so as to increase privacy. portable QR code printers may be sold by the post office to enable mobile shipping.
While back-end and delivery services would still be needed, the funds saved from modernizing the tracking and shipping systems, reduction in workforce, and overall simplification (no need to pay for separate tracking or delivery confirmation) should substantially increase efficiency and potentially make the US Post Office consistently profitable due to increased volume and reduced costs to customers. The excess funds could then be used to modernize the aging infrastructure and gas guzzling vehicles of a public entity that is stuck in the 1980’s, so that it can honestly compete with other private shipping companies and operate at a much higher operational tempo. It is that time to bring our public service providers, such as the postal service, into the modern age and force them to provide the quality of services which we pay for and expect.