I’ve always stood against designers taking part on design competitions, as far as I can remember I’ve used a myriad of adjectives to describe them, such as abusive, explorative and down right evil. In all honesty, I still hold a reasonable amount of dislike for them, but quite recently, I’ve came to the conclusion that not all design competitions are bad. Yes, I’m changing my mind.
If you, like me, always try to keep an open mind about your own views, you’ll want to know what kind of design competition I’m talking about, so please continue reading. Bear in mind I’ll be talking a bit more than just design on this post, but I promise is worth every second of your time. If you don’t know much about the most recent breakthroughs in the currency markets, this will blow your mind.
A Short Story Behind Crypto Currencies
Back in 2011, while navigating into the deepest regions of the web, I’ve stumbled on a cryptography forum, and one thread got my attention, there it was, the first time I’ve learned of Bitcoins. Looking back in time, I must say I’m glad I’ve did it. Bitcoins are a new form of currency, a crypto-currency, created out of the combination of cryptography and processing power.
Let me be upfront here, the purpose of this post is not to educate you into how crypto-currencies work, I’ll cover the basics, but if you want to dive in, start here. I recommend you do.
Now, for what is worth, crypto-currencies really works, and the proof is in the pudding. The value of a Bitcoin went from $29—that’s how much I’ve paid for the coins I still hold today—to about $980 at the time of this post. This increase in value was lead by the amount of new businesses that are accepting Bitcoin, and the other hundreds of new businesses that are created to support the Bitcoin community.
What does all of that has to do with design competitions?
Well, there’s is a new crypto-currency called Quark, that was created earlier this year and address a major security issue with Bitcoin, that will unlikely be fixed because its a flaw in its own design. If you want, learn more about this here. Ultimately, a Quark is a revised and improved version of a Bitcoin, with a ginormous focus on its security, and at the very moment I’m writing this article you can buy yourself a few hundred Quarks for just about $0.30 each. Feel free to thank me later. 🙂
If history repeats itself, and I believe it will, Quarks value is going to reach Bitcoin levels in a few years from now. Quite obviously, I’ve already converted my Bitcoins into Quarks.
The Quark Logo Design Competition
The team behind Quark’s development started a competition for a new Quark logo, you can read the original thread here, and they are offering the grand prize of 120,000 Quarks for it.
At the time of writing this article that would be just about $36,000 — yes, you are reading this right, thirty six thousand dollars. Bear in mind the prize value in dollars will vary according to the market fluctuations, but the prize of 120,000 quarks will not change. If a Quark reach $1, and financial analysts think it will, then you are in for a grand $120,000 prize. Not bad for a logo.
Why am I supporting this design competition but not others?
The quite obvious reason is the prize, think for a moment, for many people around the world this prize represents years of income, and surely, is going to have a major impact in the life of its winner. This is truly a design competition worth of participation.
A interesting fact about the 120,000 Quarks prize size is it’s origins. This amount was accumulated thanks to the donations of the many people that are working hard to make Quark the most secure form of crypto-currency. Quark is truly made by the people for the people, and if that doesn’t resonate with you, chances are you are not people.
Finally, and surely, the most important reason to take part on this design competition is the very opportunity of designing what will possibly be the next big crypto-currency. This design is going to be known and used daily by people all over the world. How many chances do you actually get to design something that will put you in the history books?
The Opportunity of a Lifetime
I’ve been learning about this new world of crypto-currencies for the past two years, and I feel lucky to be able to participate in a community that is helping to shape the future of currency. Yes, there is still a lot of debate about crypto currencies, some people tend to question their intrinsic value, others alert to the risks of investing in a highly volatile market, but as I said before, the proof is in the pudding.
If you just learned about crypto-currencies thanks to this post, and you are feeling like investing some of your Dollars into Quarks, let me just give you one more piece of advice, take the time to investigate the matter yourself before jumping in, getting a bit more information is not going to hurt, and actually, will only help you to make the right choice.
There is a revolution in the making, Bitcoins and Quarks are going to be as widely accepted as Dollars and Pounds in just a few years from now, and when you think about it, who wouldn’t love to be remembered as the designer of a currency, I know I would, and that’s why this opportunity is so unique that has actually changed my mind about the idea of design competitions.
In some rare occasions, design competitions can actually be a force for good.