First, we want to make sure to point out that we continue to define and evolve OST as we work with our partner companies to identify and act upon business requirements coming from them developing on OST, and also by listening to the community, so please keep the feedback and questions coming! We caution against rigid statements as the technology is fluid and subject to modifications and evolution as we learn and gather feedback.
The question of whether a company would want to allow any individual to stake OST against minting their Branded Token is both a technology question and an economic question.
From a technology standpoint, our goal is to make the technology be as flexible as possible, so that it works the way that companies want it to work within their business, while also adhering to blockchain principles of open, decentralized, trustless and immutable.
To that end, we are designing the OST technology so that the company can choose if they want to allow anyone to mint, or only designated persons.
The company could restrict minting of BTs to one/several whitelisted Ethereum addresses. So, for instance, they might choose to allow only addresses belonging to the company (and a couple of back-ups as a good measure) to mint more BTs, while sending OST from a different address would result in rejected transaction (similar to how ICOs work).
Or, the company might decide to allow any of its known customers/users to mint its Branded Tokens.
Or, the company might decide to allow anyone willing to stake OST to mint its Branded Tokens.
From a practical standpoint, each registered user of the Company’s application will be assigned a token holder contract, and there may likely be some KYC/AML involved first. Most companies will probably at most only allow mints that credit a known token holder contract (for such reasons as Anti Money Laundering, “AML”). For same reasons, most companies would probably choose to reject incoming stake/mint from all unknown addresses as that would open up money laundering concerns (if anyone could take say USD, turn it into ETH, turn it into OST, and then turn it into BT, then turn it into something else, that’s ripe for money laundering, which we don’t want to allow).
From an economic standpoint it’s a somewhat harder question and depends on the token economic model of the company. Some companies might want to make sure that BT’s are only purchased from the company and they might even make a small profit on buy-in fees. Other companies might not care how someone creates the BT, so long as they spend it within the company’s economy.
We’ve seen some people mention loyalty programs as a reason why not to allow people to mint the BT, as they are buying it rather than earning it by showing loyalty. We’re not convinced that this argument stands up from an economic standpoint, as what the company really wants is an EARN, SPEND, BUY circulating economy. Some people earn the token, some people buy it, and everyone spends it within the ecosystem. The person who mints the token rather than earning it still puts up the value of the token (the OST) in order to mint it, and then once minted they spend it within the company’s economy, which adds value to the company and to its ecosystem.