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Messari, the Government of Tokens

By dennis
Published over 2 years ago

The battle between cryptocurrencies and regulators was one that had been seen not to ever come to an end,especially with blockchain innovations becoming too powerful to be tamed.

Thinking of a solution to end this battle, Ryan Selkis, otherwise known as TwoBitIdiot, has come up with a token that aims to promote the industry, through self-regulation.

From his continuous critics over the years on ICO practices, many thought that Selkis was against tokenized crowd funding, but this is not true as Selkis critics was only to prevent a good idea, to be ruined by bad behavior.

Better Timing

Selkis believe that it’s time for his concept to shine, as self- regulation has been a hot topic on the crypto industry as even specific regulators, the likes of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have taken a keener interest in the crypto token market as of late. The regulators bring about top-down enforcement actions that put a freeze on token activity.


Speaking to CoinDesk, Selkis admitted that it’s still unclear on how to get the crypto industry, as it’s decentralized, global and so inherently hard to pin down the concept to them.

The token was first announced in October 2017, which was known as an open source EDGAR (the public SEC database for securities) for tokens. Selkis believes that just like other self-regulatory bodies have evolved over time to become significant organizations, his self-regulatory concept will also grow with time. He cited Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the National Futures Association (NFA) as some of the self-regulatory bodies.

Self-regulatory mechanism

Selkis, doesn’t believe there is a decent mechanism towards self-regulation, as there are no good enforcements or financial incentives to make any self-regulatory efforts reliable. Though this is the case, he is convinced that he found that mechanism through a decentralized list attached to an agreed-upon set of standards, all of which is governed by a token. The model is known as  "token-curated registry,” which will only work if there is a broad buy in crypto's leading luminaries.

Getting followers

A token-curated registry is a list vetted by people that hold a token to allow them to control who gets on the list, and on Messari's list would be compliant projects funded by ICOs. The industry key stakeholders are expected to be the vetted voters whom will be held accountable if investor abuse became widespread.


To be part of this registry, token projects would have to make certain disclosures that includes; critical facts about the token, vesting schedule for different groups, commitments to auditing and token’s economics to be detailed on the site. In future, Messari will indirectly reinforce good behavior since stakeholders would become reluctant to work with companies that fail to get on it. Selkis said.

The concept is still at the idea stage and hence, it’s still short on specifics like the legal structure to be employed and hence there's still a lot of research and development to be done, in order to do this right.

The main thing is to bring ecumenical set of voices to the table and a collective power unified around one plan, that the new issuers will listen to,