Are Upcycling, Recycling and Repurposing Tokens the Same Thing?


Jul 2, 2019
There are a few terms that are similar to each other but not quite the same. To avoid using interchangeably, it is necessary to provide clear definitions for each and adhere to them.

Much like when we speak about cryptocurrency value, price, and utility, understanding what the terms upcycling, recycling and repurposing really mean can help us clarify our message even further.

Basic Definitions: Upcycling, Recycling and Repurposing in the Realm of Cryptocurrencies

Defining these terms is not easy. Applying those definitions to cryptocurrencies is even more challenging. These terms are unique, and each presents its own nuances. To illustrate this point, here are the definitions of the three terms:

  • Recycling – The process of using waste as raw material for the creation of a new product.
  • Upcycling – The process of using an existing product in a way which was not originally intended, to produce a higher value product.
  • Repurposing – Using a product in a different way than what was originally intended.
To apply these terms to the realm of cryptocurrency, we need to engage in some abstraction. Cryptocurrencies are not necessarily products, but rather mediums of exchange. Many – especially tokens created during the ICO boom – are viewed as service enablers. Therefore, to upcycle, recycle or repurpose tokens or cryptocurrencies is extremely difficult. One might argue that it is even impossible.

Does CoinJanitor Upcycle, Recycle or Repurpose Deadcoins?

When we speak about recycling or upcycling tokens or deadcoins – and sometimes we are guilty of using the terms interchangeably – we are referring to the deadcoins’ assets. CoinJanitor discards the currency itself, while using the assets of the deadcoins it buys out for the benefit of the community.

Therefore, CoinJanitor offers a multi-level clean-up process:

  • Discarding or decommissioning deadcoins – blockchains where relevant – or tokens through the buyout and subsequent swaps to onboard users.
  • Upcycling and in some cases repurposing the assets acquired from deadcoins, like websites and social media accounts.
  • Recycling deadcoin code, or categorizing it so other can recycle it – open source.
  • Recycling data and metadata – analyzing data from deadcoins to produce tools for the community.
  • Upcycling value locked in deadcoins – mainly unlocking the potential that deadcoin communities have by aggregating them and onboarding their members to the CoinJanitor community, so they can help us produce higher value outputs in everything we do.
Upcycling, Recycling and Repurposing Cryptocurrencies are Processes with Different Beneficiaries
Different people benefit from CoinJanitor in different ways. Therefore, the best way to understand how these 3 terms apply to what we do, is to look at how we apply them through the prism of the different beneficiaries of the project:

  • Discarding or decommissioning deadcoins – benefits the market by reducing dilution.
  • Upcycling and repurposing assets acquired from deadcoins – benefits CoinJanitor community members by increasing outreach, raising awareness about our project, and adding more enthusiasts to our community.
  • Recycling deadcoin code – once our repositories are ready, it will benefit anyone who is interested in using the code to build other projects.
  • Recycling data and metadata – benefits CoinJanitor community members mainly, who will have access to the tools we will develop.
  • Upcycling locked value – benefits CoinJanitor community members that were onboarded from deadcoins, by allowing them to transfer the value they had locked in coins that crashed or failed. It also benefits current CoinJanitor members because it allows us to spur community growth.
Making Sense of the Process
Although it can be extremely abstract to talk about upcycling, recycling or repurposing cryptocurrencies, the assets associated with them can definitely undergo one of these three processes. Hopefully, this will help you understand what we do and how we do it better. Above all, we hope this explanation helps you understand what we are referring to when we speak about upcycling or recycling deadcoins.

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