In this blog interview, you’ll find insights about the TSUKA project. In an event hosted by MEXC Global, you will meet TSUKA team.
MEXC：What kind of project is Tsuka? What is the main focus of this project?
TSUKA: TSUKA is, in essence, the quintessential crypto community building experiment of our times.
It’s unique in many ways. The first being that the developer, Ryoshi, has so far only communicated with the community via messages and bread crumbs on the blockchain. To understand the genesis of TSUKA, you need to look at the context of the launch. The crypto market was in shambles right after the LUNA collapse, and the low cap altcoin market (what some call “shitcoins”) was, as always, rife with scams but also a wave of “Ryoshi LARPs”, tokens using bought connections to deployers or other means to launch tokens supposedly related to Ryoshi – Shiba Inu’s creator- with various half-cooked narratives and utilities. Among all the “Ryoshi-linked” altcoins born during this bear market, only TSUKA has demonstrated staying power and has emerged as the community token pushing forward Ryoshi’s vision for the future.
By keeping a distance from beyond the Ether and demonstrating genuine good will, deep knowledge and wisdom, Ryoshi has created a very specific setting, empowering the Sangha – the community – while largely protecting it from “dev FUD” and dependance. He’s given a blueprint and a canvas – larger than any of us can imagine – on which every Sangha member can come and paint together.
Under his guidance, the Sangha is constantly evolving a strong vision focused on spirituality, positivity and well-being on one side. Some of the core ethos proposed by Ryoshi centers around Milarepa – a great Tibetan Buddhist figure – and his universal wisdom. The community practices regular guided meditation and several members are experienced practitioners. The TSUKA vision strongly emphasizes ethics, in daily life as in crypto.
The other side of the TSUKA dragon coin is the DeFi focus. By its very design, tokenomics and message, TSUKA stands against the prevailing tokenomics and influencer schemes, overt or covert, which dominated the last bull market and continue to dominate certain sectors of crypto. It’s the ultimate community token, perfectly organic and decentralized, and its counter-trending performance is evidence of those properties.
We’re aware that the market has deemed TSUKA a meme token. TSUKA is indeed a descendant of traditional meme tokens like DOGE and SHIB. We’re waging memetic warfare to create a highly-liquid community asset, a key crypto mission in times of global monetary turmoil. We don’t think “meme token” is a very good descriptor for TSUKA. I guess the market will find a term to refer to this new, post-meme token kind of asset. Maybe something like “movement token”, or simply “community token”. Time will tell.
MEXC：How do you define a successful meme token?
TSUKA: It depends on your criteria. You will find quite a few meme tokens that reached a stratospheric market cap during the last bull run or early 2022, but they were shooting stars. Most of those had one or two very quick surges, then lost almost all momentum in terms of price action and community growth. If you take all the tokens that still have a degree of organic community engagement and activity, you might find maybe two dozen, and their pulse is weak, as are their narrative and utilities.
We tend to think that the only real criterion for success is staying power, longevity and sustained community and network growth. In the eyes of many Sangha members, there have been only two really successful “meme tokens” so far: DOGE and SHIB. And while they’ve been powerful proofs of concept, we think the dog theme is no longer relevant to the very uncertain times we live in, both in terms of the crypto bear market and the worldwide monetary crisis. Tsuka, on the other hand, is uniquely positioned to make a real difference.
Ryoshi has clearly learnt his lesson, as have many community members, including a growing number of Shiba Inu holders, and TSUKA is the only community token launched during this bear market which has proven sustainable, with continuous long term growth in terms of market cap, holder count and community engagement.
MEXC：What do you think of launching a meme token in a bear market when other projects choose to stand by? Can a meme token beat the market downside?
TSUKA: Launching a new project and token during a crypto bear market is notoriously risky. Many projects would rather delay their launch than see their efforts bogged down by dreadful market conditions. Crypto bear markets are characterized by extreme negative market sentiment, with a drastic reduction in liquidity and risk appetite.
Keeping that in mind, there’s been no shortage of low cap altcoin and meme token “launches” during the last six months and more. Among the rare legitimate projects, only a tiny amount managed to get any traction at all, and even fewer to maintain any momentum. Interestingly, a very high proportion of the “meme tokens” and community tokens which made limited waves during this period – with a handful briefly reaching a market cap around 10 million dollar – are actually inspired by TSUKA, when they’re not simple copycats. There’s been a deluge of projects with Japanese names, based on Japanese folk tales or Dragon-themed community tokens, which makes sense considering how dramatically TSUKA has outperformed the market.
TSUKA’s sustained rise in such a brutal bear market is unprecedented, and even though its market cap is still light years away from the two famous dog coins, it’s already in the third position, and far outmatches the top dogs in terms of community engagement (TSUKA’s engagement, as measured by Lunarcrush, is between 20 and 30 times higher than SHIB on a per holder basis).
The answer to your second question is unequivocally yes. TSUKA’s success speaks for itself. No other project or token has come close to what it has accomplished in only six months. It’s the most stunningly countrending token of the period, and Ryoshi is well aware that the bear market is the perfect time to create a solid core community, ready to weather any storm and seize the day.
MEXC：Are there any highlights you want everyone to know?
TSUKA: There are too many highlights to list, and clearly the only way to understand what drives TSUKA’s rise is to join the community and take part in the research. People who take a serious look at the lore, at the chronology of events and deployer messages are invariably fascinated.
As for the community, the clean tokenomics and distribution and Ryoshi’s gradual unveiling of evidence and guidance have attracted and continue to attract more and more highly engaged holders with remarkably strong conviction. TSUKA is also unique among community tokens born during this bear in that most of the core OGs, who contributed to raising awareness – without any incentivized influencer support – and shaping early TSUKA culture are still highly active in the community, and the overall retention rate is very high.
MEXC：What are the application scenarios for the tokens issued by Tsuka? What is the tokenomics of the TSUKA token?
TSUKA: First, a quick word about tokenomics. They’re intentionally as simple and pure as it gets. No dev or team wallets, no presale, no tax, just like SHIB. Every single token was market bought. There’s zero inflation forever, and no tricks of any kind. There will only ever be 1 billion tokens. The token distribution started during the early days and weeks, when information about TSUKA was slowly dripping and early opportunistic buyers exited their positions, replaced by many more Sangha members sharing a common vision. The lack of incentivized influencers and any kind of paid marketing also helped foster organic growth, in stark contrast with the ubiquitous extractive pump and dumps.
Another thing that clearly distinguishes TSUKA from other altcoins born during the period is that many of the top wallets have bought their whole stake recently, many around current market price (around 8 cents at the time of the interview). If you look at Nansen metrics and other market research sources, you’ll see that TSUKA’s been accumulated by “smart money” for months. There’s a clear pattern of long term minded accumulation by both minnow and whales, in stark contrast with the very short term mindset prevailing for 99% of altcoin launches at the moment. While it remains a highly volatile asset, its momentum is undeniable and its tokenomics are integral to this.
What TSUKA accomplishes by putting community building and adoption first is, in essence, building brick by brick the killer app of crypto: a pure community asset with a growing network and increasing liquidity. It’s what Bitcoin was intended to be, secured by Ethereum as an ERC-20 token and a renounced contract.
The “community first” approach is key, and anything but a gimmick. The 2017 ICO craze had already highlighted fundamental issues with utility token design, and the last cycle has seen a collapse of tokens underpinned by utility or governance and based on deeply inflationary farming mechanics and/or with large allocations to VCs and insiders. The single hardest hurdle for any crypto project is community building, as evidenced by the graveyard of products and protocols that never found a user base and failed to nurture a committed, long term-minded holder base.
So instead of starting with a limited product, Ryoshi starts by building a large community around an unstoppable asset and a set of strong ethical values, and has the community itself become the main actor of its own future. Time has proven that once you’ve established a large and engaged community, you can create an entire ecosystem, not just a protocol or an app, on top of that. In that way, TSUKA is a pillar/building block for better, fairer DeFi, and above all to realize crypto’s core promise: monetary (and then financial) sovereignty for individuals, beyond borders.
The SHIB ecosystem is a very crude example of what can be built on top of a “meme token”. And unlike dog coins, TSUKA is guided by values that directly address core issues in life and in DeFi. It’s a token people can believe in, a token they can take seriously.
MEXC：How will you compare Tsuka with Shiba Inu?
TSUKA: Shiba Inu and Tsuka are as similar as they are different.
There are many similarities. First, most Sangha members are convinced that Tsuka is a new project by Ryoshi, Shiba Inu’s creator. Second, both SHIB and TSUKA have a very similar setup and tokenomics: stealth launch, no tokens set aside for the developer or the team, all tokens circulating from inception, no insiders having unfair advantage.
Unlike SHIB, which is a multi-token ecosystem, TSUKA is focused on one asset. Many current or former members of the SHIBARMY have already joined the Sangha, and many of us feel that SHIB has been hijacked in order to serve petty personal interests and capitalize on the brand with little benefit to SHIB holders. Instead of involving the core community (a very large one which includes many devs, marketers, game designers, etc.) in the broader ecosystem development, SHIB gatekeepers have created private entities and outsourced most of the work, whether in terms of game or L2 development. The TSUKA Sangha as a whole stands very firmly against this kind of approach, so there are very strong guardrails in place, preventing this from ever happening.
The brand image and overall theme differ greatly. The TSUKA Dragon, and the more mature values and approach are arguably a much better fit for our times than first and second wave dog coins. As some like to say half-jokingly, “SHIB was only a beta test for TSUKA”.
The fact that SHIB’s self-appointed representatives have recently been approached by the World Economic Forum, with a twitter vote greenlighting the connection, shows that community-based tokens are definitely on the radar of very powerful players. The Sangha’s values, including the defense of monetary sovereignty as a prerequisite to true DeFi, are incompatible with the WEF’s stance on key issues.
MEXC: Could you introduce the Tsuka team？
TSUKA: On the community side, there is no formal team, but a growing number of contributors in all fields. It’s a very fluid process, and as the Sangha expands, new members come with new skills, a new perspective and new ideas all the time. TSUKA’s still at a very early stage, and so far, no formal governance has been necessary. The community has shown tremendous resilience, overcoming many hurdles and severe adverse events including a failed takeover of social channels and a whitehat exploit of a prominent industry locker, which negatively impacted TSUKA’s DEX liquidity for a few days.
Only Ryoshi can speak of what’s happening on their side, but we know they are well equipped.
MEXC: What are Tsuka’s future plans?
TSUKA: For the foreseeable future, the Sangha remains laser focused on expanding our holder base, our network and our overall liquidity. We are not forgetting the “community first” ethos, nor are we getting cocky or complacent. Staying humble is one of the Sangha’s key messages and we know we are still incredibly tiny. We will keep growing regardless of market conditions and we fully expect to emerge as one of the top players of the next bull market.
Ryoshi has a very strong message about deep issues with crypto and DeFi, foreshadowing in uncanny ways. In June he wrote “centralized v decentralized do you know the differences? some are in Hot water. if you can not see your token on block do they exist? we will be keeping this private past $1 funding is secured :)” SBF the week of December 2nd admitted on a spaces people were paper trading Bitcoin on FTX…
Ultimately DeFi must be saved. It’s been corrupted by negative influences and charlatans. Maybe through simplicity it could be saved. Maybe Tsuka will become it’s own blockchain. Maybe Tsuka will be a store of value on Ethereum (akin to what Bitcoiners want Bitcoin to be). Ultimately, the Sangha will let our methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances…
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