Use Cases and Applications

The BUILD Economy

Song Choi

BUILD.5 is a non-profit organization based in Switzerland, a collaborative effort merging the expertise of SoonLabs, SPYCE.5, and the founder of IOTA. Our mission is to use our collective technical and business skills to drive IOTA global adoption.

As individual entities, through each of our own core competencies, we have all successfully contributed to the IOTA community over the years. In the process of delivering on those separate efforts we came to the realization that if we combine forces immediately, we can take advantage of an opportunity to create exponential adoption of IOTA.

What is that opportunity and why is it important right now? It is actually quite simple, in the early stages of development of a protocol, the most dominant entity is the one creating it, as it should be. But as the protocol matures, the focus quickly shifts to applications and user interfaces. So, while the value of the IOTA Foundation is unquestionable, its central role is to create the core protocol. The role of BUILD.5 is to take the IOTA core protocol and enable it to be transformed into a thousand enterprise use cases.

Every time we welcome a new enterprise and partner, the BUILD community doesn’t just grow in numbers; but also its economic impact and scope expand tremendously. In this article we aim to explore the economics behind that expansion through the utility of the $BUILD token.


When the SoonLabs team first started the Soonaverse project, they always knew that the $SOON token was going to be a token that lived on the Shimmer network and that a more product-ready token would need to be launched on the IOTA network in the future. The goal being to truly utilize Shimmer as the incentivized staging network it was intended to be by battle testing its cutting edge features into a “best of breed” product ready for adoption.

$BUILD is the evolution and expansion of the technological vision of SoonLab’s Soonaverse, paired with the business process acumen of the SPYCE.5 team, and the proven token crafting abilities of David Sønstebø. We combined our capabilities as builders, with the advice and enterprise expertise of our advisors, to finalize $BUILD and its path to global adoption.

We developed this graphic to better illustrate the concept of our two token ecosystem:

The Soonaverse acts as an innovation hub where users, ideas and new services for decentralized projects (verses), tokens, NFTs and dApps are discovered and proven. The BUILD.5 platform then takes those best suited for enterprise adoption and converts them into consumable APIs that integrate with existing commercial “web2” systems. Both contribute to this 2 token ecosystem by adding to the code base and pushing new open source technology innovation into the marketplace.

Once the Stardust upgrade on the IOTA network is complete, the building blocks for mainnet expansion will be in place and the era of $BUILD can begin. Our ability to leverage existing web2 infrastructure through web3 APIs allows us to enhance current business functions and create easily adoptable systems of trusted data that were never possible before now.

The $BUILD token was created as a governance and coordination mechanism that allows any token holder to have a say in how the protocol functions. We as an organization believe that collaboration through token governance is the future of open source technologies. Everything from AI to corporate governance is becoming a “black box” for individuals who have a vested interest in understanding how decisions are being made with their data. Our approach to open source principles is grounded in our desire to bring more transparency and openness to community based decision making to shift towards what we are calling the TRUST ERA, verifiable decision making through IOTA, SHIMMER, and BUILD.5.

The token utility of the $BUILD token is simple:

In addition, as new projects deploy on to the platform each one brings the possibility of new applications of the $BUILD token (exactly what we’ve seen happen to $SOON). As “thousands” of use cases are created through BUILD.5 the number of new uses for $BUILD, beyond its primary utilities are quite endless, this is the power of its design as a platform.

But how are fees accrued and what’s the market potential in such a system?

BUILD.5 uses a self-sustaining incentivized web3 economic system, designed with different revenue streams and value creation tools to support its operation. Initially, this is accomplished through pay-per-use APIs and smart contracts, which will be optimized through enterprise SLAs and operating agreements.

However, in the future, BUILD.5 will also add a small fee % clip from each of the millions of transactions processed each day through the “Mana Station” module, once it is released to the public. More details about that can be found in this article: The BUILD.5 Mana Station. This has an incredible snowball effect that allows the treasury to continuously reinvest in operations, motivate and incentivize network participants, and expand the protocol into every industry looking to grow into the trust era.

How Do I Get $BUILD?

There will be no ICO or any way to buy the $BUILD token before it’s traded on the open market. So, if you’re looking to acquire a position in $BUILD, then you only have two routes:

  1. Hold or stake $SOON tokens (20 million $BUILD dropped to all $SOON holders)
  2. Have ASMB staked (1 million $BUILD dropped to all $ASMB token holders)

Beyond those two options you will have to wait until $BUILD is traded on exchanges and buy it on the secondary market. The exact date of this has yet to be determined and will be announced several weeks in advance, as the scheduled release of Stardust on the IOTA mainnet has recently been changed and we are adjusting accordingly.

As a regulatorily compliant, non-profit organization, we didn’t want to have the looming shadow of an ICO above us, but also wanted to make certain the holders of our token were a committed and engaged community, exactly like the one built over the last 2 years, that helped make the Soonaverse what it is today. This is why there is an overweight distribution to $SOON token holders, which was part of the original design of the token and the codebase $BUILD was born from.


Everyday audiences may think of blockchain as controversial and its potential adoption as questionable, but enterprises do not. Polls commonly show that a majority (often near 90%*) of enterprises are actively adopting blockchain in one of its various forms. When we meet with partners we often find they have a well informed team dedicated to their company’s blockchain strategy. It’s for this reason that the central thesis of a turnkey platform of “mix and match” web3 tools on a feeless L1 is so incredibly powerful to them. They “get it”.

These teams are not only building, but scaling existing infrastructure to support artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, the internet of things, and even quantum computing. All of these along with blockchain are leaving their “emerging tech” laboratories and entering the market at astonishing speeds. BUILD.5 represents IOTA breaking free of its own emerging tech status.

The $BUILD token is an expression of this “network state” and a way to activate our community through open governance and engagement. We hope the energy and electric potential of these collective forces finally meeting has made the wait for long term supporters and newly minted members worthwhile. Thank you for joining us and for being a part of the $BUILD ecosystem, community, economy.


Related Articles