Concerning Lingot Inflation
I'm sure many of you have recently logged into your Duolingo account, earned some points, and discovered that you weren't awarded lingots for keeping your streak. I know you have, because you've taken to the forums and complained about it. This change is being labeled as a measure to help reduce the inflation the lingot economy has seen recently, but, and no offense intended to anyone, how could this change possibly be the full answer to the problem?
Since they are virtual rewards, the “Duolingo Virtual Reserve” can generate as many lingots as needed. That's what's causing the problem; it does in any economy. But in this virtual economy we have a slightly different scenario because the only thing stabilizing the economy is the Lingot Store.
Inflation is when the supply of lingots rises, causing a fall in the value of each individual lingot. Right now, far more lingots are being awarded to users than enter the Lingot Store. An ideal situation would be when the number coming into the store through purchases and going out of the store through rewards are equal.
The change Duolingo has implemented obviously won't fix the problem because lingots still won't be coming out of the economy. Why? There is next to nothing to buy in the lingot store! The answer to our economic problem here isn't to stop rewarding users for their hard work, it is to add items to the lingot store, increasing the number of lingots being taken out of our virtual economy.
That being said, a big thank you to all of those volunteers and staff who make this program possible. The lingot economy is really a trivial thing, but I just thought this should be brought up. Please leave your thoughts, opinions, and ideas in the comment section below!
Economies are based on Supply and Demand. The supply of lingots is very high, causing inflation of lingots. Duolingo has taken steps to fix this by removing your lingots for your streak. Another step which I hope they will take will to increase the demand for lingots. Either by raising prices (which I don't think would be right) or by enlarging the store (which would be awesome!).
It is not true of all economies; Duolingo are effectively operating a Soviet-era economy.
Everyone is in "employment", everyone is paid almost regardless of the quality of their work (you only needed to log in and earn 1 XP per day to maintain your streak and be handsomely rewarded at the end of every 10 days). So there is plenty of "money" sloshing around.
There is almost nothing in the shops that people can (or would want to) buy. The prices are fixed by the "state", often at an artificially low price.
Inflation does not figure in this economic model, because the price of goods does not change. It has little to do with the amount of money in circulation.
The next A/B test will be an automatic deduction of lingots to take the Progress Quiz for anyone with more than 250 lingots.
I'm just kidding, guys! I apologize for being sarcastic; I am currently in the group that is no longer receiving streak lingots, and would just like everyone to know that I share the concerns of what seems to be the great majority of the users right now.
They did say this was the first step and emphasized the fact that they would be doing more. Hopefully the next step will be adding more things to purchase from the store.
I disagree that there isn't anything to buy from the store. The quiz is a nice perk and can be purchased as often as you can afford to. The streak freeze is also a repeatable purchase, at least if you miss days now and then.
Not sure if there's a better place for offering feedback to duolingo, so...
I'm in the test group. I was super disappointed to reach 120 days (my longest streak to date and twice as long as the runner up) and not receive those 12 lingots. However, I don't think this has had a significantly negative impact behaviorally. Still I think it'd be better to have an award on reaching those milestones, and have more things to spend the lingots on if at all possible. Though I've made consistent uses of streak freezes and don't maintain a high surplus of lingots generally.
I personally rather enjoy being able to purchase silly cosmetic things like outfits, backgrounds, someone mentioned filling a garden etc.