We all know how Bitcoin has taken off in the last year - the extensive publicity and meteoric rise of value above $1200; big names such as Richard Branson & Andreessen-Horowitz getting on board; and retailers such as TigerDirect.com & Overstock.com began accepting the currency. A number of Alternate crypto currencies have popped up around this technology, most popular among them being Litecoin. Beginning 25th March 2014, Auroracoin, a crypto-currency based on the Litecoin protocol, is all set to be distributed to the entire population of Iceland.
Auroracoin is a litecoin-based digital currency, 50% of which is pre-mined. It is already the third largest in terms of market capitalization after Bitcoin and Litecoin at around $380 Mn. On March 25th, each citizen of Iceland (Population: 330,000) will receive 31.8 Auroracoins. Entrepreneur & Programmer Baldur Friggjar Odinsson can be credited for the idea to distribute millions of digital coins to the country’s citizens in a bid to hasten the understanding, engagement and adoption of virtual cash.
- Aurouracoin (AUR) will work just like bitcoin citizens.
- They will use their private ID numbers to check in and receive their coins. Mining is performed through proof-of-work operations, just like bitcoin.
- The goal mainly is to enable the citizens of Iceland to once again engage freely in trade outside of their country.
- If this works, It could be sort of like a Mascot for the adoption of country based virtual cash systems in other places.
“Giving people Auroracoin is a way of introducing the nation to cryptocurrencies, currencies that can’t be controlled by politicians and central bankers. This is an attempt too bootstrap a network effect,” said Baldur Odinsson. “The government will not be able to control how people use their money if the people choose to use Auroracoin rather than the króna.” This could turn Auroracoin into a catalyst for Bitcoin trading.
Why Iceland you may be wondering though? Well, their website says:
- The Icelandic krona has been inflated consistently to a greater extent than other such currencies, losing more than 99.5% of its value to the dollar since 1960.
- Iceland is a small country with avenues of reaching almost every Icelander on the Internet, with 96% Internet penetration, the highest in the world according to some sources.
- Every Icelander has an identity number that is public information. It creates opportunities to reach a large part of the public through various means.
- Icelanders are early adopters of technology where almost everyone uses a smart phone or tablet and the country is a leading country in the usage of Bitcoin per capita.
- Icelanders use almost only electronic means of payment and very rarely use paper bills or physical coins.
- The Icelandic people is generally free-minded and has stood up to the power of politicians and the world financial system in a referendum by rejecting government bailouts of the so-called Icesave deposits – twice says the company.
- Iceland is already a haven for crypto currency mining thanks to its cheap electricity.
“The power must be taken away from the politicians and given back to the people. Cryptocurrencies are a very important milestone in this fight for liberty,” says Odinsson. “They bring the hope of a new era of free currencies, immune to the meddling of politicians and their cronies.”