Digital Currency Weekly Recap 1-3-2015
Elephant Launches elCoin Cryptocurrency
The Ethereum platform Elephant recently launched its Ethereum-based cryptocurrency, elCoin. The new digital currency is notable for being the first cryptocurrency using both blockchain and smart contract technology, and was released globally just in time for the New Year. The currency was designed to harness the power of the Ethereum platform in a user-friendly way that offers consumers a secure, real-time payment system that can meet the needs of online and brick and mortar businesses alike.
The elCoin provides a system that is programmed to provide interest rewards for users who complete a minimum of one transaction within the first 10 days after launch, and continued rewards will be paid out every ten days thereafter. Consumers using elCoin will have the opportunity to use their currency on websites that have partnered with the coin, and can trade them on a number of crypto exchanges.
Lithuanian Minister: Baltic Nation Looking to Crypto and Blockchain
Lithuania’s Vice-Minister of Economy recently confirmed the Baltic nation’s interest in digital currency and the technology that enables it. In comments published by the Baltic Review, Vice-Minister Marius Skarupskas noted that the Republic of Lithuania plans to invest in cryptocurrency and the blockchain, and considers the technology “among the latest and most exciting financial innovations.”
The move is part of an effort by the Baltic country to take a leadership role in these emerging technologies to help Lithuania and its capital become the “go-to destinations” for financial industry innovation. Along with this announcement, Skarupskas highlighted recent growth in FinTech research and development in Lithuania, with the involvement of companies like Western Union and Barclays.
UBS Executives Bucks Trend, Suggests Cryptocurrency Will Disrupt Banking Industry
2015 was seemingly filled with pessimistic talk about cryptocurrencies, with special attention paid to better-known digital currencies like Bitcoin. It seemed that nary a week went by without one banking executive, government official, or other personality of note offering a new opinion about how cryptocurrency was doomed to fail. Alex Batlin, Senior Innovation Manager at Zurich-based UBS, recently bucked that trend when he expressed his belief that cryptocurrencies would not only survive but would actually come to dominate the banking industry.
Batlin extolled the positive virtues of digital currency and referred to its potential game-changing nature: “Imagine if just half of the unbanked started using Bitcoin – would the rest of the world be able to resist?” His view on crypto is almost certainly informed by his close proximity to the subject matter. After all, Batlin’s current position at UBS puts him into direct contact with a variety of research projects that are centered on digital currency and the blockchain.
Batlin’s views on why Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies came to prominence when they did are also worthy of note. He attributes much of their popularity to the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis. Much of that popularity can be tied to the current distrust many people have for the banking industry, and the belief in many quarters that there is no longer a need for the banks to serve as middlemen for financial service transactions.
And Don’t Miss These…
With the New Year having come and gone, many may still be recovering from an excessive amount of celebration. In the midst of all that happy reminiscing on the year that’s passed, one could almost be excused for missing out on some of the great articles recently posted here… almost. We know that you wouldn’t want to miss out on any of the gems posted over the last few days, so be sure to catch them when you can. Nick Marinoff’s Introducing Kids to Cryptocurrency Through Gaming takes a look at how cryptocurrency can help kids become more familiar with digital currency, while Chase Green’s Take a Chance on Cryptocurrency offers some timely insight into digital currency’s benefits as an investment vehicle. You can catch them both for the low, low price of however long it takes you to read them.