Cryptocurrencies by the Region: Digital Money for Local CommunitiesThe abundance of altcoins and tokens these days may easily confuse an unprepared rookie. With the ICO hype still in the middle of subsiding, dozens of new projects offering their native tokens launched on weekly basis, and forks of old reliable coins becoming some sort of mainstream, it’s quite easy to get lost in this cryptocurrency jungle.
The existing coins, however, can be divided into certain categories: some of them, like Bitcoin, Litecoin or Dash, are global cryptocurrencies that compete mostly on a technological basis. Others, like ADX, are native tokens whose primary field of application is in their respective infrastructure. There are scam coins, forgotten coins, and coins made as a joke. Finally, there is a relatively scarce category, which is regional (or local) cryptocurrencies.
While this area is obviously underdeveloped in the industry, it may be the one that holds the key to wider acceptance of cryptocurrencies across numerous massive communities. Some of them are dedicated to a particular area or community while others appeal to entire nations. In some way, they conceptually replace national currencies (though not doing it directly) or act as platforms for the development of local businesses and households.
Still, the key difference between a local cryptocurrency and a national cryptocurrency is that the former is not subject to any regulation and enforces decentralized economy. This is the most important issue with those coins as they offer an alternative to a state-run economy, which obviously doesn’t make governments happy. But, happy or not, they couldn’t put a lid on the emergence of local cryptocurrencies so far, and there are lots of them these days.
Regional Cryptocurrencies: Practical Cases
Auroracoin was one of the first regional cryptocurrencies to be introduced. It was premined in Iceland in the wake of a severe banking crisis, with 50% of its overall pool distributed amongst all Iceland citizens. Their tech savviness and political concerns allowed them to enjoy all the advantages brought about by virtual currencies.
Whether it was an initial inspiration or not, a bunch of similar region-specific cryptocurrencies soon followed. Such were PLNCoin from Poland, and SpainCoin and GreekCoin from more obvious places of origin.
However, with a notable example of Liverpool Local Coin, which is a Bitcoin fork devised for local businesses, most of them were more of a statement than an actual cryptocurrency. For example, eKrona, a cryptocurrency created in Scandinavia for Scandinavia, is marketed as a coin for true Vikings and bears no specific purpose except appealing to harsh Norsemen.
The political statements made with cryptocurrencies even go farther than that. Regions that seek to separate from countries they’re currently a part of, have also issued their own cryptocurrencies, most notably ScotCoin and CatalonianCoin. But even in the areas that seek no secession there is demand for a local currency. Indeed, longing for good old times, when there was no Euro, could easily explain the emergence of such cryptocurrencies as PesetaCoin or GuldenCoin.
There are, however, some region-specific cryptocurrencies that went beyond making a bold statement or offering some advantages to local, and therefore, small communities.
Such is Sibcoin originating from Russia. The project’s team obviously likes the fact because they use a lot of bears, ushankas, and balalaikas in their promotion. Similar to eKrona, it appeals to communities broader than a nation, aiming at the Russian-speaking one in this case. Sibcoin seeks to offer some services that would be enjoyed by those who don’t know much about cryptocurrencies, like withdrawing crypto to a fiat plastic card. These efforts seem to work as the coin’s price grew from almost nothing to $2.40 in just a few months.
Another local cryptocurrency worth a separate mention is PesoBit, a Philippines-based project. Though not as successful in terms of market value, it is much similar to Sibcoin in its marketing strategy appealing to those who aren’t quite happy with the dictator ambitions of the country’s president Rodrigo Duterte and the economic situation in the country. Paying a tribute to the mainstream option of recent days, the project’s team even held an ICO which proved to be quite successful.
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While region-specific cryptocurrencies occupy only a small fraction of the Coinmarketcap list, they might outline what cryptocurrency as a phenomenon might become in the future. As more and more communities discover the advantages of the blockchain, local cryptocurrency might become the key to its massive adoption.