As the cryptofinancing world continues to expans and the roster of minted altcoins is approaching one thousand, marketing has become one of the most relevant parts of a new coin’s birth. There are coins of almost every hue on the market and… so – what the heck – slapping a national flag on one sounds like just another reasonable business model. Let’s look a good look at this emerging genre.
What’s a national cryptocurrency?
National altcoins occupy a very specific and somewhat restricted niche in the crypto-scene a they are specifically marketed as unofficial currencies of existing territories or nationalities, which gives them a kind of subversive and anarchic flavour.
Some call them “local cryptocurrencies”, which is a misnomer considering they are easily accessible by anyone anywhere via digital exchanges.
Unfortunately, far too often they end up pretty much abandoned by their initial community, with tumbleweeds rolling around their Bitcointalk forums – and merely become a toy for pumpers, cryptosharks and grifters. But let us not treat them as mere casino chips for market barracudas and look into their very heart, where purest of intentions are of course veiled.
What’s under the hood?
Despite this being their primary purpose, many digital numismatists forget that altcoins can actually carry out a role of complementary local currencies in depressed communities or locales where the demand for an alternative economy is high for various other reasons.
A fine example of the former would be MazaCoin issued by seven impoverished Lakota tribes who felt left out of the national economy. The latter can be illustrated by a slew of altcoins with national branding minted in 2014-2015, the most iconic and successful of which was arguably AuroraCoin. Iceland’s economy at the time was not in dire straits per se but Icelanders did feel largely disappointed in traditional financial institutions ever since the financial crisis. This disappointment can clearly be linked to the coin’s value. For example, AUR’s sudden climb last April coincided with the Panama papers leak and Prime Minister’s ensuing resignation.
Another big reason behind these coins’ existence is the fact that as technology becomes accessible and easy to replicate, various groups can and will use it to make political statements or play identity politics.
National altcoins often appear in communities where separatist sentiments are strong as a (thinly) veiled statement and a shot at a sovereign currency at the same time. CatalonianCoin and ScotCoin are the most obvious examples.
There are also other communities looking at altcoins and are ripe for them. Vít Jedlička the president of the rogue Libertarian micronation Liberland has been rumoured to be on the prowl for a team to do an ICO. And there’s also been whispers of Burning Man creating their own cryptocurrency, which is of course a hotly debated topic as they don’t use money in their popup annual extravaganza, it’s notoriously all about barter. Having said that, it makes total sense for both nation/communities to cleave further from conventional nation states by adopting their own coin.
Native Siberian crypto anarchism
Most national altcoins though just serve as a symbol, identity meme, proving that tribalism is still as strong a consolidating force as innovation. For instance, an inconspicuous Dash fork has just beaten its parent coin in sheer number of functioning masternodes. Why is it suddenly so big? It’s a Russian altcoin named Siberian Chervonets (SibCoin), backed by patriotic Russian crypto-anarchists who are rather numerous.
Even in Russia, Blockchain is seen as a solution to corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency by many as is evident by the Russian government eyeing Blockchain potential for the national payment system and the Sberbank joining Apache’s Hyperledger project not to mention the Moscow recently announced Bank of Russia’s Deputy Chairman Olga Skorobogatov said they have no further plans to ban cryptocurrencies.
But still… due to the current political tensions and general mistrust towards big ideas coming from the West, many Russians have been reticent to adopt bitcoin and needed something familiar and relatable to introduce them into the world of Blockchain. SibCoin seems to have filled the role very well – for the Russian crypto-community.
What’s the trend?
There is no doubt that we shall see more of these projects popping up and while “identity” and “local community” remain relevant concepts, locally branded cryptocurrencies will not lose their appeal.
Recent Pesobit’s (a Philippine altcoin) ICO showed that national coins are still in the game and are willing to adapt to rapidly changing standards of the industry.
Some pundits scream it’s a conservative reaction – an attempt to return to the era of national currencies while bitcoin is pushing the agenda of futuristic global currency.
On the other hand, these altcoins are performing an important mission proliferating the concept of Blockchain currencies in local communities using relatable and down-to-earth familiar brands. And building a strong grassroots community is the primary goal for every coin and eventually for the entire global crypto-scene. Perhaps national altcoins are just another small step towards Blockchain’s domination in finance? Time will tell.
- LAToken Tokenized Apple Shares to Sell Them for Cryptocurrencies - August 17, 2017
- Sensay, Groundbreaking AI and Chatbot Company Launches Token Sale - August 17, 2017
- ICOBox Token Presale Attracts $8.3 Million - August 17, 2017
- Indorse, the Decentralized Professional Social Network, Receives Additional Backing From Coinsilium After $5.5 million Pre-Sale - August 16, 2017
- Decentraland Partners With imToken, Connext, and Bitcoin Suisse - August 16, 2017
- Ethereum-based Car Towing Aggregator CarTaxi Plans ICO - August 16, 2017
- Ukraine Government to Allow Foreign Investors to Purchase Real Estate Online with Propy - August 16, 2017
- Cofound.it to Launch Weekly Crowdsales through September - August 15, 2017
- Blockstream Satellite: Broadcasting Bitcoin from Space - August 15, 2017
- Dr. Christian Seberino – Houston Texas Blockchain Course Kicks Off Friday August 18, 2017 - August 14, 2017
- Skycoin – Skywire Miner: Hardware for the Next Internet - August 12, 2017
- NSD and Waves kickstart development of Crypto Assets platform - August 12, 2017
- ICONOMI Introduces Columbus Capital As Its First Asset Management Partner - August 12, 2017
- Siberians to Launch ICO for Decentralized Betting eSports Platform - August 12, 2017
- Decentralized News Network Releases Alpha Update - August 12, 2017
- Gibraltar’s Fintech Sector Moves Forward – Awards Xapo E-money license - August 11, 2017
- AMBROSUS Partners with TREK THERAPEUTICS to Develop a Blockchain-powered Method to Track Quality in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing - August 11, 2017
- Outlier Ventures Becomes First VC To Hire ‘Head of Crypto-Economics’ With Appointment of Eden Dhaliwal - August 11, 2017
- Rivetz Raises $5.5 Million in RvT Token Pre-Sale; Public Token Crowdsale Begins Today, Capped at 200,000 ETH - August 10, 2017
- Leading Japanese VCs, Nippon Technology Venture Partners, FISCO Capitals, and ABBALab Inc all to invest in COMSA ICO tokens and XEM - August 10, 2017
- Binded Launches One Click U.S. Copyright Registrations - August 10, 2017
- Illinois Opens Blockchain Development Partnership with Hashed Health - August 9, 2017
- Jaxx and Cofound.it Partner to Give Best New Cryptocurrencies Immediate Liquidity - August 9, 2017
- GoldMint Project Plans to Provide 100 per cent Gold-Backed Stable Assets - August 9, 2017
- Launching a Blockchain Solution to Make Aviation Safer – Aeron.aero - August 9, 2017
- Blackmoon Financial Group Launches Blockchain-Based Platform for Tokenized Investment Funds - August 9, 2017
- SONM Launches Updated Platform With Discovery Algorithm - August 9, 2017
- AirFox Announces ICO to Make Mobile Data More Accessible and Affordable - August 8, 2017
- Golden Fleece Project To Expand Massive Altcoin Mining Ecosystem With Token Sale - August 8, 2017
- Notorious Lobbyist Jack Abramoff to Coach Bitcoin Activists in New Washington, DC-based Reality Docu-series from Blockchain Entertainment and Ignition Creative - August 8, 2017
- ATMChain’s Project In China With 7,000 Intelligent Media Screens ‘Goes Blockchain’ Through DECENT - August 8, 2017
- NEM.io Foundation Partners with Blockchain Global to Expand International Reach - August 8, 2017
- CFTE working with MAS to help ASEAN finance professionals acquire the skills of Finance 2.0 - August 8, 2017
- Rivetz International Partners with LAToken to Boost Marketplace Security on Mobile Devices - August 8, 2017
- investFeed Finishes Successful Token Generation Event - August 8, 2017
- Zen Protocol Unveils Testnet To Decentralize Finance - August 8, 2017
- Blockchain Startup JAAK Announce Official Pilot With Viacom UK - August 7, 2017
- RefToken Releases Blockchain Affiliate Platform Prototype – Announces Token Generation Event - August 5, 2017
- Dash Employs Elite Cybersecurity Service Bugcrowd to ‘Hack’ Its Blockchain - August 5, 2017
- 144,000 Free Spins up for grabs montly in BitStarz’s new Slot Battles! - August 5, 2017
- Stox Token Sale Raises $33 Million in 34 Hours – The Seventh Biggest of 2017 - August 4, 2017
- Swap Announces AIR Token Launch and AIRSWAP, a Decentralized, Peer-to-Peer Trading Platform - August 4, 2017
- investFeed Showcases First Version of Cryptocurrency-Based Social Investment Platform - August 3, 2017
- WePower Launches Blockchain-Powered Green Energy Platform and Token Sale - August 3, 2017
- DECENT Network introduces ATMChain - August 3, 2017
- Neufund Launches ICO Transparency Monitor to Judge ICOs Based on Smart Contract Design - August 3, 2017
- Bitfinex announces Ethfinex – a new community discussion and exchange platform for Ethereum crowdsales and tokens. - August 3, 2017
- Dutch Foundation Wants to Disrupt Charities Using Blockchain Technology - August 3, 2017
- Everex Officially Partners With Myanmar-based MicroMoney - August 3, 2017
- Tech Bureau Japan Launches Cryptocurrency Fundraising Medium, “COMSA” - August 3, 2017