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Bitcoin Software The Almighty Buck Technology

Software Developer Creates Personal Cryptocurrency (wired.com) 102

mirandakatz writes: If you want to pick Evan Prodromou's brain -- as many people often do -- you'll have to pay him. And not just a consulting fee: You'll have to pay him in his own personal cryptocurrency, dubbed Evancoin. Currently, 20 days after his Initial Coin Offering, a single Evancoin is worth $45. As Prodromou tells Scott Rosenberg at Backchannel, "I'm not above a stunt! But in this case I'm really serious about exploring how cryptocurrency is changing what we can do with money and how we think about it. Money is this sort of consensual hallucination, and I wanted to experiment around that." The story goes on to explain what, exactly, goes into creating a personal cryptocurrency, and whether Evancoin could becoming a phenomenon that spreads.
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Software Developer Creates Personal Cryptocurrency

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  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Friday October 20, 2017 @08:27PM (#55407373)

    I now take payments in goats and manual labor.

    • Of course, ALL money is just fancy bartering!

    • goatse man used a couple of these goats, is that "added value" in your system or "wear and tear"?

    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Friday October 20, 2017 @10:29PM (#55407825)

      And by "manual labor" you mean handjobs, right?

  • it would be shame if something happened to it.
  • The whole point of currency, whether it's official government currency or cryptocurrency, is that it has an agreed-upon value by everyone who uses it. That seems to be a missing element in this "personal" cryptocurrency.

    • In this case the market value of his personal currency, in terms of exchange rate against other currencies, is the monetized value of his own brand.

    • That element is not missing.
      He offers you a service, you take it or leave it.
      And you pay him in his own currency ....

    • Agreed-upon value, eh? Then how come the amount of agreed-upon value I have keeps losing purchasing power every year?

      • Yes, of course that "agreed-upon" value changes constantly. That's what inflation is about. Still, every time you purchase something, you and the seller "agree" that the money is a fair exchange for the item or service you are purchasing. You may not be "happy" about the exchange, but you agree enough to carry out the transaction.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Sellers offer different prices to the same consumer. I recently had the experience of booking a hotel room; the computer reservation gave me one price, but the guy on the phone quoted me a different price. The price is quite arbitrary, and my knowledge is limited therefore the price I agree to says more about the seller's ability to manipulate me than about some mythical agreed-upon value.

      • It's a small price to pay for never having a negative interest rate on bank deposits. I think.

    • The point of currency is to have something that is "legal tender for all debts, public and private". This guys coin doesn't even come close, it isn't currency; it's a gift token. Valid in one shop only.
    • I think the agreed-upon value is in his service, to which the currency is linked. It's like forever stamps, car wash tokens, or hug coupons. The use-specific currency purchases the same amount of service, regardless of how much the dollar valve of that service changes. In this way it could be better than (eg restaurant specific) gift cards since the restaurant can raise the price of their food after the cards are sold. It's more like stock certificates where one owns the same part of the company regardless
      • If your description is accurate, then this is nothing new at all. Tokens and coupons are commonplace, and just because it's "on a computer" or "uses encryption" doesn't make it a new concept, nor does it make it currency.

        • If you're suggesting that "personal currency" is an oxymoron for most uses of "currency," I do not find that I can argue with you at all. The singularity of its usefulness kind of interferes with the functionality of most of that concept. The personal nature of the use does avoid conflict with the National Bank Acts of 1863-66, though.
  • I suppose there is the fantasy of your time becoming more valuable but then why not just accept fractional coin payments? And by saying "My time is your money" what happens if he has an accident or gets bored and stops the experiment? The value will fall since there will be no growth, unless he is able to cede control to some other organization. It seems to me the calculation is that the sum of the full value of all coins he has made are together an investment he has made in trying to advertise his ability

    • The value will fall since there will be no growth, unless he is able to cede control to some other organization

      Are you sure you know how this game works?
      • by mattr ( 78516 )

        To a limited extent as most people who do not use cryptocurrency. Perhaps not as much as you, since it has not been a major interest of mine. How do you see it playing out?

        I see now that there is indeed an ether-evancoin exchange, so perhaps it is not dependent on Evan. My point was what happens to the popularity of it as a currency, what do you do with your evancoin, if he gets bored or something happens to him.

        I am guessing that if all developers make their own similar coin which can interoperate / be exc

        • To keep it simple, Evan create Evancoin and probably starts out as the only miner and client (node) on the network. A miners job is to do the math to make a valid block out of transactions. A nodes job is to transmit potential transactions (I want to send x to y) to a miner, or validate the blocks produced by the miners. As soon as another miner and/or node joins the network, Evan loses exclusive control of it. More join and the headless beast has a life of its own.
  • This reminds me of how some famous musician (Prince?) supposedly issued stock for his own career. Can't find a citation for that though.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You may be thinking of Bowie Bonds.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebrity_bond

      http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/6843009/david-bowies-bowie-bonds-55-million-wall-street-prudential

  • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Friday October 20, 2017 @09:58PM (#55407725) Homepage

    This is a common practice already, but now with added buzzword-compliance.

    For decades, organizations have issued scrips of various kinds. From gift certificates and coupons to the ubiquitous gift cards exchanged today, there's always some new way to get customers to invest in your product before they buy it. This guy now has his own scrip currency, with the gimmick of being a "cryptocurrency" so people can generate their own, essentially paying him in their time and recognition of his brand instead of an actual recognized currency.

    • by FrankHaynes ( 467244 ) on Friday October 20, 2017 @11:36PM (#55407993)

      Let's see: we've gone from a single unified web browser that can run almost any application to a single app per site, multiplied by the number of sites desiring their own lock-in.

      So in that world, making a currency that can only be spent on one vendor matches up perfectly. I guess I'll market a "wallet" to store each and every different currency for all the different vendors who mine their own.

    • For decades, organizations have issued scrips of various kinds. From gift certificates and coupons to the ubiquitous gift cards exchanged today, ...

      Or the “company store” from the turn of the previous century, which the robber barons used to force their own employees deeper and deeper into indentured servitude.

    • I compared his coin to a gift certificate in another post, but now I'm thinking... there is a big difference between a gift card and this coin: shops that issue gift cards are obliged to honor them, at least I assume this is the case in most countries. This guy has no such legal obligation; he could just decide to retire at some point. Perhaps after selling off his own stash of coins. Pardon me, I meant to say after they "are stolen by hackers" of course.
      • The obligation is only due to contract law. To avoid even that, the cards usually say things like "no cash value" or "may be deemed invalid at any time", and usually carry expiration terms. The shop could also just close up and go out of business.

        The only real reason gift cards maintain value is that there would be a PR nightmare if they were suddenly invalidated. That risk is a liability to the company, countering the financial asset the company gained by selling them originally. It is removed by fulfillin

  • Where exactly are his coins worth USD$45? Because it's not even listed on coingecko.com, for example.

    Would he accept payments in Flappycoins? Because I got a shitload of those...

  • Let's just abbreviate that as Ecoin [e-corp-usa.com] - oh wait ...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's a fungible commodity used for solving the coincidence of wants problem whereby the lack of a common acceptable abstraction for value in the economy forces people to engage in a lengthy and circuitous sequence of bartering transactions to ultimately receive the goods and services they want to buy, wasting a great deal of time and effort in the process. We all more or less agree to use money because it's far more efficient than the next best alternatives. However, in order to function as "money" a commod

  • I've figured out how to efficiently factor large numbers, and next year I'm going to use that knowledge to randomly redistribute all bitcoin wallets with more than 1 bitcoin in them, you've been warned. ;-)

    I leave it to the reader as an exercise determine how this breaks the rest of internet security.

  • So, Schrute Bucks coming to fruition? ...might as well.

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