Grantcoin is a cryptocurrency created to help make the world a better place. It is distributed by a non-profit organization to people, businesses and organizations that are sustainable, socially and environmentally responsible. We had a chance to interview them, check out what they have to say about cryptocurrency and where its headed.
What caused you to become a cryptocurrency believer?
Grantcoin: Ever since the financial crisis of 2008, I have been looking for solutions to the problem of too much wealth and power being concentrated in the hands of a few big for-profit investment banks which dominate the world economy. When the U.S. government bailed out the banks that caused the crash, providing them with the hard-earned money of the ordinary taxpayers who were hurt by the banks’ irresponsible actions and doing nothing to help the innocent victims, it became clear to me that financial reform will have to come from the people themselves, not politicians who are mostly funded by and serve the interests of big money.
I first heard about Bitcoin in 2012 and was intrigued by the idea of an alternative currency which enables friction-less transactions across national borders and is not issued into circulation through the banking system. When Bitcoin took off in 2013 I became seriously interested and involved in the cryptocurrency space and started studying the various assets and platforms being created with a peer-to-peer network and public ledger. I came to the conclusion that cryptocurrency offers people the greatest potential to create a working alternative to the corrupt government-supported financial system. Instead of wasting our time and energy complaining about the system that exists and waiting for the powers-that-be to someday see the light and change it, we can create a better system right now. With the power of open-source technology, instead of “occupying” Wall Street, we the people can replace it.
Tell us a bit about what the Grantcoin Foundation is all about.
Grantcoin: The Grantcoin Foundation is the first non-profit organization to distribute a cryptocurrency which is specifically designed to help create a more equitable and sustainable economy. Grantcoin, as the name suggests, is a grant-based monetary token. In other words, Grantcoin is a currency which is distributed into circulation as grants to worthy recipients, based not only on how much profit they can generate but also for the public good. This is in contrast to the debt-based fiat monetary system, in which for-profit banks issue currency as loans to whomever they can make the most profit from, regardless of any other values, by charging interest on debts in the currency that the banks themselves created.
The Grantcoin Foundation gives grants of Grantcoin to reward and incentivize businesses that are socially and environmentally responsible. We also give grants to charities and nonprofits that fit with our values of sustainability and to people who are making the world a better place. Amounts of Grantcoin are reserved for distribution in every country of the world according to population, so there will be a fair distribution of wealth. People in every nation and community around the world can form affiliated groups to distribute Grantcoin to qualifying recipients where they live, such as local small businesses that balance the interest of profit with the needs of people, their community, and our planet’s environment. Only businesses that agree to accept Grantcoin as a form of payment from customers will be eligible to receive grants of the currency, so this will grow the Grantcoin economic ecosystem.
What difficulties have you faced in creating Grantcoin?
Grantcoin: The most significant challenges we have faced so far are technological. Most highly qualified developers in the cryptocurrency space already have their own projects they’re working on, so it’s difficult to attract talent on the tech side. We have a very talented team on the business and organizational management side of things, but for now, our developers either have limited experience or limited time. I personally have somewhat of a development background and have learned a lot to improve my skills for this project, and with the help of another Grantcoin volunteer who has strong professional experience in back-end development and worked on another cryptocurrency before, we have been able to do the basic things necessary to get Grantcoin up and running with a solid codebase, desktop and Android wallets, and even some level of integration with the Ripple Trade platform to enable direct trading with fiat currencies. However, we know we could do so much more to make Grantcoin one of the leading cryptocurrencies if we can attract more development help.
What is on the horizon for Grantcoin?
Grantcoin: We’re starting to work on an e-commerce store where people will be able to buy products made by socially and environmentally responsible businesses, using either U.S. dollars, Bitcoin, or Grantcoin. We’re looking into creating a tip bot to encourage micro-grants of Grantcoin on social media. We will work on creating an iPhone wallet app and improving our smartphone wallets. We’re also looking into creating a program to distribute old smartphones to the poor, which would be pre-loaded with a Grantcoin wallet and coins. Mining will be phased out and Grantcoin will become a proof-of-stake currency later this year, which will enable the unbanked to use a Grantcoin phone wallet app as the equivalent of an interest-bearing savings account.
How can people get involved with Grantcoin?
Grantcoin: We’re looking for help with technological development, graphic design, videos, marketing and networking, translation from English into other languages, and setting up national and local Grantcoin groups to distribute the currency to worthy recipients around the world. Volunteer bounties are available for anyone who helps. If interested to get involved, please visit grantcoin.org and contact us through this page: http://www.grantcoin.org/contact/
Where do you see cryptocurrency in 5 years from now?
Grantcoin: Buckminster Fuller wrote, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” That’s exactly what activists for financial system reform can do with cryptocurrency. But not just any cryptocurrency. Most of them are poorly designed from a socioeconomic perspective and will not catch on with the general public. Most people, if they are ever going to switch to a radical new form of money, will choose a currency that gives power to the people and encourages an economy that works for everyone, not a model based on greed and hoarding of capital. Most of the cryptocurrencies that exist today will probably not last long, just like many of the dot-com startups in the 1990s, but a few will change the world.
We believe that Grantcoin has the long-term vision, purpose, and plan to become one of the most compelling alternative currencies ever created, which can expand the reach of cryptocurrency to new audiences and markets and do great good in the world. We believe the amazing potential of peer-to-peer financial technology will be put to good use by people of conscience, to enable a peaceful and non-political economic revolution to reduce the power of the banking plutocracy and put the power over money back into the people’s hands. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, “the issuing power [of money] should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” All of this can be accomplished through people’s freedom of choice to use currencies and financial platforms that are ethical and sustainable instead of those which are based on corruption and exploitation. Five years from now, if enough people do what we can and should, we could be looking back at today’s fiat currency system as an outdated relic of a gilded age that we, the people, decided to move beyond into a future of monetary democracy and equal opportunity for all.
Watch this video to learn about Grantcoin: