The world of alternative currency became even more interesting today, as Iceland became the first nation ever to be “airdropped” a cryptocurrency; $121 million worth of bitcoin alternative Aurora coin. The drop occurred at midnight March 25, when every citizen in Iceland was given 30 Aurora coins each, currently valued at a total of over $300 a person.
Citizens of Iceland can claim their coins by visiting the Aurora coin website and entering their ID numbers. The website shows that so far over 280,000 of the 10.5 million coins have been claimed, representing only 2.68 percent of the population. The airdrop occurred only a sort time ago, there is still plenty of time for the many Icelanders to claim their aurora coin. Citizens have four months to make the claim.
Aurora coin began in February, with one major difference to bitcoin; Aurora was extensively pre-mined, with 10 million coins created before the coin went public. It is now the fourth most valuable coin, at around $11.50. Furthermore, it experienced a 10 percent increase in value soon after it was airdropped on March 25.
The move to make the airdrop came as a reaction to the capital control, which has been in place in Iceland since the banking sector collapsed in 2008. The capital control was justified as a means of stopping complete collapse of the national currency, the kronas.
The intentions of Aurora coin have been made perfectly clear and were outlined in a manifesto which the creators released on the website. It describes how Iceland has become the victim of a “flawed financial system, controlled by an elite that made astronomical bets… at the expense of the people.” The manifesto then makes clear the role that crypto-currency could play in the “fight for liberty,” and highlights their motto “to bring a new era of free currencies.”
The event raises interesting questions about the uses of cryptocurrency and how it could impact entire nations. The bold actions of the creators of the bitcoin alternative, to have aurora coin airdropped to the people of Iceland, may provide a blueprint for other cryptocurrencies to follow suite. Could the cryptocurrency be used as an alternative method of trade for the citizens of countries suffering from collapsed economies?
Other alternative coins have a similar motivation; to act as a decentralized national currency free from the control of banks and governments. Aphrodite coin, native to Cyprus, was released last weekend and experiencing an explosion in value, followed by an unsettling 63 percent drop in one day. Spain too have their own national cryptocurrency, aptly named spaincoin, which has experienced recent rises in value of around 110 percent.
Scotland could also see a similar airdrop scenario to the one which occurred in Iceland. Pioneer Derek Nisbet is offering every adult resident in Scotland 1000 Scotcoins, in order to provide Scottish people with a “medium of trade… should a major disruption happen.”
The airdropped aurora coin has not slipped under the radar of the Central Bank and the scheme is unlikely to go by without legal problems. The Central Bank considers the “export of goods and services in exchange for bitcoin (and presumably other crypto-currency) in breach of these capital controls” as well as stating that Iceland merchants and traders are not allowed to be accepted as payment.
With the airdropped aurora coins already finding a safe landing into the pockets of Icelanders, will other bitcoin alternatives follow suite? The world of the cryptocurrency just hit a new wave; one of national alternative currencies, which could provide a means for the people of Iceland, and other economically damaged countries, with a means to trade.
By Matthew Warburton