New virtual currencies are popping up on a weekly, sometimes even daily basis. By the end of December, 2013, there were 67 virtual currencies open for business and the number has grown to well over 100 since that time. But, perhaps surprisingly, the United Kingdom has not been home to even one of those new currencies, until now.
On June 27, 2014, a new cryptocurrency was announced and it was developed and is now based in the United Kingdom. Dubbed “Britcoin” the new currency is designed the same way as Bitcoin but has a number of very interesting and attractive new features that could easily propel it to the top of the charts.
The new coin will be traded on four exchanges, Bittrex.com, Allcoin.com, C-cex.com, Bleutrade.com and offers a wallet that will work with four different operating systems: Windows (v18.104.22.168), OSX (v22.214.171.124), Linux (v126.96.36.199), and Source (v1).
-60 second block time
-PoW + PoS Hybrid
-PoW ended at Block 20,000
-10 Million Coins estimated in PoW phase (20 million total supply)
-12 hours min stake age
-5% Annual Interest on Staked coins
-1% Premine for Bounties, Competitions and Giveaways
-110 Block confirmations to maturity (for mined blocks)
-6 block confirmations for coin transfers
-1000 Coins per block
-Ports: Main=9197, RPC=9198
But the most unique thing about Britcoin is that not only does it cut verification time from about 10 minutes down to seconds, it also offers proof of stake (PoS), without mining, on wallet balances. This means that you receive 5% annual interest on all coins kept in your wallet. When you consider that the average savings account only offers a measly 0.06% APY, this could easily turn out to be a very big deal indeed, especially to long-term investors and savers.
The implications to the British economy are obvious but the fact is that a paradigm like this can easily spread across the world. All of the attractive features of Bitcoin are included and some of the drawbacks are eliminated.
Interest rates for things like savings accounts have dropped significantly during the last 30 years and 5% is much higher than they were back then. When you consider that you can now transfer payments for less than one cent in any amount and do it in seconds why would people put their savings in a bank?
One reason is that banks are “regulated” and cryptocurrencies are not. But the British Isles have been doing some innovative things recently with Bitcoin and a rising tide raises all ships which could include the nascent Britcoin.
The Isle of Man, in the middle of the Irish Sea, has announced plans to create a legal framework for cryptocurrencies along with an upcoming business-focused Bitcoin conference and Jersey claims to have plans to become “Bitcoin Isle” in the future. What’s more is that a few redditors have spotted a United Kingdom option in Coinbase’s registration process possibly suggesting that the popular payment processor could soon open up shop in the UK.
Given all of these trends towards wider digital currency acceptance, Britcoin has the potential to become the first decentralized virtual bank without intermediary fees to either central banks or gateways like PayPal or Western Union.