Vice Motherboard released a short documentary and accompanying article on Icelandic cryptocurrency Auroracoin.
The film, titled The New Currency at the End of the World, runs about 15 minutes, and follows cryptocurrency advocate Mikjall Hannes as he investigates Auroracoin in Iceland. It includes Pétur Árnason, chairman of the Auroracoin Foundation, outlining his vision for spreading the currency to the people, as well as its main reason for existing: to give the people of Iceland an escape from their current wealth-bleeding financial system.
First major coverage outside of Iceland since 2014 airdrop
In 2014, the mysterious and anonymous Baldur Friggjar Óðinsson created Auroracoin and distributed it to 10% of Iceland’s population before disappearing into the mist. The so-called airdrop caused Auroracoin’s price to rise to about $30 per coin overnight. However, due to the absence of cryptocurrency exchanges in Iceland, the price quickly shot back down. Since then, there has been very little media coverage outside of cryptocurrency outlets.
Recently, the Auroracoin Foundation has taken up the cryptocurrency in Baldur’s place, and is overseeing a resurgence. Earlier this year, the Foundation debuted Iceland’s first cryptocurrency exchange, as well as a national bus stop ad campaign simply featuring the Auroracoin logo to build brand awareness ahead of further yet to be announced developments in the coin’s adoption.
Hope in a country with two major financial scandals in the last decade
The rise of interest in Auroracoin comes as Iceland is still reeling from the second of two major financial system crises in the last 10 years. In 2008, the country’s three largest banks failed, triggering a nationwide financial collapse and prompting the three bankers to be jailed. In 2016, the prime minister was found to have financial ties to the company overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings, and the Panama Papers leak revealed that he had been storing funds in offshore accounts while his people were forced to use the devaluing króna. He was forced to resign over this scandal, showing that national anger over the banking scandals is still very much alive, leaving a perfect opportunity for a new financial system, such as Auroracoin, to arise.