Can Brexit be cryptocurrency’s moment for the Scots? Willie Fleming of the Scotcoin Project answers.
In the wake of a historic vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, Bitcoin has soared, reacting to sinking markets as confidence in the European economy temporarily faltered.
Scotland, meanwhile, voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, leading to predictions that the Scots will exit the UK, while not necessarily adopting the euro as their currency. This could lead to a prime situation for cryptocurrency to take firm root in Scotland.
Cointelegraph spoke with Willie Fleming, the director of the Scotcoin Project, an organization meant to spur the development and adoption of Scottish cryptocurrency, about the future of crypto for Scots.
Cointelegraph: What do you think of the current state of cryptocurrency in Scotland?
Willie Fleming: In its infancy, to be honest. We have the same amount of Bitcoin exposure and acceptance as in the rest of the UK - i.e. as far as the general public is concerned, there is little to no knowledge. We have an enormous education job to do.
CT: Have you noticed a shift in interest with the Brexit affair, either before or after?
WF: We know we have a lot of latent goodwill and with the correct communication on our part we will get the message out. Our new wallet, which is about to go into beta testing, will make an enormous difference. Much more interest in the coin, and many people contacting us wanting to buy directly for sterling. They do not want to go £->BTC ->SCOT.
CT: That seems different to the usual process of acquiring other cryptocurrencies first through Bitcoin. Why is Scotcoin different in this regard?
WF: Because there is little knowledge/acceptance of crypto amongst the general public. They don't know Bitcoin is the daddy and they see no reason why they should have to buy BTC, THEN buy SCOTs. We are looking for mass adoption by the public, not just the knowledgeable geeks. So our situation is quite different from most other alt-coins.
CT: I have heard pro-EU friends complain about Brexit because of the short-term devaluation of the pound. Do you see the same? Are Scots looking for an alternative?
WF: Well many are pissed off because most Scots will go to Eurozone destinations for their holidays. Their spending money just got cut. So, yes, an alternative would be attractive. That’s an immediate man-in-the-street effect right now before we think of any longer-term ,deeper economic consequences on jobs, pensions etc.
CT: It appears that the majority of Scots voted to stay in the EU, which may signal another independence referendum from the UK is on the horizon. Do you have any plans to capitalize on that, and the inevitable money switch that will come with it, to promote Scotcoin?
WF: Absolutely - we will exploit this to its fullest.
CT: Any specific Scotcoin adoption plans in the works in the near future?
WF: We are in talks with various retailers and agencies but due to commercial confidentiality, nothing I am allowed to disclose right now, sorry. We are in a VERY fluid situation, politically, economically and shortly constitutionally, it’s very difficult to predict outcomes for the next few weeks. The Brexiters never really expected to win and now they have they realise that what they got was not actually what they thought they were voting for.
Once we have our wallet tested and released, it is a much smaller step to develop the Till for retailers. Then we have to put a buyback scheme in place and the ‘Morning Fix’ so we can support retailers with a consistent daily exchange rate and a mechanism for buying back their Scotcoin for £
CT: How did the original distribution of Scotcoin go? Do you think many still have access to their original coins?
WF: All the original ‘giveaway’ was in the old pre-CounterParty coins. We know a fair number of folk successfully converted to the CP tokens, but, equally, a large number lost out. The switchover was rushed and poorly documented. That was NOT anything to do with anyone in the present team.