Last November, Uber founder Garett Camp had just been on a trip to Africa to do some soul-searching. His experience during his time there was “eye-opening” as he put it. With that, he decided to donate half of his riches to charity.
However, charity can take many forms, and Camp chose to do it his way – by making (and giving away) his own cryptocurrency. Since October, Camp has been drafting plans for a new cryptocurrency that addresses significant problems he sees with the existing ones such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
When asked why he wanted to create a new one rather than invest in the already popular cryptocurrencies, he replied:
“The more research I did, the more I was not really wanting to buy a large amount of any one of them. I realized it might be better to release a new project from a different philosophical standpoint with cooperation from a lot of universities, scientists, and research institutes—like the Internet.”
More specifically, he wanted to revive the original function of cryptocurrencies – a currency for an instant, affordable transactions suited for the masses. Bitcoin and Ethereum proved to be inefficient as the years went by, especially with the rise of newer cryptocurrencies and underlying technologies.
Camp decided to create a coin that exceeds the usual ones available on the market today. As such, he named ‘ECO.’ The choice of name was because of its ease in pronouncing as well as the familiar ring to it (as it is used in “economics,” “ecosystem,” etc.).
The following are ECO’s key features when it is finally available in the market:
1. Security: according to the whitepaper, ‘verified nodes’ will be used for confirming transactions. This way, individuals may not confirm transactions independently and will have to turn to a reliable, automated system.
2. Price Regulation: Eco’s initial supply will be 1 trillion coins. Since the coin is new, it will likely have a low price and will be an investor-friendly coin
3. Accessibility: Eco will be deploying user-friendly web and smartphone apps to make the coin usable and make adoption much easier
Although the intention of creating a new cryptocurrency is a bold one, Camp is not the first entrepreneur in the technology industry to look at the technology behind cryptocurrencies. Other businesses such as Facebook are already exploring the subject of encryption and cryptocurrencies due to the breakthrough technology it has introduced to the world.
Unlike Bitcoin, the technology behind Eco does not use the anonymous network Bitcoin introduced. Instead, it will be run on “verified nodes” where participants will be incentivized for confirming blocks of financial transactions on the shared ledger.
Out of the 1 trillion tokens to be given away, Camp intends to give coins to the first 1 billion users. Half the total supply will be distributed among these users for free. Also, another fifth of the tokens will be allotted to verified nodes. To avoid hoarding, the network can decide to kick out ‘lazy’ nodes so that distribution of the coins remains fair.
Although this system would mean a little less security, Eco gains efficiency and governance with this setup. Camp says the system is “more of a middle ground” between Bitcoin’s completely decentralized system and Visa’s centralized one.
Overall, Eco presents a good concept that may very well be usable by vendors and service providers around the world. However, it is not exactly the first of its kind as it is a reasonably straightforward cryptocurrency that focuses on usability.
Eco is targeting late 2018 to early 2019 to have an operational test net.