Iceland has been in the news on several topics over the last few years: from being a model on how to bankrupt US dollar-style paper currencies and the overall country behind it to granting WikiLeaks asylum to how an apparent “recovery” after financial collapse can turn out fake — these are just a few examples of the news items around Iceland.
Here comes another one though: the creation of a nation-wide — though apparently privately proposed and run — Crypto currency for the entire Icelandic population, called Auroracoin.
The new Crypto coin has been proposed by Baldur Friggjar Óðinsson, a name that could turn out to be another pseudonym just like Satoshi Nakamoto, and will start operation on 25 March 2014. Every Icelander, or about 330,000 persons, will receive AUC 31.8 for free at launch time. Eligibility will be checked against a national database of Fødelsenummror (or “birth numbers”, a Scandinavian-style register of — actually quite dehumanising — personal number keys assigned upon birth certificate issuance). Even Óðinsson himself points out that he recognises the ‘unfortunate fact” of there being such a nasty bureaucrat register but tries to make the best of it by using it for fairly spreading the new Auroracoin currency among eligible initial participants.
Óðinsson’s approach is a remarkable attempt to help lifting Iceland out of its financial mess and failed recovery. As the plan appears to be based on private initiative rather than government policy, the view of the government is not known. Good reason for using a pseudonym indeed.
Developers are encouraged to build tools facilitating the use of auroracoins, and Crypto coin exchanges have been called upon to include Auroracoin with other Crypto coins traded.