J. Chris Anderson Proposes The Past Is The Future for Digital Currency

Couchbase co-founder J. Chris Anderson has taken an interest in electronic money, or cryptocurrencies. His newest idea, Document Coin, is an attempt at shattering the mold for currencies, favoring an old school bartering system as it’s primary function.

Cryptocurrencies are Silicon Valley’s zany, yet sort of viable, item of interest. Where traditional currency involves trading physical banknotes for goods and services, a cryptocurrency works with this same exchange format, but with a twist. Rather than physically existing, cryptocurrencies are designed around exchanging secure information. But it seems that for every legitimate cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin), there is at least one sort of legitimate one (like Dogecoin), and one that is straight up laughable, like celebrity inspired Coinye West.

So what about J. Chris Anderson’s newest idea for a cryptocurrency, the Document Coin? Since it’s just an idea right now, the jury is still out on this one. Based on the framework Anderson proposed thus far, it certainly is unique to say the least. For starters, a Document coin doesn’t have a numeric value tied to it, as Wired explains in their coverage of the currency “Document Coin will rely on personal reputation to keep all transactions in order.”

So while Document Coins manufactured by football star at a big state university will be wildly popular amongst boosters of the program, it will hold little value to environmentalists that are unfamiliar with the sport. We think of Document Coins as personal trading cards, their value is based solely on what an individual thinks of that person.

Acquiring Document Coin will also be much easier to acquire than other cryptocurrencies. Other currencies like Bitcoin are acquired through “mining,” a process where computers solve complex math problems then earn the currency. On the other hand, users can create a Document Coin anytime they please, their value being regulated by a subjective evaluation of the coin (i.e. who made it, why did they make it, etc). .

Anderson’s Document Coin is not meant to be a competitor to rival other cryptocurrencies. Document Coin is founded on the idea of challenging what we know as currency, does money actually need a numerical value in order to have value? Or are we capable of assigning values to the seemingly valueless? Anderson is admittedly aware of what little practical application his idea has, but he is still excited to see what ways users put his idea to use. As Anderson states “If Bitcoin is the toy version of what we’ll all be using in the further, then I want to build the crazy art project version of the future.”


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