Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Coins for Drivers, Prisoners, and Conservationists
Today’s Bitcoin in Brief features several examples of digital coins entering all spheres of life. A leading German auto manufacturer has revealed its cars may soon be fitted with onboard cryptocurrency wallets. A company now offers crypto payments for inmates in prisons across America. And in South Africa, a new token will support rhino conservationists, while fighting poachers.
VW Teams with IOTA to Offer Crypto Wallets in Cars
It’s a trademark of the Cebit expo in Hanover to entertain visitors with ingenious ideas on how to further digitize our world. The crypto ecosphere has become a new source of inspiration for designers and engineers. One of this year’s surprises: German auto manufacturer Volkswagen has revealed a concept model equipped with a cryptocurrency wallet. The car can pay for its carwash and fill up its tank without the driver moving a finger.
The “Cryptocurrency for the Internet of Things,” IOTA will be embedded in new cars developed by VW. The European automotive giant has announced it wants to integrate crypto technology in its upcoming products. Distributed ledger will be used to handle, store and transfer data between the motor vehicles and their producer, and an IOTA wallet may also be incorporated to facilitate contactless payments using the MIOTA tokens.
The cooperation between IOTA and Volkswagen is based on the Proof-of-Concept of IOTA’s Tangle system for autonomous cars. Tangle can transfer software updates and will be interconnected with Volkswagen’s own smart system “Connected Cars”. Each automobile will receive its own, unique Car ID that will be checked by IOTA’s Tangle. The integration of the wallet software is an option that can be added as well.
Cellblocks Introduces Crypto Transactions in Prisons
A new digital payment system aims to address some of the issues with monetary systems currently used in US prisons and correctional facilities, like high fees charged by third-party financial institutions, limited access to funds, and waiting times.
Cellblocks, a cryptocurrency designed to be used by inmates, offers a solution that will put money directly into their hands, its creators promise. They say the system provides a fast, efficient, and secure way for families and prisoners to exchange funds.
Inmates will be able to use the cryptocurrency through kiosks that will be installed in the prisons as part of the project. This will allow them to spend their coins in the prison commissary, cover court costs and fees, pay other inmates, and receive money from friends and family. Each user will have a digital wallet to store their funds. Transactions will be made in real time and at minimal fees, the company said in a press release.
The new crypto payment system offers several other benefits over the traditional systems. For example, outside parties won’t be able to withdraw money without the inmate’s consent. Wages and other funds can be easily deposited in wallets through any digital access point, such as a laptop or a smartphone. Wallet holders will have total control over their funds at all times. Last but not least, the cryptocurrency can be cashed in for fiat money when the inmate is released.
‘Rhino Coin’ to Support Conservation and Fight Poaching in South Africa
A “cryptocurrency with a conscience”, as its creators describe it, Rhino Coin aims to generate sustainable income for rhino conservation efforts in South Africa by supporting the legal horn trade and fighting poaching. According to its founders, Alexander Wilcocks and Jacques du Randt, the new crypto, which has been built on ethereum, “attempts to give value to the legal rhino horn by converting it to cryptocurrency in a 1 coin per 1 gram ratio.”
Rhino Coin is meant to “unlock the value of ethically obtained, stockpiled rhino horn, creating a new stream of revenue for conservation”, as well as a trading opportunity for coin holders, local media reported. Wilcocks and Du Randt explained that a holder of the digital token can either trade it or redeem it. Earlier this week, Rhino Coin was selling for around R119 (~$8.8 USD), which represents a 25.26% price increase since the day of its launch, June 7, when it was trading at R95 per coin (~7 USD).
Most of the Rhino Coins will be distributed to conservationists to sustain their operations. Although there are many fundraising projects, very little of the money actually reaches the private conservationists. Around a third of all rhinos in South Africa are currently in private care. Each conservationist will be able to obtain Rhino Coins in return for their rhino horn, which can then be traded. “By providing communities with a better means to receive a sustained income, we hope to lower the benefit and temptation of participating in illegal poaching in the immediate areas,” Du Randt explained.
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