A private tech start-up launched in 2014 which focuses on taxonomy and the identification of different species has plans to launch its own crypto, Biocoin, to support the project.
The Australian startup launched the biodiversity video game Questagame after company co-founder Andrew Robinson and his wife Mallika listened to their children arguing in the back of the car over video games:
“They were talking about these fantasy worlds and all these monster types and shields they needed to protect themselves…Could we create a game in which you go out into the real world, and you’re learning the names of all these exciting creatures which in many ways are far more fantastical than anything you can find in a computer game?”
Which is exactly what Robinson went on to do with the co-founder of Questgame David Haynes. An idea on a drive in the country has now turned into a project based at Australian National University in Canberra, with players taking part from more than 40 countries and competitions between schools and universities.
Now Robinson is looking at cryptocurrency and how that may be incorporated into the game as a reward system. At present players joining teams pay a yearly subscription but whilst learning about biodiversity can also earn AUD 10 cents for each correctly identified creature. The revenue goes to the game’s partners World Wildlife Fund, Australian Geographic Society, Invasive Species Council, and Greenpeace.
The idea of Biocoin came about through Robinson’s awareness of blockchain and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin being mined by solving mathematical problems on a computer. His idea is to activate the coins each time a player identifies three species as part of the game. Then on the blockchain, the coins can be exchanged for other currencies.
He sees this as far more valuable than regular cryptocurrencies which he says lack the same degree of social good, although clearly, cryptocurrencies are now beginning to demonstrate a significant power to change and empower when used for social projects in parts of the globe where access to traditional fiat is limited.
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