The Russian village of Kolionovo 80 miles outside the capital of Moscow has embraced its own local cryptocurrency called the Kolion. It is now the primary form of currency in the village, for the most part replacing the Russian Ruble (RUB).
Mikhail Shlyapnikov, self proclaimed ‘agro-anarchist’, was motivated to create his own currency after trying to get a loan from banks to develop his plant nursery and being offered 12% interest. He says he didn’t want to suffocate and be a slave to banks.
He began issuing paper Kolions in 2014 but was forced to stop by a court order in 2015. He then released a cryptocurrency version of Kolion in April 2017 using the WAVES platform. The initial coin offering raised 401 Bitcoins, worth USD 510,000 at the time but now worth nearly USD 300,000.
The Kolion has a fixed supply of 1 million coins and cannot be mined, protecting it from inflation. Residents of Kolionovo have largely chosen the Kolion over the RUB since RUB has been experiencing such dramatic inflation due to out of control money printing, losing over half of its value the last few years. Since the Kolion has a fixed supply its value will rise relative to RUB whenever the RUB experiences inflation, protecting user’s monetary wealth.
While Kolion cannot be mined it can be earned via the ‘plowing’ process, which entails helping residents of Kolionovo with farming and construction work. Kolion can be used to purchase products produced by the local Kolionovo farming economy, which includes many varieties of food.
One of the primary goals of Kolion is to be used as a currency for crowdfunding local projects in Kolionovo, coming back to the original reason Mikhail Shlyapnikov created the cryptocurrency in the first place. He wants money to be available to those who need it without the high interest rates that banks in the region charge.
Currently, the Kolion has a market cap in excess of USD 810,000, and while trading volume on the one exchange its listed on is only USD 10,000 per day, this doesn’t factor in all the peer to peer trading that is ongoing in Kolionovo. Kolion can be directly exchanged for Bitcoin and WAVES.
Overall, the Kolion cryptocurrency is providing the village of Kolionovo economic freedom and control over their own money like never before, and insulating them from the destructive nature of the highly inflationary RUB. Mikhail Shlyapnikov does not want to expand the Kolion beyond the village of Kolionovo, but it can be used as an example of how cryptocurrency can improve the economies of communities around the world.
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