Garrett Camp, billionaire Chairman of rideshare firm Uber, has announced plans to launch his own cryptocurrency. The coin, Eco, aims to be an ‘’Instant, Affordable, Borderless Currency’ and was inspired by a recent trip to Kenya where Garrett spoke of meeting people who struggle just to find clean water or enough to eat.
He has since planned the launch of a virtual currency that aims to not only be an instant and affordable means of payment, but also to address the shortcomings of Bitcoin and Ethereum and help address economic inequality. A currency that will, in the words of the design proposal, give ‘greater financial control and independence to billions of people.’
Eco will ensure that the majority of the economic value generated by the platform is fairly distributed to the community through accounts created at Eco.com, to create a more balanced distribution of resources.
In light of this, there will be no ICO, which avoids any potential repercussions from the SEC, which has started to issue subpoenas to companies in the market.
Tokens will be airdropped via the website to the first billion human users of the platform, and then 20% will be distributed to institutions that have been chosen to support the network. A portion will also be held be the Eco foundation to fund operations.
The design proposal states that this allocation strategy will help to achieve a ‘gradual reduction of economic inequality across the globe’ and ‘help more than two billion people in developing nations gain improved access to financial services’.
What is the Eco Advantage?
Dubbed ‘Eco’, for its ‘eco’nomical and ‘eco’logical credentials, the project boasts of several advantages over Bitcoin.
Aiming to improve on the energy consumption of mining, the project will remove competition between miners by sharing tokens equally through the entire network when a new block is confirmed. This will encourage a more even distribution of tokens by removing the incentive for single entities to control mining capacity.
Instead of allowing anyone to mine, only nodes held by verified organisations can distribute block rewards, and as they are unable to benefit financially, the motivation instead is for optimal energy efficiency, i.e. to ‘provide just enough hash power to verify that transactions are valid within a collectively agreed upon level of maximum latency’
In order for this to work, the whitepaper outlines a system of offchain governance by large public organisations, that will also ensure the majority of the economic value generated is evenly distributed.
In terms of scaling, the project aims to ultimately achieve a capacity of 100,000+ transactions per second by using Transaction Sharding. This will be a crucial feature in negotiating the partnerships with service providers and merchants that make adoption possible.
Although many of these technical solutions sound promising, there are already myriad existing cryptocurrencies with advantages over bitcoin, and the same barrier lies to their adoption.
However, given Garrett’s high profile in the tech industry, partnerships are where the Eco project may flourish.