Let the Bit Drop; Bitcoin in the Dominica
The people of Dominica, a small island republic in the Caribean will soon have bitcoins, this is all thanks to a collaborative effort between Coinapult, Aspen Assurance, Bitcoin Beauties, and the College Cryptocurrency Network (CCN).
“Let the Bit Drop” as the initiative is known will send every resident of the Island a small amount of bitcoins. The more than 70,000 strong Island will therefore be the most densely populated Bitcoin economy in the world. The move will create tens of thousands of new bitcoin users overnight, thereby increasing the virtual currency’s market share. Of course the move is aimed at increasing mass adoption, but it is also hoped that the recipients’ will enjoy and therefore provide proof of concept of a community that operates using Bitcoin.
On the day of the Bit Drop, a nationwide party will be held and raffles and informational booths will also be available to provide educational material and information on the cryptocurrency.
According to the CEO of Coinapult, the officials he has spoken with are open to the initiative because they believe in the economic potential that Bitcoin can offer the Caribbean island.
Dominica’s Bitcoin Opportunity
Geographically, Dominica is located in the Caribbean, north of Venezuela and southeast of the Dominican Republic. Dominica is a republic that forms part of the British Commonwealth, with an unemployment rate of 23 percent and a low annual rate of inflation of 2.1 percent.
According to data from the Heritage Foundation, Dominica is above the world average in terms of its economic liberalization, but has high levels of internal corruption.
In 2008, Dominica joined ALBA, the regional commercial alliance led by Hugo Chávez, which maintains a socialist economic view.
Patrick Cines, director of mid-Atlantic relations at College Cryptocurrency Network, one of the organization taking part in the project was quoted as saying his group will also seek to foster a lasting home for Bitcoin in Dominica.
“We will be providing the educational materials and resources necessary to educate the people of Dominica about Bitcoin, and hopefully, as a result, leave a lasting economic and social impact on the island,” he said.
Let the Bit Drop
When news broke that Bitcoin would be given to and used by the people of Dominican Republic officially, the Bitcoin community jumped for joy. Caribea is hardly a large Island but the implications of what it would mean if Bitcoin was adopted and used as the primary transaction currency, are huge. The future of economics as we know it may just be obsolete if Bitcoin is allowed to flourish.
Whatever happens, the Bit Drop project will provide a valuable learning experience . The “Let the Bit Drop” event will take place on March 14, 2015, at 9:26am. In keeping with the mathematical nature of Bitcoin, this particular moment is actually “Pi” expressed as time.
Coinapult, which is a Bitcoin wallet provider, will be responsible for getting the coins in the people’s hands. The exact amount to be distributed will be determined by how much is raised at an ongoing fundraiser.
In Iceland, where Auroracoin made the first “drop”, the results were far from desired. Auroracoin, has since lost half its value and the people of Iceland have stated that the coin does not add value to their lives. In contrast, the “drop” in Dominica is backed by the government, which means they will not interfere with the cryptocurrency, unlike in Iceland where the government negatively impacted its credibility.
There are other countries which would benefit more from an initiative such as “let the Bit Drop for example, According to global inflation numbers, there are 14 other countries out there that have an even higher inflation rate:
- Argentina (10.9 percent)
- Brazil (6.5 percent)
- Chile (4.5 percent)
- Egypt (10.6 percent)
- Hong Kong (4 percent)
- India (7.96 percent)
- Indonesia (4.53 percent)
- Iran (14.6 percent)
- Mexico (4.07) percent)
- Nigeria (8.3 percent)
- Pakistan (7.88 percent)
- Philippines (4.9 percent)
- Russian (7.5 percent)
- South Africa (6.3 percent)
- Turkey (9.32 percent)
- Venezuela (60.9 percent).
Dominica has a population of 70,000 citizens. This makes it a lot easier to get the coins spread among the entire population. If a country like Russia (with twice the inflation rate) wants to do the same, it will be way more difficult. It’s close to impossible to organize a similar ‘Bitcoin drop’ in a bigger country, even though they might benefit from it even more. This is just one important part of local demographics. There are several more factors that could warrant cryptocurrency introduction. The demographic situation should be investigated thoroughly first before even considering organizing such an event.
“You have to get the people’s support for it and, even though us ‘believers’ don’t like to hear this, there are still more people who don’t support our case than those who do. This leads us to believe that marketing is very important. People need to be aware of crypto currencies and, even more important, feel safe using it. The amount of bad news that was spread over the past few months should be countered with an extensive campaign that highlights the advantages of Bitcoin. This campaign could be international, but maybe regional campaigns are even better. Every country is different, and the importance of some advantages could differ in various countries. All in all, people should be aware that Bitcoin is something to be excited about.”
Economics is hard enough to understand if one is not educated in it, people do not want to deal with multiple coins. They want to work with a currency they know, something they heard of before. This could have been one of the reasons why Auroracoin did not succeed.
What happens in Dominica will be very crucial for the Bitcoin ecosystem. If the Drop fails, the faith in Bitcoin will wane and governments will have the ammunition they have needed to completely outlaw cryprocurrencies, however, if the drop is successful, Bitcoin will have proof that it can be applied in the “Real world”.