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Auroracoin Jumps Amid Panama Papers Controversy

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:48 PM
Justin OConnell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:48 PM

Auroracoin suddenly spiked last week, perhaps upon the leak of the Panama Papers. The papers promptly angered Icelanders, who now feel  that the nation is suffering yet another 2008. Although Auroracoin has not been an overwhelming success, its market cap has increased three-fold since the Panama Papers leaked.

The peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, launched in February 2014, was marketed as an alternative to Bitcoin and the Icelandic krona. The pseudonymous creators said they planned to distribute half of the auroracoins to all 330,000 people in Iceland’s national ID database for free. Auroracoin had been created amid government restrictions on the use of Iceland’s krona in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Last week, record numbers of Icelanders protested over the Panama Papers scandal. For instance, 22,000 people protested in Austurvöllur square, before Iceland’s parliament, demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, whose resignation could be the first fallout from the Panama Papers.

The Panama Papers tied the Prime Minister and his wife, Anna Sigurlaug Pálsdóttir,to a company in Tortola. Gunnlaugsson claimed he would not resign.

The 11.5 million documents leaked from the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca implicated heads of state, celebrities and others to offshore companies in tax havens. Media organizations published the evidence in synchronicity.

Anger mounts in a nation that is known for having punished some bankers after the financial crisis. In an interview filmed before the Panama Papers, but released only last week, Sigmundur was pressed on why he had kept his former employment by an offshore company a secret. He ultimately refused to answer questions about the company’s assets and stormed out of the interview.

Auroracoin has faced some headwinds from the Icelandic political establishment. In 2014, MP Pétur Blöndal, vice-chair of the Parliament’s Economic Affairs and Trade Committee (EATC) at the time,lamented the tax evasion potential of Auroracoin, stating the crypto-currency  “is not a recognized currency since no-one backs the medium.”

MP Frosti Sigurjónsson, of the ruling Progressive Party and Chairman of the EATC, blogged that Auroracoin might be  illegal and a “scam”.

After spiking, Auroracoin did correct. But, Year-to-date the crypto-currency has demonstrated quite an increase. It started the year at nearly a $400,000 USD market. Today it stands at more than $1.5 million after last week’s price increase.

In other altcoin news, markets have demonstrated uncertainty due to that both ShapeShift and Poloniex – leading altcoin exchanges – have each come offline in the last week.

Featured image from Shutterstock.