Historically, nation-themed cryptocurrencies have not fared well. Auroracoin, the Icelandic cryptocurrency which briefly held a market cap of nearly $1 billion, now ranks 135th with a market cap of $67,000. However, the media attention that surrounded Auroracoin inspired other developers to create nationalistic currencies, hoping to capitalize on Auroracoin’s successes and learn from its mistakes.
Derek Nisbet, a Scottish venture capitalist, recently developed Scotcoin, a cryptocurrency designed for his countrymen. In a Facebook post, he explained that he wanted to create a cryptocurrency that offers “an alternative to the current dire financial system.” To give Scots that alternative, Nesbit airdropped 1,000 Scotcoins to every Scottish resident. In an interview with The Guardian earlier this year, Nesbit stated that he was not a Scottish nationalist actively vying for independence. Rather, he wanted to give Scots an alternative currency should the need arise.
“There is so much uncertainty with the current financial situation, that introducing a voluntary cryptocurrency, which may in the future act as a medium of exchange for the Scottish people, can only benefit them should there be major disruption.”
Throughout the majority of the past month, the Scotcoin price hovered around ~35 satoshis. In the days just prior to the September 18, referendum, the Scotcoin price rose–perhaps due to the media attention Scotcoin received as a potential alternative if an independent Scotland pursued free banking policies. On September 12, the Scotcoin price rocketed to 124 satoshis before quickly falling to 53. Massive price fluctuations are normal for smaller coins like Scotcoin. Because of its low market cap, the Scotcoin price is subject to major price fluctuations when trading volume increased (for example, Scotcoin’s trading volume over the past 24 hours is only $819).
The Scotcoin price became more volatile over the past week, ranging from 53-89 satoshis prior to the vote. However, beginning September 14, the Scotcoin price began trending downwards, which may be because most polls were showing that the independence referendum was not likely to pass. On September 18 (the day of the vote), the Scotcoin price fell as low as 19 satoshis, before quickly recovering. At press time, the Scotcoin price rested at 48 satoshis, giving the coin a market cap of ~$150,000.
While Scotcoin is far from being a mainstream cryptocurrency, it is impressive that its price has yet to crash following the Scottish independence referendum. This signals that people were not investing in Scotcoin solely on speculation that the Scots would vote to secede. No nationalist cryptocurrency has been able to gain widespread acceptance, but Scotcoin still has a chance.
Disclosure: The author has no Scotcoin holdings or affiliations.
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