Image via Ron Paul Coin
During Ron Paul's run for presidency, one of his key planks was his plan to repeal the 16th amendment, close the IRS, and return to the gold standard. Now it's Ron's son Rand that will likely be the next Paul to run for president, but the aging doctor remains the more familiar face of libertarian-leaning American financial overhaul. This is clearly why the his mug is now being digitally struck onto the front of a new currency: a Ron Paul Coin. Yep.
While fundamentally speaking, it's just another altcoin (an alternative digital currency to Bitcoin) that merely duplicates the SCRYPT-based Litecoin protocol while adding a few tweaks, at the time of this writing, Ron Paul Coin, which launched on December 29th, is:
"RonPaulCoin is built on this quality of scarcity, like gold, which Ron Paul so commonly speaks in support of. Because of this, RPC has 1/10th of the total coin supply that Bitcoin will ever have," the Ron Paul Coin website explains. Named in "tribute to the leading champion of financial freedom and economic transparency for the past 30+ years," the week-old Ron Paul Coin takes an relatively small slice ($238,030) of the overall cryptocurrency market ($15 billion).
Amidst the deluge of cryptocurrency launches bolstered by the likes of memes (Dogecoin) and food favorites (BBQcoin), what could Ron Paul Coin possibly bring to the table? For one, I suppose this coin satisfies the long-unrequited placement of a political figure's face on some digital money. (I just thought Kony Coin was going to show up sooner.) But could this, which seems a trivial level of detail, actually be a game changer?
Many bitcoin evangelists and entrepreneurs I've spoken to mention the plight of attracting new users to cryptocurrency: Getting digital money work, look, integrate, and be accepted as swiftly as real money. What's more real than Ron Paul Coin? Probably the altcoin that's launching this Saturday devoted to Kanye West. Ever since the show-stopping altcoin Dogecoin came along, we seem increasingly toward the middle of a competitive pop culture crypto-minting phase. To many it seems enough, that there's an absurd amount of altcoins, and that it couldn't be wheeled along any further.
Call it silly—I call it the mid-morning of cryptocurrency 2.0. And as the original Bitcoin passes its fifth birthday, and making your own digital currency has never been easier, we're getting to a point where every last thing you can think of is going to get a currency of its own. It's no reason to pout, be dismissive, or get bithurt. It's the launch of new digital currencies that indicates a growing enthusiasm and support for the cryptocurrency movement as a whole.
Here's Ron speaking optimistically of Bitcoin and lecturing that a mass adoption of alternatives to paper currencies could exacerbate the demise of the US Dollar:
The video, posted on the front of the currency's site seems from whence the inspiration to mint a currency in Paul's honor came.
For many, this is bit's wit's end; it's the peak of cryptocurrency minting—it's out of control. But if you think this is an end, and that there couldn't possibly be a one up or way out of the impossibility that is Ron Paul Coin, I've got some sobering news for you: It never ends. If anything, the production of more and more currencies—with a range of uses and popular topics—is charming, and adds a robust dimension of diversity of the altcoin market. It seems preface to my fantasy of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? contestants cashing out in Regis Coin.