The Leftover Bits 17/4/15: Sting’s Charity Gets Its Own Coin, Neteller Reverses Course on Bitcoin and Rand Paul Attends Bitcoin Event

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photo credit: Sting via photopin (license)

Rainforest Foundation Creates Its Own Coin

So here is a new one: A cryptocurrency that has a relatively high transaction fee of 1.25% for merchants, but has that fee donated to a charity as a tax deductible donation.

The Rainforest Foundation, rather than simply accepting bitcoin, has decided to launch its own coin: Bitseeds. It is a PoW/PoS hybrid coin that gathers 10% interest on all staked coins. The Rainforest Foundation, which has been around since 1989 and was founded by English rock star Sting, will hold and stake a large portion of the coins, using that 10% interest to help fund the foundation and ultimately help preserve the rainforest.

It is an interesting idea, and it is very nice to see an actual organization with real experience and stability to go as far as making their own currency. It remains to be seen if a coin can succeed simply because using it helps a charity, but that things like this can even be tried is part of what makes being around cryptocurrencies so exciting.

The coin lacks a whitepaper at this time, and while the site claims it can be purchased on Bittrex, no market is live as of yet. We have reached out to members of the Bittrex team but were told that they do not “confirm or deny”  future market additions.

It appears there is no way to buy Bitseeds at press time, although they have released a wallet.

Neteller Ends Prepaid Cards Funded With Bitcoin

In a disappointing move, Neteller, a provider of prepaid cards and online merchant services, removed bitcoin as a funding option for prepaid MasterCards.

A commentator going under the name “Sarah” seemed to be speaking for the company and implied that MasterCard had some influence in the company’s “internal decision” to stop accepting Bitcoin as a funding method for prepaid cards. We have contacted Neteller’s parent company Optimal Payments, asking if the user is an employee of Neteller or Optimal Payments but have not heard back at press time.

Bitcoin can still be deposited to the system, but users will no longer be able to use it to load up a prepaid debit card. Neteller does offer other options to pay merchants, but prepaid cards were the most useful for bitcoin users.

As a side note: The blog post explaining the change in policy was written in a very strange fashion, framing the new restrictions as a new feature. While some company spin is to be expected, it has caused for significant confusion among customers.

Rand Paul Set To Attend NYC Event

Libertarian-leaning American Conservative, Kentucky Senator and GOP nomination hopeful Rand Paul will be at a private event at the Union League Club, according to CoinDesk. The event takes place this weekend, April 19th and is sponsored by Blockchain Technologies corp.

Rand Paul looks to be making a big push for the Bitcoin community’s support. He became the first major US presidential candidate to accept bitcoin earlier this month and now he is taking it a step further and is attending events.

Say what you will about Rand Paul, by paying attention to Bitcoin he lends it legitimacy, and that can only be a good thing for the Bitcoin faithful.