Modcloth Co-Founder Launches Merit – an Invite-Only Cryptocurrency
Former co-founder and CTO of indie womenswear brand ModCloth Adil Wali has recently unveiled a new “invite-only” cryptocurrency through his Seattle startup Merit. The company wants to make it easier for people to use cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services.
People Gotta Learn to Use Crypto
The company came about after Wali and his co-founder Maxim Khailo discovered that very few people own cryptocurrency, something he feels could lead to problems regarding usability and accessibility in the future.
“If you want to create the world’s most-used cryptocurrency, what do you do?” he recently asked. “You have to make it simpler, you have to make it safer, and you have to make it a community.”
Merit’s cryptocurrency (MRT) can only be held by customers who are given a special invite. This allows executives to track who’s using it across the blockchain. Wali states that the anonymity that many cryptocurrencies afford users provides too easy a path for hackers to steal users’ information and funds.
Merit Doing Things Differently
Merit also operates on its own protocol, which means users who exchange it don’t do so through long 34-character public addresses as seen with most other virtual entities. The currency is also extracted through a “proof of growth mining” system that changes the fundamentals of the extraction process and allows for easier monitoring of those who hold Merit.
“Folks can actually mine Merit without a computer,” Wali explained. “And we created an escrow on the blockchain that can hold money for you to claim it.”
At press time, MRT can be sent via Twitter, SMS, and various other communication tools. It also boasts decentralized vaults, cancelable transactions, and password-protected transactions. MRT is launching without an ICO, as Wali wants the community to determine its price. His main goal is to make crypto accessible to virtually anyone, regardless of their technical prowess.
“Any currency is only as useful as the number of people who use it. If you can’t transact with it, what’s the point? If we have dramatically less than a percent of the world’s population using crypto, it’s a really big problem when you think about the viability of the space at large.”
Starting Small, but Thinking Big
The digital asset was founded on an initial $1 million USD investment, and is split into two separate divisions: Merit Labs, and a non-profit called the Merit Foundation.
“The idea of Merit is that with a decentralized launch and a longer-term approach, we are incentivized to make Merit valuable every day,” Wali stated. “With both the non-profit and for-profit, we’ll sell a little bit of Merit over time to continue operations in the organization. As the value of the currency goes up, then we’re able to do that more.”
Are we likely to see more cryptocurrencies like Merit in the future? Post your comments below.
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