[MintChip] isn’t an alternative currency in that it’s a digital representation of the sovereign currency — the Canadian dollar.
Nevertheless, digital money geeks are atwitter, especially with comparisons to Bitcoin.
Wired: I’ve read that MintChip is just a central bank’s attempt to come up with its own version of Bitcoin. Is that accurate or bogus? Why?
Brule: As mentioned previously, the Mint has been following the digital-payment space for a long time. Through our early research, we discovered some market needs that we felt were not addressed with current payment offerings.
Wired: You recently said that Bitcoin works for the small group of people who believe in its value. Can you speak a little to that pixie-dust aspect of currency and money? I mean, it’s true that more people currently believe in the value of Canadian dollars than Bitcoin, but that’s an equally ethereal phenomenon, is it not?
Brule: All currencies rely on the underlying belief by people who use them – that they have and will have value. So in that way, you could argue that all currencies are ethereal phenomenon. MintChip, backed by hard currency held in trust, could gain wide acceptance on its applicability.