Many of us understand the inherited problems in our current monetary system. Until recently, it was complicated and quite expensive to issue a usable currency, and thus it was managed by those who were perceived to be the most powerful in every society. This position was heavily exploited in the past and still is, worldwide.
However, just like media & publishing were decentralized by technological means (www, blogs, YouTube, etc.), it is quite possible to decentralize currencies using similar means. Money is just a tool to communicate value and collaborate with fellow human beings. Many communities have already discovered the benefits of using their own issued currency. Bitcoin, Brixton Pounds, Volos TEM & VEN, are just some recent examples (and there are many more: http://gtne.org/
We believe that people should be able to issue their own virtual currency (we call it “minting coins”), send these coins to every person, and receive any type of coin from others, using nothing but their mobile phone.
Our SMS service is currently available through a domestic number in eleven countries. The list of numbers is available at the bottom of this post.
Using the SMS service, without registering, you can:
- Mint a new coin
: usage: MINT <requested-symbol>
Every coin has a unique six letter symbol. You may ask for a specific available symbol, or you may request just the first few letters.
- Send coins from your wallet
: usage S / SEND <amount & coin symbol> to <phone# or alias> <optional note>
This is the primary function for most users. There is no need to specify the coin symbol when there is a single symbol in your wallet, otherwise, you only need to specify the first letter/s of the symbol that uniquely identifies it among the coin symbols held in your wallet.
- Retrieve your balance
: usage: B / BALANCE
Retrieves a list of all coin symbols held in your wallet and the current balance for each. Your minted coins' balance is displayed as a negative amount, indicating the total issued amount. There is no limit to the amount of your minted coins that you may send to others.
- Set your alias
: Usage: A / ALIAS <requested-alias> <retype-requested-alias>
An alias is a unique 3-20 characters name and enables others to send you coins, without needing to remember or even know your phone #.
: usage: H / ? <optional command>
There are some additional commands that you can learn about at http://www.appcoin.me
We’re currently working on the soon to be released AppCoin App for iOS and Android as well.
We’ve set up a wiki at http://www.appcoin.me
for our community to communicate with us & each other, and share their stories of how they used appcoin within their communities. We'll publish the source server code on github in the next few weeks. We open-sourced the code because we would like to build AppCoin as a decentralized network of coin servers. We haven’t developed this functionality quite yet, but hey, you can help with that.
BTW, the service is free of charge, however standard SMS provider charges may apply. To make the service more affordable, we made it accessible via a domestic service number from over 10 countries, please see the list below.
We would love to hear about your ideas and thoughts, as well as user case scenarios for AppCoin.
Here’s one scenario we had in mind:
It often so happens that your friends buy you lunch and you owe them money. Instead of trying to remember to pay them back, you can mint a “personal bond” coin, that represents the amount of money that you owe. Simply SMS “MINT [your initials]” to one of our service numbers, in order to mint your personal coin with a symbol that begins with your initials, and send it to any of your friends (using their phone number) along with the amount. (e.g. SEND 100 to 12125551234).
Your friends will be able to, for example, send you some of your coins back the next time you pay the bill, or even settle their loans amongst themselves by transferring your debt from one friend to another (by sending your coins).AppCoin SMS Domestic Access numbers:
Australia 0427 762 877
Finland 0457 395 0799
Norway 594 40 059
South Africa 087 0420 222
Spain 947 080 004
Sweden 0769 43 61 55
United Kingdom 0115 7070 444
USA: 424-APPCOIN / 414-455-5532