The ride-sharing co-founder is already known for disrupting one industry, and now he’s reportedlygoing after bitcoin, gold and fiat money. Garrett Camp, who co-founded ride sharing giant Uber, is behind a new cryptocurrency dubbed Eco, a decentralized global currency protocol, and he’s looking to the world’s top universities to run a verified node network.
He chose Eco for its connotation of “ecosystem, economics and e-commerce,” according to an article in Fortune. Eco is in it to win it and is designed to go head-to-head with bitcoin, gold and fiat money for daily global payment transactions. Camp told Fortune:
“I realized it might be better to release a new project from a different philosophical standpoint with cooperation from a lot of universities, scientists, and research institutes— like the internet.”
Eco versus Bitcoin
In its white paper, Eco slams bitcoin as a “speculative investment” rather than a “medium of exchange,” the latter of which it is trying to achieve. The three key issues that Eco takes up with bitcoin are the following –
- its high concentration among a handful of holders
- energy-intensive mining process
- perception of a propensity for fraud
Eco plans to do the following –
- “[form] a verified network, where universities run nodes” (instead of volunteer miners that run the Bitcoin network)
- “increase … overall token supply”
- “create … simple web and mobile”
The Eco Foundation, a nonprofit organization, is tasked with designing Eco as a “global currency that is easier, safer, and faster to use than paper money.” There are several distinguishing features to Eco that separate it from bitcoin, not the least of which is that the new cryptocurrency is free — they’re giving away 50% of their total token supply to the early takers.
Similar to bitcoin, there’s a finite number of Eco being created. But unlike bitcoin’s 21 million, Eco set the cap at 1 trillion to make it possible for “billions of users to own many Eco tokens,” according to the white paper. Meanwhile, on the website, they tout Eco as “the digital currency for everyone” and provide what appears to be a wait list to get your share.
Eco is building a verified network of global universities, an approach that seems to take a digital page out of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. This network will “help build an evenly distributed and cooperative financial infrastructure” in an energy-efficient way.
Eco isn’t planning an initial coin offering to raise funds for the project, which is probably a good move in light of the recent crackdown by regulators, particularly the US SEC, on ICOs.
Camp told Fortune a testnet could be operating within months.