Uber co-founder, Garrett Camp, has published the white paper for a new cryptocurrency, Eco. The token is nothing strictly ground-breaking, but if Camp’s previous work is anything to go by, once Eco launches we could see more crypto developed along similar lines in the future.
Since the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008, hundreds of digital currencies have launched, and they all have one thing in common – they piggyback on the vision of blockchain technology envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto. In this regard, Camp’s Eco token is not vastly different to most of the tokens already available, which is not necessarily a bad thing. There is still a notable difference between Bitcoin and Eco, and this difference could encourage innovators to follow Eco’s lead, but it is a question of philosophy, not technology.
Garrett Camp’s Different Approach to Crypto
One of the most significant differences between Bitcoin and Eco is the lack of anonymity provided by the latter, anonymity that Bitcoin famously provides. Instead, Camp’s model places more importance on the need to tackle unforeseen problems that have emerged as the technology has become popular – scalability, the energy consumption of mining operations, and usability.
In an interview with Zeitgeist in 2016, the Uber co-founder said he doesn’t approach innovation from a technological perspective. Instead, he is more interested in how simple actions (like the click of a button) can do something interesting. The importance of this approach to Camp is apparent if you’ve ever used Uber or Stumbleupon, and its application could inject more life into the already bustling world of cryptocurrency.
Many agree with his assertion that technology needs to be more user-friendly to encourage widespread use, and it can be argued that, overall, innovators aren’t delivering on this.
How Eco Could Lead the Way
Camp has already proven himself to be more than competent at handling big startup projects, and successful ones to boot. His company, Expa, prides itself on making new ideas a reality, so we can assume he is well placed to create a product and interface that will cause a stir.
When Eco launches, it is bound to attract widespread attention. If it launches with an interface that people enjoy using, it could very well provide a framework, like Bitcoin before it, for innovators to build upon.
It will be interesting, however, to see if there is any negative response to Eco’s lack of anonymity. Many crypto enthusiasts see this as one of the best features of the technology. Of course, critics will cite examples of how this feature facilitates crime. This is an issue that needs resolving, but autonomy is still important for many.
An anonymous peer-to-peer system allows people who are unfairly subjugated to break free of their shackles – think of a woman living in a patriarchal society where a man is in charge of her money. Some might not be willing to give up this freedom regardless of any other benefits a token might provide. In that case, we can expect to see others stand on Eco’s shoulders as they look to provide an alternative.
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Michael is an English and Creative writing graduate of Liverpool John Moore’s University, a former editor of several magazines, and a crypto-currency enthusiast. He is mostly interested in crypto-legislation and the potential of decentralized technology to change the world.