New year, new coins.
The first LGBTQ+ cryptocurrency launched for 2022. Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency that has risen in popularity. On Friday, after a week-long pilot test in a popular LGBTQ+ neighborhood in Madrid, Spain, Maricoin has officially launched.
The name of the currency is a portmanteau that plays on a widely-known anti-gay slur. Transfers between maricoin users are to be called "trans" according to reports. But maricoin's founders hope that the success of the business will empower the community.
"Since we move this economy, why shouldn't our community profit from it, instead of banks, insurance companies or big corporations that often don't help LGBT+ people?" co-founder Juan Belmonte told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The founders hope that maricoin will be used as a payment option for LGBTQ+ businesses worldwide.. All that wish to use it must sign the "equality manifesto" which defends the rights of LGBTQ+ people and all minorities. Those who have signed will be put on a map that will be available for LGBTQ+ travelers.
"If they violate any of the points of our anti-discrimination manifesto, for example if they fire a pregnant woman because of her pregnancy, they will be expelled from maricoin," chief executive Francisco Alvarez told Thomson Reuters.
According to him 8,000 people were on a waiting list to use maricoin. It is backed by Borderless Capital, a Miami-based venture capital firm.
Some on social media are criticizing the name.
Others have criticized the entire impetus of trying to "queer capitalism."