Cryptocurrency is once again betting on changing the world with the launch of the global first LGBT+ digital currency ‘Maricoin’ which aims to harness the community’s economic power.
The Maricoin, a play on words taken from a homophobic slur in Spanish, was launched after a week-long pilot test involving 10 businesses in Chueca, as it is an LGBT+ neighborhood of Spain’s capital, Madrid.
Maricoin’s backers are expecting the virtual currency to start trading early next year, paving the way for it to be used as a means of payment at LGBT-friendly businesses and events worldwide.
The LGBT+ cryptocurrency is anticipated to be accepted as payment in businesses, from restaurants and cafes to shops and hotels, that have signed an equality manifesto.
The Co-Founder of Maricoin, Mr. Juan Belmonte said that “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?”
Mr. Belmonte, a hairdresser and entrepreneur, said the idea for an LGBT+ cryptocurrency came during the Madrid Pride in July this year. But the project was actually created in 2018 when a conservative group ‘HazteOir’ launched a transphobic campaign.
Maricoin is backed by Miami-based venture capital firm Borderless Capital and 8,000 people are currently on a waiting list to buy the Maricoin before the currency begins trading.
According to research by Swiss bank Credit Suisse, the global LGBT+ market is huge. If it is represented by a country, it would be the world’s fourth-largest economy, even ahead of Germany in terms of purchasing power.