Gecko Coin: Using the Ripple platform to issue currencies

Gecko Coin is a currency created by Devon Weller using the Ripple platform. It is currently an experiment in issuing currencies and market making.  Devon’s goal is to learn more about the Ripple platform and educate others through giveaways and auctions with Gecko Coin.  Devon plans to issue a total of 2 million GKO.

How do coins work in the Ripple network?

Coins are not mined in the Ripple network, they are minted. They have a very different distribution mechanism. In the altcoin world we would call this “pre-mining”. But in the FIAT world it is called minting.  Therefore, any issuer of currency must be prove that they can be trusted. 

Some might say just use the Bitcoin/Litecoin protocols, but the reality is that people don’t necessarily need more decentralized P2P cryptocurrencies, but we could use an efficient decentralized currency exchange that allows everyone across the world to buy, sell, and trade any currencies they want.  This has a number of implications and it requires a way of thinking about value and distribution in a completely opposite fashion as Bitcoin/Litecoin based cryptocurrencies.

Create your own value

Instead of mining in the Ripple network, currencies or assets are issued by a company, organization, or individual, who can then proceed to create a means to giving those coins value. In the case of Gecko Coin, creator Devon requires that in order to create an account on and receive your free GKO, you have to spend .5 XRP (½ cent) to open the account. After that, you are eligible for daily or weekly giveaways of GKO and other coins. The .5 XRP is a form of crowdfunding to support the website and the developer over time. It is a miniscule amount per coin.

The coins are not all minted at once, but instead Devon will mint one Gecko Coin each time someone creates an account and sends the .5 XRP to the trust line address. As time goes on, he can raise the price to open an account corresponding to the XRP/GKO exchange rate. Devon is actually giving away more GKO than you could buy on the market with, as he creates user adoption. Right now, 2.5 XRP is approximately 1 GKO.  Over time Devon should be able to raise anywhere from $5000 to $15000 to fund the giveaways/auctions and expand the Gecko Coin project.

The coins are then used for auctions on the Gecko Coin website. So by auctioning for example, .5 BTC, people will go and purchase more Gecko Coins with XRP in order to fund their accounts and make bids. This gives Gecko Coins a market value that can gain over time as more people participate in auctions and more people purchase Gecko Coins.

Gecko Coins and Ripple IOUs

Ripple IOUs can be redeemed in any currency using Ripple’s P2P exchange built right into the protocol. Essentially, Gecko Coin is just an IOU within the Ripple network.  It is a fun way to create value and new markets. In the future, the markets could be things like Coupons, Restaurant Vouchers, Gift Cards, Airline Miles, Rewards Points, or whatever you want. There’s an endless supply of possibilities.

These IOUs can then be traded on a marketplace and XRP will be the underlying structural currency that allows them all to exist.  It is a really brilliant system actually. It allows global markets to be created for ANYTHING! And the best part is that you as a user have complete control over what markets you want to participate in. If you don’t like an idea, then don’t grant a trust line and don’t participate. It is a completely voluntary system.

Converting between the two

This is pretty simple actually. Once you create a trust line for GKO in your Ripple wallet, you can then create buy and sell orders for GKO/XRP or you can convert them instantly at the current market rate.

There is a Q&A discussion with the Gecko Coin and CoinCompass founder Devon in which he discusses a number of potential issues and why he decided to create Gecko Coin. For him, it mostly had to do with having fun and bringing people together to learn more about the Ripple protocol, while creating value.