Since the launch of Bitcoin, the world has seen thousands of digital currencies come into existence. Investors will seemingly throw massive amounts of funds at anything related to crypto. Currencies in this virtual space often make the news, and while there have been many notable cryptocurrency projects launched in Australia, there are few that have attracted news, both good and bad, the way that Qoin has.

Despite a lack of clear information regarding the legitimacy of this cryptocurrency project, this crypto seems to be gaining adoption from consumers and merchants across Australia. In this article, we will be doing a Qoin review, giving information on Qoin’s history and the blockchain technology behind Qoin, as well as give information regarding the possible advantages and potential drawbacks for users, merchants and business owners who use Qoin.

History of Qoin

The roots of Qoin trace back to an airport lounge in Perth in 2017. Waiting for their flight out of the country, from Australia to India, Raj Pathak was asked by his son Mihir his opinion of Bitcoin. Raj was intrigued by his son’s interest in Bitcoin. Mihir also told his father should use his funds to buy Bartercard, another idea that intrigued Raj.

Sadly, later that year Raj’s son Mihir died. Raj was inspired by the content of their conversation about Bitcoin and his son’s suggestion that he use his funds to buy Bartercard. Determined to honour his son’s memory, Raj flew to Sydney, Australia to approach the CEO of Bartercard about acquiring the business. Raj, along with his friend and business partner Tony Wiese finalized the acquisition process of Bartercard in 2018

Never forgetting their conversation about Bitcoin, Raj and his friends began looking for information about cryptocurrencies. And as he said, he: “went on the bandwagon after a lot of research” he said in an interview with The Indian Sun. Two years later, on February 14, 2020, Mihir’s birthday, Raj and his team launched Qoin in Australia.

What is Qoin?

So what is Qoin? According to the Qoin white paper, “Most businesses have an average spare capacity… of 25%-35%… We tokenise this spare capacity in the form of the Qoin digital currency. Participating merchants in the ecosystem accept Qoin from customers as payment for their goods and services.”

Blockchain offers several unique technological properties that could address this spare capacity, as does crypto. Currency derived from rewards and payments could increase the marketplace for buyers and sellers to trade their goods and services, thus generating additional funds and utilising this spare capacity through these transactions.

Qoin offers merchants the opportunity to generate additional sales from consumers using their token as payment. The merchant links to their wallet and gains access to these additional sales through a wallet-based directory, where users can search for companies both locally and across the country. Qoin is planning on a future upgrade to its Qoin wallet app that will include links to an online shopping mall.

How Qoin Works

The Qoin crypto currency operates on the Qoin Blockchain. The Qoin Blockchain was built on the Quorum platform, designed and built through a partnership initiative between JP Morgan and Microsoft. Quorum is an open-source blockchain platform, combining the technology and protocol of Ethereum with enhancements that support enterprise needs. The blockchain is designed for users to hold and transfer Qoins across the network quickly and securely.

The minting and distribution of Qoins are administered by the Qoin Reserve, which is overseen by the Qoin Association. The objective of the Qoin Reserve is to continuously expand the merchant base of the Qoin network, oversee the funds, and preserve the value of Qoin over time.

The Qoin Association

Headquartered in Australia, The Qoin Association provides governance and operational framework for its blockchain and the Qoin Reserve. The Association’s members are validator nodes on the network that maintain the blockchain’s ledger. In addition, any use of funds and all major policy or technical decisions require the Association’s consent with two-thirds of the votes. One of the founding members of the Qoin Association is the Blockchain Investment Group (BCI). BCI is the parent organization and owner of Bartercard International.

The Problem with Qoin

While there are certainly a number of opportunities for Qoin to address market needs and gain mainstream adoption, that doesn’t mean that this process won’t be without shortcomings. There are several issues facing the Qoin cryptocurrency, that has led to many questions such as is Qoin a Scam? Most of these have to do with its business model. The Bartercard team is one of the founding members of the Qoin association, and because of Qoin’s origins with Raj Pathak and Bartercard, Qoin’s business model is remarkably similar to that of Bartercard. This is part of the problem.

Qoin’s Bartercard Model

Bartercard is a company that enables members to exchange goods and services without the use of cash. In an article titled “Why Bartercard is a Waste of Time and Money”, NZ website “Energise Web” gives a review of Bartercard, and gives information about the process. To use Bartercard, a customer needs to have money in the form of significant cash flow to subsidise the fees associated with Bartercard’s Trade Dollars. Those Trade Dollars are worthless outside of the Bartercard network.

The Qoin crypto uses the same system as Bartercard, requiring Qoin holders to exchange their service or goods only with other Qoin holders. Furthermore, the tokens are currently worthless outside of Qoin’s network, eerily similar to Bartercard’s Trade Dollars.

Qoin’s Empty Promises

Despite promising to be listed on a crypto exchange this year, it has yet to be listed anywhere in the world. Currently, there is no way to exchange Qoin for fiat currency or other cryptocurrencies. A merchant who chooses to accept Qoin as payment can only “spend” it by sending it to other merchants Qoin’s network.

Qoin’s Dependancy on Bartercard

On Qoin’s Facebook page, the team says they have “a fantastic community of businesses”, and Andrew Barker, the Chief Marketing Officer says, “We have already seen close to 3,000 merchants join the Qoin community over the past few months.” However, these numbers can’t be confirmed, and Qoin’s adoption relies heavily on the existing merchants in the Bartercard network, repeatedly advertising this relationship to give people confidence about its growth potential. In addition, the white paper is explicit about the fact that the Qoins are utility tokens only, not securities and thus the currency is outside the sphere of financial regulation.

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Written by Katya

Written by Katya

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