The world of cryptocurrencies is rapidly developing. The cost and technical expertise required to start your own blockchain-powered network are so low that these networks are popping up all over the place. There are now specialized cryptocurrencies for all sorts of useful applications, from data storage to copyright protection.
There are also some cryptocurrencies that are straight up bizarre. Here are 5 strangest and most interesting coins that have somehow come to the cryptocurrency market.
1. Venezuelan Petro
Venezuela became the first government to release a state-sponsored cryptocurrency in 2018. The “Petro” is a cryptocurrency that’s supposedly backed by the untapped oil reserves in Venezuela. The idea of the currency was to help raise funds for a desperate Venezuelan government and possibly bypass harsh sanctions imposed by the US government.
The Venezuelan government declared the initial launch a success, raising over $700 million on the first day of trading. However, the currency hasn’t been a success story as a whole. It’s even difficult to tell if the currency is still operational.
From the start, the government had far too much control over the currency. It looked inevitable for many potential buyers that their investment wouldn’t be fully protected. The level of trust in the currency was low as there were no specifics of how the cryptocurrency would operate.
It’s certainly an innovative idea from the Venezuelan government to tap into the cryptocurrency world to raise some funds and gain some financial options. But, the Petro is likely to stay another interesting and bizarre cryptocurrency story for the history books.
CryptoKitties may be one of the most interesting digital assets around. They are not exactly the currency, but rather assets that are encoded using special attributes. They run on the Ethereum blockchain and come in the form of unique cats. The assets (cats) can even be combined (bred) into new assets with their own unique characteristics inherited by their parents.
Of course, the internet loves cats, so CryptoKitties was an instant success. The particularly rare ones were sold for ridiculously high price tags. At the peak of CryptoKittie-mania, some were sold for over $100,000 each. The idea was so popular that at one point it was overloading the entire Ethereum network.
One of the core appeals of CryptoKitties is that they are unique and cannot be forged. The supply is limited, and nobody can take them away from you. This creates a strong incentive to collect them. Especially the ones that are rare and great for breeding.
CryptoKitties is part cryptocurrency, part game, but it’s a fascinating take on what’s possible with digital tokens. When you make it possible for anyone to build tradeable tokens, you never know what you’re going to end up with.
Whoppercoin is a cryptocurrency launched in Russia that is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a currency designed specifically for buying Burger King’s whoppers. But, it’s not obvious why it’s necessary to have a currency for whoppers when regular currencies work fine.
The idea behind Whoppercoin is to provide a kind of loyalty program for Burger King customers. Each time you buy a whopper, you receive some Whoppercoin to your digital wallet. You can later trade it for, well, even more whoppers. However, the thing that makes it more interesting than a simple loyalty program is that you can trade your Whoppercoin online just like any other cryptocurrency. So, you can cash in on your Burger King loyalty whenever you like.
Veggiecoin is a niche cryptocurrency coming from Australia. It’s a project designed to help animal welfare by using software and computing power. Users of the cryptocurrency are encouraged to leave the Veggiecoin software running overnight to help animals in need.
According to the whitepaper, you are essentially donating a portion of your computing power to mining. The proceeds of that mining go to animal charities of Veggiecoin’s choosing. It’s not exactly clear where the funds come from in the first place, or how donating your computing power leads to funds raised.
It also doesn’t seem like the coin has much application beyond raising funds to support the charities. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting use case for cryptocurrency. And at least their heart is in the right place.
5. Useless Ethereum Token
This one is particularly strange. One ingenious marketer noticed that during the ICO boom, people were investing insane amounts of money in almost any crypto project. It seemed that as long as there was an ICO with the right marketing, it could raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, no matter how illegitimate it really was.
The ICO claimed to be the first 100% “honest” ICO. It did this by stating, in no uncertain terms, that the tokens would be completely useless. One of the lines on the website read “Seriously, don’t buy these tokens”.
But for some reason, people still bought them! The ICO ended up raising almost $60,000. Many people bought thousands of dollars worth of tokens. The project might have been developed to raise a point about how out of control the ICO craze was. Alternatively, it could have just been a smart way to raise some easy money by someone who knew the cryptocurrency community a little too well!
There Will Be More To Come
Strangely, useless cryptocurrencies are being developed all over the world. That’s one of the beautiful things about blockchain technology. Anyone can join in with any crazy idea they have — good or bad.
While most of these projects probably won’t take off in a huge way, some of the innovative projects are actually finding traction. The ones that don’t are often opening the door to other, more refined ideas. Whatever happens, we’re certainly in for more bizarre cryptocurrency projects in the future!