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FlippED: Is It Okay To Capitalize On The LGBT Community For Crypto Culture?

FlippED is an ED Original style wherein two bloggers come together and share their opposing or orthogonal perspectives on an interesting subject.


So when society was in its early stages, there was no such thing as money. Hence, if someone were to buy something, it’d be based on a trade. Cryptocurrency works exactly like that. It’s a trade and is 100% virtual. It is the transfer of digital assets.

Cryptocurrency works with the help of bitcoins and one such coin is the Maricoin.

What Is This New Mystery LGBT+ Coin – Maricoin?

For starters, the founders of this coin derived the name “Maricoin” from a Spanish homophobic slur. It is the first ever LGBT+ cryptocurrency and is largely backed by the LGBT+ neighborhood of Spain’s capital, Madrid.

According to the co-founder of Maricoin, Mr. Juan Belmonte,

“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?”

The introduction of this new cryptocurrency has evoked tons of backlash

According to reports, the main purpose of this cryptocurrency is to bring about a change in the world. The currency will be used as a means of payment at LGBT-friendly businesses and events worldwide. According to the Chief Executive of the Miami-based venture capital firm Borderless Capital – Mr. Francisco Alvarez who is also backing Maricoin,

“The establishments that accept our coin will be listed on our map, which will work as an LGBTI guide for anyone visiting any city in the world. 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.”

Apparently, the founders have signed a legal document called the Equality Manifesto which aims at protecting the rights of queer people.

First ever LGBT cryptocurrency – Maricoin

As amazing as it all sounds, what I still don’t understand is this inherent and obvious capitalization on the LGBT+ sentiments for the “betterment” of the community.

 

“Next, Maricoin aims to enable a social, ethical, transparent and transversal means of payment whose main target of investment would be the pink economy whose estimate amounts to trillions of dollars. The pink economy describes the purchasing power of the queer community.”

                                        ~ Blogger Rishita Sengupta

 

Red Flags Raised By The Cryptocurrency Owing To Capitalization Of LGBT+ Sentiments

For starters, as NDTV reported, “Maricoin is aimed to be used as a means of payment at LGBT-friendly businesses and events worldwide.”

As far as I can remember, coins don’t exactly have a penchant for discrimination. Cryptocurrency can be used by anybody and everybody who has a good sense of what it entails. One doesn’t need to go out of their way to exclusively set themselves apart.

Next, Maricoin aims to enable a social, ethical, transparent and transversal means of payment whose main target of investment would be the pink economy whose estimate amounts to trillions of dollars. The pink economy describes the purchasing power of the queer community.

What I don’t understand is the “ethics” behind naming your coin after a word which is supposedly a play on a Spanish homophobic slur. It’s not funny.

In case you’re wondering about the wordplay – Maricoin has been derived from the Spanish slander “maricon” which means a faggot.

Third, plenty of people are quite agitated by it as they go on to call the coin a sham. A redditor strongly opposed the cryptocurrency and commented,

“It’s not a coin, it’s a token, clearly a scam to catch fools who want to make easy money with crypto. Their website is poorly made, ugly and doesn’t have a single tech line about how this crypto will work. Not a single whitepaper and their waiting-list form is a damn Google Doc”

However, a number of sources seem to be pretty confident that Maricoin is not a cryptocurrency but simply a token. It is an extension of the cryptocurrency Algorand and is not even backed by mining.

In fact, the vice-president of crypto wallet service Cake Wallet – Justin Ehrenhofer took to Twitter,

“This 100% feels like a scam.”

Tweet by the vice-president of crypto wallet service Cake Wallet – Justin Ehrenhofer

Despite being widely shown off as the first ever LGBT cryptocurrency in mainstream media, the first time that LGBT entered the world of crypto was back in 2018 with the launch of the LGBT  Foundation which is a non-profit organization that aims to harness the power and potential of blockchain technology owing to the mass benefit of the queer community.


Read More: Which Is This Cryptocurrency Tipped To Become The 10th Largest By Market Value?


 

Contradictorily, here’s why it is also the best thing that could happen:

Being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community is arguably much easier in today’s world than it has been for the decades that have preceded the current one. However, the world is not so colorful or accepting of the people who happened to identify as someone who might be a part of the community.

“Many slurs have been claimed by the people of the community and this time they have claimed back capitalism.”

~Blogger Charlotte Mondal

Homophobia and transphobia are still rampant in many places today. Bisexual people are still unabashedly sexualized and slurs are still used casually in almost every conversation in the world. Moreover, it is still a criminal offense to be gay in more than 70 countries around the world.

Statistically, more hate crimes are committed against trans people than any other community. Same-sex marriage is still a punishable offense and it is going to be a long time before everyone in the world is given the same opportunities and treated the same despite their sexuality and gender identity.

So why should a cryptocurrency named after an LGBTQ+ slur not be used for the members of the community? Every year during June big corporations proclaim their love for the community and dress themselves and their logos in the various colors of the rainbow.

The entire month is spent proclaiming their reverence and love for the people belonging to the community yet the moment the clock strikes midnight on the 1st of July every logo is back to their original colors and the big declarations of “Love is Love” are taken down.

Big corporations and companies have been exploiting the LGBTQ+ community’s existence for decades while they have given nothing back to actually help the people who are shunned and hunted down on the streets merely because they do not fit the tiny circle society deems as ‘acceptable and normal’.

For years Pride Month has been exploited for the sale of rainbow items while people forget why the month is actually special. Almost no one knows the history of the Stonewall riots or the names of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera and their innumerable contributions to history.

Marsha P. Johnson was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen. Known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969.

The LGBTQ+ community has been capitalized upon for years and no one has bat an eye. It has become a normal part of life to pretend that the community ceases to exist after Pride is over so why should a cryptocurrency made for the community not be used by the community to capitalize on themselves?

The Red Flags Are Not That Big Of A Concern

Is it a red flag that the coin aims to move forward solely because it is the first of its type? It is definitely an irrefutable fact that currencies have never been known for being discriminatory. However, the people holding those tokens of currency have always practiced their beliefs and ideals no matter whether it brings forth harm to an entire group of people.

Maricoin is the first of its kind that is giving LGBTQ+ businesses the same power without the threat of being shut down or attacked. The notable thing is that the cryptocurrency is backed by Miami-based venture capital firm Borderless Capital and the CEO has shared that 8000 people have already joined the waiting list before the currency has been officially released for trading.

The initiative’s Chief Executive, Francisco Alvarez has said,

“We’ll be able to give microcredits for people to set up a small LGBT-friendly cafe in Colombia, or to support projects helping queer refugees flee countries where they’d be stoned to death. We’re looking forward to changing the world.”

Clearly, the cryptocurrency has been set up as a means of giving back to the people of the community. It exists to reap benefits from the cheap capitalization that already exists and has existed for years. For the first time, this capitalization will be used in favor of the community. Many slurs have been claimed by the people of the community and this time they have claimed back capitalism.


Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: Reddit, India Today, NDTV +more

Find the Bloggers: Rishita Sengupta and Charlotte

This post is tagged under cryptoculture, maricoin, first ever LGBT cryptocurrency, homophobic Spanish slur, faggot, capitalization, LGBTQIA+ community, queer community, scam coin, opposing opinions, Francisco Alvarez, Juan Belmonte, change the world, LGBT-friendly cafe


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