Costa Rica might be pint-sized but it is famed around the world for many things: great beaches, breathtaking landscapes, a huge biodiversity. It is also a country with a well-developed communication and information infrastructure that facilitates the creation and support of all sorts of business initiatives. These include new, creative ways of supporting conservation and sustainability. Ticos also have a strong commitment to preserving the environment. True to this goal and in tune with the new global financial trend: cryptocurrencies, Costa Rica has just launched the first “green” cryptocoin: the ecolon.
A Very Brief 101 on Cryptocurrency
Some of the most common financial buzzwords nowadays are cryptocoin, cryptocurrency, altcoin, cryptominer. They are all related to a form of digital money, or medium of exchange, designed to be secure by using complex cryptography to keep the transactions safe, verify the transfer of assets. and control the creation of additional units of currency. Thus, cryptocurrencies are encrypted, decentralized, and contrary to fiat money, they are not dependent of banks or governments.
The first cryptocurrency, and still the best known was bitcoin, created in 2009. Its appearance marked the Big Bang of cryptocurrencies. According to a recent report, there are more than 1600 different bitcoin clones nowadays. Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Zcash (ZEC), Ripple (XRP), Monero (XMR), Stellar Lumens (XLM) are but a few of the most well known.
A blockchain (the technology that backs up almost every cryptocurrency) is a digital decentralized public ledger that keeps track of every transaction that has been carried out in a particular cryptocurrency.
These transactions are grouped in sets called “blocks”. Cryptocurrency miners are the people that verify the transactions and make sure they are legitimate, that the input and output expenses tally and that the same coin is not expended twice before the transaction has been approved.
Miners get rewarded (in cryptocoins) every time they solve the complex cryptographic algorithms needed to create blocks of validated transactions and to include them in the blockchain.
How To Mine In Costa Rica?
In this new world of cryptocurrencies, Costa Rica has become a very interesting option. Cryptocurrency mining has become one of the most futuristic businesses opportunities. Thousands of companies and individuals are getting into the mining business. But mining cryptos is not easy thing. In the “old” days, you could mine using only an average computer and a dedicated app, but now, in order to be really cost-effective both the hardware and the software have to be very powerful.
People who want to invest in this form of virtual purchase approach companies such as Stonehedge Mining Technologies, a firm responsible for providing the technological equipment for their customers to begin mining. The company has almost 8 years of experience in the field. “We have traveled a path of changes, optimization and growth. These have been years of learning and that define who we are today: a company born in SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA CED JURÍDICA # 3-101-762486 with partners throughout the world.” You can get in touch with us at: CLICK HERE!
A Green Altcoin
The ecolon is a digital platform that gives value to sustainability. Through a network of 36 authorized collection centers throughout the country, the new cryptocoin facilitates the delivery and recovery of waste. Now, glass bottles, cartons aluminum cans, tetra paks, and plastic will no longer be mere trash. These recyclable materials will have value. They will become virtual money.
The initiative is promoted by the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica and the transnational company Próxima Comunicación. Additionally, it is sponsored by early adopters such as Florex, Casa Armonía, Kimberly Clark, Fifco, Musmanni, National Bank, Cuestamoras Group, Fischel Pharmacies, Magaly Movie Theater, Tetra Pack and LifeMiles.
It is aligned with the fulfillment of Law 8839 on Integral Waste Management, passed in 2010.
How Does the Ecolon Work?
It uses a system of incentives that promote recycling and encourage the change of consumption habits in individuals and communities. They get virtual money (ecolones) for each bottle, can, container or piece of recyclable materials they turn in. These ecolones can be exchanged for discounts, products, services, and experiences at the businesses and companies that support the project. The goal is not just to reward the recycling actions of citizens as a method of exchange. According to Karla Chaves, social entrepreneur, and director of the ecolon project, “We are offering an effective way to promote a green and solidary economy in Costa Rica”. It is a shared responsibility between private companies and the aforementioned individuals and communities.
Vice-minister of Health, María Esther Anchía said “We believe that [with] ecolones [we] will achieve the goals of waste recovery established in the National Recycling Strategy. This will also be an effective contribution for waste collectors who will see an increase in the materials they will receive.”
Since it was launched, the initiative has gathered more than 17 thousand registered users, 32 thousand followers in social networks and more than a hundred companies interested in granting discounts and promotions.
The campaign 111 Ambientados, will start on Thursday, May 3. when the registered collection centers (centros de acopio) will initiate the reception of valuable materials.
How Can You Participate?
Take your recyclable materials to one of the centers. You can check out a list of the recycling centers that are part of the project at https: //ecolonescr.com/centros_
The materials must be properly separated, clean and dry (otherwise, you will not receive ecolones in return) and exchange them for ecolones.
The amount of ecolones you get paid is fixed according to the type of waste and its value in the recycling market. For instance, one ecolón equals one Costa Rican colón.
These will be deposited in your wallet, so you can keep tally of the ecolones you have accumulated.
You can use your ecolones to buy products and services, whether online (if this option is available) or directly at the point of sale. There is a cost catalog of offers from several participating companies. You can get 2-for-1 cinema tickets for a movie at the Magaly Movie Theater, Los Paleteros (icecream makers) have a 3×2 promotion of their new yogurt icecream to all customers that have an account in ecolones and an ecoID (which is generated on the ecolonescr.com-MY ACCOUNT page) and discounts at restaurants at the Asociación Paseo Gastronómico La Luz.
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