Submission details:

Team Name: Oro

The full description is at the bottom. I'm going for the main prize, but also the Best for Wyoming and Active Aether and the Best Government use for Blockchain.

There is no actual code, so no GitHub repo.


Why is Cryptocurrency like the IBM PC and not the Macintosh? Three problems: Volatility, Latency, and Hard to use in the real world.

I have the technical background to code "yet another application" at the front or back end but that isn't the problem. We've had PGP (GPG) for decades but still almost no one encrypts email. Will anyone be using cryptocurrency in a decade?

What it does

It brings together unique situations in Wyoming that would allow Wyoming citizens to be the first to be able to use Cryptocurrency at retail.

How I built it

Looking around to see what parts, mostly legal and logistic and found a way to link them.

Challenges I ran into

The retail part was the hardest nut to crack but the solution was so obvious and simple I was dumbfounded when I realized it.

As a resident of Wyoming, I wanted to help a large number of ordinary residents, not just the Coal, Beef, or some other specific industry.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Doing the footwork to talk to the regulators, the lawyers, the politicians to put all the links together.

What I learned

That it is possible to build a Mac, iPhone, iPad usable cryptocurrency infrastructure, at least in Wyoming

What's next for WyoCoin

See if it can be implemented, especially working with the task force if they think it is a good idea.

I've been watching the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology for a while, and it is neat, but it is still something ordinary people can't use. The IBM PC was great but still a computer. Then came the Macintosh. There were PDA phones with app stores, and touch tablets but it took Steve Jobs to give us the iPhone and iPad.

PGP was written in 1991 but today almost no one encrypts email. In 20 years will almost no one use cryptocurrency?

The question I came to the Hackathon was: What is the Mac, the iPhone of Cryptocurrency? Or isn't it ready yet? Or is there something fundamentally hard or complex? I could have jumped on a team doing coding, but we don't need more apps few if any will ever use. I want to shatter the barrier like the sledgehammer in the original Mac commercial.

Or, as this very Hackathon is titled, "Breakin' Through".

I think it is ready and doable at least uniquely in Wyoming, and I call it Wyo coin.

First, a question. You've seen them. In most gas stations, convenience stores, grocerys. You give cash and get a tokens. You give a token and get cash. I'll tell you what it is momentarily but see if you can guess.

There are three key problems to using cryptocurrencies. Volatility, latency, and it is hard to use in the real world.

The main one is volatility. The various coins have been changing value double digit percentages each week. Even if it is going up, it creates problems. Because as a medium of exchange, it makes it difficult to decide when to purchase or exchange back into ordinary currency. Everyone is a speculator.

Dai and Tether have a way of pegging using collateral, but an easier way would be the new Wyoming bank where for every token issued a dollar would be added to an escrow account. There are problems with states issuing currency, but apparently they can issue Gold - Wyoming has already passed the same legislation the Utah Precious Metals Association uses next door to do their depository, so that might be another alternative which might be constitutional and pass muster. Texas also has a gold depository. States can use gold and silver as currencies.

Wyoming can have the first Gold as money accessible Cryptocurrency for their residents.

How to help large numbers of Wyoming residents? ActiveAether has a distributed technology which can fix the second key problem - latency. You don't want to wait 10 minutes to checkout after you know the total at the store. But their backend can distribute the hashing or proof of work across every resident of Wyoming with a smartphone or home computer. Alaska returns a payment based on oil royalties to its residents, Wyoming can do the same with cryptomining.

The Federal government gets more power when things cross state borders, but it is possible to geofence Wyoming both mobile apps and based on IP address. If we had the proof of work distributed among Wyoming residents fairly - every resident with a smart phone and personal computer gets a section of the hash space until a good one is found and they would get the transaction prize - I wouldn't set it up to encourage massive mining operations, I would want it to give a chance for every ordinary citizen of Wyoming to be able to make money, even if only a little at a time, from the WYOs. Also it could insure interest and support from a very large number Wyoming residents who probably don't understand and wouldn't care except they can derive a small income if this is implemented.

But what about the third key problem, and the reason cryptos are like a PC and not a Mac, a feature, not iPhone? You can't transfer easily at ordinary stores or banks. You can show bar codes across two smartphones but that is still a closed system. The stores and banks would have to have to have whatever wallet or account that accepted the crypto to their own account. Remember I asked about the token machines everywhere. Did you guess that it was the WyoLotto machines? What if you could use your smartphone to generate bar codes to pay for your groceries right at the counter by entering the amount and placing it in the scanner. Then add WyoCoin scanners for banks or stores that don't have the Lotto. Anyone could use it easily for common transactions - and they could transfer it over the internet, or there would be companies that would, for example pay for something from Overstock.

Wyoming has the opportunity to be the first cryptocurrency state, where we make it accessible to everyone. The technology is all here. The laws are mostly if not all here. The infrastructure exists to make it retail and just need to build the Wyoming state financial infrastructure as it already exists in other states.. We just have to bolt it together to the benefit of every Wyoming citizen.

Wyoming can be the state that is Breakin' Through again as the first state to widely adopt Cryptocurrency

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