1. September 24, 2012

    MintChip Developer Challenge winners announced!

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    Today, the Royal Canadian Mint announced the winners of the MintChip Challenge, a competition for software developers to create innovative digital payment applications and proofs of concepts utilizing MintChip, a new virtual currency. Five winning applications were selected from 57 eligible submissions.

    The winners of the MintChip Developer Challenge are:

    Best Overall Application - Grand Prize, and Best P2P Application:

    • MintWallet" by Jan Hannemann: A Windows Mobile app that offers users a convenient way to send and receive virtual cash. MintWallet accommodates digital payments in scenarios where cash and credit cards are inconvenient, such as paying for a parking meter or splitting a dinner bill among friends. 

    Best Overall Application - Second Prize, and Best Micropayment Application:

    • Pennies a Day" by Dickson Wong: An Android app that makes donating simple. Think of it as the digital version of the donation box at your coffee shop or grocery store. Pennies a Day automatically donates as little as one cent to a charity of your choosing with every MintChip transaction. 

    Best Overall Application - Third Prize, and Best B2C Application:

    • FlashCash: Pay all at once !" by David Huard, Estelle Huard, Yann McCready, and Frederic Rioux: A web app that connects smartphones to restaurant point-of-sale terminals. FlashCash adds a custom QR code to receipts, which customers can scan to make a payment with their smartphones. For example, take a large group splitting the bill at a restaurant: rather than asking the waiter to process multiple credit cards, each individual can use FlashCash to make payments instantaneously.

    Popular Choice Award:

    • Mini Checkout" by Ioana Bercea and Allan Liao: An Android app that eliminates wait time at checkout lines by allowing consumers to use their smartphones to scan product barcodes as they shop. 

    Large Organization Award:

    • DonRiver MintChip App" by DonRiver Inc.: An iOS app that enables mobile subscribers to send peer-to-peer domestic money transfers, pay for and transfer mobile airtime, and to send international remittances. 

    The MintChip Developer Challenge was launched in April 2012 by the Royal Canadian Mint. Software developers from across North America were invited to test the MintChip technology as part of a continuing research and development phase and to determine its applicability to the current marketplace. The results of the Developer Challenge will form part of the Mint’s ongoing evaluation of possible next steps in the development of the MintChip technology.

    Check out all the winning apps from the MintChip Challenge and explore winning digital payment concepts from the ideas portion of the challenge

    Congratulations to all who participated and brought the MintChip technology to life!

    Follow @ChallengePost on Twitter for competition updates, and use the hashtag #MintChip (ou #Cybermonnaie en français) when you tweet.

    By Samantha

  2. August 21, 2012

    MintChip is real, and it’s fabulous

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    Back in April, the Royal Canadian Mint debuted MintChip, a new virtual currency. As a development phase technology, MintChip was made available exclusively to 500 participants of the MintChip Challenge, a software competition for innovative digital payment apps and proofs of concepts utilizing MintChip.

    The dev community was abuzz with excitement following the announcement. Within hours, MintChip surged to the most commented item on Hacker News, and in just four days, all 500 competition spots were filled up.

    The timing of the launch (around April Fools Day) and the $50,000 prize in Gold Wafers and Gold Maple Leaf Coins led some to believe that the whole thing was an elaborate hoax, but as you can see from the innovative apps that were developed as a result, the MintChip Challenge is anything but.

    An idea for every day of the year

    While programmers retreated to their lairs to hack, the Mint challenged the public to submit suggestions for how a digital currency like MintChip could be used in the ideas portion of the MintChip Challenge. In total, 365 ideas were entered, the top 10 of which will be selected by a panel of judges this month from the 25 most popular ideas as voted by the public.

    57 innovative digital payment apps

    After four months of hacking, developers emerged from their LED-lit caves and unveiled 57 apps that facilitate peer-to-peer (person-to-person) payments, business-to-consumer payments, and micropayments of less than $2.00. Every major platform was represented, with applications that run on Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows, and browsers on both desktop and mobile devices.

    Cast your votes for the Popular Choice Award

    We invite you to size up these trailblazing applications at MintChipChallenge.com, and vote for your favorites by September 12. Your vote will help determine the winner of the Popular Choice Award, who will take home 3 oz. in gold, equal to $5,100. 

    In total, the competition will award $52,700 in prizes across eight categories. Winners in the remaining categories will be selected by a judging panel of leaders from the tech, venture capital, media, and retail industries.

    The public voting period ends in one month. Check out the apps today!

    We invite you to join us on Facebook, follow @ChallengePost on Twitter, and use the hashtag #MintChip when you tweet. 

    By Megan

  3. July 25, 2012

    Submit your idea and win gold!

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    There is just one week left in the MintChip Ideas Challenge, a public invitation by the Royal Canadian Mint to share ideas for how you would use a digital currency. 

    Contribute to the awesome list of ideas that have been submitted so far and vote for your favorite(s) by August 1! There is no limit to the number of ideas you can submit, and you may vote once per day per submission, for as many submissions as you’d like. The ten most popular ideas will receive $2,550 in prizes.  

    Share the challenge with a fellow digital currency/mobile payments enthusiast, and keep the great ideas coming!

    We invite you to follow @ChallengePost on Twitter, and join us on Facebook.

    By Megan 

  4. June 11, 2012

    How would you use a digital currency?

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    Visionaries and digital currency enthusiasts in the U.S. and Canada: the Royal Canadian Mint is inviting you to share ideas for how you would use a digital currency in the MintChip Ideas Challenge.  Digital currency — also known as “digital money” or “virtual currency” —  is simply money in electronic form. 

    The goal of the challenge is to generate ideas for apps that can use a virtual currency like MintChip™. (MintChip is securely backed by the Mint and could one day replace cash!)

    Eligible ideas will be displayed on ideas.mintchipchallenge.com, and the 10 best submissions will each receive 2 Gold Maple Leaf Coins worth $255. 

    Check out more than 290 ideas submitted so far, vote up your favorites, and throw your idea in the ring!

    The MintChip Ideas Challenge accompanies the MintChip Challenge, a competition for digital payment applications that use MintChip. Software developers looking to create an app using MintChip can post a request to join an existing team on the Discussion Board of the apps competition.

    Follow @ChallengePost on Twitter for competition updates, and use the hashtag #MintChip (ou #Cybermonnaie en français) when you tweet.

    By Megan

  5. April 5, 2012

    Is MintChip the next evolution of cash?

    The Royal Canadian Mint presents The MintChip Challenge

    Software developers in the U.S. and Canada: the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) is inviting you to join the MintChip Challenge — create innovative digital payment applications using MintChip™, a new digital currency technology being hailed as the “evolution of currency.”

    Winners will receive approximately $50,000 in gold. (Yes, gold!) Plus promotional exposure. The Mint will provide participating developers with a software development kit (SDK), two microSD MintChips, and two remote MintChip accounts that can be used to integrate the Mint’s technology with digital payment applications. Software applications can run on Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows, or a desktop or mobile browser.

    Why now?
    With the explosion of mobile commerce, a significant increase in electronic transactions over the past ten years, and the growing popularity of micro transactions (under $10) and nano-transactions (under $1), the Mint saw an opportunity in the virtual space for a new currency option. Recently, the research and development team dedicated resources to answering questions such as “What could improve the efficiency of currency?” and “What does the digital equivalent of the coins we use every day look like?”. As a result, MintChip was born.

    How does MintChip work?
    MintChip works on the Internet, in the physical store, on mobile devices, and enables easy person-to-person payments. It’s backed by the Royal Canadian Mint, a trusted and respected custodian of Canadian currency for more than a century. No personal data is exchanged in the transaction. And there is no intermediary or requirement for a proprietary network, so it’s cost effective for merchants. Using innovative technology, for which the Mint has prototypes and five patents pending, MintChip uses a secure chip to hold electronic value and a protocol to transfer it from one chip to another. To learn more about the technology, head on over to MintChipChallenge.com.

    MintChip is limited to only 500 approved participants of the MintChip Challenge, so get your hands on one now: register to enter the competition!

    If you are not a developer, or don’t have the time to create an app, share ideas on how you would use digital currency at ideas.MintChipChallenge.com.

    Follow @ChallengePost on Twitter for competition updates, and use the hashtag #MintChip (ou #Cybermonnaie en français) when you tweet.

    By Samantha

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