Would you wait 10 minutes to make an in-store purchase?
Probably not. However a typical bitcoin transaction can take between 10 and 20 minutes.
“That is precisely the challenge to larger Bitcoin adoption,” said Jahon Jamali, Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of Sarson Funds, a cryptocurrency asset manager and informational service for financial advisors. “The speed, transaction cost, and scalability of the network is holding it back.”
All that may be set to change soon. Bitcoin Latinum (LTNM), a new Bitcoin fork, is gearing up to launch in Q3 2021, closing several gaps in the current Bitcoin blockchain.
The token name was derived from the highly coveted liquid metal substance “latinum” from the Star Trek universe. Maybe a bit nerdy? Possibly, but named appropriately from the fictional substance that was not only pressed in gold and highly valuable, but it was also supported by many Alliance leaders and served as an accepted currency across multiple worlds.
Likewise, Bitcoin Latinum is supported by a number of corporate sponsors, led by Monsoon Blockchain. Its impending launch was portended by a recent pre-listing on CoinMarketCap.
“That (corporate sponsorship) makes Latinum an outsider,” said John Sarson, CEO and co-founder of Sarson funds. Most cryptocurrencies are launched by startups, very much in the Silicon Valley tradition, with aspirations of disrupting incumbents.
“Bitcoin Latinum represents a coordinated effort by corporations to get into the cryptocurrency game, which is really interesting,” said Sarson. “In the past, if you were a company and started to accept Bitcoin as payment, it didn’t really accrue any value to you. Conceivably, you could get more customers, but otherwise there was nothing to encourage adoption. However, if big companies get together and they begin to use Bitcoin Latinum, suddenly we have a coin on our hands – a coin which major businesses agree to accept.”
“Those corporate sponsors have put nearly $1 billion into the endowment behind Bitcoin Latinum,” said Jamali, meaning that when it launches with 888,888,888 pre-mined tokens, the tokens will already be worth something. For every transaction, a fraction of the cost will pass up the blockchain into that endowment.
A Better Bitcoin?
“Latinum will be a greener solution because it utilizes a proof-of-stake mechanism that uses verified notes to fund transactions,” said Jamali. “They developed a solution which would reduce the transaction confirmation time from 10-60 minutes for bitcoin core, to one to three seconds for Bitcoin Latinum.”
Bitcoin Latinum has announced its intention to achieve a carbon net-zero footprint and can accomplish this by its ability to support millions of transactions per day at significantly lower, more predictable costs. The increased volume helps to reducing energy consumption by as much as 99%. In contrast, Bitcoin Core operates on a slower, more energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus mechanism.
What about the risk of theft and other forms of loss?
Bitcoin Latinum will also be the first cryptocurrency to offer to protect its users from losses due to external theft or internal collusion via an insurance program developed by Marsh & McLennan.
“Previous bitcoin forks were formed on the basis of one or two features,” said Liam McDonald, partner marketing manager at Sarson Funds. Bitcoin Latinum represents a more thorough overhaul of Bitcoin’s code base and algorithm. Latinum has a built-in advantage from being corporate-supported at launch.
“These other forks have been on a decentralized, community basis which is the traditional ethos of the crypto space,” said McDonald. “There’s a tradeoff in that model, because there are a small group of developers pushing the bulk of the activity on the block chain, it doesn’t end up decentralizing, it bogs down.”
But because it is built on Bitcoin infrastructure, assets in Bitcoin Latinum will exist in bitcoin wallets right next to assets in Bitcoin core. Sarson said that adoption of Bitcoin Latinum will also enjoy a tailwind due to the growth and popularity of the bitcoin network.
McDonald said that there is room for both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Latinum to co-exist side-by-side. Bitcoin is an improvement over most monetary systems in terms of its potential as a store of value, but falls short as a mode for day-to-day transactions.
That means that Bitcoin Latinum, as an investment, should be less volatile than Bitcoin Core. Bitcoin’s price is bounced around by the diversity of its user base—some holders use it to trade, some use it as a store of value like digital gold, some use it as a store of income, and as a result, some supply is locked up and not circulating, while the rest of the supply is being traded quickly with frequent changes in velocity.
“We think Bitcoin Latinum has the potential to be the first blockchain fully adopted for real-time use at scale,” said McDonald. “We think its network capacity can support 10,000 transactions per second, which is far faster than Bitcoin and Ethereum, and Latinum can do so at a more predictable cost per transaction as well.”
Fees across the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks can not only be unpredictable, but also prohibitively high for small transactions. That combination prevented adoption from a number of corporate entities, said Jamali.
The move from proof-of-work consensus to proof-of-stake drives most of the cost and predictability improvements.
Who Will Use Latinum
“Our read into this is that the entertainment industry will be an early adopter,” said Jamali. “Big names will be looking to capitalize on different ways of monetizing and capturing value through media assets.”
The gaming industry may be another early adopter, as casinos look for digital asset solutions that meet their governance, transparency and transaction speed needs, Jamali added.
Industries will use Latinum in two different ways, one, as a form of payment, and two, to tokenize different parts of their own product lines, said Jamali. “This will enable new, transparent, blockchain-enabled methods of media ownership, distribution and consumption.”
For example, media companies may tokenize their movies, which will enable purchasers to have protected, personalized ownership of that movie. Consumers can buy a certificate of ownership for a movie over the Bitcoin Latinum blockchain, which will then become a fast direct way to transact from business to consumer, obviating the need for an intermediary like a storefront or online retailer to sell media assets of any type.
A New Paradigm In Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin Latinum represents something that hasn’t really happened before in the digital assets space, said Sarson.
“This is the rise of the corporate coin,” said Sarson. “It’s a new paradigm in the cryptocurrency movement: corporations cooperating and coordinating to approve a Bitcoin that accrues some value for them.”