It’s vegan food, but on the blockchain. VeganNation’s decentralized community platform, unveiled Wednesday, is built with the theory that cryptocurrency is the ideal way to track the supply chain of purchased goods and ensure they abide by high-quality standards. As Bitcoin gives rise to a new way of transferring money, VeganCoin’s creators see something larger on the horizon: the birth of a new nation.
“At the moment, fiat money is comfortably used to conduct transactions between individuals and businesses all over the world and is probably the most convenient means of doing so,” Isaac Thomas, the co-founder and CEO of VeganNation, tells Inverse. “In the vegan community, however, there’s a great need for more transparency, and the best way to verify the origin of the ingredients and products is via using their very own ‘vegan’ cryptocurrency.”
Thomas sees VeganCoin as “effectively creat[ing] an independent nation of vegans, who support one another and ensure their money is spent only on ethically agreeable items.”
He quotes Nigerian makeup artist, lawyer, and entrepreneur Tara Fela-Durotoye, who has said is nation is “not defined by its borders [but] by adverse people who have been unified by a cause and a value system and who are committed to a vision for the type of society they wish to live in and give to the future generations to come.”
It’s a bold idea. Cryptocurrency proponents have long been excited about reshaping the world, but most ideas focus on shifting power. Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2008 white paper for Bitcoin excited followers, as they talked about a new financial order free from fiat currency. Others, like Tron, have sought to reshape the balance in internet content sharing. With VeganCoin, Thomas is talking on broader terms about fostering a new nation community.
VeganCoin will work on a new online marketplace, where buyers can source food from all over the world. The company will also launch a meal sharing platform, enabling groups of the over 300 million vegans in the world to meet up and cook together. An innovation incubator and online content sharing platform will also help ideas come to life.
“Vegans need to be able to authenticate each product by ensuring that each link in the supply chain, from source to consumer, is tracked and monitored and successfully addresses all vegan issues,” Thomas says. “Vegans using VeganCoin, the first vegan-only currency, can be assured of vegan product and service availability, as the list of VeganCoin vendors functions as a clearinghouse of vegan-focused providers. This includes concerns for clean-eating and consumers who follow religious dietary restrictions.”
The project aims to launch its meal-sharing and content platforms in May, with the initial coin offering for VeganCoin held at the end of March.