The founder of one of the earliest virtual currencies has re-emerged with a rival to Bitcoin, more than five years after his first venture, e-gold, was shut down by the US Department of Justice.
Douglas Jackson is consulting for a membership organisation called Coeptis that hopes to launch a new version of his gold-backed currency, which attracted millions of users at its height.
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The aim is to lure many of the people who have been attracted to Bitcoin and other virtual currencies this year, including businesses that are looking for a cheap way to process payments outside the traditional banking system.
Coeptis's "global standard currency" would be fully backed by reserves of gold, held in a trust, in effect turning the precious metal into a medium of exchange.
Mr Jackson and two others pleaded guilty in July 2008 to running an illegal money transmitting business and to aiding money laundering, after federal investigators charged that "criminals of every stripe gravitated to e-gold as a place to move their money with impunity".
Bill Cunningham, chief executive of CMO, the Florida company behind Coeptis, said the technology behind e-gold has been updated and expanded to ensure it complies with the emerging regulations covering virtual currencies. Unlike e-gold, it would verify members' identities before allowing them to trade.
"We believe we will have better anti-money laundering procedures than any other virtual currency business and that we will compare well with the banking industry," Mr Cunningham said.
"One of the advantages of seeing what happened to the e-gold system is we understand where we fell down before."