A new alternative to bitcoin was launched in London Wednesday with official trading for the technology beginning next week on a global exchange based in Hong Kong.
U.K.-based Learning Enterprises Organisation (LEO) is the company behind the new cryptocurrency. Traditionally it has been providing learning services to the business community, which has even stretched to the odd yoga session for company executives, but has now turned its attention to LEOCoin.
Similar to the more established bitcoin, it has already promoted the product to its current client base. The company therefore claims it has 131,176 registered businesses ready to use LEOCoin, potentially making it the "second largest digital currency" in the world. Its own exchange LEOxChange will kick into life on April 2 but the coin will also be recognized by existing exchanges.
"This industry (so far) has been like the Wild West," Dan Andersson, the co-founder of LEOcoin said at an event Wednesday morning, which took place at the Tower of London. His colleague and co-founder Atif Kamran called digital currencies the "evolution of money" and extolled its benefits for the e-commerce community.
The more popular bitcoin is a "virtual" currency that allows users to exchange online credits for goods and services. While there is no central bank that issues them, bitcoins can be created online by using a computer to complete difficult tasks, a process known as mining.