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A bit crypto

November 12, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ve always believed that a large part of why Freemasons have the long history of secret passwords, etc., was because we (as a group) tend to be charitable, and when approached by people asking for some kind of charity, especially as Freemasons, we give what we can. Naturally, we give to other causes, but when you think that you are giving to a particular group – any group – you like to know that your gift, be it time or money, isn’t being diverted to other uses.

With that in mind, I’d like to mention something that has come up in the online Masonic world: GCoin.

First, I will freely admit that I don’t know enough about cryptocurrency to even hazard a bad explanation, so if you’re interested enough to research on your own, then by all means, start with Wiki and go on from there. Disclosure: I have some Dogecoin amounting to about 33 cents, and I haven’t done anything with it yet.

Earlier this year, someone posted to the Reddit subgroup /r/freemasonry, announcing an alternative to Bitcoin, calling it GCoin. He announced it as having been developed by Masons, and for the purpose of making charitable giving easier. Naturally, we joked that it was hard enough to get a lot of our brothers to use Facebook or email, so good luck in trying to explain how it was supposed to work.  Unfortunately, requests for more specific information from them was vague, when it was forthcoming at all.  More to the point, the person refused to give any actual proof that he was a Mason, or that other Masons were actually involved in the development.  We eventually forgot about it, as new cryptocurrencies are being introduced all the time.

This week, the same user posted another announcement that it was going to be officially released.  That recalled the original discussion threads, and again, the user was just as vague with the details. He claimed that anyone, not just Masons could use GCoin, and that coin users could vote for small percentages to go for various charities. Unfortunately, he again failed to specify which charities, or how the voting worked. For that matter, it appears that even if some Masons decide to allow some percentage of the interest to go to a charity, they might be outvoted by other users.

Again, I don’t know enough about cryptocurrency to understand how it works, or what differentiates this from others, such as Bitcoin or Dogecoin.  Since the link between GCoin and Freemasonry is so tenuous, however, I think that anyone – Freemasons or not – should approach this with caution.

That said, maybe it would be an interesting project for some of our brothers to develop a cryptocurrency (MasoniCoin, perhaps?) specifically for Masonic purposes.




  1. Rob
    November 12, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    I’m not sure anyone, outside of a small group of crypto-bankers, understand how they work. I find it ironic that people who are concerned with “money from thin air” tend to flock toward crypto-currencies that are generated by PC cycles.


    • November 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      It does strike me as funny – comical – that you can buy a fast, multi-core PC, stuff it with a few heavy duty graphics cards, and turn it loose to “mine” more coins. That’s some serious Minecraft stuff, right there.


  2. November 13, 2014 at 4:13 am

    By the way it not http://www.gcoin.us This is a completely different group. We’re all about Games.


    • November 13, 2014 at 7:17 am

      So, they picked a name that’s the same as yours? I mean, 30 seconds on Google could have helped to prevent that kind of confusion, right?


      • Rob
        November 13, 2014 at 3:53 pm

        Thus adding to the sketchyness of this whole situation.


  3. November 13, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Either sketchy or lazy. Either way, not getting that warm fuzzy.


  4. Eric
    November 17, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Tom, you know I can’t help but respond, lol.

    But here are some thoughts:

    If only masons were to use run the wallet or mine the coin, it would create a very weak support structure for the blockchain, essentially the more people mining it or having their wallets open help the blockchain move forward, with various different methods, POS, POW etc, etc.

    If any of the existing coins were to be used, the code would be open source, and it would be difficult not to have the general public jumping in on it, if one wanted to make a private coin.

    There are so many different coins out there, that having a small market for a specific purpose would create a very weak coin. If there was perhaps a website that accepted masonicoin and a portion of the proceeds from sales went to charitable purposes that could work, but it could just as easily be done with bitcoin/litcoin, etc. GPUcoin had its own website where you could buy graphics cards, that didn’t go over so well. Especially when you can now get graphics cards and other equipment from main line vendors who accept bitcoin/litecoin.

    I will admit forking an existing coin and making a masonicoin does sound like fun though, but outside of hobbyist interest, would need a proper road map for the coin to try to make it successful or at least make an honest attempt. Too many coins these days are pump and dump coins. The market is oversaturated and very fickle.

    With that said, let me know if you want to try it out.


  1. November 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm

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