You may or may not know that cryptocurrencies, rather than being printed by a bank or government, are minted through a process known as 'mining'.
Mining algorithms are a new concept for a lot of us and can require a bit of technical know-how.
But today, things aren't quite so confusing - thanks to Liven, you can mine crypto with something you already do, eat!
Meet LVN - the world’s first digital currency for food - for everyday use, by everyday people.
Liven is an Australian rewards-based mobile payment network created in 2014 by university friends Grace Wong, William Wong and David Ballerini to service the Sydney and Melbourne dining markets. Don’t worry, we’re going global later this year!
Our app incentivises people to get out and experience by connecting its 220,000 users to a food network of over 1000 merchants (both figures are growing by the day).
By paying for your meal, you earn a cryptocurrency called LivenCoin (LVN), which can be used for next meal or drink, stored in the app indefinitely, traded, or even donated to a charity.
What exactly is cryptocurrency?
At this point, most of us have heard of bitcoin and maybe Ethereum and a lot of us don't know how they work.
Put simply, these currencies are decentralised and exist online without a bank to print them or a government to distribute.
This means that people who transact in cryptocurrencies are doing so thanks to distributed ledger technology (DLT), which records the transactions in thousands of computers across the world. Since everyone has the same ledger, it's virtually impossible to fraud the system and with that, we have trust created without a central authority like a bank.
Right now, the most common form of DLT in cryptocurrency is blockchain technology - perhaps the buzziest buzzword of them all. A blockchain stores a bunch of transactions in blocks, which are connected chronologically in a chain.
As for who adds blocks to the chain, well, we mentioned mining algorithms above, and this is where they come in.
If you take the Bitcoin blockchain for example, miners put their computers to work to solve a cryptographic function to verify that the transactions to be put in the next block are legitimate. If a computer proves it has solved the algorithm first, it gets rewarded with bitcoin - this mining algorithm is known as proof-of-work.
With Liven's app, our algorithm is something like proof-of-satisfaction.
Want to learn more about Crypto 101, check out this blog post.
Why don't we see more cryptocurrency around?
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology allow us to exchange without having to trust a third party authority, and this opens up a world of new possibilities in how we interact with each other, which is great! So why hasn't crypto hit the mainstream?
In Liven's community whitepaper find it here, the first few pages explain the current obstacles in cryptocurrency adoption before going into how we tackle it.
But the obstacles are clear. Cryptocurrency wallets are lacking a user-friendlyness that we've all come to expect from our technology. And even if you have a crypto wallet, merchants that accept payment in crypto are a little hard to find due to price fluctuations.
Liven simplifies crypto and the blockchain
All within Liven's app, you'll be able to pay, earn, use and exchange your LivenCoin. You'll get your own @handle to identify yourself to others in the network, much prettier than a 26 character alphanumeric wallet address, right?