First there was Bitcoin, now there is LEOcoin.
The world's second largest digital currency, LEOcoin, was today launched and will be officially traded from April 2 after it goes live in Hong Kong.
The company is based in Oxfordshire, UK and will enter the stock exchange under the designation LEOxChange. The announcement comes a week after Downing Street revealed plans to further regulate the digital currency sector as it keeps expanding.
Claiming to offer greater usability and accessibility when compared to other digital currencies, LEOcoin will provide emerging start-ups and enterprises with no intermediary charging commissions, which often presents significant barriers to growth.
An encryption system will keep track of all transactions and records, to ensure data is kept safe. Commission and transaction fees will also not be applied to purchases, but a small commission will be applied to sales.
50% of small to medium sized companies trading internationally have expressed concerns with transaction fees, a recent YouGov survey revealed. Associated costs with the use of debit or credit cards worried a further 43% of respondents.
Even though the currency was only launched today, around 100,000 entrepreneurs have adopted it in anticipation of its market debut. LEOcoin has become the second largest digital currency after Bitcoin.
The developers of the new coin are also looking to expand its services offline, in order to be accepted in exchange for goods and services.
In the first 99 days after entering the digital market, LEOcoin will realise a maximum of 28,000 LEOcoins. After the currency reaches one billion coins it will not generate anymore, leading the currency into deflation, increasing its value as demand also soars.
Dan Andersson, co-founder of LEOcoin, said: "The launch of LEOcoin today is an important chapter in the evolution of the global digital currency market and is a big statement about the future of the sector against a backcloth of scepticism to date.
"The industry needs to do much more to establish its credibility - this was borne out by the YouGov study which showed that whilst SMEs find transaction fees a concern when doing business abroad, 85% indicated they were unlikely to use a digital currency. Also it revealed that whilst awareness is very high at some 86%, only two percent already accept a digital currency.
"These numbers don't surprise us given the negative publicity many of the digital currencies have had. We believe this has been down to such currencies being complicated, inaccessible and not user friendly.
"We aim to address these issues to give users confidence by providing a transparent and straightforward operating system. We have also focused on developing a currency that is intended to be used by everyone.
"Consequently we anticipate that within five years, individuals and casual users will have increased exponentially as ordinary consumers start to see the benefits of privacy and security offered by LEOcoin, whether trading at home or abroad.
"This is a very dynamic and fast moving area in financial services and we are aiming to bring digital currency into the mainstream."