The Royal Canadian Mint has offloaded its MintChip cloud-based digital currency to Toronto startup nanoPay, which plans to commercially deploy the technology within weeks.
The Mint unveiled plans for MintChip in 2012, promising to bring the benefits of cash into the digital age, providing users with instant, private, secure, and fee-free access to their money.
The system would have enabled Canadians to use a 'chip' to load value onto a device such as a smartphone, PC, tablet, or store it in the cloud, and then buy physical goods in the real world or digital content online.
However, despite a six-month internal trial, last year the Mint decided to change direction and hand the currency over to the private sector.
Loyalty and payments platform provider nanoPay has now acquired the technology through subsidiary Loyalty Pays Holdings and will commercially deploy it in the coming weeks while working to build partnerships with banks, telcos, retailers and other potential partners.
Bob Zintel, senior director, finance, Royal Canadian Mint, says: "This transaction, which was conducted through an open, transparent divestiture process, allows MintChip to move to its natural next step of commercialization in the private sector."
Laurence Cooke, CEO, nanoPay, adds: "Digital currency is inevitable and our newly-acquired MintChip platform delivers a digital cash future to consumers, businesses and governments today."