UC San Diego is currently in the process of developing a cryptocurrency called “Triton Coin” that has no clear purpose.
As of spring 2018, “Triton Coin” is being developed as a possible campus-wide cryptocurrency by the UCSD Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) and the Student Innovation Council and Student Ambassadors.
Alumnus and entrepreneur Steven McCloskey from the Qualcomm Institute Innovation Space (QIIS) believes that the implementation of Triton Coin could contribute to improving student government, reducing overhead costs to allow for lower student fees, and improving campus living by replacing Dining Dollars or Triton Cash.
However, when asked how the developers might accomplish these things, no answer was given.
The concept of cryptocurrency was first introduced in 2009 and is known as a decentralized form of currency where encryption techniques are used to regulate the creation of currency and to verify fund transfers between two parties. Cryptocurrency often combines with a blockchain, a digital ledger used to record cryptocurrency transactions.
Associate Vice Chancellor of Innovation and Commercialization Paul Roben stated that Triton Coin is still in the “conceptualization stage.” However, third parties have started to formulate opinions regarding what Triton Coin might look like and how it would be implemented.
Griffin Haskins, the head of consulting at Blockchain at UC Berkeley, expressed some concerns regarding the creation of the coin and the lack of a clear direction. Haskins said that Triton Coin does not have a “use case,” or a specific intended use programmed into the token system, which, according to Haskins, could affect its usage and may lead to complications in the future, such as a difficult and time-consuming reprogramming of the token. However, Haskins also feels it is beneficial in opening up conversation about blockchain at UCSD.
“There are many companies making amazing tech with smart contracts not on their own blockchain,” said Haskins. “If done correctly, [Triton Coin] could help spread awareness and discussion about blockchain at UCSD because it’s an authentically cool and important technology, just very regularly misused.”
Matthew Rom-Toribio is an Assistant News Editor at The Triton. You can follow him on twitter @MT2o.
May 8 12:00 p.m.: A previous version of this article also referenced Triton Coin as the “ERC-20 token,” which was taken from an unconfirmed source. The article has been updated for accuracy.