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Bitcoin may not have yet grown much beyond a relatively small base of enthusiasts, but it looks like the Royal Canadian Mint is hoping that its backing will help its own new digital currency catch on in a bigger way. While less decentralized and different than BitCoin in a number of other respects, it is similarly an all-digital currency, and one that requires no personal data to be shared during transactions. Those transactions can be both large and very small (with an emphasis on the latter), and handled in a variety of ways, including over the web or directly between two devices with the necessary hardware (a MintChip-enabled microSD card is one proposed option). While a more formal unveiling is apparently coming later this month, the Mint has already kicked off a challenge where it's inviting developers to create applications that use MintChip technology -- something that, for the near future, will only be available to said developers. Complete details on it can be found at the link below.

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