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It look like the Royal Canadian Mint is really intent on cleaning up the Canadian dollar. They have announced that they are discontinuing the penny and issuing a challenge to the software community to develop apps that would utilize virtual currency for transactions.

The contest is called The MintChip Challenge. It's going to last for four months and will have 500 developers competing to to develop smartphone apps that would demonstrate the convenience of virtual currency. The main goal is to create a medium that would combine the convenience of a debit card and the anonymity of cash. PayPal does this for online purchases and even issues debit cards in the US, but it still connects to the user's bank account. The MintChip, on the other hand, would work using SD cards and would contain no personal information. 

Virtual currency is no doubt the future, but a fully digital currency can drive up personal spending quite a bit because it can be easy to lose track of your funds when you don't physically see them at all times. It would be great to see something like this in conjunction with Google Glass - imagine having your bank balance displayed infront of your eyes at all times as if you're in a video game.

By Denis Ivanov 

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