Royal Canadian Mint Launches MintChip Developer Challenge, Offers Real Gold as Prize

The Royal Canadian Mint has officially launched its MintChip developer program. The Mint wants MintChip—which has been touted as “the evolution of currency”—in the hands of developers to see how they integrate and apply the brand new digital technology.

The MintChip Developer Challenge will accept submissions from today all the way until August. The technology, which has five patents pending on it, uses a secure chip to hold electronic value and a secure protocol to transfer that value from one chip to another.

“The Royal Canadian Mint has been a trusted and respected custodian of Canadian currency for more than 100 years,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Mint. “As part of its research and development efforts, the Mint has developed MintChip, which could be characterized as an evolution of physical money, with the added benefits of being electronic.”  

Open to software developers across North America, the ChallengePost-conducted program will see testers push the boundaries and applicability of the technology. But it’s not just for fun: there will be winners in several categories. Winning developers will take titles such as Best Person-to-Person App, Best Business-to-Consumer App, and Best Micropayment App in the fall—and they’ll also receive ounces of gold with values up to $50,000.

The digital payments space has been booming recently. Canadian-born companies like PayFirma and NetSecure are already active in the mobile payments industry, not to mention American counterparts such as Square, as well as some failed ideas such as the Bitcoin.