Mission Zero Centre of Expertise launches new coin

The coin was launched after the inaugural lecture by Sander Mertens – Professor of Energy in Transition. For most people, it came as a surprise. After all, who receives gifts when a professor is appointed? Sander is part of the Mission Zero Centre of Expertise, which had developed a surprising gift in coordination with the New Finance research group – the Mission Zero Coin. This is a crypto coin that aims to strengthen collaboration within the network of the centre of expertise.

We often associate crypto currencies with young adults, people in their twenties or thirties, with perhaps the odd person in their forties. However, there were many older people in the audience who had been invited to Sander Mertens’ inaugural lecture. They were all given a crypto coin, which immediately led to a huge number of questions. A crypto coin? What can you do with it? What’s it worth? Should I install a wallet? Help, how do I do that? What’s it for?

Causing a stir

Once the attendees had got over the surprise, some bridges needed to be built in terms of their knowledge and the uses of the coin. This was skilfully done by the coin’s developer, Dennis IJIst. Aside from being a fourth-year Marketing student, he is also a student assistant on the minor ‘Introduction to Blockchain’ and ‘Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, Business, Law & IT’. Furthermore, he has rapidly developed into one of the experts in the field of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency at THUAS.

Everyone was enthusiastic once they became familiar with the phenomenon. The Mission Zero Coin is causing quite a stir in the monetary economy of the university of applied sciences. Anyone who has one of these crypto coins can use it for a variety of things. Usage of the coins will be reevaluated in several months’ time. We talked briefly with Martijn van der Linden, professor in New Finance, and with Dennis.

Values other than money

How seriously should we take this coin? Martijn van der Linden: “Our economy revolves mainly around money. The Mission Zero Centre of Expertise wants to emphasise that other values are also important values in the circular economy. These include collaboration and using your network. The coin is a response to this.”

“The major question now is whether the people within the network of the centre of expertise will use it. If that happens, then the coin may have a connecting effect.” How will it do that? Martijn: “We are still making the knowledge that we develop in Mission Zero available through publications and suchlike. However, this coin has allowed us to add a sharing tool.”

Playful element

“Imagine that you have an idea and you would like to talk to a professor about it for an hour. You can use the coin for this. The professor will then be less likely to say that he does not have any time. After all, you are paying him with a crypto coin. The coin will have a connecting effect in situations such as this. The professor can in turn say to a stakeholder that he would like to carry out a small research project with the stakeholder and pay for it with these coins.”

“This means that the coin is a playful element that enables you to get something done. Will it please everyone? That is something we will have to evaluate. Research has shown that this kind of coin will only work when people are involved and enthusiastic about it. This type of coin is used for small transactions. However, in the meantime we are also creating an experimental environment where we can discover the pros and cons of the coin.”

Token-driven economy

Dennis IJIst developed the coin or token, created the accompanying website and gave a presentation. “It was a fun challenge to explain step by step to the attendees how they could create the wallet on their telephone and how they could send a token to someone else from their telephone.”

Was the development of the Mission Zero Coin really as simple as it appears? “For someone who knows how blockchain technology works, it’s really not so difficult to create one of these tokens.” He is certain that the coin works. “When people use it, there needs to be a service point where questions can be answered. This may well be the beginning of a token-driven economy within THUAS.”

Dennis acquired all of his knowledge at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Martijn: “I think it’s amazing that he can now deploy that knowledge within our university of applied sciences.”