Russian businessman Viacheslav Semenchuk launched a pre-sale on Wednesday of the world’s first kosher cryptocurrency: the BitCoen. Overseen by a Jewish council and including a few Biblical elements, a few key questions still remain unanswered.

Semenchuk announced that on October 9 he will hold an initial coin offering (ICO) of BitCoen. Semenchuk, who has reportedly invested $500,000 of his own money in the project, is going to issue 100 million BitСoens with a starting price of one US dollar per token which will be available at cryptocurrency exchanges. The start-up is planning to boost market capitalization of the new cryptocurrency to $1.5 billion in two years. If it meets its target, BitСoen will become the seventh digital currency in the world. 300,000  Afer the initial release, BitCoens were listed on exchanges as BEN at $.75 each.

According to the website, the new currency “absorbed all the advantages of the digital world and combined them with values, customs and ancient foundations within the framework of Jewish law.”

The name is a play on ‘Bitcoin‘, the first cryptocurrency ever developed in 2009, and ‘kohen‘, Jewish men of the priestly caste.

BitСoen will be controlled exclusively by a council of six representatives from Jewish communities. Semenchuk said the council would consist of respected community leaders from business, politics, finance, technologies, public work, and culture. On the company’s website, the six members of the council are arranged and connected by lines to form a six-pointed Star of David.

“Our team came to the conclusion that the Jewish community is the world’s only community within the framework of which a full-fledged and self-sufficient cryptocurrency can be created and recognized by the whole community,” said Angelika Sheshunova, COO of BitCoen, in an email to The Register.

“We expect that the cryptocurrency will cover all Jewish communities around the world. And the main guarantor of stability here is that the keys from the management of the cryptocurrency will be in the hands of the most respected members of the community.”

Sheshunova said there’s no way to guarantee that only members of the Jewish community will use BitCoen. “However, the functionality of the system and the inherent features are most appealing to the members of the Jewish community,” she said.

The company announced that it is negotiating to receive support from one of the chief rabbis of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar.

The website states that the company will give ten percent of its earnings to Jewish charities.Jewish law forbids transactions on the Sabbath, but trading for the BitCoen will be open on Shabbat since, like all crypto currencies, transactions are entirely automated and do not require any human intervention.

Members of BitCoen will also be eligible for Biblically-correct interest-free loans.

Semenchuk is a self-described “serial entrepreneur” who claims to have 30 startups to his credit. He is most notable for founding MyApps in 2011. MyApps is an online platform to develop mobile applications headquartered in Moscow. Despite his claimed credits, no additional information is available online about him, and it is not known whether or not the founder of the BitCoen is Jewish.

The concept of a Jewish currency raises disturbing associations with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, first published in Russia in 1903, was a fabricated account of a covert Jewish plot to dominate the world by subverting the press and the economic institutions. Despite being debunked countless times, the book is still widely available and the accusation of Jewish dominance persists.

There are currently over 800 cryptocurrencies being actively traded around the world. Cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital currency that works without a central repository or single administrator. This allows transactions to take place between users directly, without an intermediary. According to research produced by Cambridge University in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using Bitcoin.

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Source: Israel in the News