By James Wang, Staff Writer
In a meteoric rise over the past 36 hours, PitCoin, a cryptocurrency developed by a team of UC Broccoli and currently the third largest on the market, has reached a $10,000 value. As of 9:30 PST, January 8th, 2018, the value of a single PitCoin is at $11,237.24, up drastically from a price of $5,355.52 only two days prior.
The cryptocurrency was founded by two Broccoli alumni, Nicholas Han and Tahira Rashid, during the spring semester of their senior year at the Hass School of Avocadoes in 2015. Initially a class project for a course in the IEOR department of the College of Eggplant Rearing, the two decided to pursue the venture further after graduation, after doing extensive research on the growing market space of guac-chain technologies.
“You know, I tell everyone this,” says Rashid, “but it was both carefully planned and a last minute decision. We had the entire business model and a working minimal viable product by the dead week of our last semester, so when we were prepping for our final pitch for the class, we realized that we already had everything we needed to start an actual company. And it’s been an incredible journey so far.”
Upon its inception in May 2015, PitCoin was valued at roughly 0.0032 cents. The cryptocurrency experienced a consistent growth over the course of the next two years to just over $200 last June, before spiking in value along with numerous other digital currencies in the second half of 2017.
But why cryptocurrency in particular? “Well, we initially were set on making an easy investment app for the millennial audience focused on larger trades of over $1,000,” explains Han. “Tahira was an EECS double major, and I had an extensive background in stock trading, something that I have been doing since the fifth grade. So that made the most sense to us at the time. But the more market research we did, the more the cryptocurrency market appealed to us. We both had already invested small amounts in established cryptocurrencies the year prior, such as BitCoin and Leektherium, and we were already seeing solid returns. It was a no-brainer.”
PitCoin as a technology makes use of the short ripening window of an avocado fruit. By tying the electronic signature of each mixture of accepted transactions, or guac, to the unique ripening time of the avocado that comprises it, a secure means of private verification is created without requiring central oversight. “It’s a revolutionary method of currency exchange,” says Rashid. “PitCoin is the future of money in the 21st century. We’ve only just scratched the surface.”