Russian Entrepreneur Launches BitCoen, 'The First Kosher Cryptocurrency' for Jews

Vyacheslav Semenchuk will make a tenth of its earning available as interest-free loans for the Jewish community

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Haaretz
A Bitcoin (virtual currency) coin is seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, June 23, 2017.
A Bitcoin (virtual currency) coin is seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, June 23, 2017.Credit: BENOIT TESSIER/REUTERS
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Haaretz

A Russian self-described "serial entrepreneur" is launching a digital cryptocurrency that, while aimed at Jewish communities across the world, will be available internationally to Jews and gentiles alike. Vyacheslav Semenchuk has named his currency "BitCoen," a play on the similar currency "Bitcoin" and the Hebrew word "Coen," meaning "priest."

Semenchuk is advertising BitCoen as "the first kosher cryptocurrency," meaning that a tenth of the company's earnings will be made available as interest-free loans for members of the Jewish community, CNews reported.

The currency will be accessible during Shabbat, but the company holds that this does not violate the rules of the Sabbath because the process is automated, Russian-government funded media site RT explained. The company is to be overseen by "The Council of Six," an identified group of leading figures in the Jewish community.

In a stylized Star of David on their website, BitCoen indicates that each member of the council will represent a different economic field in the community: business, culture, finance, politics, public work and technology.

BitCoen's initial coin offering (ICO), to be held in two months, will sell 100 million BitCoen at a starting cost of $1 each. A preliminary ICO, which RT reported is to take place this week, hopes to earn $1 million to help BitCoen develop, Semenchuk having invested half a million dollars in the venture.

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