UPDATE (6th February, 16:07 GMT): MaxCoin has delayed it's official launch for 24 hours, following the site's crash due to heavy loading.
Now, the celebrity altcoin is taking the next step in its evolution with today's launch of MaxCoin, the official cryptocurrency of financial journalist and host of RT's Keiser Report, Max Keiser.
MaxCoin marks the first time a virtual currency will be endorsed by a pop culture figure prior to its launch. On 28th January, Keiser even participated directly in the mining of MaxCoin's genesis block on episode 555 of Keiser Report:
What is MaxCoin?
Luke Mitchell, a computer science student at Bristol University and head of the MaxCoin project, indicated that MaxCoin aims to establish itself as a viable alternative to bitcoin and litecoin, and would like to differentiate itself from other altcoin options out there by bringing genuine innovation to the table.
"At the moment, there's a lot of altcoins that are clones of bitcoin or litecoin and that don't really have any special features per se. They're just clones where someone wants to take the amount of coins in circulation, often for maximum profit."
The developers have promised not to pre-mine MaxCoin before its public launch tonight at 19.30pm (GMT). Perhaps most notably, the currency will use Keccak SHA-3 hashing and will debut as a CPU-mineable coin.
The new algorithm also means SHA-256 bitcoin ASICs and scrypt-based mining rigs cannot be redeployed to mine MaxCoin, putting mining power back into the hands of individuals and amateurs. The network will have a 30 second block time and an initial reward of 96 coins.
Who is Max Keiser?
London-based New York native Keiser has long been a financial journalist. He currently hosts Keiser Report on Russian state-owned network RT, and Iranian Press TV's On the Edge.
— Max Keiser (@maxkeiser) February 2, 2014
In his outspoken promotion of all things bitcoin and digital currency-related, Keiser has gained many fans in the community.
If elected mayor of London, he says, he would base the city's entire economy on bitcoin and he has often promoted a strong anti-bank sentiment. Similarly, bitcoin is a frequent topic on Keiser's own website, which features upwards of 20 posts on bitcoin at a time.
Max Keiser criticism
Given his strong stance, Keiser is often criticized as a provocateur. In one notable incident, Keiser called for JPMorgan bankers to be decapitated.
Keiser has used similarly strong words against bitcoin critics like Joe Weisenthal, who chronicled the reaction to his criticism of bitcoin on Business Insider.
— ILoveBitcoin (@SPC_Bitcoin) November 7, 2013