I never thought I would find myself following the Royal Canadian Mint news cycle, but they're up to some interesting stuff lately! After nixing production of the penny (a decision that the government, not the Mint itself, made) and modernizing the $1 and $2 coins with lettering on the edge of the $2 coin and micro-engraving on both coins they're now moving forward with MintChip, an adorably named virtual currency system that they are calling "the evolution of physical currency".
Currently the system is in the Research & Development phase and they're actually running a contest to see who can come up with the best potential uses for the technology. Registered participants in the contest will receive a software development kit, two microSD MintChips and two remote MintChip accounts. Originally, the contest organizers intended to accept participant applications through June 27, but they stopped accepting applicants just a week into the challenge because the level of interest was so high! Certainly, a virtual cash system that could replace the crumpled, torn and easily lost paper currencies of the world has a lot of appeal. Not to mention -- the winner of this contest will receive 10 ounces of gold, which holds a total value of $17,000 CAD.