Larimar Goes Digital – Semi-Precious Gem Meets Stellar
One might think that these days it is very cliché to see blockchain and cryptocurrency technology as a panacea for all that is wrong in our world, or for anything that needs improvement. However, it wouldn’t be smart to not recognize the revolution and disruption that bitcoin and its “children,” in this case Stellar, are causing in many aspects of our lives. Therefore, it shouldn’t be any surprise that when a community of miners, whose entire livelihood revolves around a gorgeous gem called Larimar, saw the same being threatened, their solution was to turn to Stellar, its super secured network and decentralized exchange for the solution.
Larimar is a semi-precious stone only found in one place in the entire world, a dead volcano in the Caribbean island called Hispaniola, on the side of the Dominican Republic. Larimar or Blue Stones of Atlantis as it is also known internationally ranks among the top five most rare gems in the world. Surprisingly, it is highly undervalued although it has already managed to achieve a multimillion dollar market. That was to be expected, forgetting about how rare and unique the stone is, its most valuable attribute is its sheer beauty.
The community of miners of Larimar has long been let down by the exporters that come from many different countries who often times take the stones with only a promise to pay back when they return. Many months later, when they do, they pay for the gems that they took on their previous trip but take a new shipment with the same feeble currency they used once before, another promise. It was the idea of an outsider, someone that frequents the region regularly that offered the solution: Change currency and change the buyers. Larimar had to go digital.
The Atlantis Blue Project (www.atlantisblue.org), which is composed of all three associations and cooperatives that are responsible for bringing Larimar to the world, have adopted the Stellar Network as its digital home and the Atlantis Blue Digital Tokens as its new currency. The move is very understandable, now there is no need to wait six months to get paid when you can sell one gram of Larimar by selling one Atlantis Blue digital token and get paid instantly.
As if to punish the old international buyers, the Atlantis Blue Project has decided to not only convert most of its physical market into a digital one on the stellar network, but to also hand the token holders control of the price. This means that when an exporter shows up to buy physical Larimar, he or she will have to pay the last trade price that was listed on the Stellar Distributed Exchange.
There are many other planned physical changes that the Atlantis Blue Project will undertake in order to fix the lack of work for the artisan workers, which is caused by the illegal exportation of the stones. By law, the stones must be cut and polished before leaving the country, though this is difficult to enforce due to the lack of proper infrastructure in the community.
To prevent these issues in the future, the community will oversee the construction of a receivership warehouse, which will be the single point of collection for the stones once they leave the mine. This is where the stones will be weighted and added to the records. An artisan camp will also be built which will be where the stones will acquire a legal status for exporting but only after they have been cut and polished. And finally, they will build the Atlantis Blue Exchange which will be the single point of distribution.
To find out more about the dynamics of the Atlantic Blue Project please visit their website at www.atlantisblue.org.
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Atlantis Blue Project
Mina Los Chupaderos,
81000 – Dominican Republic
Images courtesy of Geologyin