The ROBIN™ currency was first created and presented to the public on 2 of June 2008 (during Art Basel in Switzerland), as part of the Swiss Art Awards 2008. It was invented at the same time as and launched seven months before the first Bitcoin.
Similar to Bitcoin, each ROBIN™ is immutable and corresponds to one number (or block). But in the case of ROBIN™, these are prime numbers, and not hashes on a blockchain. All ROBIN™ are uniquely produced and first sold by Robin Bhattacharya, who takes the role of what in a traditional currency is the National Bank. Inspired by the British Pound, a line on the ROBIN™ notes bears the same statement as the one by the Queen of England on the British currency: “I promise the bearer on demand the sum of … Pounds”. A solipsistic promise of value, which makes the instrinsic value of the currency dependent on the trust of the its userbase.
Therefore the ROBIN™ currency implies a simple fact: Who do you trust more? An activist artist with a proven track record, a verifiable personal history and who doesn’t owe anything to anyone – or a nation state that has debts in the hundreds of billions or even trillions?
The ROBIN™ currency has been a success right from the start – with thousands of francs, euros and other currencies being exchanged for ROBIN™ at its launch. It also won Robin Bhattacharya that year’s Kiefer-Hablitzel Stipendium art award.
Since then the ROBIN™ currency has been featured in various international exhibitions and Robin Bhattacharya was invited to talk about the project at a number of symposia and talks around the subject of money and currency.
The official ROBIN™ currency Online-Store was first launched in 2008 and has undergone various updates over the years. With the latest iteration allowing for the payment in cryptocurrencies or with Apple Pay.