Big cat activist and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, Carole Baskin, recently launched the altcoin $CAT. This is just the beginning, as she plans to move into NFTs next.
Best known for her appearance in the Netflix documentary Tiger King, Baskin made headlines with the announcement of the coin. BeinCrypto spoke to Baskin about her new coin, plans for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and interest in cryptocurrency as a hedge against the U.S. dollar.
Getting that $CAT
Baskin explains that she’s been interested in emerging technologies for a while. As interest in cryptocurrencies picked up again recently, following the bitcoin bull run, Baskin thought it was a great time to launch her own coin with Rally.io.
“I was so happy to be able to get the name Cat. I just love that I think you can’t have enough cats on the internet, and there should absolutely be a Cat Coin.”
While an altcoin, Baskin’s new crypto isn’t designed to be an investment mechanism. Rather, she sees it as a way for people to engage with each other in like-minded communities. The $CAT coin specifically enables community building for those interested in her work with big cats.
“I think these all coins are really interesting in that I don’t see it as a currency so much as a way of engaging with our audience and giving them a way that they can share back and forth.”
So far the $CAT coin is sitting at number 10 on the site’s list of creator coins, with 990 supporters and a price of $15 per coin.
A triumphant return to crypto
This isn’t Baskin’s first time dealing with crypto. In 2018, she says she became involved in Crypto Kitties. As a result, she bought some ethereum and bitcoin as well.
Despite losing her seed phrase almost immediately, she recovered it this year and found her investment had grown pretty well. This prompted her to invest a bit more into bitcoin.
In addition, Baskin’s interest is supported by her concern about the United States’ rate of printing money.
“I think we need to be banking revenue in other ways and cryptocurrencies so that we have some kind of a hedge against what I expect is going to be an absolute implosion because of the way we are currently printing fiat money.”
She feels that people should consider ways to decrease their reliance on fiat currency alone. As part of a recent fundraiser, she offered $CAT coins to those who donated more than $500.
“I feel like it’s important for them to explore these different types of currencies because I am concerned about the US dollar.”
Crypto for non-profits
Overall, the non-profit sector has been one of the most receptive to cryptocurrencies. Opening up their donations to cryptocurrencies before most businesses or governments.
Baskin asserts that crypto is beneficial because it allows people to create their spaces to build and expand without being dictated to by the standard restrictions found on current social media platforms.
“This gives everybody kind of a currency, or we’re calling it a “purr-ency,” for them to be able to interact with each other and tip each other and donate to Big Cat Rescue. So, I see this as a kind of gateway to a much, much bigger thing that I want to do for the cats, and I could see any charity as kind of building their own metaverse where they attract people of like minds together.”
Part of the metaverse Baskin is planning includes the introduction of NFTs, alongside her coin. She confirmed that a range of cat NFTs will be released on May 26 on a platform that she couldn’t name just yet.
Baskin explained that she had even been discussing combining the NFTs with an airdrop of the coin depending on the price range they are bought at.
“I think that’s a great way to get more adoption of these kinds of coins and how you can actually use them for something that’s meaningful to you. I was up at four o’clock this morning because I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. All this I was going through my head, and I don’t know anything about coding, so I’m really dependent on everybody around me for that kind of guidance, but I’m so excited about the space, and I think every charity should be looking into this.”
Alongside helping her rescued cats, Baskin sees the combination of technology and her work as a way to bring about the change when it comes to big cat treatment.
For example, she is currently working on getting a bill passed in the U.S to stop cub petting and phase out private ownership of big cats. Baskin sees the expansion into crypto and technology as a way to reach the people who can help her achieve her cosnervation goals.
“I think there’s a lot of very smart people who can bring to fruition the kind of world I want to see, and I need them to know why it’s so important.”
Crypto, the environment, and cats
A significant part of Baskin’s vision is to build on technological innovations to improve the lives of big cats in the wild.
Through virtual reality, she is aiming for a world where people can come home, put on a VR headset, and be transported, through live cameras, into the habitats of big cats without disturbing them or causing them harm. This is part of a larger vision to increase interest and protection for these animals and their habitats.
However, she acknowledges a few issues relating to crypto and the environment that need to be addressed.
“I think there are a lot of things that need to be worked out as far as the cryptocurrencies, the main cryptocurrencies, go because of the energy resources they require.”
“I’m thrilled to be working with Rally.io and this other company, it’s about the amount because they’re on a side chain, which is like 300 times more cost-effective than the current blockchain schemes are,” she explains.
“So by being so much cheaper I think it sets a model or creates a model for ways that we can make those other more energy hog things more energy-efficient,” she says.
The future of $CAT
The immediate positive response to the coin has been promising. Transactions continue at a steady pace, over a week after it was initially launched. Baskin’s plans for the coin means it is likely to continue to attract attention and interest beyond the current crypto hype wave.