Coin has now changed course and is hoping to earn back trust from customers by offering a free nationwide beta. Yesterday we learned that Coin — the sort of physical digital that aims to replace all the other cards in your wallet — would be shipping soon in limited (and beta) form to those who backed the project. Turns out backers weren't too pleased with Coin's decision and a huge backlash of complaints followed the announcement.
Here's an excerpt from a message Coin CEO Kanishk Parashar just sent to backers:
"We apologize for our lack of transparency and clarity in our communications to you. You, as our valuable backers, should have been the first to know about all product updates. We honestly thought we could make our timeline. We were overly optimistic. The San Francisco Bay Area Coin Beta made it evident that we should conduct a larger nationwide Coin Beta. We need your help with testing nationwide, but realize that this is not a cost for you to bear. Therefore, we will run a nationwide Coin Beta for no cost ($0) to Coin Beta Backers for the first generation Coin and increase the number of Coin Beta devices by 50% to 15,000. We'll do our best to grow this number over time. To clarify, your spot in the Coin Beta program is determined by your pre-order date, regardless of whether you opt-in with the iOS or Android app. We feel responsible to the commitment each of you has given to us by backing Coin and so we haven't spent even one dollar of the crowd funding campaign. All our efforts and production has been supported by equity dollars."
Originally Coin was giving backers two options: a beta route or wait for the "Gold Standard". The beta was a version of the Coin that would ship soon to backers with an 85 percent reliability and without one of the promised features. While the Gold Standard is essentially the version of Coin shipping in spring 2015 that will work 100 percent of the time and include the ability to be notified when you left your Coin behind. It's worth noting, however, that beta testers are able to upgrade to the first generation product once it's available.
We're sure a number of Coin backers will be a little more pleased with Coin's decision to change course and be more transparent with customers. Anyone keeping their Coin after today's announcement?