Bean-Coin: Currency and Commerce

The suggested currency is called “Bean-coin” and it is a currency for vegan website activity. It is backed by the commodity such as ready meals sold by the website. The website awards users with a certain amount of currency for substantive activity such as posting, sharing, and commenting on posts about healthy food. In exchange for certain bean-coins users can order vegetarian meals thus monetizing their activity in promoting the website on the Internet and creating meaningful content.

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The trust will be established through the guarantee of delivery within 5-14 business days as well as comments from people who received it. Given the nature of a one-time bilateral exchange (from website to user and from user to website), the currency will be a low-velocity one. As it exists within the website only and cannot be exchanged for anything else than a limited number of commodities, digital technology is essential for the bean-coin existence which likens it to digitally obtained and distributed bit-coin (Golumbia 122).

The implicit meaning of the change, as compared to awarding real money for web activity is to liberate users from taxation as their distribution is not regulated by the state. It also challenges the monopoly of the official government to create and distribute currency, which is, according to Rushkoff, is a novelty of a digital society (125). Unlike in the situations described by Bearman, the currency is unlikely to be used by drug dealers as it is a single-purpose currency withdrawn from the global economic exchange. The limited number of commodities that this currency could be exchanged for seems to warrant this assumption. Yet, theoretically, if more items are added to the list, it might attract foul players.

Works Cited

Bearman, Joshuah. “The Untold Story of Silk Road, Part 1.Wired. 2015. Web.

Golumbia, David. “Bitcoin as Politics: Distributed Right-Wing Extremism.” MoneyLab Reader: An Intervention in Digital Economy, edited by Geert Lovink, Nathaniel Tkacz, and Patricia de Vries, Social Science Research Network. 2015, pp. 118-31.

Rushkoff, Douglas. Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity. Reprint edition, Portfolio, 2017.

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