Flutterby™! : Buy It Downtown

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Buy It Downtown

2007-11-18 14:01:26.848414+00 by meuon 2 comments

First we picked on them a little, here on Flutterby. As no good dead goes unpunished they soon became Buy It Downtown.com - which is now hosted locally (on GeekLabs using "Widget") and is interesting from a 'creating a local currency' perspective. Times have changed, it's all done electronically, which is cool, but not as cool as Hoppy's wooden tokens, which were accepted at many kewl places besides the Stone Lion Tavern. It lacks 'anonymity' (they want the cards "registered" - no clue how to enforce that) which is something I like with the cards being used by UtiliJuice Prepaid Electric. A $20 "Juice" card is worth $20 and can be handed to someone else so they can use it to buy power.

Sometimes it seems I am forever re-writing the same applications over and over.. Will that be my Dante's style of purgatory?

[ related topics: Writing California Culture Currency ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-11-19 15:29:27.925819+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Hmm.. as the Feds Lower Boom on Alternative Money - I wonder how this will affect the digital representation of such things.

If enough people accept "GeekBucks" (making something up) as transferable coinage with integral anonymous value that it is usable as currency, does it undermine the treasury? Effectively barter systems, coupon systems and closed loop electronic systems all fall into the same category.

They just aren't confused by people as US Treasury coinage.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-11-19 15:41:47.34989+00 by: Dan Lyke

The "BuyItDowntown" gift certificates concept doesn't seem like it's in any danger of becoming currency, because gift certificates remove choice, and therefore value. I think the value of alternate currencies is they're something to be used when the conversion to actual dollars is a little more shakey. Drinks at your favorite bar is something where only the person handing out the chits knows the conversion rate they're working on, presumably the conversion rate other people will use is actual dollars per drink, but probably not, because when I had something like that to you I'm probably valuing it somewhere in between the cost of the drink to the bar proprietor and the cost of the drink to the bar customer.

However with an explicit conversion, if I know I'm going to be shopping at one of those merchants and I can pick up the gift certificates for less then I'm going to do that, otherwise I won't. So these things really only work when, say, someone wants to hand them out as a reward or do some other thing where the fact that there'll be loss and lack of choice provides economic opportunity for the merchants.