Canadian online bartering community Bunz is planning to release its own digital currency. Known as BTZ, the currency can be used at participating retailers to purchase goods and services.
Both new and repeat customers of the Bunz app will receive about 1,000 individual units of BTZ in the coming weeks, which executives claim has the “current value of about three coffees.”
Why Make a New Coin?
CEO Sascha Mojtahedi explains:
“We wanted to create something that people could interact with and migrate that into a cryptocurrency as we learn from the data and the information and the user behaviors. We’re already working on our blockchain infrastructure solution and establishing the token itself. That will happen very shortly, but the mining component, I think we’re looking at a number of different solutions around mining that are pretty different than the way the market approaches it currently.”
Mojtahedi says he isn’t looking to interfere with in the process of setting the coin’s value, and is currently leaving that in retailers’ hands. One local business – a Toronto café – charges 300 BTZ for a latte, for example, while a neighboring bar charges 600 BTZ for a pint of beer and some French fries.
“We’re not offering any interference of the foreign exchange value because we’re really just starting,” the CEO mentions. “We’ve established a value with our shops, and we think it’s an opportunity to learn from the communities themselves rather than trying to peg some value to this currency.”
Not Everybody’s Happy…
Despite what seem to be logical intentions from those in charge, the reactions to the currency on social media have been somewhat negative. One Facebook user recently wrote “So much for subverting capitalism,” while a man named Ray Wilkes wrote on his page, “RIP Bunz spirit and integrity.”
“Develop something to help poor people get around the financial constraints of capitalism, then capitalize the hell out of it,” he added. “Develop your own currency for it, but don’t call it money, lol. Stand back and watch something that was once beautiful die a protracted, awkward death.”
Seeing Things in A Different Light
Though the company has secured funding from institutional investors, Mojtahedi is trying to assure users that BTZ shouldn’t be viewed as Bunz heading in a “corporate direction,” and that in the long run, its motives remain the same.
“I actually see it as doubling down rather than diverging from the ethos Bunz represents,” he stated.
Is Bunz making a smart choice by entering the crypto space? Enter your comments below.
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