On Monday, a Canadian bartering community, Bunz has introduced its own cryptocurrency, raising criticism from critics who claim the hub is going against its ethics of promoting a cash-free economy.
In a press release, Bunz revealed the introduction of its BTZ cryptocurrency, stating it has linked with over 100 local food, beverage, and retail stores to accept BTZ for the exchange of food, coffee, beer, clothing, beauty services, in addition to other services.
With immediate effect, over 200,000 members of Bunz will each get 1,000 units of BTZ which is about $10. “I went into a coffee shop today and bought a cup of coffee for 300 BTZ,” Bunz CEO Sascha Mojtahedi explained.
Established in 2013 as a Facebook bartering group, Bunz is sponsored by Fidelity and an angel investor in March 2018.
According to reports, the stance of Bunz was received with a lot of criticism on social media stating the company is selling out.
One Facebook user posted, “So much for subverting capitalism.”
Another user also added, “RIP Bunz spirit and integrity. Develop something to help poor people get around the financial constraints of capitalism. Capitalize the hell out of it. 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.”
In a response, Bunz CEO Sascha Mojtahedi clarified that the community is not going against its ethics. “I actually see it as doubling down rather than diverging from the ethos Bunz represents,” he said.
He went on to add that: “Because it’s a bartering community we’ve had a number of issues around value disparity. The divisibility of goods and all these problems can be solved by a cryptocurrency. I think this just gives our community more flexibility.”
An associate professor of economics at the University of Waterloo, Jean-Paul Lam was not on the same page with Bunz, stating: “It completely defeats the purpose of what it was in the first place, which was a cashless society that would exchange goods for goods.”
As the popularity of the dominant bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies increases, it is certain that more groups will come onboard to introduce their own cryptocurrencies.
A mayoral candidate in Seoul last week suggested rolling out the “S-Coin” a cryptocurrency for the capital city of South Korea. Dubai also announced in October 2017 that it was creating a blockchain-based crypto called “emCash.”