BarterUnit LLC, an American startup, has officially announced it has launched a privatized community currency, and soon to launch a Universal Basic Income (UBI) program, primarily as an anti-poverty measure and as an alternative exchange mechanism independent of conventional money. The Barter Unit is developed to be the closest digital equivalent of physical cash without the attachment of bureaucratic constraints.
We interviewed Phillip Perez Founder & CEO of BarterUnit LLC and Timothy White President of the establishment for some quick Q&A’s. Below are a few excerpts:
Q: What is the Barter Unit?
White: The Barter Unit is alternative digital money. It’s a privatized, closed-loop community currency system – exclusively available for BarterUnit participants.
Q: We understand that you have recently created a community currency system and now you will soon be independently implementing a Universal Basic Income (UBI) program into the existing community currency system. Is that correct?
Perez: “Yes. That’s correct. We’re doing what government can’t and won’t do – we’ve created a Universal Basic Income (UBI) program in the form of alternative currency and we’re distributing a monthly UBI grant to every citizen. Plus, we will be America’s first full-spectrum community currency system with an embedded UBI program. And we think that’s pretty amazing.”
White: “We think this revolutionary approach is best, rather than a reformative approach. Attempting to reform the existing financial system would be time-consuming and complicated as it holds way too many bureaucratic constraints. But yes, it’s definitely an independent approach.”
Q: Why create the Barter Unit? Why create a Universal Basic Income (UBI) program?
Perez: “We developed the Barter Unit concept simply because we know that money is scarce, and people need money for basic human living necessities. Most people these days simply can’t even afford a roll of toilet paper. The reality is – it’s a harsh economy for many Americans. In that respect, as long as the BarterUnit establishment has the resources to counter poverty and government policy negligence – policies that fail to protect the American people, were going to independently help to the best of our abilities. The creation of the Barter Unit is our attempt to stand up and fight for the American people, to fight back against greedy corporations and self-perpetuating banking oligarchies that siphon our money supply.”
White: “Our hope is that everyone, including merchants, adopts the Barter Unit and changes the status quo meaning of money. The goal here is to create an alternative currency system that is democratic, free from bureaucratic constraints, political corruption and corporate greed – an alternative currency system that runs parallel with the national currency system. But mostly, we created the Barter Unit to help people get through hard economic times. That’s the bottom line.”
Perez: “Yes, our overall agenda here is to independently provide every citizen with a Universal Basic Income grant in the form of an alternative currency to prevent and reduce poverty and to increase higher living standards. I just can’t say it any clearer than that.”
Q: Is the Barter Unit money?
Perez: “By the very definition, yes, it is money, only not legal tender. It’s privatized digital money exclusively available for BarterUnit participants. Let’s be clear here, yes, we will be implementing shortly a UBI program, into our community currency system – giving people free money to all those who qualify. However, we are not giving away legal tender, we are not giving away dollars, euros, rupees or any other government-sponsored currency or cryptocurrencies. Rather, we are giving away a privatized digital community currency called the Barter Unit, to ultimately increase consumer purchasing power. Think of it as alternative money that runs side-by-side with the dollar.”
White: “Yes, exactly, the Barter Unit runs alongside the dollar or any other government-sponsored currency. It’s important that people understand the Barter Unit is an alternative currency system, designed to help the financially marginalized, designed to help people get through hard economic times.”
Q: What is the Value of each Barter Unit?
Perez: “Each barter unit has an equivalent value of $1 U.S. dollar.
For example, if you acquire 20 barter units, then you would have a $20 value in barter units to trade or make purchases with other BarterUnit members, exclusively within the BarterUnit community. Remember, this is a closed-loop currency system.”
Q: Can users purchase Barter Units?
White: “Yes, participants can purchase Barter Units via the app. However, we encourage our participants to buy only the exact amount of Barter Units needed for a specific trade, barter or purchase.”
Perez: “I’d like to also add that purchasing Barter Units is similar to buying a gift card. When you buy a gift card you can only use the gift card to make a purchase within a specific ecosystem, right? Well, the same concept applies to the Barter Unit, you can only redeem the purchase Barter Units within the BarterUnit community. It’s really no different than a gift card.”
Q: How does the concept work exactly?
White: “The digital currency only works and has value in relation to the number of its participants. Meaning, the more people who adopt it, the more economically valuable the digital currency and the entire system becomes.”
Perez: “Absolutely. Ideally, the more people and merchants that participate, the more valuable and accessible the system will be. As for the UBI process, well its relatively simple, you sign up and upon approval, you will receive a monthly Barter Unit grant. It’s that easy.”
Q: How does the BarterUnit establishment calculate and determine the monthly UBI distribution amount?
Perez: “Well, the UBI program is a fairly new implemented concept, even more so, it’s a new concept that has been implemented in a privatized community currency system. However, we intend to prognosticate the amount given to each individual based on the overall U.S. economic output. Ideally, we don’t want the UBI payout to be less than the full capacity of the economy’s production and we don’t want the payout to be over as well. Finding that payout sweet spot is ideal.”
Q: Does the UBI solve the wide-spread financial inequality we see today?
White “No. A UBI doesn’t solve inequality, it doesn’t take money from any entity or person, rather it’s a system that produces and gives money – to everyone. What a UBI does do is supply people with money to spend, which, of course, stimulates the economy. Additionally, it makes people feel socially relevant as opposed to feeling marginalized.”
Q: Do you anticipate possible government intervention?
White: “I think if the Barter Unit becomes a huge success, as we anticipate it to be, then government intervention is to be expected, it’s almost inevitable. For various reasons, the government won’t like it very much, simply because financial elites will lose their power – their power for misuse and greed. They’ll attempt to spin the narrative that makes the BarterUnit establishment appear deceptive, dishonest or untrustworthy. They simply won’t accept it. If we create an alternative currency that is designed to serve, protect and advance the American people, rather than just the financial elites, there is fear in that, fear among the powerful that people will find an alternative currency that prevents profit gains for capitalism – for capitalist pockets.”
Perez: “Absolutely. And as I have mentioned in my previous interview until Washington policymakers can situate, correct and create policies that protect the American people from usury, corporate greed, and political corruption while simultaneously creating and sustaining an economy that works for everyone, this is what we’re offering, we’re offering the Barter Unit system.”
Q: When is the UBI program set to launch?
White: “The program is set to launch May 1st, 2020 or possibly sooner. We are currently working extensively to perfect the system.
Q: What advice would you give to your target audiences, in terms of awareness, in terms of getting people to use your services?
White: “Pitching and selling a product is always difficult. In our case, the best we can do is inform people of the economic benefits of our privatized alternative currency and UBI program. That is, to properly inform people that we’re here to financially help fight a disproportionate economy to the best of our abilities.”
Perez: “I would tell the American people this; if you want more purchasing power, if you want better living standards, if you want economic security and freedom, if you want to be part of an economic revolution that helps the economically marginalized, if you’re fed up with the financial exclusions and with the corruption in our economy, then adopt the Barter Unit.”
Perez and White are headstrong entrepreneurs, determined to make independent financial structural changes for the American people. The BarterUnit LLC establishment is determined to make the Barter Unit the closest digital equivalent of physical cash without the attachment of bureaucratic constraints.