Excitement mounts over upcoming IRTA Convention!

The International Reciprocal Exchange Association (IRTA), the premier association of the commercial “barter” industry, has been for more than forty years promoting the interests of small and medium sized enterprises by assisting its member trade exchanges to provide them with liquidity and effective opportunities for moneyless trading.

Since 2005, IRTA has been reaching out to the wider grassroots community of researchers, developers, and organizers of private currencies and complementary exchange mechanisms and has broadened its advocacy to include them.

The upcoming 34th Annual International Convention of the IRTA in Las Vegas will provide a unique opportunity for social entrepreneurs and monetary activists to further consolidate programs of cooperation with the well-established commercial “barter” sector of the moneyless exchange movement. The Convention will be held from Sept. 19 thru 21 at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas.

Along with IRTA President and experienced trade exchange operator Annette Riggs, and Rob van Hilten, Executive Director of QOIN, a consultancy for community currencies, I will be a panelist in a Saturday session (September 21) titled Understanding Diverse Exchange System Models: From Bitcoin and Berkshares, to Transparent Credit Clearing Networks. This session will consider three basic topics of discussion:

Bitcoin, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The benefits and limitations of cash-based local currencies.

The emerging global exchange network.

There is still time to register for this important event. You can get details about the convention program and secure your place by visiting the IRTA website at http://www.irta.com/.

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2 responses to “Excitement mounts over upcoming IRTA Convention!

  1. Hi Thomas,

    I recently started reading your book and I’m not completely done yet but its already answering some of the questions in my mind on how to handle credit clearing on a decentralized basis.

    I’m starting an effort to bring together some like minded people to work on this full time.

    Here is a gist:

    And a presentation:

    I would love to get your feedback and input on this.


    – Kawal.

    • Kawal, you’re on the right track. The farmers in your example are issuing their own private currencies on the basis of the valuable products they are able to produce, and spending their currencies into circulation by using it to pay workers. That’s all well and good. The limited time validity stimulates circulation amongst others in the community, prevents their currencies from being used as a savings medium (long term “storage” of value), and keeps the exchange medium “fresh.”

      All of that could be achieved with paper notes or vouchers. What does the block chain technology add to the picture other than ease of electronic exchange of the farmers’ credit obligations?

      The key to scaling such a system is in the mutual acceptance of each others credit obligations amongst a large number of issuers.
      How do you assure that issuers do not exceed reasonable limits in the issuance of their vouchers? There are advantages to maintaining a central database as in a mutual credit clearing exchange. How will you provide the same level of functionality?

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