Monday, December 04, 2023

People ask me how I came to so passionate about doing commerce without cash. The first thing I tell them is that Necessity is the Mother of Invention. I certainly didn't invent this type of commerce, but I did come to rely on it when the cash economy slowed down, and I have not looked back.

My wife and I have been operating an estate winery by the name of Rollingdale Winery, Inc. in West Kelowna, BC, Canada since 2004. More information about this winery can be found at Rollingdale Winery is a boutique estate winery with a focus on high quality red and white table wines, as well as highly regarded Icewines. With the market for high end wines entering into a bit of slump due to the proclivities of the mainstream economy in 2009, I decided that I had better get creative, and I explored the possibility of marketing wines (and acquiring goods and services) through trade networks. After looking at the existing networks, I decided that I would trade my wine on some of them. As I became familiar with the benefits and limitations of these trade networks, some ideas formed, and I began to devise what I believe to be a more attractive and efficient platform to facilitate the trading of goods and services globally. Lots of business owners were happy to trade their goods and services, directly or indirectly, for Rollingdale wines, at full retail price in trade credits. Rollingdale was then able to use the trade credits earned to offset other expenses, such as media, printing, shipping, storage, landscaping, painting, cleaning services, golfing, skiing, hotels, restaurants, promotional merchandise, irrigation work, electricians, plumbers, cabinet makers (a new wine bar), website design, software development, a pre-owned 29’ Carver (cabin cruiser), etc. These trades increased the winery's exposure to new customers, who often referred more cash business to the wine shop. The demand for the wine in trade credits soon became too much, so Rollingdale began selling the wine as cash/trade credit blends, 50% cash and 50% trade credits, plus the taxes in cash. If Rollingdale were to sell the wine to the Liquor Distribution Branch of BC, or other wholesale buyers, the most that we would receive for our wine would be approximately 50% of the listed retail price in cash, making the 50% in trade credits in this case pure profit. Selling wine to restaurants is competitive at the best of times, but when the economy is in a slump, most restaurants are very tight with cash purchases. Allowing them to buy at 50% cash and 50% in gift certificates really got their attention. All business owners and operators know that gift certificates come back with cash business attached to them at some point, if they make it back at all.

What I and other trade network members appreciate about operating in a second economy based on trade credits (taxable, and tax-deductible, as are conventional dollars), is the ability to liquidate excess production, downtime, and/or overcapacity in a profitable manner at full retail value, without discounting our goods or services. For reviving their dead capital in this manner, trade network members also benefit from increased exposure to the business community in general. What they don’t necessarily like, is the fact that all of the existing trade networks, aside from ours, charge a cash initiation fee to join, usually between $500-$1,000, and cash commissions of 5-10% on each end of a transaction. These networks require a blank cheque or credit card number on file to charge their members cash fees. This cost is taken into consideration, and when the profit outweighs the expense, it is considered acceptable to trade. On some items with slimmer margins, however, the cash commissions can make trade deals objectionable to many potential clients. By taking away the cash fee component, we open up the possibility of greater trading and greater harmony. We never have to collect what the members are short of, but only deduct from that which they have plenty of.

Wineries are using trade credits not only to increase sales drastically and quickly, but they avoid discounting their product, which can eventually damage a brand. Smart wineries are also benefiting from surplus barrel production from cooperages, many of whom are currently weak in cash flow, but strong in inventory. These cooperages are eager to offset their sales team's travel expenses, since hotels, restaurants, and car rentals are quite common in trade networks. The cooperages also benefit from shipping on trade, by both sea and land. The difference between cost of goods and retail, is the discount for every company that pays in it's own currency. Would a cooper rather write a cheque, or pay in barrels? Obviously, moving more barrels is preferable to writing more cheques. It is a true win-win scenario, whether we are talking about barrels, corks, glass, labels, storage, shipping, media, promotional goods, printing, signage, casual labour, or sometimes, even grapes! The winery would rather pay in wine for all of these things, but of course the printer cannot print everyday for wine, so, that is were the network comes into play. Even if the printer only printed wine labels, the printer would still like to earn more than wine. The companies that don't supply wineries will be happy to get the wine, and the printer can spend his credits at any company in the network. It is with great satisfaction that we achieve profits as we simultaneously lessen our dependence on fiat currency. It is truly liberating, and I love to share that with others.

Another thing that winery owners have in common with many other business owners is that all manner of charitable organizations are constantly asking for donations. We can't always write a cheque for everyone, but we can usually donate in kind. The trade network makes it easy for the charities to exchange tax receipts for the goods and services that they require, or that they could auction off privately for cash, as needed. This makes it possible for charities to have all that they require to further their noble goals. None of them need much cash, in and of itself, but they need what they would spend it on. Cutting down on cash requirements makes soliciting donations much easier.

Open up an online trading account with Collective Currency today. You have nothing to lose, but your dependence on a false economy denominated in usurious fiat currencies. With Collective Currency, you have located a trading platform that acts as a community currency for the global community. Commerce + Unity = Community! We are collectively stronger and better off without the zero-sum game of fiat currency. Our Collective Currency is backed by the goods and services pledged by our members. Fiat currency is backed by nothing but the impossibility of ever repaying the interest charged. How can we all repay what never entered circulation? Some can, but most can't. It's Musical Chairs, and a mathematical impossibility. Usury is defined as a debt that cannot be repaid. Recognize that, and the futility of the mainstream economy becomes glaringly apparent. The mainstream economy is not broke, it is doing exactly what it was designed to do; steal the savings of the population through inflation, and keep the people competing, instead of working together. Divided in this way, we are conquered as a whole. Unfortunately, poverty is the norm on this planet, not the exception. Fiat dollars cannot defeat poverty, because fiat dollars create poverty. Fiat currency is the enduring Ponzi scheme of the last century. This planet is prosperous and bountiful by nature, but is handicapped by a problem of biblical proportions: USURY. If you are sick of this fraudulent economy, we are the antidote.

Peace and Plenty, Steve Dale