No Cash or Credit? Try Dibits, an Alternative Currency
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making offers and bids, which makes the site safer than e-commerce sites where anonymity is allowed. The management team also monitors the offers and requests in case of inappropriate, illegal, or even just flaky posts that they don’t think belong.
Because dibit generation comes from them, the Dibspace team is essentially the Federal Bank, the Mint, and every other regulatory agency rolled into one. Though normally they earn dibits like anyone else, via consulting or other services, Canterbury says that he used the site to generate dibits to pay the consulting fee of an attorney and to get business cards made. Essentially, he controls the mini-economy more closely than Alan Greenspan ever dreamed, and even acting responsibly and for the betterment of this tiny economy, he has the opportunity to acquire anything on the site for free, with just a few keystrokes to give himself more dibits.
Although this kind of barter currency might sound like something the government would discourage, Canterbury says that because services and goods sold are still reported and taxed as income, there is no problem.
Dibspace is not the first to create an alternate currency website, and there are others with somewhat similar projects, even in Seattle (Divvy and Kashless come to mind). Such sites may have been successful even in a healthy global economy, but there is no doubt the recession is helping drive new customers.
Next, Dibspace plans to incorporate the restaurant industry into its structure. People could then use dibits instead of dollars to buy meals at local restaurants. Or they might even trade directly with the restaurant. Canterbury says he also hopes to someday include hotels and other major businesses into the network.