Galia Benartzi is Co-Founder of Bancor. She’s a forward-thinking entrepreneur who grew up in Silicon Valley and is currently based Israel, which is one of the largest tech hubs in the world and even referred to as StartUp Nation.
We talk about Bancor’s pilot programs – one in Israel and another in Kenya that fuel a community with exchangeable tokens and allow users to trade an interact with a community currency.
Bitcoin had challenged the idea of what money is, how we use it and why we choose to use the currency we do.
“A lot of people when you ask them ‘what is money?’ will say it’s a storeof value, it’s a means of exchange. And, those things are true in the sense that they are what money does. But, they’re not what money is. What money is ,is an agreement. Nothing more and nothing less. It’s an agreement between the people who use that money and between the people who accept that money. It is an agreement to be in collaboration according to the rules of that system.”
So the fact that Bitcoin has given us an alternative form of currency, we now have to ask ourselves whether we agree with the agreements we’ve made inherently around money. Do we agree with the rules of that system, as Galia points out?
If not, Bitcoin has created new rules and a new system.
Bancor is now offering the creation of many more currencies with alternate rules and systems. Galia believes that there is a huge value to community currency creation for emerging economies especially, where the influx of a currency can help address the most basic needs that are currently, in many cases, not being met.
“Money is the ultimate loyalty program. When you have the money of a nation for example, you are loyal to the economy of that nation because that’s where you can spend that money.” What does that mean for Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, and tokens?
If YouTube enables a new market of video producers, and WordPress allows for a new world of bloggers and online business, what can a protocol that creates new currencies enable?
Galia shared what their Hearts Market pilot project in Israel, marketed to a community of mothers and ultimately families, was all about.
“The GDP of the country essentially increased by $25 million worth in that year that the Hearts Market was active, meaning that there was some additional amount of economic collaboration and person to person collaboration, commerce in this case, and that was part of the economy. Of course we don’t measure the parts of the economy that don’t occur in national money yet, but from a conceptual standpoint there was more collaboration potential between the people than the existing money supply was really able to encapsulate and express.”
“I think the truth of the matter is that there is much more economic potential under the surface between people than the existing money supply or money system is able to fully express. “