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Social currency and its impact in the sharing economy 2018/11/13/apunts/01

De teixidora


Social currency and its impact in the sharing economy

Share Barcelona 2018 - Sharing Cities Summit - 12-15 November 2018


Collaborative notes to be transferred to Teixidora.net, documentation to share and reuse.


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(Conference notes in chronological order)

Conference notes

Susana Martín Belmonte - REC

This is a talk about how citizen currencies can connect with the Open Food Network

First we will present REC the citizen currency and the Open Food Network

REC is a citizen currency of Barcelona that has been created to support local commerce with the support of the city council.

REC are an NGO and are partners with the Council in a European Project which has funds this project.


Universal Basic Income

The citizen currency is one of the project in the B-Minicome project

Citizens receive the income in Euros, they have to change that into citizen currency and spend that in the local neigbourhoods.

The area is in the north of Barcelona. Many people in this area are on low incomes.

The project aims to increase the economic multiplier of public expenditure in the area.

90% of the time incomes go out of the area so one of the aims of the currency is that the 25% of the income will stay in the area and so one of the impacts that we are expecting is to see the local economic multiplier in the area. To keep jobs in the area and prevent urban desertification.

Another one of our important targets is to increase local knowledge between citizens and neigbhours themselves.

From a legal point of view it has the governance of its own users. It's not managed by the city council, it is currently managed by the NGO but the plan tito transfer it to a citizens group that use the currency.

We have a payment entity that is contracted by us. It has been born as part of this directive issued by the European Union to allow more competition. The exchanges of the REC are validated by a central Bank in the Euro area. In our case a bank in France. These are the legal tools we are using.

In terms of technology we are using a blockchain technology but it's not a decentralised currency because we could not comply with data protection. So we use the technology for other reasons such as scalability. We also have an API which uses a QR code for payment method.

We are in 115 shops in the areas and we had 410 users last week

Enrico Stano - Katuma

Katuma is a service coop, bringing together buying groups and producer groups. It is also a member of Open Food Network who are responsible for maintaining the software platform.

We aim make connections between producers and consumers to avoid the usual intermediaries. We want to make it easy to create groups in your town.

Together we are gathering all the information to understand how we can scale and empower this economical sector.

The point of Katuma is that the governance is in the hands of producers and consumers.

Susana Martín Belmonte

How can REC work with Katuma?

One of the reasons for REC is to empower circles at the local level. We are now focusing on local shops but in the medium to long term we want to support further the consumption of local product.

Enrico Stano  -

The consumer model behind Katuma is a collective conception, this model is also about building neigbhourhoods.

Susana Martín Belmonte

The REC system is to re-enforce social capital

The REC is also a very simple and convenient to use APP system

Enrico Stano -

We can go further to use the API in the Katuma application

Audience - What is the extension plan? How do you imagine it can develop in Barcelona over the coming years?

Susana - We worked a lot on the legal requirements.

The REC is an official virtual currency. It can evolve in the future as the users want.

Once the pilot project is over we will need sources of income to cover expenses and so we can work with other companies.

Audience - Does a company have the same power or the same vote a local people?

Enrico Stano, Katuma - Yes because we are a cooperative.

Susana - I can't answer, because at the moment there are many kinds of members, and we are deciding how we can put it in the hands of future users. We are working on it now.

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