Last week Museu da Crise researcher Daniela was in Athens, Greece. We can of course think of a million reasons to visit Athens, but this time she was there with one specific goal in mind. Spending cryptocurrency. Spending FairCoin to be more precise.
Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that can be used next to a county’s official currency. The best know example is Bitcoin, but thousands more exist, among which, FairCoin.
FairCoin is the cryptocurrency that is being used within FairCoop. FairCoop describes itself as follows: “Our mission is to create an innovative glocal economic system from the bottom up in favour of an alternative and post-capitalist model to pave the way for a collective change towards a life in common.”*
Sounds great, doesn’t it?!
The problem with these kinds of things is that they tend to remain rather abstract. You download your digital wallet, receive a couple of FairCoin, and then what? FairCoop is organised around what they call Local Nodes. Groups of people that organise, get together in a specific locality and work to achieve FairCoop goals, for instance by convincing local producers such as farmers or beer brewers to accept FairCoin. And guess what? The Local Node in Athens is a very active and successful one…
And so it happened that Daniela walked into a store in Athens last week with a wallet filled with FairCoin on her smartphone. The store sold fair, locally and ecologically produced products such as soap and detergent, as well as foodstuffs such as coffee, olive oil and pasta. After collecting some items, it was time to pay. "I would like to pay with FairCoin, is that possible?" It was. After some giggling and fiddling with phones, a transaction was made, written on the blockchain, and Daniela could leave the shop with her groceries.
All of a sudden cryptocurrency became very real.