Local currencies for specific localities is not a new concept — in 1919 the city of Limerick adopted their own currency; the infamous Limerick Soviet.

Written by Graham de Barra

With the recent surge of COVID19 related cases in the Republic of Ireland, there have been some innovative responses and acts of kindness led by local citizens. It was featured on RTE Radio One recently that a business up the country are accepting anonymous donations from customers who are offering to pay the bill for the next customer after them. This advanced payment allows some additional cash-flow for the business to help keep them afloat during turbulent times and undoubtedly raises the spirits of its loyal customer base. Like the Olympic torch, this reward gets passed around the community — and the best part is it reinforces a circular economy for the locality which is maintained without the reward ever getting snatched up by any external forces. But before we say goodbye to off-shore payment processors we need to consider how such innovations can scale for larger transactions in order for it to become a viable alternative. Such is one proposal by Cork City Cllr. …

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Cork, Ireland — 20th June 2019 — Gift Card Exchange, Bitcart, has launched a ton of new gift cards to it’s inventory. The Lightning App already offers up to 20% off Amazon.com gift cards and has now integrated with Airbnb, Uber, Starbucks, iTunes and Wholefoods.

Living on Bitcoin has never come with such a huge incentive! Bitcoin-only services such as Bitcart help onboard new users who want to receive huge discounts even if they have never heard of Bitcoin before.

Founder and CEO Graham de Barra says, “We have been working on ways to to improve user experience on the platform and it just made sense to cater for more variety of gift cards. It just makes sense to spend Bitcoin on Bitcart. …

Cork, Ireland — 20 March 2019 — The Irish blockchain-based payments platform Festy has secured a partnership with Klaytn, a subsidiary of Kakao, Korea’s largest mobile app with 50 million users. The partnership marks one of the largest technology developments between South Korea and an Irish startup.

Klaytn, a public blockchain platform, announced a total of 26 partners since launching in private beta late last year. Up until now, Klaytn has raised $90 million in private funding with a further $90 million projected in the coming weeks solely being used for building blockchain use cases. The partnership between Festy came about after the Cork-based company ran it’s annual conference, Provenance Summit, in Seoul last November. …

by Graham de Barra

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Western democracy wants bitcoin. Venezuela needs it.

I woke up this Monday morning like any other, ready to work on my crypto startups, when I received a message from my client in Venezuela. Without light there is no electricity. And without electricity there is no bitcoin.

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Venezuela first came on my radar when the then undisputed President Maduro launched the Petro cryptocurrency; a dubious project purporting to be a decentralised ledger technology pegged to a centralised supply of oil reserves (297 billion barrels). The idea in my mind associated with the countless other ICO scams around that time and I remained focused on my own projects at hand. So I ploughed on without giving any more thought to the Petro. …

Cork, Ireland — March 2019 — The online Amazon gift card retailer Bitcart.io last month integrated Bitcoin Lightning payments to it’s e-commerce website. Customers can now avail of millions of items on Amazon and enjoy a 10% discount paying with Bitcoin on-chain and Lightning network.

Bitcart was founded in 2014 as a bitcoin-to-Amazon exchange. However due to slow confirmation times on the bitcoin network which led to customer dissatisfaction in the first half of 2017, the retailer was forced to drop bitcoin. More details can be found in this Forbes article.

In launching Bitcoin Lightning payments, founder Graham de Barra says, “We began with Bitcoin and I am glad to be able to use it again as how it was intended; fast and secure permissionless payments for people all over the world.” …

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Last Detected Activity on the West of Ireland

Cork, Ireland — 22 December 2018 — One of the earliest cryptocurrency retailers, Bitcart, today launched a B2B service that allows wholesalers make purchases of Amazon.com gift cards in bulk. This is a slight change in strategy for the e-commerce business which began as a B2C service back in 2014, a change which CEO Graham de Barra says “is a natural transition”, going on to state that “many startups begin using one model and shift to another.”

2018 has particularly seen an increase in maturity for companies operating in the industry as the mantra moved from ‘hodl’ to ‘buidl’.

Features of ‘Bitcart B2B’ includes 24/7 customer support for verified users, increased supply and faster delivery times. “This allows us to focus on our niche target market, which we have found from 4 years of trading, consequently increasing our sales volume and improving customer satisfaction going into the new year”. …

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Althamer’s Golden Humanity

In 2008, collaborative artist Pawel Althamer invited his neighbours of a small town in Warsaw to dress in golden astronaut uniforms and travel the World.

Polish tourists roaming around in different countries without the need to work challenges the traditional understanding of being a tourist as needing to have money — afterall a Polish citizen coming from the Iron Fist typically has to work to subsidise their travelling and living costs which is significantly higher in the West. Well, these tourists were mistaken to assume this was a free round-world ticket. …

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Festy Talks is a new podcast series exploring cultural, political and scientific impacts surrounding blockchain in society. This episode Blockchain Beyond Borders will take place in the Korean DMZ on the 19th of November, as part of a “think outside the blocks” event Provenance Summit 2018.

With an ongoing 16 year civil war in Korea, conflict between two nations up until recently seemed to be never ending.

The concept of decentralisation has become prevalent due to the developments in Blockchain technology. When applied to nation States, decentralising how a country is governed can bring about a more open society. Decentralisation has the potential to reinforce ideas beyond borders through a universal mechanism for open trade, digitally, without restrictions. This has become apparent with recent adoption of blockchain education among North Korean universities and evidence of nodes being operated in the North of the peninsula. …

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Strasbourg, 4th October 2018 — The EU Parliament have this week passed resolution Distributed ledger technologies and blockchains: building trust with disintermediation

Spearheaded by Greek MEP Eva Kaili, a major motivation for introducing the resolution is to empower and protect EU citizens and startups in respect to centralised banking, data protection including the ‘right to be forgotten’ and to serve as non-imposing and transparent rules under which a blockchain industry can flourish. An example of a need for more efficiency, according to Ms. …

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Festy x Datum x Maker DAO

Friday, 7th September 2018

Hong Kong Edition: Revolutionising the Payments and Data Industry

Venue: Genesis Block, 1/F, 269–273 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Revolutionising the Payments and Data Industry is a Provenance.events meetup happening in Genesis Block, Hong Kong on the 7th of September beginning at 6.30pm featuring Graham de Barra, Festy; Roger Haenini, Datum; and Chao Pan, Maker DAO. Register free here.

With the digitalisation of payments from a cash economy, the way in which we interact with money has fundamentally shifted. Consumers have become digital gold for the transaction data they accumulate on a day to day basis. …


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