BarterUnit LLC, an American startup, has created its own closed-loop alternative currency, called the Barter Unit. The community currency is a private non-commodity digital coin that is set to combat poverty and inequality through peer-to-peer economic collaboration.
We caught up with Phillip H. Perez, Founder of the BarterUnit LLC establishment and President of Operations, Timothy W. White, for some quick Q&A’s.
Q: What is the Barter Unit? How does it work?
Tim: “In a nutshell, the Barter Unit is digital money. In its entirety, it’s a community currency system with an embedded peer-to-peer (P2P) payment platform and a barter-exchange marketplace feature. The marketplace feature enables users to post their goods, services, and unwanted items in exchange for other goods, services, unwanted items and of course Barter Units. It’s a very straightforward concept.”
Phillip: “Exactly, the BarterUnit app provides a platform for people to come together and barter while simultaneously solving economic problems that impact everyone.”
Q: Phillip, why create an alternative currency? What reasons led you to create the Barter Unit?
Phillip: “Well we created the Barter Unit for a number of reasons, but we created it primarily to combat political and economic corruption. Unfortunately, we live in a corrupted and unjust economy that causes and sustains debt at an enormous rate. Providing an alternative currency system that is interest-free and ultimately debt-free, is absolutely necessary these days. You see, with regards to the current financial system, policymakers have failed to produce policies that protect the American people from usury, and I’m referring mostly to the lack of a nationwide interest-rate cap. Don’t get me wrong now, there are some usury protective policies that have been implemented, but they typically don’t extend to most lending institutions such as banks, credit unions, finance companies, etc. Therefore, we need a system that counters the self-perpetuating banking oligarchy, greedy corporations, payday lenders, and check cashiers that continue to extract the American earnings and trapping the American people into an endless cycle of debt. It’s hard to make ends meet these days, especially when you have to pay unregulated high-interest rates and additional unnecessary fees, thus the creation of the Barter Unit. The goal here is to create an interest-free financial system that works for everyone. A free peer-to-peer payment platform consisting of a closed-loop community currency that doesn’t exclude or discriminate certain demographics such as the unbanked, the underbanked, the homeless, the unemployed and the undocumented. Do you see where I’m going here?”
Tim: “Absolutely. We all know the cost of living is extremely expensive, especially in Los Angeles, and some people have to work two jobs just to make ends meet, mostly consisting of gig jobs. And despite policymaker initiatives to improve living standards, wages are still stagnant, rent is absurdly high, food prices are rising, and recently water and power rates have increased. People are struggling to survive in the City of Angels.”
Phillip: “I agree with Tim 100 percent. People work hard for their money, and they are essentially being robbed by inflation, taxation and by greedy corporations who siphon our earnings in every possible way they can. It’s safe to say, we live in a rigged economy. And on top of those costly basic living expenses that Tim just now mentioned, we have to consider the additional expenses that some people have to pay in order to survive. For example, some people pay high Homeowner Association (HOA) fees, a system by the way, that acts as a privatized government entity, and strips away the owner’s property rights. And most people have to pay surcharges, renewal fees, and process fees – Really? Greedy corporations want the American people to pay additional money just for them to process and accept payment? How ludicrous is that? My auto insurance company charges me a $12 dollar per month renewal fee and a $5 dollar processing fee. That adds up to an additional $204 dollars a year, on top of my premium cost, just for them to accept 12 monthly payments. That’s absolutely ridiculous. That’s $204 dollars I can use to buy groceries or other basic necessities. Additionally, some people have no choice but to resort to quick payday loans, which are notoriously known to range from 100% to 400% in interest rates. How is that not illegal? You see, all these ridiculous and unnecessary expenses greatly impact our living standards and overall our economic stability. How are we to financially survive a rigged economy with little or no support from policymakers? How are we to carry on with no current legal reforms to protect the American people from the corrupted and greedy corporations? This is sheer policy negligence. As citizens, we can no longer ignore the corruption and greed that has infiltrated our political and economic system. We have to do something about it. We have to collectively fight back. That’s the bottom line!”
Q: How exactly do you propose the people fight back?
Phillip: “How do we fight back you ask? How do we rid the corruption and greed that causes and sustains debt? How do we unrig the current financial system that preys and targets the vulnerable? EASILY, we create our own economy, our own closed-loop digital community currency – a system free from corporate greed, political corruption, and government intervention. This is a fight for the soul of our country. We must create and implement new rules for our economy – rules that do not prey on the vulnerable and rules that work for everyone.”
Tim: “Well said, and this is where the Barter Unit comes into play. The Barter Unit is a privatized alternative digital currency that runs side-by-side with the national currency, specially designed to help the economically marginalized. It simply is an extra source of capital to help people get through hard economic times. To help all Americans obtain economic security and freedom that they truly deserve, in this rich nation.”
Phillip: “That’s right, and not only does the Barter Unit help the economically marginalized, but it’s designed to boost local economies. You see, the Barter Unitis designed to stay locally and not extracted by big box stores, community sharing apps and banks. It’s designed to produce local economic growth.”
Q: How do you anticipate on educating the people about the benefits of utilizing the Barter Unit? How do you propose to get the people on board the Barter Unit train?
Tim: “I think we just need to inform the American people of the facts. People need to be aware of the following:
- Money is scarce.
- The current financial system is rigged and does not work for the working class and the poor.
- According to a recent report by Prosperity Now, 40% of Americans are one missed paycheck away from poverty.
- We’re offering free digital money as an alternative source of capital to help people get through hard economic times.
- We invite all, to participate in a private, closed-loop, community currency system to increase economic security and freedom for all.
- Participation is important. The more people who participate and adopt the barter unit as an alternative form of currency, the more economically valuable the Barter Unit becomes.
It’s really a no brainer and we encourage all to participate in a system that works for everyone, the unbanked, the underbanked, the unemployed, the homeless and even the employed.”
Phillip: “I couldn’t have said it better Tim. The Barter Unit is simply an alternative currency designed to help the marginalized. To help create a new alternative method for purchasing and trading power.”
Q: You both sound sincere and truly passionate about this project. How did you both become so passionate about the welfare of others?
Phillip: “I know first-hand what it’s like to be poor. I’m a child of the working poor, the son of two factory workers, and this why I have a passion and fight for the working poor.”
Tim: “When you see your friends and family members struggle financially, you begin to think and react differently. I’m extremely honored to be part of the BarterUnit team. The company’s core values run parallel with my core values.”
Q: What is the overall BarterUnit agenda?
Phillip: “To propose an alternative currency system that will reduce and eliminate poverty and make all people feel economically relevant.”
Tim: “Yes, our goal is to combat the political and economic corruption that causes debt and to provide a source of capital that will provide economic security and freedom for everyone. That’s the agenda!”
Perez and White are determined to create a system that enables working families and the poor to succeed and thrive. Together they are currently working on phase 3 development. Phase 3 development was not disclosed. However, we were informed the next development will be completed in the summer of 2020.