Last Saturday (August 11), MonedaPAR —Argentina’s first blockchain-based mutual credit network— celebrated the opening of its new Mar del Plata city Node carrying out a 2.0 Market. It involved 29 prosumers who completed almost 100 transactions amounting to 7056 PAR (equivalent to the same amount or Argentinian Pesos). The event, which was held at the headquarters of the Institute for the Mobilization of Cooperative Funds, will have a second edition on August 25 (with its venue yet to be confirmed).
This 2.0 Market represents both a culmination and a new starting point of a communitarian empowerment process, which after several months of hard work has allowed the organizations that make up the Mar del Plata Node to achieve their first goal. That is, to set in motion their community’s economic activity using their own money and without depending on the liquidity conditions of the economy and the banking system (which in Argentina’s current context has made credit inaccessible for the majority of businesses and entrepreneurs due to its high monetary policy interest rate, currently set at 45%). But this milestone is only the first step of a more ambitious experience, which promises to provide all the Network’s prosumers with greater levels of autonomy and resilience in the face of the hardships generated by the growing financialization of the national economy.
MonedaPAR is a complementary monetary system created in 2017 by initiative of the National Movement of Recovered Companies (MNER), the “Father Arrupe” think tank and the argentinian startup WABA.network. Currently the Network has presence in 4 argentinian cities: Buenos Aires, La Plata, Tandil and Mar del Plata. The system is made up of a network of prosumers who exchange goods, services and knowledge using the PAR cryptocurrency as a means of exchange.
The web and mobile platform allows these prosumers to make transactions both in person (like in the 2.0 Market) and virtually (using the Network´s marketplace, MercadoPAR). When a purchase is made the seller receives a positive balance of PAR in his o her virtual wallet, while the buyer accumulates a negative one for the same amount. These balances, which don’t have positive nor negative interest rates, are spent or cancelled buying or selling goods, services or knowledge within the Network.
This complementary monetary system allows to sustain a community’s commercial and economic activity even in contexts of lack of liquidity in legal tender currency, while also allowing to withhold wealth within said community encouraging its growth. The blockchain technology that supports the system provides the security, transparency and traceability -each user can access a faithful record of all of his or her transactions, such as this one- that previous valuable communitarian commerce experiences failed to have, this often being the cause of their decline.
The inauguration of MonedaPAR´s Mar del Plata Node represents another milestone in the Network’s continuous expansion process. During the next months the community is expected to continue growing with the incorporation of new Nodes and actors, such as SMEs, trade unions and municipalities.