If you spend any significant amount of time perusing AOCS articles on this site, there is no doubt you’ll get plenty of first-hand insight on the importance of the barter marketplace. The marketplace is what makes AOCS Approved Currencies different from any other brand of gold, silver and copper.
Through the years, we fielded questions from those curious as to why precious metals have any value at all. “After all, you can’t eat silver or burn copper for heat” tends to be the most common example of this argument. And though these metals still have value as an industrial commodity, “that won’t do any good if the lights go out tomorrow.”
While these are all valid objections and good reasons to diversify your preparedness portfolio to include food, water, medical supplies and energy, neither point means that AOCS Currencies can’t function as money. Through the millennia, mankind tried all types of different solutions to store value: food didn’t work well since it spoiled over time (and most livestock wasn’t easily divisible), fuel sources were hard to transport, and other solutions like shells and rocks were unreliable at best. Copper, silver and gold stood the test of time. They were easily divisible, easy to transport, and not so easy to extract from the ground that everyone had an unlimited supply. Simply stated, over time, the marketplace preferred and accepted silver, gold and copper as a common form of money. In developing solutions for the future, its often found that the best ideas come from a thorough examination of what worked well in the past.
Today, gold, silver and copper are viewed by the mainstream as commodities, traded as if the only purpose for their existence is jewelry or electronics. While they are still respected as being ‘valuable’, to use them in most places they must first be converted from the native form to “current money” – usually by way of a pawn or coin shop. Every once in a while, someone is able to trade silver, gold or copper directly for goods and services, usually at great surprise to one or both parties. Trades of this kind, while fun and nostalgic, are often first valued at ‘spot’ and accounted for in ‘dollars’, completely missing the point of how money used to function.
Most AOCS Approved currencies feature a unique Face Value, an arbitrary number of trade units greater than the market value of that metal and not denominated in any specific national currency. The Face Value is a built-in safeguard to help AOCS Currencies maintain a stable value and offset Gresham’s Law, while also creating an incentive for consumers to trade copper, silver and gold instead of the traditional hoarding that slowly removed these metals from circulating coinage. The Face Value works in conjunction with educated merchants and business owners in our very own barter MarketPlace.
For a real currency to be valuable, it must be respected as such and desired by producers. AOCS is leading the way in educating the marketplace in not just the importance of accepting and circulating gold, silver and copper, but specifically doing so in a manner that will help these metals to once again become a common and preferred medium of exchange.
In the spirit of ‘leading by example’ the AOCS team is constantly developing new and creative ways to help bridge the ideological gap between what society thinks of today as money and what was used for thousands of years to serve the interests of mankind.
MarketPlace Growth: What We Do
Barter in America is alive and well. In fact, it is estimated by the National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) that more than 75% of all business owners trade goods and services in one form or another, and more than 450,000 small businesses belong to trade exchanges. A trade exchange is a 3rd-party record keeper that issues a valueless currency and charges a fee each time the currency is exchanged. During our research, we discovered obviously enough than many trade exchange participants are also happy to accept AOCS Approved currencies in addition to the currency of the trade exchange. Further, we found that some exchange members have excess trade currency that we help monetize when we need goods or services from other members in the group that are not yet also accepting AOCS. The AOCS assists the marketplace by coordinating these transactions so that both the buyer and seller receive exactly what each desires.
The American Open Currency Standard is the backbone of many local community currencies across the USA. While AOCS currencies are designed for local commerce (and do on average circulate locally for 98% of all trades), one of the serious benefits of using the Standard is that they can, if necessary, be used to trade for goods and services from other communities. We recognize that many communities are not completely self-reliant, and even if they were, they may still desire, from time to time, items from remote sources. The AOCS team helps our CTC Partners communicate these needs and offerings to help all participants get the greatest selection of goods and service from across the entire system.
Monetization of Value
In addition to the majority of businesses that barter, there is also a network of top-level barter experts that broker hi-valued exchanges between large corporations. Most of these deals are completely cashless, where even the broker is compensated from both traders with a percentage of each company’s offerings. Most of the time, the broker doesn’t need all of what is earned and chooses to monetize the excess credit. AOCS provides a perfect opportunity for the broker to turn the excess inventory into a common and respected store of value, to be saved and traded later.
Training & Education Resources
Most important of all, the AOCS team is constantly testing new strategies for growing a marketplace. It is our goal to provide prospective partners with top quality resources that can save you countless hours of attempting to learn the many lessons we discovered the hard way. OpenCurrency.com is a store of knowledge that you can access when you need tips or advice on how to expand your barter marketplace with our proven growth strategies.
The MarketPlace is an equally important component of our success. Though we welcome participants who wish to accept or trade silver gold and copper at ‘spot’, we pay much greater attention to the producers that take the time to comprehend the basics of the Face Value and choose to accept AOCS currencies on these terms. By participating in the marketplace while offering your goods and services at a competitive price in exchange for gold, silver and copper at Face Value, you play an active role in helping restore our country to a sound form of exchange, and we are at your service to help find ways for this system to bring value to you.