CRYPTOCURRENCY FOR A VOLUNTOURISM CONSTITUENCY
In a future where pop culture is framed by collective values and the need to define a personal ideology and/or belong to an
existing one is trending, tourists will get together with locals to actively share information and co-define each other’s personal
ideology through the exchange of a new resource, a cryptocurrency, a token, EXA. The research behind EXA was directed
towards Athens, Greece, but as a concept it may be scaled by replication to other parts of the world where voluntourists are.
Exchange, Authenticity and Tourism
In the context of creating an "authentic exchange experience" between tourists and locals in areas of crisis, I looked into "The Gift", a book by sociologist Marcel Mauss; and discovered a term known as a 'total social fact', "an activity that has implications throughout society, in the economic, legal, political, and religious spheres".
Diverse strands of social and psychological life are woven together through what he comes to call 'total social facts'. A total social fact is such that it informs and organizes seemingly quite distinct practices and institutions.
These practices and institutions may be seen as the ordinary things in society and it may be said that to be authentic means to break patterns and add facts.
In his book, Mauss also presents his observations from early forms of exchange in remote islands in the Pacific Ocean, which give us insight into the fact that they revolve around the notion of generosity. Quite the opposite to what we think of exchange nowadays. So is the ordinary touristic experience as authentic as we think it is; when we go sightseeing and we're surrounded by nothing else but other tourists? We see the attraction for its authenticity, yet something feels false about the atmosphere, it almost seems staged. No real generosity takes place in any of the mainstream touristic sights. To get an authentic experience, one must go out of the vicious capitalistic cycle.
Following my research on authenticity and tourism, I forecasted a future where pop culture is framed by collective values and the need to define a personal
ideology and/or belong to an existing one is trending, tourists will get together with locals to
share information and co-define each other’s personal ideology through exchanging arts, technology and spiritualism. Will travel packages adapt to these new ordinary practices?
I went to Athens in the autumn of 2015 to look for the authenticity of the ongoing crisis. I found that besides having a low GDP, minimum wage has actually decreased since the financial crash of 2008, which sparked anarchy and mistrust. Beyond that, Greece has been seeing massive numbers of refugees arriving at their shores, which brought more voluntourists (volunteer + tourist) to the country than the Greeks knew what to do with.
In Saloniki the locals have seen too many tourists coming to help with the revolution only to go back home with a heroic story to tell; and in Lesbos the amount of NGOs is reported at roughly 80, while only 30 of them are registered at the municipality. This goes without mentioning the voluntourists that are independently there.
In Athens I attended the Robin Hood Open Office where I listened to interesting people speak about creation of value and concepts of monetary systems in terms of the common. There I also learned from the crowd that the Greek population is quite progressive in terms of technological revolution and that they need financial autonomy in order to create activities that create surplus value out of services. For that they need liquidity.
Greece is overwhelmed with external goodwill. Lots of people working together to better the situation, yet their unification and combined work can create much more.
“We're dealing with a systemic problem, a monetary monoculture that is low in diversity and resilience. We need monetary diversity that will systemically be resilient. In times of social and economic issues, complementary currencies become useful through working in parallel with conventional money. In a crisis environment it is necessary to provide people with resources.”
- Bernard Lietaer
A volunteer-based constituency for consolidating new communities in areas of crisis through the implementation of a complementary cryptocurrency. EXA will network voluntourists, whether registered or unregistered, as long as their work goes towards supporting the cause. By doing so, EXA aims to create value out of the abundance of voluntourist labour to sustain the cryptocurrency.
EXA is about generosity; the voluntourists (volunteer + tourist) benefit the community while gaining an authentic experience of locality, so as long as they work, the currency flows.
The main idea behind this tokenization of voluntourist labour, is attempting to create liquidity that is backed by bitcoin donations and a 'social-proof-work' mechanism that had been used before in Iceland by 'D-Cent''.
The EXA token shall start off as a barter token within the voluntourist community and later on expand to being a medium of exchange with local merchants. When the tourists have decided to end their volunteering, they donate the accumulated cryptos to the people they worked for. By doing so, people in need of resources can create a micro-economy, stimulate locatrade, create value through the local multiplier effect, while sparking a trustful remuneration process of socio-economic growth.
Upon creating an account, a volunteer receives 1 EXA
Maximum of 8 work hours each day
5 EXA = 1 Working Hour = ~ 5 EUR (above minimum)
Sign in / out with a double 2FA
Both parties must approve of sign in / out
The volunteer deposits 1 EXA for the smart-contract
Punching out requests EXA from the collective wallet
EXA is deposited in account and transferred to wallet
The physical digital wallets, not only do they feature limited edition designs of local Greek graffiti artists that change overtime, but they will act as a tool to ignite a discussion about the creation of money.
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