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Author Topic: bitcoin and WIR, a comparison.  (Read 1956 times)
bitk
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January 11, 2011, 05:21:50 PM
 #1

As soon as I understood something about bitcoins, the first thing that came to my mind was the WIR economy. Sure, bitcoin is decentralized and can be used in anonymous ways, and all... but the uses could be really similar and maybe we could also learn from their past experiences.
Never heard of the wir before? Opinions?
The wikipedia page is enough for an overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WIR_Bank

Bitcoin to prepaid phone credit - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3620.0
(Italy preferred, but if you are from the rest of the world, PM me and we might find a deal!)
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hugolp
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January 11, 2011, 05:37:59 PM
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So basically the WIR is a bank in the form of a cooperative using their own privately issue currency, that the business that are part of the cooperative can use to lend to each other.

Bitcoin and WIR are similar in the sense that they are voluntary currencies not backed by any commodity. But they are very different in the way they opperate because bitcoin is decentralized and WIR is not, thus changing "the game" completely.

I would like to know how WIR creates money or if it opperates on a fixed amount.
caveden
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January 11, 2011, 05:46:49 PM
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Isn't there any sort of pegging between the Swiss Franc and this WIR currency? Like, is it an independent, floating-value currency?

The wiki article is very biased by the way.
Quote
The WIR bank is a not for profit bank. It serves the interest of the clients

Here it implicitly assumes that for profiting means not serving the interest of clients, what is obviously not true.

Quote
It is a very stable system, not prone to failure as the current banking system is.

If it is anyhow linked to the Swiss Franc, this is not true. If it has to obey to the Swiss central bank, then it also carries the same fundamental flaws as the "current banking system".

The main difference is that the Swiss central bank has a reputation of not being such irresponsible as other central banks. They expand the monetary base very slowly, normally.


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bitk
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January 11, 2011, 06:27:51 PM
 #4

Take bias aside, that's rather standard on wikipedia today.
I guess I should have been more precise when I said "first thing coming into my mind". I was actually visioning bitcoin as a possible complementary currency, at least as a starting role: initial diffidence from people could easily be reduced by paying just a % of the total cost in bitcoins, because I guess everyone would feel more safe seing that guy has a paypal account (or whatever else), so you know who you are sending money to.
The bitcoin economy would grow out of the "standard" economy crisis and grow out as a comunity currency, just like the WIR did.

Bitcoin to prepaid phone credit - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3620.0
(Italy preferred, but if you are from the rest of the world, PM me and we might find a deal!)
bitdragon
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January 11, 2011, 07:11:02 PM
 #5

Hi,

I'm in Switzerland and just learnt about the WIR.
I read a bit and watched some videos and what I get out of it:
1 Wir is 1 CHF indeed.
In times of crisis and decreased money supply of CHF, WIR is still available and companies can exchange their WIR notes.
Transaction costs are reduced and do not suffer from an exponential fee system encouraging the velocity of money and exchange of goods and services.

The focus is within the Swiss economy and at some level, will be exchanged among a group of trusting members regardless of the exchange rate of CHF vs. foreign money. Not completely of course, but the use of WIR helps to stabilise the economy as a whole and indirectly affects the stability of the Swiss Franc.

Being a relatively small group (>60K members) does instill a sense of a group willing to help each other out.

Goods can be paid part in CHF and part in WIR. Mortgages can be partly taken out in WIR if the constructor or third party accepts it; rates seem to be fixed at 1%.

How the Money supply of WIR is changed, introduced; I do not know. Through mortgages? and the % charged becomes a profit to the bank which then gets redistributed to its members?

Overall, it is closely tied to the Swiss franc and makes it vulnerable to sabotage by these traitors.
It does help to bring balance and stability by being extremely focused on small enterprises, fosters collaboration and supports locally produced goods and services. Members have a share in the Bank and participate in the profits. Fees are taken on the receiving end of a transaction for 1%. It would seem thus that these fees generated can re-enter the economy through the notes held by its members.

Maybe something can be applied to bitcoin here. The exchanges that will help people buy and sell bitcoins charging say a 1% fee can have funds/liquidity contributed by many members who then get to share the profits proportionally. These exchanges will be decentralized and across all existing currencies.

I would love to start a Swiss franc one Wink

bonomora
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April 23, 2015, 05:51:15 AM
 #6

Would the WIR-Franc Centralized, Digital, Asset Backed, Currency benefit from an integration with or migration to a decentralized, global, fast growing Digital Currency like Bitcoin and its Blockchain technology ?

Similarly, ignoring the obvious differences in technical architectures, what can The Bitcoin / Blockchain Ecosystem learn from the WIR-Franc's years of successful operation ?

Thanks in advance,

Bob Bonomo
www.Bob-Bonomo.com
516-361-7098
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