Ready to launch an Encointer currency? We make it easy with a ready-made platform that can be adapted easily to your local needs, but you still need to do some prep work. Here’s your to-do list.
1. Get people on board
You’re already excited, but do your neighbors even know what you’re talking about? A community currency will be a brand new idea to many and they may need time to get to grips with how it works, and how it can help them. You’ll need a plan to inform and educate the community – the more people are involved, the greater the benefits.
Start with thinking about what existing networks you can leverage; a sustainability group, for instance, or a local development agency. Reach out to them. Hold a discussion night (or a few) on a money-related topic, find an interesting guest speaker and use the opportunity to introduce the idea of Encointer to the audience.
For instance, our LEU community in Zurich recently hosted Hongyang Wang, a blockchain expert who is investigating ways of using tech to provide housing without landlords. Be sure to collect email addresses (and consent) to seed your mailing list.
2. Engage local traders
One of the most urgent challenges is to win over the local business community – they are crucial to your success. Without somewhere to spend the Encointer coins, there’s no reason for anyone to sign up.
Your outreach might include a discussion night, as for the general audience, but with a focus on promoting local businesses via the “leaky bucket” principle. Or you could focus on approaching merchants one-on-one.
In either case, do your homework and be ready with research to show how community currencies can shore up demand in hard times, even out cyclical flows, provide new promotional opportunities and improve the business’s reputation.
3. Plan for growth
Encointer provides the nuts and bolts to create your own currency, to distribute it easily, and maintain decentralized governance, but it still needs your active involvement. You will need to figure out your organizational structure and division of responsibilities: who is in charge of promotion, for instance, and who handles support? As your community grows, it may be necessary to adopt a formal legal structure, so consider your options at the start.
Bear in mind that the need for promotion doesn’t end with launch – engaging users and merchants is an ongoing process. To some extent, all currency users are actively involved in building the network, simply by participating; if the currency succeeds in proving its usefulness, it’s likely that at least some users will act as voluntary champions of the network, helping to spread enthusiasm and recruit new participants.
But what else can you do? How can you ensure that active growth efforts aren’t neglected, and who can you enlist to help?
- Encourage your participating businesses, in particular, to use the currency as much as they can. The more actively the coins circulate, the greater the benefit.
- Can you provide materials such as stickers or leaflets for merchants to display, attracting attention to the project?
- Seek out sponsors who might help with financing these efforts, or provide support in other ways, for instance by promoting the currency to their audiences. Take every opportunity to engage more supporters, at any level of involvement.
- Work with local authorities or development partners – can the currency be used to promote their own goals? To encourage adoption of cleaner energy, for instance, they might accept Encointer currencies in part payment for solar generators, or issue the currency as a reward.
Reading up on other community currencies is sure to spark ideas, and arm you with strong arguments to win over the undecided. Be sure to follow our blog for more information and support on your Encointer journey. And get in touch to launch your own community.