Hub Culture, which distributes a virtual currency called Ven Money has an interesting business model.
Here’s the story:
Marco is an Italian painter who lives in America and sells his paintings to friends and family back home in Rome. In order to sell his paintings online, he would have to set up an online store. The process is a bummer, because he has to verify his bank account, add a credit card, submit his tax ID, provide his address, and pick a currency to sell with.
So, instead of doing that, Marco goes to VenMoney.net, signs in, and gets an HTML snippet to add to his site. Now, his friends and family in Italy can just click a link and pay for Marco’s paintings with their credit card or Ven account. When they pay, VenMoney.net sends an e-mail to Marco, and Marco can use the new Ven wherever Ven is accepted.
Okay, so Ven can only be used to buy Nissan Leafs and other high priced items like private jets right now… but if Marco wanted cash instead of Ven, he would need to be able to trade his Ven for cash on a secondary market, since Ven can’t convert their currency into national currency due to securities laws.
A benefit of spending with Ven is the fact that the price of the online currency depends on the price of carbon and other commodities and securities that effect its price, putting an upward pressure on the price of carbon every time Ven is bought, making it more expensive for companies to pollute… thus hopefully resulting in less pollution, or at least that’s what this representative from Hub Culture thinks.
This is a very interesting model. And it opens the door for new types of business models.
Can you think of any?