The Project VirCoin2SME

THE IDEA

Supporting the social, complementary or community virtual currencies transfer of knowledge to SME contributing with a new era for competitiveness and entrepreneurship.

OBJETIVE

With the advent of social networks and Mobile networks, new online communities are being created around sustainable topics (environmental, social, community development). The phenomena, known as digital social innovation, generates a positive ecosystem where business and social development enabled with new behaviours boosted by social, complementary or community currencies deployed as virtual currencies have a great potential for competitiveness, and entrepreneurship, but also for fostering social responsibility in Europe. VirCoin2SME projects aims at studying how the business development could be fully deployed around the ecosystem of social networks and virtual currencies, which facilities new exchanges for wealthier communities.

Research objectives to be developed in VirCoin2SME project are:

1. To compare different models of social networks influence on business processes.

2. To analyze the mechanisms behind the adoption of social, complementary or community virtual currencies.

3. To research on the potential impact of digital innovation and alternative currencies development in social, environmental and economic sustainability.

4. To develop two sector-oriented proposals/guidelines (healthcare and tourism) for developing sustainable business models based on the use of complementary and/or virtual currencies.

The previous research objectives will be achieved by implementing a collaborative working scheme where research entities will design the methodology and elaborate final guidelines to develop, according to the actual business scenarios defined and analyzed by the private companies involved in VirCoin2SME, in the two respective sectors that will act as use cases for study and proposals development: healthcare and tourism. Dissemination and communication activities will be designed and developed in parallel to ensure the wider impact of the knowledge generated and to foster new business generation around sustainable models not only in Europe, but internationally.

MARKET

Virtual currency schemes and business activity

Alternative currencies state of the art is based on four types of currency schemes: (1) local currencies (territorial projects), (2) community currencies (community projects), (3) complementary currencies (economic projects), (4) virtual currencies (technological currencies of wild scalability). It includes the perspective of virtual currencies as the new context and future predominant form of currency, and online social networks as the new way communities emerge and adopt (primarily virtual) complementary currencies.

VirCoin2SME aims at participating in the new generations of currency schemes that should emerge in the coming years and decades, either through the spreading of already existing schemes or through new combination of existing schemes or eventually through critical innovations like the “free currencies” or virtual currencies attempts that emerge as a full generation of new currencies.

In any former or modern form, the new trends of social networks and virtual currencies will disrupt the state of the art of the complementary currencies as new communities will arise that will be willing to share and accept new currencies, so as new public, cooperative or private companies will try to manage them. Within the new trends, VirCoin2SME will contribute to research, develop and transfer specific case studies for or social, community complementary and virtual currencies in two specific sectors: healthcare and tourism.