While not a true sector of the barter industry per se, the development of Bitcoin and similar crypto-currencies is worthy of mention due to the confusion they cause in the barter community.

Barter trade credits are NOT crypto currencies because they are not convertible to cash nor do they have a “stored value.” IRTA is working to distance the barter industry from any false impression that barter currencies are crypto-currencies.

The danger is that the proliferation of Bitcoin-like crypto-currencies presents a threat to the barter industry due to governmental jurisdictions reviewing their financial regulations in an attempt to regulate crypto-currencies. The risk to the barter industry is that a given jurisdiction may unknowingly re-write their regulatory language so-tightly as to restrict or even eliminate heretofore acceptable barter activity in the given jurisdiction.

IRTA has successfully protected the barter industry with such regulatory re-write situations and will continue to pro-actively protect the barter industry’s interests as it relates to new crypto-currency regulatory actions.


  • IRTA's April 25, 2014 Letter to California Department of Business Oversight Legal Division

    Outlines the differences between barter currencies and crypto-currencies and requests the barter industry not be protected under any proposed changes to California’s Money Transmitter Act. More

  • California's Senior Legal Counsel's (Office of the Commissioner of Business Oversight) June 26, 2014 Opinion Letter to IRTA

    Written legal opinion verifying that barter exchange activities do not fit the criteria for crypto-currencies and therefore are not subject to regulation under the California Money Transmitter Act. More

  • The Economist Magazine — October 31, 2015 — Blockchains: The Great Chain of Being Sure About Things

    The technology behind bitcoin lets people who do not know or trust each other build a dependable ledger. This has implications far beyond the cryptocurrency... More

  • New York Times — January 17, 2016 — Article on Bitcoin

    Two years ago, Mr. Hearn quit a cushy programming job at Google’s Swiss headquarters to devote himself full time to what was his great passion: the virtual currency Bitcoin. He was one of a handful of developers around the world... More