This post summaries The Barter Series in which I share the future of Barter, explore the Bartercard IPO (2014); the secret Bartercard/IRTA deal in which IRTA secretly offered Bartercard an exclusive endorsement for their software product as the best in the industry; the politics surrounding a corrupt and ineffective Board, and the fraud, mismanagement and nepotism involved in Universal Currency, IRTA’s flagship that is grossly overvalued.The Barter Series contains 24 posts (totalling 61,000 words) and was published online over a two week period. It broke two major stories and generated unprecedented traffic to my website. Here are the 24 posts with a summary of the key points:
The Barter Series
- The future of Barter
In this post I shared the future of the Trade Exchange (barter) Industry and explain why the standard business model is essentially unbiblical, and why, when we truly understand traders, the barter industry will have to change it’s business model to counter the arrival of multiple currencies and settlement systems. It won’t, so therefore while the rest of the world will move on and away from ‘legal tender’ currencies to alternatives, Commercial Barter will continue to stagnate. It will always have a presence and will perform a role, but it will be severely crippled. The key points were that the arrival of multiple currencies will undermine the existing trade exchange business models to which the only solution is to restructure a typical trade exchange, separating the business, netowrking and marketing aspects from the currency.
- Bartercard wants to list
Bartercard has opened their share offering to the public today with glowing references from IRTA, who according to the Prospectus have done more than just endorse them, they’ve thrown their lot in with them hook line an sinker! More on that and the significance of an exclusive 15 year exclusive recommendation contract later – it’s a humdinger of story in itself and will have major negative repercussions for IRTA for a very long time to come.
- Bartercard should not list
Bartercard released their IPO yesterday but the Prospectus is at best a grossly misleading document and at worst is arguably fraudulent. I believe that their IPO should be suspended immediately until much missing information is supplied and the misleading information is corrected to accurately reflect the reality. These two strong statements reflect my very serious concerns covering many issues to do with their listing and a personal desire to see investors more informed and less susceptible to their inevitable pain or loss should they part with their readies when using this Prospectus. Bartercard is currently an inch away from landing in my Hall of Shame.
- Crisis at IRTA
IRTA has a crisis. It is a multi-faceted one but the bubble has burst recently with the revelations in Bartercard’s Prospectus that indicate to me that deals behind the scenes were very likely attempted. While the crisis will likely be presented as one to do with Bartercard’s recently revealed deal, it is actually one of structure, vision and leadership although conduct may come into it to some degree. With eight weeks to their Annual Conference they actually have time and an opportunity to start to resolve it, but they are in a Catch 22 for the very people and systems that got them into their mess will be the ones who will likely have to get them out of the mess – so it very likely won’t happen. It’s pretty much an impossible situation. I detail possible solutions moving forward but very much fear that my words will fall on deaf ears.
- ASX Complaint – BPS TechnologyThis post contains the content of my complaint to the ASX, lodged at their opening hours 8.30am Monday morning 4 August 2014, Australian Eastern time. As you will see by the complaint itself, it is my belief that BSP Technologies (effectively Bartercard) has issued and submitted to the ASX a ‘dodgy’ Prospectus not worthy of the basis of securing investment capital. The whole thing stinks of desperation, opportunism and deception. Until they present the facts I believe that their IPO should be either withdrawn or suspended.
- Examining IRTA
In this sixth in a series of posts on Barter, I summarise some of the issues contained in a string of complaints, gripes and accusations I’ve received via the tipline over the last year relating to IRTA. I give my commentary on the nature of the fire under the smoke as I assess each of the issues. In summary, there appears to be me to be validity to most of the issues raised. IRTA is a highly political operation with a long history so some of the issues are not always clear-cut, but examining the claims raises more questions than answers.
- The industry responds
In this post I share feedback that I’ve received from the Tipline. The overwhelming sentiments are that both Bartercard AND IRTA are unethical BUT there is very strong desire for both organisations to succeed. Nobody I know of yet actually wants either to go under (including Bartercard’s own competitors) for they all want the best for the industry. I also share how I tackle the challenges of divining truth in a mass of politics, spin and unethical behaviour.
- IRTA confirms deal with Bartercard
Finally, almost a week after BPS Technology informed the world that they had negotiated a secret exclusive edorsement of their technology for the next 15 years, IRTA has confirmed this with an email to selected members of the industry. There is still no mention of this stunning agreement on the IRTA website yet, so here is the formal announcement from IRTA, in full:
- The Bartercard/IRTA Deal 
I blogged last month that Bartercard has secured a fifteen year deal with IRTA to supply the software platform for Universal Currency and IRTA’s active endorsement of that system globally. This deal was apparently the basis for Bartercard’s decision to float on the ASX. [IRTA has confirmed this now with a limited release News Alert to Members of IRTA and UC]. In this post I examine the deal and commence my analysis/commentary. The deal is spectacular. There can be no other word for it – spectacular. Regardless of the outcome of my complaint to the ASX and their success or otherwise in going public, securing a deal like they have from IRTA (with their exclusive endorsement for a fifteen year period) would be totally a dream come true for any aggressive industry player out to dominate their market, in any industry.
- Questions for IRTA Board
The following are questions that IRTA Members may wish to ask the Global Board of IRTA, following the news that IRTA has confirmed an exclusive deal with Bartercard.
- The Bartercard/IRTA Deal 
In this analysis of the deal between Bartercard and IRTA I work through the document released today and make comments back to readers and the author, Ron Whitney, Executive Director. Enjoy!
- The Bartercard/IRTA Deal 
The Bartercard IPO and secret deal with IRTA follows a longterm relationship building exercise filled with politics and self-interest. In this post I summarise the real reasons for something that at first glance seems so ridiculous, so out of the box, so detrimental to the IRTA organisation that it’s hard to believe it has actually happened. When putting it all into proper context however it all makes perfect sense.
- Barter People, Power & Politics
The phones are running hot in the world of Barter following my expose of the shonky deal between Bartercard and IRTA and particularly the ongoing commentary and updates, what some recent visitor to the TIPLINE called ‘stunning’. In this post I detail the key people involved and their likely roles, political agendas and relative positions of power. I furnish my recommendations to each player and make predictions on the likely outcomes when the dust settles. I would note that there are more damning revelations just around the corner and people would be wise to hold off any direct action until the fuller picture emerges. It’s a rabbit warren of politics, deception and corruption.
- PUBLIC WARNING: BARTERCARD IPO
This post is a public warning to investors considering investing into BPS Technology Ltd (the Bartercard IPO) currently attempting to list on the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange). My advice: DO NOT INVEST. Having received plentiful feedback following my previous posts on the Bartercard IPO, and the recent rejection of my complaint to the ASX on a technicality, I now issue a public warning to potential investors. I believe that the Bartercard IPO is a deliberately misleading act designed to asset strip from Bartercard Members (past and present); minor shareholders and the taxman to the benefit of [primarily] three Directors.
- Interview with GETS
In my expose of the shenanigans within IRTA and the troubles surrounding the Bartercard/IRTA software deal, one party has till now been silent, certainly in the public arena. GETs is the incumbent software provider for IRTA’s Universal Currency. Richard Logie and his partner Linda Sim have run the core system behind the UC platform for some eight years (off and on). While I had spoken to them about it in depth privately, I have always respected their wish to keep conflict within the industry in the background. With some prompting they agreed that it was probably time that they put their side of the story. With explicit promises from me that they would have full pre-publication proofing of their words, we started.
- Bartercard – A PONZI Scheme
For over two decades, the Directors of Bartercard have successfully run their [Barter] Trade Exchange as a PONZI Scheme. In this post I explain why this is so; I detail the winners and losers as a result of this deception and I predict its imminent implosion (regardless of their success or otherwise of their current IPO). This is vital information FIRST for potential investors in their IPO; SECONDLY for Bartercard Members with Credit balances and THIRDLY for IRTA decisionmakers who have recently endorsed a shonky deal with this company.
- Bartercard’s Asset Strip
In this post I share the technique by which the Bartercard Directors will likely be stripping their companies assets during their public listing. Of course this is immoral, for their current minor shareholders, the taxman and others will all be missing out in due course. Bear with me please as I explain the tricky moves as I see them unfolding. When the BPS Prospectus was released, I read [all 53,429 words of] it and I got the big picture – Bartercard is getting asset stripped.
- Hiding the Bartercard Skeletons
In this eighteenth article in my series on Barter I discuss the widespread attitude and approach in the industry towards keeping skeletons in the closet. I show how the desire to keep factual information about (for example Bartercard’s humungous house deficit) from the public “for the good of the industry” is counter-productive by giving the conmen, crooks and greedy the perfect environment in which to practise their black art. I conclude with commentary on the role of IRTA and how their historical failure to address many of the thorny issues has been a festering wound but with revealations of their deal with Bartercard is now like a full blown abscess. Unfortunately it’s a little ugly.
- Bartercard the Predator
In this nineteenth article in a series about Barter, I turn the spotlight onto Bartercard and share what is widely known in the the industry – reavealing their distinct lack of ethics, showing how their actions run contrary to their spin and highlighting how their arrogance affects attitudes and conduct of their entire operation, even into the rest of the industry. Watch out people who think that they will sell their Trade Exchange to Bartercard – you’ll get done like a dinner. This post is a shocker but will save a lot of people in the industry from a lot of pain! The guts of it is this . . . Bartercard has, does and will likely continue to rip off others in the Barter industry.
- IRTA Ethics – Conflict of Interest
In this seventeenth article in my series on Barter I discuss the widespread attitude and approach in the industry towards keeping skeletons in the closet. I show how the desire to keep factual information about (for example Bartercard’s humungous house deficit) from the public “for the good of the industry” is counter-productive by giving the conmen, crooks and greedy the perfect environment in which to practise their black art. I conclude with commentary on the role of IRTA and how their historical failure to address many of the thorny issues has been a festering wound but with revealations of their deal with Bartercard is now like a full blown abscess. Unfortunately it’s a little ugly.
In this twentieth post in the Barter Series, I show how IRTA (The International Reciprocal Trade Association) had a conflict of interest over a secret deal brewing with Bartercard and then stood by knowingly while Bartercard (one of their members) raped a Sussex Barter Exchange even after the victim had laid a complaint with IRTA! In a disgusting display of corwardice and self-interest, the IRTA Executive singlehandedly denied the victim justice at two ends of the scale and the real perpetrator not only walked free, but then announced their exclusive endorsement from IRTA. It’s the stuff of vomit but it happened in 2014. This story just has to get out there!
- The IRTA / UC Fraud 
In my last post I concluded that Universal Currency is broken. It’s management is ineffective and corrupt with nepotism, deception and illegal conduct, totally contrary to the By-Laws under which it operates. I continue my commentary here highlighting specific figures taken directly from data visible to IRTA Members, that prove without a shadow of doubt, that Universal Currency has been deliberately mis-managed for personal and political gain. Heads MUST surely roll . . .
- Call to suspend Universal Currency Trading
This post is an URGENT public call for the immediate suspension of trading within the Universal Currency trading platform following my expose of fraud within the system, exactly 24 hours ago. Mismanagement of the UC Currency has and will continue to expose traders to unreasonable risk based on fraudulent conduct by the Administrator, IRTA. An unreconciled accounting system for a start indicates deliberately hidden information let alone a plethora of unanswered questions. I show how IRTA’s responses to a crisis situation indicate a deliberate attempt to obfuscate and distract. This is a serious situation for all involved.
- IRTA Board – Power & Politics
In this 23rd post in a series on Barter, I break the power structures within IRTA down into visual form. I dive into the murky waters of politics; I show who the people are who are making the decisions and where ultimate responsibility for the mess lies. The buck stops right at the top with the President. I also offer suggestions for those currently in the poo for how to extricate themselves from the mess they find themselves in.
- Bartercard’s Webturtle and beyond
In this post I put the corruption and squabbling within IRTA into context and move back to the future, explaining again as I did in my first post, the fundamental issues that the industry will need to face in the coming decades. It’s not an Association, nor is it software, it’s a currency war – nothing less, nothing more.
- The Barter Series – Summary