The ability to barter goods and services is a very powerful business proposition which allows companies to buy goods at the marginal cost of their own goods and services. It saves cash and dramatically improves the balance sheet.
The use of a currency specific to the exchange provides a magnificent retaining power with its members. Members have to use the exchange to spend their local currency, the exchange was paid a small percentage on each transaction... in cash.
We were involved from the inception of the company and participated all the way through 2 rounds of funding by two top-tier European VCs and the successful sale of its technology to an american exchange in late 2001.
Our role included analysis of requirements using UML, defining the strategy to select a platform, enhancing the platform, delivering and supporting it.
IBM WebSphere Market Place Edition was used in close partnership with IBM (IBM also invested in the company). Based around J2EE technologies, this platform offered a robust environment and this resulted in a web site where multiple buyers and multiple sellers can maintain their own catalogue, negotiate items, record transactions and transfer the local currency.
It was vastly enhanced to create a local currency, a central bank facility, WAP and Avantgo interfaces as well as credit card processing.