The Social TRade Organisation (STRO)
Cyclos is a project of the Social Trade Organisation
Social TRade Organisation (STRO)
STRO was established in 1970 with a strong focus on environmental issues and the impact of the monetary structure. In the 1980s STRO advocated proposals that were very innovative for their time such as replacing taxes on labor by eco-taxing and carbon dioxide emission rights. Over the last 20 years, STRO has focused its research and interventions in the monetary arena, driven by the evidence that money is a key determinant in the organization of all aspects of modern society. From 1995 onward, STRO’s Research and Development focused on the introduction of more effective and environmentally friendly currencies. Many tests were executed in Latin America and in parallel Cyclos software has been developed.
Cyclos solutions for social impact
The objective of the Social Trade Organisation is to provide a free (or low cost) platform that can be used by different organisations and institutions that are aiming on social economic impact. Cyclos supports a wide variety of applications.
Banks in developing countries
Cyclos allows local and regional banks to compete with big international banks, because Cyclos allows them to provide cost-effective, state of the art online banking, SMS banking, POS and mobile banking services. This contributes to a more diverse banking sector which makes it stronger and more competitive. Regional banks are also known to invest more money in the region contributing directly to the country’s economic growth instead of international speculation.
Campus card systems
Education plays a crucial role in the development of a country. Campus card systems are quite expensive and usually require considerable external expertise and support. Cyclos permits installing and maintaining a Campus card system with local know-how. For more information about the Campus card system click here.
Cyclos enables barters to start their business in only a few steps, without the need to invest heavily in expensive software. Research shows that barters can be very beneficial to a country’s economy in times when capital is scarce, making countries more resilient in times of economic crises. The reason behind this is simple. When the economy suddenly contracts, enterprises still have products or services to offer, but not enough customers. Even if company A wants to buy a product from company B and company B wants to buy a product from company A, often the money (or credit) is missing to enable trade. A barter helps these companies to trade with each other through the barter network.
Micro finance institutions
A big drawback of microfinance is that the amount of money that is brought into circulation into a region is considerable smaller than the amount of money that is taken out of circulation when the loan is repaid. This is due to the high interest rates charged. Cyclos can be used to supply digital loans, keeping the ‘real’ money on a savings account. The digital money can only be converted after a predetermined amount of time or with a certain exchange fee for example. In this way, the loan can be provided against a lower interest rate and the tools in Cyclos can stimulate the money to circulate longer in the region; contributing to more sustainable economic growth.
Cyclos reliefs these organizations almost completely of their administrative burden, allowing these organizations to flourish. Because timebanks and LETS encourage people in the local community to help each other, Cyclos helps here to strengthen the local social cohesion.
Cyclos is an ideal solution for remittances programs, because of the ‘low level’ access channels such as SMS and USSD Currently the transfer cost of remittances are very high and only a part of the money meant for the family of the migrants can reach them. Cyclos can help to reduce these costs.