January 10, 2017
by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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IRTA Chairman's Open
2016 & Beyond
On behalf of the IRTA Global Board of Directors, I'd like to
thank all of you for your contributions to another very
successful year. Some of the Board's accomplishments this year
will yield a more immediate return for the growth of this
industry, but many of the achievements will provide guidance and
security in the coming years, or even decades ahead.
was the creative, diligent work from our President & CEO, Ron
Whitney, our UC International Broker/IRTA Project Manager, Patty
Weston, and the help of numerous legal and accounting
professionals that resulted in IRTA delivering major benefits to
our industry. This banner year was also a function of the
remarkable support from our elected board, and the efforts
from you, our members.
IRTA continues to be an advocate
for the barter industry regarding new state financial
regulations concerning Money Transmitters, resulting from the
rise of crypto-currencies and their potential impact on other
complementary currencies, including barter/trade currencies.
IRTA's "Money Transmitter Regulations Committee," which is made
up of various industry experts inside and outside of IRTA,
released IRTA's "Crypto-currency Money Transmitter Advisory
Memo" in February 2016. The Advisory Memo makes important
distinctions between legal crypto-currencies and trade dollars.
The IRTA website was redesigned and released in January of
2016 to modernize the site and maximize internet SEO.
Also, IRTA re-wrote, modernized and approved new Bylaws to
reflect current best practices. These were released in February
2016 and further revised in September of 2016.
the "Membership Agreement — Cash Conversion & Lending Clauses"
Advisory Memo was released, which makes critical membership
contract language recommendations so as to properly establish
that trade exchanges are not lenders. And in August IRTA
released a new modernized model membership agreement.
Once again IRTA's Universal Currency Clearinghouse (UC), with
over 100 participating exchanges, regularly set monthly trading
records in 2016, and for the first time in UC's history,
exceeded the annual 12 million dollar annual trade volume
plateau for 2016. In addition, IRTA increased the quantity and
quality of IRTA's membership by bringing BBX International, BBX
international franchisee's and other key U.S. exchanges into the
IRTA continued its international reach by
meeting with key officials from the Dubai Department of Economic
Development to provide advice and expertise for their plan to
build an international barter-hub in Dubai. The Dubai government
is expected to launch the barter-hub initiative in 2017, which
could have profound advancements in our global community.
In October IRTA formed a new committee to write an Advisory Memo
on the delineation between the assets and liabilities of the
managing trade exchange and the trade exchange itself, (i.e.,
the members of the trade exchange). The Advisory Memo will
provide guidance for the proper accounting of, and 1099B
reporting for, bad debt member trade account write-offs.
The Advisory Memo is expected to be released in January of 2017.
IRTA once again assisted both IRTA-member and non-IRTA
member exchanges to obtain full abatements of proposed cash
civil penalties related to IRS non-matching TIN matters. IRTA
also helped member and non-member exchanges to retain their
merchant services providers, by successfully educating the
merchant service providers on the fact that trade dollars are
not crypto-currencies and trade exchanges are not money
I'm proud to say IRTA hosted the most
successful IRTA convention in over fifteen years at the
five-star all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel from September 22-24,
2016. A sincere thank you goes out to our friends at Green Apple
for delivering such a fantastic destination and resort.
With another productive year behind us, we are intently focused
on what lies ahead. This will once again be a pivotal year for
this industry as we see continued growth and development in 2017
with new currencies, legislation, and global expansion in this
business sector. The Board of Directors will meet in April for
its annual two day planning session to evaluate and set the next
steps and goals for IRTA and UC.
We will be releasing
news in the coming month on the 2017 convention and are now
outlining a new credentials based designation program, which
upon completion, will recognize exchange owners that ascribe to
proper managerial principles and exemplary best practices within
Once again, IRTA and UC will continue
to pro-actively advocate for the barter industry in 2017 in
their ongoing effort to preserve, protect and enhance the global
barter industry. I thank all of you, who have joined us in the
Chairman of the Board, IRTA &
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