In a world where legal tender is directly proportionate to power, these two young men have a very different outlook regarding money. They believe in a cashless world and to this effect, have opened a bartering shack in North Campus. Xco (Xchange Over Coffee) is probably the only place where you could have a cup of coffee without paying. They are promoting a system of barter by accepting books instead of money.
Shivam Dewan and Paras Arya, co-owners of Xco, have had a flourishing business post the government’s demonetisation move. They accept fiction and non-fiction books in good condition and in return, they give their customers food and drink. They have had a 60 percent rise in their business in the last 10 days alone. Last month, they received over 400 books and this month, over 650 already. Dewan mentions that people have even come to them wanting to barter clothes and shoes.
The barter system was in effect centuries ago, before the invention of legal tender. And although it had its glitches, it seemed to work quite efficiently for a time. In these days of cash crunch, it is no wonder that people are reverting back to this old system, and it looks like bartering is quite the trend now.
Customers can also exchange books at Xco, and books are shared among the Xco community members. People can also exchange books by registering on their website. They even have a provision where two people who exchange books after being listed on the website, get a coupon which can be redeemed at the café for food and drinks.
Both Dewan and Arya were fellow engineers, who quit their jobs to pursue their vision of a world without money. Earlier this year they both tried out living without money and they discovered that although it’s hard, it’s not impossible. They both realised that instead of using money, people can use their skills and knowledge in a system of barter. Their shack is currently doing really well, and their location is quite ideal for getting lots of books and hungry customers 24×7.
Location: Outside Patel Chest Institute main red light, North Campus.
Nearest Metro Station: Vishwavidyalaya