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Baller Coins. “A Ski Ride” is worth a “Ski Ride”. Good Idea or Terrible Idea


Horton
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For the last 10 years I have been skiing at other peoples lakes and behind their boats. I have paid for rides with gas, cash, beer, steaks, coaching, blackmail and even skis. Now that I am going to have my own place and I am not going to take gas or money for rides from all the folks that helped me ski with them over the years. I am not going to say no to beer but I think that is understandable.

 

I was thinking today it would be fun to make custom poker chips known as “Baller Coins”. One Baller Coin is worth one ski ride. Next time I ski at someone elses house I give them a Baller Coin. When they come to my house they give me the Baller Coin back. Part of the beauty of a “Baller Coin” is a “ski ride” is worth a “ski ride”.

 

I might also include a Baller Coin with every t-shirt purchase. (a new t-shirt vendor is in the pipeline) If you willing to wear the t-shirt I should at least give you a ride if you show up at my door.

 

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I ski in two other private lakes, and I take gas to them by my own choice, because their boats are on lifts and it helps them out, while I get the same amout in cash that is agreed upon at the beginning if each season, because I trailer out to my lake each time. The coins would make it a lot easier for me, but wouldn't help the other guys.

 

For a long time we just did cash, and joked that we we should mark the $10 bill that we thought we were passing back and forth, sort of like the coin idea.

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@mattp I do know what you are thinking but in the this case I really want something people can hold in their hand. BitBalerCoins could be a future idea but not to start.

 

@6balls @baja A can of gas is the same value as a BallerCoin and every one likes gas so I think the two could live in harmony. If you are putting gas in your boat and I am putting gas in my boat the coins just keep the trade all even. If you do not have any coins bring me gas. Whatever.

 

@crashman buyin is an interesting problem. I think the following works.

I make the first batch as Bakersfield Baller Coins. To start the are really only worth a ride at my house. I am basically handing out fancy I-O-U s every time I ski somewhere else. As I ski more and hand out more coins they are eventually traded among the local skiers.

 

When one of you wants to start local I will make you your coins. Lets say Austin Baller Coins. Who ever is the local Baller Bank gets the coins for about a $1 each (cost of the coin) but it is like a check book. The checks do not cost anything until you fill them out and hand them out.

 

If you purchased 100 coins at the cost to make the coins and just split them among your friends for next to nothing.... that is basically like counterfeiting. If you show up at my house with a coin you paid a $1 for and I give you a ride that is a bad deal. I think the coins can only enter circulation as a trade for a ride. Does this make sense?

 

I hate to ask but is there an economist among the Ballers?

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whatever you do avoid the dilemma the u. s. mint is in. people still want the government to keep making the penny but then they tend to ignore them in change jars etc. so the mint keeps making then even tho each penny cost $1.99 to make. the only saving grace is the treasury pays for each penny with a $2 bill so they get another penny back in change -every penny purchase is like a 2 for 1 sale.
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@richarddoane there's a new pump motor as of yesterday and the lake gets deeper everyday. not very many more weeks before water will be in the hole

 

 

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@Horton this is best idea yet.

 

@TylerR I think we are in the same boat here, no pun intended. I think there should also be coin credit for setting Horton up to ski with people. You know, for the guy that says "Hey, I can get you set up with (name of reputable skier) for a swerve and a beer." I do this a lot as I only ski with others, and without the skier that sets up the ski ride - there would be no ski ride.

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Sounds like a great idea. I much prefer favor for favor than someone trying to buy me gas or food (beer is always cheerfully accepted). Our guests tend to be more of the weekend cruise type than skiing, so it is a little different arrangement.
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I was sort of worried that this could take off and someone could take advantage of it. Buy a bunch of coins from me and try get rides without reciperacting. After some more thought it is pretty darn easy.

 

I think the rules are as follows:

 

1) do the buy-in any way you want

2) As long as you only accept Baller Coins from someone that you plan to ski with in the future you can't get screwed

 

 

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Ooo so yea I will order a batch of Coins (custom poker chips) this week. I will have them in a few weeks. At that time if you want some we can work it out then.
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@OB - I don't think the coin has to prevent you from buying gas in addition to offering up a coin as a thanks. Also a great way to explain the concept to those skiers at lakes who may appreciate what BOS is about and pay it another visit. Maybe the next time the coin is all you'll need
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you might think about some way to personalize them so that any given ' ' coin ' ' can be identified as to who it came from. maybe a large white center on one side that will take sharpie writing or a pre printed sticker or something like that? so whoever it came from will redeem it with a ski ride no matter who presents it -that way i could trade a coin from a distant lake i'll never travel to for a coin from a lake thats closer to where i'm at.
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It's a very unique thing and that's cool so I don't think it's a "terrible" idea but I feel like it takes away from the generosity of trading ski sets. I enjoy the random acts of generosity from friends more than just my gas costs. It might be gas, money, helping hands on projects, spare parts, moral support, travel costs if you go somewhere else, etc. Knowing I've got friends who are in it for more than just breaking even is pretty awesome in my book.
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Even though I voted for "terrible idea" I think the idea has merit. However, I don't think it will work as well as envisioned.

 

Like @OB, I've been fortunate to travel quite a bit over the past two seasons and have benefitted from the generosity of lots of people. I've also paid for rides with cash, gas, dinner, beer, and other barters. Being a Senior/PanAm judge, Senior Scorer and TC I've also been able to "trade" for working tournaments (sometimes more than a plane ride away from home). This has always worked well and while I don't think I've been necessarily given a bargin I also believe it's been a better deal for me than for the lake/boat owner. As the same time, speaking for others, I don't think anyone has felt slighted or otherwise felt like they've been overly generous (maybe I'm wrong?!).

 

The "currency of choice" is different no matter where I've been. More remote lakes without gas provisions far prefer if you bring a can of gas since it makes their logistics somewhat easier. On the other hand, if I'm traveling, a gas can is impossible to travel with, so a $20 or a trip to the store with their can makes more sense. At most sites, especially the first time on the site, it's rare that theres an expectation to pay anything. Folks usually say, "first times on me, next time bring xxxx". In fact, I can think of only one site where the expectation was to literally pay for a ride and, ironically, it was @OB's site. His 'business model' is fundementally different than virtually everywhere else but that's another related story (see below).

 

Some other lakes, especially out west it seems, are far more difficult to get a set for any price. Home owners tie up all the available time and unless you own 2 or more lots, you're not likely to be able to get in the pattern enough times to pull a guest.

 

So, we have a situation where the ride (for me) is infinitely valuable and that same ride (for most boat/lake owners) is virtually worthless. Yes, I know folks can wear out their welcome but we're talking about occassional guests here not folks who are "non-paying" club members. Now we want to add a currency (Baller Coin) which is printed by one person, @Horton, as the payment of choice.

 

I'll bring a coin (assuming I can find one on the street somewhere) to a lake where they would far rather have a can of gas (or case of beer) and the currency is still worthless. They don't ski anywhere else so they never have a chance to use it for themselves which means they literally gave a ride away for free. All the while, when Horton gives away his first batch, he'll print more which makes it even more worthless.

 

If the token value of the coins is $20 (a reasonable per set fee) and there's 5000 coins in circulation, that's $100k worth of value, but value to who?

 

This hits at the heart of what I think is "wrong" with our sport and the ability to grow it. Sure we've moved from public lakes to private lakes which limits the access for beginners, etc. I personally don't think this move, in itself, is the problem. Unless you're Tiger Woods, a pro golfer doesn't have his own private golf course in his back yard. Some of the most expensive and exclusive courses are accessible if you know someone and/or pay the green fees. I beleive @OB has the business model which make sense. There's a boat and driver on the lake, come on down and ski. Your ride will cost you $xx.xx and off you go. That fee helps pay for the costs of owning/maintaining the lake, boat and courses and the driver. That same fee provides access to anyone who wants to grab a set. This scenario sets up a situation where the ride has equal value to both the skier and the site. There are a few other locations I'm aware of that are similar and, I think, it's the reason that cable parks are (more?) successful in attracting new skiers/riders.

 

So, sorry but while I think the idea is good, the current way the vast majority of lakes operate makes this idea fail the economics test.

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Maybe I am wrong, but if someone comes to ski with me at my place on my OWN boat...... I'll take the "H-Chip" even if I will never see them again or ever make it to their site/club.

 

And if they accompany me to my private site/club and use our club boat, they can sure pass on the chip to me, but the business model is $30 a set on that site for guests.........

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@klindly said it best -its a fun and interesting idea but its also an example of a alternative currency backed by a ' ' trust network ' ' but not backed by any other assets. for baller parents it could be a perfect model to teach young ones the concept of inflation. so it might benefit the original holder if he can find some one to redeem it for face value like a ski ride but each subsequent holder will receive less and less value until it takes a bucket of baller coins to trade for a used palm protector. the last player left holding baller coins gets nothing for his trouble. as a local currency to trade among a close set of ballers it will prolly be fun but in a global economy of ballers it fails because theres no way to balance the benefit given against the benefit received.
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Oooo you guys over think EVERYTHING. As the lake /boat owner you should not accept a Baller Coin from anyone unless you think you will ski at their house sooner or later. It is only a fancy I-O-U.

 

For you guys that travel a lot. I am not sure it will ever work out well.

 

Accept it if you want or not. I expect it will work well for some and not all for others. Generally everyone would rather gas but if we are trading rides back and forth all the time we might as well put gas in our own boats.

 

I can imagine => I ski with Bob and give him a Coin. Bob skis with Mark and gives him the same Coin. When Mark skis with me and gives me the Coin. We are all even. It is the same as if we all passed a $20 around and is the same as if we had all given each other a can of gas. It is literally a zero sum game.

 

The day you run out of coins, you invite everyone to your house or you start filling gas cans.

 

If some guy you have never seen before shows up at your lake and wants to use a Baller Coin, it is up to you to take it or not. In cases where it is NOT a Zero Sum Game you should not take the coin for payment if you are worried about the real value.

 

At this point it is a idea in Beta. At very least these will be tokens for a ride at my house. If in some wacky universe there were thousands of coins out there real thought would be needed but that is so far away it seem silly to even talk about.

 

The few days after I had the original idea I thought about all kinds of problems and then i realized no one has to accept or use it. I will say it again, it is just a transferable I-O-U for ski ride.

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@Horton I agree with your comments. I was searching for the correct term for this type of economic system (you asked for an economist!) and found this - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_despotism.

 

With @Horton printing the currency and owning the lake it could fit! Leave it to Wikipedia to get a good laugh in late in the afternoon!

 

Just kidding - print away! Just make sure you buy decent poker chips with the RF chips inside so they'll work in Vegas too! :)

 

 

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Sounds perfect as a local skiing currency. If you go somewhere you won't be reciprocating just bring the usual cash or gas.

As a local currency it encourages balance of site and boat usage. That means hours get spread evenly among boats and you can get better at skiing different sites.

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@OB I understand and didn't mean to suggest you're forcing skiers to pay up or leave nor am I suggesting you're making money on things. However your site seems more receptive to guests that are more than a one/two time occasion. EVERY other site I've been to is also welcoming don't really have a way to deal with guests.

 

Perhaps I was wrong with using your club as an example but it seems its run more like a "private golf course" model than an exclusive site.

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