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David Bowie, a legendary musical artist, has died at 69 years old after battling with cancer. While the iconic and visionary artist will be largely remembered for his successful music career, he also had a great impact in the finance sector.  



An alternative currency surfaced in the British capital almost at the same time came into the scene. British Pound (B£) is an initiative launched in September 2009 by locals in the neighborhood of southwest London to help Brixton businesses and boost local production and trade. The initiative, which gained global recognition recently, was a currency in form of physical paper decorated with images of David Bowie, a local superstar born and brought up in Brixton.  


Remarkable Legacy by David Bowie in Alternative Finance and Currencies Sector

Duncan Jones with his father David Bowie at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival for the exhibition of Jones’s film Moon.  | David Shankbone  via 


Following this artistic paper currency was electronic B£ pay-by-text platform, which was launched in September 2011. The official website of the currency shows that today about 250 businesses accept paper B£ and about 250 of them have pay-by-text accounts.

B£ shows two main things about its successful projections. First, it demonstrates that there is contained demand for alternative currencies, the ones that are different from those printed by central banks. Second, not everyone is willing to see money merely as numbers. For instance, people of Brixton are ready to accept a paper-based currency that is not printed by the Bank of England but can still be used as a physical storage of value and also as a means of exchange when trading.



Probably the people who prefer a local alternative currency decorated with images of importance to the community do so as a way of protesting against traditional financial order. Nevertheless, it is not guaranteed that the same people will support, understand or trust how blockchain works.

Therefore, cryptocurrency exponents should find ways on how to reach out to ordinary people across the world, without having to hold a physical object in their hand with decorations of a treasured local hero in order to make payment or do business.



David Bowie also had an impact on finance following his personal venture he took. Several years before artists started crowdsourcing funds via their internet, Bowie had started developing exceptional thoughts.



In 1997, he issued bonds for $55 million as a way of securitizing his future income at an interest rate of 7.9 percent over a 10-year period. This was backed by the income he collected from his records. He became the first artist to explore such a noble idea that other industries can also apply.  

Unfortunately, the bonds were drastically downgraded in 2004 by Moody’s when the old models of the whole music industry became disrupted by file sharing, internet and MP3. However, this cannot take away Bowie’s achievement in the finance world.



Featured image: David Bowie | Adam Bielawski
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