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Friday, 17 August, 2001, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Beenz drops currency
Beenz logo
The beenz currency will be worthless after 25 August
Another high-profile internet company has become a victim of the slump.

Beenz - which tried to develop an alternative form of payment for internet transactions - has announced its currency will become invalid after midnight on 25 August.

"No beenz earning or spending transactions will be honored after that date," a notice on the Beenz website says.

Any "beenz" remaining in people's accounts will also be made invalid.

High hopes

Beenz launched in the US and UK in March 1999 offering a new way to earn credit and pay for goods over the internet.

People would earn beenz by visiting a website, and as they built up a store of beenz credits they could use them to buy products from websites.

Meanwhile it was thought companies would benefit from giving away beenz, as it would attract more people to their site.

At first all seemed to be going well. The company raised 55m ($80m) of financing, including money from high profile investors such as Larry Ellison, chief executive of Oracle.

At its peak, the company operated in several offices around the world, employing 260 people.

Decline and fall

But, like many other ventures, Beenz was forced to cut back its operations to slow down the rate at which it was spending its funds.

By early this year the company was only operating two offices, in New York and London, and employing 30 people.

The London office will now be closed, while the New York office will oversee the sale of the company and its assets.

"'s decision to wind down the beenz economy and halt trading is a direct consequence of the company's strategy of minimising... liabilities whilst the company is involved in advanced negotiations with a number of interested parties regarding the potential sale of the business or its assets," the company said in a statement.

See also:

31 Jul 01 | Business
Halifax internet bank disappoints
27 Jul 01 | Scotland
Grid plan for high speed internet
07 May 01 | Business
Weathering the web's 'perfect storm'
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