E-currency firm joins list of has-Beenz

If you've earned any Beenz on your travels round the Web, you'd better hurry up and spend them
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

Internet surfers have only ten days to use up their Beenz after the firm announced today that its operations will cease on 26 August.

The online currency firm said that is closing the Beenz Economy, and that no transactions would be honoured after 26 August. Any outstanding Beenz will be worthless after that date, and it is unclear how many online retailers will still be accepting Beenz now that the scheme has failed.

Beenz had warned earlier this year that it was seeking additional finance or a buyer as it attempted to survive the downturn in the dot-com sector. With adverts appearing across the Web, the company attracted much publicity for its idea -- that Net users would visit or shop at a specific Web site to earn Beenz, which could then be used to buy other items online.

Experts believe that online currency sites such as Beenz were overtaken as a way of shopping online by credit cards, which had the advantage of being virtually universally accepted both on and offline. In contrast, digital currency appealed to Internet merchants because they avoid the hefty charges involved with credit cards.

After the Internet bubble burst, E-currency companies tried to evolve by concentrating on business customers, but the collapse of a high-profile trailblazer such as Beenz shows that the "old-economy" credit card firms have probably won the online shopping battle.

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