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Adventures in mutual credit

Sharing and software (in timebanking)

In this talk to the Global Exchange Gathering last week, I show how the competition between timebanking platforms is a result of the software structures, and how even if different platforms can't share code, the can still service their users by becoming more interoperable.

The talk was very well received perhaps because I spent the previous five days in reconnaissance, and thus was able to say what this audience needed to hear.

Social proof of work

There is much misunderstanding about the proper basis for issuing currency, especially with regard to somehow limiting the issuance to ensure that the issuers are not over-empowered and the currency tending to worthlessness. With Bitcoin we have a new expression in our vocabulary, 'proof of work'. This too is often misunderstood to mean that work provably done merits a currency reward, but if that were the case the amount of Bitcoin couldn't be fixed.

Grass roots software provider Community Forge goes from 0-100 in six years

Swiss nonprofit Community Forge was founded in the aftermath of the 2008 banking implosion. The first mission statement was about giving communities the tools they needed, most especially the monetary tools, to become more independent and resilient. Tim Anderson, from the LETS in Geneva, had teamed up with Matthew Slater, a software developer to build a community web portal and accounting tool suitable for LETS.

Ecovillage economy tour: Sieben Linden

Sieben Linden (Seven Linden trees) sits amongst forests, fields and sparsley populated villages in the plains of Northern Germany.

How to visit a village on the ecovillage economy tour.

The ecovillage economy tour is an open experiment in data collection. The intention is to build a picture of the overall ecovillage economy so see what business or exchange opportunities might emerge.

What a modular complementary currency system might look like.

We want to build a payments ecosystem so that community currency entrepreneurs can pick up appropriate components and make them work together quickly thus concentrating their resources on developing their Unique Sales Proposition. We want marketplace entrepreneurs and community currencies to be able to choose between Ripple, OpenMoney, and Cyclos for their transaction storage, and to know that these choices will not prevent them from intertrading. They need to be able to re-use existing mobile payments apps rather than write their own.

What happens after the crypto-revolution?

Bitcoin may disintermediate banks, but that will not change the economy, save the environment or make society fairer. One peaceful way to prevent our governments driving us to collective suicide is to get behind a new generation of P2P credit projects.

Ecovillage Tour: Amalurra (Euskadi)

Amalurra, Basque for 'mother earth', was formed from a meditation group with life-coach Irene Goikolea over 20 years ago. Wanting to take their practice further, they bought an old seminary and oriented their lives around making it beautiful and offering hospitality. Fast forward to now, and there are several gleaming buildings, including a hotel, hostel, spa, cafe, restaurant, many spaces for meetings and workshops, a sweat-lodge next to a stream and extensive gardens.

Dark activism

There's been much attention, in the alternative media at least, around Amir Taaki and the Dark Wallet project which aims to make using bitcoin more anonymous. Taaki argues, quite properly, that regulating Bitcoin is squandering the founder's legacy and neutering the opportunity that technology gives us to create a really free market.

Ecovillage economy tour: Lakabe

Perched on one of the foothills of the Pyrenees, in the Basque region, Lakabe was a tiny deserted village of 7 houses re-inhabited 34 years ago by a handful idealists fleeing the city life. There was no road, and no rooves on the houses, very little money for redevelopment, and certainly no tenure. Now there are 50 people, a bakery, a sustainable pine forest, and the village is 'official' although the property can neither be bought by the residents nor sold by the local government.

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