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Envisaging Permacredits as part of an ecosystem

Reponse to What Permacredits will look like in our daily lives

Dollars won't be the currency of reference for much longer. Yuan perhaps, or a new gold-backed unit, or Special Drawing Rights, will be the next Reserve currency and and standards of value for the credulous world.

I think the chances of Litecoin becoming a major currency are very slim. We both agree with BL that monetary diversity is desirable for stability, but Litecoin isn't what I would mean by diversity. Litecoin has no marketplace outside of Bitcoin, and no story.

Bitcoin is a global general purpose asset. Backed by nothing, the price is very flexible, and the currency acts as a stabilising mechanism like the Swiss Wir, reacting to events in other markets. It is also great for long distance transfers, since anyone can use it.

Permacredits belong to a particular tribe, I think, and are used mostly to manage investment and risk in ecovillage enterprises. They don't circulate far from ecovillages. These are considered a good asset because they embody trust in productive, forward-thinking people. They are also sometimes used as a means of payment between members because transaction costs are zero.

I think the bioregional currency deserves a place in your story. The bioregion is a 'natural' economy and as such deserves a currency to help keep resources flowing around the biosphere without leaking out. That would be what the family used for most of its day-to-day transactions: food, services, energy, education, healthcare etc. This might be a decaying currency, and the local government would regularly issue new units to pay for environmental services or it might have a basic income component and a tax.

There might be a currency for global trade in resources. Lietaer called this curency the TERRA. Though not designed for consumers, in a post-Bitcoin world, every exported product might pass on a TERRA component in the consumer price. It should be normal for things to be priced using multiple currencies, reflecting the different sorts of costs involved.

Finally there might be a hyper local currency, hours, to encourage neighbours to do things for each other. Or babysitting points, or a running poker score, or citizen participation points or any number of value metrics.

Permacredits as currently presented has two distinct components. Permacredits the financial vehicle is much needed to bring investment to progressive enterprises. However permacredits the multi-currency wallet is much less needed. The banking and bitcoin industries are building such tools faster than you can keep up. Few permacredit transactions will be for retail and I predict that a straight web/mobile interface will be enough in the early days.

But also I think a wallet of the future won't just be about showing multiple balances and smoothly exchanging between them. Indeed many currencies would not be designed to be bought and sold for other currencies. I think a smart wallet of the future will advise its owner how to live in balance by pointing out which currencies are being earned, which spent, and what the exchange rates are.

For example if I'm a gardener earning local money but I like the latest tech gadget then I need a regular supply of TERRA. I can buy TERRA for local currency but the exchange rate might not be very favourable, so I might choose to garden for someone with an excess of TERRA, or learn a skill which would earn TERRA.

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