I just came back from the 3rd CryptoCommons Gathering at the Commons Hub in Austria. I was financed to create a course to introduce the notion of Collaborative Finance to the blockchain demographic. Perhaps a midsummer conference isn't the ideal setting for a daily one hour class, or mky time-slot wasnt't ideal, but around 1/4 to 1/3 of the participants attended each day. The four lessons were:
Adventures in mutual credit
Report on the first Collaborative Finance Gathering at the Commons Hub, Austria, May 22-28, 2023.
It was an honour to be asked by the Commons Hub to design a conference and I took the opportunity to bring together crypto-people with some working on more traditional complementary currency innovations. I arranged the mornings so that each one covered a different 'structure' of credit (a taxonomy I have yet to write about), namely mutual credit, mesh credit (i.e.
Just a short glance indicated to me that this would be worth recording, and I was right. With a flair unexpected in a PhD thesis, Drumm draws on English and classical history, much of it presented through Shakespeare, to show how history has been defined by the politics of liquidity, and how this politics is really the management of an unresolved dilemma at the heart of the monetary theory.
There have been a few half-hearted attempts to do mutual credit, or business barter on a blockchain, but the only one that has cut any ice at all with me so far is Resource. Founder David Casey was a social entrepreneur experimenting with mutual credit long before venturing into blockchain and he has assembled a team which seems to be committed to honest finance rather than shilling shitcoins.
The Economic Space Agency has spent several years imagining a system for individuals and organisations to account for exchange, allocate risk and reward, and measure and store value without using or even referring to fiat money.
They have finally produced a book explaining the economics of it, which is presented here, along with my rendition of it.
The assumptions of web software architecture.
The most successful organisations are mostly private corporations who jealously guard their members / customers, and seek to grow and squeeze out the competition and establish a monopoly. The software of the web reflects that, as each company has its own web platform, inside of which it seeks to retain its users by being the largest or only player in the space.
This is a book about thinking about thinking, with a focus on anyone who would try, or presume, to be able to improve a complex system, say by starting a new business in the space. Can you know when there is a real gap or when you are being arrogant or over-optimistic?
[Written for users of Community Forge software]
I've been immersed in monetary theory for several years. At one point I realised that money-as-we-know-it and markets are actually just two aspects of the same idea, and that the two evolve together. So saying, I've read a lot about money, its sociology, history, philosophy etc, but very little about markets.