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Adventures in mutual credit

Lucas Huber suggests that the Interledger Protocol would be a suitable technology for implementing the credit commons. This post is a space to explore that more fully. Credit commons was originally conceived as a ledger between the all the ledgers on all the separate platforms of the complementary currency movement, and the actual function of the interledger protocol is the same, to ensure that one transaction in one ledger is equivalent to another transaction in another ledger, thus that money/credit are not created/lost by mismatches in ledgers. However when we regard money as credit...
For a long time I have marvelled at the elegance of the Ripple protocol, which allows members of a network to extend trust to one another and for payments, or at least virtual payments, to ripple through the resulting mesh along pathways it finds. Ripple was originally designed as a sort of abstraction of mutual credit. Instead of people forming groups, each account extends a line of trust to several other accounts to form a mesh. Each account is then in its own virtual group. This takes away the mutuality, and effectively puts each user in their own circle. In Ripple, mutual credit...
I sat down with Athens' newest Timebank, Vrilissia, and Luke Flegg to talk about cooperation in Austerity-riddled Greece. Download conversation Your browser does not support the audio element.
This was published at: https://www.community-exchange.org/docs/smalladsrfi.html This request for information is seeking partners and friends to work on an open directory of ads to support grass roots economies. The requirements are almost exactly the same as my 2011 RFI, but now with the added weight of CES.
Greetings Alumni of the Money and Society MOOC, Jem and I decided to keep in touch with you with this new Biannual newsletter. It includes some headlines I found interesting, and other tidbits about what Jem and I are doing. Our news The MOOC will continue as long we get new people, and we think the best promoters are the people who have done it. Please have a think about which of your friends, colleagues and social networks should know about the MOOC, and send them to this link. https://iflas.blogspot.co.id/2014/12/money-and-society-mooc.html Thanks! Last month I published a white...
Students of economics are taught that money has three main functions, a unit of account, a store of value and a medium of exchange. On closer examination we find that these three sit uneasily together. For example, a store of value should increase in value over time, while a medium of exchange works best when the value is decreasing. All the while the unit of account should stay the same value! In history we find many examples of these function being performed by separate instruments. For example the medieval bankers Ecu de Marc was purely a unit of account. Precious metals, land, shares...
My understanding of money came initially through LETS and the beautiful, simple mechanism of mutual credit. Working from the principle of balance, mutual credit accounting begins and ends with no debts and no money. Money is just an imaginary intermediary that keeps account between all the members of society, enabling them to 'split the barter', giving and receiving with different people at different times, but always in balance. It is tempting to view all money in those terms. From a mutual credit perspective, issuance is defined as an account going below zero, spending more than it earns....
About four years ago I realised that my work with local exchange systems could be much more impactful if I concentrated on commercial business barter rather than on LETS and time banks. I joined the LinkedIn group, Think Barter and voiced some ideas about reducing costs and increasing interoperability with open source software. The response was disappointing to say the least. I heard a lot of parroted and wrong prejudices against open source and was treated mostly with indifference. hanging around for so long with people who want to change the world for the better, I wasn't expecting to...
This article develops the idea from my recent post, Is money like energy Money is very difficult to understand; it seems to behave like nothing else in the universe such that every analogy captures only a part of its behaviour. Its properties as both a commodity and as an agreement seem deeply paradoxical. This may be an indication that we need to look at it from a level. It is easy to examine the tokens which move from hand to hand - their inscriptions and their value, or the transactions - their form and meaning. The tokens flow in the opposite direction to the goods and services; their...
I am often told that money is like energy; that it flows around the community creating economic activity remaining essentially the same, never being destroyed. But this metaphor doesn't satisfy me. it works quite well for cash whether fiat or backed, but most of our money is not cash and in fact behaves very differently. It is tempting when exploring the True nature of money, as theologians study the bread in the Eucharist, to study the tokens and the exchanges. One popular approach is to posit a substance called 'value' which resides in the tokens, either intrinsically because the tokens...

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