W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-interledger@w3.org > December 2015

Hello & Intro: Exchanges & Conscious Currency

From: heather vescent <heathervescent@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2015 09:18:54 -0800
Message-ID: <CA+C6qMyfrbgTLtjHbKaV=RFnVJ6HBFQgZm-avFmT60poa+sjDQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-interledger@w3.org
Hello All,

I recently joined this community after a conversation with Ian Jacobs. I'm
an independent researcher and futurist, studying the future of payments,
money, and transactions (both financial and non-financial transactions).
One of my first scenarios (written in 2010) described a currency exchange -
utilizing both the financial aspects we use for money exchanges today, as
well as social values that are not financially weighed. The entity I
envisioned was modeled after the W3C and mashed up with a bit of dating
matching to exchange social values. I recently found out this group is
exploring a similar concept. So here I am. Hello & nice to meet you.

My scenario is a bit of a mashup of existing currency with non-financial
values embedded in the currency. For the non-financial values (social
values) I steal from feature of dating sites matching individuals based on
complimentary values.

Community currencies have certain social values embedded in their use, just
as Bitcoin has certain non-financial values embedded in its DNA (as well as
the US dollar - there are certain social values, e.g. capitalism,
stablility, embedded in the currency). This kind of exchange is important
because I've observed people making social statements with their
transactions. And companies want more data about their transactions (both
financial and non-financial data).

Put it another way, when people transact, they are looking to not just buy
something, but to communicate their personal values. If you meet someone,
and you decide to exchange in BTC, you already know something about this
person's beliefs, by the fact they hold BTC.

One of the currency scenarios I talk about is a "conscious currency." This
currency has a bit of intelligence embedded into it. Call it
social/emotional meta data if you will. One scenario I describe goes like,
you have certain personal values, such as supporting locally produced food
products from small businesses.

I'll take this to an extreme to illustrate the currency intelligence. Say
you hold a currency that aligns with certain political beliefs. Over time,
your beliefs shift, until one day, you believe something different. Usage
of the conscious currency is dependent on sharing the same beliefs, so when
you don't, you can not use the currency. The currency "identifies" its
beliefs are out of line with yours and goes to the currency exchange to
exchange itself into a currency that matches your current beliefs.

This scenario assumes a future with many currencies, with a global economy
that encourages & enables the exchange of many currencies. An interoperable
exchange that facilitates exchanges of currencies with both financial and
social/emotional aspects is necessary for parts of the scenario. It also
assumes intelligence as part of the currency functionality. (Not so far
fetched with the automation occurring on in fintech.)

This scenario describes a new kind of HCI interface between a technical
currency and the human experience of transactions (which includes messy
emotions). It seems to me that the conversation/possibilities around
Bitcoin/blockchain is fantastic from the technical perspective - but misses
and is unable to address the human aspects of transactions. (It's built to
work around them/minimize them.) While I see a lot of opportunity, I also
see missed opportunity.

Other bits about my work
- I worked for SWIFT in their innovation group. I was most interested in
creating standards for these newly emerging currencies to run on existing
financial infrastructure. I worked on some R&D activities and produced some
scenario videos.
- I do independent research on the future of money, payments, transactions
and other areas as well (Affective computing, AugI, Wearables,
Relationships, (self-driving)Cars). Most of my future of money research is
independently funded through my other work. I release it to the world
because, as you all know, this is a changing space that impacts everyone. I
see this topic as a commons, and my contribution to it is my research.
- That said, to continue the research, I have to make money (& I'm looking
for new clients/work, but that is not the purpose of this email).
- I'm interested in mashing up EmotionML with financial transactions, again
as part of currency meta data.
- I've studied bitcoin since 2010, but I find it's current crypto based
proof of work limiting for scenarios that utilize human based
activity/behavior (for example, that is used for community currencies).
- A lot of my work is shared online, but equally a lot is not. Here's a
link to a couple film scenarios I produced:

My intention in engaging with this community is to
- learn from you
- contribute my research, scenarios & provoke (what I see as) missing
- influence scenarios, technology, & product decisions
- work to create an interoperable exchange a reality (I'm a little surprise
no-one has done this yet)
- create standards for currency interoperability that considers
non-financial based values
- meet others to collaborate with

I look forward to your feedback, questions and exploring together.


Heather Schlegel, heathervescent
@heathervescent // www.heathervescent.com // skype: heathervescent
Received on Friday, 4 December 2015 21:33:06 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Friday, 4 December 2015 21:33:06 UTC