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Re: Currency Mints (Re: The UN Millenium declaration)

From: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2011 14:53:19 +0100
Message-ID: <CAKaEYh+H85+Hz2FhKQC5usrHWXj5LyqvCNjEP-F9MGXwx5ZC_g@mail.gmail.com>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: Web Payments <public-webpayments@w3.org>
On 5 December 2011 05:31, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com> wrote:
> On 12/02/2011 07:44 AM, Melvin Carvalho wrote:
>> To make serious commitments to restructure the global financial
>> architecture based on principles of equity, transparency,
>> accountability and democracy, and to balance, with the participation
>> of civil society organizations, the monetary means to favour human
>> endeavour and ecology, such as an alternative time-based currency.
> Even if the UN didn't adopt this language, there is no reason why we
> cannot. It's effectively the modus operandi that was laid out in the Web
> Payments talk at W3Conf. It seems very much aligned with what we're
> trying to do here.
> With respect to the "alternative time-based currency", I've been
> thinking about that and do have a few thoughts on how we could
> accomplish such a thing on top of the PaySwarm system.
> We do already have "alternative currencies" as a use case that we intend
> to support:
> http://payswarm.com/specs/ED/use-cases/2011-10-25#alternative-currencies
> The idea here is that the PaySwarm system should allow anybody to create
> an alternative currency with very little effort. Even if it is a
> currency that you plan to exchange with only a few people. Currencies
> would be identified by URLs and would be added to the "currency" field
> in all transactions. For example, here is a currency used in a
> transaction that expresses "hours of labor":
> {
>   "@context": "http://purl.org/payswarm",
>   "@subject": "http://blue.example.com/transactions/12345",
>   "source": "http://blue.example.com/i/manu/accounts/work",
>   "destination": "http://green.foo.com/i/steven/accounts/workstorage",
>   "currency": "http://workhours.com/workhours",
>   "amount": "10"
> }

+1 to mints and currency as a URI

Are you going to have 3 letter ISO codes as well?

I'm thinking about aligning our IOU vocab with the drupal LETS work by
matthew slater:

payer (URI)
payee (URI)
currency (URI)
quantity float


> The intent of the alternative currency above is that the receiver of a
> transaction in work hours would then be able to redeem them at a later
> date. For example, if you want to have a share of vegetables in a farm,
> you would work on the farm to plant the vegetables. You would be
> credited with work hours. When harvest-time came, you would then
> exchange the work hours for a weekly bundle of vegetables during the
> course of a few months. You could then choose to sell these vegetables
> at the market (for a fiat currency), or take them home and consume them.
> The problem with alternative currencies is that there has to be a mint
> of some kind. Somebody has to create the currency in the first place.
> This can be accomplished with a fairly simple concept that we're calling
> a 'mint'. The mint would create a new amount of a particular currency
> and use PaySwarm to transfer a certain amount in that currency into a
> receiving account.
> So, the flow would look something like this:
> 1. Request from some external source that a new amount of a particular
>   currency should be created and placed into a PaySwarm account
>   somewhere on the Web. For example, this would be the farmer
>   authorizing their mint to create a few "workhours" and place them
>   in a destination account.
> 2. The mint creates and tracks the workhour that was created by the
>   farmer.
> 3. The mint initiates a PaySwarm transfer to place the workhour into
>   a PaySwarm account using the same protocol that is used for USD,
>   Euro, etc. transactions
> 4. The field worker, at harvest time, goes to claim their share of the
>   crop, which is a fraction of all workhours performed to generate the
>   crop. They use PaySwarm to transfer the workhour back to the farmer
>   in exchange for a fixed bundle of vegetables.
> While the example is fairly simplistic, this would provide a pre-money
> mechanism for the farmer to generate a crop. That is, the farmer could
> use PaySwarm to provide a promissory system without having any technical
> or legal knowledge about doing so. This is important as the farmer would
> not have to take out an operating loan, nor would they have to take out
> crop insurance.
> The interesting thing to note here, however, is that there isn't much of
> an incentive for the PaySwarm authorities to support small alternative
> currencies as getting a 2% fee on a "workhour" is useless unless the PA
> intends to trade it for a portion of a crop at that particular farm. One
> could sell the "workhour" for cash via a currency exchange, but even
> then - the worth of the final amount is questionable.
> Food for thought... I do think we'll end up spec'ing out Currency Mints
> at some point for PaySwarm and thus achieve what the UN proposed over a
> decade ago.
> -- manu
> --
> Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
> Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
> blog: The Need for Data-Driven Standards
> http://manu.sporny.org/2011/data-driven-standards/
Received on Monday, 5 December 2011 13:53:48 UTC

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