Credit Commons Protocol

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Also see Credit Commons


"The Credit Commons Protocol defines a shared ledger through which participants can perform mutual credit accounting for exchange in any agreed unit (such as national fiat currency, hours, or kWh of electricity). It can be applied recursively, meaning that ledger groups can voluntarily federate into a nested structure that can be visualised as a fractal-like ‘tree’.

This fractal structure mirrors that of sociocracy, suggesting a natural fit between the resulting economic and participative governance structures. Trade and decision-making is supported across and between networks, enabling scale and diversity of economic activity without the requirement for centralisation. Groups can therefore remain small, trust-based, and self-governing within a larger, decentralised, yet complex economy of similarly autonomous actors that is referred to as the ‘Credit Commons’.

The requirement for exchange rates between groups also means that ledgers can support different but interchangeable monetary instruments within the same community. The Protocol therefore provides a key part of the technical and collaborative finance infrastructure necessary to rebuild the commons economy.

At the macroscopic level, the resultant scaling properties of the fractal structure may also have profound implications for the trajectory of economic growth, with substantial empirical and theoretical work suggesting that both natural and human systems with such network geometries eventually reach a steady state (rather than following open-ended growth)."



White paper was written by Matthew Slater and founder of Community Exchange Systems Tim Jenkin in 2016. REST protocol and reference implementation built by Matthew Slater in 2020. 2 deployments in the next two years for small exchange groups. In 2024, Clearing Central upgraded from Jenkin's first implementation to a Credit Commons node.

More information

Further reading

  • About the Credit Commons, Credit Commons Society, [1]