OWS Currency

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We're deploying an alternative currency system for participants at Occupy Wall Street. This page is to discuss logistics and design.

The design competition is on OWS currency competition

Introduction

Our monetary system is extremely proprietary. Not only are the technologies used to create, utilize and manage money extremely restricted through patents, copyrights, trade secrets and licensing, but the Federal Government has granted a single private bank a monopoly on the production of legal tender. No wonder there's a lack of capital in the markets!

Our mission is to produce free/libre/opensource technologies that help people create their own alternatives to the Federal Reserve Note and the system upon which it derives it's strength. Achieving this doesn't require us to document how the current system works, although that would be extremely useful. It simply requires us to construct an alternative system that does a superior job meeting people's needs. Occupy Wall Street and subsequent occupations prove that the people are eager for a new system. Let's help them build it.

Tools

i-WAT is a cryptographic circular/multi-party barter software licensed under the GPL and uses PGP encryption. Tickets/IOUS are defined by users with their own value units of exchange. It does not rely on membership to a currency circle, in the sense that it does not require everyone to exchange numerical amounts of coins/cash units, but the labeled items/objects/subjects of the barter transaction. http://www.media-art-online.org/iwat/ http://www.media-art-online.org/wija/download.html Instruction Manual: Neo_in_Wonderland

Other software (circular barter exchange): https://www.multiswap.net/about/

Bitcoin...

CommunityForge...

BernalBucks...

UNILETS Timebanking...

In 1999, John Turmel toured Europe paying for 39/40 nights with an IOU for a night back in Canada worth 5 Hours registered at his Person-to-Person Facebook Info page listing Offers, Wants, Hours given, Hours received http://facebook.com/john.turmel?sk=info U.N. Millennium Declaration Resolution C6 to governments for an interest-free UNILETS time-based currency to restructure the global financial architecture means, until something better comes along, http://johnturmel.com/uniset.htm shows you how to join the underground emailled timebanking economy too.

PermaBank

PermaBank.cc is a Drupal-based exchange platform built in support of Occupy Wall Street by members of the FLO Solutions Working Group of the NYCGA and others. The premise of PermaBank is to develop and deploy a set of technologies that align 'financial services' with the principles of permaculture.

Features

Gifts/Wishes

PermaBank.cc will launch with the ability for individuals and groups to post their wish/requests and gifts/offers and indicate whether they've been completed. The primary impetus behind this feature is to enhance the efficiency of the gifting culture that currently exists within Liberty Plaza.

Mutual (Multi?) Credit

Mutual credit systems allow people to create credit/debt to record their exchanges with one another. A popular example of mutual credit is time banking. When one person serves another for an hour, a credit is created for the provider and deducted from the customer. The net balance of all credits amounts to zero, enabling the system to work operate without a central authority.

We're considering whether or not we want give users the ability to create different types of mutual credits. In this instance, people could create different credits for different types of work. For example, someone who knits sweaters could earn crafting credits and exchange them with a doctor who earns medical credits. This might allow us to transcend the debate in the timebanking community about whether or not everyone's hours should be worth the same amount of credits.

Asset-Backed Notes

The General Assembly receives a tremendous amount of donations in goods, services and legal tender. The gifting platform will allow the GA to articulate precisely what goods and service they want donated, eliminating waste and enabling more efficient gifting to take place. The issue with donations of legal tender (aka USD) is more problematic. The USD is a monopolized currency that's designed to benefit those with connections to the central banking establish and penalize those without those connections. Many people within the Occupation Movement view the widespread use of USD as a primary problem within our economy. How can the GA use USD's without encouraging their circulation.

One possible solution is for the GA to purchase productive assets with the legal tender it receives, "unitize" the asset's production, and issue notes redeemable for those units.

A simple configuration:

  • GA receives $10,000
  • GA places $10,000 into it's online store.
  • GA issues 10,000 notes and gives those notes to working groups.
  • Working groups can trade those notes with anyone who accepts them
  • Anyone can use notes to purchase USD from the store.
    • The more groups use the notes instead of the cash, the more value is generated with that $10,000s.

A more complicated configuration:

  • GA receives $10,000
  • GA purchases 2 acres of land with $5,000 and puts $5000 into the store.
  • GA issues 5,000 notes.
  • GA offers notes to people who cultivate the land and make it productive.
  • People who receive those notes can purchase USD and other products in the store.
  • As the land becomes productive, a portion of it is placed into the GA's store.
  • The GA can issue more notes because the have more redeemable value in their store.

Ideally notes would be cryptographic units like Bitcoin.

Credit Card Rewards

We can create a credit card rewards program by partnering with a credit union to issue a credit card. The rewards program would allow us to analyze the purchases of card holders and provide them reward points (redeemable in the GA's store) when they make purchases at affiliated businesses. Businesses could become affiliates by meeting certain criteria such as environmental friendliness, local supply chains, accepting GA notes, etc. The rewards program would issue GA authorized notes that could be redeemed in the store and/or at affiliated businesses.

This program would allow anyone who uses a credit card to interact with the alternative economy, expand the network of businesses that accept GA notes and allow people who have to use credit cards to do so in a more movement aligned way. It is also a practical compromise with the mainstream economy. Some people don't like compromise. The issue is certainly worth debating.