Why Peer to Peer Currencies will Grow

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From Jean-Francois Noubel


" What is the situation today regarding complementary currencies?


  • Leg one: many activists (writers, LETS organizers, web publishers, free software developers, thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, etc) strongly assert that our monetary system is not appropriate anymore and therefore claim a democratic, sufficient, peer-to-peer and community controlled money.


  • Leg two: online free currencies are being prepared in the open source environment. They will enter in the back door just like email, free software and peer-to-peer did at their time.


There will be a tipping point from which peer-to-peer community currencies will grow and spray very fast. Then it will be too late to step back. Much resistance and fear will show up, they will be accompanied by trials, political resistance, attacks from tax departments (despite free currencies are not against taxes – it is the other way round), theories to prove it is destroying the world order (actually it will change the current world order and propel it into the next order)… But there will be no way to get back into the former order, just like it happened with the print, the loom, the telephone, the railway, the microcomputer, the TV, the Internet, just to name a few.

Why peer-to-peer currencies will grow?

The answer is quite simple: because people need it. Everywhere in the world there is a need for transactions (knowledge, time, goods, services...), everywhere many of these transactions don't occur because the transactional tool, aka mainstream money, is lacking. Everywhere in the world there is a need to exchange goods and services that are not connected to the competition economy, such as healthcare, education, knowledge, sustainability projects. What if a simple tool allowing such transactions to be done without the need of conventional scarce money comes on the market? What if this tool is peer-to-peer, democratic, not dependent on centralized institutions such as banks? People will use it, it is as simple as this.

Skepticism from those who have the control of conventional money will be the better ally for free currencies to grow more rapidly. Would postal services from all countries have allowed and helped email to grow if they had realized its existence and power early enough?

Of course such online tools need to be easy to use, didactic, cool, fun, safe.

First users of free currencies will probably be online communities, such as the free software community, the stamp collectors, the social help services. Platforms like eBay and social networks systems will be strong propellers in a second phase. Local communities (city suburbs, small towns) will accompany this global movement when they realize that such currencies just circulate within the community and don't leave it, which is good for the local economy.

After such currencies become a common habit in our everyday life, the tax system and money repartition will have dramatically improved. It is more likely that we will see our present conventional money as an archaic remain from feudalism." (http://www.thetransitioner.org/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Peer-to-peer%20currencies)