Currencies

The FutureCast series is a new way to track some of IFTF's research-in-progress and join the behind-the-scenes conversations that help shape our forecasts in global trends, technology, innovation, health, and sustainability. These open conversations will be recorded and made available as podcasts on the Future Now blog.

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01 Mar 2016

Perspectives on Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies

in Blockchain, Ceptr, Crypto, Currencies, Distributed Systems
blockchain-visualizationsMany are looking to the blockchain to solve many decentralization and consensus problems. I believe the infrastructure people are seeking is possible to build, but not in the way blockchain and cryptocurrencies have been approaching it so far.  There are fundamental flaws to the current popular approach that will keep it from ever reaching the scale on which we need collective intelligence, currencies, sense-making and distributed computing infrastructure to operate. 
 
Of course, this is why we've been building Ceptr – to provide the necessary infrastructure for these kinds of distributed systems. It solves all the same problems, but has been built from fundamentally different initial assumptions, so the more you know about cryptocurrencies, the harder it can be to understand why we're doing what we're doing.
 
I'll start with a summary of highlights and then drill into greater detail in the next posts - providing some examples of ways to make these kinds of distributed applications and cryptocurrencies work on a large scale.
 
Cl says to H: How do I know you’re not double-spending that electron?
27 Feb 2016

The MetaCurrency Myth

in Ceptr, Currencies, Vision
The story I want to be able to tell my (as of yet non-existent) grandchildren in 25 years.
 
Once upon a time, our planet was dying. People had organized themselves into patterns with funny names like “limited liability corporations,” “federal governments,” “non-profit organizations,” and “institutions of higher education.”  We were unwittingly eating the world and all of its resources to perpetuate the survival of and expand the growth of these social organisms.
 
This was a time before humans had recognized the power of currencies as “Current-Sees.” We barely understood any difference between the aggregate actions of individuals, and the phenomenon of those individuals organized into coherent patterns. Today we know that these patterns, or social organisms, actually have their own hardwired feedback loops, nervous systems, intelligence, and incentives and rewards, distinct from the individuals within them, just as biological organisms have intelligence distinct from the cells they're comprised of. But at that time, we didn't have good tools to see these patterns clearly.
 

31 Jan 2016

The Sovereign Accountable Commons

in Commons, Commonwealth, Currencies, Distributed Systems, Mutual Sovereignty, Reputation, Sovereingty

[This is an abstract outlining some stuff we need to write up about the Sovereign Accountable Commons as a pattern enabled by Ceptr. I wrote this up to submit to for a book about Decentralizing the Commons via the P2P Foundation site.]

The Sovereign Accountable Commons (SAC) is akin to Decentralized Autonomous Organizations on the blockchain but they leverage a different distributed architecture, Ceptr. Ceptr is a new technology platform for building Distributed Apps and for enhancing collective intelligence in the process of being released by the MetaCurrency project in early 2016.

Sovereign:

An SAC runs as a collectively distributed application. As long as at least one person wants to run it, it can't be shut down. Two or nodes running it make it a collective. It's algorithms set availability and redundancy based on size and scale of the network.

Everybody in a group is an equal peer, subject to the same rules, processes, and procedures, because everybody is running a copy of the same instruction set. This “code as law” applies to holding of assets, management of assets, interactions, transactions, governance, releasing new versions of “code as law,” and every aspect of ongoing operation of the SAC.

03 Dec 2015

Variable Rates of Change Integration

in Ceptr, Currencies, Evolution, Reputation

The suggested 3-tier approachEric HB sent me an email asking how I think Ceptr and the ecosystem we're trying to build around it fits with what is depicted in this blog post.  I'm posting my reply.  And frankly, I wish I'd remember to capture content like this when I write about things in email or other random places so I can start to collect this information somewhere where it's shareable.

 


 
I think of the collaborative ecosystem we're intending to build around Ceptr as being a kind of community of practice (Remember stones/tumbles/gems which kind of map to his three tiers?).  We can have a pre-frontier space for exploration and discussing ideas / needs / requirements / innovations / bounties. Some of those discussions turn into initiatives with teams working on building something which eventually gets published/released into the compository.
 
Published receptors in the compository are sort of the pioneers frontier... although not their raw development or testing environment, because it needs to get triangulated in by a code reviewer and you and the reviewer have reputation riding on whether it works / does what it says it does.

An amusing and brief interview of some of us currency folks at the Impact Economy Summit
10 Nov 2015

New Kind of Commons: The Land Weaving Society

in Ceptr, Commons, Commonwealth, Currencies, Deep Wealth, Gift Economies, New Economy

aerial photo of landYou might know the expression among software developers: "Code is Law." It is a trueism about the abilities and limitations that the users of the software become bound to. And I see a world where this becomes quite literally true in the larger social context as we build new digital commons and distributed autonomous organizations where our agreements, and processes for sharing and accessing resources are quite literally encoded in the digital tools we use to share them and gain access to them.

I’d like to share a bit about a vision for a Land Weaving Society as an example of these patterns and processes -- a way to shift land access and use, by voluntary participation in a commons where owners "share" their land (or house, or buildings) with other members for various uses like hiking, camping, farming, firewood collection, fruit harvesting, etc.

09 Nov 2015

Is there anything that can’t be Monetized?

in Currencies, Deep Wealth, Industrial Age Economy, Money

Putting all of nature into the economic meat grinder to make money[This question was asked by Rachel Haywire in a private Facebook group where I occasionally participate. I'd like to share my answer, because I think it's important in understanding the nature of monetization - what it's good for, and what it's not.]

I'd like to reframe just a bit. There are many things that *should not* be monetized or commoditized, but if we peel back our veil of justifications and self-delusions about money, we fundamentally use money (as configured today) as gambling tokens for speculative wealth. So then your question becomes, "Is there anything that somebody isn't willing to place gambling stakes on?" And the answer becomes more obvious. "No. Some idiot will be willing to price/gamble on/monetize just about anything." Of course, that is not to say such a price is a reflection of its real value or worth, just its current standing in a particular gambling market.

Many things have no value to a particular person at a precise time in a specific context. Every system of valuation (currency) is contextual valuing some things and not others, for example, day care has dollar value in our economy, stay-at-home-parenting does not.

02 Nov 2015

A Quantum Leap

in Ceptr, Currencies, Evolution, Language, Social Change
We are poised for a quantum leap of human evolution toward true large-scale social collective intelligence (beyond the hierarchical, mechanistic and cancerous organizational models of modern institutions and corporations). However, this breakthrough requires a new EXPRESSIVE CAPACITY which involves new TOOLS and new SKILLS.
 
TOOLS: Our social, legal, financial and computing infrastructure has centralized/hierarchical control built into its very DNA.
30 Jun 2015

Currencies for Disaster Assistance and Economic Development

in Currencies, Currency Design, Flows, Local Currency, Targeted Currencies

As a part of my recent commitment to share past designs that might be valuable to other people, I'm posting this incomplete document from 2007. It was something I started writing for a group that was talking with Michael Brown after he left FEMA about other tools for rebuilding New Orleans. Some sections of the document were to be contributed by other members of the team and unfortunately never got written, which is too bad because there were some good conversations that went into scheming them. None of these plans were ever implemented.

However, some are good examples (specifically Purgatory Parades) of how to do well-targeted currency design to activate local energy and resources to (re)build community and (re)build an economy after a disaster. Some of the ideas contained here have also been adapted for use in proposals for International Development and would likely have a more beneficial impact than many other development scenarios which further impoverish communiities and increase dependency on external funding and resources.

For local economic development, I'd recommend looking at Bangla-Pesa as an example, which was co-incidentally started by Will Ruddick who was involved with the group that I wrote this document for.

The document follows below.


Leveraging Local Currencies for Disaster Assistance

 

Introduction

Each of the programs proposed in this section take a tack which is distinct from typical disaster assistance.  They rest on the principle that in every functioning community, most people are getting their needs met by other resources in the community.

 

Flow Pattern of a Healthy Economy (Resources and Needs connected via good flows of employment and spending)