Latest News in the World of Complementary Currencies
It is easy to do mutual credit or any accounting inside one organisation running one software instance on one server. Accounting between organisations on different software on different servers is much harder though.
For a convention payment you have to ensure that one account is incremented AND one account decremented, because if only one of those events happen then ‘money’ has been created or destroyed. Movement of a virtual commodity from one ledger to another requires only consensus between those two ledgers. Thus all the attempts to join ledgers together, like atomic swaps and interledger protocol take as their starting point that only two ledgers are involved.
However mutual credit systems are fundamentally different. Every transaction belongs in the context of a membership group with rules. A transaction between two members may be illegitimate if it takes one of their balances outside of agreed limits (you could call this the business logic). So mutual credit systems have always been centralised around a single ledger, on a single machine, with a single settings file, so the business logic is consistent between all members and the sum of balances is provably zero.
Holochain is a breakthrough for mutual credit architecture because it allows a p2p transaction without a singleton ledger (All bitcoin transactions are on one singleton ledger which every full node keeps a copy of). Each account keeps its own transaction ledger, but with cryptographic proof that each transaction has a corresponding entry on another account. Not only that but also Holochain ensure that every app is running the same business logic so that the whole network can agree which transactions are valid and invalid.*
That makes Holochain a great candidate for the Credit Commons. Anyone who wants to make a Credit Commons group would need to issue a simple Holochain app, configure it, and have all their members create an account.
Recently I attempted a comparison between Holo and ActivityPub, and wondered what combining them would achieve. I realise now that the technologies need not be combined if they are playing different roles in the ecosystem I envisage.
This diagram shows how many mutual credit communities, each with their own business log, branding, and software features, could federate into a universal non-Facebook social network (using ActivityPub), while being able to make transactions and inter-group transactions using Holochain, and using a third web service to provide a global index of offers and wants.
The hope is that the some of the actors shown in the diagram as ‘apps’ would see the advantage in working together to build this ecosystem.
Margrit Kennedy committed herself to the search for better economic solutions for almost three decades. She co-developed practical alternatives, such as the “Chiemgauer” currency in Bavaria. She gave hundreds of talks and interviews, wrote several books and many articles. Her first career was as an international architect, regional planner and ecologist. She worked in the […]read more
Bernard Lietaer has been active in a wide variety of functions in the world of finance. At the Belgian Central Bank he was responsible for the introduction of the convergence mechanism for the single European currency system (ECU). After a period as president of the electronic payment system in Belgium he was cofounder and general […]read more
John Rogers has been developing and promoting local and regional currencies since 1993. He was co-director of the Wales Institute for Community Currencies at the University of Newport and has written three books about regional currencies: The Map – How To Out Your Local Economy Local Money – What Difference Does It Make? People Money […]read more
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Scheiper teaches economics and political economy at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt and was a member of the Advisory Board of the German Regional Economics Association. He writes this about himself: “The ‘fog around money’ also long prevented me from getting a clear view of the great flaws in our money […]read more
Franz Galler (age 51) comes from the Bavarian community of Ainring and is the founder of the regional currency initiative Sterntaler and the cooperative RegioSTAR eG. As a trained bank manager he worked in the banking business for over 25 years and is now an independent wealth advisor. In 2010 he founded the ‘Office for […]read more
Prof. Dr. Harald Spehl was born in 1940 in Hohen-Neuendorf near Berlin and studied economics in Münster, Berlin und Rosario/Argentina. Later he was a research and teaching assistant at the universities of Münster and Cologne, gaining his doctorate in 1970. From 1973-1975 he was Professor of Economics in the Planning Deparment at the University of […]read more
Rolf Merten, born 1952, trained as a wholesale and export merchant, an economist and a psychologist. He took advanced training with the Bavarian Rural Medical Chamber in psychotherapy and pyschoanalysis, Gestalt therapy training in Berlin and at the Fritz Perls Institute in Düsseldorf, where he now teaches. Rolf has been the manager of the ‘Inselhaus […]read more
We are very sorry to report that we lost our beloved mentor and HUMANs Advisory Board member Bernard Lietaer on February 4. The bearer of the sad news, Leander (a teammate from the very beginning of this Mutual Aid Network project), says “he kept a smile on his face.” Bernard wrote the book The Future…read more
The Dutch Scientific Council for governmental advice (WRR) presented its report on the monetary system on the 17th of January 2019. The report is called “Money and Debt, the public role of banks”. The main objective of the report is to describe in depth the role that banks play in the current monetary system and […]read more