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So you want to start a LETS?

Matslats - November 23, 2014 - 18:25

Is it a good idea to start a LETS in 2014? The brand is 30 years old, and has a track record littered with poor governance, currency collapse, low participation and high turnover. The domesticated hippies of the 80s and caring sharing consumers of the 90s are not the same as the Occupiers and Transitioners of today. The existing LETS projects at least in UK are failing to thrive even in recession. The movement preferred decentralisation over software coordination, and slicker projects emerge every week.

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Responsible donorship

Matslats - November 22, 2014 - 15:41

Of course I'm jealous. People tell me every other day that my work is important, but much funding flows to demonstrably stupid projects.

I no longer seek funding or material support or even volunteers for my work. I no longer worry about funded projects overtaking mine. I have understood that what I'm doing is antithetical to money, and unlikely to be funded by any reasonable plutocrat or angel. Just as states and banks simply can't see moneyless people, projects which neither beg nor boast are invisible to donors.

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Thomas Greco’s presentation at the Living the New Economy convergence, Oakland, CA, October 23, 2014

Beyond Money - November 13, 2014 - 11:16

At the recent Living the New Economy convergence in Oakland, I was the first speaker on a panel that addressed the question of the Future of Value Exchange. Here it is below:

If you would like to download the slide deck of that presentation, you can get it here. I had only enough time to show the first 15 slides; the other were included for possible discussion.

You can also find some of my other presentations and interviews on my YouTube playlist.

You can find video recordings of several other sessions from Living the New Economy convergence here.


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Presentation to HullCoin notes

Matslats - November 12, 2014 - 06:25
Reality check: Functions of money Store of Value for rich people
Medium of exchange for traders/producers
measure of value etc.
No one monetary design is optimal for all functions. A typology of money Very little consensus on this. Important for the integrity and long term stability of the project. For all currencies note that the issuer has a tremendous benefit by being able to thrust the money into circulation and usually to control the quantity. Recession means not enough money circulating in the economy.

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Bolivan President Evo Morales taking bold steps to end economic colonialism

Beyond Money - November 10, 2014 - 13:33

A recent article, Evo Morales: A Bolivian idol, posted on the Aljazeera website, quotes the Bolivian president as saying,

“I have no regrets – in fact, I am pleased to have expelled the US ambassador, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and to have closed the US military base in Bolivia. Now, without a US ambassador, there is less conspiracy, and more political stability and social stability. Without the International Monetary Fund, we are better off economically.”

Bold action, indeed. Read the full article here.


Categories: Blogs

Thomas Greco’s Presentation at The Institute of Noetic Sciences: The Evolution of Money and its Potential to Improve Humanity

Beyond Money - November 6, 2014 - 16:26

On October 30, 2014, I gave a presentation, titled, The Evolution of Money and its Potential to Improve Humanity, at the  Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) in Petaluma, California.

I was greatly encouraged by the high caliber of those who attended and the quality and intensity of the discussion that followed.

The proceedings were video recorded by organizer and master networker, Sergio Lub, and can be viewed at this Vimeo site.


Categories: Blogs

Award wining documentary filmmker, Marie-Monique Robin, interviews Thomas Greco

Beyond Money - November 5, 2014 - 21:37

This interview of Thomas Greco was conducted and recorded by award wining documentary filmmaker, Marie-Monique Robin, during the 2nd International Conference on Complementary Currency Systems in The Hague, Netherlands in June, 2013. In English with French subtitles.


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Solidarity economy networks & Software 2

Matslats - November 1, 2014 - 07:00

Last time I described several solidarity economy networks and a bit about their software situation and needs. Today I want to look at some solutions which could help them work in a more integrated way.

This article starts from the specific problem of accounting, and widens out to whole-platform approaches.

For full interoperability the accounting needs to be abstracted out of the community portal into its own service, and made accessible with an API.

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Solidarity economy networks & Software 1

Matslats - November 1, 2014 - 06:54

The failure of state-level economic policy is driving the emergence of many independent 'solidarity economy' networks accross the world. While the old story says that resources are short and the fittest will survive, these movements are forging a new story about creating local abundance together. As well as creating a new culture, a new spirituality , they are learning how to

  • feed themselves from their gardens better than supermarkets
  • maximise exchange between themselves (and each other) to keep the value local
  • finance sustainable enterprises,
  • pool risk

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Ecovillage economy tour: Damanhur

Matslats - October 30, 2014 - 02:23

Most ecovillages are progressive outposts on the frontiers of a necessary transition. Damanhur however is the centre of a nascent civilisation. With over 500 adult residents and tens of thousands of connected souls it is the largest ecovillage in Europe; it has created its own culture and its own ways of living in community and understanding and practising spirituality.

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Bank monopoly being challenged by large corporate chains

Beyond Money - October 29, 2014 - 09:17

A recent Bloomberg news item reports that some major retailers are dropping Apple Pay, not because they don’t like the new technology of smartphone payments, but because they have a plan of their own. Here is an excerpt:

“Objections to Apple Pay aren’t actually about convenience, reliability, or security—they are about a burgeoning war between a consortium of merchants, led by Walmart, and the credit card companies. Rite Aid, CVS, Walmart, Best Buy, and about 50 other retailers have been working on their own mobile payments system, called CurrentC. Unlike Apple Pay, which works in conjunction with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, CurrentC cuts out the credit card networks altogether. The benefit to the merchants is clear: They would save the swipe fees they now pay to the credit card companies, which average about 2 percent of the cost of transactions.”

Read the full article here,


Categories: Blogs

Thomas Greco presenting at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, October 30

Beyond Money - October 28, 2014 - 16:05

On Thursday, October 30 I will present, The Evolution of Money and its Potential to Improve Humanity at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). in Petaluma, California. If you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay area or northern counties you might want to attend. Details can be found here.Please RSVP here.


Categories: Blogs

Youth Employment Scrip-Solving Two Problems at Once

Beyond Money - October 25, 2014 - 07:17

In my 2001 book, Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender, I included a description of a proposed community currency I call Youth Employment Scrip.

This currency design is intended to provide the local community with a supplemental means of payment based on the labor that young people can provide to local businesses, non-profits, and government agencies, that normally could not afford to hire them.

Combined with presently available employment agency services, such a plan could help reduce youth unemployment while providing the entire community with additional liquidity that will help local businesses to sell some of their unused capacity.

For a complete description, you can view or download the entire chapter here: Money Chapter 22 YES


Categories: Blogs

Mobile money transfers in Kenya help the poor and unbanked

Beyond Money - October 7, 2014 - 11:04

M-Pesa, is a mobile-phone based money transfer service that was started up in Kenya 2007.  Since then it’s usage has grown by leaps and bounds. This recent article provides a thorough understanding of how it works and the benefits it provides: 10 Myths About M-PESA: 2014 Update.


Categories: Blogs

Community currency thriving in Kenya’s slums

Beyond Money - September 28, 2014 - 11:03

In the slums of Kenya, money is especially scarce. Still, the residents are productive and have plenty of goods and services to offer one another. American social entrepreneur Will Ruddick, together with hundreds of local enterprisers, has found a way to create supplemental exchange media that enable them to trade with one another despite the lack of Kenyan shillings.

Here’s a new video about their Bangla-Pesa currency that they have created in Bangladesh, a slum area of Mombasa.

http://youtu.be/qNOjVyz7e_4?list=PLPUExzwZAUpZgrTqH55aAV2tjlohT_qlD

And, here’s a recent TV news report, which is described as follows:

Published on Apr 10, 2014. When news of the complementary currency branded Bangla-pesa first broke out, claims arose that it was linked to the proscribed Mombasa Republican Council, MRC, and its secessionist agenda, almost spelling doom for the project. A year later, we returned to Bangladesh slum in Mombasa county where the vouchers were first launched, and discovered that not only has the program grown in leaps and bounds, but plans were afoot to roll it out in different slum in the region.

http://youtu.be/CFlolsjwdWY?list=PLPUExzwZAUpZgrTqH55aAV2tjlohT_qlD


Categories: Blogs

'Good' fiat money?

Matslats - September 21, 2014 - 04:07

Yesterday I wrote about how using a currency strengthens the story and gives value to the acts for which that currency was issued. I suggested that anyone can informally certify socially beneficial behaviour and accept those certificates as recognition of their own contributions. Today I will discuss how that principle might pan out in the macroeconomy.

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Categories: Blogs

The real 'value' of money

Matslats - September 21, 2014 - 03:57

When we are compelled to use a currency using such violent means as legal tender laws, latterly money transmission laws, taxes, bailiffs, and the throttling of alternatives, it hardly matters where the money gets its value, or if it has value at all. The 'value' of the dollar tends to mean its price expressed in other commercial credit currencies, but the real value is what the paper represents, what justified its issue.

The emission of money is always complemented by an equivalent value exchange somewhere in time.

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9/11 — the Myth and the Reality

Beyond Money - September 11, 2014 - 19:25

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is a man with impeccable credentials. Besides having been affiliated with a half dozen universities and think tanks, he served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan administration.

In his latest web post, he recalls the events of 9/11, 2001, debunks the official story, and sums up the changes that have transformed the United States into a “warfare/police state.”–T.H.G.

9/11 After 13 years

Paul Craig Roberts

The tragedy of September 11, 2001, goes far beyond the deaths of those who died in the towers and the deaths of firefighters and first responders who succumbed to illnesses caused by inhalation of toxic dust. For thirteen years a new generation of Americans has been born into the 9/11 myth that has been used to create the American warfare/police state.

The corrupt Bush and Obama regimes used 9/11 to kill, maim, dispossess and displace millions of Muslims in seven countries, none of whom had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11. .. More..


Categories: Blogs

Sharing and software (in timebanking)

Matslats - August 11, 2014 - 03:37

In this talk to the Global Exchange Gathering last week, I show how the competition between timebanking platforms is a result of the software structures, and how even if different platforms can't share code, the can still service their users by becoming more interoperable.

The talk was very well received perhaps because I spent the previous five days in reconnaissance, and thus was able to say what this audience needed to hear.

Categories: Blogs