hygienic dark retreat

profound rest for the self‑healing psyche

a book by andrew durham

formerly darkroomretreat.com

money without debt

2012 February 8

Hey, I just came across this excellent web-based credit clearing system: Community Exchange System [EDIT: I no longer dig this system. It’s popular but messy.] CES* is international, free, simple, compatible with paper systems, thorough, and cool.  It’s just about what the godfather of new money, Thomas Greco, calls for in The End of Money and the Future of Civilization, chapter 17.

Other worthy systems I’ve come across in the last couple days:

  • payswarm.com was (?) a web technology-based, multiple-scenario payment system. Big vision.
  • opentransact.org similar goals as payswarm, different architecture
  • picomoney.com clever, based on opentransact
  • cyclos.org open source software to run your own bank, complete with free hosting; soul boggling!
  • villages.cc**is the best implementation of
  • ripplepay.com, a compelling solution to LETS accountability concerns.
  • e-flux.com/timebank hip and simple
  • friendly favors.org 2nd largest after CES, social, clever, but aging and a bit complicated
  • johnturmel.com/uniset.htm very simple, start alone now. Improved by showing account as a ledger using a web-based spreadsheet
  • JEU/GAME paper system (compatible with CES), very elegant, semi-private, decentralized accounting, best for when the lights go out.

CES is (NOT*) the most accessible, practical, and mature, though some of these systems, especially payswarm, have much greater potential. Open source money has finally gotten legs, wings… and teeth.

*EDIT: I gave up on CES because of issues with its design and management. So I am exploring two other systems now: Community Forge, based on Drupal Community Accounting/mutual credit module, and [Villages][7]. It’s Ripple base is better, but CF is much more developed. The insides of it look great so far.  Open source, delegated authority and responsibility. Kind of a weak social network, but it is there.

Greco says a proper system needs:

  1. a marketplace
  2. a social network
  3. a means of payment
  4. a measure of value or pricing unit

Both have all four criteria. So it’s a toss up for me. I hope Villages works out.

Two cool sites about money ideas:

  • MetaCurrency
  • @webisteme invented PunkMoney, a twitter-based currency. fricking brilliant. Now defunct. :(