If the next economy is going to facilitate healthy flows of resources and information which support people, society and the planet, we have a lot of changes to make. Because that's certainly not what the current economy does. We are building the means (technology platforms and protocols) for this kind of healthy economy to exist.
Just as people can create value, we believe communities of people should be able to decide what they value and how that will be measured and acknowledged. This means they have to be able to create their own currencies.
In order to understand our crazy and ambitious project, you need to know a few things about we're relating to currencies and technology.
The MetaCurrency Project is building the tools and technology platforms to open source the next economy.
Money has re-shaped the face of our planet. It has changed our culture, our organizations, our resources, our environment and our lives. Arguably, not all these changes have been for the better, but you can't deny the massive influence it has had. What if there is a larger category of things with this same power that we completely fail to recognize are the same kind of thing?
In everyday English, we use the words money and currency interchangeably. However, we are reclaiming the word "currency" for something much more powerful than money alone. Money is still certainly a type of currency, but currencies are much more. They are the creators of currents -- part of the language of living systems.
Currency: a formal system used to shape, enable or measure currents.
Currencies are a powerful form of social DNA which shape our communities, corporations and nations. As such, we'd better learn to make better ones, because the ones we've got are wreaking havoc.
In the information age, consider how these examples of currencies change flows of attention, trust, participation and value: frequent flier miles, college degrees/grades/credits, five-star ratings, certifications, bus passes, votes, eBay ratings, sports scores, coupons, buy-9-get-10th-cup-of-coffee-free cards, gift certificates, and Olympic medals.
One of the biggest problems with the current economy is the inherent inequity built into the system. We can all create value. But a privileged few can create money, literally from nothing. They use that privilege to control monetary system and take value from those who create it.
We are moving out of an industrial age economy and into an information age economy. Yet our information technology carries those same inherent power imbalances. Sys admins control the computing platform and everyone else just gets the access privileges granted by their admins.
Many believe this is necessary, just as they believe it is necessary for a privileged few to control our monetary system. But what if something very different is possible?
We will not have an equitable nor a healthy economy in an information age, until we have information technology which empowers us equitably -- that is decentralized, peer-to-peer and operates by mutual agreement.
We are building those technology tools, protocols and platforms. To fully meet our criteria, people need to be able to transact directly with each other with no segment of that interaction relying on a centrally controlled system.
- Non-centralized rules (unlike the rules for money today)
- Non-centralized database (as 99.99% are today)
- Non-centralized name resolution (instead of DNS)
- Non-centralized address space (to play the role of IPv4 or IPv6)
- Agreements are made by mutual consent
- All levels of participation are sovereign
We believe we have solved all these design problems. Our solutions are not written in stone, but we are already building them. Read about them on our tech page.
Many parts of this web site are rather technical and are intended for geeks. Most of the ideas and philosophy which inspires this project can be found on other web sites listed in our links and resources sections.
Why MetaCurrency Project Exists
Step yourself through the following prezi by clicking the right arrow to see a series of very brief videos about why we're doing what we're doing.
Join us in sharing stories of the next economy.
The Movements Afoot
The MetaCurrency Project is definitely a part of the movement of emergent currency systems, whether you think of them complementary currencies, alternative currencies, local currencies, digital currencies, virtual currencies, reputation currencies or targeted currencies. We are building the tools to enable all them. We even defined our Open Data approach for distributed, digitally-signed transaction chains over a year before bitcoin was invented.
We're connected to the movement to enable a truly P2P, distributed internet without central points of control or failure. Our project embodies the goals of the movement of the 99% which seeks to reclaim the capacities for wealth generation from a privileged few.
The tide is shifting. The transition is coming. The question is not IF it is happening, but WHEN. We're hoping our tools help us all be ready for it so it can be as gentle as possible.