"If people understood our monetary system, there would be a revolution before morning." — Craft values with Ethereum!

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ValueCraft is an emerging platform for creating ecosystems for multiple measures of value. ValueCraft networks are backed by us all, not by a central bank or any other central authority. It is based on Trustlines Network, a new way of representing in Ethereum how much we are willing to respect our friends' obligations,

The basic idea ValueCraft is based on is the network of people who have a mutual trust on each other. Anyone can create an explicitly represented relationship with a friend, allowing them to borrow or pay any amount up to a specified credit limit, expressed in anything considered valuable. For example, one can create a trustline for $100, for 10 hours of work, or for 4 beers.


Once upon a time, David Chaum introduced DigiCash, followed by Wei Dai's b-money. Finally, in 2009 came Bitcoin, which with its limited virtual machine inspired Ethereum, the "planetary scale computer." In parallel with the cryptocurrencies, the community currencies have flourished at the grass root level. Now has come the time to combine these two.

With Trustlines Network it is becoming possible to create new media of exchange, running on Ethereum. Additionally, there are other projects, such as Sikoba and NEM, with largely similar goals, Trustlines is applying the original Ripple idea directly on Ethereum, providing enough of freedom for the individual currencies to customise their properties.

ValueCraft is a project building upon Trustlines. Our goal is to provide the existing and new community currencies with a modern user experience and infrastructure required for successful modern community currencies.

Global challenges

While most of us happily stroll ahead in our lives, believing in money and progress, others are concerned about our addiction to exponential growth and the underlying structures in our financial system. With simple math it is possible to show that in mere 400 years we will boil our planet, should we continue on less than 3% annual growth in energy consumption. While there may be ways to continue continue economic growth without increasing energy consumption, there are apparently also other structural problems in our economic and monetary systems.

While these problems are heavily debated with widely differing opinions, and while solving them is clearly beyond a simple grassroots project, perhaps there is something that can be done. For example, in the 1930's, during the Great Depression, a number of communities launched their own local currencies, such as the so-called Wörgl Experiment and the still existing Swiss WIR Bank, the latter having today the total assets of some 3 billion CHF and annual turnover over 6 billion CHF, show that it is indeed possible to run local currency systems without relying on governments or central banks.

Our approach

ValueCraft is an experiment to run community currencies on a blockchain. Our present idea is to build upon Trustlines network, a system designed to create community backed media of exchange, or as they call it, "people powered money." The basic idea is that anyone can create a cryptocurrency vallet in their mobile phone (and back it up elsewhere), create "trustlines" with a number of their friends, and start to use the resulting completely decentralised medium of exchange. With such a transitive network of trust relationships, complete strangers can "pay" to each other, provided that there is some path of trustlines between them.

In ValueCraft, our focus will be on the user experience, supporting communities and outsourcing the underlying hard technology from Trustlines network. Our goal is to allow existing community currencies, such as the Bristol Pound or Chiemgauer, to move into using blockchains and smart phones based streamlined user interface, if they wish. At this point, our first concrete "customer" is likely to be Helsinki time bank. We are actively looking for other communities that would like to join the experiment.

Changing our shared values

On a large scale, we believe that we — the whole humanity — have to change some of our core values within the next few decades. Lingering to the idea of perpetual growth is leading us over the brink. Since our current monetary system, with its compound interest and basically unregulated debt expansion, is inherently bound to the idea of growth, we hope that having working alternative currencies will help people to expand their perspectives.

If the ValueCraft idea works and communities increasingly adopt local currencies that work in parallel with the major fiat moneys, basing the system on blockchains — a global shared open ledger — may allow the system to scale up to global extend. The system allows local...

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Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin 2014 Q1, "Money creation in the modern economy," by Michael McLeay, Amar Radia and Ryland Thomas

Adobe Portable Document Format - 111.38 kB - 04/29/2017 at 11:22


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  • 1
    Step 1

    Get Trustlines.Network PoC access.

    If you are alone, just send email to Pekka Nikander and he will give you one. If you represent a group of people that want to have access, you should contact Kristoffer Naerland of Trustlines.Network.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Follow the instructions at Github ValueCraft repo.

    You will need either an Android device or Android emulator. If you are using Android Studio, that includes an emulator.

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Pekka Nikander wrote 04/29/2017 at 11:20 point

Well, @Starhawk, maybe we should dig a little bit deeper into what money really is.  One good starting point is the 2014 report by Bank of England, "Money creation in the modern economy,"

Trying to summarise a difficult topic, one can say that there are two kinds of money, "scarce money", such as gold or Bitcoins, whose value is based on its amount to be limited and people believing other people to want it, and "debt money," whose value is in the end of the day based on other people's obligations.  We are targeting the latter kind of "bookeeping systems."  I wouldn't call the relationships in ValueCraft (or the underlying as money, as we are largely separating the functions of money from each other.  You can choose whatever people value as your measure of value.  If your friends value your inches, go ahead and use them. But you can use dollars, too. What you are recording are debt obligations, promises to pay back.

ValueCraft is a medium of exchange.  For any measure of value.  We are focusing in making it easy to use, in communities.  If you want to understand the technical details, maybe you want to watch the TrustLines video:

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Starhawk wrote 04/27/2017 at 19:09 point

Sooooo... trying to standardize bartering? You don't need to reinvent -- or democratize, for that matter -- currency for that. You just need to take the intrinsic value out of the currency that already exists.

Wait, what?

Say I tell you I have five inches. Five inches of what? Rope? Counter space (I hope not!)? Gold bar? Rebar? "Five inches" in and of itself is nothing. It is meaningless. Five inches of thread can mend a sock, if the hole is small. (Socks are, incidentally, where the phrase "a stitch in time saves nine" comes from -- a "sock" (stocking, really) used to be nine pence at the tailor's, back in the days of Ben Franklin and George Washington.)

Money should be the same way. I have five dollars. Five dollars of what...? Five dollars of cheese? Five dollars of firewood? Turnips? "Five dollars" should mean as much as "five inches" does. Money should be a measurement.

Then we can stop the hoarding of imaginary numbers ("wealth") and the very real suffering it causes, because of the sheer stupidity of how our currency system works these days -- which didn't happen all at once, of course, but it *did* happen. Warts on warts on warts -- "Hey, Bob, this doesn't work anymore!" "Stick another wart on it." -- there's so many warts now that you can't find the toad.

Where death is the great equalizer, money is the great divisor -- but it doesn't have to be.

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