Mutual credit money systems need the next net

Matthew Slater matslats at
Sun Apr 17 04:39:40 PDT 2011

Big hello from Belgium.

I'd like to take a few minutes to inform you about my work on local money
systems using Drupal.

There are various kinds of money systems which need to be tried at
scale, but the one I'm absolutely dedicated to mutual credit.
This is not conventional money, nor is it some scarce resource like bitcoin,
nor is it commodity money. Mutual credit accounting is simply a list of
transactions between members of a system who agree to honour each other's
debts. This is the mechanism used by B2B barter systems, LETS and
The beauty of mutual credit for me is that it is very suited to localised
econonmies; the mechanism is proven, it is inherently stable, and there are
many users of such systems already.
A mutual credit economy, as described in The End of Money and the Future of
is decentralised, or cellular. There is no one monetary authority, but each
currency's worth reflects the successes and failures of its users, and the
goods and services they produce.

At the moment I'm giving one Drupal instance per community and one currency
per Drupal instance, then training the communities to work together and
manage their own Drupal instances. It is a lot of work for these kinds of
community groups. But it's not ultimately appropriate that each of these
tiny communities should have its own currency. The scope of the currencies
needs to be larger in order to be useful. So I'm working towards

   - automating transactions between communities.
   - putting many communities onto one drupal, where they can share
   technical resources
   - providing more support for different levels of engagement, according to
   the tech resources each community has available.
   - outsourcing the accounting to another location, so that many
   communities can use one set of accounts (currency)

One feature of mutual credit and of local currencies in general is that
security isn't a top priority because the unit of account has no intrinsic
value and theft isn't very meaningful in a context where money exists only
as accounting entries - this money is by nature, tracable, (although there's
no reason why there can't be untraceable subsystems, like paper notes). In
addition, the smaller the community, the harder it would be to aquire
unjustified high balances without anybody noticing.

With reference to Charles' post about security, then, we are not concerned
with P2P theft and fraud. Consider instead the the Liberty dollar
the panicked reaction<>
the International Reciprocal Trade organisation, rushing to clarify that the
Liberty dollar was not, as Von Nothaus said in his defense, a barter
currency. Rightly so. The barter industry has compromised absolutely with
the US government on the question of taxes, and Von Nothaus was stoking
quite a different of barter system. All this shows that the people with the
dollar monopoly intend to retain control, and continue to extract value from
the unconstitutional IRS racket. They will go to extremes to prevent sound
money systems from succeeding. So far, they haven't had to. Before the
internet, mutual credit systems were extremely inefficient and the pioneers
were dogged, idealist, uncooperative types who did sterling work themselves,
but kept the movement fragmented and retarded.

Mutual credit systems are not digital or internet currencies per se, but
before the internet they were extremely cumbersome, and I would say they
need the Internet absolutely in order to function efficiently. Everything
I'm doing is vulnerable to the internet kill switch. So I'm shouting out for
a decentralised internet that can't be shut down so that normal people have
access to the technology to determine their own money systems. Very

Back to immediate concerns. My Drupal module needs a good hacker to test it
and make recommendations on good practices for deployment. I need to better
understand about distributed social network platforms and would like to work
closely with people who have the skills and the passion to support
pioneering mutual credit projects on other platforms.
My organisation, Community Forge <> is hosting over
40 sites for community groups around Europe, and there are many other
users of the Drupal module who want to see these technologies more available
and useful.  I am working to Drupalise many more communities and then
connect them together so they can have the best of both worlds - local,
connected currencies.

I have been absolutely dedicated to this for the last 3 years and I welcome
more engagement with committed, skilled individuals.

Thanks for your attention,


----- End forwarded message -----
Eugen* Leitl <a href="">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE

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