The Brightoneers Message Board › Local currency and payment smartcards

Local currency and payment smartcards

Daniel W.
user 53397962
London, GB
Post #: 8
Thanks Vicky, Dave and Emily for your posts. I'm really pleased there is interest in continued involvement as a kind of think tank / working group. I agree with Vicky that it would be a good to meet up again and capture as many ideas as possible and this seems a sensible next step.

Dave, coming back on your points:

a) yes all 'entitlement purses' can be set up to do P2P transaction. I think someone suggested a local business could even donate vouchers to local organisations, which could then sell the vouchers to raise money. Someone asked about tax benefits for the business which I will investigate.

b) yes you could have an exchange rate, I'd like to discuss in more detail to fully grasp the proposal. Initial thought are using 1:1 is simpler to understand and any uplift could be paid in cash-back which might be more appealing. It would also enable different businesses which different profit margins to offer an incentive that fits their business. This added flexibility would be a real advantage over the Bristol / Brixton / Lewes Pound model. You mention environment/ethics etc and I like the idea of a local currency that as based in values and ethics rather than independent vs chain. Lush for instance is a big chain but with strong environmental ethics, i think!

c) yes I would be great if we can develop this together.

Emily yes I did have a few emails with Roger French a year or so ago, Roger wasn't that keen to explore at the time, but at the time I was proposing just a prepaid currency on staff and membership cards, not a community ecosystem that would support the city in so many ways. I'm not sure if i mentioned, the sQuid platform we're looking to use (www.squidcard.com) was built by the same company as The Key contactless card used by Brighton Buses and Southern Rail. The ideal scenario would be to get Roger French involved as an adviser or something. I'f like to chat about this further and see if there are any ideas around what kind of schemes Martletts or other may benefit from. I also had some ideas around membership clubs or ticketed events issuing membership cards that include public transport travel rights to get to and from the club or event. Or a Fork and Digit card that has spare capacity travel rights donated by Brighton Buses or Big Lemon.

Thanks for the heads-up about the Compass Card. At some point I would hope they could upgrade their cards to smart cards, that do everything they currently to, but also give their users access to a range of other schemes.

Tom and I are catching up on Wednesday to put a plan together of what needs to be done to get this pilot off the ground, and we'll get another meet-up arranged. Are any evening particularly difficult for anyone?
Graham L.
user 13853493
Brighton, GB
Post #: 3
I saw this and thought of you... Not sure I understand it as a standalone thing, but seems to have some interesting ideas and links (PeerPayMe?): http://www.slideshare...­

Thanks for the chats on Tuesday - some really interesting points came up. Some initial questions that might help frame the topic, if they're useful:

1. Are you aiming for a 'currency' or a 'points system' - ie. are you coming up with new economic rules that Brighton can use, or aiming to keep track of some other existing social aspect? Both are useful, but behave and integrate very differently. From what I heard (but I got there late), the enthusiasm is more towards a points/voucher system which can help people track things other than "market value", as it were.

2. Who are your audiences, ie. intended users? Plural because a lot of the conversation seemed to be around connecting consumers to local businesses - each of which have different needs, knowledge and contexts. This ties in with the idea of a points system, where certain parties (eg. organisations) may give out points to individuals (eg. consumers), rather than a more general currency for trade between any two parties. A big part of this is also around who can make *changes* to the system - eg. can users/people develop new 'apps' for it? Can users vote on the underlying rules?

3. Who has a problem that needs solving with this scheme (and what's the problem)? Not only does this keep things practical (and so more likely to succeed), it also helps identify potential groups, get them on board, frame the next set of questions, and assess whether a pilot works or not.

4. Which questions are technical (eg. how does it work?), which are philosophical (eg. what world change do we want to make?), which are social (eg. who should benefit from this?) and which are economic (eg. what are we actually trading, what is value, etc)? It's a complex area, so being clear on what part of the solution needs to do what make sit easier to break up tasks, prioritise them, etc. Wanting change is great, but pointless if the system is unusable, or if there's nobody who wants to use it.

Hope they're kind of helpful - no answers to any of them from me though ;-) It's a fascinating subject *because* it's so complex, and because there's a *lot* of potential and opportunity in this area at the moment I think.
Daniel W.
user 53397962
London, GB
Post #: 10
Thanks Graham, I think you have the makings of a useful model there that we can apply to all the types of schemes we come up with.

I was struggling with how to make the sQuid system 'open' for developer Apps (I haven't explored Qoin yet http://qoin.org)...,­ but I was at a financial innovation meet-up this evening and saw the Open Bank Project which is an API build with Scala that uses OAuth? like Twitter, Facebook and Google, but to plug into bank account data and allow developers to create apps with it. This could be pretty cool and allow all kinds of apps like social reputations, % of trade local, and big data stuff showing all kinds of economic activity across the city.

Qoin is the other possible tech supplier, they're a social enterprise and they delivered the technology for the Brixton and Bristol Pound with open source Cyclos. sQuid on the other hand is a private company but they have an end to end system that I think is a better and works with contactless cards. I think they are the two best possible suppliers, I'd really value your input if you have time to help appraise the two options?
Andrew M.
user 75249272
Brighton, GB
Post #: 2
Sorry, I originally posted this in the wrong section.

I mentioned to a couple of people the paper I wrote a couple of years ago on the subject of complementary currencies. Please find that attached and also a far better piece of work by Steve Sorrell of SPRU on fractional reserve banking.
Emily O.
user 70559802
Brighton, GB
Post #: 7
[ Are any evening particularly difficult for anyone?:
Wednesdays not good for me. But then I am not sure I can contribute tons to discussion once it gets more technical (though happy to try smile
Daniel W.
user 53397962
London, GB
Post #: 11
How is Monday eve again from 6pm?
Not planning to get technical, more interested in documenting ideas and potential outcomes at this stage. Stuff we need to make sure the technology can handle
Iain C.
IainChambers
Brighton, GB
Post #: 7
I might be able to make Monday evening meeting (am assuming 25th?)
Daniel W.
user 53397962
London, GB
Post #: 12
Yes This Monday 25th. Sorry for the short notice, just hoping people don't plan much for Monday evenings
Martin G.
user 27122942
Hove, GB
Post #: 4
"Martin ‏@ThrivingPlanet Webinars: Let's Make Money - Setting up your own complimentary currency w/ John Rogers @ValueforPeople http://s.coop/1expb...­ "

Daniel W.
user 53397962
London, GB
Post #: 13
Just a quick update on pilot. I had a verbal agreement to get hold of technology for a free for a pilot, but my contact has been off with man-flu so there's been a delay moving forward with that.

In the meantime I'm putting together a list of local organisation who would be interested in participating in some kind of complementary currency, or launching their own. If anyone has any ideas or intro's for possible organisation please drop me a line.

Interestingly, a new complementary currency has just launched called http://freico.in/...­
It is open source and decentralised like Bitcoin, but rather than being scarce and increasing in value from hoarding like Bitcoin, Frecoin is designed to be used purely for exchange. It will be interesting to see how it goes.
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