by Mike Masnick

Peer-To-Peer Bartering To Replace Money?

from the maybe-not... dept

Nicholas Negroponte was a huge supporter of electronic currencies, even as one after another failed. Now, he's back, suggesting that the next version of "electronic currency" will simply make use of peer-to-peer technology to complete multi-party barter exchanges. Of course, the whole reason money was invented was to do away with the need for bater, since it's tough to match up an even exchange in a barter system. Instead, you use cash as a more widely accepted proxy for a product that could be traded in a barter system. However, Negroponte thinks that the ease of money has nothing on... um... the complexities of a peer-to-peer barter system. Why? Maybe because it seems cool. Otherwise, it doesn't seem to make that much sense. Admittedly, there are new forms of barter currency and things like freecycle catching on to help people give away (or get) stuff for free. However, is it really that much easier to have a P2P system find a limo driver who wants a fish you can provide, and a dentist who wants a limo ride, so that you can get your teeth cleaned in exchange for fish (the actual example Negroponte uses)? Isn't it just easier, and much more efficient, to sell your fish in the open market and pay the dentist with your cash, while letting the limo driver fend for himself?

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  • identicon
    Robin Upton, 4 Nov 2004 @ 11:48am

    P2P Money

    It won't be P2P, it'll be F2F (Friend2Friend), at least if the trading happens over a social network. Why bother with the complexity?... Because I like to know who I'm dealing with. If I pay cash, I can't know the results of my transaction. My cheap goods are someone else's low wage rates. Dealing directly with people helps me know the consequences of my actions, which helps me act responsibly. Another big reason to avoid centralised money is to escape the control of the banking establishment. I like only to pay people for work done, not because they have secured political privilege, which is a problem, since the banking establishment currently holds a monopoly on credit, and charges interest on all the money in circulation. Altruistic Economics, Open Money and other decentralised trading systems are coming fast and will offer some people an alternative to the command economy. Others will remain perfectly free to keep using cash if they feel that's superior.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Greg Slade, 10 Jan 2005 @ 7:23am

    Decentralised barter system

    I just today came to the same conclusion as you have independently, my motivation was however to destroy the current system of taxation by decentralising goods and services so they could not be taxed because there would be no record of them. I was rather gutted when I found you article. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Omni Solomon, 3 Apr 2006 @ 2:11am

    pirates and tax evasion

    Just like the crack down on peer-to-peer file sharing, you bet your butt there'd be a strong crack down on peer-to-peer bartering. Check out IRS topic 420.. In essence, u.s. tax code requires that all barter income be reported via form 1099b, and that it is taxable as regular income. For a 'black hat' peer-to-peer barter network to come close to working, access would need to be via a Virtual Private Network operated by some trusted overseas company, to protect the identity of all who bartered. Although it is centralized, you might be interested in the company I write code for. We facilitate direct trades, and also provide a barter currency. link: Barterfest

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dave rankin, 2 Feb 2007 @ 7:07pm

    barter and personal money

    money is the measurement of the exchange of value between people
    Michael Linton 1982

    barter in its simplest form is inefficient but
    personal money as described by Linton is becoming the way of the future
    many barter trading companies are charging outrageous percentages for their hosting services
    this is so unnecessary
    one company i found doesn't even charge transaction fees like your bank might
    they charge advertising fees for businesses
    they handle all transactions processing and hosting for the income derived from the ads

    personal money is on the rise
    and for those who know the theory of multilets as developed by Michael Linton and Angus Soutar IS the way of future economic interaction

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Durrant (Favabank), 11 Dec 2011 @ 2:56am

    Money can be seen as a measurement of IOUs

    All money that exists is debt, and the accepted currency tends to be whatever the state demands its tax payments in which gives money its value.

    Unless Peer-to-peer forms of currency become acceptable as tax payments, they'll never replace conventional money, but that's not really their aim.

    Large scale peer-to-peer trading between people, setting up chains of IOUs based on individual reputations, is certainly a conceivable outcome of the culture of trust networks inherent within social media. If they can offer convenience and qualities that real money can't provide (e.g. abundance rather than scarcity), then perhaps they'll catch on to be a complement to national currencies in the future. I making my own small attempt to create a peer-to-peer bartering network in the UK called Favabank. The future of money may well be different from the past.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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