Expats Move In as Rio Ravelas Improve

Now that the notorious drug gangs of Rio de Janiero’s shanty towns have been driven out, the neighborhoods are attracting new residents from Southern Europe. Fleeing the euro crisis back home, the expats are contributing to a real estate boom in the favelas.

Diego Baronio & Alex


Broken Trust Part 1: Reflections on RSA’s SecurID discusses the ten trust properties, eight of which are: Size [who are you going to trust?], Symmetry [do they trust us?], Transparency [How much do we know about $TRUSTEE?], Consistency [What happenned in the past?], Integrity [How do we notice if the $TRUSTEE changes?], Value of Reward [What do we gain by trusting?], Components [Which resources does $TRUSTEE rely on?] and Porosity [How separated is $TRUSTEE from it’s environment?]


A Quick Look at Ven, the “Green Money”


Saw a new post today about Ven—the “green money.”  It’s centrally issued by Hub Culture.

The value of Ven is determined by the financial markets in a weighted basket of currencies, commodities and carbon futures trading against other major currencies at floating exchange rates. Ven is the first digital currency to float, and the first to include carbon in its pricing, making it the only environmentally linked currency in existence.

Okay, so there’s no true way to intuitively “know” the value of a Ven, because its a basket of commodities and carbon futures.  So, how much have they issued already?

Currently over 5 million units of Ven are in circulation worldwide

With about 20,000 members that averages into 250V/member (or $25) either issued as their “starter” money or bought as follows:

How to get Ven

Hub Culture members can earn Ven by inviting friends into the network, or by sharing knowledge with others. Members buy Ven directly at market rates. Ven is available and fully traded inside Facebook.
Yes, you can Credit Card/PayPal your way into getting some Ven but you’ll need to find someone in Hub Culture’s system to convert it back into your favorite fiat-unit.  1V was set to be approximately $10 in 2008, and currently trades at 1V ~ $9.54.  If this gets any viral traction like BitCoin has, it too will experience a bubble while making Hub Culture some serious coin as the only issuer of new currency. Now either Hub Culture has actually sold $500K in Ven since they started, or they’ve self-issued most of it for bootstrapping, but I can’t find any information on when/who was issued new Ven in their sites.  I’m surprised they haven’t already experienced a registration bubble with just 20,000 users.
Like all new currencies, Ven has to fight the lack of network effect—no one wants to use a new money that no one else uses.  Only when the existing dominant currency begins to fail do others seek out new ways to trade, and we’re still in the stages of dollar collapse where many are converting their dollar assets into hard assets as fast as possible. Just saying that the currency is based on a “market basket” without explaining exactly what is in that basket and the weights of each item doesn’t inspire much confidence in that ordinary people will be able to understand the value of a Ven.

The Redpill

In replying to trav7777: (Who asked nicely for an alternative to gold, reproduced here because it’s hard to link to.)

Actually, I do have one. Stop reading here if you just want the bluepill.

Change the commodity to a virtual one with a very simple connection to the real world (not a market basket of different commodities, just one), get rid of the centralized debt+interest+secrecy creation of it via central banking and fractional reserve systems and give every unique person a limited amount of individual credit from this system. Scale the amount of individual credit according to the population. Transactions that create and transfer this money are public. Privacy comes from transactions that create cash (yes, print your own money) from any earned money (never from your credit.) Get rid of taxation systems by replacing them with social credit systems scaled for each community, get rid of politicians by replacing elections and voting with crowd-sourced budgeting for localized needs. Community needs that everyone agrees on get discounts and obvious graft only gets funded from the people interested enough to toss their share of the credit at it. Repeat process for insurance by reserving individual credit into pools of coverage.

Get rid of equity games (short selling, insider trading, winning the stock market lottery, etc) by making equity permanent: if you invest anything, you get a % of future dividends until the company goes bust should the company pay any dividends (risk is up front, not in the future.) Don’t like what a company is doing? Take some of your individual credit and “protest” it against the firm–everyone with equity in that firm gets a message and a corresponding decline in their share of equity. Its like burning a dollar bill, but multiplying across millions of people, you can have a real corporate death penalty as a weapon the people hold.

Only individual credit can be invested or protested–so everyone instead of a minority of people have incentive to become investors. A poor community in an inner city can decide to capitalize a new business without any banker’s permission. If they screw it up, well, they start over again with more credit in the future.

Credit here is a fundamental right, and its not something dependent on some other company’s rating of how well you pay larger and larger amounts of bills on time and carrying a balance. It’s simply access to a little bit of capital, multiplied across millions of people who must cooperate together to create the world they want.

Oh yes, I didn’t say what the “commodity” unit was, it was “time.” So while everyone else is debating whether a $20 is worth that pizza or that ounce of gold is worth the nice HD video camera–I’ll just consider the pizza to be worth about 3 hours labor/materials of my time to do it myself and perhaps 250 hours of labor/materials to everyone involved in manufacturing it.

I think Ben Franklin was right, but he only used the wrong letter, “time is money” to me is really more interesting when you consider “time as money.” Now I always have to explain this. “Value time” (used as money) is not the same as “your time.” Think of the difference between you getting $20 from a lawyer and $20 from a painter. You’d never think that once you got the $20 from the lawyer or painter that you could go back and get $20 of “lawyering” or painting just because you hold a $20 they gave you. Now change the units: The lawyer gives you 20 minutes of value and the painter gives you 20 minutes of value. “Value money” doesn’t mean you get to come back to the person and ask them for that amount of time in labor as in bartering–you’ve already received the value encoded in the symbol of a payment of 20 minutes “value time”–you can spend it anywhere, and now you’re no longer doing barter, you’re using real money. And now that its a universal commodity (not a dollar or franc or pound or lira), you can trade it with anyone else in the world (no FOREX/exchange rates needed, time is time is time.)

Gold bugs like to say that the money supply is limited by the amount of gold in the world, well, I know absolutely for everyone, the amount of time we all have is even more limited, because you can’t mine it anywhere. Yet, we all have equal access to it, more so than gold, which is not distributed across the world equally–we’ve been beating ourselves up and warring over it for centuries trying to use gold for money, or some other piece of paper with only perceived value. Make money it a real synthetic scarcity with auditable transparency and you’ve got an alternative to paper money manufactured by governments/central banks or gold. Governments can’t put their citizens into slavery should they decide to auction trillions of dollars in bonds to fund their government spending, only the citizens can decide to spend their own credit. Business cycles should be reduced in frequency because there won’t be any debt+interest bubbles to blow–its credit money, not debt money.

Given a knowledge of some rules, any society can implement it. Any society implementing the same rules (kind of like a super Bretton Woods) can be said to be using equivalent forms of money.

Right now, if you believe only gold is money, you must be utterly miserable with not really being able to use it in daily life. We left the gold standard because we couldn’t create enough reliable liquidity to “get stuff done.”

Right now, if you believe fiat money with fractional reserve banking/debt systems is “good enough,” you’ll always be combating the inflation and business cycles of misery where your money is worth less and less the longer you save it, simply because the system is inherently unstable. More debt and more interest always demands the creation of more and more money or more bankruptcy and default where “the house always wins.” Yes, your bankers own and operate the house, and have so for quite a long time now.