Do we need energy-backed currencies?

(via an email from Dante Monson)

That we do need such a currency is one of the main underlying theses of Marc Fawzi’s project for a P2P Energy Economy, which he develops in our wiki.

But the idea has been preceded by concrete experiments already, i.e. the Wat checks system in Japan (thanks to Dante Monson for the pointer):

Wat, started last August by Eiichi Morino, may seem strange, but suggest another possible form of community currencies. This system was designed to promote the solar-energy or other nature-based generations, and in the future Wat checks will be guaranteed by some electric power generated by ecological methods. Currently this WAT checks are circulated between Gesell-ML members and other natural-energy [sympathisers].

Wat is used as multiple-endorsed checks. The issuer fills in his name and signs on the check, who accepts it can use it when paying to somebody else, and the check circulates between those who support Wat’s principles. When the check comes back to the issuer it dies,(as Morino puts it) or he/she breaks it out as the check’s role has been completed.

What’s good of this system is that little administration is needed to maintain it. Both issuers and first acceptors give birth to new checks on their own responsibility, and there’s no need for the center to control it. We’re still unsure of its future, but its quickly-spreading use is more and more promising for community currencycurrency in Yufuin, Oita prefecture, started by Ryuji Urata).

For further information visit the following website (only in Japanese) where 1KwH is now considered as equivalent to some one hundred yens (about one US dollar.) . Similar system was adopted by Yufu (another community.”

Dante also picked up on our related p2p wiki entries:

* Energy Accounting

* Energy Credits

* Environmentally backed Currency Unit

Finally, Dante refers to an article by Chris Cook that was published in the Asian Times, which links the value of a currency (energy dollars) to gas prices (gas unitization):

Chris Cook:

The second element of my proposal is that natural gas should be “unitized”, through the simple device of the creation of “units” (in the Master Partnership) issued by producers and redeemable in gas. It is then possible for gas market infrastructure to be financed – or refinanced – in a way that renders secured debt – which in any case is becoming ever more scarce – entirely redundant.

Gas producers could, simply by selling undated gas units “forward”, obtain interest-free finance through what is essentially a (sharia compliant) loan denominated in energy. Investors would be able to invest directly in gas, and benefit from energy price rises, but with the knowledge that they will always be able to redeem the units against their own energy consumption or to sell units to other consumers, if not to investors.

The outcome of such a market would be “energy dollar” units initially based on natural gas, but capable of being extended to other forms of energy and thereby of becoming a global means of exchange. Such an energy dollar could come to replace as a global reserve currency the US dollar, which is currently being temporarily propped up by the continuing process of massive de-leveraging, whereby dollars are necessarily required to repay dollar loans. ”

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