Project of the Day: FABMoney

FABMoney is an open source and p2p currency for promoting and mapping collaboration in FabLabs.

Massimo Menichinelli:

“The current concept of FABMoney is of a mutual credit currency, with demurrage (a time-based devaluation) for promoting transactions, and without interest for promoting collaboration instead of competition. Each transaction happens every time a user of a FabLab help another user, and therefore he/she receives one or more FABs (F). The online platform will map these transactions and rebuild a social network analysis of them, rendering these transactions as Open Data through Open API (probably it will be a REST system). In this way, we would reach two objectives:

  • we would encourage a social collaboration inside the FabLabs, and outside of their buildings and all over the world, enabling new business initiatives;
  • at the same time, we would map the social capital of the collaborations inside the FabLab community (through social network analysis), understanding both the economical and the social impact of FabLabs.

The project is still under development (there is only one Drupal module available, but maybe we can build it with Django for implementing social network analysis with NetworkX and a javascript library for visualization like D3, SigmaJS or CytoscapeJS), with its own website at, and a mailing list for discussion here. If you are interested in the project, please join the mailing list and introduce yourself. The FABMoney project will succeed only if tested in more than one lab, and only if it will become a collaborative effort. We need to test it in different contexts to understand the best currency design features!

A further explanation: why not Bitcoin or one of its forks? Bitcoin has been the first great example of having a global p2p currency, but its implementation was focused mostly on its technical features and anonymity (which we have seen, through social network analysis, it’s not completely valid). The currency is not based on collaboration but on computing power, and therefore it is not suited for the goals of improving the social impact of FabLabs.

Why not LETS or similar existing systems? These are very good example, and we may probably learn and adopt a lot from them, but we need the currency to link all or most of the FabLabs, and we need to implement social network analysis and Open API at the same time, in order to give the community a map of its own self-organization.” (

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