This new post by ‘Athens Alexander’ on the FairCoop blog reflects on the theoretical implications of the FairCoin achieving parity with the Euro:
What the attainment of 1:1 signifies is a practical example of a successful deployment of a large-scale, cutting-edge technological venture connected to cooperativist organisations in the real world. It is at the forefront of connecting a desire for autonomy, with the advances offered by blockchain technology and digital currency. Moreover, it is precisely these radical principles that have lead to positive results: slow and realistic growth, basic anti-speculative measures in the management of the coin to avoid counter-productive fluctuations, and a focus on practical use in economic cooperative networks. This means on the one hand the necessity of asserting a different conception of success compared to the dubious benchmarks of today’s malfunctioning world, but also an acceptance of acting within the world as we find it, not as we might like it to be. This is the actual way to successfully change the world.
It is possible that the FairCoop project has found a way (I hesitate to use the term “third way” as that has been heavily tainted by Blairism in the UK at least) between the volatile anarcho-capitalist ‘disrupt everything and to hell with the consequences’ philosophy, and the governmental ‘protect the economic status quo at all costs’ attitude.
A utopian faith cannot be put in markets (which does not differ ideologically from the preconceptions of neo-liberalism); an equally Utopian faith cannot be put in the state, which was the error of most of 20th century radicalism. The true solution is to take the best from both sides: putting faith in the choices of individuals and decentralized networks, but refining this idea and focusing it via the conscious political decision-making of self-managed cooperatives. And on the other hand, political decisions have to be coherent and focused on a clear ethical difference from speculative and acquisitive methods, while also not needing to fit into the bureaucratic structures of the state and parliamentary campaigns.
Actually, any community anywhere – local or virtual – can create a community currency, except as prohibited by law. Money is anything used as a universal commodity, whether it’s a thing with inherent value or not. Obviously, the best design is to create the community currency to pay people to sustainably develop human and natural resources, and back the currency by accepting it in payment for what is developed. Of course, that’s easier said then done, which is another topic. The simplest tactic for use in commerce of backed currency is to assign a face value equivalent to the legal national currency wherever it is used, so it easy to use beside the national currency in the same marketplace.
The advantages of this strategy include a fairly stable money value because it borrows from the inherent stability of a global money system that has 175 legal national currencies trading against each other in the global marketplace and guaranteed by each other to promote stability. It also has the great worth of possibly reaching the poorest of the poor and leaving no one behind because it is created to pay people to produce essential resources, which answers the needs for gainful employment and access to essentials. There are lots of other good tactics that can be applied, all in the public domain at http://www.reconomy.net.