Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Towards a Local Economy - how the Internet might help

3:30 pm Saturday 23rd April

Welshmans Reef Winery, Welshmans Reef

Towards a Local Ecnomy
How the Internet might help

Ian McBurney

Ecological Sustainability Practitioner

Around the world many towns, cities and regions are establishing their own currencies (for example the Bristol Pound in England) in an effort to keep more resources local.

Exchange between people who have stuff, want stuff, offer services or need services becomes more like barter except you don’t need to swap with one individual. You can trade widely in all kinds of ways, using the local currency to keep track. When exchanges happen in this way value circulates, many times, in the local area instead of being whisked away into the coffers of a large company.

But can this be done without printing local banknotes? 

MaLETS (Mount Alexander Local Economy Trading Scheme) is one approach but the scheme is not secure and open to tampering. It also has a "single point of failure" It depends absolutely on one person's computer.

The Internet offers some exciting alternatives. It is now possible for information, such as your "local trading balance", to be stored, with complete security, in a completely decentralised "peer to peer" way. It is spread safely between many different people's computers. Spread in a form that resists tampering by the owners of those computers.

Local economies based on this "blockchain" technique could thrive and even interconnect across the globe. Trade fruit from your trees for accommodation in England.Imagine!

Ian has presented and motivated change in over 60 local governments in four states and two countries

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