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Re: <nettime> Ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain
Brian Holmes on Fri, 5 Jan 2018 10:12:53 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain


Hello Prem - warm greetings from cold Chicago.

On 01/04/2018 11:30 PM, Prem Chandavarkar wrote:
Lietaer’s solution is not a virtual currency like bitcoin - for that would only offer further opportunity to the speculative system; and the bubble in the increase in value of bitcoin over the last year reinforces that fact.  He argues that breaking the governmental monopoly on currency should create the space for highly localised currencies decentralised to the scale of a city or province.

Indeed, that argument has been advanced by all those trying to rework monetary exchange for human needs - and I think it was also the hope of many who supported Bitcoin in the early days.

Given the recent excess in crypto-currency markets, one cannot even know if any such hope was ever realizable. Before local exchange can be attempted, the medium is taken over for international speculation. Meanwhile at the grassroots level, national moneys - and in some cases, dollars as well - with all their flaws remain more practical and more trustworthy for the day-to-day struggle of survival. The success of M-pesa mobile-phone banking in Africa underscores this.

Capitalism is more efficient, and therefore more powerful than our ideals and projects. However, as climatology suggests, it is unfortunately also suicidal. The real question seems to be whether the kinds of social relations that one practices against all odds, as a continuous act of resistance, will retain any generative value after the coming collapse of capitalist society. Since that collapse will not happen in a day, nor probably in a decade, believing in what one does and maintaining its uncashable values is the great challenge. It doesn't mean that more local currencies shouldn't be tried, to the contrary. What matters most - the real currency - is the individual and collective capacity to justify life without a payoff.

Let's make it real, Brian
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