Last Thursday we were invited by Extracity in Antwerp to participate in a discussion about an alternative global currency. The evening was mostly focussed on FairCoop and FairCoin; one of the currency options the Commonfare team is currently considering implementing on its digital platform.
After a short presentation we plunged into conversation with the audience - that interestingly enough consisted mostly out of women. The first thing we noticed was how incredibly well informed they all were. We have sometimes heard the argument that people don’t know how the Euro and other fiat currencies work, so they also shouldn’t have to concern themselves too much with the inner workings of crypto currencies either and rather just start using them. This of course is nonsense. Technology is not neutral, it is ideologically loaded and the different consensus algorithms that crypto currencies rely on are no exception. For example, ‘Proof of Work’ promotes competition; ‘Proof of Stake’ is an incentive for a form of centralization; and current ‘Proof of Trust’ algorithms and locking mechanisms arguably favor hoarding and reinforce the stronger positions of the already rich, and so may undermine intentions to make ‘wealth’ available to the rest of the community. Not only were our audience well aware of these different algorithms, they had also thought about the values they embody and were keen to discuss such issues.
All in all we had a good evening touching upon lots of interesting topics. At some point the following Henry Ford quote came to mind:
“The days are fast slipping away when the fear of credit curtailment will avail, or when wordy slogans will affright. The people are naturally conservative. They are more conservative than the financiers. Those who believe that the people are so easily led that they would permit the printing presses to run off money like milk tickets do not understand them. It is the innate conservation of the people that has kept our money good in spite of the fantastic tricks which financiers play-and which they cover up with high technical terms. The people are on the side of sound money. They are so unalterably on the side of sound money that it is a serious question how they would regard the system under which they live, if they once knew what the initiate can do with it.”
Our savvy and concerned audience suggest that it is still the people who keep money good, and who will keep crypto currencies good too.