Filed Under: Cash and cash replacement, Money

Time for the Borat

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[Dave Birch] It’s not clear to me why people think that creating a new world currency would improve the global economic outlook any more than creating a new European currency has helped the European economic outlook, but there’s been yet another call for a single currency for the globe, and this time it’s come from central Asia.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s leader [called] for every member of the United Nations to adopt the “acmetal”. “A new global currency should serve as the foundation for a new harmonious system. The president said the name of his proposed currency was an amalgamation of the Greek work “acme”, meaning “the best”, and capital. So confident is he in the success of his new currency that Mr Nazarbayev predicted that the world would soon be talking of “acmetalism” instead of “capitalism” and that Kazakhstan could play a vital role in the implementation of the new currency because it had long been at the forefront of the global economy.

[From Global currency ‘could save world economy’ – Telegraph]

Personally, I don’t like acmetal as it reminds me too much of cartoons, so I think something more modern, more relevant in contemporary culture would be better. I propose “the Borat”. The proposal has some heavyweight support from someone who knows much more about economics than I do, by the way.

KAZAKH President Nursultan Nazarbayev has won backing for his plan for a single world currency from an intellectual architect of the euro currency, Nobel-prize winner Professor Robert Mundell. “I must say that I agree with President Nazarbayev on his statement and many of the things he said in his plan, the project he made for the world currency, and I believe I’m right on track with what he’s saying,” Prof Mundell said, adding the idea held “great promise”. Mr Nazarbayev and Prof Mundell urged the Group of 20 leading developed and developing economies to form a working group on the proposal at their summit on the global economic crisis in London on April 2.

[From Nobel-prize winner backs world currency | Herald Sun]

I wonder if I can persuade them to come along to next year’s Digital Money Forum? `After all, the delegates seemed to really enjoy the session kicked off by Larry H. White which included a great talk on the Lewes Pound. The global, act local?

President Nazarbayev is not the only world leader to be experimenting with new forms of money.

Cimarrones, or the Cimarron, joins 10 other alternative currencies currently in operation across Venezuela. They are circular cardboard tokens with a picture of a runaway slave on them. Supported by Hugo Chavez, the country’s president, the new currencies are aimed at tackling poverty and establishing new economies. The currencies can’t be exchanged for the Venezuelan currency, the bolivar.

[From Venezuela’s Currencies Promote Cooperation Not Competition | NowPublic News Coverage]

These currencies are used to mediate barter in “prosumer” markets: you can’t get the currency in order to buy things without producing things. Now imagine something along these lines at Internet scale: currencies that are specific to particular markets, that you can’t obtain without bringing things to the market. Interesting, not in the sense of Mr. Chavez’ bonkers national socialism, but in the sense of reputation currencies. Lots of people have predicted that these will come along, but they “sort of anonymity” of the Internet stops them from happening.

Anonymity (or weak Identity) and Reputation Systems just don’t mix.

[From So much for anonymous reputation systems… Metacritic review abuse – PlayNoEvil Game Security News & Analysis]

I don’t think this is true, for two reasons. First of all, a persistent identity is all that is necessary and there is no reason for it to be strongly linked to a person and secondly, anonymity isn’t “weak” identity. But that’s a discussion for the Digital Identity Forum blog!

These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]

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