[ExI] Strangecoin

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Sun Mar 30 21:26:15 UTC 2014

No proposed implementation but here's some fun ideas:


What's unique about Strangecoin?

   - Strangecoin transactions can be *nonzero sum*. A Strangecoin
   transaction might result in *both* parties having more Strangecoin.
   - Strangecoin transactions can be *one-sided* and can be conducted
   entirely by only one party to the transaction.
   - The rate of change of one's Strangecoin balance is a more important
   indicator of economic influence than the balance itself.
   - Optimal investment strategy in Strangecoin aims to *stabilize* one's
   balance of Strangecoin.
   - A universal account provides all users a basic Strangecoin income,
   effectively unlimited wealth, and direct feedback on the overall prosperity
   of the network.


As the example suggests, the dynamics of Strangecoin might be usefully
thought of in terms of a "reputation system" rather than a strictly
financial tool, even though the basic mechanics involve the regular method
of exchanging currency for goods perceived by both parties to be of equal
value. Because of the nonlinear relationships among Strangecoin users, each
user effectively draws on a network of support in each economic
transaction, coupling its activity to the successes (and failures) of the
that network of activity. The result is a model of the complex
interdependencies within a community of economic agents, and the dynamics
by which those networks develop and decay. For this reason, Strangecoin
might have implications for quantifying the role of individual choices and
responsibility in the context of corporate action, and for resolving other
difficult issues in the management and ethics of collective economic action.


Other comments suggest that this can be implemented with existing tools,
which I take as a virtue of the proposal.

In any case, John von Neumann proved a long time ago that any nonzero sum
game with n players can be modeled as a zero sum game with n+1 players,
where the n+1 player represents the global state. TUA is simply an
implementation of this proof.


I tried to explain inhibition in another comment in this thread.

I give an an analogy in the proposal of the popularity of a celebrity
couple being a nonlinear relationship to the popularity of each celebrity
individually. I think our intuitive understanding of our social
relationships is nonlinear in this way generally, and I think Strangecoin
can model those nonlinear relationships well.

So, for instance, I'm imagining a family, spouses, close friends, and so on
entering into extended coupling transactions, so that as a community their
prosperity rises and falls together. I might also enter into such
transactions with certain business with whom I want to couple my
activities, and these coupling transactions might serve in lieu of direct
billing or payment. A coupling relationship with a business is effectively
a contract, but with traditional currency you need the whole legal
framework of contracts to support the transaction, and with Strangecoin the
transaction is built directly into the currency, and the interface looks
almost exactly like a point-of-sale cash transaction.

And I can enter into less serious relationships of varying degrees with
other parties. The effect is a way of managing not just financial
transactions, but also reputation, investment, and other dynamics social
constraints on the economy via the currency itself. Money is memory (
http://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/sr/sr218.pdf), but our existing
currencies only represent some aspects of our economic activity, and
therefore put limits on the memory stored in the economy. A nonlinear coin
like Strangecoin can embed that social knowledge in the currency itself,
providing a more robust memory framework on which we can conduct our
economic transactions.

I only hint at this in the proposal, but I suspect a system like this is
required to resolve the twisted legal artifice the corporate veil, because
it quantifies explicitly the role individuals have in collective economic
activity, and thereby gives a method for explicitly holding persons
proportionally responsible (in both credit and blame) for their
contributions to that activity.

But I think that's a much more radical proposal than the one I've offered
for Strangecoin, and I should probably only be defending that here. =)

- Bryan
1 512 203 0507
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