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The conceptual GeoFlux currency

What is this GeoFlux currency that I propose and why should anyone care? To answer the first question as briefly as possible: GeoFlux is a conceptual global and universal cryptocurrency that is generated in a distributed way via basic incomes and reputation incomes. The answer to the second question is: Because it’s optimally suited for facilitating global and universal abundance.

Perhaps you won’t agree with that claim. In that case, I urge you to tell me why you disagree. If there’s a flaw in GeoFlux, it would probably be easily fixable during this early stage. Anyway, to judge GeoFlux, you need to understand the idea. For that purpose, I need to go a bit on a tangent, but afterwards everything should make much more sense.

The idea of GeoFlux

Near zero costs for copying digital goods

Perhaps the key insight to understand GeoFlux is that non-destructive copying is not the same as stealing. When people talk about “piracy” nowadays they are using a very inappropriate word. Copying information is cheap and doesn’t destroy the original. Whenever people copy and redistribute digital goods like music, movies, books, and software, they are not stealing, because the creator of those goods still has the original. So, if we use inappropriate words like “stealing” or “piracy” we are appealing to intuitions that are not appropriate to the novel case at hand. Instead, we need to figure out how to deal with the new situation we are finding us in, the situation that we can copy and redistribute certain goods at virtually zero cost.

Apparently it’s hard to grasp this situation properly. Otherwise, calling copying digital goods without permission "stealing "or “piracy” would be universally called out as bullshit. And we could have solved the problem already, if people had actually started thinking earlier about the near zero cost copying situation that has existed for decades. But no, there’s still talk about “piracy” and we now have to deal with the awkwardness of Digital Rights Management. DRM is a bad solution created as reaction to a blessing that was perceived as problem by some. The blessing is that we are technologically able to copy digital goods at virtual zero cost. Why would anyone see that as problem? Because you can’t make profit from goods that you sell for a price of virtually zero, when they initial creation actually costs you a significant amount of time, effort, or money.

Towards digital abundance

But what if it turns out that selling is simply the wrong way to think about digital goods? Why not give digital goods away for free? Well, obviously there’s a problem with that: How will the creators of those goods be compensated for the work of creating those goods in the first place? Now, if we tentatively accept that “selling” is not the right answer, we are on the right track. There are actually a couple of different potential answer that can make a lot of sense:

  1. Producers of digital goods (simply called “producers” from now on) get paid by companies, foundations, governments, non-profits, philanthropists, patrons, or via crowdfunding for producing digital goods
  2. Producers don’t sell the digital goods they create, but sell services connected to those goods
  3. People pay producers donations for creating digital goods
  4. Producers don’t get paid for creating digital goods, but make them nevertheless out of passion, and sustain themselves via other means, ranging from unrelated entrepreneurship, freelancing, day jobs, self-sufficiency, to universal basic incomes

All of these options are legitimate ways of being able to create digital goods without having to sell them. If those models were the only ones that were applied to create digital goods, all digital goods would be available for free. I call that situation digital abundance.

Artificial markets are inefficient

Contrast that with the artificial digital scarcity we currently suffer from, because we aren’t allowed to copy digital goods for free, because some parties still insist that selling digital goods is a good idea. At first glance, it seems reasonable to think that selling digital goods is a good idea, because their creation still costs something. We have become accustomed to think of trading regular goods and services as being normal, so it might seem natural to transfer that way of thinking to digital goods. By making digital goods artificially scarce through DRM and anti-copying laws, they seemingly get pushed back into the regular market system.

Now why exactly is that a real problem? It’s a problem, because it creates economic inefficiencies and makes all of us poorer as a result! What kinds of inefficiencies am I talking about?

  • We opt for suboptimal software, when could use the best software for free
  • Programmers cannot simply reuse the best code parts of any software for making even better software
  • Artists cannot take the best parts of already existing art, music, or videos and make even better art
  • Poorer people have less access to the best digital entertainment, thus decreasing their quality of life, which can affect their productivity negatively
  • When people copy digital goods illegally, they often go through a lot of effort to do so – that effort would be unnecessary, if digital goods were free in the first place
  • Creating DRM measures is an unnecessary expense
  • Suing or even imprisoning people for copying digital goods creates unnecessary costs and stops people from doing actually useful work

To sum it up: We forfeit having a superior digital economy in which the quality of digital goods was much better, while nobody would have to pay for them (directly). Even if the total cost for creating all digital goods in a digital abundance economy was the same as in our current economy, the problem of the mediocre quality of our current digital goods would still remain. This is not an obvious economic problem, but it is a serious economic problem nevertheless! This leads us to a startling conclusion: A digital goods market economy is inferior to a digital abundance economy.

But if that is indeed true, why don’t we have a flourishing digital abundance economy already? The main reason is that we haven’t figured out yet how to make a digital zero marginal cost economy run smoothly enough. Also, most people still don’t realize that a digital abundance economy would be superior, so creating artificial scarcity is still legally supported, even though it’s actually detrimental to the economy.

The role of reputation

When thinking about how a digital abundance economy could be created, we should start with some reasonable basic principles:

  1. Digital goods should not be sold, but be made available freely.
  2. Producers of digital goods should be rewarded in proportion to the value they create.

The second principle open up the question of how the value of digital goods should be measured. We can’t resort to market values, because digital goods should not be traded on a market, but available freely for everyone. So, we need to think about something else.

There have been many proposals to measure the value of digital goods in accordance to their consumption or use. That would of course require measuring that use properly, which is a non-trivial problem. Additionally, it’s not clear how usage data should translate into financial rewards. Would that approach require to create a national public institution for each type of digital good? And how should their budgets be determined?

Fortunately, things become easier when we measure the value of digital goods in accordance to their appreciation by consumers. Value is subjective after all, so why not let the consumers decide directly? That is what happens with donation-based approaches. Consumers reward the producers directly via donations, according to their own preferences.

However, there is a peculiarity about this kind of donation-based digital goods economy: The monetary reward for a digital good is not only roughly proportional to its appreciation, but also to the disposable income of the donor! Those who possess little disposable income are effectively excluded from active participation in a donation-based digital goods economy, while the rich have a disproportionate influence on it.

So, if we want a system in which reward for digital goods is only proportional to their appreciation, we need to think about something else. We need to focus on a more “pure” form of appreciation: Reputation. If reward was directly proportional to reputation alone, then we would have a reputation based economy. How could such an economy work?

Reputation based economies

The most prominent example of a fictional reputation economy is presented in Cory Doctorow’s book Down and out in the Magic Kingdom (available for free). In that science fiction novel there is a reputation score called Whuffie. Those who have a lot of Whuffie can afford almost everything, while those who have little Whuffie can only afford the bare necessities. It’s not clear how the Whuffie system works exactly, though. While Whuffie seems to represent public reputation pretty well, it less clear how Whuffie fits into economic transactions.

This issue became apparent to when when I tried writing a science fiction story on my own. In the end, I had to develop my own reputation system, which is now called Quantified Prestige (QP). It took me quite a while to figure out an important principle: Reputation does not get used up by economic transactions. That means, you can’t “spend” your reputation points on purchasing goods and services. Instead, reputation points are unaffected by that. It wouldn’t make sense for your reputation to get lowered by something which isn’t related to anything that granted you that reputation in the first place. Reputation is primarily the reflection of how people perceive your skills, and not so much what kind of stuff you buy.

So, how do you get your groceries in a reputation based economy? Of course, one could start thinking about elaborate schemes for allocating goods and services, but there’s one ancient invention that serves that problem remarkably well: Money. People should use money to buy physical stuff. It makes a lot of sense, because physical stuff is scarce, while digital goods are not.

But how do reputation and money relate to one another? It certainly can’t be the case that reputation is identical to money, because reputation should not be transferred in the way that money is transferred in an economic transaction. You shouldn’t be able to trade reputation with anyone. Being able to do that would devalue the meaning of reputation. Instead, reputation should be the source of money. Reputation should generate reputation incomes, which are proportional to the (positive) reputation of a person. That is the core idea behind the GeoFlux currency.

How GeoFlux will work

GeoFlux is a cryptocurrency connected to a universal, global Quantified Prestige network. The QP network dynamics define a Prestige score (simply called “Prestige”) for all users of the network. Now, the basic idea is that GeoFlux is generated by Prestige: The more Prestige you have, the more GeoFlux you get per year. As its name suggests, GeoFlux is a flux currency:

  1. A flux currency is a digital decentralized currency, a cryptocurrency
  2. Flux currencies have conditional demurrage, meaning that above a certain amount of money you have in that curency, everything above that will be automatically devalued by a specific percentage per year
  3. Flux currencies allow for continuous transfers of money over time, unlike current currencies which require discrete transfers

The mathematics that make GeoFlux work are described in the Quantified Prestige documentation, in which a currency called Fluido is described (Fluido was the initial name for what I now refer to as flux currencies).

It is important to note that GeoFlux has two systems that limit inflation of that currency. First of all, the rules of QP enforce the constraint that the average user cannot get more than 12 000 GeoFlux as reputation income per year. Secondly, above a certain threshold, GeoFlux get removed from the system by continuous devaluation. If you have “too many” GeoFlux on your account, the amount above the threshold gets reduced by 5% (or whatever number is best adjusted to global economic growth rates) per year. This conditional demurrage mechanism creates a limit to the number of GeoFlux than the average person can possess without exchanging GeoFlux with other entities (assuming the default values for the GeoFlux system that limit lies at 540 000 GeoFlux).

Global universal basic income in GeoFlux

GeoFlux has an integrated basic income. The two ways that GeoFlux are generated are basic incomes and reputation incomes. With the default values, everyone would get 12 000 GeoFlux per year as basic income, and a variable number of GeoFlux as reputation income (with the average user not getting more than 12 000 GeoFlux per year as reputation income).

Why should people get such a high universal basic income in GeoFlux? Because a pure reputation based economy would most likely have a very high degree of income inequality, since most of the reputation would be concentrated on “superstars” in their respective fields. Since too much inequality is a really bad thing, there needs to be a mechanism that reduces inequality. And a high basic income is a very simple and very effective mechanism that does just that.

The fact that GeoFlux is global should help to reduce global inequality pretty rapidly. Thus, it would contribute to eliminate hunger, and absolute poverty. It would also support developing nations to get up to speed faster, so that they can contribute to the global economy more effectively.

How does GeoFlux facilitate a flourishing digital abundance economy?

Creators of digital goods would get Prestige for creating them and giving them away for free. This Prestige would translate into an income in GeoFlux. There is no need to ask for donations or sponsoring. Giving away digital goods for free suffices to generate an income, if those goods are actually appreciated by consumers. Also, the basic income portion of GeoFlux enables everyone to become an effective producer of digital goods.

GeoFlux versus Bitcoin

But how would GeoFlux actually obtain its value? Basically, it would be valuable because it’s like bitcoin in some respects, but superior in others. GeoFlux shares the property of being a global cryptocurrency with bitcoin. So, let’s compare both cryptocurrencies. Let’s start with bitcoin, because that’s the most popular cryptocurrency right now:

Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin is limited to a maximum of 21 000 000 bitcoin ever existing. That makes it an extremely deflationary currency. It also makes it very attractive as a storage of value.
  • Bitcoin suffers from a certain degree of fluctuation, because it’s mainly used as object of financial speculation.
  • The value of bitcoin is mainly based on the public acceptance of bitcoin.
  • There is very high wealth inequality in the bitcoin economy, because the early investors grabbed a large fraction of all bitcoins without selling them to newer participants in the economy.

GeoFlux

  • GeoFlux is essentially limited to 540 000 GeoFlux per person. That still makes it somewhat deflationary, but less so than bitcoin. It’s still an excellent storage of value, if you manage to stay below the devaluation theshold.
  • Conditional demurrage encourages participants to lend GeoFlux to other people at low interest rates.
  • Like bitcoin, the value of GeoFlux comes from public acceptance of GeoFlux, but GeoFlux has some advantages that should increase its public acceptance:
  • GeoFlux reputation incomes legitimate the value of GeoFlux
  • Its integrated basic income makes it fair and more equal
  • Everyone would want to join the GeoFlux economy, because they would otherwise miss out on the universal basic income
  • Overall, GeoFlux is better suited for stimulating the economy than bitcoin
  • GeoFlux allows for continuous currency transfers

Why should people buy GeoFlux instead of bitcoin?

That’s a very crucial question. If GeoFlux was less attractive than bitcoin as cryptocurrency, it would be a failure. So, why exactly should people prefer to buy into GeoFlux rather than bitcoin?

The basic idea is that GeoFlux enables a more social and overall better performing economy. So, an investment into GeoFlux is an investment into a better future. As such, transparently buying GeoFlux would be seen as socially beneficial act, and grant a lot of positive reputation to the investors. I call those who invest publicly into GeoFlux for such reputation-motivated reasons sponsors. Investing as sponsor bears a double advantage: Firstly, you probably get some Prestige for investing into the GeoFlux economy, especially at the early stages. And secondly, until the value of GeoFlux stabilizes, the likely increase of the value of GeoFlux will mean that the initially purchased amount of GeoFlux will soon multiply in value.

The launch phase

At the launch of GeoFlux, visionary sponsors would have to do the first step and purchase some GeoFlux. When people see that intelligent sponsors are buying GeoFlux, other investors will anticipate that the value of GeoFlux will rise over time, as it gets accepted more widely. This will define a modest starting value of GeoFlux, which should rise rapidly, especially when GeoFlux reaches the attention of the public. It will probably be a rather turbulent time for the value of GeoFlux, as speculators will enter the market to capture some of the value increase of the new currency.

The intermediary phase

After a few years, a real ecosystem around GeoFlux will emerge. Sponsors and speculators will still invest into GeoFlux, but now the new currency will also start being accepted by actual merchants, because the value of GeoFlux will have been established. This should create increased trust and interest into this new currency.

New businesses will emerge that count on the value of GeoFlux. Those businesses could give away digital goods for free and count on the Prestige that thus GeoFlux they gain to at least cover their expenses. Instead of investing in those businesses directly, investors could buy into the general GeoFlux ecosystem by purchasing GeoFlux and let the people decide which businesses are good enough to flourish in the new free digital goods economy.

The advanced phase

By now, the value of GeoFlux may have already stabilized. Speculators cannot easily expect to make gains from purchasing GeoFlux, so this group will become less prevalent in the ecosystem. Instead, sponsors and regular users will stabilize the value of GeoFlux. Even though the relative value of sponsoring will have reduced somewhat by now, sponsoring GeoFlux will now be seen as relatively reliable way of making an investment with a modest long term gain through the increase of one’s reputation. In this advanced phase, GeoFlux will be a serious contender to other conventional currencies and cryptocurrencies. As more and more people will realize that GeoFlux can boost the future economy, public support for that currency will rise, and acceptance will become nearly universal.

In the long run, the advantages of GeoFlux over bitcoin should give GeoFlux a definite edge. If the value of a (crypto)currency is mainly based on its public acceptance, then GeoFlux would eventually become more valuable than bitcoin. The global economy could run only on GeoFlux, and it would flourish by doing so.

3 Likes

I don’t see this as necessary rather than a fluctuating system of reputation, financial and cryptocurrency systems optimised around various verticals with varying exchange rates.

It might be an ultimate form of currency conceptually, but like really long term.

Yes you can, it’s done all the time.

You just don’t profit under the traditional model.

Fair enough, I call it post-scarcity or artificial scarcity, but it’s the same thing.

Also, in 2014 I commented and extended a proposal for the digital registration of many commercial digital assets:

https://www.pirateparty.org.uk/party-magazine/who-made-could-digitally-registered-images-be-future-creators

So I like this model, I think we already have one but until recently were pretty poor at modeling it outside of traditional currencies.

This is where I disagree, I’ll explain why. We’re heading to a world where different kinds of reputation exist and there are subjective exchange rates between them. Examples you’ll be familiar with are:

  • Capital
  • Credit
  • Fame/Profile
  • Political influence
  • Skills/Creativity/Proficiencies
  • Social values

Now the relationship between capital and credit is one of the best known ones as they site within traditional finance. However other metrics are becoming increasingly quantifiable and convertible.

If I were to (legitimately) accrue 10,000 twitter followers for instance, I could relatively easily get them to give money to the charity of my choosing or invest in my latest project.

If I had a certain level of fame (and I’m working on a project to quantify this too!), I can get TV and media appearances in the same way.

Friends and family can support me financially, however they could also support my project ideas directly.

Startup culture attempts to converts engaging ideas into business and profile, and then again back into money.

I’m sure you get the idea, that we already live in a reputation economy. Can we run everything off one single uber-system? Personally I think not. Can we quantify different types of reputation? I hope so! Can we quantify the potential exchange rates? Very loosely, but it’s a start.

Can you spend reputation and not get it back? Absolutely, just look at every band who’s ‘sold out’, every celebrity PR breakdown, every political scandal, every bankruptcy.

Can a single currency rule them all today? I don’t think so. Will it in the future? I don’t know, but I bet you’ll be able to subjectively measure anything’s reputation more accurately and use this information to make the best choices in a post-scarcity future.

A lot of these can be approximately measured by using specific QP networks. The semantics of QP are open and depend on the context of the specific QP network. In my opening post I’ve only written about a global universal QP network, which is linked to GeoFlux, but there also should be many other QP networks in which “Prestige” has different meanings. In one QP network it could mean proficiency at creating websites, in another it would mean political popularity, and in a third one it would just measure how nice you are. An ecosystem of specific and more general QP networks can create and measure a lot of information about people.

Still, you can’t simply transfer “fame” points into “skill” points, or “credit” points into “creativity” points. Doing that algorithmically would be pretty pointless, because you would be making category errors every time. Of course, some metrics allow you to increase your score in other metrics by certain “operations” like those you’ve described in your reply. But those operations are far from trivial and deterministic. Calling them “subjective exchange rates” is too much of a simplification. Those exchange rates are not only subjective, but dynamic, and often probably even chaotic.

Allowing formal exchanges of formal quantifications of real world measurements simply doesn’t make sense, because those formal exchanges don’t affect the real world measurements, but only their formal quantifications – thus only distorting the formal quantifications and making them less truthful. That is what I mean with ‘you can’t “spend” your reputation points on purchasing goods and services’. Of course, I have talked about the formal Prestige points in the QP system.

Quantified Prestige provides a basis for all of that. The global universal QP network would enable a very interesting global universal currency: GeoFlux. Additionally, several more specific QP networks allow people to quantify different kinds of reputation in a better way. Personal exchange rates are possible, if those more specific QP networks are coupled with their own (flux) currencies. But you would simply exchange currencies generated by different kinds of reputations, not those reputations themselves!

Since QP only has positive reputation, it’s not really suited for quantifying negative reputation. Therefore, QP would need to be complemented with other reputation systems that would allow the creation of different kinds of blacklists, and more refined negative reputation tools.

It’s not necessary for GeoFlux to become the only currency in the world. GeoFlux is certainly the best possible currency for any reasonable task. If GeoFlux became a “standard” currency, that would be enough.

Yes, the creation of better reputation information is very useful. My hope is that by the time that QP becomes really widespread, people will be using HUDs, smart contact lenses, or other devices so that they can find out about all the reputation information about companies, products, or people very quickly and comfortable via augmented reality overlays or something like that.

QP is a bit counter-intuitive

This conversation made me understand that there is a really counter-intuitive aspect of the QP system. It’s that the reputation score and the reputation currency are actually two different entities! At first, I also thought that both should be the same, but as this post points out, that approach doesn’t make very much sense. You really need to have two different entities to make the system make sense: A reputation score that is defined by other people, and a reputation-generated currency that basically flows out of your reputation score permanently without changing it.

Perhaps, doing it that way may seem unnecessarily complex, but only by separating the reputation score and the reputation currency can both be optimized for doing their own specific purpose optimally – or even sufficiently well to be viable at all!

Can - sure, but where’s the incentive? Why should Klout use an open system rather than their propitiatory system?

Why should any of the emergent ratings organisations use an open system rather than their own? Not even metacritic would benefit in a way I can see.

Some of the conversions are exclusively or mostly one-way, but real life activity does allow you to make variable exchanges, this is done every day. It becomes like a futures or prediction markets in some cases - a strong proven concept.

[quote]Since QP only has positive reputation, it’s not really suited for
quantifying negative reputation. Therefore, QP would need to be
complemented with other reputation systems that would allow the creation
of different kinds of blacklists, and more refined negative reputation
tools.[/quote]
The whole thing sounds rather one-dimensional for the multi dimensional systems it’ss aiming to incorporate.

You know Yelp do this right?

What’s the point in coming up with your own proprietary reputation system? Why would anyone trust that over an open reputation system? People seem to assume that they can keep an advantage by coming up with an arbitrary reputation system that they keep secret. Sure, it seems reasonable given the many big companies which seemed to have a lot of success due to doing business that way. But it could just as well be a collective illusion, and doing things in an open way would be much better.

Wikipedia is open, Wordpress is open, Discourse is open. Compared to Google and Facebook they might be relatively small, but on the other hand: Do we really need big companies like Google and Facebook? Also note that proprietary alternatives are losing pretty much against Wikipedia and Wordpress. I see no reason why proprietary reputation systems should be dominant. Quite the contrary: In the end, peer-to-peer reputation systems like QP should be seen as being most trustworthy, and thus useful.

Are you really saying that QP is not complicated enough? It would be easy to make it more complicated, but that wouldn’t necessarily make it any better. I tried to reduce its complicatedness as much as possible without making it so simple that it breaks in obvious ways. If you think I’ve designed QP the wrong way, you are certainly invited to come up with a better system. :sunglasses:

Is Yelp actually used to rate people?

Competitive advantage and profit. As I said, I’m working on one at my company.

You assume algorithms must be secret, this is not inherently the case. Typically the data set is fairly open but the access and processing is controlled.

I know a company that mines Tweets for instances to crunch all kinds of reports.

Wikipedia has serious data quality issues for data mining. People try and augment things with bots but it only works at scale where errors and systemic biases are tolerable.

Neither hold or process significant amounts of data. Where they do, they do so behind the scenes typically rather than exposing their inner data structures directly.

I hope Facebook will eventually stagnate and an open source version will replace it’s niche, fingers crossed.

It’s not about ‘shoulds’ it’s about economics. Companies working in sectors are incentivised to want to monopolise their reputation markets.

Garbage in, garbage out. You need strong data quality to make the resultant set usable. This costs time and money - or in Wikipedia’s case, a huge reactive bureaucracy hostile to outsiders.

For the problem I believe you are trying to tackle, in the way I think it needs to be tackled - yes.

I’m planning to write about “the road to a reputation based economy” sometime in the future which will focus more on emergent trends (some of which I’ve mentioned) rather than solutions, unless I get to use my company as a case study but I probably won’t.

Sorry not Yelp, but this site does

The first parts of the text I’ll not comment on because I don’t have anything significant to say about it. I pretty much agree with the beginning of the text.

Now, that’s an aptly named reputation score name. We should copy that :wink:

This however, has the wrong vibe. Well, I might be in the minority, but I actually perceive Prestige as somewhat of a negative thing. It brings to mind this sick craving for Prestige (the craving to be better than others) that afflicts many people.

… but anyway, on to something that actually matters.

Ummh, no. It encourages people to exchange it for any other valuable thing that doesn’t depreciate in value. Bitcoin fits the bill, as does Gold and a lot of other things. It’ll be very effective in making sure almost no-one wants to hold more GeoFlux than they can without it being subjected to demurrage. This will most likely make sure richer people will have very little interest in owning GeoFlux. At best they might not mind owning some of it.

If this currency existed and someone owned even a significant fraction of this maximum, I’d be shocked.

If the currency was actually in wide use, then yes, these would be a factor. But in the beginning pretty much no-one would care. It’d be of no use to them. Most people don’t think ahead much at all for things outside of their own specialty. It’s the same reaction Bitcoin still receives from many people. They just can’t fathom what they’d do with it and so they ignore it.

There’s an experimental Finnish altcoin FIMK that’s trying to go with a basic income to any Finnish person who registers to receive it through their network. Very few people have bothered to register.

Most people don’t actually care for fair or equal. They just don’t want to get less than others. They’re perfectly fine with getting more if they think they can get away with it.

There’s no magic bullet to remove wealth inequality from the world. Only a significant change in societal values could do that. That being said, I think that’s inevitable as more people learn to understand what wealth actually is and means. At the very least, the inequality will drop to sensible levels. People will eventually realize there’s really no point in helping rich people stay rich.

Any arguments based on reputation are only valid after this kind of a system actually is in a wide use. In the beginning only visionaries will get it and reputation gains are minimal… In some small circles it’d buy some social capital, though. Societies only have very limited numbers of visionary people. Everyone else will have to be enticed by some kind of an immediate use case.

The reason Bitcoin has been growing is that it’s reasonable simple to explain why it’s likely to at least keep it’s value. GeoFlex doesn’t appear to share this trait, so it’s going to be more difficult to convince people it can actually work. You haven’t even convinced me so far.

Bitcoin also had the novelty value in the beginning. It was something entirely new and unexpected. Today… well, you’ve got altcoins left and right. Even if you do release GeoFlex, it’ll be difficult to get people interested enough to even read about it. We’ve got a bad case of altcoin fatigue going on.

I suspect that for GeoFlex to have a chance, you’d have to start from working, useful and widely used reputation system. Get that going first and only then try to add a currency to it.

I don’t think it is.

That’s not post-scarcity.

Does it need the basic income part? My gut reaction is ‘no’. If it doesn’t have a basic income aspect, what’s the worse case scenario? Somebody dies of starvation because they can’t afford food? If they were so lazy that they had zero reputation and zero flux, then maybe we don’t care if they die? And I don’t think anyone would die, because there would always be altruistic people that would give them charity just to prevent their suffering.

Is there a reason not to include a negative reputation score as well? If someone is mean to you, you can alter their negative reputation score. So people have an incentive to not be mean. If someone has a high positive and a high negative reputation, it probably means they do lots of good things, but they also do lots of bad things.

Radivis: Are you saying that you would be the only creator of GeoFlux, and to start the system you would give people GeoFlux in exchange for dollars (or whatever)?

At first I thought this was bad and wouldn’t work anyway. But now I’m thinking it might work, and it might be a very good idea.

I agree with Elriel here. So that part would need to be changed (?)

Wow. This is a hard subject.

I like a lot of the GeoFlux ideas.

I was thinking along similar lines, and agreed when Radivis said:

And nodding at:

Because that point had also come to my mind.

I had a few rough ideas about how to connect reputation to money, but i think Radivisis’s method could work and is simpler than anything I came up with.

Although after reading Deku_shrub’s reply, I was left wondering exactly why i had thought reputation should not be spendable.

Now I’m not sure.

I think that we will not be able to answer the questions about what effects various ideas have on humans without trying them out on real people. Maybe we could understand more by programming some models and seeing what happens when we run them, but I’m not even sure how useful this would be. So i think the next step is to implement QP (and maybe other systems) and get a group to test it out on a meaningful example (e.g. A forum or MMORPG or something). I’ve already started work on this.

  1. Being incentivised to do something, and being able to actually do it, are two different things.
  2. Having a stronger incentive can make people work harder to achieve their goals, though.
  3. Money is by far not the only incentive , and not the most effective one, either. Intrinsic motivation, and reputation are often stronger.

What incentive do users have to use proprietary reputation systems rather than open ones?

Yes, garbage in, garbage out. That’s why it’s important to create systems in which users start creating very good data in the first place. Or you filter out bad data, whenever it crops up. That of course requires time, money, or a big bureaucracy. The better way is to design the incentives of the reputation system so that everyone is incentivised to create the best data possible. Currently existing reputation systems don’t work like that, but QP does. In QP, the voting power of people is scarce, so they need to actually think about whom they give reputation. Unfortunately, this mechanism makes QP vulnerable to Sybil attacks, which is a problem that can’t be solved completely without a lot of effort. Of course, one could also argue that reputation in other reputation systems is also scarce, because of attention scarcity: People simply don’t have enough time and attention to give everyone reputation. Still, some people have much more discretionary time and attention than others, which skews the system quite a bit (probably not to the better).

If QP fails, then it’s probably because it might not be made Sybil-resistant with appropriate means.

How do you define “reputation based economy”? I define it as economy in which you can live on your reputation alone, without having to sell anything (be that a product, your work, or a service).

You’re saying one number is not enough? I think I’d like two. Positive and negative. Can you give example scenarios in which having more than 2 numbers is good/useful? I can’t think of any.

Some people today can live on their reputation alone. So I guess instead of ‘can’ you should say ‘is designed to make it easier to live off reputation alone’?

@notatroll

I have already listed many examples of reputation systems, existing and hypothetical in different verticals

The propitiatory ones exist, have proven business and social models and have strong lines of accountability for a development road map.

Pretty much. I would argue we already exist in such a world, except capital is often overvalued and other reputation metrics under valued. The missing factor is the quantification.

I am aware of some of the potential pitfalls. But really, can “Prestige” be so much worse than “Whuffie”? :laughing: :dog:

I guess that depends on the preferences of people. Some may prefer more static ways of storing value like gold or bitcoin. Others may want to invest into businesses, because that creates relatively large average returns. A few might even give their money away in order to do good and/or increase their public reputation. In any case, the conditional demurrage encourages users to give away or exchange their excess GeoFlux forms of value storage. But that doesn’t mean that GeoFlux is a bad form of value storage. It just loses its usefulness above the devaluation threshold (which is Prestige-dependent by the way).

Conditional demurrage is important for the long term dynamics of a flux currency. Because flux currencies are created continuously, they suffer from monetary inflation. Demurrage creates a possibility to money to be removed from the system, stabilizing the amount of money in circulation, and thus its value. Without it, the value of newly generation basic incomes and reputation incomes would vanish in comparison to the already existing flux money in circulation. What you’d effectively end up with is just another ordinary currency.

Note that regular demurrage and conditional demurrage are two very different things. If you are clever, you can find ways around suffering from demurrage in a conditional demurrage system. A conditional demurrage system only stops you from holding a lot of money personally. Nowadays, most people use banks to store money. In a flux currency economy the banks are those with the highest reputation, because they have the highest demurrage threshold.

So, what could rich people do, if they want to buy into the GeoFlux economy? They buy a lot of GeoFlux and lend that to the people with the highest reputation in the system. They might even get some interest for that! Gold usually doesn’t give you that advantage. Bitcoin might be a good alternative for quite a while. But if GeoFlux takes off, people will want to be seen investing into the GeoFlux economy, because that’s the (socially and economically) right thing to do, and doing the right thing should grant you more Prestige, which of course generates more GeoFlux for you. It’s a virtuous circle.

What you say seems to be pretty much true and depressing. It may be the core reason why real progress is happening so slowly, overall. But progress is happening nevertheless. Perhaps the solution is to start flux currencies in games, where they are seen as fancy sci-fi experiment. If it turns out that those players who use flux currencies outperform the others, maybe that will make people actually curious about them and they could spread into the real world.

All people could actually have more, if the economy was more equal, because that would boost economic growth. But hey, that’s just another thing nobody really considers, because they have no clue about economics, right? :wink:

Reputation gains are minimal in the beginning. Once GeoFlux becomes established, the initial creators and sponsors will have pretty impressive reputations. Of course, that’s a bit of a gamble, because it only works out, if the system actually becomes widely adopted.

That ties in with my argument about using it in games, I think. If only the visionaries are serious about GeoFlux and everyone else sees it as toy currency, it can still work out. Perhaps people need some time with playing with GeoFlux to really “get it”.

Hmm, because having scarce coins of the first actually working cryptocurrency counts for something? Well, that’s pretty much true.

Yeah, I get it. GeoFlux is like heavier than air flight and horseless carriages. Everyone believes it’s impossible, until it hits them. :oncoming_automobile:

Quantified Prestige and GeoFlux have that going for themselves, too. They are actually newer and more unexpected than bitcoin. Bitcoin was merely electronic currency 2.0. QP and GeoFlux belong to a whole new category.

It won’t hurt to have reputation currencies attached to QP at first, even if they are worth almost nothing in the beginning. But that would make people accustomed to reputation currencies. Finally, they will recognize their worth. If you introduce them to late too a serious reputation system, you would probably just waste time.

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No, it doesn’t actually need it, but it would be better, if it had one. Times are shifting, and more and more people want a basic income. Universal basic income is even an economically sound idea (though still too few people are aware of that). If people see a way towards a universal basic income that doesn’t involve governments and taxation, they might actually want to have that.

On the other hand, the reputation currency market is free. There will be a large variety of flux currencies. Some with basic incomes, some without. Some would even have completely different kinds of incomes (see my flux currency post).

The worst case scenario is a world that is much more unequal than the current one. Almost complete automation. People can’t get jobs, money, or even reputation, because machines can do everything better. Machines get all the jobs, money, and reputation. People stop caring about humans, because dealing with machines is so much better. Almost no human will get an amount of reputation that suffices for staying alive. Most humans are treated as criminal rubbish and get killed on the spot. The few humans who are on top upgrade themselves into immortal AI. The end… Of humanity.

Note that you have asked me for the worst case scenario, not a realistic dystopian scenario.

Would you like being surrounded by people who don’t care whether you die, because they see you as lazy and worthless?

Ah, right, just as altruistic people today save all people in Africa from starving… not.