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[liberationtech] Digital Social Currency Design

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at
Sat Aug 8 16:42:05 PDT 2015

Hi jaromil,I fundamentally do not understand why you are using a global transaction database designed solely to synchronize with a minimum of good faith, in order to facilitate a social graph on human scale among good faith actors.
Actually forget Gnunet-- somebody please design a fast, efficient _centralized_ Facebook clone so the free software community can look behind the curtain.  Call it "Through the Looking Glass."  Put a disclaimer in the ToS that it's no better than Facebook, but that well-known free software programmers are allowed to mine the data in disputes where one of them says something like the following:"We don't need anonymity for X""Sure, they can see X, but that doesn't reveal user info""I doubt centralized service X is doing Y""How could centralized service X possibly do Y?"

     On Saturday, August 8, 2015 3:26 PM, Jaromil <jaromil at> wrote:

dear Jonathan,

Please excuse me if I'm not going to explain further what we are doing,
I guess the doc I've sent is already a tl;dr for many. Nevertheless, a
few answers to clarify our focus:

On Fri, 15 May 2015, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:

> 1) You don't have a bootstrapping algo.  Leaving the bootstrapping up
> to individual actors or organizations is as likely to succeed as
> leaving the chaining of the blocks up to individual actors or
> organizations.

Yes, this is intentional. We are not operating on a global scale, we are
focusing on complementary currencies and... human scale, as some belgian
beer brewing trappist monks say.

> 2) Social relations aren't fungible.

I'm not sure about the meaning you give to the adjective "fungible",
however yes, we aim to give more value to social relations than
algorithms (for instance when we talk about "social proof of work").

> And a quick question: Why not work on Gnunet?  Their docs and code
> seem to make sense, at least in theory.  It's also in dire need of
> basic UI work.

I'm following GNUnet since long now and in good contact with some of its
developers, yet I'm not sure this recommendation grasps really what we
are doing. Talos is certainly interesting, but we do not exactly focus
on the same needs and at the same scale. GNUnet is a wonderful backend
for other projects perhaps, but not really for this one.

> Until there's robust, well-used infrastructure for a minimal kind of
> anonymity, I don't think any of your ideas can function in practice.

If you have read the document you will notice that we do not focus on
anonymity, since that is not really a big requirement for the
communities and societies we are working with, especially when it comes
to administering a clearing-house with social capital (see some of the
stuff Keynes wrote about this) or interest-free money systems (see
Margrit Kennedy).

> (And at the moment Tor is only workable for read-only anonymity,
> unless you _really_ know what you're doing and are willing to take on
> large technical risks.)

Sorry to say, but this is entirely off-topic :^)

Perhaps will be more clear as we go on with the development of our
toolkit ( Meanwhile we are working on the next
deliverable to describe the state of our implementation.

I wish to thank the people running this list for hosting this
conversation and for publishing my previous post.
See you soon at CCC camp in case you are there.


Denis "Jaromil" Roio, Think (& Do) Tank
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