A Federated Model for a New Economy
Authors: Forcolin, Mauro
Current trends in the housing markets in the US and elsewhere have exposed
the weaknesses in the fiat monetary system in place since the collapse of the
Bretton-Woods system. Investors are increasingly looking at other alternatives
to currencies, such as precious metals.
As trends continue, the current economic system will collapse. This will result
in mistrust among the general public for what they perceive to be currencies
with an arbitrary dictated value, as well as a mistrust of the overarching
establishments which govern those currencies.
There will be a need for a universal currency, which is directly aligned to
society who will use it and can evolve with the society as well. Precious
metals, although having some practical applications, have a value based on
physical scarcity which is less and less relevant in an increasingly virtual and
data-driven world. Water on the other hand is predicted to become
increasingly scarce and is also necessary for human survival, but it is not
The new currency will become the skills and knowledge people possess.
Skills and knowledge can be acquired and services based on them can be
provided to others. People sharing the same skill sets will have an
understanding of the quality, or value of the skills an individual possesses. But
people not involved in that area, will not have such a clear understanding of
this. In order for them to grasp it without having to delve into that particular
industry or field, they will have to rely on the opinion of someone they trust to
validate it. This is no different to the way transactions occur in the world today.
Organic societies of people with similar skill sets will be formed. These people
can vouch for the other members of the society and thereby develop
reputations and trust in the value the claim to have. Interaction with other
societies to trade from other services will happen through a so-called trusted
“weak link”, which is the basis for social networks such as LinkedIn or
Although such a system works well in small numbers, it is difficult to expand it
over a global economy as there are limitations to the amount of relations a
single person can maintain and there would be an excessive time delay when
hopping across weak links to get to the desired society. The ability for
technology to manage such relations would allow for the development of a
Federated Model for a New Economy.
Rather than having to rely on specific weak links, societies can agree on
terms for establishing a common baseline to gauge the values for their
different skill sets. This way someone in one society can have a trusted rating
of the quality of those skills. With such an integrated baseline, a common
system of credits can be established with which to “pay” for services.
As these credits are not backed by a physical standard, someone could
“invent” credits they don’t have to pay for services. But this kind of fraud would
have a detrimental affect on the society someone belongs to, and their own
ratings would suffer as their reputation did. For this reason, it would be in their
best interests to find the culprit and remove them from their society,
essentially placing them in an economic exile. To mitigate this, the same
technology that maintains the credit system would also ensure completely
transparent transactions across societies and people.
People would of course belong to any number of societies, as value creators,
consumers and residents, with each society being federated across others
(Fig 1). It would be extremely difficult for a single individual to be able to keep
on top of the various interactions and societies. They might take on the
services of a professional to manage their “investments”, that is the societies
they choose to belong to and the associated costs for remaining there.
Figure 1: Federated Model for a New Economy
Such a federated system is extremely democratic, and the same technology
used for maintaining the credit and transactions system would make
referendums feasible. Such referendums would allow individuals to have a
direct say in negotiating the terms, maintaining and policing the interactions
their society has with other societies through the federated model. It would be
useful in managing how individuals manage or remain part of a particular
As the management of such interactions become increasingly complex,
people might not want the burden of having to participate in all the
referendums which may apply to them. To manage this, representatives can
be elected at all the various societal levels where such a representation
makes sense. This removes the need for “nations” based on physical
locations; every individual would be sovereign and be able to choose which
societal associations to make.
As people would also belong to a society of consumers, the brand will grow to
target all aspects of a consumer society. Producers would no longer exist
alone, but would partner with others to complete the brand landscape for a
consumer society. As consumer societies can grow, merge and evolve, so too
would the brands that relate to them.
The complete flexibility created in the consumer and producer societies would
be somewhat limited in the resident societies since individuals have to
physically live somewhere. Movement is virtual in the consumer and producer
societies, whereas physical movement in resident societies has an additional
cost which may be limiting. Nevertheless, the ability for a particular resident
society itself to grow, evolve and relate with others would be based on true
communal similarities and benefit, not archaic national divisions.
In the future, as now, skills and knowledge will be of ultimate value. The
collapse of the existing economy will introduce a lack of trust in the current
currency system and its governing bodies. This will give rise to skills and
knowledge being the new global currency. With the application of technology
and the newly defined currency, traditional localised trust-based economies
can be extended to a global federated model. Such a model would allow for a
truly democratic representation of the individual and the freedom to belong
and associate with a society of their choice. Consumer societies will define
the target that producers wish relate to and in turn producers will align
together to provide an entire brand landscape or them. And finally, resident
societies will form relate with one another for true communal benefit.