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way - to OS - oecd - foma - money - the dif - to sow - to play - to pay - (revisions)

sowing seeds

The seed is a simple idea - money is just information and we can make our own.

In principle, anybody can create money, and now it's practical - the means are available on line. Even in its early versions, you can use the new software on the web to open a virtual money account, join existing community money systems and/or to start your own. It's as easy as joining or starting an email conference - a simple portal into the new money world.

It's a world that can be 100% safe if you follow the recommendations, but not if you don't. In new ground such as this there will of course be fools and frauds and failures - multi-level maniacs are bound to abound. Some will try to exploit the system, some will try to sabotage it, so it only makes sense to take care - caveat emptor and caveat vendor both.

So don't trust "cc" systems with anything that really matters, at least not yet. Don't sell the family farm for virtual money, not until you know you can spend it all. And don't accept just any virtual money - many systems will be totally useless.

You can try out both the ideas and the software in a LETSplay game with a few friends and associates to open up some flow and learn some of the moves.

Getting real with virtual money.

Creating community money systems in your neighbourhood, city, and region is another matter entirely. To get businesses to accept community money for groceries, rent, and all the other functional necessities of daily living, means getting serious. The system must be sound, it must work, and it must persist.

This requires that some members of a community are willing to learn the fundamentals of system design, architecture, and procedures, and then to invest some time and money in basic training and start-up strategies, such as community way and smart cards.

However, there's no need to get too technical, as open money principles can be applied almost anywhere - net connections are not required, nor even computers. The methods of recording transactions and moving money can be as varied as the cultures within which they operate.

For those in the wired world, the primary links to real virtual money resources are at www.openmoney.org and sourceforge.net.

The first step is to create "cc" accounting nodes locally - to get people using the new money where they live, in their own community.Local trading networks will generally be the first to emerge, where its simplest to develop the credibility that will lead to a gradual build up of trading and experience. Newsletters, and local online and offline information systems will be an important part of the process of establishing connections.

Early in development it will be clear, however, that the variety of trading within any particular locality or region is limited - there may be plenty of carpenters, but maybe no brain surgeons, plenty of steel but no cabbages. And specialist groups - professionals like dentists, sports enthusiasts, researchers, ethnic groups - will want to participate in networks beyond the limits of their host cc service provider, reaching regionally, nationally and beyond.

This leads to the next stage in deploying full open money services - the implementation of a wide network of "cc" service providers, that enable trade in community systems of users from many providers.

This transition will be a major shift in scale and opportunity much like the opening up of the internet in the last 10 years, from small closed networks inside some corporations, government departments and universities to the incredible world wide proliferation of email and web access.