Okay, neat video. Timebanking does seem like a cool concept for a local community to try out. But what exactly are you doing in Las Vegas?
We're launching a Timebank for neighbors in Downtown Las Vegas!
Tiimebanks make it easy for local residents to help each other out and build community by using a concept called mutual credit. Here’s how it works:
But why participate?Timebanks make it far easier for you to know what people in your community need, and for you to know what's available when you need something. It's a little bit like a more guided version of Craisglist in which you can store & later use the value you provide for others.
Communities use timebanking as a tool to forge stronger intra-community connections, building social capital. Member individuals, particularly those more used to being recipients in other parts of their lives, can potentially gain confidence, social contact and skills through giving to others. Everyone saves money, and gets to know their neighbors as members help each other out. Cool, right?
1. Build a chassis:
We’re building the fastest, simplest prototype possible, so we can put it in the hands of DTLV residents lickety-split. We've studied the existing open source software in this world, and while much of it would be workable, none of it would be ideal for our circumstances.
The software we're making right now is a smartphone-optimized web app. See our <2wk old demo; iOS and Android, as well as transactions via SMS on the way.
2. Recruit some passengers:
We need ~250 enthusiastic community members to hop on board as a solid show of numbers to prove that this crowdfunding campaign will be enough to get us launched, operational, learning and iterating.
Why not less? We need to ensure that there are enough skills and availability (hairdressers, chefs, gardeners, designers) to curate a healthy marketplace!
Why not more? Well, we’re doing THE SCIENCE! ..so we need a manageable experimental sample size at first. We’ll be adding more folks quickly!
3. Start 'er up: Conservative launch date: 4/1/14. Shooting for sooner.
4. Open up the throttle: We have much larger long-term plans, starting with a hosted platform to let any community, anywhere join in the fun. As we experiment in DTLV, we'll use what we learn to avoid architectural and security issues for a product at scale.
5. A long, open road ahead: Our long-term vision is to reinvent personal credit. This is only the beginning!
Your contribution (such as becoming a Pioneer member!) keeps our small team in ramen noodles and off the street while we get the pilot to scale for DTLV.
Thanks for watching, reading, contributing, and sharing with your friends!
Want more about mutual credit systems? A Wikipedia-esque overview of Timebanking:
Dollars are created by lending at interest; Timebanks are interest-free. Credit is created directly between members to facilitate transactions whenever one member has something on offer than another member needs! It doesn’t eliminate dollars, just replaces their use where the value being traded is more like a favor, within a group.
Because credit can be created on demand directly between members, there’s also no need for the unit of currency to be scarce. The “money supply” is really just a public ledger of all transactions, that translates into member account balances at any given time. So, the total negative and positive balances within an active Timebank will always balance to zero.
Tiimebanks are peer to peer, like Bitcoin, although they don’t generally use a fancy crypto-blockchain for their ledger; open source software works just fine.
Timebanks and other local currencies based on mutual credit depend on a trusted membership of residents in a geographic area, growing organically by referral of new members. Although it can also be considered a strength, the primary downside of timebanks or other currency based on mutual credit is that it's not useful anonymously, or everywhere.
In mutual credit systems, freeriders are easier to identify and deal with than using anonymous national money. Timebanks use negative balance caps, membership commitments, social verifications of trustworthiness, and the basic fact that all transactions are ‘public’ within the Timebank, and that members know each other offline.Need more before you chip in? LOTS MORE INFO, including a long FAQ, HERE! Or, if you don't have all day, just ask a question or voice a helpful criticism in a Comment!