Geek Credit, p2p digital currency

Abstract

Geek Credit is a digital complementary currency for internet. It is decentralized, secure, interest and demurrage free. It is backed by mutual credit (time). There is no central issuing and control authority, so it is a true peer-to-peer currency.
It is a digital form of WATT local currency system that is used in Japan.
Like any complementary currency it is best fit for paying for services within a community. So for internet it is paying to free software, mp3s, books, best blogs, items from MMORGs, etc.

News, status

Download current source release 0.019.
Precompiled binary for Windows 2K/XP that does not require Python installed is also available.
Geek Credit pocket is a reference implementation of the Geek Credit Policy. It is a Python script that has a command line and simple Tkinter GUI interface. It is usable and the only reason because I consider it alpha is that there was not much independent testing so far.
Please submit bug reports or suggestions. I'd also appreciate any ideas about Geek Credit system design and development. Now when most features I need are done, I am focusing on usability.

Short description

If you provide a service for community (writing free software, providing your band's mp3s for download, etc) you may ask users to pay you Geek Credits. You may also pay Geek Credits you received or issued yourself to anyone who agrees to accept them. Issuing a Geek Credit means a commitment to provide some service in the future to the community (one who will eventually pay you this Geek Credit in the future).
Geek Credit can also be used to create a private community currency, that is not convertable to internet community Geek Credit.
The main design goals for Geek Credit system are:
- to make it as simple as possible, share the complexity between user agent and policy. No network protocol involved, it is possible to use it offline, with e-mail only or even using fax and scanner.
- p2p, nearly impossible to destroy a working system; does not require a central authority to operate; viral distribution, it is not needed to register or open an account to start using Geek Credits.
- open source(GPL) implementation and open documentation, Geek Credit pocket reference code is less than 1KLOC of well documented Python, easy to change and audit.
- policy centric, i.e. the Geek Credit system is essentially a policy, system security does not rely on the security of the software implementation. Hacking Geek Credit software is pointless.

Details

Similar projects

There are few development efforts with similar goals in the internet. The DEM is also implementing a distributed digital currency. It will have more features than Geek Credit when done.
i-WATT will be released soon.
All other digital currencies efforts I am aware about are either internet payment systems based on the conventional money, or LETS implementations.

Other

Geek Credit system currently lacks the information infrastructure that is essential for large scale operation. To become more usable, it needs a web site to track the information on goods being traded and frauds. I am trying to create one now but I am no web programmer (you see this page ;) so I would really appreciate any help here.
I am receiving a lot of e-mails saying that Geek Credit is an excellent system, so this worth waiting till everyone will use it and then join. So I have a chicken and egg problem here. There is no existing framework to be backward compatible with, so I cannot use this catch-22 defeating formula :(
Python simulation scripts that can be used to simulate the Geek Credit systems can be found in GNA cvs, along with the latest snapshot of the Geek Credit pocket script, docs and test scripts.

Author: Alexander Komarov, this is my homepage

Changed at Sun Apr 25 00:50:01 MSD 2004

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