“Going Digital? New Possibilities of Digital-Community Currency Systems”
Only in the past few years, crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and other altcoins/ tokens have rapidly spread all over the world, expanded its scale, and increased its number. However, we have witnessed in the recent bubble burst of crypto currencies that they have become quite volatile, speculative financial instruments to the extent that they can no longer be called ‘currency’ or ‘money’ to facilitate steady transactions. On the other hand, various social or community-oriented digital coins for promoting local consumption and social investments in the same spirit of community currencies have already been implemented or are currently planned not only in Japan but also in the world.
We are currently approaching a cashless economy where electronic representations of money replace such traditional currency as coin or bank note and the transaction can be done through transfer of digital information. Sweden is close to a perfect model of cashless economy since 99% of payments are conducted without cash. In East Asia, Korea and China are well known as highly cashless economies, where electronic payment systems and digital coins are widely accepted.
Do digital technologies such as blockchain, mining, proof of work and QR code settlement that are used in digital/crypto currencies open up a wide range of non-fiat, private decentralized money systems and create new possibilities for community/complementary currencies? Do they change the basic concepts of geographical ‘community’ or ‘local’ to more ‘community of interest’ or ‘abstractly local’ in value space? Or do they have any positive/ negative effects on natural, ecological and cultural environments surrounding us?
It would be necessary to ask these questions when seeking a better way for integrating/ hybridizing good genes of both crypto currencies and community currencies. We would like to invite a wide range of academicians, researchers and practitioners to join us and give answers to the questions affirmatively or negatively.
More generally, proposals on any topics covered by the scope of RAMICS will be positively considered, that is, on diverse monetary and social exchange systems, such as schemes that contribute to economic diversity, social cohesion, democratic participation and environmental sustainability, like complementary and community currencies.