“We’re trying to put the greatest number of people on equal footing,” says Katsuyama. “There’s a huge swath of participants that these  microseconds is meaningless to but it has huge meaning to a very small group [the HFTs],” he adds. The point is not to prevent HFTs from doing a lot of the things they normally do—such as trading on small differences between a gold exchange-traded fund and gold futures, for example. It’s just to stop the predatory strategies that make them money at the expense of real investors.”
Interested in the implications of digitizing one of the alternative currencies – unidad de formento in particular (inflation-indexed unit of account used to set prices) and how it could impact the minimum wage.
I’m from Seattle and have been inspired by the battle over raising the city’s minimum wage to $15. The town around the airport (Sea-Tac) just established this working wage and the conversation continues as to whether Seattle will follow suit..
NYT article Robert Shiller, Nobel economist, sees potential in electronic currency in terms of its ability to solve the problem of volatility.
In the US, minimum wage is not inflation-adjusted, leading to fights over how much to raise it each time inflation makes the old one obsolete.
Shiller sees part of our monetary paralysis is in our inability to index prices. He takes inspiration from Chile, which implemented the unidad de fomento (UF), which is an inflation-indexed unit of account used to set prices.
The exchange rate between the UF and the Chilean peso is now (today) constantly adjusted to inflation so that the value of the Unidad de Fomento remains constant on a daily basis during low inflation.
Right now currency’s “value” is affected by speculators, inflation, deflation and other stuff unrelated to the value of whatever you’re buying. UF strips out those variables to just see what things cost in terms of their actual value.
If wage were instead based on value of goods, there would potentially be less need to constantly reestablish the minimum wage.
Sam Lavigne and I are looking into the collective of cooperative business, the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation. This organization is the most successful model of its kind, with 289 cooperatives in the organization, employing over 80,000 people.
Bitcoin, like any currency, carries a built-in agenda. In Bitcoin’s case, that agenda can be described as techno-libertarian: it forestalls government intervention in monetary policy, de-privileges central banks, while privileging those who are computationally powerful and/or highly connected to the network infrastructure. We find many aspects of this agenda to be unsavory, which leads us to this question:
Can we create a currency platform that embeds an agenda that is good for society as a whole?
A primary avenue of investigation is the power of physical geography to reduce the network effects that privilege the powerfully networked. What if, for example, a currency is more valuable when used in transactions where the participants are physically close, and less valuable in transactions that occur over networks or large distances? Might this encourage local economies?
Or perhaps the currency is more valuable when spent in an area with high population density? Might this encourage public transportation, and discourage suburban sprawl?
What if people can mint their own currency in some fashion, and the currency is more valuable when used close to the source that minted it?
Aside from geography, what if verification of others’ transactions is required in order to participate? Rather than rewarding computationally powerful participants with newly minted currency (as Bitcoin does), perhaps the currency cannot be spent unless both the buyer and seller have verified an unrelated transaction?
We’re not yet sure where our research and efforts will lead us, but we hope to present a sketch of such a currency next week.
The alternative currency space is growing rapidly in size and variety. We hope to analyze the agendas of these currency (or currency-like) projects:
So Xidax, a custom PC builder is accepting Doge and BitCoins. The kicker is that the computers themselves come with instructions for how to use the machine to mine more coins, meaning the machine could potentially pay for itself.
As far as how this intersects with my thesis, ComicDrop – I’m not aiming to have a functional micropayment system in place, and I think there is a lot of validity to the Clay Shirky – Users Do It For The Love not Money – school of thought. But I haven’t totally abandoned this notion that kids and users should begin to consider the value of the contributions they make online, and perhaps be compensated.
A buddy recently made a contribution to an open source project on github, and the project’s keepers tipped him with a bit of bitcoin. He didn’t expect it, didn’t assume it, but was really impressed and thankful for the gesture. I find the notion of replicating & exploring this experience compelling.
: One of my friends forwarded this game led by Katherine Hayles to me, but sadly my Unitiy web player is keeping making problem I actually couldn’t have chance to play this yet 🙁 anybody with luck? Katherine Hayles seems to be philosopher specializing on the relationship between technology and human, and shift her focus to crisis of finance.
I made prototype of this messenger application : http://itp.nyu.edu/~hj657/blog/ait-live-web-pigeon-carrier/ last semester. I am thinking about monetizing it, but couldn’t think of the way to have a point with view that the class + I want.