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So the simple peer to peer scheme now has due diligence management (who are the former banks answerable to?) and a quasi-monetary authority which has to count every unit created and redeemed.

This is starting to look a little more complicated than it did originally.

This is more or less practical for something like electricity, which is relatively predictable. It's not so practical for farming or anything which is weather-dependent and inherently riskier. Sometimes it simply won't be possible to guarantee supply, which means that it won't be possible to guarantee that units will be redeemable.

This seems like it might not be an entirely good thing.

ChrisCook:

If speculators buy up and hoard units - which does not affect the physical market price btw - then they run the risk that when they want out the price they get is way below the spot price, because it will take years for buyers to consume that much, and they therefore require a discount in order to buy.

But won't a supply intermediary want to do exactly this, or something like it? The consumer suppliers will need a guaranteed share of the pool to guarantee customer supply, and the only way to create that will be by locking in and hedging a set number of units.

If there isn't a mechanism for this, consumers will effectively be trading the pool directly, which will be an interesting thing to watch.

Re lots of different commodities it's no different to what we have now, except that instead of being exchanged for Units redeemable in intrinsically worthless fiat currency, we have a Unit redeemable in something with an intrinsic use value, that would be pretty much universally acceptable.

The exchange rate is whatever the market arrives at.

Firstly, cash is universal. It may be monopoly money, but its unversality is recognised and useful. (Arguably, abstraction and universality are the one real advantage of fiat currency.)

Exchangeable units would not be universal. I may be able to exchange my kWh unit for a bread unit, but I won't be able to do it by going into a shop - or even online - without a huge currency exchange machine to manage the relative values of every traded unit.

If exchange isn't practical and everything is unitised, that means everyone has to carry around a huge inventory of different units, people would be paid in unit mixes, and so on - which certainly won't be workable.

Secondly, if exchange values aren't stable, they can be gamed, which will attract speculation, sharking, and the rest.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jul 13th, 2009 at 09:10:34 PM EST
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