For years, I’ve played poker with matches and chips rather than coins and notes.
We accept that a match can be ten cents or a chip is a dollar or more.
We don’t need real money to know our exchange rates.
Now, this basic idea is being replicated in social networks.
Facebook, as many of us know, has made a bet on this with Facebook credits.
Twollars can do the same for Twitter.
And now, according to this Wall Street Journal report, everyone is trying to build virtual credits in social worlds:
To be honest, this idea is not new, as it is just an extension of complementary currencies as pioneered by Bernard Lietaer and Margrit Kennedy.
This has gained traction recently as communities try to encourage more local trade through currencies such as the Totnes and Lewes pound.
But the big deal is that social networks, with billions of users, can now take these concepts to new heights as money migrates to credits across social networks.
So the future looks like one where, as the WSJ video calls it, the world is built on sand.
Sure, the world is full of rocks, pebbles and sand:
- rocks are the core currencies of nation states – the dollar, euro and renminbi;
- pebbles are corporate currencies, such as store credit cards; and
- sand are the little grains of value exchange made person-to-person, peer-to-peer, P2P.
The future built on sand?
Sand makes glass and the gazillions of grains make up the coasts of all nations.
So why not build a world on sand …
… oh yes, the house falls down on sand. We need rocks for foundations as well.
Postnote: this is actually Innovations in Retail Payments, Part 2