“I’ll tell you what I think about the way
This city treats her soundest men today;
By a coincidence more sad than funny,
It’s very like the way we treat our money.
The noble silver drachma that of old we were
So proud of, and the recent gold coins that
Rang true, clean-stamped and worth their weight
Throughout the world, have ceased to circulate.
Instead the purses of Athenian shoppers
Are full of shoddy silver-plated coppers
Just so, when men are needed by the nation,
The best have been withdrawn from circulation.”
– Aristophanes, “The Frogs,” 400 BC
The means of converting work – farm labor into power generation, computer consulting into food – is critical for the resiliency of any catallaxy or set of voluntary/emergent commercial business relationships. The Resilient Ways Foundation sees this as one of the principal concerns for any organization with the goal of facilitating the development of free, dignified, strong communities.
We see the unified process of providing safe, secure, private commerce as crypto-economics. Crypto-economics involves the disciplines of Austrian Economic Theory (as best personified by Hayek and Von Mises), computer science (as it is applied to complexity), encryption (with respect to crypto-currencies and secure/private communications). Crypto-economics seeks to find solutions at the intersection of sound economic reasoning, and technological possibility.
The Resilient Ways Foundation seeks implement the following core components of crypto-economics as part of its general design patterns:
- Establish secure and private self-funding networks, with an open source VPN: mesh-net strategies have been around for a while, but properly funding expandable networks using micro-payments. A micro-payment is a dynamic value, greater than zero, paid to the owner of some device for relaying/transmitting information within a mesh-network. Utilizing differential/demand-based pricing, this self-funding network would have a natural resistance to abuse/DOS/DDOS type attacks. Anyone wanting to transmit data will be responsible for paying, up front, a certain amount of exchangeable value – “Ways Token” – and participation in the self-funding network is upfront account creation, and debit-based transactions. So, if someone wanted to “crash our network”, they would have to: purchase a massive amount of pre-paid network resources AND distribute these to one or more agents. Bottom line: it would be prohibitively expensive, given such a network.
- Support only open-source or open-source friendly technologies: it should be a given that the server and computer infrastructure should be LINUX based. Microsoft, IBM, Apple, AMAZON, GOOG/Alphabet, and other major vendors that support cloud-based data-sharing should be avoided. They typically form alliances with major banking and military/police industrial cartels, and they have agendas/purpose at odds with anarchist beliefs. This includes the physical hardware as well. At Resilient Ways we desire partnerships with manufacturers who are willing to safely/securely source components and produce “clean” (meaning no government/banking snooping software or hardware installed exploits) computers, mobile devices, servers. We know this is a long journey, but we also know that it is a necessary one if we seek to retake our privacy and dignity.
- Neo-bartering schemes: the difficulty for complex problem solving involving non-trivial agriculture, manufacturing or electronics, and this is only marginally impacted by 3D printing, is how to “pay” for some item – consumer good or capital good – within the context of an internal barter regimen. One solution to this problem for internal trade purposes is the use of a crypto-token, like Bitcoin, to represent some abstract amount of work and then use that to buy from other internal players. You could also avoid many problems by using a secure, but centralized (redundantly centralized), internal exchanging platform that using gold/silver as a baseline value mechanism. The centralized exchange would only be available on the community internal VPN and would allow community members only to set prices on items being exchanged. Water, power, and other resources could be used as “keystone” resources – intended to set a standard value that is used to set the exchangeable value of all goods/services produced by the internal community catallaxy. Via partnership arrangements, and standard software interface contracts, larger groupings of neo-bartering exchanges could be established – with or without the use of a crypto-currency.
- Utilize internal resource tokens (the “Ways” token): in order to avoid the abuses of taxation, Resilient Ways Foundation supports neo-bartering strategies which utilize an internal crypto-transaction, or “Ways” token, that allows any member of our Resilient Communities to trade with any other member – either within that community or through voluntary exchange arrangements between partner communities. These tokens would have the same legal status as a company sponsored gift card. Initially, we may use 3rd parties to facilitate this, but we have as a goal to develop our own branch of a primary crypto line – like Ethereum or Bitcoin – and utilizing some of our more general ideas around applied-mining VS complexity-mining. We are also interested in working with 3D printer manufacturers to develop a means or “way” to print out our “Ways” tokens, and potentially other types of cryptos, and develop/source/sell a reader for this printed crypto that would support rapid transactions.
- Partner with crypto-currency third parties: our communities should use 3rd parties, experienced with crypto-currencies, to conduct monetary/financial exchange and conversion.
- Micro-bullion banks: build banks, lending institutions, based on bullion (silver/gold) stores. Issue loans, backed by bullion reserves, using the “Ways” token, or a market-basket of other crypto-currencies.
- Info-sec coordination and stewardship: ensuring that members of the community safeguard the “network” in the same way they show collective stewardship of the land. To become educated and to educate others on the technologies and best practices.
- Decentralized and Flexible Server Architectures: for sensitive or high-impact activities, utilize server (computer server) architectures that support on-demand replication, redundancy and migration. Our server architectures must be capable of “bugging out” just like our community members.
- Identify Legal/Regulatory Dangers: conduct a general analysis of those legal risks which exist in the current marketplace due to government actions, and keep abreast of future actions. Seek legal help, as needed. Be aware of “definitions” – and how “token” means something different than “coin”. Calling something a “market” versus labeling it as a logistical management technique for local resource management – words, and their relationship to law, are critical in avoiding legal pitfalls.
Mining Based on Complexity vs Mining Based on Problem Spaces
Most, if not all, of crypto-currency mining today is based upon recursive hashing – or the construction of Merkle Trees. This cost of work, which is partially represented by the hashing process, is, in many respects, work that is simply a complexity cost – but a useful one. “Complexity”, in this sense, means the number of steps required, defined algebraically, to solve some given problem. Hashing, and the recursive hashing implied in Merkle Trees, has a mathematical cost – and as applied to the various crypto protocols, this cost is a function of price of coin (complexity changes if price goes down) and the basic algorithmic cost
One potential change to the mechanics of the blockchain would be to replace just the “hashing cost” with some equivalent, but also useful for its own sake, computation. If you’re familiar with “SETI at Home”, in the early 2000’s, they made a client application available, to the public, that would offload work of scanning frequencies. We are envisioning, down the road, a similar concept applied to the blockchain.
This section will grow, over time. We did not create this space, we simply chose to recognize that, as anarchists, it is critical that we embrace the crypto-economy, but what does this mean?:
- Building a knowledge base of best practices in the use and development of crypto-tokens, like BITCOIN.
- Developing voluntary centers-of-excellence in the area of cryptography.
- Participating in mutual aid organizations whose purpose it is to sponsor training in “private commerce” and the tools that enable it.
- Engaging some legal assistance, as needed, to avoid contact with law enforcement.
- Doing as much as is possible WITHIN each community – even if it involves cross-community trade. Meaning: keep that which should be private, private.
- Applying advanced systems design to the problem bartering.
- Implementing systems-architectures which are private, protected, and mostly immune to government intrusion and manipulation. There are, in many ways, 3 types of agora: a) the physical one, b) the public online one, and c) the private online agora.
The list above is not exhaustive, and this section will grow significantly. We hope, in a few years, to host a conference on crypto-economics at one of our sites … we hope you’re there with us.