«Your Money or your life!» –
That is what we said when we were playing bandits and police as kids. This time, we can read a lot about the worldpower of high finance, cynical banks and corrupt regimes. The world has become a very unstable place to be, with millions of people fleeing, often hoping to earn money on another continent for their families back home, and with whole countries being pushed to the edge of collapse in a trap of debt – debt that in several cases was mostly a result of manipulation by the very “authorities” (alleged to private banks) who are now imposing “reforms”. (Greece…)
Green economy, circular economy, sharing economy, regional currencies and crypto currencies are some of the alternatives that are being proposed to heal global instability and corruption. Let us look more closely to three initiatives that are up to date: the crypto currency OneCoin, Souvereign Money (Iceland and Switzerland) and the conference «Beyond Money» next week in Oslo.
Cryptocurrencies: Ethereum? OneCoin?
Crypto currencies has become viral as a possible future payment system – outside of banking. (Even though some banks are now trying to catch up and be part of the game). Pioneering and well known well known is BitCoin. The new generation of open source cryptocurrency has an even more radical vison: it is nothing less as the total decentralization of commerce plus the return to “the internet as it was supposed to be”. Read more about “Ethereum” here, meet the founder Vitalik Buterin in a portrait here and in an interview here. Just as we have seen in the pirate party movement (in Iceland at about 30% of the vote!), this is radical grassroots thinking combined with total digitalization…. Is it the longing after the real world of the living (“the etheric”) which inspired the inventors to call it Ethereum?
Bitcoin has also been criticized because of the possible abuse in money washing and other dirty businesses. However, now a competitor has entered the scene with a much better credentials: OneCoin: It is fully transparent (no chance for whitewashing of money) and attempts to be a “currency for the people”, especially those living in countries with corruption or nonfunctional banking systems, like in parts of Eastern Europe, refugees and work immigrants wanting to send money home to their families. HERE is an interview with Dr.Ruja Ignatova, the lady who has developed OneCoin – maybe the one presentations of hers which shows best the person behind the project and the intentions lying behind. Some of the Norwegian activists, including friends of ours, have cooperated to create an informative, fact-based Norwegian website . If you are interested, feel free to contact us and we will get you in contact with them. (The immense success of the concept may in the future lead to attempts of hijacking by “some big guys” – so we will keep our eyes open ) OneCoin is officially recognized by the EU and its nations, and it is the first crypto currency to become legal in China (even with special appointment by the Chinese authorities). Only nine months after its birth, OneCoin is now in its strongest expansion – the perfect time to check it out.
We have been waiting for initiatives for regional currencies and sovereign money in Norway. Local currencies are not a substitute to money, much rather a complementary system. It’s not even a new idea, but has been tried out successfully since the early 1900s, with Austria, Switzerland (WIR) and Germany as pioneers in Europe. We are happy to promote such initiatives, even though we have to have to focus on other projects in our daily life. So now, finally interesting things are happening in Norway in this regard. Look for example at this open meeting in the house of literature.
Already in 2009, Baldwin has arranged a seminar on direct democracy and regional currencies with Thomas Mayer. He has moved on to a new project: «Vollgeld» /»Sovereign Money« / folke-eid valuta (for those reading German this is a good website: Vollgeld.de) … Check out the links, and you will see: this is not lofty ideas but quite real and well functioning initiatives – ”Worldwide”. HERE you can find an overview of the International Movement for Monetary Reform, with Sweden, Finland, Danmark, and Iceland – only Norway is missing so far.
Our friend Thomas Mayer has an enormous resilience: he was fair, when the Green party started in Germany in the 80s; he has zig-zagged Germany for many years with the «White autobus for Direct Democracy» , containing and successfully establishing referendum in several of the German states. He has been one of the initiators of Germany’s first regional currency «Chiemgauer» in 2001 – and now, while the wave for local currency (and also the one for basic income) is hitting Norway, he is busy preparing the next wave: reclaiming the money for the people! «Vollgeld» /»Sovereign Money«. After a year of grassroots campaigning and Switzerland, the initiative is now heading for the next step, the referendum. By the way: guess what Thomas is working with mainly in his life? Meditasjon courses! You need to have a good connection «upwards» in order to be able to hold out in a slowly moving society, so you get nourished by a future stream of ideas while everybody else follows just slowly.
Have we really noticed how «we» – i.e. the people, the separation – have gradually lost control of the money distribution? Remember: in a democracy the banks should only stand for the circulation of money, while their «printing machines» are run (and stopped) by elected government. This is how it has been in Norway and Europe throughout the 20th century (and in the US until that fateful day before Christmas 1913, when a banking trust successfully launched a financial coup d’état so that the again quote Federal Reserve” has become the exclusive and private (!) Issuer of the world’s dominant currency).
Anyway, this was the old world. Now, into digital order, the bangs have become money generators and global players in a dangerous game off speculation and destabilization. This contributes greatly to the vulnerability of today’s high-tech societies. Is it time to take back the people’s financial sovereignty?
The Heart of the Economy
So here is the big picture: today’s restless, instable global finance is being «attacked» respectively developed further from two sides: from a political, bottom-up movement for sovereign money and other forms for a people owned currency («money as a common good»); and on the other hand to crypto currencies like OneCoin is a kind of radical privatizing of money transaction, away from politics, states, banks, currently with great potential for personal prosperity. – Both movements are questioning the current state of affairs. The one by renewing the very value basis of society; as a return to the future, to money as it always has supposed to be; the other one by willing and doing something totally untraditional, at the same time appealing to private gains and speculation.
In the heart of the new economy is always the direct exchange from human being to human being: the sharing economy in the renewed understanding of giving as a driving force for innovation. What we all know and practice on an everyday basis with our friends and families is of course also valid for the bigger picture in society, namely the simple fact that trust and flow of guilt on giving.
Such questions, including practical models and «first help» for the healing of our financial system in crisis, will be the subject of the two days conference «Beyond Money» in Oslo which we hereby recommend warmheartedly. (Thank you, Myriam Bouré, for your immense activism !)