I first discovered the ValueFlows project while searching for movements aiming to replace the current world economy with more sustainable and humane ways of organising. With apps like Buycott having found traction and new blockchain-based platforms like OriginTrail gathering momentum, the rise in consumer demand for transparent and trustworthy information on the products and services we buy seems set to skyrocket in the near future.
But consumer-curated platforms like Buycott & Good On You and even the next generation of blockchain-enabled supply chain tracking systems only go so deep. We need more than just guesses from third-parties or even information that lets us see inside the products we buy— we need information to show us what's going on externally, too. That includes the health and wellbeing of those involved in the production process as well as their communities; but much more critically it also includes the negative effects and impacts our production system has on the natural environment. And we need these capabilities delivered in a way that allows organisations to experiment with and own their own systems; not as part of a one-size-fits all global solution.
I think this recent interview with my former colleague and collaborator Thomas Miller is the clearest and simplest I've ever been able to communicate the purpose of 'open value networks', the promise of Holochain and ValueFlows; and why I believe methods like this are the most likely means of salvation for our species.
Interested in going deeper? The following information session took place at the inaugural Scuttlebutt camp and focuses on the ValueFlows protocol itself rather than its pairing with Holochain. It covers some of the same topics in greater detail and also introduces additional concepts; and features a live demo of Luandro's Scuttlebutt-based community currency app, implemented according to the ValueFlows specification. The end-goal is for this system to be compatible with the Holochain version and many others; enabling groups to pick and choose the technology they feel is best suited to their needs without sacrificing compatibility or being locked in to a particular platform.
These are just some of the most recent of today's happenings- 'REA accounting' is a body of work that has been unfolding since the late 1970's. Any discussion of ValueFlows and 'open value networks' would be incomplete without a mention of Sensorica, a hardware manufacturing collective who pioneered one of the first ValueFlows-based systems over 8 years ago which still operates today. Here is their co-founder Tiberius speaking about how these concepts add value and streamline operations within their group:
It seems all is not lost for "the blockchain revolution", though the change will evolve beyond what blockchain can provide. As always, the old ideas are the best ideas. And recently, it seems as though the cryptocurrency crowd are catching on…
- (Dec 2018) on the loss of meaning in 'blockchain', and what remains after the hype— A Trojan Horse for Open Networks
- (Feb 2019) the Peer-to-Peer Foundation on Beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum — a fairer and more just post-monetary sociopolitical economy
- (Feb 2019) moving into the real, applied territory of resource economics with The Real Power of a Crypto: Non-Flationary Value
- (Mar 2019) a wake-up call to those who see 'value' as one-dimensional: Is the Future Worth Investing In?