Must-watch: 500 Billion Reasons why IOTA

An economic possibility we’ve only seen in science fiction until today.

An economic possibility we’ve only seen in science fiction until today.

A thought experiment. As a child of the nineties, it is impossible to miss the big series around Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek universe.
Jean Luc Picard was an immensely authentic mentor for his officers, a moral soul Start Treks, who held a glimmer of hope for the future in store.
Star Trek was one of the many scenarios that came up with action and fantastic ideas but founded the landscape of these series on a philosophy for the future that is far away from a capitalist, communist or monetary social system.
Another example of future-oriented series is “The Orville” created by Seth MacFarlane, the US comedian, producer, and actor who has shaped an entire generation with Family Guy.
The Orville, at first, looks like a slapstick version of Star Trek Enterprise, but after a few episodes, I couldn’t get rid of the feeling of being in a progressive world, which apparently shares a key-aspect with Star Trek that seems unthinkable in our world. Until today.
An economic system that is not based on money, but on reputation and motivation.
This achievement fails first and foremost because of the lack of acceptance of such a system, but after decades of mismanagement and income gaps it should have become clear that today’s model has innovations and incentives in store, but that a fair model for the entirety of humanity, even in an ecological and sustainable sense, can no longer be achieved in this way.

Status Quo

The consequences of unrestrained capitalism are noticeable everywhere.
1% of the richest 1% own more than half the value of mankind. According to a study by the University of Zürich, a few hundred people are responsible for over 80% of the world’s capital. According to Jeremy Rifkin, GDP is decreasing in every country in the world. The monetary system has a part in this.
For years, the European Central Bank has been using a zero interest rate policy to stimulate the economy, but the IMF has, again, lowered its forecasts. In other words: the capitalist system is, so far, the only system that has prevailed for longer, but it is neither fair, nor sustainable, nor stable. In addition, it provides a terrible outlook for the future.
Since there is no technology to introduce another system, we are still in a de facto trading society on the level of the Neanderthals. A stick for a stone, an apple for a bread.
There is no review of production, safety, fairness, value commitment, and there is also no justice which enables the same opportunities for everyone. It is the luck of the birthplace, marital status, skin color and culture that defines the monetary circumstances of our lives. Comparable to 10000 years ago.
We humans like to be innovative, but we are still hunters, collectors, hoarders, and crooks. No fence is high enough to protect my apple, which is mine because it is was always mine. Right?

Let’s look over the fence for a moment.
In theory, do we have enough food in the world? Yes.
Do we have unnecessary problems in the world that could easily be solved? Surely.
Do we have enough people who would like to participate but can’t? Most certainly.
What hinders us is the monetary system and the boundaries that are created along with it.
We create trade borders so that the state can benefit more. We tax all goods so that our country benefits more than the next and we subsidize exports that block entire markets in supposedly cheaper countries so that we stifle monetary competition.
A system that does not provide apples for everyone, but instead declares the apples that we have to be so valuable that only we can reach them.
Because monetary values have gravitational properties which we should have under control so that the status remains as such.
Monetary values are a Damocles sword of a society that does not want to be unarmed and therefore prefers to break in under its burden.
We need a system for everyone.
A system that keeps incentives to do more to get more. A system without monetary barriers and without a Damocles sword that we don’t like to carry but consider imperative for our wellbeing – at least in the richer parts of the world.

A society based on reputation

A system based on reputation could probably help us out here. A system science fiction authors use to describe the economies of the future.
-Earn status and living standard, the more diligent you are
-Be a reliable, good citizen
-Lose reputation if you engage in criminal activities.
-The less fortunate can still be helpful and there should be enough value in the world to support elderly people, disabled persons and those in need.
-If this agenda is installed instead of “maximize your $/€ net-worth no matter what” then maybe, we could build a better future for everyone, including the environment.

Today’s integrated technologies are not suitable for this, but the last few years of distributed ledger technologies have shown that there are certainly ways to map such a system.
To shed more light on this thought experiment, we should ask ourselves what characteristics a technology would need for this:

-No transaction fees
-Distributed data integrity
-Data transactions that map reputation values quickly, securely and irrevocably issued by trusted entities that are independently governed by the network around it.
-A failure-proof-infrastructure
-Low maintenance costs, preferably fed with alternative energies
-Global availability due to satellites
-Economic clusters for different values a society can have

Notice anything?
I think IOTA could represent this useful base technology in the future.
But I am very sure that the discussion already fails because of the “why”. The people who could make it possible would much rather build higher fences, right?

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