Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Distributed Ledgers (2)

In my study of money, I explained that money is a record of half-completed transactions. It is a debt owed by the rest of the community to the person who has given up something without yet getting something back in return. Money is a record, not a commodity. These days most money is a record on a banks database.

I explained that a reliable system of money could be established by a clerk recording transactions. When a transaction is made, the buyers account would be reduced and the sellers account increased.

If several clerks provided this service, they would need to settle balances to account for transactions between their clients. These settlements would not transfer value, they just shift records from won clerks ledger to the ledger of another.

The weakness with this system is that the clerk must be honest. A dishonest clerk could reduce other people’s accounts and add it to their own. I suggested that competition would make this a risky action, because a clerk who was diagnosed as a dishonest would lose their business.

The distributed ledger provides a better solution to this problem. If all the clerks operated on networked computers, every transaction would be recorded on every clerk’s computer. This would make it impossible for a clerk to commit fraud, as the record would be exposed as different from the records of the other clerks. This is a distributed ledger.

My proposal for money describes a simple system that does not rely on state power. I need to add a distributed ledger to it.

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