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cc lets .. people do
cc systems are perpetual money machines. One reason is that all the pieces work together - like a well-tuned bike. That's simple engineering (generally the best kind). But the other reason is that what flows through cc - what actually pushes the pedals - is the energy of people and organizations. They want to do more things (or different things) than they can do with whatever limited national money they have available. cc systems provide the means, the channel, people give it power, and steering.
There's no magic or mystery here - just good systems meeting obvious economic and social needs.
The network is now continually extending. More parts - technical supports, social programs, business plans - are connecting, system redundancy and diversity increasing. More ideas are attaching to the core, the kernel of open money systems.
open money - open source - open society
Even in its most elementary form, the cc web software makes basic virtual money services available anywhere with internet connection. That's extensive coverage already, although it's more symbolic than real. This software is VERY basic, but it does unequivocally establish the possibilities for cc services through public web-sites, and sets the architecture for cc domain name systems.
Since the program is published as open source, there is unlikely to be any problem with distribution of initial nodes and scaling to accomodate local demand.
However, the next software developments, the programs linking the network of these servers, completely open the space for virtual money. These will be open source developments, and, for two reasons, maybe the most significant since Linux.
The first (and lesser) reason is that it may be the most immediately promising opportunity for open source programmers to earn substantial income. This is money making code, and it will make money.
The second (and greater) reason is that these systems make many other IP initiatives potentially profitable, since they support not only a micro-payments system, but also create the very money in which micro-payments are feasible, virtual community money everyone can afford to spend.
Information is free (as in free speech) if everyone can pay for it.
The so-called "commercial barter" industry, reporting over $30 Billion trading a year, is a clear precedent for business using closed loop money. These are however expensive and restrictive forms of community currency, soon to be made obsolete by more powerful, flexible and much cheaper forms of p2p networking - open money for instance. What it comes down to is this -
The bottom line is - you should do it. The business case is open and shut, it's down flat and beyond dispute. Check with your accountants. If they don't see it, get some that do. The advice you buy may determine your future.
This is really so simple that even the banks will get into it, in time. Think about it. Could a bank do what the cc software does? They already have the capacity, and indeed the client base - but they presently lack the imagination.
The smart card industry is still waiting to happen. It's been plenty of promise and little delivery for the last decade. And that's mainly because they can't crack the hard cash security problem - if hackers can crack the cards the banks' possible losses are far too high for them to take the risk.
Open money systems have considerably less security risk, because the value base of open money is so different from conventional money. The security isn't technical, it's social. It's difficult to steal something that doesn't exist, and in small systems it's quite easy to get caught trying. There may be little to gain from fraud in open money, and much for the perpetrator to lose. Also, the potential damages to cc systems are minor and containable. In this case, the comparative insecurity is an advantage, it keeps the stakes lower.
The multiple applications of cc systems promise to make cc the "killer app" for the smart card industry. Every business can have its own loyalty currency, and most will. Any smart card program intended for general public use will benefit from carrying a "cc wallet" - a very small and simple application. People don't like to carry extra cards, so as open money systems become more popular, cc systems compatibility will progressively become an industry standard.
Soon, there will be many making money making money making machines. Or parts or services for them. Surf's up! - who wants to catch a few waves?
paying for development
Open money need never be dependent on grants, taxes, volunteers, or the largesse of business, all of which can be unreliable supports.
There will be much money made with open money. The business opportunities are many and various, and not just in the provision of cc services, hardware, software etc - but also in the market itself, whether the product is pet food or building materials. The market imperative is such that the development and propagation of cc is assured by the demand it will create.
However, if an organization for development effort is to be coherent, efficient and above all sustainable, it must be set up to pay the people who do the work that matters, the work that actually makes cc work. Free-loaders are no problem, there's plenty of room on this bandwagon, but it's going to go better if those who actually pull are actually paid.
If the cc college regional development model is used, cc development programs will be able to pay their way, as they should, in principle, and to prove good practice. They are, after all, perpetual money making machines.