30 May 2014

OWEM is now online

I've just launched the OWEM system with its own site. You can find it at www.owem.net

Please check it out. And feel free to register!

Currently, the list of members is limited to just me, and the 10 fictional characters that I added yesterday.

Hopefully, some of my readers will be interested in trying out the system.  If you do, I will owe you a beer (with a value of €2).

Here are just a few of the advantages of an OWEM-like system when compared with a conventional bank-based payment system.
  • The total amount of credit that can be generated in the system increases directly with the number of people using it. With the current settings, each new person gets a credit creation capacity of €10,000. If you can convince someone to take an IOU from you for €10,000 then you effectively have €10,000 of purchasing power! If a million people sign up, that means that you can potentially generate up to €10 billion of credit - out of thin air! Just like commercial banks, but without the strings attached!
  • If there are underused resources in the community, and people prepared to work, then there will never be a shortage of the credit needed to get things done. Unemployment will effectively be a meaningless term. If someone is willing to work, and there are useful things to do, the only other thing that is needed is someone ready to emit an IOU to cover the cost. But that person doesn't need to have any money up front. 
  • The system is completely free. It has cost me a small amount to declare the www.owem.net site, and I've paid a total of €60 to the Cyclos4 people to do the linking. But that's it. I have set up my own open system that all of you can use. As it stands, there is  probably going to be enough capacity to handle a few hundred users at least. But if we start getting hundreds of thousands of people signing up, or even millions, the Cyclos 4 software that I am using can be scaled up. There's a Cyclos 4 Pro version that has a range of prices depending on the numbers of users - you can find the price list here. You can see that for non-profit social systems, Cyclos are prepared to handle up to 20,000 users for just €1! Very reasonable.
  • There is no interest! Unlike borrowing money from a bank, where you (or someone else) ends up paying the bankers interest to rent their "money", user created credit within OWEM has no interest charges to pay at all. Of course, if you and your partner so wish, you could arrange things so that, if you don't pay off an IOU after 1 year, it's value is increased by some percentage. But that's up to you. Compound interest is not built into the system.

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