31 May 2014

Why you can try OWEM with no risk and start the revolution!

I've been working to get the OWEM system fully functional. You can register by connecting to the site at www.owem.net. If you do, you will find the following screen.

You can check out the information menu, which gives some of the reasons why OWEM could be for you. And then you can Register by filling in the following form.

You can see that I have been having fun changing the logos, and the colour scheme from the standard Cyclos interface that I was using yesterday. And as  you can also see, you don't have to give away too much detail - just your name (which could be fictitious for all I know), a login name, a password and a valid email address (so that you can be sent a confirmation email).

Once you are on the system, you will have a credit limit of €10000 (!) that you are free to use to send IOUs to other people on the system. One of the people you could send an IOU to is me (user name sjt), but you might not feel happy about owing me something! Can I be trusted?

So, why not try sending an IOU payment to one of the 10 fictitious characters that I invented to try out the system - namely, the Baker, Builder, Carpenter, Cleaner, Electrician, Farmer, Gardener, Hairdresser, Nurse and Teacher. They are all there and ready to recieve your test IOUs. I can assure you that, since none of them actually exist, they will not come and try and get you to pay them the "money" you owe them! Indeed, I could easily log in with their passwords (which only I know) and get them to send you an IOU back!

You can do all this via the www.owem.net website. I should maybe point out a bug in the Cyclos 4 software that makes it impossible to type in numbers on a Mac with a French AZERTY keyboard  unless you have a keyboard with a numerical pad too. It's a known bug, that will hopefully be fixed real soon now. But you can get round that by doing your payments  using the Cyclos 4 mobile app that just came oute for iPhones and iPads and is also available for Android based smartphones. (Note added 3rd June - and you can also type in numbers on a Macbook by setting the keyboad to Caps Lock - then the top row can be used to key in numbers directly). Those mobile apps are really neat. Just specify www.owem.net when you log in and you are away. You even get my green OWEM interface instead of the standard blue of the Cyclos system. Very simple to use.

One of the things that I have checked is that as administrator of the system, I am unable to access your transactions. It is impossible for me to know the details of who you have been sending IOUs to. All I can see as system administrator is the balance on your account. That starts off at €0, would go negative if you send lots of IOUs to people (limited to €10000!), but could go positive if people on the system started sending you IOUs instead. And there's no limit to the number of IOUs that people can send you. You could be an OWEM millionaire if you did loads of things that other people appreciate!

As I say, I really am confident that this is completely safe. Anyone anywhere can use OWEM to send an IOU to anyone else who is on the system. But at no point do you actually send anyone any real money. The worst thing that could happen is that you could recieve a message to ask if and when you intend to pay off your IOU. Nothing legally binding. But, obviously, if you did send out a whole load of IOUs that you didn't respect, then you would soon find that you credit on the system will have vanished, and that nobody would believe you any more.

Effectively, your IOUs have value as a sort of money if, and only if, people think that you are trustworthy. But in the end, that's all money is anyway. A piece of paper with €10 written on it is only worth €10 if you think that you can swap it for something worth €10. Likewise, an IOU from me on the OWEM system is worth €10 if you think that I would pay it back at some time.

So, why not give OWEM a try? If you already owe someone something, why not make it official by both of you joining OWEM and you sending an IOU payment? It doesn't cost anything. And you could be part of the revolution that will mean that our children may never need to use conventional bank created money - all of which requires us to pay interest. That system, which has produced a world where there is more than twice as money debt as there is money to pay it off, is simply stupid. It's time to try something new.

OWEM is my suggestion for a way out of this mess. Why not give it a try?

Correction added June 3rd. I've just discovered that, as administrator,  I can actually access all the transactions made by Users. It's a bit complicated, but I can open the accounts of individual users and recover the transactions. Now, you might think that this is bad news in terms of privacy. But the good news is that it means that it will be possible to modify Cyclos 4 to do the fancy stuff that I want - namely cancelling out IOUs that form loops within the data structure. Without access to the basic data, this would have been impossible. 

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