Community Currencies in United Nations


Two weeks ago I presented the research paper “Extending Blockchain Technology to Host Customizable and Interoperable Communitty Curencies” in the United Nations HQ, Genva, during the World Investment Forum 2018.


This was the first time in history blockchain technology & community currencies were on the agenda in the United Nations

It was truly amazing to witness how the subjects of blockchain technology and community currencies were received with great interest among the diverse international delegates present in the audience. Noteably projects speaking included Bancor Network, Bangla-Pesa, Cumbria University, & Blockchain Charity Foundation by Binance.

Trustlines Research paper

The Trustlines research paper I presented was originally published as a conference paper, in order to attended the 4th International Conference on Social and Complementary taking place in Barcelona 2017.


The conference was organized by Research Assosication on Monetary Innovation and Commplementary Currency Systems aka RAMICS and featued several hundred researchers and practitioners working on social community, complementary and socail currencies all around the world.

A video of my presentation can be viewed here.

Research objectives


Utilizing a design science approach our research objectives of the paper was to:

  • Create a future value type of community currency, which allows the participants to exercise governance rules while offering accountability by being based on a bilateral dispersive money creation process.
  • Utilize the properties of blockchain technology in order to provide a freely accessible medium of exchange, which can be used for community exchange in a secure, transparent and cross-community interoperable manner.

The full paper can be downloaded free from the International Journal of Community Currency Research (IJCCR) here.pdf

Past, Present & Future Money

Our choice of choosing mutual-credit currencies, was based on the below assumptions that money act as an accesible medium of exchange, based on the pros/cons of past, present and future types of money.


Summary of the Trustlines Prototype

The proposed prototype is named Trustlines Network. It is a decentralised, permissionless, open source blockchain protocol to host multiple mutual-credit currency networks. In these currency networks, money is represented as bilateral obligations issued in form of “credit lines” between people that trust each other. The proposed Trustlines prototype allows everyone with a smartphone to send payments to other participants - even to those that they don’t know or trust. In that way, the system resembles the decentralised issuance of IOU’s taking place in Local Exchange Systems (LETS). Where LETS are built on the mutual-credit principle, Trustlines is an interconnected network of multiple LETS. People can only be liable up to the amount they decided to entrust in direct connections to other people. The enforceability of IOU claims is therefore informal and up to the two participants that set up a Trustline between each other.

A demo video of the trustlines prototype can be viewed here

Comparison to other money and payment systems


Given the previous description of the Trustlines Network prototype, we identify three crucial advantages in comparison to other (cryptocurrency-based) community currencies:

  • Ease of adoption and joining the network
  • Open smart-contract platform API and
  • Enabling user issued (dispersive) money

In regard to these three advantages, we consider the prototype to fulfil the design objectives. It combines the desired properties of credit based future type of money with the security, customizability and interoperability offered by blockchain technology

RAMICS conference in Japan 2019

The 5th International Conference on Social and Complementary Currencies, organised by Makoto Nishibe and his team in JAPAN has been scheduled for September 11-15, 2019. It is going to take place in Takayama, Gifu. Details will be announced in due course. Checkout the link here.

Written on November 12, 2018