Issue with having a multitude of small communities


In the recent thread on sybil attacks, this question got me thinking a bit :

(In english : what is the point of having an arbitrary large community if you can just exchange your currencies between communities)

And I think I found an issue with the way we imagined how the communities should work in practice at the last FMM5. In a way this problem is already present with today’s currencies, however I think it is important and makes uCoin currencies somewhat “non-free” in the Relative Money Theory sense.

So we argued that in order to discourage Sybil attacks and keep the communities at “human size”, we should impose a strict limit on how big an economic community can get (fixed at the creation of the currency). And that, as it’s only electronic money based on the same protocol, it would be very easy anyway to exchange between different currencies if you need to travel temporarily in other communities.

So imagine uCoin currencies start taking off a bit everywhere, and become the main medium of exchange in at least a decent amount if different geographical places (from what I got the communities would be of the size of a relatively large city).

To me this only amounts to creating one big uCoin meta-currency, with the UD from each currency being a sort of “coin” in this meta-currency but which may have different values (we can take any single currency as the reference point and the given rates of exchange to specify value in this meta-currency).

But then a person receiving a UD in a very popular place, say Paris, that a lot of external people come to visit, will have a huge advantage over a person coming from an isolated community (let say a conglomerate of tiny villages in a warzone). The exchange rates would be much in favor of people receiving a Parisian UD than a warzone UD.

As I said it is a phenomenon that is already present with the currencies in use today, however I think having a large amount of relatively small communities will exacerbate this problem. Effectively offering very high mobility to people coming from popular communities and further isolate people that come from already isolated places.

So even if you have a “free” monetary system within a given economic area, it does not mean that you can have a “free” relation between different communities. That the union of several free communities doesn’t create a larger still free community seems like a problem to me.

In our world where traveling is becoming always easier and more frequent, I think this is something worth thinking about. I haven’t read all of the RMT book and maybe this is already talked about in there, but from what I got it makes the assumption of “pseudo-isolated” communities, and I’m wondering if this assumption will be useful in practice, and in particular with regards to the size limit we want to put on uCoin communities.

Yes, you should study carefully the RMT. All this stuff is in.

I assume you are talking about this chapter :

It seems to only say what the exchange rates should be if we want the union of several currencies to also respect the principles of the RTM. However I fail to see how this fixed formula for the exchange rate can be enforced in any way, what would prevents people from buying and selling their respective UDs at prices based on traditional offer and demand rather than based on this formula ?

This formula is absolutely not an “exchange rate formula”, this not the purpose of this point at all.

I’m struggling on this point too…
I have read half of the TRM (one time full already, but several readings are needed !).
I finish my new in detail reading and I will come back to develop my guesses and to get feedback and share our questions (after the holidays of course. 1 week off in real life :wink: offline ! ).
At the moment, it is one of my major interrogation and there is a problem in the “wording” and interpretation of a worldwide currency and in fact small communities due to technical limitations…
I do not see where the problem is : in the theory, in the technical constraints, in the “ease to use/understand” for the common humans that are not experts.
I know we are there on the technical part of the project and that real life implementation is not the topic of the discussion there, so, yes, the dedicated forum to discuss how to implement in real such a system will be welcomed in beginning of 2016 !
From this new forum, will raise up questions and ideas of features we need to implement in the system without breaking the free concept but making usage and acceptation possible. Cyclos could be an inspiration source for a few points even if the goals of the projects are not the same. Even diaspora for the social aspects. Or may be not !
I have to read further and to know better the roadmap of ucoins before giving an opinion.
The foundations are strong, but they are really far from a daily usage TODAY as how to migrate practically for a country to such a system is not yet very clear and this chapter in the TRM is not enough detailled except it says it is possible, the how is not yet very developped, but it is very close I guess to the time we could debate on this !!