Suggestion: Global Currency

One of the major drawbacks for Encointer, is that it is a big effort to create new communities. There have been suggestions on solving this, e. g. by facilitating onboarding new communities permissionless. I suggest to build a global currency together with growing new communities organically.

The idea is to allow a group of members of one community to start a new community somewhere else. E. g. we have a community in Zurich, but I want to start a community in Bern (which is an hour away). The idea is, that I can go to 3 key-signing-events in Zurich, together with 2 other people and then we can start key-signing-events in Bern, growing a new community. The currency would be the same (so one global currency). Also, it would be incentivized to visit other communities. Meaning, I would get more coin, when I visit another community.

There’s currently a lot of talk about Worldcoin. I think we can achieve the same thing with Encointer, but proving the personhood continuously (and not just once). This makes it harder to sell your personhood to someone else.

I’ve had this idea for a while and I always thought it would be against the vision of Encointer. But actually, there is no goal of “local” currency for Encointer (from the Encointer constituion: Aim and Purpose:
“The purpose of the association is to develop a software enabling a global unconditional basic income for all humans and a unique digital identity with privacy protection.”

Furthermore, there has been feedback to the current Encointer proposal, that raised concerns about scalability and adoption.

I know, this would be quite a turning point. But I believe going this direction could bring Encointer back in the game, and specifically give a solution for Proof-of-Personhood in the Polkadot ecosystem (which it is lacking otherwise).


Thank you @masapr for sharing your thoughts and ideas here. I do like the thought of growing and having a global currency. There was a few people interested in using “LEU” in Amden (Glarus). I think it is worth thinking deeper about the idea, especially since we are considering more scalable mechanisms. I think the purpose of such an global currency could be a different one than the locally issued currencies.

Yes, so I know, that this contradicts with some of encointer’s assumptions. On the other hand, a currency that can easily be traded has a value in itself and could be a major boost. And the core principle is still there: people get easy access to the currency and can use it (also for their local economy, if other currencies are harder to access). Also, let’s not forget: making it easier to start your own community makes it also more inclusive.

But my main point is really: I think with the current way it works, it is impossible to scale the solution and reach possibly “all” (or many, many) people - which is what we would want for a proof-of-personhood.

A recent paper analyzes IDENA and describes how a global currency leads to puppeteering because of very uneven purchasing power and know-how asymmetry:

(not necessarily a killer argument, but a must-read all the same)