Learn the basics on Ğ1 Currency

Freedom as a Core Principle

Inspired by the Four Essential Freedoms of the Free Libre Open Source Software movement (FOSS or FLOSS = Copyleft GNU & AGPL licences), which respects the users' basic software freedoms to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software, Ğ1 currency is designed to respect basic economic freedoms.

Basic Economic Freedoms

In a Free/Libre currency, you are free to:
  • use resources,
  • create and assign value,
  • choose any monetary system,
  • and trade with its currency.

A Free/Libre Currency

Libre is the French or Spanish word for free, and is borrowed to show that Ğ1 currency is free as in freedom (not as in zero price). Even though you won't have to buy Ğ1s, it doesn't necessary mean that it is free, as you will likely want to invest your time and energy in developing a Ğ1 market in your community.

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Decentralised Power Structure

Ğ1 is a fully decentralised currency, giving back the power of money creation to the people and introducing an innovative and secure decentralised identification system based on the certification of newcomers.

Giving Back the Power of Money Creation to the People

Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes its laws; the power to create money is a privilege. It's much more democratic to spread the money creation power over the whole population than to concentrate it in a few hands. In the ethymology of the word Democracy, demos means the people and Kratos means power. With money being the main source of power, the more money you have, the more power you have. Money can have a big influence on democracies. It's apparent that media time directly influences an election outcome, yet the media are owned (therefore potentially influenced) by the wealthiest people; so with their wealth, they have the power to decide (or at least influence) the outcome of elections.

In Ğ1 Currency, the choice of creating (using bank credit) and injecting money into the economy to finance one thing or another, is no longer the privilege of bankers or ministers. Instead, it is done by each individual, via the Universal Dividend, which is created every day (without debt or third party influence of any kind) on their Ğ1 co-creator account; these newly created Ğ1s can then be injected into the economy when spent to purchase goods or services. In doing so, the man or woman votes for and expresses their values, and is therefore able to directly influence the society they are a part of. Power is no longer in the hands of a few, but in the hands of everyone.

The Web of Trust: an Innovative Decentralised Identification System

As each Ğ1 co-creator produces money, it raises an issue: How to ensure that a person can create one and only one share of the currency? In this systems design, there is a strong need for validation of one’s identity to make sure this person has only one Ğ1 co-creator account.

So the developers created an innovative decentralised identification system, called the Web of Trust. It works basically as a peer-to-peer authentification, where a Ğ1 user needs to have his account certified by at least 5 Referent Members to become a Ğ1 co-creator.
Rules have been added in the web of trust to secure this identification system which strongly prevents Sybil attacks; where an attacker would attempt to obtain multiple identities.

A decentralised and shared governance

The Ğ1 development team and technical contributors are not part of a specific organisation themselves, but do receive support from several non-profit organisations. They are very careful to maintain an organisational structure that is as decentralised as possible to avoid concentration of power and control.

Ğ1 co-creators can all write into the blockchain if they run a node. One has to be part of the Web of Trust to be able to run such a node.

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Sustainable Blockchain Technology

Ğ1 is a crypto-currency but does not use computing power to secure its blockchain. Thanks to its innovative money creation mechanism, perpetual debt is no longer the way to create money. Producing at all costs is no longer an end in itself. Its Universal Dividend (UD) is also a step towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

Ğ1 Currency is Powered by the Duniter Blockchain

Printing bills or minting coins is a complex and expensive way to manage money. There is currently no totally reliable, secure and resilient way to do it. Control over the issuance of currency on a physical medium is always centralised, and thus can be corrupted or violated.

This is why Ğ1 currency has been developed as a cryptocurrency, which means it is a decentralised, cryptographically secure digital currency using blockchain technology. Ğ1 Currency is powered by the Duniter Blockchain, initially developed in Node.js although a progressive migration to Rust has been engaged. Duniter (DU-uniter) is the software that generates the Universal Dividen (UD), as well as managing the currency and the web of trust. It's an open source software: its code is open, accessible and verifiable by everyone and anyone.

Visit the Duniter website to learn everything about this blockchain.

Visit duniter.org

Low-Tech and Energy Efficient

Cryptocurrencies are currencies that are based on decentralised blockchain technology. Most cryptos tend to be high consumers of electricity. They may well have a high carbon footprint, since a large part of the global electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels. Some environmentalists would argue that Bitcoin and Ethereum have a detrimental impact on the environemental.

The Ğ1 currency does not have these huge negative impacts, since it does not need the same Proof of Work, that Bitcoin, Litecoin and some other cryptos utilise to operate. Its algorithm has been developed specifically to be energy efficient. In Ğ1, only members of the Web of Trust (WOT) can verify transactions. To take part in the verification of transactions, any member of the Web of Trust can install a Duniter node, which can run on a computer as small as a Raspberry Pi. Running a node uses the same energy as a low wattage light bulb. The upcoming version of the blockchain will be even more energy efficient. Learn more in this article.

Growth vs Degrowth

In the current system, money is created through credits granted to individuals and states by commercial banks. Credits are granted if borrowers have the ability to pay it back, i.e. the ability to make profit. After all, you have to pay the interest. This bankers' money needs perpetual growth to continue to exist. Without growth, there is no more credit, and without credit, money disappears.

Whereas Ğ1 currency is created continuously as long as there are living human beings. It therefore does not need growth, nor the race for profit to continue to exist. Thus, it could be an ideal currency to facilitate degrowth and support the birth of a more sustainable world.

Early Entrants are Not Priviledged over Newcomers

Most known crypto-currencies are designed to be highly speculative. The creation of most cryptos is often reserved for those who have the technical or financial means to partake in the money creation process.

What sets the Ğ1 apart is how it is created. Its money creation mechanism makes it a much more equitable currency than other cryptos. Ğ1 is created equally among all members of the community. Therefore, unlike other crypto-currencies, early entrants are not privileged over new entrants.

Donation Culture Instead of Competition

The Ğ1 nodes take it in turns to validate transactions eliminating competition/escalation. Transactions function via whichever nodes are operating, naturally spreading power and control over the system amongst the community. Unlike in most cryptos, the blockchain network does not include a transaction fee to pay nodes for their block calculations. Running a node is accessible to all Ğ1 co-creators and is compensated by Ğ1 user donations; through the Remuniter service, which collects donations from Ğ1 users and then automatically distributes it to the calculators (learn more about node owners remunerations here).
Ğ1 users are invited to make Ğ1 donations to Remuniter using this key: TENGx7WtzFsTXwnbrPEvb6odX2WnqYcnnrjiiLvp1mS.

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Money Co-Created by People, not by Debt

Anchored to human participation instead of debt, members receive a small amount of Ğ1 currency daily, automatically and unconditionally, through a Trust-free (i.e. no third party is needed to administer it: no one controls it and no one can impose conditions on others) co-creation mechanism. This small daily amount is called the Universal Dividend or UD.

Understanding the Current Debt System

If you are new to economics, you may first want to learn about how money is created in most of monetary systems. Any economy 101 course will do the trick. For example, you may find this documentary Money as a debt, by Paul Grignon, informative:

The money you have is not the fruit of your labour. Money is what you accept in exchange for the fruit of your labour.

So then who produces the money? In the monetary system governed by banks, the commercial banks are the ones creating the money you use every day. These banks then have the power to decide who can receive this money, according to their criteria (generally, how best to maximise profit for the bank). Of course, this creation/loaning out of money is not free, there is interest to pay back to the bank. Overall, we have to pay back more than there is money in circulation, which leads to negative consequences: a race for profit, competition, bankruptcy for fragile borrowers. This race for profit leads, among other things, to the depletion of resources and biodiversity.

A share of money creation

In Ğ1 Currency, money is equally created between all members of present and future generations, without debt and without interest to be paid back; each member creating his or her own share of money.

Watch this video for a complete introduction to the Libre Currency :

Universal Dividend vs Universal Basic Income

This is different from the concept of basic revenue or universal income, which is usually administered by a third party (eg. government, company, NGO), which has centralised control over the money distribution and therefore must be trusted. It may impose conditions to gain access to ones money, or may withhold it, based on ones profile or behaviour.

In addition to receiving a daily universal dividend (UD) in Ğ1, you can trade products and services; give and receive donations in recognition of value contributed; and make a living.

Ğ1 currency, a measurement unit

A currency has three characteristics: it must be a means of exchange, a tool of measurement and a store of value. Anything could be a currency. It is the use of it that makes an object a currency. Cereals (including wheat), salt (from which comes the word "salary") have long been used as currency. Then came the fiduciary currencies (those based only on trust). By using debt money, you trust the bankers.

We use money as a unit of measurement, but how can we apply this unit of measurement if it does not represent the same value in space and time?

The meter has been defined as one ten-millionth of the shortest distance from the North Pole to the equator, passing through Paris.
The degree Celsius is defined as the difference in temperature between freezing and evaporating water divided by 100.
The SI second is defined by the duration of a certain number of oscillations (9,192,631,770 to be exact) related to a physical phenomenon involving the caesium atom.
These units of measurement are invariant/unchanging and universal for all human beings in time and space.

However, we do not have any means to define the value of a monetary unit. This value varies in time and space. A currency can be devalued by simply creating more units.

With Ğ1 currency, we create a new unit of measurement: the amount of money produced each day by each individual. When Ğ1 currency reaches a stable state, called full money, this quantity; the universal dividend, will always represent the same portion of money in relation to the total money supply. This makes it an invariant across time and space. The universal dividend then becomes a universal unit of measurement of value.

Backed by a Solid Economic Policy

Ğ1 currency is based on the revolutionary work of Stephane Laborde who wrote the book: Relative theory of money, in 2010. This theory sets 4 axioms; the 4 economic freedoms:
  • The freedom to choose one's monetary system
  • The freedom to use resources
  • The freedom to estimate and produce any economic value
  • The freedom to exchange, account for and display one's prices in the currency.
Freedom is of course understood in the sense of non-harm to oneself and to others. If there is harm, there is deprivation of freedom.

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Future Generations Taken into Account

Each generation creates the money it uses without impacting future generations. Thanks to the Ğ1 re-evalutation mechanism at every equinox, the young are no longer disadvantaged in relation to wealth creation.

A Relative Share of Money

Ğ1 currency is created only in the wallets of living human beings. The creation of Ğ1 currency is distributed equally among all members of the community, in space and in time. That is, no matter where or when, each member creates the same portion of money, throughout his or her life. The same portion (number of UDs) does not mean the same quantity (number of Ğ1s): when the quantity of money in circulation increases, the portion created by each member also increases.

Be aware that it is not the quantity of money you own that counts, but your relative share of money in relation to the global money supply. With Ğ1 currency, we no longer count in quantity but in relative terms. We use a relative unit of money: the daily Universal Dividend (UD)

Universal Dividend (UD) Re-evaluation Mechanism

Every year, there is an increase of around 10% of the money mass of Ğ1s. This increase is echoed on the UD value which increases every 6 months at the equinox. As a consequence, new generations of Ğ1 co-creators will create UDs with a higher Ğ1 value than their past generations did.

Wealth Convergence after 40 Years

The mathematical formula behind the Ğ1 currency’s equal co-creation, results in natural, gradual, wealth convergence between members after 40 years (½ the average human lifespan). This solves many of the limitations that we may encounter in other currencies, especially with the fact that currency circulation is encouraged (you can save your Ğ1s but there’s no incentive to hoard wealth).

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Community-Level Exchanges

Ğ1 is a worldwide currency empowering parallel, local and circular economies as community-level exchanges are encouraged by design. Decentralisation gives you access to Ğ1 currency wherever you are located (city or countryside), without dependency on centralised infrastructure.

Ğ1 transactions are encouraged by design

Ğ1 co-creators are encouraged to use their UDs sooner rather than later, to benefit from their current high value. This is because, as the Ğ1 currency co-creation mechanism includes a UD value re-evaluation at every equinox, the UD reaches a higher value, in Ğ1s, every six months. So older UDs will be worth less value as time passes by. As a consequence, you won't find much benefit in saving your Ğ1s and will feel more inclined to circulate them in the community by exchanging them for goods and services.

Monetary stability

Ğ1 is self-contained, not available for currency trading, and completely independent from other world currencies, so it is isolated from the impact of monetary policy, trading and speculation in and out of debt currencies ($,£,€,...), avoids boom and bust debt cycles, and instead provides a stable unit of value as a practical tool for life.

Value decided by Ğ1 users

When users trade a national currency for Ğ1, they are free to apply the exchange rate they want at the time. To acquire Ğ1, one may sell goods or services, but can also become a Ğ1 currency co-creator. It is completely up to the seller of the goods or services what price they put on their product. And then it's up to the prospective buyer to choose whether they value this product enough to exchange it for their Ğ1s.

Empowering parallel and local economies

Ğ1 is a worldwide currency empowering parallel and local economies.
  • Decentralisation gives you access to Ğ1 currency wherever you are located (city or countryside), without dependency on centralised infrastructure. Ğ1 currency solves regional inequalities – all you need is physical or virtual neighbours to exchange with.
  • Ğ1 currency is not necessarily a local currency as you can potentially exchange your Ğ1s for products and services with someone on the other side of the world. Although its global expansion is limited by the Web of Trust (whose rules may evolve), this has the advantage of encouraging people to meet each other in person, which strengthens the network of Ğ1 co-creators. As a consequence, it increases social interactions and creates a strong feeling of belonging to the Ğ1 community with a shared responsibility for maintaining the security of the currency.
  • Ğ1 currency could be local if a local community creates its own local currency and backs it by the Ğ1 currency (instead of by fiat currency). Such a currency would be local only in name, as it would be easily convertible into Ğ1, which is theoretically an international currency.

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Helping Social Economy Thrive

Ğ1 currency is a powerful tool for those whose work or endeavour generates value that is not currently recognised, remunerated, or "profitable" in the debt money system: artists, volunteers, nature keepers, mothers, fathers, carers, etc.

Unlike the debt currency system, there is no need to keep running to pay the interest! Valuable voluntary work, stewardship, problem-solving and creativity can be compensated. Indeed, as you co-create the Universal Dividend everyday, you can focus on creating and sharing your work, skills and care with your community.

There is also something about Ğ1 that you can only feel when you join and start exchanging your Ğ1s. The permanent creation of money, alleviates the fear of the future, and encourages a behaviour of collaboration and mutual aid. People tend to be really generous and donation is a big part of the Ğ1 community's culture. You might often find people making a donation to thank someone else for their work, for organising an event, a visio (online talk / discussion), or just because they are happy to donate without anything in return.