#punkmoney meets #occupywallstreet

Written by Eli Gothill Sunday, 30 October 2011 18:18
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Recently I was in New York attending Contact, and then the MetaCurrency Collabathon.

Both were great events, animated with discussion about the future, and the changing shape of almost everything the internet touches.

However, one thing which struck me on a gut level, which I didn’t anticipate, came from another place.

Soon after I arrived in New York, my curiosity led me to Zuccotti park, the site of the Occupy movement which seems to have captured the world’s imagination. A couple of hundred protestors were crowded into a small square, camping, talking, eating and waving placards. In the middle of all of this activity, I noticed a woman who was enacting a quiet revolution by herself. Leaning over a chair, she was giving free haircuts to anyone who wanted one. Perhaps you had to be there, standing between large skyscrapers dedicated to a financial system predicated on greed, to appreciate the significance of this simple gesture. It seemed to me that this was the spirit of the Occupy movement: not just protesting one world, but experimentally leading us to a new, better one with a different premise.

Before I left to go to New York, I had been thinking about #PunkMoney, a type of money which anyone can print, circulate and redeem on Twitter, using a simple set of rules. I felt like I had stumbled on an interesting idea – and it took the following weeks of discussions and reflection to boil it down to its essence...

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