Electricity-Backed Currency

Currency (money) as a derivative of another currency, namely (sustainable) energy, #interesting but actually also a very old idea:

“Apparently Buckminster Fuller was first in 1969 to recommend, in his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, that a global currency be based on energy; he called it the “Kilowatt Dollar“. http://www.roperld.com/science/CurrencySystems.htm


DeKo: An Electricity-Backed Currency Proposal

“Currencies play an important role in facilitating trade and economic growth. Shifts in currency values may lead to economic dislocations deleterious to trade and growth. Most currencies are issued by government central banks. These central banks hold assets in the form of government debt and gold against the currency they issue.

Alternatives to traditional debt and gold assets may make sense for central banks to hold as a supplement or substitute. One alternative asset for a central bank to hold consists of electricity delivering assets. Electricity delivering assets don’t need to be physical assets such as fuel or power plants, but rather may be claims in the form of standardized Power Purchase Agreements for the delivery of electricity from power producers.

Electricity delivering assets can hold their economic value more effectively than gold or debt due to price stability and resistance to devaluation from over-issuance. The DeKo-backed currency concept advocates a portfolio of diversified electricity delivering assets that offers more social benefits than gold and retains monetary value better than government debt.”


“from “The Place of a Local Currency in a World Economy” by Robert Swann, 1981

1. I want to focus on the institution of money and the opportunity that now presents itself to develop a better system than our present system. We need a monetary system which will by its nature promote and enhance the small scale institutions, small businesses, cooperatives, small communities, and local towns, while at the same time being sensitive to the unique ecologies of regions. Obviously, the system we have now, and which is failing, does not do so.

2. From a legal viewpoint, money is nothing more (or less) than a claim. But from a technological viewpoint, money is a tool. Like any other tool it can be shaped to perform in different ways. Just as both a scythe and a combine are tools for cutting wheat, so money may be designed to perform in different ways with different objectives. In the same way that we are presently designing and creating more appropriate hardware for small scale needs, so we must create an appropriate tool for exchange.” http://neweconomicsinstitute.org/content/kilowatt-hour-notes-and-other-mediums-exchange


Kilowatt Cards

“Kilowatt Cards are gift cards that pay for 10 kilowatt-hours of electricity (including taxes and fees) to benefit any consumer electricity account when redeemedthough this web site. The electric utility does not accept Kilowatt Cards – we do – and then send cash payment to the company at the rate it normally charges retail customers for electricity.

Because these gift cards may be redeemed by anyone to pay for electricity, they can also be used to barter for other things, anything, worldwide. Kilowatt Cards are issued by a non-profit corporation founded to demonstrate the idea that financial liabilites denoted in kilowatt-hours constitue a new asset class having stable value, and to provide fixed-value paper to those who want it.” http://www.kilowattcards.com/template/index.cfm

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