The Sea Dollar
October 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm #7997
Didn’t know he was a comedian. I thought he was actually trying to start a revolution.
- NickOctober 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm #8001
Gold isn’t very stable. It’s had some pretty severe swings over the past few decades, like oil, partly because they are dollar-denominated trading commodities.
Something like the IMF’s SDR: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Drawing_Rights, would be more stable. Or a similar mix. 1/8th of the following currencies: US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen, English Pound Sterling, Chinese Yuan, Russian Ruble, Indian Rupee, Brazilian Rael. Something like that would make for a pretty stable currency, too.
There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Each to his fate.October 7, 2009 at 5:11 pm #8022
I’m actually quite against pegging money to baseless commodities like Gold and Diamonds. Their value is almost entirely cultural. I.e. it’s only valuable because we can all agree it’s valuable. So no, too many variables.
And to be completely honest, I absolutely HATE the idea of the ManHour. Because it goes on the assumption that every single human being is going to work at exactly the same rate. And, should one Hoard enough ManHours, you could effectively own the other person. Once again, no. Too many variables.
But what if we’d pegged it to something like… potassium or phosphorous? An element that’s essential for an essential chemical process(Photosynthesis in this case).
On the other end of the scale I was thinking that we shouldn’t peg it to anything but it’s own stability. Meaning the nation’s constitution only allows for 3% more money each year to be printed. OR a system where the income of the ruler is all the new money that is printed.
I shall do more reading up on this…October 7, 2009 at 6:25 pm #8023
Hey, tie it to the Ampere-hour. Battery storage, something like that?
Taking our cue from the Eskimos, we boat people have over 30 words for “leak.”October 7, 2009 at 7:41 pm #8024
Now there’s an interesting concept… Money = Power. Though wouldn’t a joule be easier to count?
That aside, I’m starting to think that what we could do is simply peg a currency to a market regulated basket of common commodities. Which basically means, we let the seastead’s exports/demand decide the value of the Sea$. All the government has to do then, is recognize the Sea$ as legal tender. BUT
That kinda leads us back to the problem no? :p So perhaps it would be best to just start by pegging yourself to a basket of currencies that involve your trading partners.
My mind Hrms furiously…October 7, 2009 at 8:31 pm #8025
Free Banking, AnCap style, let the market decide… let whatever banks will appear in your seasteading colony compete for the best currencies. I myself would prefer a gold backed currency, so if nobody else does, maybe i’d start a bank that offers it.October 7, 2009 at 8:55 pm #8026
Money value is a very controlled thing. Governments work very hard to protect the value of thier currency. I would throw my vote in for the “Man Hour” concept…October 7, 2009 at 8:56 pm #8027xnsdvd wrote:
Now there’s an interesting concept… Money = Power. Though wouldn’t a joule be easier to count?
Yepper. But the amp-hour is a more recognizable unit among the boating community; it’s how storage cells are measured and rated. It’s not necessarily the most accurate, but it’s still well ahead of hogshead-furlongs per dram-gramme-shilling.
Taking our cue from the Eskimos, we boat people have over 30 words for “leak.”October 8, 2009 at 5:31 am #8033
The problem with power money is storage. Batteries are heavy and expensive. I don’t want to be carrying them around.
- NickOctober 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm #8034
Hey, it was a thought. I suppose we could issue paper–or electronic–currency tied to it somehow. But I think most are looking for something concrete, so I guess the gold standard, maybe tied to the Euro, will work. Just throwing out-of-the-box suggestion for comment. Now if we want REALLY rock-solid currency, we can tie it to the Yap Island money market. Heh.
Taking our cue from the Eskimos, we boat people have over 30 words for “leak.”October 8, 2009 at 3:25 pm #8037
A currency needs to be tied to something other people want, since we will be trading and purchasing goods from others for a long time. An existing nation will be much more likely to accept a Sea Dollar if they knew they could, at any time, trade it in for an exact quantity of gold that they could then sell to someone else. What is an existing nation gonna do with a bunch of seastead amp-hours or work-hours? Or a truckload of potassium?
I agree that the value of gold is a cultural thing…there are certainly some groups of people living on the planet that would throw away your gold as a worthless lump of metal. But those groups are very few and are usually indigenous native cultures that won’t be selling us stuff anyway. The vast majority of the developed world values gold and it will remain an important commodity for generations to come.
Don’t forget that not only is gold important for its aesthetic value but it has many applications in electronics and other technicial items. It is rare, sought after, and easy to store for long periods. It is also very easy to examine gold and get a very accurate reading of its purity. These properties also exist in the other precious metals like silver, gold, titanium, etc. But gold is more accepted on the open market because of it’s history as a type of currency.
Also things like diamonds, rubies, etc can be manufactured so you wouldn’t want them as a basis for your currency. You need a pure material that cannot be manufactured.
The only problem that I have with gold, as I mentioned before and on other threads, is that if your economy gets very large you will need to store a HUGE amount of a very heavy and very valuable metal on a floating city. You will have to make the choice: use gold and have to store a lot of it but have something that you can easily trade or go with something like rhodium where you only need to store a small amount but is not exactly accepted all over the world.October 8, 2009 at 3:35 pm #8038
The only problem I see with tagging your currency to a basket of commodities or other currencies is that it causes issues when it’s time to trade in your paper.
For example, let’s say the SeaBuck is pegged to an amalgam of gold, silver, and platinum prices. Now I walk into the bank with a few thousand SeaBucks and I want to cash out. What do I get? Can I get it all in silver, or all in gold? Does it have to be a mix of all three?
Since we want seasteads to operate on an “easy-to-leave” mentality so that market forces can shape government then it needs to be easy for a citizen to grab their stuff and go. I should be able to walk into the bank and leave with all my gold in a backpack. If you are using a basket of commodities then the cash-out process becomes very complex.October 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm #8039
I think pegging the SeaBuck or SeaDollar to the Euro might be a nice short-term solution. It’s a lot easier to store a few million in Euros than it would be to store a few million in gold.
The only issue I can see is one of transition. At some point we will want to break from using the currency of an existing nation and move to another standard like gold. What happens then? You are talking about shifting the entire economy of the seastead to a whole new system, and that is very tumultuous. Much easier to just start on the gold standard and deal with the short-term issues and have better long-term stability.
But on second thought, I guess the shift wouldn’t be too bad. You would just take all the Euros that you had in storage and purchase as much gold as you could. On one day, each SeaBuck would be worth a certain percentage of a Euro. On the next day, each SeaBuck would be worth a certain amount of gold. That might not be too bad. It would make things a little messy, though. If you start with the gold standard then you can assign a nice, even number to your SeaBuck…like .1 troy ounce. With the transition I outlined above the SeaBuck might end up being worth some weird number, like 0.0445348 troy ounce. But that’s just me…I like nice round numbers to work with!October 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm #8040
Gold, silver or other precious metals back currency dont make sense. We will have to buy these metals and then mint coin,…And gold just reached an old time high few days ago…
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How about e-money that is only used on the seastead, and is not in circulation anywhere else. You were all laughing @ my 1 $tead=1 pint of brew,…but I was half serious. LOL,think about it. Lets say it will cost $2 (profit included) to poor that pint (buying the beer kegs, shiping on the seastead, etc). Then 1 $tead = $2. Anybody visiting the seastead have to use $teads, no other currency allowed. They will be exchanging whatever currency they have into $teads and will be issued a debit card for that amount. All the transactions are electronic, no paper money, no need for printing or counterfiting methods, no gold or silver to buy. Just some point of sale terminals and a credit card making machine,..
The $tead will still fluctuate. There is no such thing as “stable currency”,…
But if the price of beer stays the same, than the $tead is STABLE.!!We can print $teads and sell it as souvenirs. IN BEER WE TRUST will read. Also FEDERAL BEER RESERVE NOTE….THIS NOTE IS ILEGAL TENDER FOR ALL ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC, PRIVATE OR WHATEVER.
NOVUS ORDO ALCHOHOLICUS!October 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm #8041
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