ChronoBank-The time for time-based currencies
ChronoBank has been designed by a consortium of professionals with over 100 years of combined recruitment experience, in consultation with experts who can create the software to leverage blockchain technology to solve real-world business problems.
We already have an existing partnership with Edway Group, a large company based in Australia, which we will leverage to kickstart both ChronoBank and the broader idea of time-based cryptocurrencies.
Our goal is to make a fundamental difference in the way people find work and are rewarded for their labour, decentralising the process and moving it outside of the framework of traditional financial institutions. Currently, there are few blockchain apps that operate successfully in the real world. ChronoBank will be a trailblazer for blockchain adoption, working with all of the major blockchain protocols and communities including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Classic, Waves, NEM and other key platforms that may arise in the future.
ChronoBank will create Labour-Hour (LH) tokens on the blockchain, rewarding holders of the TIME token every time one is issued. These LH tokens can then be traded freely on the LaborX exchange, allowing people to monetise their labour through access to markets around the world, with very little friction.
The economic context for ChronoBank
Since the global financial crisis of 2007–09 and its ongoing effects across both the financial sector and the real economy, there has been growing recognition of the shortcomings of our current economic model. Debt-based growth and short-term profit seeking have created an unstable and unsustainable system that is highly vulnerable to external shocks. Low growth is now entrenched in the eurozone, the US and Japan, with emerging large economies such as China experiencing dramatic slowdowns.
Monetary policy has become ever more extreme in the ongoing effort to address this and is now at the limits of what it can achieve. Quantitative easing, a radical policy when it was first proposed, is now considered run-of-the-mill and may well become a feature medium- to long-term. Interest rates are at their lowest ever, and some countries have even adopted a negative interest rate policy (NIRP) in their attempt to encourage consumption-fuelled growth. ‘Helicopter money’ is openly being discussed as an option and, in some cases, actively considered by central banks. Bond yields remain at all-time lows.
Meanwhile, national, personal and corporate debt remain at historically high levels and population demographics remain problematic, as the baby boomer generation retires and becomes a net recipient of taxpayer funding rather than a contributor.
Amid such apparently intractable problems, there are opportunities. The suite of new technologies encompassed by the catch-all term ‘blockchain’ presents the chance to revisit alternative forms of economy — those that have proved successful and popular in the past, but which have been limited by the constraints of the times and local areas in which they have operated. Time-based currencies, an idea almost 200 years old, are one of the most promising of these alternative forms. Reimagined on the blockchain, we believe that ChronoBank’s version of time-based currencies offers not just a compelling financial investment in the current climate, but a fundamentally different kind of economy.
The current generation who will invest in this have the most to lose from the traditional economy, didn’t cause the problems, and have the most to gain from meaningful change.
The technological context
The era of blockchain money was announced in 2008, with the publication of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin paper, and realised early the following year with the launch of the Bitcoin protocol.
Bitcoin has been, by any accounts, an enormous success. It is an effective and secure form of peer-to-peer online money that has never yet been bettered: despite the innovation that has taken place in the altcoins and the technically superior protocols now available and regular claims of Bitcoin’s demise, its network effect and stability have so far been unassailable — and are likely to stay that way medium- to long-term.
And yet, there are limits to what Bitcoin can do. It is extremely good at transferring one kind of value (BTC as a currency). Its borderless nature and status as a reserve currency have made it the currency of choice for crowdfunding within the crypto community. However, Bitcoin’s wider adoption in commerce has been negatively impacted by its volatility. This is one of the major factors that have put off e-commerce merchants and bricks-and-mortar stores. As such, the excitement and narrative in the broader fintech world have not necessarily been about Bitcoin itself, but about the blockchain and the opportunities this brings.
ChronoBank will leverage both Bitcoin’s status as the preferred form of money within the crypto community, and the functionality available through smart contracts and 2.0 platforms such as Ethereum, NEM and Waves. Blockchain enables totally new forms of money, and the ability to trade them against each other with almost zero friction. In today’s uncertain economic climate, there is room for financial as well as technological innovation. ChronoBank will do both.
The time for time-based currencies
We believe that now is the right time to launch this project based on the intersection of the technological, ideological and economic realities we are experiencing. Before Bitcoin, there was no effective way of curating the economic system we will describe below — and, in fact, it is only with the launch of new protocols such as Ethereum and Waves that we can implement the functionality that will make ChronoBank a success. Economically, we are at a watershed moment as the old orthodoxies are questioned, and monetary policy reaches its limit. We do not know how the West’s economic problems will be solved, but there is clearly an opportunity at such a point in time. Moreover, there is a moral imperative to look for new ways of creating and distributing wealth, outside of the financial system that is struggling to survive in its current form.
For millennia, gold and silver were the default forms of currency — though money has taken diverse forms throughout history since its use was first formalised (possibly in the Sumerian temple complexes of 5,000 BCE). In the ancient world, grain and cattle were used along with precious metals, and in different contexts since, anything from cigarettes to limestone boulders, from rum to squirrel pelts have been used as ‘money’. Money has generally been backed by some kind of real-world commodity, whether gold, silver or some other physical object. In this respect, fiat money is a very recent aberration.
Monetary economists generally agree that money should ideally serve at least three main purposes. It is:
• A medium of exchange
• A store of value
• A unit of account
Facilitating these functions are six ideal properties:
• Durable — won’t decay over time
• Portable — easy to transfer
• Divisible — easy to use in small units
• Recognisable — yet hard to counterfeit
• Fungible — one unit the same as any other
• Scarce — though not too scarce
Naturally, different forms of money over the centuries have displayed these properties to differing extents; what Micronesian Rai stones lack in portability and divisibility they make up for in resistance to counterfeiting and durability, for example. The reality is that money is whatever people agree to use as money and generally this is whatever is most convenient under the circumstances. We believe that time-based currencies offer a compelling alternative to existing forms of money, due to both their innate properties and the nature of the economic realities we face.