Ours is the sole, known life-bearing planet in the universe. We have presided over its degradation and the dramatic decline of all other life forms other than our own and livestock. The institutions and technologies that are responsible are inherently resistant to pleas that, for civilization's wellbeing, they change. Climate change has brought things to a head; the prognosis was severely underestimated. Now its either things change right away or we face civilization's collapse and probable extinction.
We have a transcendent responsibility to change in a manner and scale that preserves all life on the planet.
The Transition Tokens report describes how we could introduce new institutions and technologies that, by design, ensure that the necessary change happens. It is a manifesto in the form of ready to implement blueprints.
Crypto-tokens are instruments that can enable an exchange between different parties that previously were not able to reflect certain exchange value. Uniquely, this value could be a social good. Tokens can be issued to enable exchange value between parties and generate value in a network of exchange relationships. They do not rely on banks or authorities for their issuance. Token’s behaviours are controlled by secure algorithms; they can be mathematically trusted to do what they are designed to do. Their value will depend on their supply and how well they perform in the exchange networks in which they are issued. Tokens can capture in their supply and price a specific signal of value exchange.
Is their value derived any differently from that of a fiat currency? Fiat currency is a gamble on the integrity and the viability of a particular government and its national economy. The only difference with tokens is that their issuance and exchange network are based upon virtual borders. They also share similarities with gold; gold also does not require an authority to define its value; its supply is naturally limited and it attracts an inherent value based upon scarcity.
Purchasing a crypto token requires trust that its network is wholly secure and that no special interest can take control of it. Blockchain technology has ostensibly eliminated the need for third-party intermediaries. But what benefit can this new way of generating exchange value between parties bring?
Could this new raw power of crypto-tokens be harnessed to price the overarching social good of bringing a sure-fire fight to climate change?