Alternative forms of money are designed to compete directly against global financial power, and this is a good news. Indeed, on 28 January 2012 at the gates of the World Economic Forum held in Davos, it was presented to the media a new version of community global currency, i.e. the OCCupy-CUrrency or Occcu. The project has been developed in Austria by a team of students  led by Roland Alton Scheidl at Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences with the aim to offer a Basic-Income answer as the present double dip recession gives sign of shifting into the Greatest depression.

Starting from a background whereby WEF members gathering in Davos tried to direct the ongoing slow-motion global financial metldown through the report Global Risks 2012, a more valuable contribution for the solution to the crisis came from the demonstrators camping outside the venue of the Forum. The features of the Occcu are explicitly  inspired by those of  the Terra, a project of a  Trade Reference Currency (TRC) and the GraDiDo system and allow to promote concrete monetary fairness:

No interest rates and no bubbles;

Fixed fee generating taxes (demurrage) ;

Motivate to spend or donate and not to accumulate;

Value creation by individuals and their community work.”

Put it symply from Occcu documentation: “A cheque in your wallet allows you to agree on a payment anywhere.” Indeed, Occcu is  a P2P horizontal market where anyone – in principle either big or small players – can buy or sell goods and – or services. The core principle leading the designers of Occcu is a principle already formulated, for example, in the ethical architecture of the Italian SCEC: Basic Income as a fundamental principle of currency design. Any member of the Occcu network receives a monthly amount of 100 Occcu (SCEC ‘s network members receive a periodical contribution from the issuer of SCECs). Fianlly, an up to date information system cheaply run the operation of the Occcu payment system.

All the elements are thus there for overcoming the present monetary paradigm and shift to a new and better one, whereby efficacy rather than efficiency is the goal. In order to reach such objective, one only needs to occupy herself by stopping to protest in the streets as the prerequisite for allowing oneself to start to adhere to ways for dealing with money, which are open to the adoption of the Occcu-like systems while simultaneously migrating from the conventional one:

“For example, if you are protesting the banks – put down your sign and think about ways of eliminating banks in your life. Get rid of your accounts, pay off loans and don’t get anymore, cut up credit cards, and only use cash. I have done this myself in Canada for a while. Yes, its a pain in the ass to go into a bank and cash a cheque from a bank you are not a member of – and yes, they charge you for this service – yes, they look at you suspiciously – yes, they will try and get you to open an account – yes, you will need to store your cash at your house – yes, you will need to make sure you have enough money on your person when you go out. I know its sounds like a hassle but how much are you going to give up in the name of convenience? Take your power back. Boycott all you can. Its where your power is.”

It won’t be the easiest thing to do for everybody, but the direction is becoming every day more adamant.

The Multitude has the technology for monetary autonomy and must start to use it. Why?

[It] will be only then that we may see what it truly means for the working class not just to have power, but to be in power”.

Marazzi et al, 1995.

  • Carl

    “Alternative forms of money are designed to compete directly against global financial power..”

    Nope, I’m sorry but that is incorrect. Most alternative currency is created to fill a niche market and work alongside national currency. People creating these types of alternative are not attempting to replace but to fill the cracks left by existing money.

    • Radium

       I am aware of the complementarity nature of the Occcu. I just wanted to stress that a community global currency points towards possible money scapes to build (in place of?) after the present system will change in force of the present unbearable situation.

  • Mnb

    This is the worst idea. Yet

    • Radium

      I think its G/Local

  • Sepp Hasslberger

    I registered at Occcu to see what is there. It was almost impossible to get past their captcha. I want to tell them but can’t find a “feedback” link on their page. Do you have any idea how to contact them, an email address perhaps?

    • radium

      Hey Sepp, you coud try here:

    • Radium

       There is a contract form on wizard of OS

    • Roland

       Captcha identification has been simplified meanwhile. And yes, you can (and did ;-) contact us at info at occcu dot com

  • Doug McDavid

    When you start to look around you will be amazed at how many complementary currencies already exist.  Coupons. frequent flier miles, casino chips, Lindens, Kickstarter accesses, along with the classics like Ithaca Hours, etc.  Anyone can make one.  Why not do it?

  • Freebusiness

    I agree with Carl not philosophically but practically in that this is all they are able to do because iin the end an alt currency is just that … an alt currency. It has to be coupled with a cooperative type business structure to enter the real world and replace banks, insurance companies and the like. I call the new form of doing business rational and consists of a cooperative type business model using a digital currency (one without a physical form) tracking debits and credits and coupled with local government to create community development.

    In my view we have two great systems of thought the traditional and the western. Both are subject to exploitation the former by freeloaders and the second by those in power. The rational system is a third way that eliminates exploitation because it prevents the externalization of costs.

    In short government alone cannot do it. Alt currencies by themselves cannot do it. Cooperatives cannot do it. We need all working together to replace the western system.

  • Aaron

    1) There needs to be very strong protection against a user creating multiple accounts (and therefore having multiple basic incomes). IMO, there should be a way for anyone to report two or more accounts as belonging to the same human being.

    2) Demurrage alone is not effective in discouraging wealth inequality, since people can simply exchange their Occcu for other stores of wealth like Bitcoin, Dollars, Euros, gold, etc.  In order for this to be effective, all of a person’s assets would need to be observed and taken into account in the wealth redistribution.

    3) Demurrage is too rapid by perhaps 100x: “25% of any unspent balance after thirty days goes back to the community chest”  

  • Thomas Marciniak

    Most intriguing, but like many of whom have already commented it may not solve all the issues. In another blog today I gave an example of human physical abilities measured in horse power and Watts, for example:
     A healthy human can produce about 1.2 hp = 894.84 Watts briefly and sustain about 0.1 hp = 74.57 Watts indefinitely.

    Athletes are more than twice this number at about 2.4 hp = 1789.68 Watts
    briefly and sustained 0.3 hp = 223.71 Watts respectively.
    Now this does not take into consideration a persons mental abilities, which could be another form of measurement.
    Currency has always had a value (imagined or semi-real) either based on a promise of certain goods or services, when those goods or services change value so does the currency, also the accumulation of goods or services increases the net worth (power) of said individual.

    This is going to be a tough one to break, but I for one am glad to see an attempt.

    Keep up the good work, when you succeed the World will be a better place.


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