Founding Director of Hub Culture talks to PSFK about how his digital currency, Ven, merges online and physical world environments.
We’re happy to have Stan Stalnaker as one of the speakers at our upcoming PSFK CONFERENCE LONDON 2012. Stan is the Founding Director of social network Hub Culture, a social network service that operates on the digital currency Ven. On September 13 he plans to share with us how digital currencies are the future of money.
Ven has been gaining momentum as one of the world’s most widely used and advanced digital currencies. Can you tell us a little bit about it? What is it and how is it being used?
Ven is one of the world’s most advanced digital currencies. It’s been growing in a very organic way over the last four or five years and just celebrated its fifth birthday. And it’s evolved. So, you know, what started out a few years ago as a virtual currency that could be exchanged on the Internet between different users has grown into something that is now really the first virtual currency to move into the financial markets.
In addition to a number of ‘hubs’ or locations that we operate that accept Ven, which creates something like a real world economy, we’re seeing interest and activity for the currency to move into financial trading, funds, that sort of thing. And so one of the things we’re trying to do is to develop a financial market ecosystem that surrounds the currency, and that would involve providing it to the banks, and providing financial instruments that are attached to the currency. As you probably know, it’s backed by a basket, so it’s the only virtual currency being linked to a mix of currencies, commodities, and carbon. This makes it exceptionally stable in the international market.
Why do we need a digital currency? Where do we need a currency like that?
Well, it has three advantages:
- It’s exceptionally stable. The reason it’s so stable is that it’s a basket, so it’s a mix of currencies, commodities, and carbon. Those things together make the currency exceptionally stable relative to other market components.
- It’s green. The carbon element of the currency links Ven to the environment. There’s no other currency with reserves linked to the environment.
- It’s global. It’s a currency that can be used anywhere to anyone via the Internet.
As you’ve said, it’s been adopted by quite a lot of people. How are people using Ven?
We have now about a hundred million dollars of inventory available on the platform that you can buy with Ven, ranging from gold and diamonds to coffee at a Hub.
Why is now the right time for a digital currency? Can you tell us about a potential real-world application?
I think one interesting thing is that it’s really versatile, the number of use cases for a currency like Ven is growing every day. We recently published an essay that looks at how Ven could be used in Greece to help solve the European crisis. It’s a big, tall order to say that Ven could solve the Euro crisis, but I think there’s a really big role for parallel and digital currencies in solving the crisis. The idea that we’re proposing is that Greece stays on the Euro, but adopts something like the Ven or it could be a different digital currency but effectively a digital currency that could be circulated locally.
What that would do is create a second stream of liquidity for SMEs and individuals in Greece, and give a way for the austerity measures to be softened, while at the same time allowing Greece some flexibility on its repayment schedule for the solvency issue that it faces. Effectively, using the Ven could allow a second, somewhat localized devaluation, while holding to their commitments that exist with the Euro. If they could actually make that work, it would be amazing, because it could have a big impact on Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal; the countries that are basically totally fucked. I don’t know how we’re going to get that level of implementation, but, you know, it’s certainly growing. We just passed 10.2 million units exchanged, so just over a million USD.
Come see Stan Stalnaker talk more about how digital currencies are the future of money at PSFK CONFERENCE LONDON on 13th September 2012.
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