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  1. I wanted to share this article (only in Dutch sorry) from 'de groene amsterdammer' and my thoughts about it with you. Bitcoins don't stink The writer of the article Victor Broers researches the fact that alternatives for 'money' are popping up every where. Also he states this is not something new and exactly there are examples that can be found back as far back as 1934 with the Swiss wir, a complementary coin which still functions today. Another example is sardex a unit of exchange which is successfully used on the Island of Sardinia. This was introduced in 2009 by a group of Arts and Humanities students lead Giuseppe Littera. Use case there is the fact that the Island was hit hard by credit crisis and banks stopped giving out loans. The system gave local businesses the possibility to invest and trade among each other, so you could say it made money personal again, because users are trading with each other directly. The article goes on interviewing more people and exploring the pro's and con's of using cryptocurrencies, but it also takes me back to one of the reasons why I got interested in Ripple in the first place. Raiffeisen and DIY banking My great granddad from my mothers-side was one of the founders of a local cooperative bank for farmers based on the Raiffeisen-system and the three 'S' formula: self-help, self-governance and self-responsibility. His bank later became a part of what is now the Rabobank. In my opinion the Rabobank and other banks really f-ed up because they no longer follow the three 'S' formula and instead of that put their commercial interests in front. They lost contact with their roots and are no longer one of the pillars of community, something I think they should be. So late 2013 I was investigating for myself how banking could be reinvented with the wealth of technology that is available nowadays. It dawned on me that I was looking for a local, complementary money- and creditsystem just like my great granddad started over a century ago. Of course at first I looked at Bitcoin and I thought it would be able to provide a community with enough building blocks to create their own banking cooperation's again. But I think that Bitcoin isn't flexible enough and it didn't provide me with a solution to make it complementary with the existing money- and creditsystems which are around. Also the fact that it was 'anonymous' isn't necessarily a plus because of trust-issues (it makes it difficult to the self-governance). Ripple to the rescue? That's when I stumbled upon Ripple, it was late 2013, it ticked all the boxes to support a 'do it yourself'-bankingsystem like my great granddad did with his community. There even where some LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) initiatives like villages.cc and you could create your own currency which could co-exist next to other digital or fiat currencies in the ledger! With my limited financial knowledge I thought it would be question of time before more fin-tech savvy people would start creating their own local 'banks' based on the ripple system/protocol. This exactly wasn't really the case and although there where some other interesting developments my interest in ripple faded for a couple of years. The price rise at the beginning of this year, rekindled my interest. At first I had to learn to life with the fact that Ripple had focussed more on banks, although now I fully understand this point of view. It's a more 'if you can't beat them, complement them'-mentality, which hopefully makes it even easier to develop community driven financial solutions next or even into the existing banking landscape. How ever it turns out, I'm excited to see what the future will bring, because change is coming!
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