Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Federated Reserve Part II

The Federated Reserve

I have been thinking more about the Federated Reserve notion and thinking specifically about that fact that since it doesn’t exist, who will (or should) create it, and how will the creators be determined or selected? Is that what companies are trying to figure out? Is it collaborative enough? Are the right players at the table to help build this, or is it up to an organization to figure this out on their own?

I suppose that I should probably research the real Federal Reserve System to see how that came about, but I’m not sure it will work in the context of private enterprise. I’ll leave it alone for now. That said, who should make up the Federated Reserve System/governing body?

My first reaction is that there needs to be a consensus of organizations and people with the most to gain and the most to lose that would comprise the Federated Reserve System (FRS). The software manufacturers need to be there, as should any publicly traded company (compliance reasons alone), and perhaps the Federal Government should be involved at the high level since there is no competitive interest in the Federal Government developing the best set of standards, but they have been involved (for better or for worse) in the development of standards and there has to be something that can be learned from the process, even if it’s how NOT to do something. So when I assemble this oversight body and think about the practical application - does it work?

If I think about the notion of data as currency, I may not be able to realistically know everyone who is consuming it or producing/using it, but shouldn’t I know what its value is at all times relative to other currency not my own, and shouldn’t people with the right access have access to the right denomination when they need it?

And if the value is determined by me the person, or me the organization, shouldn’t the fact that it has value be enough to want to secure it even if it is just enabling the access to it?

Then it brings up the whole Identity Management vs. privacy dilemma that is also looming out there - As a governing body, can I or will I know who is producing and consuming (using) the currency at all times? Should I? What if the currency is counterfeit or propaganda? What if the currency’s negative value is worth more being used for bad than for good? I can use real currency today to buy weapons or medicine – which does more harm than good? Who determines the value?

I think the standards based initiatives that are underway is a great start, we need to create the field on which we will play. There should also be a high level of transparency, much like the trading systems and currency exchanges that exist today so that a baseline of expectations about how value will be calculated across the board is known, and then it is up to the producers of currency to know what the value is and decide how much currency should be floating around at any given time, and how to safeguard its value.

I am at the Sun Sales Kickoff in balmy Arizona this week and I hope to learn more about one company’s vision on some of this, and I’ll report back.


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