Sir, when will you join Binance?
This is one of the frequently asked questions around Circles.
TLDR; we have no intention whatsoever to present our project on any exchange market.
The longer version: crypto exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase or Kraken offer trading services for cryptocurrencies, meaning: you can buy and sell tokens as digital assets. You can also use exchanges to trade one crypto-token for another or to buy crypto using regular state money, like the U.S. Dollar. Exchanges reflect current market prices of the cryptocurrencies they offer. Crypto tokens are thus generally designed as limited edition digital collectibles, as our friend Brett Scott points out.
Thus, crypto exchanges are primarily focused on making profit for their users. Crypto exchanges are a site for heavy speculation, loss and win — we can look at them as outlets of the casino economy.
Since Circles was basically designed to counter the logic of these highly financialized and speculative markets, it would not be very consistent to engage in exactly those kinds of practices that we seek to overcome. Plus, the value of Circles is determined by the communities.
We can, however, create other markets. We know from economic history and economic anthropology that markets have been regulated either by the administrative apparatus of a State or by wide networks of communities who trust each other and thus accept the credits others issued to them for the stuff of trade.
Furthermore, the shape and rules of markets depend on the way any particular monetary system is designed. We know that markets have existed for centuries before the rise of capitalism. The problem is that we often project back the present onto the past and assume that all markets worked like capitalist markets do today, which are actually a very specific type of market. Capitalist markets run on money systems based on interest bearing debts. The dynamics of capitalist markets are thus determined by the debt system. They may be efficient at allocating resources, yes, but are quite fragile in moments of instability. Because of how debt works, they redistribute resources from those who owe money (debtors) to those who lend money and own assets (creditors). As Circles, we would like to rethink the way we perceive money and how our economic system works.
Rethinking Money: From local to global
Circles is global in the sense that the technology is available for everyone around the world and the hubs are interconnected to share their research and progress building the local networks. However, the real use of Circles depends on the local communities, and trust connections within these communities. The circulation and the use of Circles depends on how strong the economic circles are built around it. Since Circles is built for local communities, it’s not possible to create a global value to be exchanged in a global market.
Therefore, we do not plan to get listed on any crypto exchanges at all.
Here, you can find more reasons on why this will not happen:
1. Circles is not designed as a speculative asset
Circles is not based on the idea of scarcity, it is designed in a way that everyone issues 24 CRC per day as a UBI. Its value is decided by the community itself rather than the state or the institutions. Circles will not be on the exchange market to be completely free of the speculations and manipulations of the current global economy and the market, and to only represent the values and the economic decisions of the local community.
2. Circles cannot be compared to Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin is a digital asset. Circles is a form of credit money used to fulfill debt obligations between different parties. Bitcoin’s design is made for investment and speculation, making it impersonal. Circles is made for strengthening local economies by building trust between people. While the design of Bitcoin encourages hoarding, Circles encourages spending. One needs fiat money in order to buy Bitcoin, while Circles can only be issued via trusted parties giving you trust. For these reasons, Circles diverge quite a bit from the idea of Bitcoin and it works on a different principle.
3. Circles’ value is not backed by any particular fiat currency
Circles is a different type of money: it’s not meant to serve as a storage unit to get rich. It’s meant to be used for our basic needs. Technically speaking, you might be able to sell your individual tokens, but it depends on who is willing to give you Euros/USD/Bitcoin/etc for Circles tokens. As the system is based on a plurality of currencies, it’s meant for Peer to Peer (P2P) transactions.
4. We want you to build your own economy!
Circles is a system that creates Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) for its users. This means that rather than relying on external institutions (like banks, for example), people can build their own economic systems to support each other. With Circles, they can issue their own people-powered-money on an unconditional basis.
For this reason, Circles’ value or values are based on what services and goods people offer to the community: what they give and what they take from their circles of trust. If your company accepts CRC for every 10th customer, or you sell your bike for CRC, or translate for someone in the job center and they pay you with CRC, this value comes into the system, stays in the community, and circulates.
Get in touch!
Circles is about giving as much as it is about taking: real, people-powered basic income can only come to life, when there’s unconditional reciprocity between members of the community who exchange goods and services for basic income. We know from experience that bootstrapping a local economy can be challenging creative work! Feel free to get in touch with the Circles Coop and let us know about the approaches you’re taking, and what has worked for you. We, at the Circles Coop, are always curious about different strategies, and we’d also love to see the types of communities sprouting using Circles. We will soon be in a position to support local economies in various ways.
Read more about how to get organized in our handbook.
Overall, Circles offers a new medium of exchange, very different from any kind of money in use today. It comes unconditionally, and grows in value based on how much stuff a community (businesses and individuals) offers for Circles.
P.S. Sir: Our Coop team consists of mixed genders (in fact we have 3 men in a group of 12), and we would kindly ask you to address us with gender neutral alternatives, such as “Friend” “Circles folks” “Comrades” “Hey there”.
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