Read an interesting essay today on the potential for local currencies, bucking the (arguably destructive) trend towards national and international currency. The basic idea is that the purpose of the bank and the state (so far as it issues money) is to enforce scarcity by controlling the money supply.
“So when the bank verifies your ‘creditworthiness,’ it is really checking whether you are capable of competing and winning against other players [in the competition to accquire money]” certainly hits the mark — and explains why banks (certainly those in the U.S.) hold discriminatory practices towards racial minorities. It’s not so much that the banks themselves are racist, but that banks recognize that existing racial discrimination in society handicaps the discriminated-against in the competition.
It’s an interesting position, that banks are simply institutionalized forms of betting on poor people in a global competition for money. I’d never heard it put that way before, but like most subtle truths, it seems vaguely familiar :-).
Anyhow, I got to that article from a link considering using FOAF to create a decentralized currency based on the web-o-trust model.
Personally, though, I think any large-scale free-credit schemes (as posited by Proudhon , among others) will follow the same path as the one in Argentina: great at first, until those who are totally immerred into the rape culture (which may sound silly given PCU, but actually fits the present western civilization’s approach to life rather well if you try to think about what all is implied by the term) realize they can get over on such a system.
The next logical step beyond money will (I think) be a combination of large-scale automation and bartering. That is, merge the technology of capitalism with the spirit of communalism, jettisoning the greed and scarcity of the former and the primitivism and tribalism of the other.