Further aspects of the Grok
Amount of Groks in circulation
In the above respect, the Grok is what the authors like to call a necessity money: It is created as needed by the market participants themselves in the moment that goods or a service are remunerated. The amount of Groks actually in circulation thus need not (and indeed cannot) be centrally controlled.
One of the provisions considered to provide adequate liquidity was the direct sale of Groks (for payment in national currency or in kind). If a market community adopts this method, then not all Groks will come into circulation as negative account balances – the sold ones will be there as a positive sum over all member accounts. This is an important point to note:
- Purchased Groks appear as positive balances on members accounts, i.e. they are immediately subject to the circulation safeguard fee – independent of commercial activity.
- Groks created via a creation facility only come into existence as required, to remunerate a transaction; until that moment, the potential to create Groks is not subject to any fees.
So while the former – sold Groks – will tend to force commerce since subject to demurrage, the latter – created Groks – will not necessarily force activity, but rather will allow the circulation safeguard fee on positive balances to do its job of pushing all balances towards zero (since the total balance is always zero, it indirectly also reduces negative balances). Balances around zero may mean balanced giving and taking – or simply lack of activity.
We have not however included the sale of Groks in the list of recommended liquidity measures for two reasons: Firstly, it would introduce a new variable of control over commercial activity which would more likely be decided by the council of control and decision rather than the general meeting, making contention more likely and understanding which factor has which influence more difficult; and secondly, and not less important, then the alternative currency has been created by sale for national currency rather than in exchange for the rendering of goods or services, which is much more likely to give you a headache with your fiscal authorities (you would likely be regarded as a bank rather than a barter ring).
The sum of all the positive balances of Grok accounts is at every moment equal to the sum of all the negative balances, providing that all system accounts, e.g. those gathering fees, are included.
The maximum amount of Groks which can come into circulation is limited by the sum of the creation facilities of all accounts.
Both the maximum amount of Groks available and the amount currently in circulation may be viewed by the members of the market community at any time.
The Grok can not be converted directly into pounds or dollars. There are however two indirect ways to move from Groks to national currency:
- If a member has Grok creation rights then she can sell them for national currency. Note an apparently small but legally very important point: This is not an exchange of Groks for national currency, but only of the right to create Groks for national currency. The sellers creation facility will be reduced by the amount of rights sold. The transaction is only possible if the sellers balance is not lower than her post-sale creation facility would be.
- If any member, or the ReeComm itself, offers joint-ownership certificates of the CPO for sale against Groks, then these can be purchased and subsequently sold on the pound or dollar based market. Note that (only) for certificates with the entitlement to vote the approval of the CPO is required.
With all but one of the suggested securities for creating Groks a corresponding value is, or has already been, transferred to the CPO for long-term investment in sustainably run local assets (the exception being affinity groups). Thus it is fair to say that the Grok is underpinned by the assets of the CPO. It is not however a commodity-backed currency since Groks cannot be redeemed to any of these assets.
Groks may (only) be lent from one market member to another interest-free. Assuming the loan is granted from an earnings (positive) balance, the lender thus avoids payment of the circulation safeguard fee.
Every form of banking activity using Groks (e.g. collecting deposits, re-lending borrowed Groks, charging of interest on Groks, exchange for pounds / dollars or other market currencies), and the participation in such an activity initiated by others, is not allowed.
This is to avoid the slippery slope into the widely known problems of the financial sector. A secondary and desirable effect of this could be that the market communities will not have to be under the supervision of the authorities regulating banking in your country – but this must be decided by the pertinent national authority. See also: Respecting national laws.
If a trade account with a creation (negative) balance must be closed, the first option for the account holder (or her heirs or legal representative) is the purchase of the required amount of Grok creation rights for national currency, and their subsequent sale for Groks. This has the advantage of permanently adding more value to the ReeComm. Failing that, and the account has been secured by the deposition of joint-ownership certificates, then the CPO must take possession of the corresponding amount of them. To bring the account balance exactly to zero it must be possible to possess a fraction of a joint-ownership certificate.
For this purpose the CPO maintains a holding account, which is exempted from the circulation safeguard fee. It is used to perform the purchases of (partial) joint-ownership certificates; the account to be closed is credited correspondingly and can then be closed.
The purchase is performed with Groks, irrespective of the fact that the original purchase was for national money, and the holding account goes that much (more) into a creation balance. The negative balance of the holding account is offset by the joint-ownership certificates now owned by the CPO. If the CPO is not legally entitled to hold ownership of itself (this will vary by national law and depending on the actual financing instruments in use), then the holding account can belong to a trustee. The holding account could in that case be called a trustee account.
The CPO (or trustee) has the option of selling the joint-ownership certificates acquired in this way in full or part for Groks. This offers participants of the market community an interesting alternative method to become members of the CPO (i.e. for Groks rather than for national currency).
Since certificates of joint-ownership – i.e. of sustainably run local businesses – can be deposited as security for a Grok creation facility, one function of the Grok is in fact to actively further sustainable ways of doing things. This is so because the purchase of assets must first be financed before the corresponding certificates can be deposited to permit the creation of Groks.
The rules proposed above prevent overt banking-type activity with Groks, and should also prevent covert activities of that type on any larger scale – remember that we are talking about a regional community of maximum 40 km radius, people know each other here. On an individual level, it's true that the rules cannot be effectively enforced. However, it would require deceptive intent on the part of an account owner to break them. Said owner has (a) signed the behaviour codex when joining the market community; and (b) two intercessors, personally known to herself, to whom she may then have to lie.
In any case, practically any system can be perverted or circumvented given enough criminal intent – but the current system literally both embodies and encourages unethical behaviour to a ridiculous degree (wealth concentration, speculation etc.). Since it's theoretically impossible for any currency system to be completely watertight, obviously Groks can't be – but they for sure do knock the stuffing out of fiat money. Just remember that compound interest is, mathematically viewed, an exponential function, so let's embrace Groks instead!
You can read more about fiat money and the Grok in the currency section of this website.