New time-banking system utilizes blockchain tech to measure one’s value to society

New time-banking system utilizes blockchain tech to measure one's value to society
Illustration of the time-banking system. Credit: Yu Chen

Citizens from the island of Aneityum in the Republic of Vanuatu are working with faculty from Binghamton University, State University of New York to test their true value as humans.

Yu Chen, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and J. Koji Lum, professor of anthropology and biological sciences, are using a blockchain-enabled decentralized banking system (BlendTBS) to measure the worth of humans in terms of societal obligations and assisting others. Time banking is a reciprocity-based work trading system where hours are used as currency. People offer their skills in exchange for hours, instead of traditional monetary payment.

“Time banking runs off blockchain technology, a program that time stamps and records all necessary data in a secure and transparent way,” said Chen. “It promotes a trustworthy, communal relationship, and peoples’ values are assessed according to how much time they put into activities and contribute services to the community. These values get recorded in the time banking system (TBS), which then allows individuals and organizations to utilize peer-to-peer service exchanges, using TBS time for transaction. This system encourages residents to contribute to the , which then helps foster bonds between .”

Part of the research plan is to run a prototype of the BlendTBS system on the island of Aneityum. This developing region has limited formal education but has access to cell phones, making them a prime field-study spot for the system’s intuitive, icon-driven interface. The Vanuatu-BlendTBS system has two primary functions that will allow participants to exchange time for labor, as well as to reward or penalize pro- and antisocial behavior. Data will…

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