IOU Reciprocal Handoff Network (IRHN)

IRHN is an Idea.

Ideas never die and never can be suppressed forever.

No one can stop an idea who's time has come.

What if we could leverage the simple humble IOU into an absolute revolution in how we trade the fruits of our labor?  What if we could leverage the 'six degrees of separation' into creating the worlds first fully decentralized moneyless payment network?

Are you ready to start truly IRHNing an existence of freedom and empowerment?  So am I.

Money didn't always exist.  Money was a stop gap.  Money was created so we could trade with people we didn't trust.  Money is obsolete.

With the rise in the internet and other forms of long distance communication we humans are connected in a way we never have been before.  We no longer have to do business with people we don't trust.  By leveraging our communication we can trade with anyone on earth through people we all trust.  How can this be?  

We are all connected through 6 people.  I could pick a random name from the heart of china and if we really traced it back there would be likely 6 or fewer people between me and that person.  This means everyone on earth is a friend of a friend  of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend.  Why waste this trusted connection?  Why deal with them as a stranger when we can deal with them as a friend?

An IOU is a promise.  We only believe promises from our trustworthy friends.  If we are connected to everyone on earth by a few trusted friends, then we can pay anyone on earth with an IOU.

Let that sink in for a second.

Here's how it works:

I have 10 trustworthy friends.  Each of these friends has 10 friends.  Each of these friends has 10 friends and so on.  I want to do business with Wei in Hong Kong.  I give my friend a personal IOU.  He gives his friend a personal IOU.  And he gives his friend a personal IOU, and he gives Wei a personal IOU.  There is a chain of each person writing a personal IOU to a friend.  I am not giving an IOU to Wei, his close friend is giving him an IOU.  This works because everyone is giving/getting IOU's that their own close friend is writing.  No one is owing or being  owed something from someone they don't know.  It is always friend owing friend.

Now this would be a great idea but the problem is how do we know which friend to give an IOU at every point along the track so that it makes it to the right person?

Enter Technology.

With a stateful program we can script this interaction to happen automatically.

Basically everyone has a simple app and database.  They plug in who they want to give to and a password.  The person on the receiving end also enters in this identical information.  The giver hits send.  Now their app tells all 10 of their friends the name.  Say his name was 'anonymous bob'. Those 10 friends send out the name anonymous bob to all their friends as well.  And so on untill the entire network hears the name.  Only the real anonymous bob will have the correct password.  When anyone claiming to be anonymous bob hears their name they send back the agreed on password.  Lets call it '123'.  The person who sent anon bob the name now returns the password to the person who told him and so on until the giver hears the password back.  If the password is right the giver knows he has found anonymous bob!  He then gives an IOU to the friend that the password came back through.  And that person gives an IOU to the person the password came to him through and so on until it makes it to anon bob.  Now lets say someone was yanking our chain and kept the IOU without paying one forward to bob.  Simple, bob tells the giver he never got an IOU.  Then the giver cancels their IOU and the person after them cancels their IOU etc.  And they try again this time along a different route and with a different password (don't pass the name through the person who it came back through last time).  What if someone cancels an IOU without telling the person they made it out to?  Well the person they made it out to is a friend and they also have an accounting of how many IOU's they have from you (recorded in their database).  So their program will ask you how many IOU's you issued them and if that doesn't match with how many IOU's they have recorded then they will know you are trying to scam them and will remove you from their network.  All of this happens automatically and is built into the code.  You can tweak your own settings to tune how your program responds to different situations.

This sounds all well and good but what's in it for me?  If you are producing as much as you are consuming the IOU's will cancel out with each other and therefore you will likely not need to ever actually need money again.  What's more, there will likely be a tip or commission added to an IOU that is split among all the people in the IOU chain.  If you have a good network and are having lots of transaction chains going through you, you could collect a bunch of extra IOU's.

IOU's can be cashed out whenever and however the two parties want.  Ideally I would want IOU's to be as valuable to people as a half dime was to people in 1792.  This value can be based on the value in silver now vs then and/or the value of what a nickel in 1792 would be worth in todays dollars.  Splitting the difference in these two ways of calculating leaves us at about 97 cents in 2017.  So I would suggest that people view IOU's having a value of roughly 97 cents just so we are on the same page.  But you are the one writing your own IOU's and you determine the value with the person you give it to.  You two could agree that an IOU can be cashed out for 10 fine twigs or 17 snickerbockers.  It is up to you.  IOU's can be whatever you and the person you owe want them to be between the two of you.  But I suggest we think of them as worth somewhere in the ballpark of a buck so we are all on a similar page.  I want to be clear that IOU's aren't money, they are just an acknowledgment of debt of something that two parties involved agree upon.

And there you have it, the basics of IRHN.  The coding is currently under development so we hope to have some barebones functioning version by 2019.  We each should start our networks locally and see if we can start getting a cohesive network to form.  Let's all start IRHNing!