Developing Time Banks seems unstoppable. They play an increasing role in the parallel emerging economies of those that have nothing to trade. They have just skills, time and willingness to cooperate. It is not far off when their economic impact becomes important.
Their presence may be tolerated for a while. But sooner or later, the establishment that controls the creation of money in the system of fractional reserve banking will react.
Centralized Time Banks
In a centralized time bank, a central server contains a database with accounts of each partner. It also keeps a record of all partners. In some cases, if you use different rates for different services, maintains a list of occupations.
To make a payment, a partner must be connected to the database, where you transfer your account to the account of another member.
All members must connect to perform the operations, with still another login and password.
This database is very costly to maintain. To be useful, it has to be completed with a "job offer" database and some elements of social networking.
Volunteering for an NGO, volunteering for another person, with no accountancy of the value of the trade, is messed up with Time Banking formulas, where there is accountancy of the trade. To make things more complicated this is again further messed up with barter systems of goods and services using whatever other virtual currency.
This architecture is extremely vulnerable. A simple legal action can close the central server and destroy the network created with so much effort.
Distributed Time BanksIt is urgently necessary to use decentralized P2P architectures (distributed) before the centralized structure grows too much.
Each partner retains his/her own wallet, making the system very resilient.
Strong encryption of the wallets may guarantee against fraud. Several solutions exist, and more are on the pipeline.
They offer terrible entry barriers; financial barriers (exchange to legal tender money); effort barriers (mining); technological barriers (advanced IT skills).
Open Social Time Banks
Social Networks provide all the environent that is required around a Time Bank distributed wallet.
They provide the OpenId login, have all the infromation is required to know about and contact each partner. Time Banks can create their closed community as a community within the social network. Most Time Banks are already present in social networks.
Open Social provides an excellent opportunity to create social network applications that are compatible with most social networks.
A gadget representing the partner wallet is very simple.
Hereby a mockup
The mockup in Orkut
Payments appear as actions in the action flow of the social network
The code of the gadget developped so far