“Representational Charge”, Amendment 1

Thanks to feedback from Bernard Lietaer, Marco Sachy and Gael van Weyenbergh and learning from Thomas Greco during his UK tour in November 2012, I would like to change the proposed structure of the “Representational Charge” dimension as follows (original article here).

The unit of account (as the only necessary and for some currencies sufficient porperty) is placed in the middle of the “representational charge” dimension with “means of exchange” going towards one end, and “store of value” going to the other.

new “Representational Charge” dimension:

some                       <—–            none      ——->                               full
Means of Exchange              Unit of Account                        Store of Value

This caters to the fact that the “store of value” function is not further removed from the “unit of account” function then the “means of exchange”, both include the “unit of account” porperty. Secondly, this now illustrates how in particular “means of exchange” and “store of value” or conflicting functions that are conceptually and practically incommensurable (despite the common narratives and marketing efforts of many currencies, first of all legal tender). This also makes this depiction useful for the differntiation of “short term credit” (= means of exchange) and “long term credit” (= investement as a form of store of value) as discussed by Greco. Thirdly this gives the possiblity to allow the “unit of account” function to sit in the origen of a typology graph (when a second or more dimensions are added to the representational charge, as plannend in future articles here). And lastly, it allows those who like to exclude non transferable currencies, like reputation currencies, which only serve the unit of account function, to disregard the zero-point of this dimension and only deal with the two opposing porerties to the left or right.

It needs to be noted early, that which ever functions ends up sitting on the left of the “unit of account” function should not be regarded as denominated in negative values and the other in positive values. The descriptors along this dimension only bear relative, not absolute values in regard to the currency thus described.


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