Time is money. I’m sure that almost each and every one of us has heard this famous expression and immediately recognized it as an indisputable belief.
“Remember that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labour, and goes abroad, or sits idle one-half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, it ought not to be reckoned the only expense; he hath really spent or thrown away five shillings besides.”
In fact, all societies throughout human history have believed time to be something that has value. Even in Marx’s Capital, we find that in some way, our capitalist monetary system is a form of “timebanking” (Labour Theory of Value), but in a very complex way that introduces new problems and deficiencies. However, in modern societies, time is still not quantified as an effective currency, but rather seen as what measures the value of our labour.
Timebanking and the Sharing Economy
Timebank or timebanking is still a relatively unexplored concept in the world of economics. Timebanking is an economic model where members of an organization or group use units of time in exchange for their services. In this case, time is introduced as a currency and used to pay for services.
In a system where time is used as a currency, anyone is able to offer their services to other members and in return be paid in units of time. And that’s exactly what a new startup called TimeRepublik is trying to introduce; the company wants to promote a global economy of timebanking with people all over the world. Because time is created equal, TimeRepublik challenges everyone to think of exchanging services or value for time itself.
What is TimeRepublik?
TimeRepublik is a web-based timebanking marketplace designed to allow anyone to easily get value from their spare time. TimeRepublik’s primary mission is to offer a completely new timebanking platform. The basic idea behind it is to create a community economy based on hours of one’s time, rather than a national currency. By trading their services with other community members, users of the system earn time credit units or hours. In return, they can spend those credits with any other member in the system by paying for their services with time.
One of the core principles of the TimeRepublik platform is that one hour of anyone’s time is equal to one hour of anyone else’s time with no distinctions whatsoever. Time, unlike currency, is not based on belief. The only thing that everyone in the world seems to agree on is that an hour takes an hour and that there are 24 of them every day.
To get more acquainted with this new concept, Bitcoin.com arranged an interview with the company’s CEO Ted Wallach.
Bitcoin.com (BC): TimeRepublik introduces a mind-blowing new concept where time is the central key. I would like to hear your own explanation of TimeRepublik.
Ted: TimeRepublik is a time banking platform for the global exchange of services using time as a currency. TimeRepublik is a simple, free collaboration engine and Digital Time Wallet for anyone to get the services they need, and build their projects or portfolios using the one currency we all have: time. You earn time by sharing your talents and can redeem what you’ve earned to get the services you need.
BC: Do you think that time can be Tokenized?
Ted: We believe it can be tokenized – we are exploring this today. Currently, our system is built on a traditional database – we see the value in the blockchain and welcome input from the community on how they think time can be represented as a token on the blockchain.
BC: Can you explain how a possible connection between TimeRepublik and digital currency can be made?
Ted: The founders behind TimeRepublik believe in creating a global platform for the exchange of skills and talents using something other than currency. We came across Bitcoin and believe there are fundamental similarities between Bitcoin and timebanking.
BC: Can you comment about the concept of time as a means of exchange vs fiat money?
Ted: With money, we calculate value based on an estimation of potential return on investment in the future. With time, rather than estimating value, we measure the amount of time a given service takes and call that its “value” for our system. Time is a means of exchange rather than money is the principle that drives TimeRepublik. Time, unlike money – is constant and equal to everyone around the world. There is no currency difference and time is distributed evenly no matter the income, status, or wealth. We believe in demonstrating how time – rather than money is a unit of exchange that can power an entire economy.
BC: How can the users take value out of the platform or pay for goods with TimeRepublik’s time units?
Ted: Time can only be earned and spent within the platform of TimeRepublik – each user is given half an hour upon joining the TimeRepublik community. After filling the user profile information, each user can get up to 5 hours. Those hours can be spent or given to other users on the platform in exchange for services such as graphic design, web development, translation, writing, and instruction.
If the sharing economy is our future, TimeRepublik is ahead of the curve. In a time in which everybody is always in need of more time, the company is looking for disruptive solutions to help people optimize their value. By connecting people, helping them to share their skills, maximizing the division of tasks in an already established working community, and promoting co-working hubs, TimeRepublik is already on the verge of accomplishing this new paradigm shift.
What do you think about this new proposal? Let us know in the comments below!