Presenting Circulex!

Ladies! Gentlemen! Small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri!

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to the ripening fruit of the Caped Gooseberry’s teeming brain: circulex.

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Pause in your wild cheering for a moment, and cast your minds back to earlier this week, when I asked you to consider how it would affect you if you were required to pay to send emails across borders – and the longer the email the bigger the cost.

It seems rather ridiculous – who would put up with such a thing, in this digital hyperconnected age? – and yet this is the situation we face with making payments across borders.

To send twenty dollars to a friend in Christchurch costs me nothing – nor should it. It is, after all, a mere flicker of electronic communication. And yet, if my friend was not in the South Island Christchurch but in, say Christ Church, Oxford, in the UK,  it would be another story.

The cost would be considerable, including as it would cross-border fees and exchange rates tilted to the profit of the financial institutions involved. All this would be deducted from the twenty dollars, and one shudders to think how little of the initial amount would arrive safely in the bank account of my hypothetical academic friend.

It would be rather like sending someone a birthday cake, and having it arrive minus a couple of nice fat slices. Every. Time. Unless, of course, you send an extra cupcake or two to sweeten the deal.

A horrible thought, is it not? A hijjus cake-tax! And no way around those hungry mouths in the middle, because any way you turn there’s another hungry mouth. (Mouths which, may I point out, swallow billions of dollars of profit every year.) If you’re anything like me, a sense of ire is justly rising. Where, we demand, is the fair go for the ordinary person?

You may now resume the wild cheering, for circulex is the solution to these problems. Or at least, it will be when it’s finished and turned into apps and so on and so forth. It is, to quote its inventor, “a work-in-progress protocol for decentralized payments. It aims to allow cheap, fast, private payments across any currencies and any borders, by constructing circular exchanges through chains of human trust.”

Need that unpacked a bit? I don’t blame you, and I have therefore here inserted a video prepared by the aforementioned multi-talented Caped Gooseberry, so he can explain it to you himself. In verse, because why not? Take it away!

Circulex donation request from Tim Makarios on Vimeo.

If you are in the market for more information, pop across to to read the poem, look at the draft protocol (if technically inclined) or just say Ooh in an impressed manner. Donations of cake always welcome 🙂

2 Replies to “Presenting Circulex!”

    1. In a sense, although the hawala system is equally modern-day. It’s just a natural human urge to get things done by network 🙂

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