Payments and finance have continued to evolve since the dawn of money. The shells of prehistory are cryptographic token in the digital age of today.
In medieval times, the counters of grain merchants were the original banks. “Banca” is the Italian word for “bench.” The merchant’s benches were places for holding money against a bill of exchange, which later became known as a check. Originally developed to finance long trading journeys, checks were later utilized to fund the production of commodities.
At the beginning of the industrial age, when the population increased dramatically, storage space to handle grain at harvest time was in short supply. Maintaining sufficient custodial facilities was expensive. The storage problem represented substantial risk for farmers and merchants. The reform movements in the nineteenth century soon realized the storage and delivery of grain was not nearly as important as the ability to hedge the transfer risk. To ensure stable supply and demand for grain, traders invented standardized contracts to sell and buy commodities over exchanges. Farmers were able to find counterparties who would agree to trade grain to be harvested in the next few months. As the credit risk became fungible and could be bought and sold by anyone, financial markets were created that supported the underlying real economy.
At the time, the establishment of agricultural and banking cooperatives set new standards in trading commodities, sharing resources, and giving anyone access to financial services. These new types of organizations supported voluntary open membership, participation by members, and cooperation among members in the ecosystem. Cooperatives to organize common endeavors are known to be democratically governed and community-driven to meet the economic, social, and cultural needs of their members.
In today’s digital age, decentralized applications build upon similar values such as sharing, networking, autonomy, and independence to explore and utilize socioeconomic dynamics that serve the benefit of their users. Plenny underscores these time-tested principles. Given the technological paradigm shift at the beginning of the 21st century, Plenny’s Peer-to-Peer economy is following in historic footsteps. Governance voting is open to everyone and conducted digitally over the blockchain. Also, everyone is free to contribute to the growth of Plenny and benefit from it.