We recently reported on ChronoBank, an Australian-based startup whose efforts have been largely influenced by the sharing economy. Its genesis is tied to what is known as timebanking, a concept which allows participants to swap an hour of work for a time credit.
One of the best-known timebanking systems is Ithaca HOURS, founded by visionary and activist Paul Glover – who is also a consultant for the ChronoBank project. He says there is a fundamental difference now from when he launched his version of timebanking, 25 years ago. “Ithaca HOURS began before the world-wide-web and email. As more commerce moves online, cash is eclipsed by electrons. So I’m looking forward to hybridizing paper, coin, and e-trade,” notes Glover.
The lifeblood of ChronoBank is Labour Hour (LH) tokens, which will be created on a range of blockchain platforms, including ETH, ETC, Waves Platform and others. Each of these tokens represents an hour of labor and will be redeemable with participating organizations.
Australian labor-hire company Edway, which has 400,000 customers, has already signed on to use ChronoBank’s services, with several other large labor hire companies having expressed interest. Because labor hire costs tend to rise above inflation, LH tokens are a store of value that will likely find appeal with cryptocurrency traders. These tokens will also be created for each country since different countries have a different cost of living and average wages.
Comments Sergei Sergienko, who is both the co-founder of Edway and CEO of ChronoBank: “LH’s will trade on our LaborX exchange, allowing individuals and organizations to buy and sell their labor time. However, using a decentralized reputation system, we can make sure that workers are rewarded in line with their expertise, training, and talent, as well as with the cost of living in their country.”
ChronoBank Embraces Ethereum
There are several platforms on which ChronoBank considered in terms of the release of their TIME token. Ethereum was chosen for the following reasons:
Says Sergienko,“Issuing tokens on a blockchain is a simple matter. This will allow us to connect freelancers with employers directly, sidestepping the gatekeepers within the short-term recruitment industry.”
Continues Sergienko: “ChronoBank’s use of time-based cryptocurrencies sets it apart from other initiatives, which typically use a free-floating crypto token as payment. Labor Hour (LH) tokens, by contrast, will track hourly wages in their countries of origin, hopefully contributing to a more stable store of value. These will be created on multiple different blockchains, including Waves Platform, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and potentially bitcoin, via the Omni layer. But for the core TIME token, which will be distributed to investors after the ICO, we have opted solely for Ethereum.”
Sergienko says there were a number of key reasons for selecting Ethereum, the biggest of which was its smart contract capabilities. The goal was also to remove as much human activity and error as possible from the trading and payment mechanisms.
“Every time LH tokens are traded on our LaborX exchange, as organizations buy labor, holders will receive a payout. We intend to automate that as much as we can. Ethereum in our view was the only mature smart contracts platform out there. So choosing it was a no-brainer to us.”
“As a platform that is well-known in the cryptocurrency world, Ethereum enjoys a certain prominence. But more than that, it has some brand recognition in the wider world. Basically, if you ask someone what bitcoin is, they will probably have some idea nowadays. Ask them if they know another cryptocurrency and you’ll probably get a blank look in return. But Ethereum is breaking into the mainstream, it’s getting more and more attention. It won’t be long before it gains greater traction, and ChronoBank wants to be at the forefront of that, offering real-world use cases.”
Sergienko says that there are two additional factors that go hand-in-hand. For starters, Ethereum has excellent liquidity on exchanges, second only to bitcoin, which he says is of critical importance.
“We need that liquidity and interest to create a platform where tokens can trade efficiently, with a minimum of slippage. There’s no point saving money in one area if you’re going to have to pay it back in poor spreads.”
Second is the reason for that liquidity, which is not only the overall awareness of Ethereum but also its highly active community.
“The Ethereum community is large, global and very motivated. They are engaged in the ecosystem, able to critique projects like ours in detail and give us useful feedback. This factor alone will keep us on our toes. There are some extremely talented people out there working with Ethereum, and that gives us confidence that our project will succeed from a technical point of view.”
Recently ChronoBank launched its much-anticipated ICO to fund its marketing and development efforts. The campaign which began on December 15, 2016, and ends on February 15, 2017, has already garnered 2,781 bitcoin.
ChronoBank’s ICO will distribute TIME tokens to investors on the Ethereum blockchain. TIME holders will then be rewarded with transaction fees every time LH tokens are created on their various blockchains, or traded on LaborX.