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New Century of ECO-MONEY

Cat: Eco.
Pub: 2001
#: 0110b

Toshiharu Kato



New Century of Ecomoney


Toshiharu Kato


  • In June, 2001, the reading circle of IECP (Interprise-Enterprise Collaboration Program) of Glocom was held by Mr. Toshiharu Kato of METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) based on the latest published book "New Century of Ecomoney", which is a sequel to the former book "Ecomoney" in 1998.
  • 2001年6月13日に、経済産業省総務企画部長の加藤敏春氏を迎えて、前回の「エコマネー」に続いて、今般新たに出版した「エコマネーの新世紀」をもとに、その後のエコマネーの発展を踏まえてのIECP読書会があった。 mm

>Top 1. 20th century was a century of money:

  • Etymology of money:
    "Money" is derived from religious relation with God and human being. People have got the idea about clean loan relationship, otherwise could be suffered by accident or misfortune. "Pay" is etymologically common with "Pacify" (means to establish peace or settle of hostilities).
    Properly speaking, transaction should cover not only economic relation but also exchange of values of the communities.
  • The root of metal money:
    There was Sumerian copper money around 3,200 BC, a bunch of wheat ear is described on one side, 'Ishtar', God of love, fertile and war on the other side. Today's US one dollar currency is also written as "In God We Trust."
  • Seigniorage:
    Money varies in its value according to quantity of the production, or publication. Only nation has privilege to publish money; this privilege is called 'Seigniorage', which is legal alchemy. It is said the cost of publication of $100 is only 3 cents; the difference becomes profit of monetary authority. According to BIS, the amount of 'Seigniorage' in 1994 accounts; $30 billion in US, $20 billion in Japan and $12 billion in Germany. US government takes advantage from the position of key currency to adopt flexible money supply policy using such 'seigniorage.'
    • "Seigniorage" means revenue or a profit taken from the minting of coins. Historically it was a privilege or sovereignity of a king.

1. 20世紀=マネーの世紀:

  • マネーの語源:
    マネーは、神と人間との宗教的な関係に由来していており、いつも貸借関係をきれいにしないと災厄に襲われるという観念をもっていた。なお、"Pay"は"Pacify"と語源が共通する。(establish peaceあるいはsettle of hostilitiesの意)
  • 金属貨幣の起源:
    BC3,200年頃には、シュメール人の銅貨がある。一面には「麦穂の束」、他面には愛・豊穣・戦いの神「Ishtar」が描かれている。今日の米国ドルにも"In God We Trust"が記されている。
  • シニョレッジ:
    カネは、生産量=発行量によって、その通貨価値を変える。カネを発行する特権は国家に帰属している。この権限シニョレッジ (seigniorage) 合法的な錬金術である。米国では、$100紙幣の発行コストは3セントであり、この差は通貨当局の収益となる。BISによると、1994年のシニョレッジは、米国300億ドル、日本200億ドル、ドイツ120億ドルである。米国ドルは基軸通貨としての特権的地位を利用し、シニョレッジを通じて、カネの価値を伸び縮み伸縮できる。
    • 「シニョレッジ」(seigniorage)
  • >Top The Key Currency - US Dollar:

  • The total circulating US dollar in the world accounts 3 trillion dollars. The total sum of GDP of all nations is 30 trillion dollars, and all necessary dollars for settlement of world trade is 8 trillion. This situation supports of deficit of US current account ($430 billion). Real crisis in 21st century would be the collapse of 'infinite chain of creditability' by which people believe settlement by the key currency dollar.
    • "Aggregate market value" is focussed as measuring rule of a corporation rather than the amount of revenue and profit. (Investor Capitalism)
    • US has increased its consumption 3% per annum, and 1% of which is derived from capital gain. The US average of personal saving ratio is around 2%. These figures indicate that favorable condition of US economy depends on the eternal raise of stock price. And it is obvious the worldwide floating dollars offsets the deficit of US current balance ($430 billion in 1999)
    • Currency crisis:
      Crisis of European currency in 1992, crisis of Mexican peso in 1994, crisis of Asian currencies in 1997, and crisis of Russian ruble in 1998.
    • When people lose confidence on currency, it will cause real market crisis; especially what if US dollar crisis as the key currency.
  • Countermeasure to the dollar:
    • EURO: capital transaction started as of Jan. 1999. The exchange market with member nations' currencies. Note and coin of Euro are scheduled to circulated as of Jan. 2002, will be unified by Euro in July 2002.
    • A proposal of a new currency "Millennium": Aiming to establish "The Global Central Bank", to disconnect causation by Siniorage and over supply of money.
    • Practical plan: proposed by "Bretton-Woods Committee" composed of US, Europe and Japanese specialists:
      • Step-1: T stabilize each domestic economy of the triad: US, Europe and Japan, aiming convergence of macro economy.
      • Step-2: To establish a new institution to pursue moderate cooperation of global currency like "Target range of exchange market."
      • Step-3: To shift to stricter system of "Gold Standard System without gold", adopting "Common Currency Standard" of the fixed exchange rate for trade among the triad, and realize 'purchasing power parity' through arbitrage of the commodities.
      • Step-4: To establish "The Global Central Bank" modeled after Federal Reserve System of US, to which each member nation transfers authorization of financial policy, and then issue of new currency "Millennium."
  • 基軸通貨ドル:

  • 現在、世界で流通しているドルは、300兆ドル。すべての国のGDP合計は30兆ドル。世界貿易の決済に必要な金額は8兆ドル。これが米国の経常収支4,300億ドルの赤字 (1999) を支えている。21世紀の市場の真の危機は、基軸通貨による他の人がドルを受け取ってくれるという「予想の無限連鎖」が崩壊する危機である。
    • 今や、企業の価値を測る物差としては、売上、利益に代わって「時価総額」が注目されている (株主資本主義) 。
    • 米国は、年率3%づつ消費を拡大してきたが、この内の1%はキャピタルゲインである。 (米国の個人貯蓄率は2%台) 米国経済の好調は永遠なる株価上昇を前提にしている。米国の経常収支の赤字(4,300億ドル/99) を埋めるのが、世界に浮遊しているドルである。
    • 通貨危機: 1992年の欧州通貨危機、94年のメキシコ通貨危機、97年のアジア通貨危機、98年のロシア金融危機。
    • 市場にとっての真の危機は、貨幣に対する人々の信頼が喪失したときに起こる。特に基軸通貨であるドル危機である。
  • ドルへの補完策:
    • ユーロの登場: 1999年1月よりユーロの資本取引開始。参加国通貨との相互交換相場が形成。2002/1よりユーロの紙幣・貨幣が一般に流通し、7月にはユーロに一本化。
    • 新通貨「ミレニアム」の提唱: グローバルな中央銀行の目指す。シニョレッジと過剰供給との因果関係を断ち切るため。
    • 現実案: 米・欧・日の専門家による「ブレトンウッズ委員会」の提言:
      • 第一段階: 米・欧・日の3極が、国内経済を安定させ、マクロ経済の収斂を図る。
      • 第二段階: 「目標相場圏」のような緩やかな国際通貨協力の制度化。
      • 第三段階: さらに厳格な「金なき金本位制」への移行。3極の貿易財の価格水準を固定して「共通の通貨基準」を維持し、商品裁定を通じて購買力平価を実現する。
      • 第四段階: 米国の連邦準備制度をモデルに「グローバル中央銀行」を設立し、各国の金融政策権限を委譲する。新通貨「ミレニアム」の発行。

>Top 2. Change of Money Paradigm in 21st century:

  • Separation of "Value of Exchange" and "Value of Use":
    For each individual"Value of Use" is important, but the market regards "Value of Exchange as important. It is the greatest problems that such separation of value of exchange and value of use occurs
  • Circulation of value of use enhanced by Internet:
    A viewpoint that it is worth using information system rather than owning it like the case of ASP (Application Service Provider). Internet accelerated and enabled to distribute both hardware and software at free of charge except service charges.
  • IP Platform:
    IP became the common platform in Internet environment, on which voice, text, video data are transmitted in the form of modules. Thus IP in Internet looks to function a part of currency in the market.
  • Universal value standard = "Time":
    When value of use begins to circulate, it necessitate value of commodity and service. Time remains as the most universal value. In 21st century we will determine value of use by ourselves based on the common value of time. ("Value of Time)
    • Value of Time can be applicable not only conventional goods and services in the market, but also services by NPO. Internet also can accelerate exchange of personal activities or time.

2. 21世紀: マネーパラダイム変換:

  • 交換価値と使用価値の乖離:
  • インターネットによる使用価値の流通:
  • IPプラットフォーム:
    インターネットでは、IPが共通プラットフォームとなり、その上に音声、データ、映像がモジュールとして供給される。 IPのこのような機能は市場における貨幣の役割の一部と見られる。
  • 普遍的価値尺度=時間:
    使用価値そのものが流通するようになると、商品・サービスの価値尺度が必要となる。最も普遍的な価値尺度は「時間」である。21世紀においては、トキを価値尺度として、我々が使用価値を自由に決めていくようになる。 (Value for time)
    • トキを価値基準とすると、使用価値が流通する対象は、従来の商品・サービスに限定されず、NPOのサービスなどもその対象となり得る。インターネットの機能によって、個人の活動ひいては時間の交換や贈与が促進される。
  • >Top P2P type business model:

  • It is getting critical to acknowledge the change from asymmetry of information to symmetry, from separated image of customers to wired community of customers armed with information and experiences.
    • Mutual reward network:
      change of data flow structure by customers' initiative such as real-time matching, concurrent engineering, and on-demand supply, etc.
    • Shareware:
      If you are satisfactory for the software, the user not only pays for it, but also takes cooperative actions such as request for improvement, comments or words of encouragement.
    • Open Source Software Development:
      developed as P2P business model which makes hardware and software at free of charge, but only chargeable of services related to Linux.
    • Interaction among customers:
      exchange of information or rumor among customers can easily affect demand of the goods or services.
  • Mutual penetration of market and community:
    • Mechanistic market:
      It is assumed that Market comprises economic entities who have complete information. Customers tend to maximize availability, while corporations maximize profit. Information about the market is to be governed by price mechanism.
    • Networked market:
      It is assumed that Information is transmitted imperfectly. Market may drastically vary by change of relationship of each transaction.
      • 'Nash Equilibrium': Each entity estimates economics and society according to its own subjective model, and expects preferable conditions to be realized, but remains having no incentive to alter its decision making.
        However, if the estimate by the entity or related organization changes, the 'Nash Equilibrium' collapse.
  • P2P型ビジネスモデル:

  • 情報の非対称から対称へ。従来の分断された消費者像から、ネットワークで連帯し、情報経験を集積した顧客コミュニティとどうつきあうかの視点。
    • 「互酬」ネットワーク:
    • シェアウェア:
    • オープンソース型ソフト開発:
    • 顧客間インターアクション:
  • 市場と共同体の相互浸透:
    • 機械論的市場観:
    • ネットワーク的市場観:
      • ナッシュ均衡: 経済・社会に関する主観的モデルに基づき各主体が予想し、期待する状態が実現されており、その意思決定を変更させるインセンティブを持ち得ない状態。但し、関係者の予測が変化するとき、ナッシュ均衡も崩れる。

>Top 3. Evolution of ECOMONEY:

  • History:
    EcoMoney evolved from a limit and review of the century of money (=uniform economic value in 20th century). Its concept originates from evaluation of environment and symbiosis with nature other than economics, together with recent trend of less children and aging populations urging us effective care, nursing and educational services in the community; the essence is how to evaluate multi values from multi viewpoints. Hence a new type of money which can mediate such local services has been proposed.
    • Environment: garbage recycling, cleaning environment.
    • Welfare: Mental care service which is not covered by the present care insurance system.
    • Culture & Education: PC literacy, traditional arts and culture
  • Introduction:
    Since 1990s, more than 2,500 communities worldwide adopted local currency (like LETS = Local Exchange Trading System). In Japan there had been no typical movement in two years after 1997 when I advocated Ecomoney concept, but since 1999 more than 100 communities adopted ecomoney in such as Kuriyama-cho in Hokkaido, Chiba, Tama, Komagane, Takaoka, Toyama, Kusatsu, Takarazuka, and Kochi City (as of Jan. 2001).
  • Operator of Ecomoney:
    operated by joint initiatives of local habitants group, local administration, corporation, union and NGOs.
  • Operation of Ecomoney:
    No need of barter trading. At each time of transaction, the member is booked in each account, and is informed of the monthly balance. Even if the balance is minus, there is no duty of repayment, otherwise, which should be recovered the balance through the future ecomoney transaction. Or the neutral coordinator may advise appropriate matching opportunity.
  • Validity of Ecomoney:
    Ecomoney never accrue any interest, if anything, it devalues. Thus there is actually the term of validity. Ecomoney does not represent credit-debit relationship, conversely, it is based on the relationship of mutual trust. Members whose balance is positive after certain period may receive an official commendation.
  • Activities of ecomoney network: (established 1999, shifted to second phase in Jan. 2000)
    • Ecomoney manual:
      Preparation of manuals for introduction of ecomoney, which will be updated reflecting local experiments.
    • Ecomoney Researchers' Network: (chaired by Prof. S. Kumon)
      Study forum or exchange of view by interdisciplinary researchers.
    • Ecomoney Funding Business:
      Collaboration with corporation's social activities, including issuance of 'Eco-point'.
    • Ecommunity Consortium by Corporations:
      Promotion of new business related to the community portal site, Ecomoney Auction site, etc.

3. エコマネーの発展:

  • 誕生の経緯:
    エコマネーは、マネーの世紀 (=20世紀の画一的な経済価値) の限界と反省の中から生まれてきた。それは経済以外の環境や自然との共生、少子高齢化の中での介護・育児・教育などコミュニティの多様な価値を多様なままで評価し、媒介できるマネーの追求が原点となっている。
    • 環境: ゴミのリサイクル活動、環境清掃ボランティア活動
    • 福祉: 介護保険制度対象外の心のケアサービス活動
    • 教育・文化: パソコン教室、伝統芸能等
  • 導入実績:
    90年代以降、世界では、地域だけで流通する地域通貨 (LETSなど) が2,500以上存在し、日本では、私が提唱した1997年以降2年間は動きはなかったが、99年以降、北海道栗山町、千葉市、多摩地域、駒ヶ根市、高岡市、富山市、草津市、宝塚市、高知市など100以上の地域でエコマネーが導入された (2001年1月) 。
  • エコマネー運営団体:
  • エコマネーの運用:
  • エコマネーの有効期限:
  • エコマネーネットワークの活動: (1999設立、2000/1より第二期)
    • エコマネー・マニュアル:
      エコマネー導入のためのマニュアルを作成する。地域の実験結果によりマニュアルが進化する。 (Version-up)
    • エコマネー研究者ネットワーク
      (座長: 公文Glocom所長) : 学際的な研究者の交流の場
    • エコマネー・ファンド事業:
    • エコミュニティ企業コンソーシアム:

>Top 4. Creation of "ECOMMUNITY":

  • Ecommunity:
    "Ecommunity" will be realized at the place where three rings overlaps each other; 1) "Economy" where various community businesses are activated, 2) "Community" where local inhabitants maintain their PPP (Public-private partnership) type activities, and 3) "Ecology" which surrounds the community. This should be a parting words; from 20th century life style of "more goods and energy, less information and services" to more happiness-oriented life style, or "eco-life." To realize this, we should take following stance:
  • Knowing enoughness:
    It is important to know enoughness. Happiness does not exist in richness as a result, but in a process to pursue self-realization aiming richness.
  • Affordance:
    This is meaningful information existed in the environment, which rather exists so locally as to be able to interact with our body.
  • Symbiosis:
    Human being is primarily designed to live is symbiotic environment with ourselves and others.
  • Conviviality:
    Commodity is mediation in essence. It is important to have pure enjoyable time to spend without mediation of commodity. (Ivan Illich)
  • Consistency of word and deed:
    Real citizen-minded entrepreneurs appear from micro-business representing value from organization to personality.

4. エコミュニティの創造:

  • Ecommunity:
    こうして、コミュニティビジネスが活発化するエコノミーと、生活者が帰属するPPP型 (Public , Private, Partnership) のコミュニティ、そしてエコロジーの3つの輪の重なる所にエコミュニティ (Ecommunity) が実現する。これは「モノとエネルギーは豊かに、情報とサービスは乏しく」という20世紀ライフスタイルから訣別し、「幸せ」への目標転換を意味する。そのためには、
  • 知足:
  • アフォーダンス (Affordance) :
  • 共生:
  • コンヴィヴィアリティ (Conviviality) :
    商品はあくまで媒介であって、商品以上に大切なのは、商品を媒介しない純粋な時間の楽しみ方を持つこと。 (Ivan Illich)
  • 知行合一:
    組織から個人へを表現したマイクロビジネス (個業) の中から市民起業家が登場する。

>Top <Cases of Ecommunity>:

  • LETS (Local Exchange Trading System):
    • Canada (Vancouver Island):
      LETS started in 1983, aiming local circulation of money within the region. As a result it realized more autonomous local economy, decreasing burdens to local environment, controlling speculative activities. People who want to be a member of LETS must have LETS account, but LETS cannot be encashed. The balance of personal account is to be open to the public. Tax is also imposed on transaction by LETS. The members tend to buy the necessities of life by LETS, and capital investment by national currency.
    • Toronto dollar;
      which is converted to Canadian dollar with the ratio of 1: 0.9
    • UK: LETS;
      is widely used in 400 regions including Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol.
    • France: 250 regions.
    • Germany: 220 regions including Freiberg
    • Switzerland;
      throughout the country including Basel. Swiss version of LETS is called "WIR", mostly used to settle account between small and medium corporations.
    • US: 120 regions including Berkley.
  • USA: BEV (Blackburg Electronic Village) in VA:
    Started in 1993. Population is 36,000. The local government, Virginia Technology Institute, and Bell Atlantic participated as partners. Intensive interactive communications are held among the community, developing various collaborative activities by the community online which covers about the half of the local business.
  • Canada: CAnet
    Promoted since 1998. The community including local schools, hospitals, libraries installed their own local fiber network, then began to connect each other (Condominium Fiber Plan)
  • Japan:
    • Ooita Pref: COARA local network activity since 1985; then reorganized into New-COARA using Internet since 1990.
    • Toyama Pref: Yamada Village; Community Network activity.
  • "Ecommunity Portal Site":
    organized each habitant to make easy access to economic, environmental and cultural information. The best contents are mutual communication and exchange with other people. (Steve Case, AOL)
  • Real human satisfaction:
    We have believed human satisfaction derived from consumption of depersonalized goods: Contrast with 1) goods and mind, 2) consumption and production, and 3) depersonalized and personalized satisfaction. Hence, we must emphasize mind, human relation, production in the community, and satisfaction pursuing value of personalization.


  • LETS (Local Exchange Trading System):
    • カナダ (バンクーバ島コモックス) : 1983年LETS開始。目的は地域内での資金循環。その結果、地域経済の自律性を高めて、地域の環境負担の低減、投機的活動の抑制となった。LETS参加希望者は、口座開設契約を締結。LETSは現金化は出来ない。個人勘定の残高は公開される。LETS内の取引も課税の対象。生活必需品はLETSで、設備投資等は国民通貨でという使い分けが広がった。
    • トロントダラー;
      (1: 0.9で、カナダドルと兌換)
    • 英国:
    • フランス: 250地域
    • ドイツ: 220地域、フライブルグなど。
    • スイス:
    • 米国: 120地域、バークレーなど。
  • 米国バージニア州、BEV (Blackburg electronic Village):
  • カナダ CAnet構想:
    1998年より推進。各地域の学校、病院、図書館、過程が自前の光ファイバを引いて地域ネットワークを構築。それらを相互に接続。 (コンドミニアム・ファイバー計画)
  • 日本:
    • 大分県、COARA: 1985年より。1990年からインターネット活用したニューCOARAに発展。
    • 富山県、山田村: 電脳村。Community Networkを稼働。
  • "Ecommunity Portal Site":
    「人々にとっての最高のコンテンツは、他の人々との対話と交流である。」 (Steve Case, AOL)
  • 人間の満足度:
    1) モノと心、2) 消費と生産、3) 没個性と個性。従来型は、モノの消費によって得られる没個性的な価値。これかは心を重視し、人間関係やコミュニティへの生産に関与し、個性を重視することによる満足の追求。

>Top 5. Theme of ECOMONEY:

  • It is the local people who issue and operate ecomoney by the local organization. Value of exchange is needed in case of transaction of multi-valued goods and services between buyer and seller. The most reliable measure is "value of time." Activities of NPO or volunteer could not be exchanged in the conventional market, but which could be possible in the Internet exchanging in term of such value of time. Thus time becomes a kind of resources ('Time revolution")
  • In the actual transaction, multi prices of goods and services are determined by the spirit of mutual reward within a certain range (say, double) of time value. Such fluctuated value could well reflect each labor skillfulness. Japan has 'Yui', mutual aid system, which has based on a similar tradition of mutual dependence and wisdom.
  • Traditional money has three basic functions: 1) means of exchange, 2) means of calculation, and 3) mean of storage. On the other hand, ecomoney has different functions; which will not accrue any interest and could devaluate according to time. As ecomoney has a value of limited duration, it is not worth depositing it. Ecomoney should be spent on investment, which will become a kind of social investment. Transaction via ecomoney could not be a credit/debit relationship. It is based on mutual creation of trust among the members. And it it more important to have the viewpoint of creating innovation how to promote the society, rather than to replace or recover defects of the conventional money system.

5. エコマネーの課題:

  • エコマネーは、地域の生活者自身が発行し、住民主体の組織で運営される。一物多価の取引を相対で決める場合、売買の間の共通の価値尺度が必要となるが、最も信頼されているのは時間の要素(Value for time)である。現在、市場で交換価値のつかないNPOやボランティアの活動は、インターネットによって時間の交換・贈与が可能となり「トキ」が資源となる (時間革命) 。
  • 実際には、一定のゆらぎ (2倍以内) の範囲内で「互酬」を背景に一物多価の価格が構築されていく。ここではゆらぎの値づけの方が、労働力の熟練度など個々の状況を考慮しており、むしろ不満が少ないという日本の「結い」の知恵が生かされている。
  • 従来のマネーには、1) 交換手段、2) 計算単位、3) 価値保蔵の3大機能があるが、エコマネーは、貯めても利子がつかず、あるいは減価するという有限の価値である。このため、エコマネーを資産運用する意味がなくなり、中長期的な投資は消費を通してある種の社会資本が作られる。エコマネー取引は債権債務関係ではなく、メンバー間の信頼醸成が前提となり、重要な点は、従来のマネーの欠点をリプレースすることではなく、社会をどう発展させるかというイノベーション生成の視点である。
  • Ecomoney, Ecology, Economy, Ecogenesys, Ecofeminism, Ecofair, Ecolaw, Ecoclimate, Ecofallow, Ecodevelopment, Ecomanagement, Ecomone, Econiche, Ecodoomster, and Ecommunity, ........
    all are Eco-conscious Ecofreaks' terminology.
  • EC0-XXXが、21世紀のキーワードになると思う。
  • Homo-Ecosなる新たな人類が誕生することを期待したい。

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