In his book entitled “The End of Money and the Future of Civilization“, Thomas Greco writes about the emergence of a web-based trading platform comprising four components: a marketplace, a social network, a means of payment and a measure of value. Of these, the marketplace and means of payments were highlighted by OCN as the critical pieces needed to bootstrap a mutual credit-based trading system. So from June to November 2019 my colleague, Max Li, and I built a prototype business directory and MC transfer platform, which we called MCCS (Mutual Credit Communication System). MCCS is what is currently live at the OCN Member’s Area.
The prototype was a nice proof of concept, but it was a custom implementation that was really only useful to OCN. Anyone else who wanted to use the software would need to dig into the code substantially if they wanted to change the language, customize any of the screens or modify the signup flow. And integration to any outside services was not possible; there is no way to integrate the MC transfer function into an existing system, for instance, an accounting or bill payment system.
In January we started working on an API that would provide the same marketplace and means of payment functionality, and we completed our work last week. By providing an API, developers who want to create their own front-end user interface for MCCS will have significant flexibility to implement it in whatever way they choose. This means developers can present MCCS in any language, set up their own signup flow, optimize it for whatever devices their users prefer, develop a mobile app, integrate other services such as chat, etc. Importantly, an API enables the integration of MCCS’s functionality directly into other apps (e.g., the ability to import transfer data into an accounting application, instruct mutual credit transfers from an e-wallet application, etc.).
We have released the code under an MIT license, so anyone is free to use and build upon it. We are strong supporters of free and open-source software, and one of our aims is to make it easy and cost-effective to implement a mutual credit marketplace and transfer system.
If you have even just a bit of technical experience, we hope you will take a look at the API server application and try it out. The code, API specifications and documentation are all available in the MCCS API repository on GitHub.
We also have a roadmap of our upcoming plans in the main MCCS repository.
These are just the first of many steps to be taken toward introducing and enabling the use of mutual credit to a wider audience. We look forward to collaborating with you to build a more sustainable and fair economy built on the sound monetary principles of mutual credit.