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The scheme in the example has just the same issue does it not? A balance is a balance. Every system other than a gift economy needs a spreadsheet. What has changed is the rules that apply to balances, and (possibly) the behaviour that follows the change in the rules.

It depends on who has to have the spreedsheet. By issuing physical tokens with a staable value, the users has a very easy way of estimating their holdings. Someone (the cashier/the bank) probably has a spreedsheet to avoid counterfeiting. (And that informational disbalance allows financial tricks and thus theft.)

But a system that demands a spreedsheet per user for the user to understand the value of his or her assets is probably to complex for baby-sitting. The value of time spent understanding the system does not appear proportional to what is won. The idea that everyone can hold perfect information is another of those ideas that give a cover for tricks. Information costs time to acquire and if it does not appear to give an equal amount of time back it will not be acquired.

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by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 17th, 2009 at 08:26:20 AM EST
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