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Canadian contest seems a little biased.

Updated on May 12, 2012

A contest sponsored by the Canadian government seems to be biased in favor of big corporations, especially American ones.

On April 5,2012 the Canadian government announced that they were developing a new form of currency. Instead of being printed on paper or stamped on to metal discs like traditional currency, the new currency would be digital, it would exist inside computers and other electronic devices. The new currency would be called the MintChip...'Mint',from the Royal Canadian Mint, which is sponsoring the project, and 'chip',from 'computer chip'. The MIntChip is touted as being "better than cash" and "so simple to use that a child could use it". The Royal Canadian Mint is already developing what they call 'prototypes' of the MintChip, and they have taken out five patents on the technology.

They are also sponsoring a contest to see who can develop the best "smart-phone apps" for the MIntChip. Prizes are a total of $50,000. I looked at a website that had the official rules for the contest, and I learned that in order to be eligible, the software app that you enter in the contest must run on Microsoft Windows, Android, or other similar platforms. No mention of Linux or other open-source platforms whatsoever. The fact that they failed to allow open-source development of MintChip apps shows that they are biased in favor of big corporations like Microsoft.

Then there's the judges. A website called ChallengePost had a list of the judges on it. The contest is being judged by seven judges. Three of the judges are based in Canada, three are based in the U.S.A. and one is in England. All of of the judges appear to be from upper-class backgrounds. All of the judges will probably be biased in favor of big corporations, especially American corporations. Here's a list of the seven judges:

1.Osama Bedier. Vice President of Payments, Google.

2.Ian Bennet. President,Royal Canadian Mint.

3.David Birch. Director, Consult Hyperion, a British consulting firm.

4.Bob Borchers. General Partner, Opus Capital.

5.David Crow. Chief Marketing Officer, Maintenance Assistant Inc., a Canadian software company.

6.Jeff King. Senior Director, X.commerce Platform Partnerships, eBay.

7.Amanda Lang. CBC News Correspondent.

So, the big corporations are well-represented here. One of the judges works for Google, one works for eBay, and so on. I want you to pay particular attention to judge number four, Bob Borchers, who works for Opus Capital. If you use a search engine to find information about Opus Capital, you'll find their website, which says they are located at 2730 Sand Hill Road, Suite 150, Menlo Park,California. The Opus Capital website has a 'portfolio' that lists 21 companies they are involved in, although the level of involvement is not specifically disclosed. Here is a list of the 21 companies listed in the portfolio:

1.AlertEnterprize

2.Arrayment

3.C-nario

4.ChallengePost

5.Clarizen

6.Crittercism

7.Dome9

8.EyeFi

9.FreeMonee

10.GainSpan

11.Jivox

12.Payfone

13.Sequent Software

14.Sisense

15.SolarEdge

16.Space-Time Insight

17.SpiderCloud Wireless

18.Touchstone Semiconductor

19.TrustedID

20.TuneCore

21.Wanova

I want you to pay particular attention to company number four on the list, which is ChallengePost. As I mentioned earlier, the website where I read the official rules of the contest was called ChallengePost. Since ChallengePost is affiliated with Opus Capital, and since one of the judges works for Opus Capital, it creates the appearance of bias. Certainly, the entire contest has got to be biased in favor of Opus Capital and it's affiliates. So, the 'smart-phone apps' they are developing won't be developed as technology for you and me, instead, the technology will be designed to please a small group of people at Opus Capital, and the other big corporations, including Google and eBay.

None of the judges of the contest were members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, none of the judges were members of a labor union, none of the judges were members of a Socialist or Communist political group. None of the judges were members of a humanitarian group, or a community activist group. They are an elite, they are out of touch with the working man, they are out of touch with the average man in the street.

My own ideas for digital currency are a little different from the ones that are being examined by the seven judges. The theory that money is created by the upper class and 'trickles down' to the lower classes is wrong. Money should be created by the working class, and it should trickle up to the upper classes. So,how can money trickle up instead of trickle down? The answer is: technology. In the future, every factory will have a digital time clock. In the past, time clocks in factories only had one function, they recorded how many hours a person worked. In the future, digital time clocks will also create digital currency, so the workers can be paid directly from the time clock.

Think about it. When we think about creating money, we always think of a white-collar worker who is sitting behind a desk, creating money by shuffling papers. After the white-collar workers create money, some of it 'trickles down' to the blue-collar workers. I'm saying that the situation should be reversed. Blue-collar workers would create digital currency by logging hours on the digital time clocks in their factories. They would transfer this digital currency to a USB flash drive, and then take the money to local stores and businesses, to spend it. After the digital currency is spent in local stores and businesses, some of it will trickle up to the owners of those stores and businesses. Since the workers are the means of production, the only valid system of digital currency is a system that provides rewards directly to the workers. The Royal Canadian Mint should be sponsoring an effort to integrate the MintChip into digital time clocks, in factories all over Canada. Labor unions in Canada should demand that digital time clocks in factories should have MintChip apps, so the workers can get paid directly from the time clock, with no need for a bank or bank account. Technology should put money directly into the hands of the working class!

Anthony Ratkov, May 12,2012.

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