UPDATE: Inflekt has pivoted a bit and is now more events and organization focused. I’ll post a full update once I have the full story.
A really cool project built on Ethereum is Inflekt. Inflekt is a community based reputation system that allows facilitates the sharing economy using resources and reputation instead of money. Say for example you have own a pickup truck and another member of your community needs help moving. You can lend your truck (or your time and labor) to help this person, increase your own reputation in the community, and then later be able to use your reputation score to solicit help from other community members for something you need assistance with.
The first iteration of Inflekt will be a simple bank of resources where people can list, browse and find resources available in their community. When you list an item it is given an approximate value. If someone would like to use a resource you listed, they can choose to simply barter with you and give you something that you might value, or that person can choose to deduct points from their community reputation. You, as the giver, will gain points to your reputation system. Charity and kindness are quantified and you are rewarded directly to the monetary value of your generosity.
The whole reputation system is built on top of Ethereum. Reputation points are stored in Ethereum tokens that is used like a mutual credit system. It’s more of an IOU than a currency and the key feature is that actions and transactions are logged so that there is an accurate measure of who did what, and when.
An interesting fallout from this sort of alternative economic organization is that it empowers communities with the ability to assign value. Say for instance you live in a community with very poor health. In theory, such a community could increase the value of providing access health services (with equipment, or rides to the doctor, etc.) or initiating fitness programs, and incentivize community members to participate. Since community members have little control over the cost of goods and services as it relates to the US dollar value, this gives unique authority for communities to decide what is valuable to them and provide services that otherwise would be completely economically infeasible, like say a youth fitness program in a small, poor, unhealthy community. It empowers communities to assign value as it pertains to the ‘good of the community’ instead of value always being assigned by the US dollar.
Inflekt is doing it’s pilot program in Sullivan County, New York. It will be interesting to see where this project goes and how the platform adopts to the needs of different communities.