I'm looking forward to BarCampBankLondon4 on Monday, where we'll be exploring the impact of complementary currencies on the financial services landscape and the kinds of financial organisations needed for the new economy.
At the heart of many initiatives is the ability to cost-effectively and efficiently match those with surplus resources - e.g. cash or time - with those who need it, in a form that is consumable and takes account of the risks/rewards to both parties.
Liquidity is of course key - without adequate supply and demand there won't be a sustainable market for the resource in question. Yet most of the peer-to-peer initiatives are complementary rather than competitive, which also prompts consideration of the extent to which different initiatives might share platforms to reduce costs and access economies of scale more quickly than if they were separate. That would extend to marketing, customer service as well as the technology. A shared home page and familiar set of market rules could make it easier for more people to participate, perhaps offering voluntary time in one market, donations in another and loans in yet another.