“I wouldn’t give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity; I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the far side of complexity.”Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Well, the journey doesn’t really begin here, as it has been going on for a long, long time. But the work in this location beings here; a waypoint on the journey to more effective and efficient measurement of the world.
Bookkeeping is one aspect of that. At this location, we are working on sharing ledgers.
Innovation in ledgers started with record keeping millennia ago, with various tools to record things. It progressed through to papyrus and paper, and codification in a simple formula of Assets = Liabilities + Equity, with the addition of Equity = the sum of Revenue – Expenses over time.
Automation in the last century allowed for tracking unimagined numbers of things at levels of accuracy never conceived of in the centuries before at ever reducing costs over time.
Now additional efficiencies are likely to be found in sharing data; shared between business partners and other interested parties. Shared, financial data, through ledgers.
The following is proposed as the mission statement of this project:
- Existing financial system technologies are based upon computing capacities and capabilities available 30 to 40 years ago.
- This project will move shared ledger concepts forward, building upon blockchain’s goals, to create an industry basis for a shared ERP environment, at cost-effective scale, starting with general ledger at the core
- This project intends to increase financial system efficiencies, which is a difficult goal given the tremendous focus on cost for years in the existing systems.
- Efficiencies will primarily come through sharing data and processes, which will require standards.
- Making practical standards requires use of them. This project will provide a test environment for developing these standards with multiple organization participation.
- It may result in an initial free service used by individuals and small businesses for sharing financial data and processes.
- And provide a roadmap for growth to larger businesses and for vendors to develop solutions on top of the platform.
- Digitization of currencies leaves large groups of marginalized individuals further isolated from opportunity.
- The ubiquity of computing capacity in phones could be paired with simple financial tools like cash flows, income statements and balance sheets to enable the smallest merchants in the world to join the digital economy and effectively manage their finances.
- Such a platform requires the scale and scope of today’s major data platforms, and the accuracy and security of today’s financial systems at even lower costs.
- This ambitious scope will require a flexible, multi-party, shared approach.
Next Steps, First Steps
The next steps for this project include:
- Recruiting like minded individuals to contribute their expertise and abilities to discovering how to share more effectively.
- Operating Model development for how we interact and progress the project.
- Agreement on if a Universal Ledger might be possible, based upon real examples used in industries today.
- A Simple Data Model composed of major entities and keys to describe a large portion of the economic activity from simple organizations to large, complex ones.
If you’re interested and capable of working in a collaborative way, with an abundance mentality, and enough experience to carry a part of the load, then you’re invited to join us in this stage of the journey.