ChronoBank is a technology company that wants to allow people anywhere to trade their time and respective talent securely and safely in a decentralised, global network.
The main idea of time banking is that labour time is the most important commodity people have. Time-based money and labour notes have been in existence for well over a century, but the concept has been limited in its application by problems around fungibility of labour-based assets. Normally it works in small communities where neighbours help each other out, or it's mostly limited to charities and volunteering.
Australia-based ChronoBank, which has connection to a number or recruitment firms, solves the fungibility problem using its own Labour-Hours tokens on a blockchain.
Alexander Rugaev, ChronoBank CEO, explained how it works: "The main difference between us and traditional time banking is that in traditional time banking one hour of work equals any other hour of work. So one hour of work for a cleaner for example equals one hour of work of a lawyer.
"We have modified it so we use labour hours as stable coins and the price of labour hour is equal to average person hour rates in host country. The British labour hour will be equal to average labour costs in Britain – as far as I remember it's about £14 – and people if they want to buy and sell their time they will use the market rate."
This means that if a UK lawyer charges somewhere between £100 and £200 per hour, in labour hours this will equate to around 20 labour hours. Rugaev points out that pegging prices to market rates for labour removes the volatility problem that comes with cryptocurrencies. He believes Labour-Hours (LH) tokens could become the most sustainable stable coin on the blockchain so far, categorically removed from the sort of stable coins created by basically printing euros or dollars on a blockchain, and holding fiat as collateral in a bank account.
Rugaev said: "We don't use any bank accounts. With customers all transactions are in Labour-Hours and we can sell them and buy them back on blockchain to provide liquidity. Instead of banks we use major recruitment or labour hire companies that actually issue our labour hour tokens."
ChronoBank, which is related to the WAVES blockchain platform and boasts some the Australia's best Ethereum engineers, has serious ties to the recruitment industry. The initial list of companies who agree to compensate workers with LH tokens include Anderson Recruitment and Training, Host Group/Host Labour Hire, AES Labour Hire and Edway labour Hire, as previously reported by Bitcoin Magazine.
Rugaev said: "We want to make short term recruitment as profitable and prestigious as long term recruitment. One of our founders is Edway Group Ltd, one of the largest labour-hire companies in Australia, so we know exactly what the market needs and how to achieve it. We will choose very carefully companies that will be able to print labour hours for people."
The entire ChronoBank project is conceived in two parts. To start with there will be tokens issued; the first will be a crowdfunded token, released at an ICO in December. Thereafter, ChronoBank will create software – ChronoWallets, LH debit cards and middleware for crypto exchanges to provide liquidity – to drive adoption of LH as the national labour tokens in Australia, the US and Europe.
The second stage is the creation of Labour X, a market place where people will be able to buy and sell their labour and labour hours, which Rugaev describes as "a kind of financial backbone".
He said: "LH we will finish we think by September 2017. As soon as phase one is completed, we will start developing Labour X, the most strategic and important part of the project. I expect it will take us maybe a couple of years to develop."