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Alex Steffen, 30 Jan 04

SmartMobs is reporting the creation of a new open-source, collaborative, peer-to-peer international lending system, called Pennylender. Details are still sketchy, but it sounds interesting:

"What Pennylender hopes to achieve is too enable bottom-up capitalism in 3rd World developing countries and the not-so-wealthy in tier 1 and 2 countries. We plan to do this by creating a financial service that will allow any individual to loan and/or borrow money in a self-contained community-based network, irrespective of economic status, location, or age and without the interference of a central controlling bank or banks.

"The PennyLender framework will empower both people and businesses to control the rates by which money is loaned in society. This will improve not only the rates by which people can loan money against, but will also have the side effect of improving access to capital in all economic tiers in all countries and for any group who is currently discriminated against by banks. This includes the poor and the underage. Our framework is registered under the GPL here."

Anyone know anything more? Do we like this idea? What are its potential pitfalls?

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Pitfalls? The costs of dealing with all the regulations surrounding lending and being a bank comes to mind.

Neat idea, but I don't see any real work done on it - no forum posts, no mailing list, no mentions in Usenet, nothing. I'm guessing it's DOA.

Posted by: dragoon on 30 Jan 04

I don't see this happening either.
It's a very nice idea, but it requires a lot of lobbying and communication to get it accepted, not to mention a solid legal research and study.
It looks to me like a geek's project, as if everything could be solved by a GPL software.
Would'nt it rather be
1. get the idea promoted and raise demand
2. setup an organization to manage the system
3. develop the technical platform to increase audience

Posted by: Candido on 31 Jan 04

This idea is older than Jesus Christ... who described it: "if a person asks for your coat, give your shirt, also. If you are asked to walk a mile with him (as Roman soldiers were authorized to request of any subjugated person), go two." Why must you lend to those in far away places? There are people there to do that. If you would just help those you encounter each day, you wouldn't be setting up these systems and hierarchical structures which then soak up the resources. BE the Good Samaritan and let your light be seen by others who may then do their part. And so the Light will reach to the ends of the earth. Do not WASTE your life/time on yet another institution!

Posted by: Gina2794 on 11 Apr 04



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