The ability to capitalize one’s wealth by putting one’s assets up as collateral is a key source of social and economic power in capitalism. The collateral question is really a question about who gets to determine what “assets” are, and how they can be utilised for leverage. In the existing economic space workers’ primary asset - their labor power - is only collateral in the context of slavery: the capacity of the employer (owner) to use the worker as collateral; not the workers’ capacity to use what they are capable of as collateral. The collateral question is the financial version of ‘class’. In postcapitalist economic space, all Agents can issue assets to be used as Collateral and central amongst these will be Stake: agents will use the stake they hold as collateral, and lenders can determine credit limits on the basis of the valuation of stake. The construction of a Protocol for distributed determination of collateral is the key challenge to the current capitalist order. It is the centrepiece of our strategy for a distributed economic system.

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