Have you looked at Open Transactions?
Not yet, but I soon will.
Because Open Transactions didn't really have markets yet when I went looking, and because I only have one incoming port, already in use, I have so far been using IRC bots. I have had difficulties in the past in reliably getting hosting that can run stuff I compile myself and wasn't ready to splurge on a high end hosting solution, plus I don't like the idea of running financial applications on servers that someone else physically controls.
How about a simple server on your own system, just for your code and have the hosted web server, pull the CGI calls from downstream? I know you can get separate virtual IP services. Or maybe just putout for a fixed IP. You should get enough bandwidth for a proof of concept. Then donations for the upgrade. If it looks like your doing something useful (and it does), hell what's wrong with a little begging?Just look at my sig.
What I have done so far is simply open for each type of currency or share an account in each of the others, so that for example any bitcoins someone exchanges for General Mining Corp (GMC) shares go into General Mining Corp's bitcoin account, any Britcoins (UKB: United Kingdom Britcoins) someone exchanges for General Mining Corp (GMC) shares go into General Mining Corp's britcoin account and so on.
Yup! Sounds like it would be an approximite work-a-like to the concept I had in mind, unless its not a P2P client. We really need a block chain for proof of work.
The bots thus act as kind of asset reserves, each asset type having its own reserves of each of the other asset types with which it can "back" itself (by using those reserves to "buy back", aka "redeem" it own shares/coins).
You got it goin' on dude. Proof of concept is eminent.
The main test/demo bot is NickelBot, which lurks in various #bitcoin-related channels on Freenode IRC.
I am also partway through coding a simple perl bot for Crossfire RPG that uses the same back-end shell-scripts as the IRC bots to make similar functionality available inside the RPG (Role Playing Game).
Somebody round here is working on (or made) an interface for actually using bitcoin for trading in game. I s'pose it just monitors the game units of credit and passes the bitcoinage on in proportion to any trade it makes in game, like playing poker with match sticks over the table, while passing money under it.
Open Transactions uses a package that can create RPC stuff for many languages, so I am also partway through putting an Open Transactions client into an eggdrop IRC bot using tcl rpc calls.
Sounds great. Dunno what 'eggdrop' is (other than how you make breakfast when you wake up still drunk). You can go almost anywhere with RPC though. But IRC for the P2P seems like a bit of a fudge. Still, would show how the system functions from a users POV.
As more and more asset types based on bitcoin code come into existence all the time the need for systems to handle trading between any and all of them keeps growing. I originally stumbled upon bitcoin while searching for forex-and-commodity market system sourcecode.
It's like watching raindrops before the ground is completely wet, just before the advent of a torrential downpour. Just began inquiries about forex myself, which I discovered, as I tried finding ways to liquidate bitcoin for pig penny's. Never got around to opening the practice trading account though. I'm too busy with bitcoin ideas.
at that time I had been working on IRC bots and Crossfire RPG bots that would automatically trade, basically all sitting around chatting about various stuff they have in various warehouses on various planets, or in various stashes requiring various amounts of complicated/expensive shipping to move them from one repository to another, wheeler-dealing with each other each trying to increase its player/owner's holdings of whatever assets/items/currencies that particular player happened to want it to maximise for them.
If you could get them to reproduce, you could get some of you best game playing years in for centuries after you kick the bucket. If the humans go extinct after killing the wildlife and environment, your bots could be playing away for who knows how long in solar powered homes where PC's got left running.
Shifting focus to abstract units of value such as bitcoins is actually a bit of a simplification compared to my original aim which had been complicated by transport costs and amount of time needed to transport stuff and of course also even the potential for bad things to happen enroute (cutting off of supply lines, bandits lurking along the trade routes etc).
It's a simplification to getting loans, making payment by credit card and using PoxPal too.
Wait till it's fairly liquid. I used to play TTD/OpenTTD a lot. Just realised you could to the same sort of thing with that.
I am not a big fan of forcing everything to be priced/valued in terms of just one thing. In my Digitalis D'ydii Cluster on BBSes decades ago I always allowed players to pick any item from price lists to use as measure of the price of everything else, so that for example a player interested in obtaining tons of fuel to get the heck off the planet could view everything's value in terms of tons of fuel, or a player interested in shipping stuff could view all values in temrs of tonlightmonths of transportation or whatever.
There's a very good reason for implementing this common denominator system. More than one actually. Firstly, BTC is the one which will be available to all nodes and the only one which is instant free P2P digital currency. If there has to be a unit that all are measured in, then BTC is the one. The reason there must be a single common unit, is so that the trading between bitstock and bitcoin are kept in sync. The bitcoin economy is a closed loop (with respect to existing bitcoin at least). bitstock is closed too but only with respect to all other bitstock. Bitcoin are not on the same tally sheet. You cant take wheat say, as payment for bitstock. Why? Because wheat or candy, or horse poo, cant be made accountable. Shareholders have to pay for bitstock with bitcoin, for the sake of accountability. So company owners have to buy with bitcoin, so the books will balance. And if they don't the public record will show. That's OK for honest companies, because one of the many things they can buy, is other currency. It's no problem even to automate trades for reasonable margins to maintain a predictable float of working capital.
Also the tax man should love this (and get off bitcoins back). Anybody who says bitcoin is too anonymous, and cant be held accountable is wrong. If you have a P2P stock exchange system and double entry account balancing between a single currency's economy and the commodities/stocks/assets of the company listed on this single exchange economy, you can always keep stringent control in real time, of whether the books balance. Governments can audit with a bot and get off the honest guy's back. NOW! Once they are satisfied that bitcoins can be accounted for, they may just turn on the fed (their ruthless captors) and run to bitcoin for cover (and revenue). Having one unit of trade, either in or out of the bitstock network is a seriously major feature, because it keep all company equity to a known value.
Besides, there has to be some rule that regulates how and when the client node gets to write bitstocks into the network. When they are created, they need to also be like bitcoin, and not be like fiat money. The asset type or commodity they're paid for with, needs to be of a fixed limited quantity. all other commodities / currencies are unknown variables. You cant tell how much wheat (or oil, or orange juice) a company has. If opens to trade, it had better offer what it has in bitcoin. or else it wont be counted as an asset. Owners can value and buy with bitcoin, into their own existing assets, to float bitstock for sale and to show true company value. Otherwise the shares will be less attractive.
For over a decade now, I have toyed with a technological idea for a processing system to harvest honey. I used to keep bees as a young lad, and combined a few ideas to avoid heat and ventilation issues. That made it feasible to incorporate a molded wax frame, timber-less frame and disposable honeycomb system, to avoid expensive equipment costs in making frames and extracting honey. Instead of a complex centrifugal extractor, lots of handling (uncapping loading extractors etc.), the comb could be simply squashed to release the honey and the wax melted down for re-molding and for an added cash crop of wax. That coincided with growing concerns over health regulations as each beekeeper tended to run their own extracting plant and the conditions were not always perfectly sanitary. My system afforded itself to mass production and outsourcing of the extraction with much better efficiency. A larger scale plant like this would put such a company between the beekeeper and the large honey wholesalers.
Then a few years back, the prices went through the floor. Beekeepers couldn't sell their produce for the cost to bring it to market. This was strange as the prices on the supermarket shelf was still about the same. It all came down to greed and market monopolization. I considered if I could ever be in the position to set up the honey plant, how I could restore the balance. How it could be financed without going to the banks. The beekeepers, I decided, would have to be shareholders. But being cash poor they would be just as stuck. I realized that if it could be done it would be something like a cooperative. It then struck me, to permit... no INSIST, that equity in the company could only be paid with honey. I would sell shares not for money, but for honey. The beekeepers would have the upper hand and the marketers would have to by honey at a fair price. They could not buy shares on the open market to 'future proof' their monopoly either.
I never went further with this idea for lack of numerous needs and other interests, but it always reminds me, that any commodity can be traded as currency in a controlled system and demand for that commodity can be created if you would trade company equity for it. The simplest implementation of a bitcoin like network, struck me as a way to distribute units representing company shares that could be bartered for any commodity or currency you want to create a demand for. In this case the software will require require bitcoin to be paid for with bitstock and vice versa, because the ability to account with a single common denominator in a zero sum network is the way we keep the books balanced at all times.
So I really do not find your insistence on making everything be valued in bitcoins appealing. Everything should be valued in terms of everything else, or at least in terms of anything else. (All pairs, maybe, really, to make a full spread of forex/shares markets?)
be valued in terms of everything else though. By using a common denominator (that is - common to all), each commodity may float freely as market demand would dictate, but at any given time, they will ALL have a relative value to each other, which can be calculated by converting to a common reference value. Anything that goes up 3 BTC, will also go up by 3 BTC relative to everything else. The software can and would, still show all manner of comparisons and even incorporate an embedded spreadsheet or dynamic tables. You may even be able to buy a quantity of A for an equivalent quantity of C, while bitccoin B is used by the buying node, to pay for the commodity you are trading, then in exchange it is passed directly to the the node with the commodity you wish to buy, who will automatically trade C for exactly the same amount of bitcoin. To you it will seem like you simply bartered some A for some C and your bitcoin balance B, will remain just the same. But even a balanced swap will cause a matching set of transactions, that will create events broadcast to all nodes using bitstock. This way all nodes can evaluate the network data for any commodity they might care to monitor. Your own portfolio would have rich real time budgetary details, for each company who's bitstock you hold. Other commodities like gold, wont have budgets but may have other useful performance statistics.
But dude, I gotta say, you got some pretty good background for a project like this. Maybe you should wind down the in game 'toy currencies' and play in the big sandpit. Of course monetizing games would still be a good lead in path for both gamers and software companies to accept licence payments. They also have some of the best commodities to trade online, being that they're digital and all.
Gets interestin' dont it?