(Thanks to Mark for the great question, which he initially asked in a private social network but was kind enough to repost publicly here. I’m pasting my response as well.)
Mark Frazier, thanks for the comment. In short, yes, those sorts of “money-like” arrangements become possible in a MetaCurrency system. The members of the metacurrency team — in particular Ferananda Ibarra and Arthur Brock have extensive experience with designing and helping run time banks. However, note that there are other types of signals (current-sees) beyond money-like ones that a community can use to steer as well.
Robin Dunbar’s work in Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language has a beautiful articulation of the mechanisms that a group can use to build and maintain “trust relationships.”
One thing that I try to keep in mind about “money” and “money-like” current-sees is that they are primarily about a replacement of personal trust with trust in the currency.
Christopher Allen has some wonderful pieces on his Life with Alacrity blog about how trust gets built (progressive trust) and how group size influences this (this relates to the flow of information within the community). Composable currency systems like those the metacurrency team are working to enable, can change the scaleability of these types of “trust-rooted” interactions.
I’ll be hosting an online conversation on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month from 9:30 AM — 11:00 AM Pacific time. I’ll post a link shortly. Would love to have the participation of any of you that are interested.