What’s the point of Rosca?
Science Fiction has always been one of my favorite genres. I can still remember first reading Asimov with his ideas of a “web” of interconnected computers which people communicated on. I’m still looking for the contact lenses with vision overlays, but that’s another story. One of the concepts that often appears in Sci-Fi is an advanced society where the worries that we deal with on a daily basis are no longer a concern. We know that the average person in 1890 was basically a farmer. That means their concerns were centered around things related to farming. Should I plant this crop or that one? How will the weather affect what comes from the garden? What can I plant to ensure I will have enough to eat and allow me a little profit to get something else? Modern technology allows the common person of 2017 the luxury of not having to worry about these things. We really don’t think too much about whether or not we can grow our own food. However, we didn’t go from farming to Facebook over night.
Personal finance is not something we enjoy dealing with on a daily basis. We do it because we have to, much like the farmer who had to plant in order to eat. If we can apply technology to our personal finance in the same way that we’ve applied technology to food production, there is a good chance we can produce the same abundance. It’s hard to imagine a world where the everyday concerns of personal finance are no longer on the table. I believe we are taking the first steps towards that type of future.
Personal credit is not an evil mechanism on its own. The idea that you would be able to pay for something over time is completely reasonable. The evil creeps in when the idea is used as a predatory mechanism giving the illusion of wealth. A few bad decisions can lead to a lifetime of worry and stress over how we might get ourselves out from under our debt. One of the biggest issues I see is the lack of education regarding personal finance. Making mistakes is part of learning, so why is making a financial mistake so punishing? Maybe we’re not learning from our mistakes. Maybe the entities that control personal finance have a stake in making it hard to recover.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The founding fathers of the United States had this in mind when they produced a series of checks and balances which became the Constitution. If you can spread the power among several people, you are more likely to get a reasonable decision which benefits most people. Our current personal credit system is controlled almost entirely by a few large banks. Their decisions are not often ones that benefit most people. What if we could take a small part of that power, and put it back in the hands of “most people”.
If you take the concept of a Rosca to its end point, you see that people participating in Roscas means people helping other people. If every person used Roscas instead of credit cards, all “interest” would get distributed to other people. Not to a single entity, but to the entire community. If you are in a position to wait for your savings, then you’ll get extra savings. If you need your savings immediately, then you’ll contribute to those who are helping you today.
Rosca is a platform to allow this kind of forward movement in personal finance. By helping each other, we get the power of community, which will lead to better decisions made for the benefit of more people. This is why Rosca is exciting to me. This is why I continue to try and find technological angles to make the Rosca platform more
educational. I can see that future where the stress of personal finance has been eliminated in the same way that the stress of farming has been. I can see that future where the community is rewarded for helping each other, as opposed to being preyed upon by a few entities that have established power.
It doesn’t happen over night. We made a lot of “dust bowl” level mistakes, but we made food production advancements by taking steps. I believe Rosca is taking one of those steps.
Joseph Jones is the CTO of Rosca. — Community Savings - Build credit while saving money.