A marketplace for hours as digitally unique objects

UPDATE: it turned out this was too complex. See how it works for the full system.

So, I’ve been thinking about my hours as if they were fungible objects, in which case using an ERC20 token makes sense. But hours aren’t like that, at all!

An hour in my past, like May 12, 1975, is worth very little to a buyer, except as a souvenir. It’s barely worth anything to me, and it’s my life! An hour during business time in North America is quite valuable to most startups and other potential buyers of my time. An hour in the middle of the night Eastern Time might be valuable to Australians and might be quite precious to me.

Hours in the near future (weeks and months away) are probably valuable, and hours years away would be quite speculative.

My friend Boris Mann pointed out the very cool CryptoPunks app, which sets up an automated marketplace for digitally unique items. I think it might be the best possible interface for my hours. Here’s a new design for how Evancoin could work:

  1. No pre-mined tokens! Instead, a token’s value represents the number of hours since my birth. So the current hour at time of this writing is 429000.
  2. Initially, I own all hours.
  3. Someone who wants an hour of my time can put a bid on my time, in exchange for Ether.
  4. The owner of an hour (initially me) can accept a bid and be paid for the hour.
  5. Once purchased, the new owner can make an offer for that hour, at a given price. Anyone can take that offer.

I think this is a very simple system that leaves out a lot of the problems of my previous designs. The two big problems are:

  • I’ll need to have my own user interface to allow people to browse, bid, and offer hours. Since the objects aren’t ERC20, there’s not a UI built into the basic clients.
  • Someone who just wants my time whenever would be a little frustrated. I think we could just do those negotiations out-of-band.

I think this might be the best plan yet. I think my next steps are going to be searching for other marketplace options, and then building a first version based on that code.

3 Replies to “A marketplace for hours as digitally unique objects”

  1. If I just want your time _whenever_ I could bid on lots of different hours, and as soon as one is accepted withdraw all the others. Small matter of programming, hopefully doable by the buyer, assuming the system is reasonably open.

    1. Well, that would probably work. Another option might be a more complicated flow:

      – “I want 4 hours of your time, before Dec 31 2017”
      – “How about 8AM-12PM on October 1 2017”
      – “OK” or “No”

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