As always, early in the morning Tom Ledger left his house and headed to the office through a wonderful park using his electric scooter. He was listening to his friend’s new podcast about the recent investigations of human DNA and the discovery of new spirals. Eventually, there are 12 of them, not 2, as the scientists thought just a few years ago. But then something unusual caught his sight. On the bench, in the farthest corner of the park, there set an old man. He had a beautiful black hat, which previously Tom could only see in old movies. A tidy clean costume and a white shirt. A little tan face and blue not too big eyes, which he gently directed at Tom. The attention of the latter completely switched to the stranger, and he no longer heard the friend’s voice. He stopped and took the earphones out.
- Hi! You must be Tom. My name is Henry Mitchel. Finally, I found you.
- Good morning! I don’t think we met, but your face seems familiar to me.
- I knew your father pretty well. Thanks to him I am here now. Last time we talked he asked me to find you when you turn 23. He said you can show how to live in an open community. In a community with no limits for creation. In his own times, he tried to explain that everything you, Tom, have for now is the reality, which is one step away. For me, it was an interesting fairy tale then, and I did not pay too much attention to it. My mind was not ready, and even now I can hardly accept it. I have come on a long road to get here. And finally, I quit public service I gave most of my life to.
- Let’s go, Henry, I would like to buy you breakfast in a coffeehouse not far from here. I guess you haven’t eaten anything since yesterday’s lunch on the plane.
- You’re right, - Henry silently answered, trying to hide his amazement.
5 minutes later the men were already sitting in a cozy cafeteria. Henry was used to waking up early, but he had never seen so many people at this time of day. Fresh fruit, 2 cups of flavored coffee, 2 orange juices and a hot sandwich were on the table.
- I will have only fruit and coffee. And you should eat well. Right now you can feel no hunger, however, it is not completely true, - Tom answered a silent question about only one sandwich.
- In our country, - Tom continued like he did not notice all the questions in Henry’s eyes, - I do not pay for food, in the classical sense, for a long time already.
Tom put his phone close to a small diaphanous window in the table, which Henry noticed only now.
- Technically payment transaction has just happened. But the money was taken from my bonus account. It was automatically converted into the currency of this institution.
- Coffeehouse currency? How is it even possible? – Henry could not understand. Tom continued.
- Let me show you a visual comparison. Look, you know the system you live in very well. Your canteen, where you’ve been eating for the last 20 years, has a so-called loyalty program. And you are already used to eating with an 80% discount every Friday. However, if you are on a business trip on Friday, your discount is no longer available on Monday. A little vicious circle. Also, our country has gained some freedom of speech. You already have a bunch of alternative information sources you call blogs. This gives you more possibilities of information exchange. You are just one click away from any information. Of course, there is censorship, as not very well developed communities need it. But, for example, if your daughter lives in another country, you would face numerous difficulties sending her money for studying and pocket expenses. The government is still spasmodically trying to control this area. Generally speaking, the planet inhabitants now live in two types of countries. The first one includes the countries with open value and bond system with free decentralized economy, honest politics and open creation takes place. Here, each business and almost each citizen have their private money. Everybody knows and sees clearly when and where the taxes go. The system itself includes a number of open and, most importantly, safe subsystems, mutually integrated among each other. The second type of countries is closed with centralized propaganda. These countries are still standing on the stair of greed and unhealthy rivalry. Leaving here is also complicated because of bad ecological conditions. And I am not the one to tell you how hard it is to leave these countries.
- I have already learned something about this from not very “legal” sources. But seeing it myself during the last few hours…I am out of words. Tom, can you tell me, how can it be, that the transaction was completed, but you did not pay anything?
- Of course. There is almost no commission for these transactions. I travel a lot. Carriers and airlines send their bonuses to my account. Each in its own currency. Also, the clients of mine whom I make musical instruments for, almost always give me tips after the first play on my instruments on their performances. All this money is accumulated on a special account. And every time I use this account to pay for food or parking, wherever I am. At the end of each month, the algorithm sends all the money that has left to the funds supporting ecology on our planet. The latter is my personal decision. You can set everything up to your needs. And the main income usually goes for self-development, arts and scientific activity. This is all so clear and simple for us now, as it is for your wife to speak with her daughter via video calling. You are only about to enter the open internet era. While we live in the internet of money era.
Henry could not take his eyes off Tom so that he did not even notice swallowing his sandwich. A little later, when the information was more or less digested, he set to his coffee. He was not into fruits whatsoever, but orange juice was on point. He never thought these two tastes worked so well together.
- After breakfast, I am going to bring you to my father. I am sure you have many things to discuss.
All the characters are fictional. The coincidences are accidental. Copying is allowed only with a direct link to the source.