The grid of storage servers which contribute space for clients to use is a common good—all clients benefit from capacious, reliable, well-performing servers. One way to manage this common good would be integrate a payment system, such as MojoNation did. Many Tahoe-LAFS hackers are very interested in Bitcoin as an option for that. But another—perhaps complementary—approach is community socialization. Elinor Ostrom was an economist who won the Nobel Prize for investigating how groups of people in the real world manage shared resources. Her results are inspiring! Maybe not all resources are optimally mediated by economic transactions between passing strangers.

Here is a podcast of a couple of economists discussing Ostrom's work:

In the context of Tahoe-LAFS, Brian has summarized Ostrom's idea and sketched out some ideas about how to integrate some combination of money-oriented accounting and social-oriented accounting into Tahoe-LAFS, which are now at NewAccountingDesign.

That "Accounting" project is an ambitious project, but with very high value. I (Zooko) really hope that Brian and the other core Tahoe-LAFS hackers prioritize that project soon!

Some Bitcoin users are offering a bounty for someone to make it possible to pay for Tahoe-LAFS storage service with Bitcoin as of 2011-05-31, the bounty sums up to 220 BTC:

Without implementing a full Accounting system, there are many very simple and easy "low hanging fruits" which would increase the ability of the user to visualize how the Tahoe-LAFS grid behaves. For example, we currently don't even display how much storage space each server is offering! (#648)

Following from that, users would probably benefit from visualizations of server performance and its historical uptime. See the tickets tagged with "ostrom" for other examples.

In general, Tahoe-LAFS is ready for an experiment combining economics, social networking, and visualization/transparency.

Last modified at 2012-10-22T15:26:50Z Last modified on 2012-10-22T15:26:50Z