The Promise theory hypotheses concerns connecting autonomous objects. One hypothesis is that connecting many objects with weak connections uses less effort than using strong connections.
Applying it to financial systems suggests a low-cost way to exchange value to create the greatest total value. The approach applied to resources such as water, education, transport, companies, labour will test the hypothesis.
Systems consist of autonomous objects with peer to peer communication. Autonomous means that receiving a message cannot force an object to perform another action. We call this a weak connection. If a connection is strong then one object requires the other object to change in some way either immediately or in the future. With a strong link, the two objects become one for the purpose of the connection. Strong connections give us a way to combine many objects into a single object for a given purpose.
To combine objects with weak connections, we create new objects. Two objects plus the communication becomes a new object for the purpose of the connection. These new objects can in turn communicate. The new objects are small and take a little effort to maintain. A connection between the two new objects becomes a third type of object. These objects, in turn, can create a fourth object and so on.
We call each type of object a scale. At each scale, we can combine two objects into a single larger object.
Combining autonomous objects with strong connections takes effort. The effort required is proportional to the square of the number of objects.
Combining autonomous objects with weak connections takes less effort. The effort required is proportional to the number of objects.
Objects at different levels can communicate. Complexity increases but the overhead effort required is still linear.
In financial systems money tokens, that have a value, make strong connections when exchanging money tokens. When a money token changes value it affects the value of all other money tokens. The overhead cost of operating the money system is proportional to the square of the number of connections.
Instead of putting the value on the money token we can make the money token point to the goods or service or asset that has value. If we now exchange the money token, it still points to the object that has real value. A change in the value of the object has no direct impact on any other money token. We call this a weak connection. The cost of operating a money system with weak connections is proportional to the number of connections.
Money that the government creates points to future taxes the government will collect. This money is readily exchanged if the parties trust the government.
With financial systems using weak connections, our measures of value need not be monetary.
A financial system can have a combination of strong or weak connections. They are interchangeable. The estimated cost of operating the parts of the financial system that uses weak connections is less than 10% of the cost of operating the parts of the financial system with strong connections.