The project "diffuse bank" is a community for economic cooperation among people. By making small acts of trust towards your friends - give them some credit, lend them small sums - and combining that with technology (such as the one behind social networks like Facebook), the result is more wealth for everyone, abundance instead of scarcity.
You don't believe it? It sounds too good to be true, so it must be a hoax or, worse, a scam? Read on.
We called the project "diffuse bank" (originally "banca diffusa" in Italian) to make an analogy with the operations we abitually perform with our bank, even if this is not a banking institution at all. Let's consider an example.
Alfred saved 1000€. Instead of depositing them in his bank account - where they could be invested in incomprehensible financial products or in big firms of dubious moral quality - he decides to invest them in his social network. So he "deposits" 1000€ to Bianca, a trusted friend of his, who in this case acts as a "bank office" and registers the operation. Bianca now has a debt of 1000€ with Alfred. (image)
Bianca has to meet some imminent expenses and keeps 200€ for herself. She distributes the remaining 800€ among several trusted people, including her friend, Carla, who gets 50€. Carla now has a debt of 50€ with Bianca. (image)
Carla has a nice little restaurant just out of town. One evening Alfred decides to go there to eat with his family; they spend a total of 100€. Instead of paying cash or with a card, Alfred decides to pay with "diffuse bank". Thus those 100€ for the dinner get automatically subtracted from Bianca's debt towards Alfred and from Carla's debt towards Bianca. In the end, Bianca owes Alfred 900€ and Carla 50€. (image)
Later, Alfred "withdraws" 300€ from Bianca to meet some unforeseen expenses. Bianca draws from her personal reserves and, possibly, from her friends'. Bianca's debt is reduced to 600€. (image)
All of this allows, given those 1000€ initially deposited by Alfred, to create value and opportunities for many people connected Alfred by bonds of trust, directly or indirectly - like Carla with her restaurant. Even without any money deposit, the system allows people to give credit (as Carla did for Bianca, for an amount of 50€) up to certain limits set by people depending on their trust in their friends. This allows little daily commercial exchanges that wouldn't otherwise always be possible, e.g. in crisis scenarios with a severe lack of cash.
All of the above is nothing particularly special, magic, or complex. The very same operations can be done with pen and paper, without any advanced technology. Technology is only necessary to automate the operations and apply them on a big scale in real time, allowing to use the system even in big communities (regional and national) and making it accessible from everywhere using mobile devices.