Eastern Bloc, Montreal
The sharing economy is great, but still relies on the exchange of money. Bartering and trading are timeless alternatives, but sometimes people just don’t get along or don’t have compatible tastes. Tr(AI)de is an alternative economy experiment based on a “mathematical no-risk trade list” system that has been widely used in the subculture of board gaming. It is a trade between many people at once, mediated by an algorithm that decides who should trade their items to whom. Because of the algorithm used, you can only get an item you prefer over what you started with. Typically, the trades are circular and indirect. For example, person A gives to B, B gives to C, and C gives to A. This greatly increases the number of possible trades making more people happy and increasing the circulation of commodities. Because each person has different preferences, these trades are a great way to get unique items, since one person’s trash could be your treasure.