Unforgeable paper stick for money creation in rural communities?

I’ve been thinking of a dApp to help african rural community with a low tech money creation mechanism based on the tally stick model.

Medieval England used split tally stick as record of financial transaction. This is how it roughly worked.

Say you wanted to allow your less privileged neighbor to use your 1 hectare of land for a year against the promise of 500 kg of fresh wheat after the next harvest.
You would both agree to write the amount of the transaction with knife notches on a piece of wood and then split in it half in such a way that the notches appeared on both halves. You would then keep the longest half (the stock) and him the shortest (the foil). The stock was therefore an unforgeable record of debt that the owner of foil owed you 500 kg of wheat at such date(1).

In the same way that we exchange bank bills today, in medieval England, stock were also exchanged. The legend says that the place of today’s wall street stock exchange was chosen because a beautiful hazel tree was growing there, and hazel wood was appreciated to make tally sticks.
But lets come back to our cryptos and Africa financial low tech solutions.

Wouldn’t it be possible to print on distinct piece of paper, QR codes in such a way that by superposition and transparency, they would let appear a shared password or symbol proving that indeed they were two pieces of the same transaction, one been the stock and the other the foil ?

Easy to carry, store, exchange, this would be like bank bills but printed locally,
This would be a privately generated QR code as stock and foil to enable the creation of an unforgeable paper bills at the local rural community level.
Also local, it would be linked to the global economy as a side chain of the cardano global chain.

I hope this post will generate discussions helping me or the community come up with a pragmatic side-chain low tech, sound, but not necessary fast solution to the money creation problem.

Thank you
(1) Check Bill Still’s marvellous documentary the money master for a full understanding of the history and the process of today’s money


Would either QR be readable on it’s own?
If not, then I see a problem in the design concept.
If so, what would each QR represent independently?
The concept of the transparency requirement seems to undermine the low tech concept as well.

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I see the QR code as a something to be read at the local shop or town office with some smartphone or scanner, if they were to be check for authenticity. They would be signature to endorse the payment or refund.

But the QR code are also to be used to check the authenticity of pairs papers and in that case one would only need a powerful torch or a bright day to check by transparency and alignment that a symbol or password, only know to the owner of the QR code, did indeed appear when associated with the other (foil or stock) QR code.

If one were to sell his stock he would need to go to the village shop to record the transaction and make a new QR code with the seller’s secret password. This new QR code would still be associated with the foil in such a way that the foil owner could check by transparency that both QR codes matched (meaning there were for the same transaction). If that were the case he would not need to go check the validity of the stock QR code as it should be in practice impossible to forge a stock QR code in such a way as to make it display the secret foild’s password by transparency, if the password is kept secret.

At the time of the redeem.
The new QR stock owner would give his paper to the foild owner in exchange of what was agreed upon. The latter would then just burn the papers as the debt was over, in the same ways as money is destroy when you repay your debts to commercial banks.

Additional information could be printed on the stock, such as name of the foil owner, date of redeem and amount to be paid.

foil stock stock_n_foil Tally-Sticks-bigger

I would suggest that you do a simple test with a smart phone and a sample of the stock and foil, utilizing a bright torch and see if the camera will actually pick up the QR that is behind (or not).

The way that the camera on a smart phone reads QR codes is based on Contrast, which will be very low for the QR in the back position.

Since I highly doubt the camera will detect the QR from behind, An Alternative approach would be for the software to require scanning of BOTH Foil and Stock, and let the software do the combining of them.

Have you looked at ScanTrust? They have a very interesting solution which is sort of like a QR inside of a QR.

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Thank you for you concern.
I think I did not explain clearly. What is to been seen by superposition and transparency is something that the human eye can easily identify like a logo, a few words or a pictogram.

Interesting idea - it makes me think of the detective in the movies - I ll give you half of the bill now and the second part when the job is done :wink:

Why not cutting a printed QR code in half ? The QR code can be printed on a metal plate and then split in two. I can do a prototype if you like that idea.

I think that cutting the QR code in half would reduce the usefullness. For example with separate full QR code, one could check on his own that the QR code in his possession is valid an maybe get extra information on what it is worth (what debt it is related too, too whom) by consulting the blockchain.