UPDATE (2/25/09): This project now has a development blog. I'm actively seeking feedback on design decisions and such, so please check it out: http://chrisacheson.net/aeiou/blog/

UPDATE: The first release is out. There is a test instance running at http://currency.liberaterochester.net/.

AEIOU (An Electronic IOU) is a web application for creating local commodity currencies based on electronic IOU tickets. It will be used by a local currency project in Rochester, New York, and should be useful to other local currency projects as well. A brief write-up of how this software fits into the overall project can be found at http://www.liberaterochester.net/Local_Currency.

The software allows currency issuers to register themselves and create IOU tickets. These tickets consist of an electronic document detailing what the issuer owes to the bearer of the document (a specific quantity of goods or services), and a secret key. The ticket can then be transferred via any electronic medium to another party as payment for other goods or services. The recipient then contacts the AEIOU website, uses the secret key to verify the ticket, and receives a new secret key known only to them. This key can be used to redeem the ticket with the original issuer (and receive the promised goods/services), or to transfer the ticket again via the same mechanism.

AEIOU is being written in PHP and uses MySQL. The first version will perform the following functions:
Later versions will incorporate a web service API to facilitate automated access to these functions.

AEIOU differs from other local currency software in that responsibility for providing goods and services is placed on individual ticket issuers with individual reputations. Additionally, it is not necessary to register with the AEIOU website to trade tickets, only to issue them.

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