The Universal Language of Numbers: Envisioning an Online Time Economy

Although cultural differences may make it challenging for people to understand each other, one thing transcends these barriers: numbers. Despite variations in presentation, numbers retain their value across regions.

As we progress towards a more interconnected society, the traditional concept of money is likely to evolve, especially in the digital realm.

Time is money, and money is time.

Let us explore a novel concept: the Online Time Economy. In this system, we would trade time instead of currency for essential goods and services, using time-based currencies like Grin.

1 Grin = 1,000,000,000 nano Grin 446 - 1000 coin

The range of 446,000,000,000 to 1,000,000,000,000 nano Grin is indeed staggering!

This time economy would operate on microtransactions, reflecting our era of abundant information and subscription-based services across various sectors, such as education, entertainment, news, and transportation.

The first credit card emerged in the 1950s, followed by the invention of the internet in the 1960s. Our digital society continues to expand, with internet usage increasing globally.

Grin generates 86,400 coins daily, with a divisibility of 1 billion per coin. Owning just 446 Grin equates to 446 billion nano Grin.

Imagine a society where:

  • 1 day of internet access = 1,000,000 nano Grin
  • 1 news article = 1,000 nano Grin
  • 1 educational video = 100,000 nano Grin
  • 1 Netflix episode = 100,000 nano Grin

For instance, consider a 57-minute video of Jamie Dimon speaking at Stanford, which currently has 1,233,393 views. Charging 100,000 nano Grin per view would result in 123 billion nano Grin or 123 Grin coins.

Grin, by its nature, symbolizes time:

1 Grin = 1 second
60 Grin = 1 minute

While Grin’s role in the time economy remains uncertain, its compatibility with this concept is undeniable.

In a bold prediction, it’s possible that sentient AI will eventually require a currency for transactions among themselves. Grin, with its privacy features and monetary policy, could serve as that currency.


No. It is impossible for a technology with a block time of 1 minute to be a payment instrument with nanogrins. Given the trend, within the next 10 years there will be POS networks with transactions in nanoseconds.
Grin’s TPS and block time can’t handle it. If you say something like the Lightning network, you’ll see how little Bitcoin has been used for nano payments over the years. Bitcoin encourage hodl today but at least no one spend even 0.0000001 Bitcoin for buy newspasper.

Only with its fairness and confidentiality can Grin be a good and safe value holding option because:

  • Since the block rewards will not decrease, a strong protection mechanism of the network will be guaranteed.
  • Since the monetary policy is stable, it keeps more both the investment and the transfer safe with a stable performance.
  • With its unlimited supply, it encourage not just hodl also encourage money transfers and spends.
  • Hidden payments will attract a larger audience.
  • Since the price will not reach 3 digit numbers during many years and never reach 5 digit number like Bitcoin, it will be more accessible for everyone.

Also note that Ignotus didn’t think of the idea of 1 Grin for 1 second, he thought initially 50 Grin per minute. In his mind, there was no “money is time” or "nano Grin-style.

There is no connection between time and Grin. It is my call to the whole community, steer clear of this approach.


Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM, and Oracle together control 70% of internet traffic. These companies charge hourly rates, which is the industry standard for cloud computing, rather than monthly or one-time fees. As society has shifted from owning to renting, microservices have become more prevalent.

Newspapers provide an example of this shift. In the past, news was delivered daily, but now it can be accessed instantly through smartphones. This change in consumption has been revolutionary, but it has also turned users into products without them realizing it. By using cryptocurrencies like Grin, people can pay for services and become customers again. This makes companies liable for their actions and changes the way people view these services. Workers at these companies will also see a shift, knowing that users are paying for the services they provide. This shift turns users back into customers and workers back into workers, rather than activists

As our society increasingly breaks down the walls that separate us, our attention becomes more valuable. It’s possible to reverse the current model where companies profit from our attention by instead paying us in nano grin to view things.

A micro-transaction society could lead to a more peaceful and accountable online environment. Currently, many platforms amplify the seven deadly sins, which could lead to societal collapse if they continue to be unchecked. For example, porn sites represent lust, money gurus represent greed, news blogs represent pride, social networks represent envy, Uber Eats represents gluttony, social networks represent sloth, and Twitter represents wrath.

We need Micro-Transactions

1 Like

Microtransactions need zero or very low commission, but now Grin network costs 2400000 nano Grin per transaction, how to build microtransactions with such high commission?

While both Satoshi and Ignotus invented something beautiful that doesn’t mean they made everything perfect. So yeah imo he didn’t see some nice property (time is money).

Interesting, how do you explain then the convergence of number of mined grins to the number of seconds since its genesis? There absolutely is a connection and it’s a beautiful one.


I suggested changing the 50 Grin block reward to 60 to make it a nice 1 grin / second, and Ignotus happily agreed…


In time with ligtening. The current fee system is needed to prevent from a spam and chain bloat attack. The current fees are low enough for any day to day transaction. Microtransactions are not that important/high-priotity IMO, lets start with being able to buy a coffee with grin.

Personally I really like the link between time via 1 grin/second.
Is it important ? No.
Is it fun, convenient and elegant? Absolutely.

For anyone who does not like this link, simply do not think about it. It is like mathematical beauty, it is up to the beholder to chose to appreciate it or not.

I agree. It’s cute but has no bearing on reality.

20 grins per minute would just as much be a “time is money” thing. It just doesn’t really hold water the more you think about it.

You can do the same calculation with the number of Bitcoin since its genesis. You don’t need a perfect one to one correlation to have a “time is money” relationship.

Because time is not one to one with money. Some things are more valuable than other things irrespective of the amount of time spent.

After having been around the BTC Lightning world for a while, I have to say that this kind of micro transaction world that they want really sucks.

I hope micro transactions never take off. It gives me anxiety.

@trab why do you hope micro transactions never take off? Can you explain your anxiety?

I think there are many cases where it would be useful to divide a payment into many small chunks. I think it is an alternative to atomic swaps. Many thinks that one might buy or pay for are not compatible to an atomic swap, but are also dividable into many small chunks.

The very man who runs Apple is making his own product difficult to use.

“ We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters “

You can’t put restrictions on these services and expect people to stop using it when they’re addicted to it.

Micro-transactions make it very difficult for anyone to be nefarious online & kill addiction.

It’s win win.

1 Like