Any taken-for-granted public infrastructure has detailed intellectual underpinning. This page shares evolving thinking about under-the-hood details required for POEMs (Public Official E-Markets).


Like water out of a tap” suggests something effortless. But chemists, physicists, meteorologists, geologists, geographers, and engineers running public water supply draw on a huge body of knowledge. Any platform for economic activity operating as a public utility will likewise be complex behind-the-scenes. But if the thinking is solid, users should be as uninterested in the minutiae as most water consumers.


The briefings

Requirements of legislation to enable POEMs:


Possibilities for POEMs:

  • Technology Schema: A starting point for an “everything store” for the micro-economy.



These briefings explore broad possibilities for a policy that creates a set of online marketplaces for local people and businesses in any jurisdiction. We call the system of online markets to be initiated POEMs (Public Official E-Markets). It is described at But, specifically, by that term we mean a comprehensive platform for online transactions that is:

  • Funded, designed, built and run by an independent consortium of operators, decentralized with local entrepreneurs having a vital role. Diverse organizations operating POEMs are united only in a need to recoup their investment by growing activity in those markets.
  • Granted unique access to official facilities without being beholden to any official agency.
  • Constrained by public service obligations including a Maximum Transaction Size, transparency, robustness of service, accountability and the right of any user to take their identity and trading data to any other system at any time.
  • The result of an independently scrutinized, competitive, open, selection process to find the winning consortium.

Superficially similar services are possible. However, we are emphatically not describing any system of markets:

  • Under the day-to-day control, tangentially or directly, of any part of a government.
  • Unfettered in operators’ freedom to; charge as they wish, limit functionality, take a position in markets they enable, or select the sectors they serve.
  • Favoring – in any way – specific users defined by ethnicity, political stance, economic power, gender, geography within the service area, language, or educational level.


Five Minute Overview