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Since the supply model of a currency is a key factor in it's economic properties, I think it would be interesting to experiment with supply models that could be changed easily.

It could perhaps then be linked to some other external factor which could be objectively ascertained with the resilience of the p2p structure like for example, available fresh water, carbon or population.

Have there been any efforts in this direction?

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    Computational work for hash operations is verifiable. How do you verify population? – Stephen Gornick Jun 12 '12 at 11:24
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There have been various experiments in this regard. The Alternate Cryptocurrnecies sub-forum is full of them. If I recall, Tenebrix and/or GeistGeld removed the halving block sizes, resulting in a coin without a cap on the number of coins.

Also, there is EnCoin, and alt whose price is supposed to be based on the cost of electricity.

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You should look into Digital Coin concept. It allows anyone to issue their own currency and control it, thus allowing for any supply and demand model. Bitcoin fits into the concept nicely as a "standard of value".

There are a number of private currencies that are linked to prices of various items, such as Ven. There is not much stopping anyone from creating new ones.

All in all, trying to control Bitcoin's supply other than buying and selling it would be quite hard. People wouldn't welcome for example trying to go against the reward drop.

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