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We could explore the possibility of solving the barter-tax issue by billing consulting clients 1$ per job per hour - this amount can be subject to taxation and the virtual credits earned treated like non-taxable "loyalty points". What do you think of this approach?

Check out the Education Time Bank idea on:

I'll be glad to partner both openideo and later on ideasproject (once Nokia and UNESCO provide a schedule on the Education Time Bank implementation).

The "virtual currency" refers to client-awarded satisfaction points for each job delivered. This feature adds per-job compensation as an incentive and differentiates this concept from volunteer networks.

Points earned could be redeemable within the network by using them to buy consulting services or specialist knowledge. For example, I could train a user on Java programming for 3 hours and pay for an hour of Spanish language lessons with "time dollars" earned. The reward system fosters reciprocal value and real-world personal experience growth.

If the virtual currency is transferable then third party trading mechanisms can be built to convert it into hard cash. Being a mostly peer-regulated currency, some controls would be needed to prevent abuse.

This concept is revolutionary: I think the game-changer here is the creation of an "on-demand job market".

Open jobs can be streamed online, and pulled off the jobs feed once they have been allocated or their delivery time window expires.

Plus the platform could be designed to support value-add benefits such as job delivery rating and virtual currency earnings.