“Ledger” system developed by a young ferret on a bet. It spreads through the web before MarsCo discovers and adopts it. The massive edge this gives to MarsCo and its subsidiary companies, who now effectively control the stable currency of Sol, cannot be overstated.
The Ledger is a series of algorithms that make stock investments on behalf of every corporate citizen in Sol, giving them a form of social security and some protection against the endless microtransactions that are life in Sol. Each citizen is monetized, both product and customer.
Additionally, the Ledger disproportionately benefits the young, who have more opportunities to benefit from the system, and the Ledger becomes the final nail in the coffin of the aging human race, leading to its exile.
The “ferret grad student made the Ledger on a bet” story is almost certainly one of Sol’s “to good to be true” myths. The power the Ledger gave Marsco and its spinoffs to utterly dominate Sol was too great. Also, it’s not a coincidence that in 1.0 ASR gives its employees Finance as a skill. How much power does their central AI have over the fate of Sol?
Reference: HSD 1.0 P.23
Date Notes: Very hazy. Early notes suggest late 0th century, first decade of 100s is the latest I could place it.