an all-encompassing, distributed & global crowdfunding platform

Our Funding is a platform being created with the purpose of catalyzing the gift economy by making crowdfunding campaigns straightforward and cost-effective for individuals, communities, and institutions. It is designed to be globalunlike most other crowdfunding platforms in existence today, that only allow campaigns coming from the first world, unenclosableit runs distributed using Holochain, and as long as there is at least one peer willing to run it, it will exist, distributed, censorship-resistantnot under anyone's control or authority, and supportive of micropaymentsmost other crowdfunding platforms in existence today have a minimum amount of a few dollars per transaction.

Campaigners have the freedom to choose between raising monthly recurring funding or per project funding. They receive funds in Our Funding fuel, a mutual credit currency designed specifically for this case—which is backed up by global crowdfunding campaigns as its value assets.

The project is under development and will be released as Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) when it reaches maturity, and once the platform goes live—will use a ‘<1% Transaction Fee’ business modelthis is a temporary measure and the transaction fees will be dropped once the movement becomes sustainable through donations—fully embracing the gift economy. It is wholly owned by Our Foundation, a non-profit organization which exists solely as a mechanism to institutionally support Our Movement—a movement promoting radical social change by catalyzing the emergence of resilient societies.

Background

Though crowdsourcing platforms were the pioneers of the so called gift economy, they also became its main defectors—amassing large profits from the 5-12% transaction feesexcluding payment processing fees which are generally 3% + 30¢ imposed on every donation. Moreover, the exclusivity of these platforms is problematic, since they often operate only in first world regions and require at least a few dollars to support a campaign. These practices shun from crowdfunding the people with the most need for financial support, as well as enthusiastic funders who might not have much to give. Finally, these platforms are centralized, which allows them to censor campaigns arbitrarily.

Proposal

Our Funding will tackle the crowdfunding market by disintermediating for-profit entities—much like Holo will be doing to cloud computing. It will be one of the first true peer-to-peer platforms, completely devoid of any central servers all the while coordinating global scale crowdfunding.

The sections below will try to explain how the platform works.

Usage

Many factors set Our Funding apart from the dozens of existing crowdfunding platforms, the main one being its adaptability to users’ needs. Campaigners, using their unique handle, can run multiple campaigns simultaneously under one profile, with the choice of having monthly recurring funding or time-limited per project funding. A musical artist, for instance, could have a recurring monthly campaign to support their regular music production, while also having a separate project campaign for a documentary film that they wish to create and demands a much larger budget.

Funders, on the other hand, can contribute to several different campaigns that interest them through micropayments—they can literally give a fraction of a cent worth of value to any campaign they desire. This feature becomes particularly key for campaigns in poverty-stricken areas, where the smallest amounts donated can make enormous differences. One of Our Funding’s main intentions is to correct this problem and allow easy, unlimited, and flexible access to aid from and to any place on the planet.

Currency

The currency that will be used to pay hosts for their service is called Our Funding fuel, which is a mutual credit currency specifically designed for this use-case. Based on the design of Holo fuel currency, global crowdfunding campaigns are the assets backing up its value. This currency will allow for millions of micropayments to take place on a daily basis to power the platform. It is also designed to be value-stable; once it reaches critical mass adoption it will only change in value ever so slightly as economic activity increases or decreases. Unlike blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, which fluctuate in value by huge leaps every day, this currency will be stable enough for day-to-day transactions.

Our Funding fuel will be redeemable in reserves and exchanges for other mutual credit currencies, cryptocurrencies and national currencies. Some campaigners may choose to redeem it right away when they get rewarded, while others may use it to reward other campaigners later on. There will be two ways to obtain the currency: either buying it in an exchange or through a fundraising campaign.

Moderation

Moderation for the platform will be conducted by the community itself rather than by employees. In case a campaign is contested on grounds of fraud or scam, by a set number of reports, it will automatically get suspended. Then, the moderating community will have to manually investigate the case and decide how to proceed with the campaign.

Data integrity

Since the platform is built on Holochain, all data that is uploaded will be retained forever—due to immutability of data by being in an append-only database. Moreover, its agent-centric nature guarantees mutual sovereignty for both the individual and the group because all data exists in the agents’ local chain. The data is then submitted in the shared space of the group, which means that the group cannot erase data contributed from the user, but also the user cannot take back data that has been already submitted to the group’s shared space.

Also, due to agent-centrism, where all agents own all their data in their local chains, Our Funding will be by default a GDPR compliant platform.

Fees

Once the platform goes live, will use a ‘<1% Transaction Fee’ business model, and all the profits will be directed to the parent non-profit organization, Our Foundation. The profit will then be used to fund projects decided and prioritized by Our Movement, the majority of which do not have business models.

Transaction fees will gradually descend to 0, as the movement grows more and more sustainable through donations—fully embracing the gift economy.

License

This project will be Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS)free as in speech and beer, and its source code will be licensed under an OSI-approved license—once it reaches maturity.

Status

The project is being developed by Our Movement—itself a movement promoting radical social change by catalyzing the emergence of resilient societies.

It will be built using HolochainHolochain is a DLT framework for writing fully distributed peer-to-peer applications. It is free and open-source software built by Metacurrency Project for data storage and integrity, and React NativeReact Native is a UI framework for writing native apps. It is free and open-source software built by Facebook for the user interface (UI). It will be accessed most commonly through web browsers but there will also be native apps for major operating systems (OS).

This case study is a living document which means it is a work in progress, not completed yet and is being updated. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 — unless otherwise noted.