ICO for Platform Cooperatives

Hello. I am based in Barcelona Spain but I wanted to share with this community that Outlier Ventures, a blockchain/ICO investment fund based in London is leading an Initial Coin Offering with the goal of creating what they refer to as a Community ICO for the platform cooperative community.

Instead of focusing on a narrow vertical our goal with this ICO is to create a token that will be of use to support the platform cooperative movement globally. My startup in Barcelona will contribute code to the project as will a tech company in Munich and probably the Platform Cooperative Consortium based in NYC as well. Through the ICO we aim to support the global movement by creating a host of open source technology for a range of types of platform cooperatives from banking to worker´s coop, etc. My company, Coopify, is focused on urban-related platforms for mobility, asset sharing and skills sharing.

Our target is to issue the ICO prior to the end of 2017 but we are only now working on the white paper. If any of you are interested in learning more, or getting involved, please let us know!

Hi Boyd - I’m currently helping with two possible new platform coops, one conversion and one brand new. So interested to find more about what you are planning - keep me in touch!

Thanks for letting us know. We will post updates over the coming months for sure!

Hi, I’m also interested to know more about the project. I’ve been watching the crypto and token space for some time now, so please do keep in touch!

Who is governing the funds raised?
Weeks love to hear about the values and motivation if it’s an investment

I am sorry it has been a while since my last post. We are moving this project along and now have a somewhat publicly available executive summary while we continue to work on the white paper. We will be presenting the project publicly for the first time at the Platform Coop Consortium event in November. We are targeting the token sale for April (with plans for a SAFT and pre-sale as well).

While this is not formalized yet, we also hope to do some kind of open call for applications who want to leverage our protocol and token economy with the goal of having 10 founding apps committed by the ICO.

For the executive summary about the project, please check here:

If any of you are interest in learning more about the project let us know!

Me too, would love to hear why people who have money are interested in it
or maybe with other words, how can people who invest benefit from it, how
can they get their money back. This is what is my experience with investors
at least. They invest so that they get more back.

Many thanks for sharing this Boyd. I’ll read it with great interest. A couple of colleagues will be going to NYC for the conference, and they are hoping to hook up with you there. I’ll share this Gdoc with them in the interim. What’s the best channel for feedback?

Thanks Nina and Graham for your interest.

First, let me say that all investors are not “evil”. Yes virtually all investors expect a return on their investment but there are many shapes and sizes of investors, not a one-size fits all. True most venture capital firms tend to fall in the category of traditional short-term maximizers that are inconsistent with the values of the distributed, open and collaborative values of the platform cooperative movement. In fact in my recent book, Post-Capitalist Entrepreneurship, I wrote an entire chapter on how cooperative and ICO financing models could mean the “death of traditional VCs”.

Luckily Outlier Ventures who is helping seed this project (less with financial capital than with human capital) embraces the disruptive potential of blockchain to help fix the platform capitalist model of the sharing economy. They are not expecting short term profit maximization, nor are they taking equity directly in the projects that will be supported in the ecosystem.

Instead Outlier Ventures will have a small minority position with the tokens generated from the token sale. Their hope, therefore, is that the tokens will increase in value over time, increasing the value of their investment. Therefore they are helping us determine how to maximize the utility of the token, and encouraging the development, for example, of a social currency which may go on top and support things like exchanging time for assets or services shared in different applications.

On to Graham´s question, we´d be pleased to have members of this community join our slack channel if they are interested in engaging more. Please send me an email (boyd@coopify.org) if you are interested in joining our slack channel.

Thank you!

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@BoydCohen there is already FairCoin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faircoop) which is a community project that aims to do just what you’re saying. It was started by the CIC (https://cooperativa.cat/en//) who you may be familiar with.

My questions is what are the benefits of your particular strategy over what already exists?

I’m involved in a small way with FairCoin, and I’ve followed and supported the FairCoop/FairCoin project with great interest for several years now. I don’t necessarily think that this Coopify initiative - which leverages many of the same key elements as the Innovation Cooperative initiative first developed by Cooperative Networks (Shaun Fensom and myself) some years ago - drives unique benefits, yet. It’s very early days. What it does do is directly address the two mission critical needs (IMHO) of the putative platform cooperative ‘movement’. The need for common infrastructure that can enable platform cooperative business models to scale; and the need for a sustainable financial mechanism to build and support that infrastructure. I see differences and parallels in all three approaches, all have something to to offer in my view, and there is plenty of scope to cooperate.

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So I thought I’d just give some armchair thoughts on this:

This, along with FairCoin, seems like an interesting project. In my view, co-operatives form a kind of market of their own - they tend to want to co-operate with each-other and tend to be pretty stable businesses but expanding the co-operative network is difficult largely because of a relative lack of liquidity as compared to other types of business wherein various financing options are more readily available (of course you can do a hybrid model to gain resources through the stock market, for instance, but then you water down the ownership of the business).

You could, in principle, have a system whereby housing cooperatives, energy cooperatives, shopping cooperatives, tech cooperatives and so on all agree that this coin has some value - at this point the coin would have a kind of implicit value. At that point, the coin would be far more than a single-use ICO mechanism (although in terms of raising GBP, which is important in and of itself, is important), but something that other types of business might start to accept it as well (particularly companies which, while private, still try and maintain a positive social image), which would be beneficial as the co-ops would have control over how this currency is initially distributed. i.e. in favour of co-ops. In principle this should be favourable to investors as well as they would stand to gain from the coin becoming more valuable.

I suppose the FairMarket is an attempt at giving the FairCoin some level of value in the way that I described, in a less formally organised way.

It’s somewhat high-risk, however, if this is successful because governments have a bit of a thing about competing currencies (see how China recently banned ICOs). Tax and such has to be taken into account. Decentralising the currency in the same way as Bitcoin to avoid it being clamped down on is difficult when you want to have a clear governing body. The currency crashing could end up in any co-ops relying on it to fail so that has to be hedged against somehow.

Jaron, thanks for your thoughts about this project. Your thinking is aligned with ours. We are hoping to create an ecosystem of app developers who benefit by having access to an open source stack to allow them to launch their services faster and cheaper, while permitting a network effect between the use cases so that discovery of new services is easier for users across the ecosystem, meanwhile, as you suggest, enhancing the value of the token by allowing it to become a utility token across multiple apps.

We are even exploring important ways to make the economy more inclusive, like for example if you do not have capital you can still acquire tokens for things like offering time (through a time banking app) or answering surveys or providing some other value to the platform coops in the ecosystem. Those activities would lead to tokens and allow more inclusive participation in the token economy. There are so many variables and this is a very complex project but we are both passionate and ambitious that together with a large group of collaborators we can help to create a meaningful, scalable, but distributed economy.

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@BoydCohen are you tapped into the Open App Ecosystem group on Loomio? https://www.loomio.org/g/exAKrBUp/open-app-ecosystem

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Thank you for sharing I do see one possible problem that has been looked over as a strategy. How do the incumbents actually, get dislodged as there is no commercial backing, to help brainclean people that have been brainwashed?

Insite I’ve spoken to a major transport authority unwilling to dislodge the large player due to the fact, it doesnt have the funds to do so?

Finally I like the idea in principle but there is no incentive for financiers?

I also have a few solutions so do be in touch. Its great you have started, it is the next stage after 10 years of squeeze by the likes of Amazon, Uber and Air BnB they wont let go without an all our warfare.

Neither will the ones stuck in the Matrix :slight_smile:

I’ve written up a few thoughts on a Co-op Coin ICO, which mentions Collabor8 and Faircoin etc - hope it’s interesting to some of you :wink:



Thanks @olisb for an interesting piece, including some references that are new to me, and which I’ll follow with interest. The FairCoin price, and I can say this because I’ve been involved in some of the assembly discussions that you refer to, has been driven by the fact that as a result of FairCoin’s early history a small but significant amount of the coins are being traded, mainly on Bittrex. Consequently, the price that they are sold for through the official system (https://getfaircoin.net) has to broadly align with the market price on the exchange in order to avoid further speculation (people buying through https://getfaircoin.net and selling immediately on Bittrex or vice versa).

The goal of the team managing Faircoin is to buy up all of the remaining Faircoins that exist outside of the ‘Fair economy’ so that market speculation will no longer be a relevant factor. How realistic that is I’m not sure. However in the short term it’s done no harm and has effectively provided valuable capitalisation to advance many FairCoop projects.

I’m very interested in the potential of a cooperative currency, and how it could be used to power a parallel cooperative econonmy, so many thanks for your excellent contribution.

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Thanks for the added info and positive words Graham :slightly_smiling_face:
Perhaps it would be good if you could copy and paste the info on Faircoin into the comments on the blog page for others to see / respond to?


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@olisb Done - and thanks again.


@olisb Can’t reach your site this morning. ‘509 Bandwidth limit exceeded’. Looks like you might need a more cooperative hosting provider?

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