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Joe Brewer:

'Another important structure used by Occupy was the swarm where a leaderless movement emerged spontaneously in multiple locations all at once. The key organizational frame behind this behavior is the Activation Network Frame — where multiple nodes of a network are constantly monitoring for threats and each is able to engage in rapid response to changes in the local environment. Examples of the activation network include the hive behavior of social insects and the immune response of a complex multi-cellular organism.

Social insects (bees, wasps, termites, etc.) constantly monitor the chemical trails left by individual members of their hive and respond quickly to the release of stress markers in the proximity of a new predator or some other disruption to their normal routines. Multi-cellular organisms have special cells within their bodies—one example being the lymphocytes in the blood of mammals that attack viruses and tumors before they are able to spread—that float throughout the body and respond locally when a harmful contagion is discovered.

The key features of an activation network are decentralization and localized rapid engagement. The Occupy Movement spread quickly as local community members organized themselves into encampments and protest actions. There were no visible leaders who could be targeted across the movement and specific actions reflected the local character of each group and the concerns they rallied around." (http://empathysurplus.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/governance-structures-for-social-movements1.pdf)

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= Swarm, a platform for cryptoequity that can eventually replace today’s stock markets with a much more powerful alternative.

URL = http://swarm.fund/


Joel Dietz:

"To do so, we are fundraising on our own platform. Our coin, SWARM, entitles all coin owners to a part of one percent of all future coins launched on our platform. It also allows coin holders to vote on a community representative. This representative will have control over one of the signatures on the multisig wallet and will be responsible for making sure that we spend incoming funds in a responsible way." (http://www.followthecoin.com/swarm-dawn-cryptoequity/)


Joel Dietz:

"SWARM was designed only after extensive legal research, with the plan to be fully compliant with existing legal frameworks concerning securities offerings. Although our research has not been exhaustive across all legal jurisdictions, we decided our own model only after seeing what was clear from a regulatory perspective.

Another important decision was to add an explicit accountability mechanism in the form of a community representative. This reflects my belief, first documented in Distributed Governance Whitepaper, that current accountability mechanisms are not entirely working. It also sets us up to be one of the first organizations that lives up to the potential of a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, or DAO. For us, this means not only that you can see the outgoing spending, but you can also have direct input into where it goes.

This idea of accountability also extends to coin creation. A core part of our vision is not only making “create your own coin” fundraisers much easier, but also offering decentralized due diligence. This means that we will be engaging with teams of people (potentially including yourself) who can review coin offerings to filter out scam coins and promote legitimate offerings tied to products of real value.

* Decentralized networks create increased engagement

One tremendous benefit of using our platform to launch your coin is that you get a large number of users to start off. Because you are distributing a part of your coin among our network, each member of SWARM will be incentivized to promote your project and help it grow rapidly. This leads to more engaged and happier users who directly share in the upside of these projects.

SWARM represents the emergent intelligence that arises from decentralized networks. Part of the goal of the founders of the American Republic was to keep things as decentralized and dynamic as possible. At some point this turned into a strange melting pot of politicians, treasury secretaries, i-bankers and a central bank that are virtually indistinguishable from each other, all bearing a striking similarity to snake oil salesmen pawning off fool’s gold to the highest bidder.

SWARM is a re-iteration of the vision of independent autonomous individuals who form structures because they can. We are committed not only to launching coins and cryptoequity, we are committed to reforging the aspects of society that have failed to evolve in the latter half of the twentieth century.

* Evolving the nature of the corporation

One such organization is the corporation. A strange entity, the corporation emerged in the 1920s as a legal entity equivalent to a human. Whereas previously people went bankruptcy and even jail when a company failed, this separation allowed companies to fail without ruining all of the people who ran them. This allowed people to take greater risks and thus produced greater innovation.

The birth of venture capital and the semiconductor industry followed a similar dynamic pattern. A dynamic Frenchman known as the “general” wandered off to Silicon Valley because he was bored of the stodgy and risk-adverse behavior of Wall St., inventing a new corporate form and using it to invest in Digital Equipment Corporation. This first blend of well-made suits and flannel shirts was responsible for the birth of much of the computer industry.

One feature that lead to special dynamism is that the partners who made the deals were directly incentivized by shares in the companies they lead deals for. Big government eventually regulated away that feature, and venture capital was forced to work upscale, often merely by creating an opportunity for the rich to become richer by sitting on their money.

Like the birth of computers or the internet, blockchain technology allows a mindblowing evolution in the nature of the corporation. As we’ve documented here via the EtherCasts channel, there are amazing new possibilities associated with Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. Although the technology that makes this possible is not fully developed, we are committed to pushing this aspect of technological development forward and implementing it once it is available.

* Upgrading Government 1.0

Crowdfunding has been attempting to recover lost territory and create a similar dynamism. But it has been handicapped by several aspects. One, is that, in the United States, crowd equity funding to non-accredited investors remains illegal. This of course privileges the establishment. We expect this to change with the implementation of the JOBS act, a phenomenal initiative that, like many governmental initiatives, is slow and muddied in execution.

We are starting with the things that are actionable now, as outlined in our cryptoequity whitepaper, including Kickstarter-like campaigns. We are bringing this to a wider audience, because we believe that the appeal of a platform like this is far broader than simply Bitcoin, it is all of the advanced functionality that is simply better and more dynamic in a decentralized context.

What we are offering is a rebirth of capital for the people by the people based on the emergent intelligence found in decentralized networks. Swarm is something more than a new, better method of crowdfunding (although it is that), Swarm is laying the seeds for a whole new form of governance that returns power to the people and allows for dynamic evolution from the bottom up." (http://www.followthecoin.com/swarm-dawn-cryptoequity/)

Nathan Schneider

On the context:

" Swarm, the world’s first experiment in what he was calling “cryptoequity.”

Swarm would be a crowdfunding platform, using its own virtual currency rather than dollars; rather than just a thank-you or a kickback, it would reward backers with a genuine stake in the projects they support. Entrepreneurs could sidestep the VCs by turning to a “swarm” of small investors — and maybe supplant the entire VC system. By the end of the summer, he’d raised more than a million dollars in cryptocurrency. The legality of the model is uncertain, but the feds haven’t come knocking yet.

Dietz is part of a subtle insurgency taking place, one of bylaws, financing schemes, and ownership structures. The details can seem abstruse, but the craving is everywhere. High hopes for a liberating Internet have devolved into the dominance of a few mega-companies and the NSA’s watchful algorithms. Platforms entice users to draw their communities into an apparently free and open commons, only to gradually enclose it by tweaking terms of service, diluting privacy, or charging fees for essential features. Thanks to users' unpaid labor of friending and posting, tech companies can employ far fewer people, and extract five to 10 times more profit per employee, than businesses in other industries. Fiduciary responsibility to their investors requires that they turn on the people who made them successful.

Those people are turning on them back. Oculus Rift raised $2.4 million from fans on Kickstarter, then enraged backers by selling to Facebook for $2 billion. Users frustrated with an increasingly ad-friendly Facebook started flocking to Ello (whose “manifesto” eschews advertising and selling user data) and Tsu (which pays its users for their contributions) — but when Ello took venture capital, its boosters started to flee. Reddit’s finicky users have succeeded in preventing the company from turning profitable with intrusive ads or selling data; it’s now in the process of setting up a Swarm-like digital currency scheme to share 10 percent of new equity with users.

The line between workers and customers has never been so blurry. Online platforms depend on their users, and pressure is mounting all over the Internet. People are tired of seeing their communities treated like commodities, and they're looking for ways to build platforms of their own." (http://www.shareable.net/blog/owning-is-the-new-sharing)


Joel Dietz interviewed by Serge of Crypto-Articles:

* "Serge: Can you explain to the novices and people that just entered the digital currency community what Swarm exactly is and what it does?

Joel Dietz: I describe Swarm in the simplest terms as a network for funding projects. We allow each project to create a coin and sell it in order to raise money. However Swarm is more than this narrows definition.

During a brainstorming session we realised that the current power base is being monopolized by the top 1% of the richest people and businesses in the world. In a sense the only people and businesses that are to participate in a meaningful way in economic life are these 1%-ters. We wanted to change that because 1% of the world population is currently deciding the fate and business strategies for the other 99%. Yes, I know, a bit simplistically put, though accurate nonetheless.

If we look at the global structure of the world of business or innovation, the right to invest and innovate is in the grips of only the happy few with the resources. These “happy few” force us to ask them permission to innovate and deny our freedom to participate and create new things. This is mainly because it’s to ‘protect’ us from our lack of intelligence. Ironically these same ‘protectors’ would not mind if we gamble our meagre savings at casinos or on the lottery, lest we accidentally do something of value and climb a step on the economic ladder and actually contribute to society by creating something wonderful.

We at Swarm liked to see that to change and want to give back that power back to the people. So in Berlin on 17/06/2014 we declared a revolution. Unlike past revolutions, this is a revolution not to be joined, but to be owned. This is a fundamental fight for democracy, this is the Swarm Spring.

We believe that we can build a better future. We believe that we can enable all to participate in a revolution of collective ownership, something that will radically shift the nature of human society. Witness the impact that the internet revolution has brought to bear on everything from book sales, to music, media, the Arab states, and even to the way we catch a taxi. Swarm will bring the same revolution; some might call it evolution, to the finance sector.

Swarm is delivering this already. We focus on a couple aspects:

· Cryptoequity. Cryptoequity is a replacement for traditional investment infrastructure. It is decentralized, and democratic and auditable. It allows flexibility in operating to suit any project requiring an investment. It permits the parameters of the equity to be aligned with what is best for the project. This may include both a share of profit or growth and even a true and equitable share of decision making power.

· Crowd sourced due diligence. The purpose of regulatory bodies is to avoid the manipulation of people via various scams and we salute this purpose. However if look at the facts this has resulted in a system that has become increasingly dysfunctional and corrupt. All that has been achieved is a stifling of innovation, including a complex framework whereby fraud and misdirection of the highest order has been allowed to flourish. We haven’t forgotten the financial crisis and who the instigators and “perps” were of said crisis. With each and every single one of these “instigators” there was and currently is “oversight of some kind”. In my opinion the oversight committees have failed to protect the people, which is a poses the question of corruption in those ranks. Now don’t get me wrong, some of these people are really doing a wonderful job but all it takes is the temptation of corruption. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. So dividing the “power” up into more agents/people/whatever would be a good Idea don’t you think?

· Differentiating aspect of Swarm is that our technology allows us to distribute coins to all swarm holders. These coins may be:

1. A percentage of some coin launched via the Swarm network (i.e. a share in a project)

2. A coin that gives special access to types of information or purchases available exclusively to members of Swarm (i.e. a coupon)

3. A coin that gives access to exclusive events (i.e. a ticket)

Someone might describe Swarm like a crypto-kick-starter offered via coins, with the added intention of gradually introducing elements of cryptoequity as the legal framework. It would be an apt description but like I stated before, Swarm is much more complex than that.

Serge: We know that Swarm have had some very successful projects that used the Swarm platform. Do you have any personal favourite project that you said to yourself from: “wow this is really a great idea !”?

Joel Dietz: In my opinion every idea and start-up has its charms and we are stoked about them all. However you asked a tricky question Serge and I do not want to play favourites here too much (laughs). Well I will pick one out that you are quite familiar with; The Bitcoin comic.

What I like about the comic is the fact is tells a story about Bitcoin, who the illusive creator (or creators)might be and the recent media hype around it all, the subtle and hidden messages that have been worked into this marvellous comic.

But of course you know all about that, don’t you Serge? You have been involved with translating the Bitcoin comic from Spanish to English and promoting the comic after all. Maybe your promoting, alongside with the excellent graphics and story of the comic is one of the reasons why the Bitcoin comic was one of our success stories on the Swarm platform. But let’s be frank: Alex Preukschat did a wonderful job at the inside Bitcoins congress at presenting his comic to the public. Add to that that he is a very intelligent and all around great guy it is no wonder that the Bitcoin comic is, in my opinion, such a success.

Serge: Well, we were reading an article the other day where Mr. Peel said that “the Iphone program was more complex than the Apollo or lunar landings” and that “we are very far off from the ability to decentralise anything”. Both statements were, in my opinion at least, a bit short sighted and has a hint of fear in those sentiments. We find it a bit idiotic to state that “the Iphone program was more complex than the Apollo or lunar landings”. The speaker is ripping it out of the historical time and place. The second statement is also a bit narrow minded if we see for example how Uber is taking off in a lot of countries around the world. So Mr Dietz what are your thoughts on these statements and what do you think the future holds?

Joel Dietz: I quite agree with your opinions Serge. Now what the future will hold is difficult to say. I think we will see an increase of people that are getting shaken up what the digital currency community is all about and will join our ranks. People are getting fed up with all these rules, control organs the government is setting up, etc. Don’t get me wrong control institutes can be a good thing but only if implemented correctly and devoid from corruption. As long as that is a contributing factor, I suspect people will get more disillusioned from the government practises.

As for the statements that have been made; I call it “the wisdom of crowds”, which blows nearly all critiques on decentralisation out of the water. Swarm gives the opportunity to to crowd-select, crowd-vet, and crowd-fund start-ups.

1. The crowd knows best what is needed in a specific time and domain,

2. The same crowd is also the first user/customer/advocates of the product, and

3. The same crowd is the first to iterate the project.

Such diverse and comprehensive “single source” domain expertise is unlikely to be available for any Venture Capital Firm. Now it is true that in our current world system of doing business and creating start-ups, there are problems. Far too many start-ups are designed specifically for the Venture Capital processes that are effectively basing everything on the “centralized DNA”. The VC formula is fairly simple, well documented, and contains suitably developed infrastructure. The VC process efficiently removes promising innovations from a decentralized ecosystem, repackages them, and injects them into the 20th century finance model of banks, brokers, and IPOs.

The decentralization movement is being demonised in the media. Companies like by AirBnB and Uber, who may eventually expand into other markets (such as Amazon did from books). The media are portraying these companies like they have a relative monopoly position of acquisitions, scale, and market dominance. This portrayal is the antithesis of decentralization but fits in nicely with the policy of “attacking things we do not like and which challenges the current status quo”. We have to ask ourselves: why are companies like Uber so hugely successful?

Most of these companies sprung up for the need to address and the high taxi fees for example. The only way this can be done is to “attack them where it hurts; their income”. That is the only way change will come about. It was needed to create democracy and independence for the US from the British. This can also be said for every other country that has been created and/or has been revolutionised in the past 3 or 4 centuries.

Let’s look at the taxi’s and Uber. Yes we do have different taxi companies but what do we notice? Nearly every cab company is directly or indirectly linked with an umbrella organisation that represents every cab driver or taxi industry. Though the taxi companies are “independent” they are represented by “the taxi industry”. This sounds a lot like some shady monopoly. Of course I’m speaking of the Western countries.

Of course if big business takes a taxi they can write those expenses off their taxes because it is in the course of their work. So they don’t care if they have to pay 50euros/dollar or 150Euros/dollars. They get their money back one way or another. In these times of financial woe’s the normal hard working people do not have that option so for those people it DOES make a difference. In the wake of this Uber was established to create a fair and reasonable transport price.

As we continue to see companies not listening to what the people are saying, like too high a price and things like that, the established companies will get tough competition with innovative people at the helm of these “other companies”. Well if a company chooses for a quick fix and the easy way out without addressing the real structural problems I think we will see and exponential increase of these kinds of services.

I also think that the banks will reveal their plans with Bitcoin and digital currency in the next year or so. From what I gathered from you and other sources, that banks are already looking into the Bitcoin phenomena and the blockchain technology. If the banks are interested there will be generally speaking good tidings ahead. What I mean by that is that Bitcoin and the blockchain technology might become more generally accepted than it already is." (http://digitalmoneytimes.com/crypto-news/swarm-past-present-future-interview-with-joel-dietz/)

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