= "an open global cooperative which organizes itself through the Internet and remains off-limits from nation-state control".
URL = https://fair.coop/
- 1 Description
- 2 Principles
- 3 Governance
- 4 Money
- 5 Interview
- 6 Discussion
- 7 Status
- 7.1 May 2016 Summary
- 7.2 Phased Introduction Planned in Three Phases
- 7.2.1 1st phase: Increase Faircoin price and prioritize savings, in order to increase capital of Fairfunds (September 2014 – November 2014)
- 7.2.2 2 Economic activity: moving products and services all around (December 2014 – December 2015)
- 7.2.3 3 A fair economic system consolidated worldwide (January 2016 – … …..)
- 7.3 Status 2016
1. Earth’s cooperative for economic fairness:
"Fair.coop is an open global cooperative which organizes itself through the Internet and remains off-limits from nation-state control.
Its aim is to make the transition to a new world by reducing as much as possible the economic and social inequalities among human beings, and at the same time gradually contribute to a new global wealth, accessible to all mankind as commons.
Fair.coop understands that the transformation to a fairer monetary system is a key element. Therefore, it proposes Faircoin as the cryptocurrency upon which to base its resource-redistribution actions and building of a new global economic system." (https://fair.coop/who/faircoop/)
2. Cat Johnson:
"Imagine an online cooperative that supports economic equality around the world and is free from state control. This is the vision for Fair.coop. First envisioned by Enric Duran, cofounder of the Catalan Integral Cooperative, Fair.coop is an extension of peer-to-peer values, open cooperation, and hacker ethics. If Fair.coop's lofty ideals are realized in a concrete way, it could prove revolutionary.
Using Faircoin, a cryptocurrency, Fair.coop's goal is to reduce inequality as much as possible by using market forces to, as stated on the website, “hack the foreign exchange market by inserting the cooperation virus.”
The main objective of Fair.coop is to provide a means by which collectives in the Global South may receive donations in, and save, Faircoin. As the value of Faircoin increases, so too does the collective wealth of these communities. To start, Fair.coop has been supplied with 10,000,000 Faircoins, which represents 20 percent of total existing coins. The project marks the beginning of a concrete plan to alleviate economic inequity without going through the channels of nation-states. It is driven exclusively by civil society.
Alleviating economic injustice is no small undertaking, to be sure, but as Stacco Troncoso of the P2P Foundation writes, “The punk rock spirit that underlies the Fair.Coop initiative is admirable. Infused with an attitude transcending punk’s DIY ethos and arriving at a DIWO (Do it with Others) position, Fair.Coop has decided to tackle the big picture, reaching out to people and collectives who want practical action to offset the abundance of rhetoric.”" (http://www.shareable.net/blog/faircoop-using-cryptocurrency-to-bring-economic-justice-to-the-world)
Visualization of the Faircoop eco-system
- Equitable relationships based on freedom
- Self-organization and sovereign popular assemblies
- Public and commons
- Retrieve common property as the common good, under popular possession and control
- Build a cooperative and self-managed public system from mutual support
- Freeing up access to information and knowledge
- A new economy based on cooperation and close relationships
- Cooperate with life and nature
- see the discussion at https://fair.coop/decisions-process/
Decision making in fair.coop
"Although we started off with different groups linked by an assembly as the organ for decision making, with fair.coop we sought other ways, as a global assembly could be really inconvenient for reaching agreements, however without losing any key features such as open participation, decentralization, respect for minority opinions and autonomy.
The proposed method consists of a combination of three methodologies which are usually separated but in fair.coop they complement each other: the Council, collaborative decision making through the social network, and voting.
Each of the three forms has its strengths and weaknesses, so it comes to making each of them reinforce and control the others.
The council has an advantage on having a visible group behind, trusted by the members, and with the responsibility of making decisions. But it also has the disadvantages of being a closed, small group, implying that by default it does not include the wealth of ideas and points of view from all members.
Open participation on Fairnetwork allows collective intelligence to be put to work to produce the best ideas and refine the arguments, plus it’s the closest thing to an assembly in which any dissenting opinion can enrich the commons to generate new consensus; its disadvantage is that, with this virtual format it may become too difficult to reach and implement agreements. Furthermore mistrust, which is often greater in virtual spaces, can hinder its efficiency.
Voting‘s disadvantage is to not allow the constructive work of the participants, nor to do qualitative improvements or take responsibility, but it allows a greater numbers participating than any other method, and results are clear and unambiguous. Also, they can be called by different subjects in accordance with the corresponding methodological agreements.
None of the three tools could face this challenge by itself, but the three together and can do the job if well employed!
To get down to work, first step is to define the game rules in each area of the cooperative which, as it is decentralized, it will start off with 4 provisional councils.
Their members will be responsible for developing strategies and making decisions, but only on those topics previously approved by the cooperative.
For this end, each provisional council’s first task will be to define a methodology document on how decisions are taken in their field, and especially which topics are decided by the council and which are subjected to cooperative voting.
Its first draft will be published on the social network and members will be able to make contributions to it, which the council may or may not include, and once they have a more solid proposal it will be voted.
For this document to be approved it must receive at least 75% of votes. It needs a very qualified majority because it is the ground for all other decisions.
If approved, the community can start working hereunder, otherwise it will have to keep searching for community proposals that serve to generate a new, better consensus document to be voted again.
Likewise for participation to be continuous and avoid any position with community support from being silenced; at any time a group of members will be able to gather support for a voting proposal on FairNetwork and if they get enough support they will be able to call a vote.
This minimum number is by default 10% of members but in any case it will be included in the methodology document submitted by the Ecosystem Council. The draft will also make clear whether, how, and under which conditions any council or node is entitled to ban a proposal. This is a possibility about which this promoter group has no specific proposal, but we realize the need for some decision-making space to reflect on how to create balance between the risk of situations that may go against the interest of fair.coop, and centralization of power.
Thus, the decision-making process is open and yet to be defined by all of us together.
We, as the Faircoop promoter group, provide two tools for decision making: first, debate and discussion groups to share drafts and generate consensus, and second, voting tools. We let councils and the community that elects them define their own decision-making methodology, given it is consistent with the fair.coop principles.
Finally, remember that in order to access the scoring tools, and be able to vote you must be a full member of the cooperative. However open this is, we understand that, given the ease of access, fully involved participants should be actual cooperativists."
Governance as a Trans-Local Commons
Sam Dallyn, Fabian Frenzel:
"FairCoop was founded in 2014 by Enric Duran. Duran became famous within activist communities by creating multiple overdrafts in different banks across Spain in 2008 through fake solvency, and then using the roughly half a million Euros generated to support anti-capitalist movements in Catalonia and across Spain. As Enric Duran (2019) stressed, “I envisage FairCoop will be for the entire world what the CIC is to Catalonia: An open self-governed worldwide financial co-op independent of banks or states”. Duran has served as a figurehead in the early years of FairCoop in giving the movement a disobedient, communal anarchist ethos as it aims to be autonomous from both capitalism and the state. In Duran’s original vision, FairCoin would address the challenge of scale facing many commons (see Gerhardt 2020) through peer2peer technology.
FairCoop is organised on the basis of local nodes, and over 50 local nodes have been created in different regions, principally in Southern Europe—although the vast majority of these are no longer active at the time of writing. These local nodes are self-organised and radically autonomous as long as they are aligned with FairCoop’s principles of peer2peer collaboration, Integral Revolution (IntegraRevolucio 2020), and hacker ethics (FairCoop 2017a). Hacker ethics is understood through some key collective principles that include free information and sharing, and open public data (Interview, Duran, 2019; see also FairCoop 2017a). Local nodes are meant to build alternative economies and they make decisions through face-to-face assemblies. The nodes also operate Points of Exchange (POE) where people can exchange government backed fiat currency for FairCoin. The most active local nodes had FairSpots, sites which provide a POE, a place that goods can be bought and sold in FairCoin, and somewhere that political meetings could be held. The first FairSpot was created in central Athens, Exarcheia in 2017, which sold items in FairCoin including olive oil, coffee, herbs, pasta sauces and syrup. In Novi Sad, Serbia, the FairSpot also had a small garden, which meant that fresh, organically grown fruit and vegetables could be sold in FairCoin (see FairCoop 2018a). FairCoin can be used by downloading a wallet app, which allows the purchase of FairCoin using government fiat currency or other cryptocurrencies. The wallet also enables exchanges through a local node anywhere where FairCoin is active. Transactions can then be made either via laptops in which addresses can be copied and pasted, via FairPay cards, or via Android phones and the scanning of QR codes. In addition, there is also a Fair Market website (which continues to exist, although with a vastly reduced range of goods offered from when FairCoin and FairCoop was at its height in 2017) where items such as eggs, olive oil, lip balms, herbs, fruit and vegetables can be bought in FairCoin. Some cities, including London, also had temporary accommodation that was advertised on the Fair Market website and that can be paid for in FairCoin.
The governance of FairCoop and FairCoin operated on two levels. Local level FairCoop groups held regular in person local node meetings and, at a global level, collective discussions occurred — and continue to occur in more limited form—across a broad range of groups on Telegram and via FairChat—an open source software messaging application. These different groups focus on issues such as economic strategy; the development of open source applications; coordination between FairCoop local nodes; an independent bank, Bank of the Commons; and a welcome group. At a trans-local level, there are open online monthly meetings including the General Assembly, amongst others (FairCoop 2018b). Participants can make proposals which are discussed in the General Assembly or relevant groups with the aim of achieving a form of consensus, which does not aim for 100% agreement in each case. Individuals can passively disagree or actively block a proposal—and it is only when a participant blocks a proposal that it cannot be implemented. Individuals who block decisions must provide a substantive reason, and ideally offer an alternative. It must be noted that the most intractable issues that FairCoop has faced are related to the price and convertibility of FairCoin—that is, around what rate FairCoin can be exchanged back to Euros or whether this should be offered at all within FairCoop, and how FairCoin should be valued in relation to Euros when goods and services are priced. This will be the central focus of the following section, but it is worth noting that as a result of the impossibility of finding any consensus here, FairCoop adopted a more decentralised approach to questions around FairCoin price and convertibility, which is now left to local nodes in different regions to decide.
At an open FairCoop local node experience sharing session during the 2018 Summer Camp in Serbia, one of the participants described the activities of the FairCoop local node in Heraklion in Crete.
Michaelis, an activist and a member of the Integral Cooperative based there, described how they had been able to cooperate with a social currency in the region:
- In every event of the Integral Cooperative we try to promote both coins, for example the autonomous market has helped us to extend a lot to other people. For example, we had a desk with a couple of computers and one guy was speaking about the social currency, I was speaking to people about FairCoin.
The quote above reflects a significant instance of boundary commoning. First, we can see from the quote that the ideals of the CIC have spread, and a similar model has been adopted in Heraklion through the generation of its own Integral Cooperative. Second, commoning occurs through the use of open street markets where producers and consumers use FairCoin and other social currencies. FairCoin was also working alongside an existing local social currency, thus presenting a significant instance of forging interconnections in a local context. A significant number of other instances of boundary commoning have been facilitated through FairCoin over the years, including the Iberian Routes project during 2018–2019 in which on a monthly basis food (including fruit, pasta, herbs, olive oil and beer) and cleaning products were transported to different regions across the Iberian Peninsula and exchanged for FairCoin, through a coordinated project which involved up to eight different local nodes in the region, including Galiza, Manresa and Tarragona (see FairCoop Forum 2018).
Returning to the experiences in Heraklion, as Michaelis went on to explain:
- The rest of the city sees us as an alternative to the market, as an anti-capitalistic movement. As you know some of them like it, we try to welcome and incorporate anyone who is interested, and we try to present ourselves as a transition movement who needs the social interaction.
Michaelis’ stress on openness and a desire to “incorporate anyone who is interested” is reflective of the openness of FairCoop’s design model with very little stress on commons boundaries. We can also see here the extent to which the postcapitalism within FairCoop is seen by some participants and external observers as having an anti-capitalist flavour (Chatterton and Pickerill 2010). FairCoop however is rather a postcapitalist movement as it sought to generate a source of capital through FairCoin being openly tradable on different cryptocurrency exchanges. This led to the key problem of FairCoin’s two prices and insufficient boundaries from capital, to which we now turn."
Stacco Troncoso interviewed by Cat Johnson:
"What's the importance of Fair.Coop? Can you briefly describe your vision for the coop?
Our long term vision is to create a means for constructing a new social and economic system based on decentralized cooperation, bypassing the need for nation-states and central banks. In the short term, we are creating a space for a real collaborative, commons-oriented economy, mutually generated by projects worldwide and destined for humanity as a whole. We're compiling the sum of the knowledge distributed among different collectives for a cohesive impact.
What's the relationship between Fair.Coop and Faircoin? How will they intersect and/or interact?
Our intention is to be “Fair in name, fair in practice.” Fair.Coop uses Faircoin as its social capital and store of value. Fair.Coop is Faircoin's conscience—it's a cryptocurrency attached to commons-oriented responsibility.
Fair.Coop already holds 20 percent of all Faircoins in existence, which guarantees that the growth of the currency's value will go to the common good. This is guaranteed by Fair.Coop's democratic accountability system What's the CIC's involvement in the project? Is it the driving force behind Fair.Coop and Faircoin?
A lot of the same people are involved with Fair.Coop, but the CIC as an entity is not the central leader or motor for the project. The CIC is an example of one collective attached to local bio-regional realities, but there are many more in the world, which are being united by Fair.Coop. The CIC could be thought of one more local participant, and one of many true peers in the P2P network making up the global Fair.Coop.
Do you see Fair.Coop and Faircoin working on a global scale? What could that look like?
In fact, Fair.Coop can't be anything but global; it's been specifically designed to be global; for this reason, we call it the Earth Cooperative. It's not a scaled-up local project. One of Fair.Coop's key objectives is to facilitate a global body of knowledge, capable of generating concrete impact locally.
At any rate, we could make a working distinction between two sets of mechanisms that'd be produced by Fair.Coop: global and local. At the local level we'd be seeing local, specialized mechanisms and knowledge which, in turn, would feed into a global open knowledge economy comprised of, among other things, valuable data and monetary and economic tools. This will be a bidirectional relationship, as both parts will nourish one another for the benefit of the whole." (http://www.shareable.net/blog/faircoop-using-cryptocurrency-to-bring-economic-justice-to-the-world)
"One of the priority objectives of Fair.coop is to build a new global economic system based on cooperation, ethics, solidarity and justice in our economic relations.
For this great goal to be possible, it is very important to have a clear strategic path which is well understood and shared by Fair.coop’s members. This article explains the strategy we have considered.
Faircoin is the cryptocurrency we have chosen to monetarily support our economic system. In addition to the advantages discussed in other sections, it’s a cryptocurrency with features that make it suitable for saving money at a very low ecological cost, because the energy expenditure needed for mining is not necessary. Faircoin was previously created; 50 million were distributed at first and since then, a small percentage have grown through savings.
Faircoin is traded in currency markets just as any other cryptocurrency or State currency.
Foreign exchange markets exchanging cryptocurrencies (alone or with State currencies) have been expanding rapidly in the past two years.
The evolution of the foreign exchange markets has always had an impact on the purchasing power of citizens of the world, with serious consequences such as impoverishment, cheap labor and the exploitation of natural resources. The reason for this was not only the imbalance of trade but also speculative movements that tend to benefit the rich.
Knowing this, our plan here is to restore the greatest level of global economic justice that we can, by using something that has usually played against the global south: market forces (supply – demand).
In short, as we say at fair.coop, the point is to hack the foreign exchange market by inserting the cooperation virus as a tool for global economic justice.
To this end, in this first phase, we will promote the market’s demand for Faircoin through cooperative actions, and at the same time, we will encourage the reduction of the amount that is for sale.
There will be no “buying for the sake of it”, which would not be sustainable or coherent. Instead, we want to promote Faircoin as an option for ethical savings, facilitated by multiple services making it a useful tool for initiatives working toward the economic empowerment of active subjects of social change.
In order to understand our plan, an essential concept to learn about is the properties of currency.
Currency has different functions, among the best known are:
- Medium of exchange of goods and services.
- Value storage
- Reference value (price system)
Through these functions, currency contributes to meeting important needs in the economy; for instance, the “value storing” function is a key for the use of money as capital.
Economists have usually designed economic systems which attempt to get one single currency to fulfill all functions at the same time. In the case of fiat money, the formal banking system is offered as the only mechanism to act as a store of value, through interest, since the value of these currencies is itself devalued over time, due to inflation. And banks are increasingly forcing people to use their networks in order to access the “exchange of goods and services” role of money.
In the case of social and complementary currencies, until now existing projects have generally met with varying degrees of success in the function of “medium of exchange”, but with their value being referenced to a fiat currency, they have also been victims of same inflation as the currencies to which they refer (except, at least directly, in cases such as time banks).
The case of Bitcoin, because it is a cryptocurrency, must be followed closely as it evolves. So far it has shown great success as a store of value over the long term, despite fluctuations in the short and medium term, and it is growing rapidly as a means of exchange. Still, certain contradictions between both functions have been spotted as its growing acceptance by businesses that turn it directly into fiat currency has put a significant selling pressure on the money market.
With Fair.coop we plan to build an autonomous economic system over the current system, and for that we picture a set of free economic tools to use in order to generate new social dynamics. We’re building a series of coins and resources that play complementary roles, instead of trying to get a single currency to fit all needs at once.
To do this, we are focusing on the following currencies:
- Faircoin for the value storage role, starting now and with the long term objective of using it as a price reference.
- Faircredit, a worldwide mutual credit system as a means of exchange of goods and services, supported by Faircoin.
And the following resources:
- Fairfunds: Faircoin funds for donations to various types of projects. The Global South Fund will be used for local collective empowerment projects at various levels, while the Commons Fund and the Technology Infrastructure Fund will fund global projects, which may also include globally coordinated networks of local projects.
- Fairsavings as a source of faircoin savings for those members who aren’t security experts.
- Fairmarket, fair.coop’s virtual market that will allow members to use Faircredit, and anyone to use Faircoin.
- Fairbag as a resource to support backup encrypted savings and wallet management for advanced users who want to keep their savings in case of an emergency.
- Coopfunding as a permanent platform to raise donations in any faircoin-convertible currency, which feed the Fairfunds.
These, together with other projects presently in discussion which will be announced and launched in the near future, will serve to build the fundamentals of the Fair.coop economic system.
This system is meant to be fractal, ie, from the experience in the root platform it can be moved and replicated to different regional and local scales around the globe, with interoperability at different levels for the entire Fair.coop ecosystem." (https://fair.coop/building-a-new-economy/)
May 2016 Summary
By Guy James:
"The Fairmarket is up and running in beta version at https://market.fair.coop, you can see the current businesses accepting Faircoin at https://use.fair-coin.org, Faircoin can be bought at http://getfaircoin.net or on the Bittrex exchange, or using the Bitsquare app, Faircoin2 is on the horizon and there is a crowdinvestment campaign here to fund its development: https://coopfunding.net/.../faircoin-2-crowdinvestment/
You can exchange between currencies using the http://fairtoearth.com/ app, and there are two wallet apps for desktop and one for Android.
The social network at https://fair.coop/social-network/ is still going strong and in addition we now have many groups on Telegram for day-to-day communication which are open to all those who feel an affinity with the FC principles: https://fair.coop/faircoop-has-a-new-telegram-channel/
There is also a Refugees Fund to which we invite contributions in Faircoin or fiat money: https://coopfunding.net/en/campaigns/refugees-fund-faircoop/ - this is the first outward-facing fund to be active, as opposed to funds sustaining FairCoop itself.
The infrastructure of the FairCoop is now sufficiently in place for it to be useful, the next step is getting more participation from the public and creating a 'network effect' which will multiply its usefulness."
Phased Introduction Planned in Three Phases
1st phase: Increase Faircoin price and prioritize savings, in order to increase capital of Fairfunds (September 2014 – November 2014)
"The key concept for understanding the project’s potential to generate economic resources is the market cap, or market capitalization, which equals the amount of existing coins times the value of one unit.
Some of the activists promoting this project bought large quantities of Faircoin at a very reduced price with the intention of redistributing to Fairfunds projects and revalue by generating real value in a cooperative way through Fair.coop.
As explained on the Funds page, a primary goal of this phase is for Global South collectives and important pro-commons projects to receive Faircoin capital which could be useful to their development, together with the free knowledge resources and other types of support they will find in the social network (link).
That is, to generate exactly the opposite dynamic as with that of the global financial power, which devalues people’s goods in order to keep their resources.
Initiatives to prioritize at this stage will be:
- Fairsaving. Fair.coop’s multi-signature digital wallet, which forces a minimum saving period of 6 months.
- Faircoop wallet. Linked p2p multi-sig wallet.
- Fairbag. Faircoop wallet service that will allow a trustworthy encrypted backup which can be recovered in an emergency situation.
- Fairfunds. At the starting phase, it is important to spread the word and get projects to begin joining and feeding the various funds. In this sense we already have Coopfunding (link) for crowdfunding campaigns for Fairfunds, exchangeable for Faircoins.
Coopfunding will soon have a mixed option: 50% grant + 50% Fairsavings.
2 Economic activity: moving products and services all around (December 2014 – December 2015)
In this second phase, when the market cap reaches an amount that makes Faircoin generate commercial interest, and while the growth curve of this market cap becomes more moderate, it will grow in importance, creating economic activity both among fair.coop members and worldwide.
It is important to understand that the ability to purchase a community’s products and services depends on its total market cap, and therefore trade expansion depends largely on the success of the cryptocurrency vehicle used as a store of value.
The projects to be prioritized in this phase will be:
- Fairfunds: This will be the time to start distributing funds in the form of already-available Faircoin capital, to support participation of projects in the coop’s economic activity during the first year, and to be used freely from the second year on.
- Faircredit: Global mutual loan system, supported by Faircoin, the currency to promote its use for production and consumption in the Fair.coop ecosystem.
- Fairmarket: Virtual market that will accept Faircoin and Faircredit, allowing Fair.coop members to open their shops with the technological support of the entire platform.
- Other projects underway related to generating an autonomous banking system, and facilitating exchange processing tools and the ability to exchange other currencies to Faircoin and Faircredit.
3 A fair economic system consolidated worldwide (January 2016 – … …..)
This third phase, of course still further ahead, will be characterized by the consolidation of the ecosystem and its expansion to as many levels as possible.
It is important to note that for this to happen, the value of Faircoin should consolidate so it can serve as a reference value, allowing us to stop depending on the prices drawn by fiat currencies. This may be the most difficult priority to achieve.
In order to generate the reference value, it will be necessary to create very broad collaboration dynamics among many different people who can build large cooperative networks to defend the value of Faircoin as a benchmark of our ecosystem.
Regarding other Fair.coop objectives, we will try to increasingly multiply the cooperation and solidarity dynamics in every sense, leveraging the shared knowledge and the projects implemented at Fair.coop, as well as the collectives that were part of it." (https://fair.coop/building-a-new-economy/)
By Enric Duran:
"The timeline that was envisioned has been delayed, but one month ago was launched Fairmarket beta version which was a main tool pending for deploy that second phase. You can see it ongoing on http:// market.fair.coop
The marketplace is being improved step by step. Shipping personalization and territorial fairmarkets, are the next to be deployed.
Now, Faircoop is working at different level for increase progressively the real use of faircoin for exchanges
The most importants:
- Fairmarket related projects. For example collaboration between nodes of different countries for organizing exchange of product
- Refugee fund first projects. See about Refugee fund here: https://coopfunding.net/en/campaigns/refugees-fund-faircoop/
- Freedom Coop. European cooperative society, which will facilite any project in Europe to have a legal platform which can use for making activity, just like Catalan integral Cooperative do.
At the same time, Faircoin 2, with an important blockchain innovation is being developed currently.
The white paper which already was published last year: https://fair.coop/groups/faircoop-community/faircoin/faircoin2/