This is rough-draft I will be developing over the next few weeks. Please comment or contact me with ideas to make this better, questions, links to similar projects, arguments against the whole idea, or anything else that might be useful.
One of the biggest blockers on the road to better software, better content and a better world is lack of funding for high-quality creative work. We could argue all day about micro- and macro-economics, politics, and philosophy but at the end of the day, it is hard to think creatively when you are hungry. So how do we fund the things that we all agree need to be done but that are not profitable on their own?
I would like to propose a new cryptocurrency specifically designed to fund solutions to big problems that neither business nor government is equipped to handle. The intent would be to purchase for the collective well-being of all people, the intellectual property of certain key technologies and information.
This could be done through the use of two different tokens, also known as coins. The first type of token is purchased and then donated to open-source projects, responsible media organizations, and any web-resource that the donator considers worthy of support. The second token type acts as proof of how much has been donated in the last year. Sites can then “pay-wall” content and downloads by requiring proof that a certain amount has been donated.
The second token would only be earned by donating the first token to a qualified receiver and is good for the current year. Sites would accept the previous year’s tokens as proof for the first two months of the new year giving everyone time to decide who to give their tokens to, or maybe we can come up with a method for a rolling year method. Either way, sites do not get paid per pageview, they receive donations based on how valuable they are to their audience. This reduces the incentive for click-bait and ads, but there is still an incentive to give because all of the “free” stuff on the web will require proof that you have supported the ecosystem.
So end-users donate to consumer services, but then those service providers can, in turn, donate part of what they receive to support the technologies that they rely on. So an API might require that a client has proof of giving amounts proportional to the amount they using the API in a way similar to commercial services, but instead of the donations directly funding a service, the donations can be distributed to the people that helped build the tech rather than to the people that currently own a particular patent.
There is obviously still a lot to work out, but what do you think? Is this the start of something that might actually be helpful?