[hackerspaces] Hackerspaces and alternative/crypto-currency (Was: How to make money to sustain a hackerspace)

Edward L Platt ed at elplatt.com
Thu Dec 11 17:24:20 CET 2014

Using hackerspaces as hubs for alternative currencies is an intriguing
idea. I've been thinking about this as well and recently read a great book
with a number of case studies on alternative, community-based currencies:


It's important to decide whether you want to experiment with new forms of
money, or whether you have specific community goals. It's the usual
hackerspace problem: do you want a project or a tool. Either can be good,
but trying to mix the two is often disastrous.

Personally, I'm more interested in alternative currency as a
community-building tool. Hackerspaces are in a great position to do this
too. By issuing notes that can be redeemed for future dues, hackerspaces
have a natural way to back alternative currencies. There's a system
described in the book I mentioned that works like this: local businesses
make donations to a hackerspace (either in-kind or in dollars) and receive
a note as a receipt. Those businesses can give those notes to customers or
employees as incentives. Those customers and employees can then either use
them to pay for hackerspace memberships, or to buy goods from businesses
based out of the hackerspace. This has several benefits:

- Development of a local economy, independent of the dollar.
- Increased sales for local businesses and use of excess capacity.
- Increased hackerspace membership.

I'd be interested in working with anyone setting up that kind of system.

Happy hacking,

On Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 9:29 PM, Mark Scrano <mscrano at ieee.org> wrote:
> I am involved with a hackerspace that is a 501(c)3 non-profit
> organization, and I have an idea for a fundraiser that involves work in
> the cryptocurrency field.   Our space has always been a break even type
> of group where we are large enough to sustain our basics.  Unfortunately
> we do not end up with any reserves and lately since we have moved into a
> bigger space our growth has not continued as we have hoped, we now are
> running in the red.  I have proposed the following idea to our board and
> if any other spaces are interested in making this a larger endeavor
> please follow up with me either on or off thread.  I am considering
> creating a user created asset on the counterparty platform many of the
> details have yet to be ironed out but here is the basic concept.  Once
> we have created a distribution schedule we will start with a crowd
> funding sale.  Anyone that contributes to the initial round of seed
> funding will get an equal distribution of the token we create based upon
> how much they contributed financially.  (I.E. we raise 1 million[heh i
> wish] and the schedule calls for 1 million tokens then each token would
> = $1) Once the tokens are distributed we continue to distribute tokens
> to people that are actively contributing to a hackerspace/makerspace
> that is involved in the experiment.  For example someone that teaches a
> class could earn a number of tokens for that event etc.  Individual
> spaces could create task lists or action items that would also earn
> tokens for being completed.  Tokens could then be used within the
> hackerspace community or exchanged on a marketplace for cash.  Being a
> space that does not currently have full time employees or the ability to
> hire and pay full time employees I think this could pick up the slack on
> some of the tasks that are not regularly completed.  Please any feedback
> that you have is welcome, be brutal.  Any spaces that are interested in
> collaborating or being part of the experiment please let me know!
> Regards,
> Mark Scrano
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

Edward L. Platt
@elplatt <http://twitter.com/elplatt>

This electronic mail message was sent from my desktop personal computer.
Please forgive any long-winded, overly-prosaic ramblings.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.hackerspaces.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20141211/cb575eb4/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Discuss mailing list