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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Intro to Commitment Pools


  • A system where service providers can create digital vouchers (aka gift cards) and anyone holding them can exchange them for each other and other pooled assets. 

  • Each service provider makes their own digital vouchers (also called gift cards, points, IoUs or formal commitments) on Sarafu Network (an open source Celo interface). Anyone can purchase these vouchers – and even give them to others. Anyone holding them can go to those service providers and use them as payment. For instance, $10 dollars worth of vouchers could be used for $10 off a haircut

This system, called a commitment pool, allows for balanced and fair trade within a network. To create a commitment pool, curate and select vouchers from trustworthy service providers, cap the number of vouchers to ensure balance, and assign a value to these vouchers.

  • Curating: You designate which service provider’s vouchers you want to give access.

  • Limiting: You create a cap on the number of their vouchers that can be in the pool.

  • Valuing: You value their vouchers relative to national currency (or any other metrics you like). If the vouchers are denominated in national currency already then they can all just be of equal value.

Read the rest at Will Ruddick: Grassroots Economist

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