How and why we’re building for the commons

When we announced the Commons Engine, we expressed a desire to create a basket of currencies backed by life necessities (food, water, housing, energy, etc.). So, why start with food? Well…everybody eats! Through a series of synchronous meetings with the brains behind Direct Harvest, Producer’s Market, and JustOne Organics, work in food systems also harmonized with our desire to experiment with real impact related to climate crisis.

Across our work, we want to use non-monetary currencies to make visible previously unseen flows of value and to modify these flows for common benefit.


Revisiting the “what” and the “why” of our offer

What value does Holo offer its participants? This question arises more frequently and becomes more important as the Holo ICO progresses. We’ve written about our Ethical ICO before, and the fact that we’re actually offering community rather than coins. The barrage of folks asking us how they can make money on our ICO and the actual offerings we’ve been fielding from crypto-big whigs has inspired a mini-revival in thinking about value, currency, investment, and stakeholders.

Currency and Value

Don’t be mistaken: the founders of Holo are rare birds in the crypto-world. Why? They have been DESIGNING CURRENCIES since the dotcom bubble. I typically…


Introducing Distributed Public Key Infrastructure

As folks slowly begin to grok Holochain’s many subtle interventions into the crypto-space (assumptions about currency design and distributed computing more generally), it can seem like there are more new questions than answers. On top of Holochain’s core combination of immutable hashes and gossip-enabled validation, you’ve got a wide range of possible authorization requirements for maximal fit with the intention of your app — completely fit-for-purpose. The requirements for entry into a Holochain app are entirely up to the the people who comprise /develop/govern it — think anything from completely open access to requiring a state-issued driver’s license, to having…


How we priced HoloFuel relative to Ethereum gas

EDIT: Scroll to the “Bottom Line” section for new pricing information as of 3/26/18.

Calling all Holo peeps! We’re under a week away from the launch of our Initial Community Offering. If you’ve been keeping up with my posts about our ICO mechanics, you’ll know that the ERC-20 token we’re selling (HOT) is convertible to HoloFuel upon the network’s launch. You can think of HoloFuel as a currency denominated in computing power, as we’ll use it to cover the costs of computing (processing, bandwidth, and storage).

Another facet of making sure our ICO is not only up to snuff, but…


How an algorithm that listens is key for Holo’s Initial Community Offering

I used to be utterly spooked by the proposition of algorithms “listening”. Normally this means some company is tracking your keystrokes, or using keywords from your text messages to spit out Facebook advertisements that match. In the case of Holo’s crowdfund ← → ICO, however, carefully tuning into the crowd makes our community offering what it is.

What’s up with Holo’s next-economy amalgam of fundraising?

Many of us have recently received questions about how and why we use these two bleeding edge funding methods together. Answering this question is fun (for nerds), as it allows us to introduce, ever so humbly, what we consider to be one of…


Offering Community >>> Offering Coins

If you’re following Holo’s mission to “take back the Internet”, you’ll know a celebration is in order. Our launch, which began with a crowdfund (still running!), has been quite successful! After reaching our initial goal in 72 hours, we decided to continue expanding possibilities for participation. The atmosphere in Holo world has been an especially flavorful cocktail — one part celebration, one part frenetic group work, one part networking, and a dash of self-reflexivity. That last dash is where I chime in most often, and to my eyes, we’ve been in a continuous process of articulating ourselves. …


A curated comment thread from “Overgrowth of the Digital Economy…”

A question that’s been on the minds of many leading up to Holo’s launch today (whoa…) concerns what a data community and its governance might be like.

I call computing networks “data communities” for two reasons. One is to make visible the fact that networks constitute communities, even though it may not feel that way right now (thanks a lot, corporate web, and your divide and conquer strategy that masquerades as meaningful participation). …


Working in tech is emotionally complex. I frequently find myself wondering at what point a “digital tool” moves from ethical neutrality to deliberately aiding the pursuit of particular social and political visions. Each time this arises in my mind, I return to the same point again and again. Perhaps I have a new mantra: It’s not about the tool. It’s about us.

Agency, in context, is everything.

The digital economy grows at a barreling speed, not least because it’s easy for our on-screen reality to seem both endlessly plentiful and eerily unrelated to the material and ecological realities of today’s world. Viewed all together, the…


On October 25th, the European Commons Assembly, in partnership with the Transeuropa festival, kicked off in Madrid. In preparing to participate in a working group called “Data Commons and the Collaborative City” I thought a good deal about what it means to run distributed applications for data commons (and the collaborative cities they could facilitate). Hold tight, cause this is quite different from my last post. While technical comparisons hold great value for navigating the field of projects, I see how the comparative process can also create a sort of crypto-competitive fog that obscures the raisons d’être of these projects…


Vean una fantástica traducción al español a continuación por Giancarlo Sandoval

In the (recent) beginning, there was Bitcoin. Who’d have thunk that a decentralized, ledger-based payment system would launch a network protocol, Blockchain, capable of stirring up the web as we know it?

Alternatives to the mess of corporate-controlled mega-platforms have become more complex ever since. As decentralized and distributed technologies begin to displace existing power structures, the topic of how to participate becomes more urgent.

But participation could mean anything from crypto-investing, to clandestine transacting, to re-configuring supply chain management, to who knows what? We’re taking a look at…

Emaline Friedman

network activist for the commons (@CommonsEngine), social critic / autonomist marxist, PhD in psychology

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