Decentralizing Our Economies with Gratitude

Rieki Cordon
Published in
13 min readJun 1, 2021

Introducing the SEEDS Gratitude Token! Unlocking economies where Gratitude may direct the flows of value over primarily impersonal and unconscious market forces…

Art by GBK


This article:
1. Explores the transformational power of creating new economic realities.
2. Frames what we’re doing at SEEDS (redesigning economies for regenerative civilization’s) and what tools have been built to start doing this.
3. Shares where Gratitude (a new economic tool in SEEDS) fits into our existing economic tool kit.
4. Explores the limitations and strengths of new economic tools (Proposals, Contribution Scores, Gratitude, and Gift Economies) and frame the various tools we’re using.
5. Introduces Gratitude and how to participate.

If you’re familiar with SEEDS already, jump down to “The Call for Gratitude” section.

One purpose of SEEDS is to…

provide humanity with open-source, transparent and regenerative economies to reverse the degeneration of our planet.

To do so requires that we re-design how we scale coordination and the distribution of value throughout our new economies.

Further, it requires that we create new types of currencies to coordinate (signal and distribute value) with.

Scaling coordination…

When we look at first principles; the primary (net-beneficial) objective of any economy is about scaling human coordination across time and space.

Our *dominant economic systems have primarily used markets and money to scale our coordination.

Those tools have proven to be tremendously powerful (for better and for worse) and have served as the foundational tools for empire builders (for worse) and creating a globally connected humanity (for better).

Additionally, the limitations of markets and money alone have been devastating as they contain too many “externalities”(things not considered). E.g. drinkable rivers, breathable air, nourishing food, unpolluted environments, thriving ecosystems, the commons, active parenting, mental health, etc, etc, etc are all not considered or supported by the market.

As such, not only does the market system poorly coordinate and service those needs, but marketable services that actively destroy them are rewarded. E.g. it’s much more rewarding to degrade mental health and sell a placating pill, than it is to truly heal people. It’s more rewarding to poison our rivers and sell bottled water than it is to restore our rivers etc.

Markets and money are still powerful tools (just 2 tools of many), and may still have a role (albeit a much smaller one) to play in healthy economies. However, regenerative civilizations would do well to not have the market be the primary coordinating force.

So, understanding the primary objective of an economy is to scale coordination across time and space we can begin to redesign new tools to better achieve this aim.

Further, we need to do this in a decentralised (as central planning also doesn’t work as a solution to market limitations either) manner.

For this, SEEDS has built 3 (and working on building more) new tools for coordinating and distributing value within new (and regenerative) economies.

*Dominant = not including the immense diversity of indigenous and alternative economic systems that once existed/and still exist on our planet.

Our Challenge and Opportunity (Why Gratitude?)

Credit: Debbie Sassen

There are endless courses aimed at artists, teachers, healers, and more — designed to help folks “transform their relationship with money”.

What’s happening here is that many folks don’t like charging people for their gifts. It feels wrong to take, when the authentic desire was to give.

Yet, the market economy requires people to earn money to meet their needs. So, the market created a solution. Sell people a course on how they can change their relationship to the market economy to be better suited to serve it and the dominant monetary order…

Somehow we lost our way…

Money is here to serve humanity, humanity is not here to serve money!

So, let’s forge a different route — why don’t we change our economies to better support thriving human relationships (support the authentic desire to give AND to be able to meet our needs) opposed to changing humans to better fit the market economy?

Why don’t we get our financial systems to change, so that they better fit how we want to relate to each-other?

The call for Gratitude!

Gratitude came about as a challenge to redesign how we can relate and coordinate with each other to distribute value throughout our economy.

Imagine an economy where it’s common for people to lead thriving lives by simply giving gifts to those who most need it (opposed to just those that can afford it), never needing to ask for payment (to take) in return…

How can we create economies where all human needs can be met, not just the needs of those who can afford it?

When we give deep gratitude to another being, when we give long hugs of appreciation, we’re both filled with joy (literally) . We don’t have to remove part of our joy to give joy to another.

Giving appreciation and receiving a gift is not a zero-sum affair (like money and markets).

Knowing this, how can we create economies that follow the principles of gratitude and gifting?

Money and markets have transformed ancient gift economies into zero-sum games. Where in order for me to pay you, I have to take from myself. It also concentrates humanity’s gifts towards a minority of “wealthy” people.

This is a problem we aim to solve.

Gift Economy as a tool

It should be said that gifting economies also have their limitations.

They’re less effective when it comes to scaling coordination to unify around complex tasks. E.g. a gift economy would be ineffective in helping us coordinate to clean up the great pacific garbage patch, reverse global desertification, reduce intensive animal agriculture operations in favor of regenerative agriculture and more…

So, a gift economy becomes another tool in our economic toolkit optimally designed for some situations (often local scale circular economies), but not all complex coordination tasks that a thriving civilization requires.

Scaling REGENERATIVE coordination…

SEEDS exists to provide tools that help us scale our coordination, in the most generative, regenerative and joyful ways - to distribute value towards achieving our *shared aims.

*Over the course of 24 months SEEDS established a constitution for aligning on what our shared aims are, providing a template for regions and local communities to evolve from.

3 tools for regeneratively scaling coordination

Initial drafts for the gratitude token symbol (far left is the Seeds’ currency symbol).

1. Proposals

“Proposals” are a tool to collectively decide changes to our economy or to fund projects, ideas and organizations we collectively support. Our decentralised governance system is the “vote” section (found in the Wallet and Passport) currently used to fund Campaigns and Alliances and to ratify Referenda (evolve our systems).

Known Strengths and Weaknesses

Proposals excel when decisions are high-stakes/value and we want to benefit from the collective intelligence (by asking all Citizens to make an assessment).

However, this also becomes a weakness as there are limitations to the amount of proposals Citizens are able to collectively assess (mind share each Citizen is willing to give) in a given voting cycle.

Proposals are best suited for projects or ideas that benefit from an extended sense and decision making process and are valuable enough to ask all Citizens (regionally or globally depending on where the proposal is submitted) to assess them.


  1. A 100M Seeds proposal to fund a project creating a “Community Garden in a Box” for scaling and supporting local food economies.
  2. A referendum about changing the economic designs within SEEDS and adding a new type of currency for people to use.

2. Contribution Scores

“Contribution Scores” are a tool within SEEDS to consciously decide, track and reward a variety of contributions to our new civilizations.

In real time we can track when people contribute and continuously compensate members in the form of a Universal Earned Income, called ‘the Harvest’. Contribution Scores are a decentralized and systemic tool for compensating “contributions” within our economies.

Known Strengths and Weaknesses

Contribution Scores are most suited for trackable and quantitative metrics (such as, the number of Seeds Planted) and less suited for qualitative metrics (such as, helping someone plant a garden).

If we can objectively track it, it’s homogenous, and it’s a systemic contribution, then it’s ideally suited to build into the Contribution Score tool. If it’s difficult to quantify or track, it’s less suited for this tool.


  1. Members Community Building: Points earned to compensate members who invite others and help them understand SEEDS and thrive/progress in the community.
  2. Organization's Regenerative Reputation: Points earned by organizations who are using regenerative business practices. This acts as a Contribution Score multiplier to best compensate the organizations doing good in the world and reduce rewards for those organizations who aren’t yet adopting regenerative practices. This is a high-leverage tool to create systemic incentives for organizations adopting regenerative practices (where today there are few).

3. And now… Gratitude!

Gratitude fills some of the weaknesses of both the Proposal and Contribution Score tools.

Gratitude functions as a “swarm intelligence” tool. Where proposals are a “collective intelligence” tool.

The more people using gratitude the more effective and efficient the system gets (more disperse and accurate data). While the more people making and assessing proposals, the more inefficient the system gets (asking for more human time to assess the same number of proposals).

Where the are limits to how many proposals each group can process in a cycle, there are no limits to the amount of Gratitude (and signaling) that can be distributed using Gratitude.

Further, Gratitude fills the “qualitative” gap in the Contribution Scores tool by allowing people to send gratitude for anything they’re grateful for (opposed to only things that can be objectively tracked). This creates a “qualitative” assessment tool that works real-time and is reflective of the individual preferences of those sending Gratitude.

Known Strengths and Weaknesses

A known strength is that gratitude is optimally scalable and decentralized and benefits from more people actively using it.

While a weakness is that there are no pre-agreed, objective or quantifiable agreements on how Gratitude is to be used. Two friends can simply send all their gratitude to each other (though there are ways to programmatically track and reduce the benefits of this particular action), or Gratitude can flow to things that are objectively harmful to a Regenerative Civilization (no way of knowing/tracking or pre-agreeing).

Further, Gratitude is most suited for contributions that are highly visible and exciting (where people celebrate by sending gratitude) and less suited for contributions that are less exciting and noticeable (like debugging some back-end code).

Ideal Examples

  1. Thank you for being present with me today, I really appreciated that “send gratitude”.
  2. Thank you for creating that art on the call today! It was so epic to see that and it filled my heart with joy “send gratitude”.

4. More tools coming soon!

Gratitude Token

Ideally the model here is that anyone can:

  1. show up,
  2. give gifts to others (participate),
  3. get acknowledged (receive gratitude),
  4. celebrate our gifts,
  5. acknowledge others gifts (send gratitude),
  6. receive value (Seeds — the financial token) at the end of each cycle for helping build new economies and regenerative civilizations!

If we’re successful and we take this model to its fullest potential, we may be able to create an economic system where Gratitude serves as a foundation to how we meet many of our needs!

Imagine being able to just share your gifts freely and receive value without having to:

  1. quantify the value of the gift;
  2. make a proposal; or
  3. request payment.

Each of which carries a lot of overhead (having to take time to quantify the value of the gift, craft a proposal, promote the proposal, bill others, set-up businesses, etc, etc…) An economy rooted in Gratitude may be a more effective way to decentralise value flows and remove some of these excess processes (like having to quantify the value of a gift) that require so much human time.

However, this all requires active participation and use of this new tool for it to work. So, let’s get grateful!

First round of icon ideas for the Gratitude Token

How to Participate in Gratitude:

  1. During each cycle (beginning and ending with each new moon) a Gratitude Account is filled with Seeds.
    These can be by donations (from members or organizations), the SEEDS Harvest, and/or SEEDS proposals. This pot is used to send Seeds to the recipients of Gratitude.
  2. Inactive Gratitude tokens are distributed out.
    Residents receive 100 tokens and Citizens receive 200, to acknowledge (send Gratitude to) other people for anything they’d like.
  3. Holding/Hoarding Gratitude tokens providing no benefits.
    Tokens are only activated (and counted) once they’re sent to someone else. Just like a thank you is only meaningful once shared.
  4. Each acknowledgement sends 10% of your Gratitude tokens.
    If you acknowledge more than 10 people in a cycle then each acknowledgment is divided proportionately by the total Gratitude you have to give. So, the optimal strategy is to acknowledge a minimum of 10 people each month to have a full impact.
  5. At the end of the cycle, the flows of Gratitude are tracked and Seeds are sent.
    People get a share of the Gratitude Account pot based on the percentage of Active Gratitude tokens they received (people can’t give back, or re-gift, Gratitude tokens they receive).
  6. The cycle repeats!

How to use Gratitude in Discord:

Gratitude only works with the Seeds Light Wallet (search in app store to download) for signing your Gratitude signals on the Blockchain (Passport integration coming soon!)

Within the brackets [like this] fill in the appropriate information and send as a comment within Discord.

  1. First step: Set up yours or someone else’s gratitude account. Type: !seedsacct [discord user] [SEEDS account name] | Ex: !seedsacct @drigo drigolove333

2. Second step: Be grateful! Send someone gratitude. Type: !ack [discord user you want to acknowledge] [reason for the gratitude] | Ex: !ack @Sorin for everything

ack = short for acknowledge

3. Confirm in your private messages. You need to sign your gratitude to the Blockchain to make it official! You’ll get a private message in Discord that will ask for your confirmation.

3.1 Scan (using your Wallet’s QR feature) if you’re using desktop. Or, click on the QR code if you’re using mobile.

3.2 Then click the “Sign with Anchor” button to sign using the SEEDS Wallet.

Click here in the Light Wallet to get the QR reader and scan on your desktop!
See your private messages from the Gratzbot (Gratitude Bot) to sign your request (add it to the blockchain!)
Click on this button to open up your Light Wallet (ensure you have the Light Wallet set up on your phone before).

4. Have fun, be grateful!

How to use in the Passport (coming soon)!

New to SEEDS?

  1. Join Discord ← Link here!
  2. Introduce yourself, share what you’re up to, what your purpose and passion is. Then, ask for an invite to the Passport.
  3. Set up your SEEDS account.
  4. Become a Resident. Click here for the steps.
  5. Get the Light Wallet (Search “Seeds Light Wallet” in the app store) and use your “private key” found in your profile in the Passport to login to the Wallet.
  6. Go back into Discord and follow the “How to use in Discord” steps to start sharing gratitude!
  7. Welcome to the world of SEEDS!

Going deeper in Gratitude:

  1. An important difference between Proposals and Gratitude is that Gratitude is for recognizing people, while Proposals are for recognizing projects. This being a main difference, and the “voting” strategy (e.g. how to best use the tool) is different too.
  2. Also Gratitude tokens are a poor tool to use for bartering and payment, because the actual value to be received is unknown until the end of the cycle (the pot may grow or people may receive more tokens). So, Seeds are more ideal for market-based interactions (where the price is known/set) and Gratitude is best suited for non-market interactions.

Better than just a basic income

Basic income (represented in SEEDS as the Harvest) is another powerful tool, that if carefully applied, can serve as a healthy foundation to a regenerative civilization.

However, a basic income alone doesn’t take into account individual contributions to improve our Commons, regenerate our planet, or make life more wonderful for ourselves and others.

Gratitude tokens compliment the Harvest (basic earned income) program beautifully, so people may get enough to live with dignity and get an extra reward based on their perceived contributions and gifts to others.

This is a beautiful way to recognize people who volunteer, provide gifts or other altruistic services such as:

  • caring for children and elderly,
  • house keeping,
  • teaching and facilitating,
  • healing services,
  • artists,
  • cleaning up pollution,
  • regenerating our communities,
  • and anything else that someone may express gratitude for receiving.

Exchange Tokens versus Signal Tokens

SEEDS carries a growing diversity of tokens and tools to scale our coordination. While “exchange tokens” carry a market rate (can be bought/sold/traded for other currencies like, central bank currencies) “signal tokens” are not tradable and can’t be sold or bought.

Example Exchange Tokens

  1. Seeds Currency
  2. DHO/Project/Organisation equity tokens

Example Signal Tokens

  1. Trust tokens (for voting)
  2. Gratitude tokens (for gifting)
  3. Badge tokens (like ambassador Badge) that can only be earned and provide various benefits

Gratitude Rewards

For the first 2 cycles Citizens have already passed a proposal to fill the Gratitude Account with 106,528 Seeds where 20k will be available the first cycle and the remaining Seeds for the the 2nd (and possibly 3rd, depending on how this trial goes) cycle (to give people time to get used to using it).

If Citizens wish to continue filling the gratitude account we’ll need to make unique Campaign proposals to fill the account — any member may propose a campaign to top up the Gratitude Account!

Let’s co-create a more generative economy!



Rieki Cordon
Editor for

Decentralizing Abundance! Map Maker at Hypha for SEEDS