No one thing has a bigger impact on a person’s life than economic opportunity. Physical and mental health, making wise long-term decisions, when and how to have children, and the length of our life are all affected by our access to financial resources.¹ While economic opportunity is currently on the rise, maintaining the status quo will never accelerate it across the globe.² It’s time for a new approach.
Pynk is taking a new approach. In the beginning, Pynk’s founders took a long look at financial services and said, “It’s time for a change … to build a co-operative retail investment system.”³ They got to work building the first inclusive, diverse investment collective and proclaimed, “None of us are as smart as all of us!” Now, Pynk is calling for crowd members to step in, and collaborate on this new approach to investing.
The Future is Coming, and it Looks more Inclusive
Pynk’s Beta opened the door for inclusive investing. The platform rewards crowd members for predicting market prices of Gold, NASDAQ, and Bitcoin. In return for the time it takes to predict consistently, Pynksters — as we’re called — gain access to the Pynk investment fund. Stated more directly, you do not need any amount of extra money to access this investment tool. The only thing you need to invest is time to make educated market predictions.
The Pynkster crowd now spans over 160 countries worldwide. Pynksters received fund shares on October 1, 2019, when the points system first converted Wisdom Points to shares. The inclusive vision runs beyond the ongoing points conversion cycle. Pynk is preparing to open another door, which will convert the platform to a co-operatively run retail investment system. Or, in other words, a Digital Co-op.
A Digital Co-op? Selling organic granola and handknit wool sweaters? Nope. Although those things are nice, this isn’t going to be your college friend’s back-to-earth, communal living co-op. Pynk will stay in fintech. A co-op model allows Pynk to build on the inclusive investing platform in place. It expands that to include all users in the businesses’ operations.
The Case for an Investing Co-op
A co-op is essentially a people-first, democratically-structured, community-owned business driven by values, not solely profit.⁴ There are many benefits of co-ops as a business strategy, and a people strategy:
- Co-ops have a low failure rate: Co-ops are both less likely to fail and have more longevity than investor-oriented businesses. Stakeholder ownership minimizes risks that would otherwise be taken to maximize investors’ profits, and strengthens the co-op community’s commitment to the business’ success.
- Co-ops’ ownership design enable pro-social behaviours: Stakeholder-owned businesses are more likely to be mission-driven and privilege the interests of users over investors. The resulting co-op generates wealth within the community, rather than extracting wealth from the community for high-level investors.⁵⁶
- Co-ops stabilize communities: Co-ops have historically provided the most benefit to low and middle income members and communities. The model allows for more sharing, generating, iterating, and recycling of knowledge and resources, resulting in the ability to create more economic independence and stability.
- Co-ops remove barriers to economic development: In other words, co-ops are less likely to exclude groups of people based on demographics. The co-op model ensures wealth generated remains in the community and is shared by all members.⁷
With these community-based values, Pynk as a co-op works for a number of reasons:
Pynk’s platform works for anyone: Pynk’s investing model cannot work without a strong and united crowd. Pynk has a diverse and geographically dispersed crowd, and is demonstrating the power of people coming together to support investment decisions. The crowd will only strengthen with a continued distribution and redistribution of wealth, knowledge and resources within the Pynk community.
Pynk is geographically diverse, transcending (yet including) localized economies: Pynk’s investment fund is already legally accredited in almost all countries around the world. As a member of a global co-op, each Pynkster can contribute to and enjoy a financial benefit from Pynk’s success. They then participate in their local economy and can re-invest their wealth and wisdom gained from Pynk into their home neighbourhood.
Pynk will have a democratic structure and transparency: A co-op business structure sets the foundation for a democratic means of decision making. It will also formalize processes for making information transparent and available to all members. Pynksters will be informed and engaged. A democratic structure ensures all Pynksters have a voice and a seat at the table in all business decisions. This means Pynk will work the best for all members, not solely to maximize the profits of a few investors.
Pynk will shape the future: With the forthcoming Pynk Academy and Pynk Incubator, imagine a cooperative of Pynksters maximizing their financial livelihood. Then, with enhanced financial literacy, Pynksters will build an ecosystem of new businesses. A co-op framework will serve as the glue to hold together Pynk’s vision of an economy that works for everyone.
It aligns all Pynk incentives with all stakeholders: We’re all in this together. We all deserve to reap the rewards.
Pynk doesn’t just want the crowd for their predictions, we want Pynksters at the forefront of every aspect of the organization. Pynk wants the crowd in on building, promoting, organizing and running the entire platform. This is Pynk’s contribution toward an inclusive economy.
So, Now What?
If you’re like me, you’re now wondering, “What? … How? … When?” These questions cannot be answered yet. Pynksters must answer them all together. So I urge you to join the conversations, check out the discussions on Pynk’s forums, consider where your voice fits, and jump into the fray.
Clearly, there is work to be done. Work toward making Pynk the most collectively cooperative fintech organization on Earth. Work toward financial inclusion. Work toward equal access to opportunity and resources. That work needs all of us.
We will build a more financially inclusive future. To succeed, we must all do that work together.
¹ Payne, K. (2017). The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Live, Think and Die.
² Pinker, S. (2018). Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.
³ “Pynk Paper.” (https://pynk.io/Pynk%20Paper.pdf)
⁴ International Co-operative Alliance. “What is a cooperative?” (https://www.ica.coop/en/cooperatives/what-is-a-cooperative)
⁵ Vaheesan, V, and N. Schneider. (2019). “Cooperative Enterprise as an Antimonopoly Strategy.” (https://nathanschneider.info/articles/CoopAntitrust.pdf)
⁶ Kelley, M. (2012). Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution.
⁷ Nembhard, J. (2014). Benefits and Impacts of Cooperatives: White Paper. (https://geo.coop/sites/default/files/0213-benefits-and-impacts-of-cooperatives.pdf)