Community Raising + Crowdfunding Code for Cooperation

(And angling to advance our alliterations!)

Hello!

We’re community-raising!

OSCurrency (short for “open source currency”) is a user-driven, open source platform to help place-based communities build their own customizable economic networks using mutual credit cooperative transactions and connect into a wider community of peer networks for mutual benefit.

Our mission is to build and maintain a transparent and user-friendly platform for mutual credit networks to be used by communities and cooperatives as a means of payment and way to aggregate capital and resources to build local economies in resource-constrained environments by enabling collaborations that are respectful, inclusive, and strive for mutual benefit.

In an era where everyone has an ICO, why are we still moving forward with mutual credit?

Mutual credit is an accounting system where individuals and business allow each other to purchase goods and services ‘on credit’ and they pay back their balance by providing their own goods and services to other community members in the network. This can happen as a price-based transaction in business trade networks or as a time-based transaction in time banks.

4 reasons why mutual credit systems are useful:

  • They enable communities engage in trade using debit balances in cash, which means people without traditional forms of money (ex. USD) can still trade with each other.
  • It has a long history of legal acceptance in the US, making it possible to use for small businesses, nonprofits, and people who have less tolerance for legal or financial risk.
  • It is possible to run either a business trade network or a volunteer timebank on the same software as long as they are operating within the legal or tax compliance required for their business model.
  • It doesn’t require a ‘cash in’ transaction, advanced technical knowledge or resource intensive computer for activities like mining.

Why another mutual credit software? 3 more reasons:

  • The business trade network is dominated by proprietary software systems. There is room in an estimated $12 billion market for an open source option and a team that is motivated by factors broader than short-term profit to provide a SaaS solution.
  • There are open source time banks that have been built but they lack features required (including tax reporting) to be used by legal business trade networks.
  • We want a system that can legally handle transactions from 3 payment systems: business trade dollars, time hours, and cash. And we haven’t found an open source software system that does that.

Who are we:

  • Open source source developers
  • A business trade network practitioner and owner
  • Advisors:A time dollar/gift economy advocate
  • Open source project facilitator
  • And more…

What is OSCurrency?

OSCurrency is a free, open-source mutual credit accounting platform. It is implemented using Ruby on Rails. It has support for multiple currencies and Internationalization is available in Spanish, Greek and French. OSCurrency also features a REST API for 3rd party applications and would be compatible with Open Transact compatible mobile applications. The application could easily deployed to Heroku using the inbuilt Easy Heroku Installer.

What are we going to do:

  • Update and Upgrade OSCurrency. This project has a great history going back to Austin, TX in 2007 and a spark of genius courtesy of Douglas Rushkoff.
  • Grow the network of developers, users, and community support to solidify the foundation of our work to date.
  • Grow the code by working with existing projects and soon-to-be projects to get real time feedback from administrators and users.

How?

  • Stage 1, a quick upgrade to Ruby 2.5 and Rails 5.1.4. We need to upgrade our core software to the most recent versions so that we can modernize our codebase and attract developers who want to work on our project. We’ll need $3,000 for the upgrade, and then are asking for another $2000 to tackle existing issues in our Github. You can view our work plan here.

Once we’ve completed the upgrade, we plan to make this project economically self sufficient by using a service delivery model and doing consulting for emerging mutual credit networks.

Will you join us?

 

**Barn Raising Photo Credit

 

*This was originally posted on our Open Collective page.
What is an open collective? A group of people with a shared mission that operates in full transparency. Transparent. Anyone can follow the money. Open. Anyone is welcome to join and contribute. Fluid. Leaders can change over time. Collectives for Open Source projects.

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