Internal Currencies

One of Cosmos’ explicit value propositions is how we allow members to define for themselves what has value and to express their perspectives through internal currencies that tell a kind of “meta-story” about what we (the collective) values.

This “story” (told through the events of autonomous, economic exchanges on the platform) feeds directly into the actual production of platform plug-ins and enhancements, which is how the organization recursively reflects its members self-reported needs to deliver desired benefits.

There are many forms of capital, and many ways to define the value of something.

Form of Capital Brief summary
Natural The wealth of nature, including all the species, processes, and matter that humans depend on for our survival. (Source of other forms of capital)
Material The physical wealth accumulated by humans: buildings, transportation and energy infrastructure, and durable goods like vehicles, tools, and furniture.
Experiential The wealth of embodied knowledge gained from practice of a specific discipline, skill, or craft.
Social The wealth gained from having diverse and meaningful relationships among members in a community.
Cultural The wealth of shared experiences of a community, expressed through stories, songs, rituals, foods, clothing, and more.
Intellectual The wealth of ideas, facts, and knowledge generated by individuals and groups.
Spiritual The internal well-being gained from finding a satisfactory place within larger narratives of meaning.
Financial The wealth gained from the ability to translate and exchange other kinds of wealth.

From Adam Brock’s book, Change Here Now, “Commoning” (p 15-22) [citing the work of Ethan Roland and Gregory Landau in Regenerative Enterprise: Optimizing for Multiple Capital Abundance

Power to custom define and articulate value: We put this power into our users’ hands in many ways. A gift economy may best express the overarching cultural norm we’d like to realize in Cosmos—especially, of course, in high-trust circumstances (with “trust” being a factor built up over the course of a member’s numerous interactions with peers and with the platform). This is largely expressed through a specific token called LitCoin (LC) which is designed to incentivize free-flowing circulation and gifting. LC is a means through which users can diversely express what they value—giving it, “tipping” it, donating it, investing it, using it to purchase goods or services, etc.

Members can creatively customize the terms of their exchanges, defining their own needs and trust levels, as they negotiate mutual agreement on an arrangement. This freedom to set autonomous terms extends not just to members with other members on the platform, but also includes a member or group of members negotiating directly with Cosmos, or “bidding” on specific projects Cosmos (as a platform) is incentivizing. See “Intersectionality: Trust & Litcoin” in the Litcoin page for more.

We don’t want volunteers for infinite causes, nor do we want venture vampire capitalists. We want playmates in an infinite game of mutual growth. We want to honor people’s contributions—and honor people for their contributions. We want to capture dollars and convert them into a life-affirming, regenerative form, thus opening up tributaries of wealth that redirect greater wealth for our communities, comprised of keepers and gardeners of visions for a livable future. We want to invest more resources and more love into the artists of our world, into one another’s growth as creative and resilient human beings. LitCoin facilitates that.

Litcoin is not “mined” so much as “yoursed”—it is given into existence. (For more, see Litcoin).

Cointribute (C>) is the token expressing a member’s patronage, and it can be “mined” directly through participation (although you can never be sure how much C> your actions generate until later, as its value is dependent upon others’ simultaneous contributions to the system.) C> is “dripped” into a member’s account, in a value reflective of the previous period, on the basis of their valuable participation within the container of Cosmos. Whereas LC is a mechanism by which users denote the value one another*'s contributions* have, C> is the Cosmos system as a whole*'s* acknowledgment of value created by the participation of the user in the platform (or “patronage,” in accordance with established norms of cooperative business.) In turn, C> can be spent—and consolidated—differently than LC: C> is spent, somewhat like a “vote,” on proposals members directly want to see Cosmos system as a whole undertake: such as adding new features, redesigning existing ones, growing new capacities, etc. (For more, see Cointribute).