One year comes to an end and a new one is here… 2017 is going to be great!
2016 is coming to an end. This year has been a year of many changes; while the economical, political, social and enviromental situation is undoubtedly getting worse, FairCoop has had an intense year of work developing the tools for a new economic system, and growing the interconnections between FairCoop and many projects internationally; all working to create a new world in which we all have a place. In this way we welcome all people and projects who are helping to make the ecosystem bigger and stronger, sharing a common vision: to build a new and fair economic system from below. A decentralized system where people can take the decisions that affect their own lives.
For this decentralized ecosystem to exist, it is a must to extend a network of FairCoop local nodes around the world. As the FairCoop ecosystem grows, more local nodes are being created, and more capacity to support each other is being created. The campaign for funding local nodes is an important example.
As you probably know, in these last days of 2016 we are in full campaign mode to launch Fairpay
Fairpay will be a payment card for use in physical stores. An alternative to Visa, Mastercard, but without fees. Using the latest NFC ‘contactless’ technologies that the most innovative companies are implementing: because cooperativism is not at odds with innovation.
A tool to extend the networks of social and solidarity economy to everyone, all over the world.
The user experience will be as easy as using a conventional system. The card will be loaded with Faircoin, but neither the buyer nor the seller will notice, so simple will the experience be. So you have no excuse not to give it a try! It will even be easy for the vendor to change their Faircoins to Euros if necessary. As easy as using a bank account and much cheaper than with corporations.
It is a key step towards extending the new banking system of the people in 2017. We are launching it with this campaign, right now!
With the Fairpay card, we invite you to make a commitment to fair consumption for 2017, charging your card with an amount that symbolizes the commitment that you want to assume and thus contributing to the launch of Fairpay in February 2017. From there, you can suggest that your trusted stores accept Fairpay and you can use it where you live.
If you’re thinking of a seasonal gift, you can also buy the Fairpay card as a gift for your loved ones. In this case you can show them an image that will be sent to you by email.
For the beginning of 2017, the next milestone that we are waiting for with great expectancy is the launch of Faircoin 2, the innovative blockchain project with Proof of Cooperation, developed during 2016 by our core dev Thomas König, and which is now in a testing process. It has been more time than expected in development for a good reason: the incorporation of Schnoor signatures, which will ensure that the efficiency of the blockchain is compatible if the system scales to a large number of people. To prepare for that we have already renewed the fair-coin.org website by introducing a technical blog to explain the details about this important Proof of Cooperation (POC) blockchain innovation that Faircoin is bringing to the world.
The launch of an important upgrade to Fairmarket, with shipping, and especially with collective orders – which is the feature that we are already using for Fairpay – can further help the FairCoop online marketplace to scale this next year. We also went into it in more detail in the last post. (https://fair.coop/fairmarket-gets-an-important-upgrade-including-shipping-and-the-collective-purchases-module/)
The ongoing development of FreedomCoop, with its invoicing service, the Open Collaborative Platform (OCP), the alternative banking services, the upcoming phone services, and the different developments with the professionals’ cooperatives are completing this whole alternative economic system that we are building.
And much more – that will surely make 2017 an important year for developing a cooperative ecosystem worldwide.
Next year is going to be full of important milestones, making the transition easier and faster, and empowering ourselves to do it.
Thanks to many people’s hard work, Fairmarket has been upgraded with great new improvements in efficiency, functionality and ease of use. We will explain a little about these improvements here:
1. Pages showing products now have a comment box so you can review them (something similar will be done in page listings for shops). This feature allows you to add comments that will be received by the shop in order to help them to improve, and for the vendors to get in contact with buyers in an easier and faster way.
2. New feature to configure shipping methods. This is a very important upgrade – now shops can add this information in order to make it easy for the buyer to know from the beginning how much the total cost of the product and the shipping will be together. This can be personalized in a way that, for example, the shipping cost can be different for local and international orders.
A default Fairmarket method with zero cost is added to the shops which have not set up delivery – this can be applied in cases where the delivery is paid by the merchants or simply that there is no delivery at all (as with downloadable products for example), thus there is no delivery cost added to the total.
3. Finally, there is an important milestone: the module for collective purchases is ready. This should help us to start organizing shared orders between different nodes, producers and collectives involved in FairCoop. And furthermore, it could be a useful tool for many social movements; some existing consumer networks are organizing together to use this tool, as part of the Red de Compras Colectivas, (Network of Collective Purchases).
To explain briefly how it works, it is very similar to a crowd-funding campaign:
– Any producer, local node, or group of consumers can open a specific product called collective purchases. They define characteristics like the price of a product, the minimum amount that a customer should pay, the total amount that should be paid, and a limited time of the offer, if applicable.
Usually, each offer should be focused only in one territory, but groups could be created to offer it in different regions.
There is also the option to create collective orders simply in order to help something be produced, so in this case it could be a one-off joint action between people in different territories.
The money is accounted in Faircoin, but there will be the option to combine it with official currencies, in order to make access to the collective purchases easier for the general public.
The payments are made in advance. When eventually the required amount is obtained, (or some days later in the case of a time-limited offer) the producer will receive the money and send the products to their destination.
If the required amount is not reached, the money will be returned to the buyers. At this point the organizers of the collective purchase will still have the option to process or not process the order.
Order the Fairpay card now and start 2017 by committing yourself to another economy for the whole year.
Fairpay will be a payment card to use in physical stores. An alternative to Visa, mastercard, without fees. Using the latest NFC ‘contactless’ technologies that the most innovative companies are implementing, because cooperativism is not at odds with innovation.
A tool to extend the networks of social and solidarity economy to all, all over the world.
The usage experience will be as easy as using a conventional system. It will be loaded with Faircoin, but neither the user nor the trade will notice it as simple as it will be. So you have no excuse to take the step. Easy will even be for the trade to change to euros if necessary. As easy as using a bank account and much cheaper than with conventional financial middlemen.
It is a key step to extend the new banking system of the people in 2017. With this campaign we start launching right now!
Why right now?
The end of one year and the beginning of another, is a good time to commit to your good intentions for 2017.
At this time, the system of capitalist propaganda invades us with the message that in this holiday season is time to buy, buy and buy.
Instead with the Fairpay card we offer a possibility to support another model of production and consumption, which is not consumerist, but based on the coverage of the real needs of people while respecting and promoting cooperative values, social equity and the care of the planet. Therefore it is not a consumption that can be reinforced only in the holidays, but it needs commitments for the whole year.
Thus, we invite you to assume a fair consumption commitment for 2017, reserving the Fairpay card with a charged amount that symbolizes this commitment that you want to assume and thus contributing to the launch of Fairpay in February 2017. From here, you can contribute to That your trusted stores accept fairpay and you can use it near your house.
If tradition leads you to think of gifts for those dates, you can also think of the Fairpay card as a gift to your loved ones. In this case you can show them an image that will be sent to you by email.
How does this campaign to buy Fairpay cards work?
The first objective is to finance the direct purchase of NFC tags that are the unique identifier of this payment system and there are a few companies in the world with the qualification to produce them.
Secondly, the cards will be printed on cardboard paper in a decentralized way and through cooperative printers in different regions, so that fairpay is possibly the first payment card that does not use plastic of any kind.
To make this campaign possible, you can contribute by converting a minimum of 20 euros to Faircoin and order your card that will arrive loaded with the amount that you have chosen.
You can read more questions and and answers in this link: https://fair.coop/docs/questions-and-answers-about-the-fairpay-campaign/
From now until January 5, acceptance of orders from final users as part of this collective purchase in Fairmarket.
– From January 6 to January 15. Tag requests and distribution to nodes, printings of tags. D
– As of January 16: cards available to local nodes that will participate in the beta phase.
– As of February 1st. Sending the cards to the end user and full launch of Fairpay.
Includes: Publishing of the Android app and promotion so that merchants can join
Shops could only accept cards or could also distribute cards and charging the cards with their App. Some level of trust could be appreciated in order to let a shop distribute cards and charge them.
For a payment, the shop needs to have a smarphone or a card payments device, with NFC technology. Most of the recent devices have it.
We could choose to include a QR from the Faircoin adress on the card, so then people with a card can charge the card or receive payments just with the QR.
Join the Campaign!: https://market.fair.coop/purchase/product/fairpay-card-426
FreedomCoop launches Alternative Banking Services
Freedom Coop provides an alternative banking ecosystem for members of the cooperative.
The two main features are: the online Faircoin wallet and a virtual bank account, thanks to our cooperative alternative banking partner.
This is an important milestone for the financial freedom of the participants in Freedom Coop, because this account toolkit can be used by a collective without any legal form, or by individuals despite any personal legal issues they may have in the country where they live.
1 – Faircoin online wallet.
FreedomCoop offers all the members a Faircoin online adress that you can use to receive and make payments (for example, buying at Fairmarket) or to store Faircoins securely without needing a computer or a smartphone.
This Faircoin online wallet can be charged at www.getfaircoin.net and progressively the FairCoop ecosystem will offer more ways to interact with it.
Collective projects can give a Faircoin wallet to any of their members and use it for distribute their incomes between them.
The Faircoin wallet is integrated with the OCP.
More info about Faircoin here: https://fair.coop/faircoin/
2 – Virtual bank account
a) What is a virtual bank account (VBA) and how does it work?
It is an account based on a shared IBAN number. The payments received are managed by the “subject” title which will be provided when you join. All the members of Freedom Coop share the same IBAN number.
You access your VBA with your unique user and password, and can make payments like SEPA transfer or send money to other users of the same service instantly.
The legal ownership belongs to the banking cooperative who have a partnership with Freedom Coop. So you can use these accounts without risks of your account being frozen due to your personal situation in your country.
b) How to apply
First, you need to be a member of Freedom Coop. You can register here: https://ocp.freedomcoop.eu/membership
Requirements. Only one of these three is required.
– Be an active self-employed member.
– Commit to making a deposit of €300 for 6 months.
– Change at least 10% of the deposits or transfer to Faircoin. Minimum transfer is 200 Faircoin per month.
After that, you can apply for a VBA, without additional cost, in the OCP management panel.
c) Examples of how the VBA can be used:
This alternative banking tool can be used to:
Receive payments from the current system (bank transfers, credit/debit cards, etc.) and convert it directly into your Faircoin address.
Autonomously manage economic projects with your bank account -for example, to pay providers and be paid by clients-, thus creating an international/European/local relationship beyond the control of the financial system.
Organize specific crowdfunding campaigns for any group outside state control.
d) What can you and can’t do with your VBA
– You can convert to Faircoin without fees. This can be done in the Faircoin online walllet or sent to any of the other Faircoin wallets ( fair-coin.org/#wallet ).
– You can do a transfer to another bank account. You can send money to a virtual debit card (via a third party service provider). You can convert to Cash in 10,000 ATMs (only Spain and Poland, at the moment). You can convert to Bitcoin.
– You can instantly pay any other Freedom Coop member.
– You only can use the account to receive bill payments if the bill payer manages to put your username in the concept of the transfer (you should check it at your own risk).
– You can only get cash from an office if the Faircoop local node in your area offers this service.
– You can’t have a credit/debit card linked to the bank account.
FairCoop launch a funding campaign for the local nodes
One of the key concepts within the overall FairCoop ecosystem are its local nodes. It is through these vital cells that we can get moving and putting the our whole vision into real terms. From the beginning, FairCoop has focused on the development of these local nodes and now is the time when we can and must support them in their self-empowerment.
Local nodes acts as decentralized local assemblies of FairCoop, and meeting point between global projects of FairCoop and the various projects developed locally, creating links, synergies, knowledge development and growth of the entire ecosystem we are creating together. Autonomously, they serve as a point to spread, help and welcome people in FairCoop, as well as an exchange point of Faircoin.
In the phase where we are today we are ready to give a boost to the local nodes because we believe it is vital not only to develop the existing ones, but encourage the creation of more nodes worldwide, so we launched a campaign to support local nodes.
With this campaign we want to contribute to the necessary funds to the nodes, and thus to make them a stable local cooperative where participants can carry out tasks that would not be easily achievable without funding, run their own priorities based on the local circumstances and build their own cooperative projects or collaborate with local collectives to empower people on the local and global levels.
The main requirement in order to participate in this campaign is to have an active node (for requirements that must have an active node to participate in the campaign:
– https://fair.coop/docs/activation-and-sustainibility-of-local-nodes/ ).
We call on all those nodes that are already active to fill the application form for funding (https://titanpad.com/FundingLocalNodesForm ), as well as all those areas where they are working on it to promote the process in order to have an active node and participate in the campaign.
Also the people who are thinking about creating a node can now make the most of this opportunity; they can begin now and apply after two or three months.
Already three local nodes. Catalonia, Jura and Thessaloniki has fill the form and has joined this campaign since beginning of november. Others will follow.
You can check the nodes that are currently active or about to be, here: https://fair.coop/docs/local-nodes-list/. If your region is not listed, we encourage you to unite efforts with some other people and put in place a local node.
It is imperative to have a large network of local nodes to extend the change towards an alternative economy and a society that recovers the values of solidarity and cooperation. We are not in a hurry because we know we’ll get away but we are aware that we must move forward without stopping, and with this campaign we take a step closer to this new society that all of us deserve.
FairCoop is two years old
A lot has happened since the beginning of this project and we want to celebrate that we are moving forward in order to grow and create a viable alternative which transforms society and improves our lives.
We begin this second year of activity with the opening up of our global meetings -open to all who wish to participate using Telegram as a communication channel- and we continue to create working groups of the different projects that we are implementing. This has given us agility in developing projects, and ease in communication, which is becoming more intense every day and that allows that, every time, we can be more people connected, wherever we are, in a quick and transparent way.
So we started the FairMarket, an online marketplace that is a meeting point for all those multiple related productive projects and for those who need the services and products that we offer. In FairMarket, as an alternative means of exchange to fiat currency, we use Faircoin, a cryptocurrency which is in a continuous process of development in order to facilitate its use and to expand its capabilities with new initiatives -as is the collective purchases project we are launching along with other related collectives-.
We were also aware of the serious problems that refugees are dealing with on their arrival in Europe, and launched a crowdfunding project to support them, which resulted in the creation of the Call Center Refugees 2 Refugees project, a project managed by the refugees themselves, which serves not only to provide information and support to all those who come and need information, but provides help to those abandoned by a European political system that is apparently becoming more racist and unsupportive, and also to give an opportunity for a future to all those refugees managing the call center.
This year we also launched Freedom Coop, a European cooperative society that aims to develope legal tools to serve self-management, self-employment, economic autonomy and financial disobedience, for individuals and groups who struggle to create fairer economic and social relationships.
Last but not least, this year we started the development of Faircoin 2, which will be launched shortly, and which is an important innovation in the world of cryptocurrencies, focusing on cooperation for the first time through the PoC (Proof of Cooperation) mechanism rather than the competition that characterizes the other cryptocurrencies.
FairCoop is a global cooperative, but the nodes, as territorial extensions, are an important factor in bringing to the real world this new economic system that is being created. During this second year, we are also consolidating nodes throughout southern Europe and also promoting the first ones in America, so in this way we are expanding the project and creating global networks that allow us to make this new system a viable reality.
There are many things we have done this year and many left to be done, but we are optimistic and believe we are a little closer to creating another possible world, so we encourage those of you who still are not part of this project to join, because the change will finally be made by u.