FairCoop introduces a FairCoin Fund that will be managed by its Local Nodes in order to empower local projects to extend their credibility and help to fulfil their purposes. At the same time, we aim to expand the use of FairCoin to the local market, as our basic economic disobedience tool. Eventually, this will lead to a significant raise of FairCoin circulation in the market and thus a more stable and strong currency to trade with, which will benefit FairCoop members as a whole.
Its main functions have to do with both merchants / producers and consumers.
1. Credit liquidity
Both producers and consumers may need some credit from time to time. A producer may need to buy some necessary merchandise, tools or even use the credit for other services included in the process. In parallel, an individual consumer may come to need some basic products or services that cannot be covered by any other means. The purpose then of the fund, is to provide the necessary FairCoin credit to these people or collectives in order to use it for their needs.
For sure, in order for FairCoin credit to be effective, we need to have a large enough number of merchants / shops / producers that accept it as a currency. But that is already mentioned as a main goal of the Local Nodes, as we discussed previously in the guide. Furthermore, we need to clarify that the amount of FairCoin given to the Local Node Fund is delegated in order to manage it according to the local solidarity economy needs. Therefore, the Local Node should always have a clear strategy on how to help the creditors manage their fund and be sustainable, as well as to re-acquire the FairCoin credit given to them at some point.
Moreover, we can think of different cases where there is already a deployed local social currency that acts as a credit. In that case, the FairCoin Fund should coexist with the social currency and will add a solidarity surplus to the community economy. Further action may include ways to exchange FairCoins for mutual credit and thus have a more efficient and adaptable, in various ways, mixture of local credit. But that is something that has to be studied more and would be mainly an issue to be handled by the local community as it can vary a lot in each case.
Lastly, in order to keep the Fund secure and viable in the long term, the Local Node should be responsible for its account balance. A safe limit, especially for new Funds, is to keep a liquidity of 1/3 of the total amount they manage.
2. Point of Exchange (POE)
A local point of exchanging FIAT currency to FairCoins, and vice versa, in order to expand the use of FairCoin into the local market. For many people it is easier andpromotes greater trust to go in person and exchange an amount of FIAT currency, rather than use the getFairCoin service on-line. Such personalized procedures and direct contacts help create trust and confidence between the persons involved. That is a basic foundation for every local strategy, specifically if we want to convince more and more people to convert their FIAT trade into a solidarity one and start supporting FairCoin.
In addition to what has been mentioned above, regarding the credit function, an amount of FIAT currency gained by the Local Node Fund could also be used as credit liquidity. Depending on the local strategy and the projects in need, we can think of different situations where the credit issued may include a percentage in FIAT currency as well, especially if there is no other practical way to cover that need.
Furthermore, the 1/3 (as stated above) reserve of FairCoins may be used for exchange purposes. In such cases, FairCoop will have to respond with an extra amount of FairCoins provided to the Local Node so as to ensure its continued prosperity.
The necessary funding to the Local Node will be provided by FairCoop, which will be an amount of FairCoins delegated to the management of the Local Node. Initially, the Local Node Fund will receive 2.000 FairCoins for every active merchant / producer that is in its area and has registered in FairCoop’s directory. An active spot is considered to be a FairCoin address that has an amount of FairCoins traded, during at least every couple of months. That is something that the Local Nodes should take into account, by keeping track of the local FairCoin activity and providing the necessary information to FairCoop, before asking for funding.
Also, FairCoop has decided to give an extra incentive for every time an exchange, FIAT currency to FairCoin, is made through the Local Node. Until now, the easiest way to exchange to FairCoins is to use the getFairCoin service that charges a fee of 1%. But, in order to boost local exchanges, FairCoop charges no fee to any FairCoin exchange that the Local Node makes. In addition the Local Node Fund receives back that 1% as a benefit, from the pooled fund of the fees collected so far.
Furthermore, there are opportunities to collaborate with local collectives or cooperatives, that are involved in the local solidarity economy, so they transfer their savings into the Local Node Fund, instead of using the regular banking system. Depending on the specific local circumstances other strategies may arise as well, in order to provide more liquidity to the Local Node Fund, grow its solidarity impact, and increase people’s involvement.
Lastly, some future concepts could include a strategy to make the Local Nodes more viable and committed, if needed, by incorporating part of their operational costs into FairCoop. But firstly, we need to achieve a greater number of Local Node Funds functioning and then attend to each case specifically. Nevertheless, the main focus would be to make Local Nodes self-sustainable at some point, proving that our alternative economic path may be implemented at a local level as well.
All of the above are aiming to provide people and collectives with the power to overcome the oppressive reality that the economic elites have cast upon us. It is clear that the persons, groups of people or other type of organisations involved in FairCoop, understand and embrace our common struggle for a just, decentralized and participative economic exchange system. In this part, we want to stress out that our principles and political views should be part of every Local Node as well. It is crucial that our common values are diffused in the local level, as well, empowering more and more people to get involved in FairCoop and our objectives. In fact, as mentioned before, the true power of FairCoop comes through its Local Nodes and every each member actively involved in the various procedures. The result is a bidirectional process that creates a vivid and powerful network in the global scale.
Below, is a number of criteria, mainly aiming in strengthening these local and global bonds by creating a context of trust between all of us. We have thought, discussed and agreed on some very basic elements that we think should be the minimum of an agreement so that FairCoop could provide the above funding to the Local Node.
First of all, the Local Node should have a collective approach to every matter it handles in order to ensure that it doesn’t degrade down to a personal aspect at some point. As FairCoop handles all its global matters in an open and collective manner, trying to involve as many members as possible, such practices should reflect at the local level as well. It is already defined before, that a Local Node should consist of at least 3 people, as the minimum number to define a collective group. Then, a periodic and open local group assembly must be conducted by its members and all decisions or actions should be made public to every FairCoop member to audit. Apart from the local assemblies of the group, all its members should be encouraged to take part in all other discussions, meetings and working groups of FairCoop, depending on personal availability of course. It is crucial that all our local members follow FairCoop’s news and updates, while supporting each other at a global scale as well. A suggested place for such proceedings is FairNetwork, where all Local Nodes keep their groups already, or the convenient on-line application of Telegram for having more direct contact.
A similar approach to the above, led to a definition of a minimum number of 5 merchants / shops / producers that have signed in the FairCoop’s directory, before initiating the Fund. This will demonstrate that there is already a valid basic background at the local level, which a committed group of people has achieved, so that FairCoop could support its growth further and more consistently.
Second, but equally significant, is the issue of the Fund’s transparent use. It is easily figured that we need to keep a certain level of transparency, regarding economic exchanges, as already done for all FairCoop’s Funds. For that purpose we agreed that all FairCoins and FIAT currency amounts should be kept in accounts easily accessible by FairCoop. In the case of FairCoin amounts, a specific address should be used for the Fund, while for FIAT currency, a BetaBank account is the best alternative we have right now. Of course, different local solutions, like ethical banks, could be discussed as far as access to those remains practically easy and savings out of the reach of systemic banks.
In addition, all local exchanges of the POE should be recorded through GetFaircoin.net system. That means, the Local Node will be included there as an active POE and then every user could choose it as the preferred way to exchange its FIAT currency to FairCoin using cash, in person. Doing that, keeps all transactions recorded on-line and thus possible for FairCoop to value each Local Node’s activity and act accordingly.
Finally, if Local Nodes fail to meet the above criteria, FairCoop needs to respond. In cases of Local Nodes that have difficulties in achieving the above desired minimum numbers, or lack of technological knowledge, there is always a friendly and welcoming group of people that will help those in need. Contact us through FairCoop site or Telegram application, or even participate in the Open Global Assemblies where we can discuss every matter in specific and support any necessary guidance.
However, there is always the chance of malicious intentions or other actions that may not match FairCoop’s values and goals. In such cases, we need to agree on counteract measures. That is something that may not be needed still, as we are focused in openness and expansion of our network of Local Nodes, but will have to deal with in the future, especially if such cases arise.
The discussion is on going and there will always be new suggestions and proposals in order to make the Local Node Funds more efficient and resilient. Furthermore, new strategies are evolving and there are always new economic disobedience tools on the way. FairCoop is the result of a continuous process, involving numerous people for all over the world. We urge every member to take part in our Open Global Assemblies and contribute its valuable experience to our common goal. Making the Local Nodes powerful and active cells of an expanding and subversive organization.