In our journey over the last few months building tools for community currencies on the blockchain to support healthy economies, a network of 550 mothers, teachers, clinics, shop keepers and more have reached 2,614 trades among themselves to support each other while living below the poverty line. Over 10,900 USD worth of goods and services have been traded so far representing a significant increase to local trade at a time when Kenyan Shillings are scarce.
550 users is a relatively small number of businesses, so far, piloting the currencies. As the networks grow we expect to seem much more trade as the year progresses and these networks fill out. Fundamentally this community currency trade shows that the existing fiat based economy only enables a small fraction of the full capacity of people.
Of these transactions we see primarily food being traded. This is only the very beginning, as more and more schools and clinics as well as environmental organizations enroll we expect to see these proportions change. This data is updated live for every single blockchain transaction on http://www.sarafu.cc
Our formula, so far ,for Blockchain Based Community Currencies:
Bancor Protocol built into the smart contracts enables each community currency to be connected to each other
The POA blockchain allows us to to cheaply and quickly write transactions to the blockchain
USSD systems via Africastalking allow us to make these tokens available to a huge population without smart phones or internet
Creating an initial supply of tokens relative to the population's daily consumption of food and airdropping it into micro and small businesses, schools and clinics that back the token's value.
Demurrage or negative interest rates - where if a user is not using their tokens for a period of time a percentage of their balance is automatically sent to a community fund - which redistributes the tokens as a basic income and supports community programs
Community ambassadors that train and enroll community members and braid them together into trading networks.
As we learn from community usage of these tools - we update and improve these systems and hope all best practices we gather are useful for other organizations and communities seeking to develop healthy economies. Please contact us if you would like to share your experiences, help or know more.