Posts Tagged ‘crowdfunding’


April 16, 2015


What backs a currency?

We used to have gold coins, silver coins.

Some would say, the intrinsic value of the coin was its content, but this was not true, it was the symbol on the coin.

The symbol was the value, by common consent the value.

A ten euro note, is only ten euros by common consensus as to the value.

Symbols can be digits on a computer, can be a crypto-currency like BitCoin or StartCoin or FairCoin.

There are those who wish to revert to the gold standard, a currency backed by intrinsic value.

We could though turn this around, the gold has value because it is easily convertible.

Gold is not that useful. Try carrying around ingots of gold.

Bushels of wheat, cows, all can all be a currency.

A currency has two basic functions, two side of the coin we could say:

  • store of value
  • medium of exchange

When we wish to acquire something, we can barter, you have what I want, I have what you want, but only works if these two conditions satisfied.

With a medium of exchange, we can agree to buy or sell.

Store of value has problems, hoarding, accumulation.

Whatever our currency is based upon, we will try to maximise.

What if our currency was based upon forests? We would increase our wealth by maximising forests.

This is what WoodShares attempts to do, at least it could, only it does not.

If I go to a bank and say I want to borrow a million dollars to buy a forest, the bank will ask me what I wish to do with the forest. If I reply nothing, the bank will show me the door. If on the other hand, I say I wish to cut down the forest, sell off the timber, develop the land, show the bank what return I will make on my one million dollars investment, the bank will ask me are there any other woods I wish to buy.

WoodShares is a commercial forestry operation. Buy land, begs the question what was there before and being displaced. Participate in the discredited carbon trading operation. At the end of the cycle, when the trees have been harvested, ie clear felled, sell off the degraded land.

WoodShares therefore far from being a currency backed by a natural asset, is in reality a crowdfunded commercial forestry project. Neither is WoodShares a green project.


January 4, 2015

The ideal number of backers for this project would be 2500 people contributing one pound each. A real people power awning. — Stacy Herbert on Trews awning for a newsagent

As discussed in Sacred Economics, there are many things we can see that need to be done, but from where do we find the time, from where do we find the money?

A wood, I go to a bank, say I wish to borrow a million pounds. Why, asks the bank. To buy a wood, I say. And then what, asks the bank. Nothing, reply I, I wish to save the wood from development. End of conversation, I will be politely shown the door. On the other hand, if I show my business plan, I will cut down the trees, sell the timber, then develop the land for a retail park, the bank will happily lend me the money. They will even ask do I have any more woods that I wish to develop.

We work to earn a living. We can solve by giving everyone a basic income, they can then pursue what they wish to do, not work in a soul-destroying environment, for a bad employer, on minimum wage, part-time, temporary, zero hours. A McJob.

We can raise the minimum wage. This will put many bad employers out of business. Others can then afford leisure time.

We can then afford to participate in the sharing economy.

My wood, I could crowd source the money. Invite people to explore the wood, help take care of the wood, learn woodland skills, so they too can help save a wood, small scale coppicing to increase the diversity of the wood and earn a small income from the wood. My wood, if in a water catchment area, will provide added value to the wider community in the form of external services, slow down water flows, prevent flash floods downstream.

StartJoin is a crowd funding platform with a difference.

It is unusual in that the emphasis is on supporting community projects, cultural projects.

Want to record an album? Lack the funds to do so? Why not crowd source using StartJoin? It has a category for music. Do a few gigs, tell people about your crowd sourcing. Then release on bandcamp.

Russell Brand has used StartJoin for a very simple project, an awning for a newsagent to promote The Trews, to replace an awning promoting The Sun. Rewards include a signed copy of Revolution.

Funding has already been raised. I would suggest any surplus be used for an A-board outside with posters for latest Trews and a QR code to take you straight there. And of course an awning for another newsagent, depending upon how much money raised.

Sell-Off – The Abolition of Your NHS, is a film documenting the privatisation of NHS. It is half way to its funding target.

StartJoin is also unusual in that it has an associated crypo-currency, StartCoin.

Projects can earn StartCoin from StartJoin, ie the platform actively supports projects.

StartJoin is a community, users are encouraged to support each other with ideas and other support, not simply through financing.

Note: StartJoin accepts euros, pounds, dollars and Bitcoin, but not StartCoin. Odd.

The one thing I do not like, the facebook sign in and registration. Never be tempted, always log in with User ID and password. Facebook already collects and abuses personal information on you and your friends and activities within facebook, please do not grant them access to what you are doing outside of facebook.

StartJOIN need to give serious thought to this facebook sign in and connection, as it is to abuse the StartJoin community.

%d bloggers like this: