Decentralised Decision-Making for Decentralised Currencies

• Written by Simon Tegg

By now you’ve probably heard of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is a decentralised currency created by computers. To ‘mine’ bitcoin a computer  solves a mathematical problem that is hard to solve but easy to confirm. If you think about it this is sort of  like regular paper currency -its hard to forge banknotes, but its easy to recognise them.

The cryptocurrency community have been growing rapidly and depending on who you listen to cryptocurrencies are poised to either simply replace Paypal and Western Union by providing a simpler, cheaper way of transferring money, or collapse of the dominant financial institutions into a smoking, crumbling heap. Hmmm, probably somewhere in between :).

While cryptocurrencies aren’t perfect, they do allow people to participate in issuing their own currency and decide the rules that govern them. This is very similar to the motivations behind Loomio but for finances instead of decision-making.

Loomio is used by Bitcoin groups

Given that crypto groups are often spread out geographically and have similar ethos its not surprising that a number of them have started Loomio groups:

Redstar Mining is a publicly traded bitcoin mining cooperative that doesn’t have a physical meeting space. Loomio enables members to make business decisions in a private virtual space.

Let’s Talk Bitcoin’ is an online crytpocurrency community  who have started using Loomio to put  together a magazine ‘The Altcoin Observer.

Ethereum is another really interesting crytpo group that we’re in contact with. They’re starting a more generally applicable ‘crypto-platform’ that can be used for all kinds of applications -insurance, cooperative shareholding, secure identification etc.

Loomio accepts bitcoin and dogecoin

We’re really interested in furthering our relationship with the crypto community. Our first step has been getting bitcoin and dogecoin wallets set up, then allowing bitcoin donations through our crowdfunding page.

Down the line, there are areas beyond simple online transactions where the crypto community can help.  For example, our long-term plan is to allow people to use loomio without a centralised database -users would have the option of being responsible for their own data and host it where the individual could have complete control over it. This functionality is currently only available at a group-level for groups who set up their own loomio installation. Its possible that a decentralised architecture could be built on top of crytpo network like what Ethereum plans to offer. In addition, we’d like to explore other features like crytpographically secure anonymization and identification, issuing cooperative shares etc. There are all kinds of possibilities. Our friends AgoraVoting have made some great strides here and I recommend checking out this article at Bitcoin Magazine.

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