EthDen 2022 Talk Summary: Creating Schelling Points for Public Goods

Below is a summary of one of Griff’s EthDenver 2022 talks: Creating Schelling Points for Public Goods via Micro-economies

Griff presents on the value of web3 to transcend non-functioning systems particularly concerning public goods for creating value in society. In this talk, Griff explains how “scarcity economics” and “abundance economics” function and fail. While theoretically beneficial and useful in some ways, they are both ultimately insufficient systems for satisfying collective wants and needs in a non-harmful, value-producing and mutually-rewarding manner. Scarcity economics is simple: anything you can put a price on, you can exclude folks, and when you do that, you create customers. It has a great value flow and offers such things as funding from customers, direct and fast market feedback where producers are rewarded. Equally, abundance economics provides value for society by maintaining public resources like water or the very fish in the water. However, these two systems IRL have numerous shortcomings. Scarcity economics favors the individual at the expense of everyone else. Abundance economics solves a bit of that by protecting against monopolies; everyone on the same team for providing value. However, it also fails. At its basis are governments and non-profits in the service of public goods, and we all know what that means and what it looks like IRL: not the outcomes the world needs and wants.

Griff’s solution is the third way offered by web3. These are the REGEN ECONOMIES. With the support of blockchain technology, regen economies reward folks using issuance when they succeed in producing value with public goods. We have a lot of such projects already making successful headway including Giveth, TEC, Panvala, Commons Stack, BrightID, 1hive, Gitcoin and many more.

The problem, Griff, explains is that they are focused in the digital realm. We need to bridge the metaverse to meatspace. We need regen economies –what we can also call “economic games”– IRL for planting trees, protecting biodiversity, maintaining roads, public education, healthcare, helping the homeless and engaging in all kinds of other public goods activities on the ground.

What if we could use games where you earn points that are converted to helping public goods? A “gamification” of what the support of public goods could be like. Successful regen economies will be collectively-designed, constantly evolving, purpose-driven coordination networks. And the folks earning points will see directly what impact they are making, and when those points have voting power, those people on the ground can also decide what gets their points. An economy is built that regenerates itself and constantly evolves directly based on what the community decides.

However, regen economies are difficult to launch because they need so much, such as OG advisory, legal solutions, cultural playbooks and many other support elements. So we need regen microeconomics: little pieces that can individually make small impacts, so more can happen, faster and more widespread. This is the mission at The Commons Stack and Giveth, but web3 is not yet equipped for IRL structures like the non-profit sector. So Giveth goes to the experts where they are and brings them into web3 to make change. And it’s not easy! Web3 is not ready for easy onboarding of projects that still exist via web2. The Commons Stack is the applied research side of Giveth. Focused on going to the nerds of the nerds, cutting scope and asking them (talking to experts on bonding curves and can make these systems better), so we can build regenerative economies that actually work.

The Commons Stack launched its first regen economy with the Token Engineering Commons to get the right people –token engineers– to start building these regen economies. We have the Trusted Seed. We collect the superstars who know the cryptospace and can balance bringing true value into this world. We have our own bonding curve that permits microeconomics. We have gamification of rewards through Conviction Voting (built by 1hive) and our rewards system based on a culture of gratitude (Praise, SourceCred). Regen economies are the future of web3!

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