A YEAR IN REVIEW: 2018
The year was dedicated to establishing our staking protocol and showcasing the Promise of the New Economy. We're now building the eco-system with our users, entrepreneurs, architects and more.
Here's a recap of how Sacred Capital has navigated the last twelve months. In addition, we present a manifesto to signal our intent for 2019.
December offers us all time to take stock and evaluate how we have evolved over the year. 2018 began with tremendous energy and enthusiasm in the distributed economy. Masses of people around the world were convinced that cryptocurrencies were going to be our experience of wealth going forward. However, most woke up to the fact that this is the distributed world. It isn't about building currencies that worked just like sovereign wealth, but in fact about birthing micro-economies.
Diverse networks of people now hold the potential to design their own economies. The challenge lies in the fact that these forms of wealth are diverse, and therefore can't be 'traded' as we do in the centralised economy. For the technically inclined - wealth in the distributed economy is 'endogenous' i.e. inextricably linked to you. In the centralised economy, it is exogenous i.e. separate from you.
The key, therefore, lay in celebrating the diversity of each network through a 'staking protocol'.
It was a gamble back in early 2018, but one that Sacred Capital stepped into whole-heartedly: to play the role of an economic backbone, allowing network effects to accrue to reputation. It has been a creatively stimulating yet challenging process. At times, people on the fringes of our eco-system have struggled to understand how the space is evolving. We have had to hold that tension while developing the foundations of our interchange with our core community.
How did it all pan out through 2018? And how will 2019 allow us to engage with a larger community? Read on for more.
BUILDING THE ECO-SYSTEM
Most of you have watched our 'evangelical journey' unfold over 2018 as we focused on showcasing the 'Promise of the New Economy'. We've interacted in person with over 6000 people in South Asia, SE Asia, China, Scandinavia, Western Europe, the UK and the West and East Coast of the USA. From conversations in living rooms of our supporters to co-working spaces with our enthusiasts, formal conferences and engaging with heads of states.
Why did we focus on interactions so much? As a distributed economy organisation, it is critical to build Sacred Capital as an ecosystem rather than a company. The key lies in activating various stakeholders who will play diverse roles in the network. Each diverse participant plays a role by contributing and receiving rewards.
In the last quarter of 2018, we put in place virtual formats for our interactions. While in-person interactions will continue, the efficiencies of virtual interactions are compelling. Some of our virtual interactions now attract 700-800 viewers and participants. Our dedicated chat-server is up and running too - enabling us to have more specific and detailed conversations with groups of people.
The physical interactions that we hosted in the first half of the year have offered us tremendous reach across the world. They've allowed us to create deep ties with 'Ambassadors' who will play a critical role in establishing network effects in 2019 and 2020. Chat rooms and virtual interactions will further play a role in multiplying the number of members of our eco-system.
If you have specific thoughts on what our interactions should be like and where we could turn our focus to during 2019, click the link below.
SC AS AN ORGANISATION
We were originally growing it as a team, but now growing SC as a network. This is more aligned to the new economy. And more importantly, we have a wider pool of people who can plug in and contribute. Their contributions actually sit on the reputation scores, which allow them to shape SC.
SC AS AN ORGANISATION
Over the second half of 2018 we've been inundated with requests to be part of Sacred Capital. To us, it's a testament to the growing interest in our vision and belief in a new economic system. While we started as a more traditional organisation with well-defined roles - we think these structures cannot fully capture the opportunity that lies ahead for us.
As a result, we will be using 2019 to grow as a 'social network' or a 'programmatic collective' (if you're into more technical names). In a way, we've decided to 'be the change' ourselves and showcase how an organisation can leverage reputation as a currency. We'll also be moving entirely to a virtual currency system for operations (more on this below)
Over the years, close to 45 people around the world have contributed to SC, with an average number hovering around 10-12. These individuals have plugged in on the basis of their availability and if there's a match between what SC needs and what they can offer. Moving to a social network structure will enable us to scale in a frictionless manner, by harnessing the resilience of distributed technology. If you're interested, click the button below.
The two biggest challenges with wealth in the distributed economy are that (a.) They take on radically different designs, and (b.) Wealth is 'endogenous' i.e. firmly associated with identity.
While enabling individuals to navigate the new economy we have to think of (a.) and (b.) not as limitations, but as strengths in this fascinating new world. That meant developing a meaningful and well-accepted staking protocol that celebrated this diversity. Through this protocol, wealth that is generated by entrepreneurs can contextually align with the individuals within them.
After hundreds of discussions with communities around the world, we have arrived at a robust design for our Reputation Interchange. It's a quantitative model that we have named 'Contextual Chaos', built to replicate the surface of the liquid.
The maths behind this design will continue to be tested by our community - which will involve QnA sessions, exposing our protocol to diverse test environments and more. This approach is critical in a distributed world since it enables stakeholders like entrepreneurs, users and architects to feel like active agents in this process. To facilitate this, we will be building a network of 'Reputation Economy Architects'. Think of this as a network of New Economy Analysts who hold the ability to help entrepreneurs scale organisations using multi-dimensional capital.
A big development mid-2018 was Holochain's emergence as one of the radical successes of the year. Their approach, which allows for 'Distributed Data Realities' was incredibly critical, since it catapulted reputation into the forefront as a new form of wealth without being under pressure to be 'monetised'. Blockchain protocols in the past could not enable that.
To further explore the nuances of our reputation economy and how you can participate, click the button below.
Our outreach has allowed us to access potential entrepreneurs who would build on our reputation interchange. The key has been creating use cases that help open their minds to scaling different kinds of value. We've engaged with them in offices, incubators, academic institutions and conference stages. With our virtual interactions, we've seen people come in from LA to Macedonia to Scandinavia and all parts of Asia. Here are the three broad categories that can be used to classify our entrepreneurs and examples of organisations who are exploring our interchange.
1. Traditional apps and institutions: these are typically organisations building a reputation layer to modulate behaviour within their ecosystems. For more on this, keep an eye on our conversations with the Maharashtra State Govt. who are looking to build a meta reputation system, apps creating earth credits to shape our habits with non-recyclable materials, entrepreneurs building platforms for food sharing networks, mental wellness, and more.
While option 1 is more suited towards traditional organisations looking to add dimensions to their engagement with their users, options 2 and 3 are broadening the very definition of entrepreneurship. These are use cases where reputation plays a more dominant role in the network.
2. Conversations and movements: Collectives for social justice, food systems, emotional intimacy and more are using the reputation interchange as a 'carrier' for social and cultural capital. These groups of people have existed in informal ways prior to this, but are using our staking protocol to give some serious benefits to reputation scores held by their users. Moreover, it allows the founders of collectives use a formal economic language to define the cultural norms of their network which is critical in preventing appropriation and misuse.
3. Networks for Ideation: Traditionally, information has had to ride on an economic system designed for material capital. This has led to limited uses of innovation. However, ideation groups are now exploring how reputation can be a form of wealth awarded to their stakeholders since it doesn't operate from the same zero-sum rules as material capital. It, therefore, allows us to build networks for collaboration that are designed for resonance rather than extraction. Incubators of the future would, therefore, think of themselves as open-sourced networks, rather than closed funding circles since their contributors can be rewarded without fear of their ideas being appropriated.
Getting entrepreneurs to see the vision will need us to hold spaces for conversations and promote ideation networks. To facilitate this, we will use our interactions and dedicated chat rooms to build ideas. 45 'Genesis Entrepreneurs' will be highlighted within the eco-system with help from our reputation architects and funders. Our close ties with eco-systems like Holo will be very critical since entrepreneurs who are familiar with 'agent-centric' approaches align with reputation a lot easier than traditional entrepreneurs.
Arguably, one of the toughest challenges of 2018 was getting our credit economy, or 'business model' just right. The heady crypto-mania of early 2018 saw business models that relied on everyone 'accepting their currencies'. It has now become apparent that the use of distributed ledgers lies in building efficient accounting systems for micro-transactions.
After months of conversations with legal teams in California, the UK, Europe, SE Asia and South Asia, we've emerged with what is considered the 'gold standard' of the distributed economy. David Atkinson , the architect of Holo's radically successful launch, has helped us build a mutual credit based economy that truly value-stable.
SC Credits will be considered ethical issuances because they are value-stable, backed by utility and offer reputation payoffs to early backers. (Remember - the distributed economy is about value stability + reputation gains, not sky-rocketing returns versus the dollar). Sacred Capital Credits are designed to provide value stability to their holders coupled with a payoff for reputation. Click the button below for more details.
Meanwhile, for early-stage funders and team members, we may consider issuing the SC Token as a record of your contribution to the eco-system. We've had to take our time and ensure it is not exposed to volatility at an early stage. As a result, we may limit it's circulation creatively - ensuring only community members have access to it in the early stage. The issuance will provide a frictionless process for those supporting us and to leverage efficiencies of distributed ledgers for our operations. If you're a contributor, stay tuned to your inbox: more details on this will be released.
A MANIFESTO FOR 2019
Technology wise, 2018 was a great year. We were able to see technological bits fall into place. In particular, the possibilities of DDR which are so critical for true distributed wealth to take root.
What's the potential here? What's the blue sky vision - be become a rider for multi-dimensional wealth. To enable news kinds of entrepreneurs ship, to broaden the definition of wealth. To enables new cultural possibilities and the unlocking of human potential. At the very least though, we would be a reputation layer for apps and institutions.
What's the path ahead? On both, a principled as well as a strategic basis it is important to build this out as a distributed initiative. Reputation, is fundamentally an intimative form of wealth - and thriving in the distributed economy requires us to offer agency in our growth to all our stakeholders. The Cambridge Analytica saga that unfoled in March 2018 has worked well in our favour - showcasing the importance of radically new agent centric models versus data centric models (Read this piece on the Holo Vault that outlines how this is playing out).
So what's the path ahead? Technologically, and mathematically we're nearly there. With 80% of the work done, and 20% which are not tweaks, but will pivot on the basis of feedback from our stakeholders.
The big challenge lies in the cultural shift. Basically, helping people see the beauty of distributed data realities (DDR), and more importantly, how they can create radically different organisations when you can scale across dimensions. The way to build this is by thinking of this as movement - you build till an inflexion point with stakeholders who are aligned. And then ripple effects carry this across to people across eco-systems. (People who pulled this off were Ethereum in 2014/2015 and Holochain in 2018/early 2019).
For this, we're going to use a two pronged approach to building the way forward:
a. Tokenised economy. Henceforth salaries will be paid in VC. Allows us to manage our flows better and allows us to end up with an initiation debit that is accurate of the material currency used - you do away with the intermediaries i.e. funders - whether crypto bros or VCs.
The role of funders will be to provide liquidity for our expenses - in a way this is a unique approach without having to engage with intermediaries. If you'd like to participate, click here.
The liquidity will also allow people to support SC without feeling like they're locked in.
b. Activating reputation currency. This is important for cultural shifts. (see snapshot of platform). This is important for expanding our network and fostering a cultural shifts. At that point, reputation interchange goes live, which means all the reputations earned have value not just internally but externally as well. This is our big big fund raise of sorts. This is our celebrated event. Using social capital.
snapshot of platform
We do all this until Activation date
A MANIFESTO FOR 2019
From a technological perspective, 2018 has been a great year. We saw significant pieces in the puzzle fall into place for Sacred Capital and the distributed economy. In particular, concepts like DDR (Distributed Data Realities) enabled us to put a peg in the ground and state our aspirations for the years to come.
What's the potential here? The blue sky vision involves developing a carrier signal for multi-dimensional wealth (read an internal document if you're technically inclined). To enable news kinds of entrepreneurs ship, to broaden the definition of wealth. To enable new cultural possibilities and an unlocking of human potential. At the very least, we would be a reputation layer for apps and institutions.
The key, however, lies in fostering a cultural shift towards this new paradigm. Users, entrepreneurs and architects will need to awaken to the scaling with multi-dimensional value.
How will we enable this?
On both, a principled as well as a strategic basis it is essential to build Sacred Capital as a distributed initiative. Reputation is an intimate form of wealth. Thriving in the distributed economy requires us to offer agency in our growth to all our stakeholders. The Cambridge Analytica saga that unfolded in March 2018 worked in our favour - showcasing the importance of agent-centric models versus data-centric models (Read a piece on the Holo Vault that outlines how the model works).
2018 saw us attract a community of users, funders and entrepreneurs that resonate with our vision. 2019 is dedicated to strengthening and growing this community and activating our network at some point in Q2. How will we do that?
1. We continue to expand the network of users through our outreach formats, i.e. virtual and offline interactions, chatrooms and more. See more details on our events page.
2. Our network of entrepreneurs will be catalysed through the Genesis Entrepreneur network. More here.
3. A collective of Reputation Architects is critical in building new economy organisations. Over the course of the next 6 months, we will be hosting hackathons, ideation sessions and more to build this network. More here.
Building an eco-system requires us to simultaneously fire-up differents stakeholders. The three points above outline our action plan, but we also need to make tweaks in our operations. Here's how that will shift in 2019.
a. Tokenised economy: Ideally, we would like our operating costs to be tracked on a distributed ledger, and supported by early-stage funders in a frictionless manner.
To this purpose, we have a simple dashboard that let's community members track their contributions. (see below). However, this is contingent on regulations, since we would not want to jeopardise our long term mission. If the environment for Ethereum based tokens continues to weaken, we will consider Holochain's credit-clearing system to offer liquidity. The latter, while much simpler from a regulatory perspective is dependent on Holochain's timelines.
b. Activating the Reputation Currency: Building an ecosystem will require us to reward early contributors such as entrepreneurs, funders and architects with more than just money. For this, we will be activating our reputation currency - SCReputation to help expand our network and foster cultural shifts.
Early contributors will receive reputation scores, which in turn enable an individual to shape the future of Sacred Capital in the months to come. More importantly, these scores will be placed on the reputation interchange at the point of activation. At that moment, these reputation scores will be available to be staked across eco-systems - providing potentially countless benefits to those who helped build Sacred Capital.
Reputation as a currency will be critical in building towards our activation event scheduled for Q2 2019. Entrepreneurs, funders and architects who build along with us will be contributing to the fund-raise in a fascinating way, with reputational capital. No doubt, this would be the first instance of an organisation pulling of a fund-raise with a new kind of capital. In a sense, we would be 'being the change' ourselves! More in the weeks to come.
The process of building Sacred Capital has been a humbling, yet joyous experience, and we would like to express our gratitude for supporting us along our journey. The coming year will be about deepening our foundations and strapping in for the long haul.
For those reading this update, we hope it has been useful in outlining intentions behind our decisions in 2018 and shedding light on our path for 2019. We also hope it has sparked off more questions, and to that purpose, we welcome you to engage in our chat rooms over the next few weeks. Click the button below to register and engage.