October Update

Updates on the Observatory, Distroid, Ledgerback Frontier Portal, General Meeting, and Ledgerback Frontier Awards

Observatory

Glossary

The first preview of the basic Glossary of Ledgerback Frontier terms directory is now available.

Please find it here and let us know your thoughts!

People

The first preview of the basic People of the Ledgerback Frontier directory is now available.

Please find it here and let us know your thoughts!

Tools

The first preview of the basic Tools of the Ledgerback Frontier directory is now available.

Please find it here and let us know your thoughts!

Volunteer Board

Here is the LDCRC Volunteer Board! If you would like to help out and are unsure of how to do so, please refer to this board for volunteer opportunities (or you can donate 😊).

If you see any tasks that interest you, add your name to the Taker column and your Twitter handle to the Twitter handle column, and provide a link to your work under the Project link column.

Ledgerback Frontier Awards

Here are some awards I am thinking of issuing to recognize outstanding work at the Ledgerback Frontier for 2022.

The primary objective of the Ledgerback Frontier Awards is to identify and recognize individuals and organizations (loose- or tight-knit) that have made outstanding contributions at the Ledgerback Frontier, but also towards creating a positive impact for the future.

I plan to split each award into two or three sections:

  1. Judges’-choice (nominations not accepted),

  2. Publics’-choice (nominations accepted), and possibly

  3. Members’-choice (members-only nominations).

I will be working on the criteria for each award.

Please let me know your thoughts and if you have any nominations for an award. Additionally, if there any additional activities an individual or community is undertaking that you think should be recognized with an award.

You can find the list of potential awards below.

  1. Research Award recognizing an outstanding achievement by an individual or organization in furthering the understanding of a field of knowledge at the Ledgerback Frontier (technically, papers can also fall here)

  2. Convergence Award recognizing an outstanding achievement by an individual or organization in connecting and integrating one or more sectors of the Ledgerback Frontier 

  3. Education Award recognizing an outstanding achievement by an individual or organization in promoting education at the Ledgerback Frontier

  4. Culture Award recognizing an outstanding achievement by an individual or organization in promoting cultural activities at the Ledgerback Frontier 

  5. Investigator award recognizing an outstanding achievement monitoring and investigating the activities of actors, resources, and apps in the Ledgerback Frontier in support of  the wider public’s interest 

  6. Societal & Environmental Impact Award recognizing an outstanding achievement by an individual or organization in using technologies and/or organizing models in the Ledgerback Frontier for social and/or environmental good

Ledgerback Frontier Portal

The Ledgerback Frontier Portal is a gateway to the Ledgerback Frontier (i.e., the Decentralized Web (DWeb) and related fields). The aim of the portal is to help people brave the Ledgerback Frontier through self-study.

You can find the Frontier Portal’s repository for self-study resources on Web3 here.

Please let us know your thoughts and if you have any questions or suggestions for improvement.

LedgerbackHub

I will be moving Ledgerback’s articles on Medium to the LedgerbackHub.

To find our long form content in the future, please refer thereto.

Distroid

Issue 15

Distroid Issue 15 was released this past October!

Twitter Mentions

General Meeting

I am scheduling this year’s annual meeting for December 18th from 9 AM PDT - 11 AM PDT.

I will be presenting the Networked Cognitive Cooperative Institute (NC2I) strategic plan and amendments to the Bylaws for a multi-stakeholder model and 501(c)(3) compliance.

If anyone else has anything they want to present, please send me a message.

A guest post by

September Update

Outline

  1. Credentialing service

  2. Conference

  3. Awards

  4. Amalgam Magazine

  5. Ledgerback Frontier Portal

  6. Question?

  7. Library updates

  8. Research updates

  9. Projects of the month

  10. Consultants Network

  11. Platform updates

  12. Bylaws updates

  13. Strategic plan updates

  14. Project of the month

  15. Adding apps to Cloudron

  16. Tokenization Experiments

  17. Website update

  18. Community fundraising site


Credentialing Service

I will be making a credentialing service, primarily for members to show off their impact.

I am thinking of putting the service into 2 parts:

  1. Member Impact Reports, and

  2. Certificates

Conference

I will be trying to setup a conference in the next 2 years.

Awards

Some possible awards I am thinking of:

  • Distinguished publication award,

  • Distinguished project award,

  • Distinguished institutional structure award, and

  • Distinguished community-building award.

For the awards, I will determine the selection criteria and then how the awards will be conferred.


Amalgam Magazine

I will be restarting the magazine with a new issue of 4-5 topical articles to come out next year. The topics that are covered by the magazine includes anything under the decentralized web and related fields.

The topics I am thinking of for the issue are:

  • Mutualizing Self-driving vehicles

  • Digital twins and virtual influencers

  • Decentralized Knowledge Graphs

  • Social services cooperatives

If you would like to submit an essay for the issue, send an email to ledgerback@gmail.com.

I will be seeking funding as well for the second issue.

Ledgerback Frontier Portal

The Ledgerback Frontier Portal is a gateway to the decentralized web (DWeb). The aim of the portal is to help you find resources to educate yourself on the DWeb and related fields.

You can find my scratch work here.

Questions

What is Decentralized Finance?

a broad category of peer-to-peer financial applications that are being developed on top of programmable blockchains.

Ze Chen, What is DeFi?


Library

Here you can find a very short preview of the Observatory, Tools and Glossary I have been working on.

For members, send me a message and I will send you the most up-to-date version.

I will also be making a database for Q&A, curating questions from across the web.


Research

Joseph Tobing

Joseph Tobing has finished making his outline for his essay exploring the possibility of an AI Commons!


Projects of the Month

Hypergraph

Experiment with research modules

You do your research, and whenever you feel comfortable publishing something, you should be able to. Hypergraph introduces research modules: Pieces of your research efforts that construct your larger research works.


Comradery Coop

Collect money from your subscribers on Comradery, a payment platform that is democratically owned and controlled by every creator who uses it.


Consultant Network

For consultants

Join our network of Ledgerback consultants and we'll send relevant work requests your way.

For clients

Let us know what kind of project you have to tackle and our team will do our best to match you with consultants in our network.

Platforms

Distroid Issue 14: Diving into the Microwork Rabbithole was released last month.

Laplace Files 1: Social Tokens and NFTs for Educators and Bikestream Files 1: Cyclist Social Tokens, Fractionalized Ownership, P2E, and Project Resources was released earlier this month.

I might start a crowdfund for Laplace and Bikestream later.

Bylaws

I am updating the membership portion of the Bylaws.

You can find my scratch work here.

Strategic plan

I am working on a strategic plan for the LDCRC.

You can find my scratch work here.

Adding apps to Cloudron

I will be adding Commento, Element and Matrix to the Cloudron.

Additionally, we may need to upgrade the server.

Website update

I updated the main website at www.ledgerback.coop.

Community fundraising site

Do you guys want a community fundraising site?

Tokenization Experiments

A list of Web3 and Tokenization experiments I have been thinking about.

A guest post by

Laplace Files 1: Social Tokens and NFTs for Educators

Welcome to the Laplace Files, a newsletter on the Laplace project by Charles (Ledgerback Digital Commons Research Cooperative).

This newsletter includes my progress reports and thoughts on research, useful articles, videos, podcasts, tweets, tools, project updates, events, and more related to developing the project.


Social Tokens

What are social tokens?

Maximilian Perkmann in Social Tokens: The Next Big Crypto Thing?, defines social tokens as “Tokens that can be assigned to individual persons or communities.”

How does it apply to teachers?

In UCLA basketball sub Jaylen Clark to have his own cryptocurrency, Myron Medcalf discusses Jaylen Clark, a UCLA basketball reserve, who released his own social token ( $JROCK ) with Rally.

Some excerpts from the article:

He said he'll use his own crypto to build his connection to his fans through various events, such as ticket giveaways. Those who use $JROCK will also have access to unique content through his platforms.

Months after name, image and likeness rules changed for collegiate athletes, Clark said he doesn't believe most athletes will benefit. But those who have a strong social media following, he said, will thrive. He said he already is generating significant revenue through his YouTube page after "being able to monetize your fan base."

The same can be done for teachers. Teachers can offer their own social tokens ($TEACHER) to fans and students by using platforms like Roll or Rally to help raise funds for educational resources, and in turn, provide exclusive services such as 1-on-1 sessions to fans and students that hold a certain amount of the teacher’s social token.

Additionally, teachers could host a giveaway on PoolTogether requiring participants to have $TEACHER tokens to stake in the pool.

What is the social token paradox?

In The Double Edge Sword of Exclusivity, Mason Nystrom describes the social token paradox and digs into possible strategies around the paradox.

The challenge is that social tokens need to appreciate by including new members and yet these membership gated communities must keep their groups exclusive otherwise the social and utility value will decrease.

Nystrom outlines three strategies to deal with the social token paradox described above:

  1. Performance or Accomplishment Exclusivity: “[a]ccomplishment or performance is a socially valuable signal. Oftentimes performance can be vague to assess, however, Rabbithole has already started to create on-chain records for completing certain tasks. Additionally, membership can be given to individuals who have completed tasks in various DAO (e.g. bronze members, silver members, etc.) or previous voters. Tiered membership based on accomplishments or participation can bring together individuals from different communities into a single DAO or community. Imagine having some of the top contributors or voters from various DAOs all in one single DAO.”

  2. Time Exclusivity: “[c]reating membership based on time can align long-term players and adds an element that cannot be gamed or financially purchased. Time membership can also be combined with accomplishments such as tasks that involved grinding away at some task for hours or weeks until it is achieved. This model can incentivize the development of communities that require significant effort to join.”

  3. Experience or Service Exclusivity: “[s]hared experience unites various individuals whether it be fraternities, college students, people in the same geolocation, or otherwise. Experiences can also be cause-oriented such as charitable affiliates or event-oriented by requiring individuals to attend an artist’s concert before getting an NFT that provides access to their discord channel.”

The time and performance exclusivity strategies seem the most appropriate for teachers. 

I think this can be done by requiring students to complete assessments or assignments in a course with a sufficient grade (e.g., a 4 on a 1 - 5 grading scale).

Additionally, teachers could host a giveaway on PoolTogether requiring participants to have $TEACHER tokens to stake in the pool.

Alternatively, there is also proof-of-use/attention that can be garnered by having students learn in public or peer-grading of assignments.


Learning Content Royalty Market

Based on Royal.market, another possible market is buying ownership stakes (or fractionalizing ownership) in learning content directly from your favorite teachers before the course is released and earning royalties from their work.

How does royal work?

Artists use royal to share true ownership in their songs directly with fans, as investors.

1) Artists use royal to create digital assets with embedded ownership in the master recording, earning royalties from income-producing activities such as streaming. These assets can also include extras provided by the artist – access to exclusive communities, free merchandise, concert tickets... and more.

2) Investors can purchase these digital assets.

3) Royal collects and distributes royalties to all owners.

4) In the future, owners will be able to buy and sell between one another

I can see a similar how-to for a learning content royalty market.

Nftfy and Fractional maybe ways of doing this by creating an NFT of the course, then fractionalizing it, and whoever has a fraction can make a claim to royalties or any other additional goodies associated with the course.


From Student Loans to Student Currencies

The time and investment it takes to become an expert wood or leather craftsman or software developer - simply is impossible for a lot of people! What if that apprentice could be given a credit that paid for her time, and basic needs - and could later be used by people to buy her beautiful carved wooden Lamu doors or custom designed bag, or android application?

A great article by Will Ruddick on how to use a Community Inclusion Currency for funding university education.


Income-sharing Agreements

Pursuit

Through our Pursuit Bond funding model, we’re able to provide the Fellowship with no loans and no upfront costs. Instead, we have an income sharing agreement (ISA) with you. That means you'll pay a percentage of your future earnings for a set number of payments when you get a high-paying job. If you don't get a job or make above the salary threshold, you pay nothing. And if you lose your job, your payments pause until your next job.

The Ponzi Career

Lambda School enables students to sell a piece of their future earnings in exchange for tuition. The school teaches in-demand skills such as web development and data science. Courses can be completed remotely and are highly practical, focused on getting students hired once they complete the course. Lambda students pay nothing upfront but promise to give the school a share of their future income:

"The Lambda School Income Share Agreement (ISA) is a form of deferred tuition under which you agree to pay 17% of your post-Lambda School salary for 24 months, but only once you're making more than $50,000 per year. The ISA is capped at $30,000, so you'll never pay more than that for any reason. And if you don't get hired? You never pay."

If the skills end up being useless, the school will not get paid. This is true even if the student ends up earning money while working in another field. As Lambda's website points out, "you only have to make monthly payments when you are working in a 'Qualified Position' [which means] any role in any field where your participation in Lambda School helped you get the job."

Very interesting model. I might look into this later.


Play-to-Earn, Educational Games, and Gamification

Sergey Baloyan in Play 2 Earn: A New Trend on the Crypto Market defines Play-to-Earn (P2E) as a model that “lets the players create new digital assets and trade them via the game’s infrastructure.”

Some projects working on this for trivia games include:

I might look into this later.


Altminster is an alternative e-Learning platform connecting “independent teachers with independent students to give you an affordable, personalized course of study in any academic subject.”

Altminster’s mission is to help the “revival of the liberal arts education for the digital age.”

You can read their origin story below.

The origin story

The dream of the liberal arts within academia is in grave danger. We are seeing the university as an institution struggle to serve either scholars or the public:

  1. Ordinary people can no longer afford to get an education of the quality that was possible even a generation ago. It is not generally possible to sit-in at university courses if you are a general member of the public and not enrolled at the institution.

  2. Scholars can no longer make a living doing teaching and research. Tenured positions are few and far between - almost impossible to get.

  3. Red tape and institutional requirements means that scholars may no longer be able to teach what they want, but must provide what is expected of them.

  4. Students may no longer have a say in the direction of their own education or academic interests.

But hope remains: what students need, scholars can provide; what scholars need, students can provide. At Altminster, we believe that curious students should be able to find their own way to their teachers. If scholars can once again sustain themselves by teaching those things they have spent their lives studying, then the dream of the liberal arts can live again outside of academia.


Ledgerback Digital Commons Research Cooperative (LDCRC) is a 501(c)(3), member-led association coalescing a socially-aware expert community for advancing knowledge in the decentralized web and related fields through research, education, technology, and monitoring done by, for, and with members of the public.

If our mission is aligned with your work, please considering supporting our non-profit.

Learn more about us via the links below.

Links

A guest post by

Bikestream Files 1: Cyclist Social Tokens, Fractionalized Ownership, P2E, and Project Resources

Welcome to the Bikestream Files, a a newsletter on the Bikestream project by Charles (Ledgerback Digital Commons Research Cooperative), with help from Gavin.

It includes progress reports and thoughts on research, useful articles, videos, podcasts, tweets, tools, project updates, events, and more related to developing the project.


Social Tokens

What are social tokens?

Maximilian Perkmann in Social Tokens: The Next Big Crypto Thing?, defines social tokens as “Tokens that can be assigned to individual persons or communities.”

How does it apply to cyclists?

In UCLA basketball sub Jaylen Clark to have his own cryptocurrency, Myron Medcalf discusses Jaylen Clark, a UCLA basketball reserve, who released his own social token ( $JROCK ) with Rally.

Some excerpts from the article:

He said he'll use his own crypto to build his connection to his fans through various events, such as ticket giveaways. Those who use $JROCK will also have access to unique content through his platforms.

Months after name, image and likeness rules changed for collegiate athletes, Clark said he doesn't believe most athletes will benefit. But those who have a strong social media following, he said, will thrive. He said he already is generating significant revenue through his YouTube page after "being able to monetize your fan base."

Just like Jaylen Clark, cyclists (professional, semi-professional, and amateurs ) can also offer their own social tokens to brands and fans to support their cycling activities, and in turn token holders can receive some benefits like a session to cycle or train with the cyclist or have the cyclist advertise a brand’s products.

Especially for aspiring professional cyclists, a databike can come in handy to show off your stats and start garnering attention.

A cyclist can create social tokens by using platforms like Roll or Rally.

What is the social token paradox?

In The Double Edge Sword of Exclusivity, Mason Nystrom describes the social token paradox and digs into possible strategies around the paradox.

The challenge is that social tokens need to appreciate by including new members and yet these membership gated communities must keep their groups exclusive otherwise the social and utility value will decrease.

Nystrom outlines three strategies to deal with the social token paradox described above:

  1. Performance or Accomplishment Exclusivity: “[a]ccomplishment or performance is a socially valuable signal. Oftentimes performance can be vague to assess, however, Rabbithole has already started to create on-chain records for completing certain tasks. Additionally, membership can be given to individuals who have completed tasks in various DAO (e.g. bronze members, silver members, etc.) or previous voters. Tiered membership based on accomplishments or participation can bring together individuals from different communities into a single DAO or community. Imagine having some of the top contributors or voters from various DAOs all in one single DAO.”

  2. Time Exclusivity: “[c]reating membership based on time can align long-term players and adds an element that cannot be gamed or financially purchased. Time membership can also be combined with accomplishments such as tasks that involved grinding away at some task for hours or weeks until it is achieved. This model can incentivize the development of communities that require significant effort to join.”

  3. Experience or Service Exclusivity: “[s]hared experience unites various individuals whether it be fraternities, college students, people in the same geolocation, or otherwise. Experiences can also be cause-oriented such as charitable affiliates or event-oriented by requiring individuals to attend an artist’s concert before getting an NFT that provides access to their discord channel.”

I think using the very act of cycling can help get around that with Performance or Accomplishment Exclusivity.


TransportVisible.cat

TransportVisible.cat wants to be a territorial platform for Sustainable Urban Microdistribution, where the real uses of sustainable vehicles and services linked to the urban distribution of goods are made visible, and in which its operators act in a concerted and responsible way. with the territory itself and its needs, while contributing to local development.

Very cool organization in Spain working on making uses of sustainable vehicles and services linked to the urban distribution of goods visible.


Collective fractional ownership

Shermin Voshmgir in Token Economy: How the Web3 reinvents the Internet discusses in the excerpt below how blockchain can be used to fractionalize ownership of physical assets such as a taxi vehicle.

“Such a setup could also be attractive for taxi drivers. Many drivers lack the money to invest in their own car, and thus work for a company to provide the infrastructure, sharing their revenues or paying a fixed rent to the vehicle’s owner. Fractional collective ownership tokens would allow several taxi drivers to collectively purchase a car, instead of renting it from someone, and split up the shifts as well as the costs and revenues involved with buying and maintaining the car for their rides. A smart contract could collect a portion of everyone’s revenues, allocated for the expenses involved.”

“Collective fractional ownership tokens could furthermore manage the commons of a larger community, and settle the right of an individual to the benefits from community-owned assets. The state of Alaska in the United States and Norway have already passed their residents a share of their oil sales, either directly or in the form of wealth funds. Such a process could be tokenized to reduce settlement costs, while increasing transparency and accountability.”

This would be an interesting experiment with databikes and help reduce the individual cost of conversion or purchasing a new e-bike like the example with taxi drivers, while collecting earnings from data sales and bicycle-related services.

Some emerging Web3 services for fractionalization are Nftfy and Fractional.


Play-to-Earn, Cycling Games, and Gamification

Sergey Baloyan in Play 2 Earn: A New Trend on the Crypto Market defines Play-to-Earn (P2E) as a model that “lets the players create new digital assets and trade them via the game’s infrastructure.”

I can see P2E being implemented in a virtual cycling game like Zwift, where you can earn assets or currency based on your cycling statistics, route completion and times, etc.


Hacking E-bikes

In Europe’s electric bike companies REALLY don’t want you hacking your e-bike to go faster, Micah Toll discussed how Europe’s major electric bicycle companies are signing onto an industry-wide commitment to prevent owners from hacking their e-bikes for more speed and power under the Confederation of European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI).

“The signatories include major e-bike motor manufacturers such as Bafang, Bosch, Brose, and Shimano.”

Electrek’s take is described in the snippets below.

Many companies have already begun cracking down on the practice, and Bosch even introduced an update that would lock the bike’s motor if the rider tried to repeatedly hack it for more speed. Some countries, such as France, have made hacking e-bikes an offense that could be punishable by jail time.

While many riders are simply looking for more speed to get where they’re going faster, safety concerns regarding faster e-bikes have led to this pushback from the industry. Pedestrians have been hit and killed by hacked e-bikes that were traveling faster than manufacturers intended.

The issue is that this isn’t a matter of e-bikes, it’s a matter of fast bikes. Period. A common argument against e-bikes is that they weigh more and thus a potential crash is more dangerous.

A typical battery and motor add around 5-6 kg to a bike. So I don’t buy the argument that we need to keep e-bikes slower because they weigh more, especially when the weight difference is somewhere around 5-8% of the entire rider/bike system. That 5 kg can be the same as a pedal bike rider who can’t exercise self-control in the candy store. If anyone really believed in the merit of that argument, they’d advocate for selling a scale with e-bikes and force heftier riders to use a slower speed limit. The variation in human weights is simply much larger than the variation in bicycle/e-bicycle weights.

In my opinion, location-based bicycle speed limits make much more sense than e-bike power limits. We don’t force car manufacturers to limit horsepower to 70 hp. We tell car drivers not to travel faster than 70 mph. Or 35 mph. Or whatever the safe speed is for a specific area. And that’s exactly the point – safety is relative. Creating a single power or speed limit that is built into the e-bike makes no sense if the argument is safety. Why not take a real step towards safety and actually put smart restrictions in place that make a larger impact on the safety of riders and pedestrians.

As an added bonus, tickets for hooligan riders that exceed the safe speed limits in high-traffic areas can be issues and the money put towards building safer cycling infrastructure.

Now that’s a plan.

I (Charles) think both sides on this debate have merit, but I lean towards Electrek’s take.

Preventing the hacking of e-bikes is important because of the injury concerns for cyclists and pedestrians, but I think this is the wrong approach because it undermines the e-bike owner's ability to customize the e-bike to fit their specific needs. 

Additionally, and as stated by Electrek, the issue here is not e-bikes but instead cyclists riding too fast. It is not too dissimilar to a person driving a car too fast and getting into an accident. The problem isn't the e-bike, but instead the cyclist's riding behavior. 

Lastly, doing such a thing hurts the cyclists who do not engage in such risky behavior because they cannot customize their bikes and may face civil or criminal liability for doing so. Instead of directly targeting offenders, the plan is to limit all cyclists 

This is an area where Bikestream can help out with because Bikestream supports customization of e-bikes so that cyclists can meet their specific needs (and are not locked into specific companies), and the databike standard acts as a guide rather than a hard limit (other than for certain cases such as competitions and events).


Resources

Here are some resources on the Bikestream project.

Readings

  1. Dr Mark Taylor, Databike: Good and bad vibrations

  2. A Novel Crowdsourcing Model for Micro-Mobility Ride-Sharing Systems


Ledgerback Digital Commons Research Cooperative (LDCRC) is a 501(c)(3), member-led association coalescing a socially-aware expert community for advancing knowledge in the decentralized web and related fields through research, education, technology, and monitoring done by, for, and with members of the public.

If our mission is aligned with your work, please considering supporting our non-profit.

Learn more about us via the links below.

Links

A guest post by
A guest post by
Hello, I have about 10 years experience in mechanical and electrical devices as a technician. I have also been an avid cyclist since I was a youth!
Subscribe to Gavin

August Update

Hi Ledgerbackers!

Welcome to another update on the Ledgerback Digital Commons Research Cooperative (LDCRC).

This update is written by Charles.

Websites

Cooperative

The cooperative’s website will be updated later this month.

Laplace

Laplace Pre-Alpha will be released later this month or next month.

Trademark

This month, we will be following up on our trademark application with the US Patent & Trademark Office.

Publications

Distroid Issues 12 and 13 were released in August.

Distroid
Distroid Issue 12
Welcome to Distroid, a monthly newsletter featuring the latest on the impact of emerging technologies and digital transformation on society, with an emphasis on counter-movements. Distroid is put together by Charles (Ledgerback Digital Commons Research Cooperative…
Read more
Distroid
Distroid Issue 13: Digital Gardens
Welcome to Distroid, a monthly newsletter featuring the latest on the impact of emerging technologies and digital transformation on society, with an emphasis on counter-movements. Distroid is put together by Charles (Ledgerback Digital Commons Research Cooperative…
Read more

Grants

Charles Adjovu applied to the Streamr Data Fund for the Bikestream project.

Bylaws

Charles Adjovu will be creating an amended bylaws for adoption this month or next month.

A guest post by

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