Holochain Forum

Building blocks for commoning communities?

Hi everyone!

So in the past month some folks from the holochain ecosystem (@Qubeo, @raphisee, @hedayat, @pablo and @nphias) have initiated a commoning working group with two parallel branches: one about development, where we build basic commoning building blocks, and one about discussion, for now focused on thinking about the patterns that enable commons-like flows in a community, which will inform what we actually build.

We would love to hear about building blocks that are actually needed by projects in the ecosystem to be as targeted and as close to the communities as possible.

The idea is that if we built a good tool set of building blocks, any community could pull them to use them in a way that fits their context. Right now, we have some ideas about which building blocks to develop first. These include:

  • Mutual-credit currencies
  • Resource management: booking, borrowing and lending, chain of custody, etc.
  • Wikis and documentation like tools
  • Reputational currencies

If any of you know of a project building on holochain in which this seems like a good fit, we would love to get in contact. IIn this direction, we are already talking with @ViktorZaunders and @nphias is a very active part of the Hackalong community, in Liminal Village.

Thanks a lot!


Voting for Mutual Credit currencies! I have a number of uses I’d like to deploy it for. :slight_smile:


Awesome, I’ll be pinging you in the near future!

Ciao Guillem,

I see “common” interfaces as pretty interesting and I’d start that with Identity since WOT/Holochain is based on edge agents - i.e. users. If we can build a nice interface at the persona management level I think it would be pretty handy for intersecting with hApps (like mutual credit). The latter we’ve been experimenting at the village with and got to some interesting conclusions; namely the semantic seperation of value vs accounting. Ultimately we need both!

Heres one sentence to encapsulate some thoughts on creating positive sum dynamics and integrating the subjective/objective divide with mutual credit:

Gifted access while retaining ownership; this gift creates surplus (subjective) value while accounting for and tracking the (objective) resource.

I’m interested in the calls as well but dont want to be overly involved, just casual passenger that can add some memes to the infoset :wink:


I’m very interested in this collaboration, and would like to be involved. I agree that identity management will be very important, and that systems for finding contacts and managing groups while maintaining privacy will be crucial for Holochain’s mid and long-term success. I also have a few other ideas for libraries that could be useful for the Holochain community, like a localization framework for hApps.

1 Like

I am travelling to ecovillages throughout Europe and have been working on both new currency for those communities and governance models. I host a weekly call at 5 pm on Wednesdays, discussing my travels and bringing up exactly these topics as I experience them in the communities. Everyone is welcome to the call so if you would like to join please reach out to me at [email protected] and I’ll add you to the zoom invitation. I have my ideas posted on this repository and I’ll be launching a website in a couple of weeks. https://www.daoleadership.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/VoH-SufficiencyCurrency-V2-August2020.pdf

One of the fundamentals that I’m looking at is the community rather than the individual as the basic Holon for collaboration across these communities. Because these groups keep a strong membrane around the group, the economic activity is vis-a-vis the outside, not within the group. For that reason, mutual credit currencies are inadequatee and short-lived in these communities. Arthur talks about this extensively, so it’s not new to anyone here… but I think that people are so stuck in thinking that money is the only way to transact, that they have not seen that mutual credit currencies and LETS systems have failed to make any significant change and that we need to be thinking in more advanced ways. I’m more excited by REA and by the idea of “pools” than the idea of “markets”.


I’m also very interested in this collaboration. I have:

  • Identify management
  • Time bank
  • Accounting for financial tokens

Identity management is an obvious foundational building block, so I second that. I’m thinking: registering a new user in a group, allowing the user to manage their profile, providing proof-of-identity services within the group, etc. etc.

Another building block that we have spoken about previously in our project is a time-bank solution, to keep track of the time/effort individuals have contributed to the project. Perhaps this sits under REA style functionality?

Finally, the core of what we are building is a peer-to-peer funding model with zero interest, with the most important rule being that it is not possible to take more money out of the group than enters the group. In other words, we have a “membrane” model per Grace’s post above, and use that as the boundary for the rule that money going out can never exceed money that goes in - money can not leave the community in other words. This might fall under the Mutual Credit banner, but I’m not sure, since we have some complex (not complex: unfamiliar in the current paradigm) rules that must go with the implementation; also, we don’t think of our ‘credits’ as currency - we use the existing national sovereign currency (money) and accept that as pre payment for future production while also offering a discount. So we have pre payment credits and discounts. Both of these are I suppose tokens so I can see how they might be classed as currency. The particular need we have is to be able to track the purchase, accumulation, redemption and peer-to-peer trading of these pre-purchase and discount credits.