Resilience - potential global decentralised blockchain (volunatry) welfare system

Here’s an interesting blockchain/Ethereum related (not clear) project that touches on the most contentious discussions we’ve had on this forum, taxation, co-operatives, basic-income, welfare etc. I share it because those areas of obviously things that people here are interested in, as well as the obvious decentralisation/blockchain link.

I’ve called it a ‘taxation system’ (6) to hint at what it’s capable of.
Resilience could replace the entire welfare infrastructure, globally.
The network functions without a single central authority, it extracts
value from value creators in a fully voluntary way, and it distributes
this surplus in a completely decentralized fashion.

There’s a short article outlining this at the above link, and the video is short, but then rolls into another and another which I found useful and easy to watch.

What do you think about this project? Please don’t go into discussions of taxation, co-operatives or other polarising issues without relating them directly to this project - by all means discuss them in a wider context but if you do use an existing thread or use “reply on linked topic”.

There are some new ideas here, plenty to explore and understand. Let’s discuss them in order to understand what this idea is about before we start judging it. Its ambitious, and quite likely not fully formed, but it should at least stimulate ideas for what might be achieved and how. One way to use it might be to thing about this kind of thing might be implemented on SAFEnetwork of course.

UPDATE: details of taxemes, being tested on Ethereum

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I do think that anything worth having is worth funding voluntarily, and the fact that things are funded voluntarily would cause them to strive for excellence and efficiency. Cryptocurrencies makes taxation harder, but it makes funding easier… As the technologies mature I suspect a lot of things that frequently lose at the ballot box (libraries Public transit etc) will find that it is more efficient to fund through Crypto - and once they have proven that concept a lot more of the projects that have traditionally been funded through taxation will also migrate to the less coercive funding mechanisms that Cryptocurrencies can provide.

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If it’s voluntary, then great!

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Mutualism is a great tradition. Voluntary subscription, democratic, cooperatives are lovely things.

It is a shame they have associated such good qualities with taxation, but I can see the point they are making. Imo, it negatively affects the aim of the project though, as there is little which is voluntary about taxation.

Anyway, cooperatives span borders and can deliver much of what state socialism is failing to do. I don’t think it needs ethereum or any other technology to deliver the planned outcome, but it will surely help to raise its profile.

I suspect mutualism will find a second wind in the brave new world of decentralisation.

P.S. I hope this isn’t OT. I just think technology is just an enabler here. The core theory of mutualism remains the same.

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Seems good though I agree they should avoid the association with taxation. Though the details need to be worked out. Could this be adapted for SAFE? And I’m thinking that having an app to set up cooperatives for whatever purpose that would be compatible withe the “Resistance” project would be a good idea.

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In order for one to have his spending “count” in this scheme, his address must be known.

This should remind us that you can never get something without giving up something such as your privacy (and partially security) in this case.

The idea is not bad. Who knows how functional it would really be, but certainly the nearly totalitarian systems that exist today must go, so experimentation is required.

If my address is known to all then all my buying preferences, prices and suppliers are disclosed, which is a big issue. Maybe it isn’t a big deal for today’s common “public” services such as power, phone, etc., but for example payments for certain toll roads easily can be used to track my whereabouts so that is one concern here.

Another is that it is hard to exclude people from not using public resources. How do you exclude a person from walking on a cooperative’s sidewalk?
I don’t know if it is possible to economically police such resources - hopefully it would be, otherwise these groups of cooperatives would have to be geographically isolated, like medieval cities or micro states where residents can’t easily buy stuff for other cooperatives. But it’s hard to imagine something worse than today’s EU, China or the US.

Edit (I’m adding this after Warren’s like; maybe he wouldn’t endorse some of this below)

I referred to cooperative’s sidewalk as a public resource, which is not correct. It would be a private (coop’s) resource. I should have said “How do you charge people for using publicly available resources?”. It’s not impossible (community policing), but my conclusion is the same: it’s easier and much more economically efficient to create “bundles” where the entire infrastructure is priced on a per diem basis. If you choose to stay in this microstate, you need to prove ownership of and address and pay from it $10/day (in whatever currency they take), otherwise you get thrown out.
Alternatively you would have to micro-pay for all the little things and even with IoT it would be inefficient and it wouldn’t make much sense because it’s not like you can have multiple suppliers for sidewalk that leads from your hotel to a nearby restaurant. And if you did, just deciding on these choices throughout the day would be time-consuming and exhausting (yeah, an AI app could help with that, perhaps).

But in any case, there is no need to prescribe the best way to do this: every microstate would do it the way that best suits them.

In today’s world, when you can’t successfully establish a state, it is impossible to setup a microstate or cooperative when you cannot pay tax to the overlay government (for example: in most of the US states you must pay property tax and maybe even get health insurance). The first necessary task is to dismantle the State and only then can one think about these cooperatives and this is my biggest objection to these visionary concepts - they put the cart before the horse.

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So let me get this straight: You need to give up your address because you need to prove you are from the coop’s geographic location. You need to prove you’re from the coop’s geographic location so that you don’t need up spending money on publically available resources that other people use. But wouldn’t it be better to just factor in other people would be walking on your sidewalk other than those from the cooperative and then not have to prove you’re from the cooperative’s geographic location? Say you’re geographically in Switzerland but ideologically want to support a cooperative in Brazil, or vice versa. Obviously you can’t base things purely off geographic locations.

I really think we need to get away from basing organizations and “the state” of geographic locations. Such a mind set is becoming increasingly obsolete. And while there is merit in keeping things local as far as physically transporting and creating goods goes, when it comes to building a community then physical location becomes largely irrelivent and ideology becomes more important.

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Also what happens if you don’t want or can’t for whatever reason have a fixed address? Kind of puts a dent in the plan to “give up your address in order to join the system.” Because if the system is based around having a fixed address then it becomes hostile towards the nomadic.

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Nothing prevents voluntary giving today, unless the receiving side is a criminal.
We’re talking about payments that are semi-mandatory, what has to be collected and without which there is no economic sustainability.

Hostile towards nomadic: you’re goddamn right I am hostile towards nomadic freeloaders.
I mentioned (See in Edit section above) the possibility of accommodating paying nomads. Others are welcome to find a more humane place (or I would, if my coop provided freebies).

Interesting idea, but I have a hard time imagining how it would work. Could somebody perhaps work out a use case example with the most important elements explained in detail?

Me too @Seneca. Obviously the Nygren will have thought through some of these issues in two years, but I’m sure many remain to be worked out. Anyone digging into this, please post summaries of what you learn, with links if possible, so we all learn and anyone can follow up.

@janitor is what you said about giving up one’s address an assumption, or did you read up on this? If so please can you point to the info so we can understand exactly what is proposed.

Well done everyone for keeping On Topic on what I know are contentious issues. Let’s keep it up and see how good this discussion can be! :slight_smile:

I think you got this wrong - since you started this topic I would suggest it is up to you to provide a proof that they can provide privacy in this system.

In theory it possible (I don’t know what system they use, as the article is light on technical details - I don’t think they have anything except high level slides and 2-3 blog posts), but not anytime soon. Does any coin implement Chaumian blinding in the context of Smart Contracts? I don’t know of any so again it’s one of those “vision” things that won’t materialize anytime soon.
In any case, my biggest challenge to the author is that (almost) everyone in every developed country must declare income (and often pay tax, insurance, etc.) the old fashioned way, so for this to work the State must be destroyed first or else you’d still have to earn fiat and pay the State for “services” which you don’t want.

OT: medium.com does not comply with the Do Not Track browser setting

Now we are going off topic. I didn’t state that the system is private, you said it wasn’t, and apparently that was an assumption. Please don’t post speculation on this thread in a way that people will understand it as a fact. It’s unhelpful because it creates an impression and responses that may be unfounded.

You raise a valid privacy concern which also bothers me, and you might be right about this. To add value beyond that someone has to investigate the truth or otherwise of your statement: “In order for one to have his spending “count” in this scheme, his address must be known.”

Only then can we have a worthwhile discussion about the implications or any ways around it.

A lot of concern focusses on how to make people obay. While pages/books could be written about this, it is essentially a case of finding the right carrot, rather than relying on the stick.

I know that is a bit abstract, but getting into that mind set and working backwards is the only way to explore the options, IMO.

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So If I want to live in a camper and roam around from place to place making my living on the road I’m a “freeloader” even though I’m paying for whatever I use despite the fact I don’t have a fixed location? Riiiiight. And this is exactly my point: All these public works that socialists espouse to be public aren’t actually free. A public work assumes you are part of some coop, collective or tribe and paying that way, it isn’t public at all. In truth socialists only advocate for private works that are publically available to their tribe and get resentful of others outside their tribe who use those public works because those outside their tribe are not contributing funds to pay for it. And therefore why not just call it what it is: A private road, or private park, or private whatever, for the private use of the cooperative members. If you have a member card you’re allowed in. Of course this then creates an air of xenophobia as if you want to be exclusive to members for your works you also want to exclude those who are not members. Which in turn means territorial security to keep non members of the tribe out.

Such a welfare system should not be exclusive to those with a fixed address. First because not everyone should be forced to have a fixed address and live such a lifestyle in order to participate in the cooperative system. Second because some of the most vunerable individuals in our society CANNOT afford to have a fixed address, ie the homeless. What is the point of having a welfare system if it is not designed to help the poor and needy? What’s the point if it excludes those that live on the road? (Musicians, salesman, contract workers, artists, tradesmen, anyone taking their craft from location to location.) Remember the cooperative system isn’t just for those receiving benefits it’s also for those contributing into the system. Are you saying that by being hostile to nomadic people you want to exclude eutrepeneurs that simply live in mobile homes or live on the road?

Which can easily be defined by any corrupt government at their convience. Oh you’re recieving a bribe from Monsanto? Boom. Make urban agriculture illegal. Then by your logic all donations to urban farmers are made more difficult because they are being sent to “criminals.” Oh make the planting of organic seeds illegal Same effect. Or what about if the government makes it illegal to criticize Israel or the government itself, something a couple governments are doing. Boom. Now political activists are criminals and again any financial support is more difficult. Law != morality.

Let’s get back to the location thing. The whole resistence system is based on consumption rather than how much you make right? So doesn’t it follow that if you’re on the road and buying stuff from people in various towns you are still a consumer? And doesn’t it also follow that if you are paying them money you are contributing to their ability to consume? It doesn’t quite track to call a nomad a freeloader because if a nomad has a car for instance they still need to maintain it, pay for gas, parking spaces, electricity in the winter, all those nice things. They also need to pay for food and perhaps rent a hotel on occasion. That’s hardly freeloading. It’s not just about where you live or how much you make. It’s also about who you buy from. An easy way to solve the nomad issue would simply for them to have a card for the local coop supermarket. When they shop there they are contributing to the collective. They don’t need to LIVE in a fixed location, they just need to SHOP in the cooperative location. If the nomad ups the profit of the local merchant and the local merchant pays land taxes or whatever and that goes to pay for roads (or whatever else) it amounts to the same thing as if the nomad was paying the taxes themselves. So why be hostile towards the nomad for not having a fixed location? Or part of your paying for gas or car maintainance could go to paying for roads (which would make way more sense) or perhaps part of buying shoes (again that would make more sense). So instead of being fixated on land ownership look into consumeables and sales. And remember if you’re using cryptocurrency you can use micropayments, and if the payment is small enough it’ll go unnoticed.

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I don’t know how they envision it, but it would be reasonable that the coop’s property cannot be given away or rented for free.

Usually there would be no “government” to ban anything, it would work according to the articles of incorporation. Maybe some coops would allow and other ban urban farming. Some might even accept nomads.

If you’re staying in Joe’s hotel that doesn’t help pay for the maintenance of the coop-built road that leads to there, etc.

I don’t at all understand why you complain here. The concept of private property (even when it’s not owned by single owner) doesn’t seem clear to you.

Joe’s hotel is on a spot of land is it not? Joe either owns land or rents from someone who owns land. Assuming the coop works like the average state and funds road maintanance out of land taxes then it follows that Joe’s hotel, being fixed on a piece of land, would indeed help pay road maintainance and the more prosperous Joe’s hotel is the more tax revenue is paid to fix the road. Ergo YES the nomad staying at Joe’s hotel does in fact help maintain the road. If one can elect where one’s funds go then why cannot the nomad elect to fund the roads upon which he travels? Moreover if one can elect to fund what they want then what guarentee is there that ANYONE would fund the road, fixed location or not?

What does any of this have to do with understanding or not understanding private property? How do you think I do not understand private property? Please elaborate as your objection makes absolutely no sense.

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Nowhere did I see a mention of taxes.
It’s about “encouraging” people to spend with coop-owned businesses (not my idea, but the article author’s).

You don’t understand how somebody might ban uninvited strangers from entering their property, such as apartment, house or city. You somehow think you’re entitled to roam about and trespass as you see fit because that’s your “lifestyle”.

Look, I am not interested in debating if your or my view is correct. If you have views related to the topic, express them. This isn’t about my view about what the article may have meant, but everyone’s. I just said in my view it isn’t doable first and foremost because there is no way to claim unowned land. Who cares if they’d let nomads stay over when none of that will exist?

Then why do you need a member’s current address? Call it a share, call it a tax, call it whatever you want. If you need to track someone’s finances and take a portion of their earnings it boils down to the same thing.

What does tresspassing have to do with any of this? We’re not talking about someone who has been explicitly asked to leave or who has been barred from entrence. We’re talking about a customer that rolls up and is willing to pay to spend the night. Last time I checked hotels don’t really care if you’re from the same town or from a foreign country, in fact they make big bucks catering to people from all walks of life and who travel from all over. So really where are you getting this trespassing angle from? Are you actually suggesting every business only agree to sell to people within the cooperative and actually have a member check of some kind? That would kind of kill any tourism industry or international trade.

Why is this a problem? This assumes land should be claimed. Build a house on the land. Use the resources. Declare a territory. Then when you’re done with it the land reverts back to being unowned and publically available. Why does land need to be owned by anyone? Land ownership is an agrarian concept. The more we decentralize the less land ownership will make sense. Not saying a coop couldn’t have land ownership but I’m saying it’s not nesesary for it to function. If a cooperative is based on horticulture and permaculture then having things based on land ownership makes less sense because you want to live in harmony with the land not try to divide and parcel it up. In such a cooperative the whole cooperative might own land collectively in order to interact with other coops but individual members would not themselves own land parcels but would instead be expect to take care of the land equally therefore making the concept of claiming land a moot point. I’m not portraying this as some kind of ideal. Rather I’m presenting it as an alternative vision to illistrate that the concept of land ownership is rooted in agrarian state based hierarchy based culture and that there are other ways of organizing things.

Because the premise of whether they let nomads "stay over’ and whether a coop is friendly towards those who do not have a fixed address not only demonstrates their attitudes towards the nomadic and individualistic but ALSO highlights a very real privacy concern. You can’t give up an address if you don’t have one but also if the society in question is hostile towards the nomadic then it’s saying it won’t let you join unless you have a fixed address and it’ll shun and scorn those who either nomadic OR who fall below a certain poverty line.

It’s possible to use something like homomorphic encryption for this. The Resilience protocol requires a map over an individuals transactions, but those transactions could be private. This would be a cryptographic challenge but its not unsolvable. The individuals transaction graph could be encrypted so that it’s only accessible by whoever or whatever has the right access keys.

Zero-knowledge proof, Secure multi-party computation and Homomorphic encryption all open new avenues to ‘hide’ information or computation within blockchains and beyond, but the research on these is still in its infancy. That said, it’s definitely something Ethereum might want to explore at a later date, and you can read some of Vitalik’s latest thought on this on our blog at https://blog.ethereum.org/2014/12/26/secret-sharing-daos-crypto-2-0/

  • Stephan Tual, Ethereum CCO

Look at MITs Enigma, wired.com/2015/06/mits-bitcoin-inspired-enigma-lets-computers-mine-encrypted-data/

The Resilience protocol has distributed the payout of shares, resilience.me/epiphany-march-11-2015.html, and most data could be managed peer-to-peer. Dividend pathways could be indexed peer-to-peer, meaning that only those who need access to the data would get access. Data could be sharded, obfuscated, and so on, making it as private as possible while still implementing the core protocol.

The anti-sybil ID could also be anonymus/pseudonymous. The http://proofofindividuality.tk protocol gives you an anti-sybil token that is almost completely un-tracable to who you are. It’s one of the experimental protocols that could replace reputation-systems with pseudonymous anti-sybil tokens.

The Resilience wealth sharing protocol tries to solve a problem that is agnostic about your persona, and there’s no reason why your data in the system shouldn’t be private. Crypto technology is still pretty young evolutionary speaking, it was criminalized during the 90s and 00s and it’s only recently with the rise of the Bitcoin economy that it’s been able to expand, and a lot of these questions will probably sort themselves out as more and more crypto tech comes online.