Where did the World Future Coin idea come from?
The cryptocurrency rise of December, 2017, demonstrated the willingness of the global capital markets to pour into an alternative global economy. The turbulent nature of the markets and questionable activity of some users inspired many to recognize the need for transparency, governance, and moral discernment. In this moment a handful of NEXUS members banded together to write the original World Future Coin idea and submit it for publication. After initial interest from the Washington Post, the Alliance Magazine agreed to publish the idea first.
How will the World Future Coin avoid conflicts between competing local and global interests?
The development process will embrace the subsidiarity principle, upholding the notion that any problem should be solved at the level and context from which it arises. This will prevent unnecessary global level control of local issues.
What will the relationship be with other impact currencies?
There are many social impact oriented cryptocurrencies. Just as biological ecosystems benefit from healthy biodiversity, so too will the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The World Future Coin will bring three solutions to the marketplace: A) Governance, B) Identification, and C) Commercial viability.
How will the governance system operate?
Individual citizens, non-governmental organizations, corporations, and governments will be included during the design process. We will consider voting rights, roles, responsibilities, etc. Jurisdiction will be limited to World Future Coin passports and financial assets. A lengthy consultation process will develop safeguards to prevent abuse, political polarization, and power consolidation by any one sector. More details about the proposed governance system will be published soon.
How will the identification system work?
At first, pre-existing government issued identification systems together with biometric systems will enable the recognition of unique users and prevent fraud. Eventually, a decentralized Sybil resistant identity solution will be developed based on new technology. A public-private partnership between Accenture, Microsoft and other parties is collaborating with the UN on one technology that may be a solution.
How will the commercial market work?
Merchants will be invited to conduct business with each other using the World Future Coin. A discount system and loyalty rewards program will encourage early adopters. NEXUS will engage its global network of family business leaders and other partners to create a critical mass of vendors thereby making a full service alternative economy available to consumers who wish to use the World Future Coin. After reaching an agreed upon milestone of activity, most businesses will be taxed unless they become B Corporations or certified in another way, thereby creating greater financial incentive for the green economy. Financial transaction fees will fund the governance system.
What needs are we addressing?
There is a need for better systems of global governance, global finance and carbon emission management. There is an opportunity to band the sustainable enterprise sector together into one global economic unit. And cryptocurrency adoption is inevitable. The World Future Coin represents an opportunity to address all of these issues and opportunities simultaneously.
What is the relationship between the World Future Coin and the philanthropic sector?
The WFC will have a symbiotic relationship with the philanthropic sector. The mobilization process will encourage advancement of a UN General Assembly resolution on tax incentivized philanthropy in line with the previous work of NEXUS on the Rules to Give By Index. In addition, by enrolling investors and donors in the WFC development process we will develop a new Global Governance Philanthropy Network (GGPN). The GGPN will work to increase and improve investment in governance innovation, international cooperation, and issues of the global commons such as climate, ocean pollution, refugees and more.
As users of the World Future Coin currency and blockchain, philanthropic grant-makers can also benefit by having greater transparency into their capital deployment, monitoring and evaluation processes.
What is the World Future Coin in a sentence?
It is a cryptocurrency, a platform for world democracy and an alternative global financial system dedicated to funding the carbon economy and other issues of the global commons. However, prior to serving as a cryptocurrency, the WFC coalition will develop as a federation of national level credit card programs.
What about volatility?
There will be a two-part system in the design of the WFC economy: One asset will appeal to the speculative markets and one asset will be stable and used for commerce.
How will the Coin hold value?
Part of the WFC economy will be supported by an asset that all people have: time. Another part will merely hold value from the trust that people have in it. Prior to launching as an independent currency, however, the WFC will be developed as a credit card loyalty program.
Why would people adopt it or trust it?
We will bring two new constituencies to the table: A) Global networks of merchants that agree to accept the coin as payment, and B) Global networks of consumers who will bring new business to these merchants.
Which merchant networks?
There are many within NEXUS. In addition we will seek out the Social Venture Circle, the American Sustainable Business Council, the B Team, and many kindred organizations around the world. Other candidate networks may include B Corporations as well as those certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, Green America and others.
Why would a merchant wish to join?
If you present any business with the opportunity to present its merchandise to millions of new customers it will jump at the opportunity
Who will the consumers be?
The universe of responsible consumers is large. One study suggested that 66% of consumers are willing to spend more if it comes from a sustainable brand. We will appeal to pre-existing networks of conscious citizens like those who are members of online advocacy networks such as MoveOn of the US, GetUp of Australia, Anu of Israel or global groups like Change.org and Avaaz. We will also appeal to the faithful of the world’s religions and offline networks of NGOs like the global membership of the Boy Scouts, the Girl Guides/Scouts, the Red Cross, YMCAs, YWCAs, and other civil society networks, including those within the UN system.
Why would these religious and non-profit networks engage their membership?
A transaction fee will be applied to every purchase within the WFC system. A small part of that income will fund each non-profit that enrolls its members. The more members that any given organization enrolls the more income it will enjoy.
How is this different from a traditional loyalty program?
It is different in three ways: A) It rests upon a cryptocurrency instead of a traditional credit card giving it a global, economy-wide reach, B) It is managed by state-of-the-art technology and a new system of participatory global governance that all people in the world are invited to join and take ownership of, and C) It will help fund the global carbon economy in order to combat climate change.
What is the primary difference between the WFC and any other cryptocurrency?
There are many differences but perhaps the primary one is that the WFC ties itself to a vision of global governance innovation in order to overcome the participatory deficit in our extant system of global governance.
How will governments respond to it?
Cryptocurrency adoption is inevitable. The leadership of the IMF encourages it, the people at Facebook are working towards it, and the Bitcoin is already in wide use. Governments will favor the WFC over some of the alternatives because it will require a biometric authentication for every consumer, preventing theft and fraud. Some countries may adopt the WFC to use as their primary currency, just as Ecuador and Panama have adopted US dollars. Most countries will ignore the WFC until a critical mass of their citizens are using it. At that point governments will “want in” and WFC consumers of any given country will be connected, have political access, and wide-reaching influence to inform the adoption process. This will give the WFC community leverage to negotiate treaties with countries in an effort to demand that participating countries set legally binding targets on carbon dioxide emission and other responsible policies on issues of the global commons.
What exactly is the tie-in to global governance?
The world suffers from a global democratic deficit. The UN is a limited and modest institution. The Paris climate agreement is unenforceable. No one is really in charge at the global level. Research suggests that almost all “tragedies of the commons” get worse until there is a meaningful system of accountability with corresponding systems for punishment and reward. The financial transaction fees of the WFC will be part of a giant wealth creation process which can be used to reward the world for its steps to combat climate change. It will be a major step in addressing the accountability gap at the global level. As a system that is “owned” by all people, it can be reused to address all other issues of the global commons such as terrorism, ocean pollution, refugee crises, etc. The WFC provides a non-adversarial and incremental system to navigate away from the extractive, unsustainable economy and into a sustainable one, away from a dysfunctional and autocratic version of global governance and towards an accountable and participatory version.
What are the plans for the future?
The WFC team is exploring partnerships with key partners to explore design options, a technology build, and a roll-out process.
The WFC team presented its proposal at the November 11-13, 2018 Paris Peace Forum, including to some heads of state and other global stakeholders. It was presented along with two other proposals: 1) The development of a campaign for UN resolution on tax incentivized philanthropy (informed by the Rules To Give By Index) and 2) The creation of a new Global Governance Philanthropy Network.
The WFC team and internal system of governance is currently a work in progress. It may merge into a coalition organizations or it may become a 501c3 US based non-profit.
We are currently exploring a credit-card-enabled loyalty program backed by banks that have a charter to use the World Future Coin at a future moment. The charter would require: A) Future adoption of the World Future Coin (a climate-responsible cryptocurrency with a transaction fee that finances a World Environment Fund). B) Offering a credit card, today, that uses US dollars (or whichever currency), but that in the future can also use World Future Coins. C) Applying a small fee on US dollar transactions today to begin developing the World Environment Fund. D) Adherence to KYC requirements to prevent terrorism financing and other relevant criminal behavior. E) A pledge to operate in line with future World Future Coin policies.
What are the primary questions for next steps?
Related to the credit-card-loyalty-program idea above, we are seeking answers to 4 primary questions: 1) Are there any banks that have similar cryptocurrency proposals that we should be talking to? 2) Who writes bank charters? What kinds of policies do they currently address? Is a bank charter the best way to achieve our goals? 3) Should we start by working with one bank or a network of banks? 4) Is it better for us to develop new, privileged institutions, like banks, to operationalize this plan or to develop a “service” that any given big bank could adopt and offer to a segment of its clients that self-identify as socially motivated?
There are many other questions for next steps as well:
Credit Cards: What does it take to get a bank to issue a new credit card? There are many social-purpose credit cards. What vendors offer them? Are they potential partners?
Extant Systems: Are there any cryptocurrencies that are obvious partners for us? Can the infrastructure of an Amex or Mastercard be re-purposed to operate in service of a cryptocurrency? Is this already happening? From what we understand, one large credit card processor, Stripe, is planning to accept Stellar Lumens. In addition, one cryptocurrency platform, Coinbase, currently offers a debit card that permits mainstream purchases with charges immediately debited directly from accounts of extant cryptocurrency.
Legislation: The US Congress and other national legislatures have been taking steps to regulate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. There are industry associations conducting advocacy to protect their interests. What are the implications of these policy processes on the World Future Coin proposal? Should we get involved in these processes?
Leadership: The WFC needs to develop a global advisory council and operating team. Who should we invite onto the council? What publicity, financing, policy, and intellectual needs do we have that are currently unattended? What operational needs do we have that are unattended?
Philanthropy: The Global Governance Philanthropy Network convened its first phone call in late 2018. 20+ international funders have come together to communicate and collaborate in order to help increase and improve philanthropy for the sector of international governance. The network was created in part to serve World Future Coin development process. We believe these funders are potential early adopters of the coin. The philanthropic sector can benefit from the WFC in several ways, including better tracking of finances, better measurement of impact, financial inclusion, and wealth creation (through currency valuation) for social impact goals, etc. What other ways can the philanthropic sector benefit from the WFC and cryptocurrency in general? Are any grantmaking foundations currently using crypto? If so, what for?
Scale Up Campaign: Many institutions have a global footprint of customers, clients and members that could be early adopters of the WFC credit card and currency. Efforts like the Red Campaign has successfully mobilized many to consume and sell in socially responsible ways. The WFC will need to build a “scale up” team. Who should be involved? What institutions can help lead the way? What campaigns should we follow as examples?
Investment Strategy: When people convert US dollars to World Future Coins we can say, “The WFC is backed by US dollars.” However, as a climate-responsible economy, it will be prudent to reinvest a fraction of those dollars into low risk, for-profit ventures that both generate a return on investment and sequester carbon. What investments should we make? How do we measure the success of those investments both in terms of valuation and carbon sequestration? What fraction of “converted dollars” should remain liquid for potential WFC withdrawals and what fraction should be invested? What team and/or coalition of organizations should steward these investments?
Legal: The success of Bitcoin has proven that it is possible to decouple a currency from a nation state. This enables the creation of new supranational governance structures that can manage global cryptocurrencies. This process is inevitable. Those currencies legitimized by new systems of healthy global governance will experience greater adoption than their alternatives. The WFC proposes to be one such currency. It will need to develop relationships and treaties with pre-existing federal governments. For these reasons, the legal incorporation (or un-incorporation) of the World Future Coin is sensitive. Where should the WFC be incorporated, or not? What relationships should it have with governments? Should it liaise with the ministries of foreign affairs or national legislatures or both? What precedents are there for managing such legal and political innovation? Is the development and management of the Internet a relevant precedent? If so, how was it developed? Can some of those individuals, institutions, and legal frameworks be re-purposed for the development of the World Future Coin?
Coalition: Cryptocurrency proposals are many in number, yet there is minimal adoption. At this stage, we believe that developing coalitions to adopt and govern a currency is more important than building the technology to host it. Who should be involved in building such a coalition? What companies, organizations, and governments should be involved in the first round? What technologists and currency designers should be invited to the table? Who are the potential adversaries of such a coalition?
Can someone invest?
The answer is not yet clear. Write to email@example.com to ask.
What is the link to NEXUS?
There is no official link to NEXUS. The NEXUS network may help develop the WFC but it is a project of an emergent set of partners beyond the NEXUS membership.
What are the primary development phases?
Phase 1: Incorporation
Legal incorporation. First round of funding from friends and family.
Phase 2: Enrollment
Consumer and Merchant enrollment. Appeal to online advocacy networks and NGOs for members as part of a campaign for climate financing. Enrollment partners benefit financially.
Phase 3: Technology
Develop WFC apps (web, iOS and Android) with identity verification systems to manage WFC citizenship process, community participation, financial systems, etc.
Phase 4: Payments and Transaction Fees
Develop the payment system. Select bank partners, offer WFC debit cards. Start process to integrate with all major credit card processors. Establish a financial transaction fee, perhaps at 3%. Consumers get 1% cash back on all purchases from participating WFC merchants, WFC Carbon Sequestration Fund gets 1%, Loyalty partners get 1% (NGO networks etc.).
Phase 5: Governance
Develop the governance system. Contemplate four sectors: 1) CITIZENS: The primary body will operate via liquid democracy, with a one-person/one-vote dynamic, allowing each person to chose their representatives across a set of issues. 2) PARLIAMENTARIANS: An elected office for Global Parliamentarians will work in a professional capacity on WFC dynamics full time. 3) NGOs: Non-Government Organizations may have some level of voting power, based on membership size, etc. 4) STATES: Nation states will have treaties with the WFC system.
Phase 6: Carbon Economy
Financial resources will be invested in a WFC Carbon Sequestration Fund, in two parts: Part 1: Permanent Fund: Revenue from ongoing financial transaction fees will be invested in a broad portfolio of initiatives. The primary target will be the global carbon economy. Additional portions of the portfolio will include advocacy, climate leadership development, conferences, etc. Part 2: Liquidity Fund: A fraction of liquid WFC capital will be invested in fixed assets like responsible agricultural holdings that have both a positive return on investment and a negative carbon footprint. Depending on the liquidity needs of the WFC assets, the size of the Liquidity Fund will fluctuate, with a set of minimum safeguards.
Phase 7: Advocacy and Projects
The WFC will both fund and mobilize its citizens to support bottom up and top down efforts to democratize global governance. It will support A) Advocacy in service of global governance reform like the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, and B) Innovation in service of new ways to manage global governance.
What teams will work on the WFC together?
WFC friends and family will be invited to join the following committees:
Institutional Development and Execution – firstname.lastname@example.org
Currency and Technology Design – email@example.com
Consumer and Merchant Enrollment – firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Governance Innovation – email@example.com
Investments and Investor Relations – firstname.lastname@example.org