A Decentralized Platform for Cooperative Investments
Besides funding its own growth via crowdfunded equity solutions and offering investors funding options via Coopfunding, Bank of the Commons is committed to offer a platform of services for CoopShares social equity funding and trading.
One of the greatest problems faced by cooperatives, social enterprises and peer to peer production projects is the lack of access to sufficient funding and investors, one of the biggest reasons to why corporations dominate the global economy.
Nevertheless, as many of small projects are flourishing, more and more people are turning to cooperative ways of organizing, driving up the demand for greater projects and better fitting investment solutions.
In response to this challenge and to offer a solution to overcome 1) the scarcity of available and acceptable tools that facilitate investing in cooperatives and 2) the legal difficulties behind investing in a coop without becoming a member, CoopShares aims to be a platform for the widespread use allowing buying, exchanging and selling tokens of democratic collective ownership, such as various typologies of cooperatives, land, buildings, vehicles, art pieces or Social Currencies, amongst others.
This way, it offers its services as an instrument to enable next-generation social and economic contracts, where collective property replaces private property and resources are managed and distributed across the collective under their own governance.
Bank of the Commons is actively supporting and participating in cutting edge innovative solutions, like CoopShares, for building (out) the broader based services required in the fast growing social and individual sovereignty based Commons ecosphere now enabled by recent evolution of Commons principles.
In the economical shift from Welfare to Commonfare, our goal is to offer a platform designed to become a toolkit made out of several components assembled to compose an efficient human-centered framework to work with.
CoopShares Equity Management
In Bank of the Commons, a share is defined as the unit of participation and the amount you choose to invest will form your share of the Bank of the Commons social capital and the total of social shares capital is used to fund common projects.
The selection of the actual projects and the amount to be invested in each of them is decided in open assemblies in online mode by all participating members where every member has one vote, regardless of how many shares they control.
The principle of one member, one vote applies in Bank of the Commons.
- When the coop grows in social capital, the number of shares also grow, rather than the value of these shares (1share=1Euro).
- When its social capital decreases, the number of shares goes down, not the value of these shares (1share=1Euro).
This means that cooperative tokens can not be speculative assets, which is the way things are at the moment with crypto assets.
So, one-sided perception held by mainstream investors is that cooperatives or social enterprises cannot and/or are not allowed to be profitable. Even ethical and cooperative banks are reluctant to invest in this kind of projects, or they invest too small amounts severely hampering starting or growing anything larger than the smallest or least capital-intensive enterprises.
CoopShares is applying blockchain technology solutions adhering to principles shown above.
Once the platform is created, cooperativists will also be able to use it to buy or sell shares to each other, improving the liquidity of the shares in coops, which usually is very problematic.