A Decentralized Platform for Cooperative Investments
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.
The one-sided perception held by mainstream investors that cooperatives or social enterprises cannot and/or are not allowed to be profitable, the scarcity of available and acceptable tools that facilitate investing in cooperatives and the legal difficulties behind investing in a coop without becoming a member are the main reasons behind this situation.
Even ethical and cooperative banks are reluctant to invest in (cooperative) projects that are just getting started or they invest too small amounts severely hampering starting or growing anything larger than the smallest or least capital-intensive enterprises. Lack of investments is 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 BotC is actively supporting and participating in cutting edge innovative solutions, e.g. 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. Besides funding its own growth via crowdfunded equity solutions and offering investors funding options via CoopShares, BotC is committed to offer a platform of services for CoopShares social equity funding and trading.
In addtion in BotC, a share is defined as the unit of participation. The amount you choose to invest in BotC will form your share of the BotC social capital. The total of social shares capital is used to fund BotC projects. The selection of the actual projects and the amount to be invested in each of them is decided in open assemblies by all participating members where every member has one vote, regardless of how many shares they control.
Once the platform CoopShares 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.
The platform is applying blockchain technology solutions adhering to the cooperative principles:
- One member one vote.
- When the coop grows in social capital, the number of shares 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 cryptoassets.
The same platform will be used for members of Bank of the Commons to buy and sell their own shares.