9th Bulletin

Maro Bulletins, General Ecosystem

Fairmarket opens its doors with a beta version


It’s here! After a lot of intense work, at last we can open the virtual doors of our long-awaited online FairCoop market.

It’s a beta version, with basic features, but that allows you to do the most important thing: to buy and sell products and services.

With this new tool we are taking our next step towards economic independence and the freedom to choose where and how to buy and sell – in a simple, ethical and fair way, based on the common good.

Starting with this launch, with FairMarket we wish to create an open cooperative space that respects FairCoop’s profound vision, so that we can build a benchmark of the solidarity and collaborative economy. This is only possible through the genuine and proactive participation of the users of the online market, who now have open access to a resource that belongs to everyone: a common good of which everyone can feel they are joint owners and act as such.

Even today, with Fairmarket, FairCoop offers another great opportunity for freedom and independence from the current system, whether you are a user and wish to buy products and services, or want to open an online shop at zero cost.

Through Fairmarket, Faircoin can become a popular currency that gives access to a real economy that you can use to meet your needs in daily life. Also, don’t forget that by acquiring products and services with Faircoin in the Fairmarket, you are directly supporting FairCoop’s alternative economic system, including projects oriented towards the common good, which will start to be financed using FairFunds, when economic activity begins to consolidate.

If you have any products and services you’d like to offer, you can create a free online shop without needing to pay anything upfront to the platform itself. If that wasn’t enough, you have a growing community of Fairmarket participants who can support you with their time and abilities, as well as by buying what you have to sell in order to cover their own needs.

What you offer on Fairmarket depends on you, as long as you adhere to the FairCoop principles. The variety of options is the same as in any other market, from homemade food to clothes or cosmetics, or any type of technical equipment. You can offer non-physical or downloadable items, or all manner of different services.

The opportunity offered by FairMarket means that adhering to FairCoop’s principles is everyone’s responsibility: to begin with, we offer a specialised forum where you can debate the project’s ethics and the various products and services that you find on the Fairmarket. This is one of the areas where we need participation. Here is the link: https://market.fair.coop/forum

Our next steps will be to add reputation systems that can be implemented fairly, that can help in solving the enormous issue of maintaining coherence with the principles of the project

By using resources like FairMarket and Faircoin, we can gradually overcome our dependence on the current system. What we need are alternatives that can allow us to freely decide in what kind of community we wish to live. With FairMarket we come closer to providing what we have wished for so long: a good life that’s accessible to all.

So don’t hesitate: have a look at our products and services as a user of our shop; see what’s on offer and buy what you need. If you have something to offer, sign in and add your shop to this global cooperative market, and start to sell outside of the realm of capitalism.

PS: if you are new to FairCoop, don’t worry: here is a guide so you can find out how to obtain your first Faircoin.

FairCoop Launches a Crowdfunding campaign to create a Refugees Fund

Against the inhumanity of governments, the solidarity of the people.

FairCoop's Refugees Fund

by Maliakos Nikos

During 2015, more than 3,000 people drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe safely, and of the nearly a million people got it, only about 300 have the refugee status and was resettled. The rest are wandering through different border countries in Europe, trying to get to a safe place to escape the bombs, war and destruction, that largely the European policies have sown in their countries of origin.

We are not only directly responsible for their situation, but in a flagrant breach of international laws is even denied the most fundamental right of every human being: the right to life, since EU are condemning them to risk it not only crossing the sea to escape the wars, but surviving the harsh conditions we impose on them when finally put their feet on land, when the land is European, full of border walls, barbed wire and intentions of confiscation of their few assets in countries like Denmark propose to do.

Faced with this barbarity, citizens must say stop, can not become accomplices by omission of policies and ideologies that have little to do with the Europe of the Human Rights they have sold us nor with the most elementary principles of humanity, especially when these policies and ideologies have been the source of this humanitarian crisis. And we are not referring only to the refugee crisis we are experiencing today, also we include all those displaced by economic and environmental reasons that barely survive without rights in our countries for decades.

Given this situation in FairCoop we don’t stay quiet, we don’t stay silent. Now is the time for civil society to self organize through direct action to support those in need. There is an urgent need to provide appropriate humanitarian conditions and to help them organize their lives in the long term in the new host(ile) countries.  The social movements that practice solidarity from below, with very few resources, in places like Lesbos, Athens and Thessalonika, are examples of projects to support.

With this campaign we want to create a fund focused on help autonomous and self-management projects to help create productive initiatives that meet their both material and immaterial daily necessities background. this is why we need your help, supporting this initiative and demonstrating that when the system fails, it can and should be replaced by alternatives that will provide real and lasting solutions. We have the knowledge, the technology and the will to do it, we just need your support.


Freedom Coop: A FairCoop Project Wins the Self-Sustaining Creative Economy Award

freedom coop postLast Saturday January 16th the winner of the Self-Sustaining Creative Economy Award was anounced as being Freedom Coop, the latest project with which FairCoop is involved. The prize of 9,500 will be a great help towards the implemention of the final project.
This award was launched by the artists Nuria Güell and Levi Orta as part of their project Degenerated Political Art, the Patrons’ Debt, as part of the exhibition cycle “Shots in the Middle of the Concert”, together with FLACC and Arts Santa Mònica. A total of fifteen entries for European projects were presented in response to the call, but the panel came to a unanimous decision about the winner. 
Read more about the award and the project: https://www.flacc.info/en
One of the projects that FairCoop has developed during the last months of 2015 is the Freedom Coop, a European Cooperative society which aims to be a tool for extending economic autonomy and banking disobedience not only in Europe but also abroad. In the legal form of a European Cooperative Society, it can work throughout the European Economic Area without the neccessity of being registered in each country. 
This innovative European legal tool will provide citizens with freedom of operation outside of economic and financial controls, and in this way also enabling all of us to construct fairer social relationships and enjoy more sustainable development through disobedience and self-management.
The FREEDOM COOP project will create social impact through three different kinds of intervention:
Among other things it can be used to:
  • Scale up the integral cooperatives economic disobedience practices like tax disobedience.
  • All European Integral Cooperatives that aren’t legally constituted will be able to use the FREEDOM COOP’s VAT number.
  • Individuals and collectives located in regions without integral cooperatives, and who agree with the FairCoop principles, will also be able to use that legal identity.
  • Refugees and migrants without documentation around Europe will be able to become selfemployed through the FREEDOM COOP without being under the control of governments nor banks.
  • To make collective purchases at a regional/ European level that require invoices, and with reduced VAT.
  • To give legal coverage to any European inhabitant who cannot or does not want to engage in economic activity as an employee.
  • To disobey the VAT and income tax laws, with the aim of funding social alternatives.
  • To extend the use of Faircoin. The Freedom Coop only will accept payment fees from its members in Faircoin, therefore it will boost the practical use of Faircoin, and  also supporting the ongoing cooperative hacking of the traditional monetary markets.
Combining different technologies and services that are already provided separately by different collaborators, plus contacts of the FairCoop, we are going to offer a toolkit of banking services to any individual or group.
Included in the toolkit:
  • The creation of bank accounts that can receive payments from the current system (bank transfers, credit/debit cards…), which at the same time can be converted directly to Faircoin.
  • Moreover, through these bank accounts it will be possible to autonomously manage  economic projects, i.e.pay providers and be paid by clients, thus creating a haven for international/european/local relationships beyond the control of the current financial system.
  • Additionally, these bank accounts will make it possible for any group to organise a  crowdfunding campaign for their specific funding needs without any state control.
  • Apps for accessing to the system with any mobile or desktop device will be created.
With this prize we will be able to make these things a reality, and so extend the kind of strategy we have seen work successfully in Catalonia, and create social impact in the lives of thousands of people all over Europe.

Summary of the 5th FairCoop Open Global Assemblyfirstassembly

The 5th Global Assembly took place last January 21th with greater participation than previously.

Here is a summary of the issues and what was decided:

1. Fairmarket Update
The work is going fine and we presume we can have the beta version ready at the begining of March. We talked about technical improvements, the payment processor we are implementing, a reputation system to provide trust in the market, and shipping methods that will be available in next versions; for now we’ll focus on downloadable products or digital products so that anyone in the market can deal with the shipping process by themselves.

For this beta version the reputation system will not yet be available but this will be developed as soon as possible. At launch time we wont apply any fee in orderto promote uptake, but in the near future we’ll need to have staff so the fees are intendedto provide income to cover these kinds of expenses. The currency usedwill be Faircoin only for now. So, soon our key project Fairmarket will be ready.

2. Crowdfunding Campaign for the Refugee Fund.
We are going to create the campaign in Coopfunding, our crowdfunding platform, we agreed on the proposed text for the campaign and we are developing the communication materials like text for posts, videos, and images about the situation of the refugees, to launch it and help to spread the word.

3. Set the criteria for the Local Nodes and help them create a FairCoin exchange point for their local solidarity economy.

This was already discussed in the previous assembly where there were some proposals. Now we should start taking decisions. Based on the proposal of one of the active members we decided about some points with which to create criteria to apply, manage and analyse of the proposal, you can find info about the proposal here: /groups/local-nodes/forum/topic/project-fund-for-the-local-solidarity-economies/.

So there are 5 points to set up the criteria that we developed in the assembly, and some of them should be more deeply developed, so we decided to continue working on this proposal in the local nodes group to have more people involved because it is a good way of experiment with how it works, and how to improve it.

4. FairCoin 2 development

An international team has been formed which will start to work in February to develop it by March-May with Thomas as the team leader of the project. We also develop ways of interconnection between different currencies and payment processors using the blockchain some kind of a cross between Paypal and Ripple,combining features of both.
Also there are other groups like the Social Currency Institute that showed their interest in being part of it so this will help us to find liquidity for the necessary budget to develop it. We have now more or less half of the budget covered.

5. Following updates FairCoop pooled fund expenses.

As part of the transparency, we publish regularly the expenses of FairCoop. We spent 64186,8 Faircoin in that period.
We are fighting hard to give liquidity to the market that has improved a lot during January, trying to get stability for the launch of Fairmarket. The consultancy will have a role on that to have options to get a large income of money changed from Euros to Faircoin. 
Related to new expenses, for next month we continue the same, but we should perhaps prepare to begin to create a stable income for coordinating work on Fairmarketwe should talk about that in the next assembly.

6. Freedom Coop

We have posted about this latest  FairCoop project and the award we won with it so we discussed about the next steps  required to make it happen but it willprobably be launched in the middle of March. We’ll keep you updated about it.

7. Invitation to join different networks.

We are starting to collaborate with the Common Good Hub and the Post Growth Alliance and be part of their networks so we decided to create a page on the website to give visibility to those networks and to the links we have with other organizations that will help us to spread the word and collaborate together.
You can find more info about that assembly here: /docs/notes-from-the-5th-faircoop-open-assembly/
and you can join us and be part of the decision making.
Next assembly will be as always the third Thursday of every month so next February 18th in the assembly group.

 Summary of the 6th Open Global Assembly of FairCoop

As on every third Thursday of each month, on February 18 the sixth open global assembly FairCoop took place, and as each month we publish a summary of what was discussed and decided on it, highlighting the increasingly high participation, which is a clear sign that we are going in the right direction and more and more people are joining proactively.

The topics covered on this occasion were:

1. Summary of communication campaigns.
We talked about the Twitter storm campaign to promote and spread the Crowdfunding campaign we have open to create a fund for Refugees. We also talked about the progress made regarding the criteria for the creation and management of a fund by local nodes, with the creation of a document that sets out the general idea of the criteria to be applied, and the call to all nodes to join the debate and share experiences that can help improve the implementation of this plan.

2. Refugee Fund.
We talked about how the campaign is going, how many Faircoin and Euros have been collected until today and the balance that both currencies have to have, leaving the Euro only as a reserve, since the intent and purpose of this fund is its use in starting productive projects, for which Faircoin is the common currency, and the need to start developing criteria for distribution, not so much for specific projects, but for the way in which to manage them once they are started.

3. Launch of the pre-beta version of FairMarket.
The proposal is related to the release for testing prior to the official launch of the Beta version of FairMarket in order to check the market and debug any errors.

4. Payment cards based on NFC technology.
We are in contact with Area Activa, a Valencian company that is focused on this kind of development; we need an experienced developer to help with carrying out this idea.

5. Situation of Freedom coop
This point has been left for a later time because there is still no significant development.

6. Situation of Faircoin 2.0.
Like the previous point, this question of Faircoin 2 is postponed until the working document has been developed in greater detail and the guidelines to follow from now on have been agreed.

7. Information point on a new technology group.
It was agreed to create a new group of developers in Telegram where everyone can stay in touch and share developments and work.

8. Presence of FairCoop in NADA Festival.
Fundo proposed to support the dissemination of this event which will discuss FairCoop with the aim of expanding FairCoop in Portugal and integrate the local node.

The full minutes of the meeting are available on our Fairnetwork: /docs/minute-of-the-6th-faircoop-open-assembly/

This post is also available in: Spanish Catalan Greek Italian