What is Cambiatus?
Cambiatus is an open online platform that enables communities/groups with environmental and social objectives to create and implement their own community currencies. Cambiatus make the blockchain technology available and user friendly, so these communities can take full advantage of it and solve their environmental or social problems.Cambiatus is also becoming a tool to make DAC (decentralized autonomous communities) creation easy and fun.
Who is behind Cambiatus?
Cambiatus was co-founded by Karla Córdoba Brenes (Costa Rican) and Ranulfo Paiva Sobrinho (Brazilian), whom have vast experience working in sustainability issues and economy in Latin America. The idea was initially incubated in Singularity University and later on it received funding from the Shuttleworth Foundation
, an impact investor that supports open source projects.
What does the name Cambiatus mean?
In Spanish “Cambia” is the word for “Change”. Cambiatus refers to a change in our mindset, a change in the way we understand money, organizations and collaboration. When people start using Cambiatus methodologies and tools, something changes inside them, they get it!
How does the Cambiatus web app work?
Cambiatus is a web app that offers a user friendly interface in which groups/organizations with shared social and environmental objectives can create decentralized autonomous communities (DACs) with their own social currencies and governance tools. You don’t need to install a specific app to use Cambiatus prototype, as a web app it is available directly through your browser.
What technology does Cambiatus use?
The webapp is built upon EOSIO blockchain technology, which offers secure exchange of information through a distributed and decentralized ledger of transactions, in which all members of the communities have access to the interactions and no central source is required to verify the information.
Why should communities have their own currency?
Community currencies can help engage individuals from a community to execute actions that contribute towards achieving certain objectives.
For instance, a community needs to reduce its carbon emissions and in order to do so, they want to promote the use of public transportation and bikes for going to workplaces. So as to incentivize this action, they create a currency called “BikeCoins”, which is created each time someone from the community uses public transportation or a bike to go to work. These “BikeCoins” can be then used to have access to products and services from commerce and individuals from the community who are also part of the system and are interested in reducing carbon emissions and improving traffic.
What are the benefits for communities of using social currencies?
Around the world there are about 4000 social currencies that pursue many different objectives, such as to dynamize exchanges within a geographical area or among members of a community of people with similar objectives, to strengthen networks, promoting specific actions by offering rewards and fostering a sense of group identity.
An example of a successful social currency is the WIR, which was developed by entrepreneurs in Switzerland in the 1930s (after the Great Depression) in response to the lack of swiss francs for trading. The entrepreneurs had resources and services, but they lacked the money to do exchanges with other companies, so they decided to create the WIR currency for trading among them and reigniting the businesses that were so harshly affected by the financial crisis. WIR is still active to this date.
What supports (backs) the community currency?
In order to respond to this, we need to ask ourselves a question:
What is money?
Many definitions may have come to your head (or maybe not so many!), but nonetheless it may prove challenging to define money. In Cambiatus, we like the following definition of money:
Money is an AGREEMENT made by a COMMUNITY to accept a STANDARDIZED ITEM that serves, at least, as a medium of exchange.
So, if we follow this definition, community money is backed by the TRUST among the individuals that form part of a specific community.
Are social currencies going to replace official currencies?
Another name given to this type of currency is Complementary Currencies… which COMPLEMENT the universe of existing fiat currencies (US dollars, Colones, Reais) and provide resilience to the local economies.
To understand resilience, we like to give the example of the Panda and the Grizzly bears. The Panda is VERY efficient at extracting energy from bamboo and that is ALL s/he needs to survive. The Pardo feeds from a VARIETY of sources, such as salmon and insects, but is not so efficient on extracting energy from these foods. In the case that bamboo forests are decimated (which has already happened), Pandas would struggle to survive, whilst if salmon is not available to the Pardo, he will find insects, or even humans to survive.
So, if a community relies only on ONE SINGLE currency, and that is ALL what they use … the moment that this currency loses TRUST and its value oscillates, this local economy will struggle. However, if the community uses a VARIETY of currencies, they are better equipped to survive financial crashes.
Has Cambiatus been tested?
Yes! And with great results. Go to COMMUNITIES
to learn more about the people and projects using Cambiatus.
What is the cost to use the platform?
Take a look at our plans here
Are Cambiatus currencies like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
Cambiatus is not a cryptocurrency. However it does use the same technology as cryptocurrencies, which is called Blockchain and allows for transparent and secure exchange of information (or money in theses cases). The Cambiatus app allows people to make exchanges (in a currency or points system similar to a miles programs) in a safe and transparent way, and in this way encourage actions that help them achieve a specific objective.
What is the difference between Cambiatus social currencies and traditional currencies?
Cambiatus social currencies are not created by a centralized institution (like a bank). The objectives, actions and rewards of each community are determined and updated by its members.Cambiatus social currencies only circulate within their community and are currently not interchangeable with other Cambiatus social currencies or any other currency outside of the community. Cambiatus social currencies only exist in digital form. Cambiatus social currencies exists thanks to blockchain technology and cryptography.Cambiatus social currencies are created based on the positive social and environmental actions of community members, not every time that someone get in debt as happens with fiat currencies (dollar, euro, yen, pound, etc.).
What if someone manipulates the community currency?
Cambiatus community currencies are built upon an open source software connected with EOSIO blockchain. Every transaction is stored in EOSIO blockchain which makes it almost impossible to manipulate. All transactions are auditable and transparent.
How does Cambiatus (founders and developers) benefit from the platform ?
Cambiatus is an open source project created by Satisfied Vagabonds LLC, thanks to the financial support from Shuttleworth Foundation and its pilot partners. Our aim is that Cambiatus will become a DAC, a Decentralized Autonomous Community itself, and we all will be members of it. As Cambiatus members, we can offer our services and help communities to create their currencies and DACs, and be rewarded for that. Cambiatus founders will be rewarded with a special amount of Cambiatus tokens during Cambiatus initial token distribution, as well as our advisors, main developers and pilot communities.
Is the Cambiatus team available to help as we design the currency?
Yes, you can join our Telegram channel
for technical support
After Cambiatus launches as DAC, every person with experience in DAC and social currency design, will be able to join Cambiatus and support communities, earning a reward for her/his contributions. Cambiatus team will join Cambiatus DAO as members, to keep supporting the ecosystem.
Where can I find more information about Cambiatus, DACs and social currencies and blockchain?
We have put together a document called the “Path of knowledge
” in which we offer some sources of information which you can follow to learn about all the above topics.
Where can I find more information about the Cambiatus webapp and its main features?
You can access our medium page: medium.com/cambiatus-tutorials
In it you will find tutorials of the main features that the webapp offers.
We also have the "Ours Tutorials
" page here on the website within the "About us" tab located in the menu at the top of the site.