Eleftherios Diakomichalis on Oscoin: A P2P Alternative for OSS Collaboration

New ways to collaborate on code

Oscoin: Principles & Motivation

When we started Oscoin, our motivation was guided by the observation that crypto-currencies could enable a new form of community-owned and operated network. The invention of digital scarcity1 made it possible to economically incentivize and remunerate network participants for their service in a simple,transparent way, without mediation by a third-party.

It was only natural for us to imagine a community of open-source developers,incentivized by a native currency distributed to the projects most valued by the community, and traded between collaborators, users and maintainers of these projects. This ecosystem, we thought, could provide a solution to the problem of open-source sustainability2, while also freeing the community from centralization risks associated with platforms such as GitHub and GitLab.

 Well aware of the fraud and confusion around decentralization, we saw potential in crypto-currencies to address socio-economic problems which would allow contributors to be rewarded in a currency that also confers ownership of the network. By consolidating equity with currency, we create a fairer distribution mechanism for long term network sustainability. In such an economy, there are no second class citizens3, everyone is aligned around a single token,everyone wins and loses together.

An uncomfortable truth about our society is that apparent convenience is chosen over everything else. Centralized platforms offer this convenience seemingly for “free”, but since the explosion of the Internet in the 1990s we can observe how this pans out: critical social infrastructure is taken over by corporate interests as communities move from one centralized platform to another. Our belief is that logical centralization4 is necessary for communities to exist, but economic centralization is not.

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