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Economic Commons Template (ECT) v1.3 (en)

Purpose of Economic Commons - Ways & Means

The Purpose of an Economic Commons is to enable resource cooperation for well-being. This is achieved through mutually accepted and defined Instruments sharing surplus value, cost and risk equitably between real people and associations subscriber Members as follows:

  1. Producers and Users - creators of economic value and Instrument from shared use of Commons.
  2. Steward - active providers of core Commons development and management services
  3. Guardians - communication obligations and passive veto rights over Commons use.

Organising Principles

  1. Care for People – collaboration and vision driven care for oneself and others’ well-being and happiness
  2. Care for the Environment - support environmental protection and regeneration, minimize use of finite resources for economic activity, ecosystem management approach to farming and business development.
  3. Fairness - fair and secure access to Instruments, land, resources, knowledge & care for members from different backgrounds, age, gender and religion.
  4. Reciprocity – mutual sharing of risk, cost and surplus
  5. Non-Dominance - no person or association to have dominant rights over another person or association’s resources eg. data, finances, intellect, materials and freedom.
  6. Resilience - capacity to prepare for, address and adapt to economic, political, climate and other events in order to ensure sustainable community based systems/commons.

Note that principals should be specific with how these Values are incorporated into objective and measurable Principles and Good Practices.

Institutions and Instruments

Ledger  {#ledger}

Ledgers are shared digital accounting databases which enumerate and qualify Instruments subject to mutual agreements or organizational rules.

  1. Instruments - bilateral mutual agreements or contracts between Members.
  2. Registration - publication of Instruments in machine-readable form executable on the Ledger.
  3. Management - Core Service Providers manage Ledgers subject to Clearing Agreements
  4. Issuer: Members individually or in association mutually agree in writing to meet obligations of registered Instruments.

Community Asset Voucher (CAV) {#community-asset-voucher-cav}

A Community Asset Voucher (CAV) is an instrument used within an Economic Commons to facilitate economic transactions and foster community development. CAV is designed to promote local trade, social cohesion, & sustainable practices. It can be considered both grassroots and circular in nature. As a grassroots instrument, CAV is often initiated and managed by local communities, enabling them to address their specific economic needs and priorities. It also embodies circular principles by incorporating mechanisms such as trade balance, expiration & re-issuance (demurrage), as well as drawing inspiration from indigenous practices of rotational mutual aid. CAVs encourage economic interactions that prioritize community well-being and the equitable distribution of resources while promoting sustainable and regenerative practices

CAV – a promise denominated in a Unit of Account issued to an acceptor (i.e as a gift, in exchange for money or in-kind) and representing an assignable credit obligation of the Issuer to the acceptor or assignee. CAVs have the following properties.:

  1. Redemption: Vouchers presented in payment to the Issuer for goods and services supplied must be accepted in payment and are therefore redeemable.
  2. Digital Representation: digital Vouchers are defined and registered securely and immutably by Members on a public Ledger.
  3. Transparency: Instrument specifications are open to the general public while registered transactions are open to Members subject to the Clearing Agreement.
  4. Divisibility: Vouchers may be divided by the Issuer to the degree of precision specified when published on the Ledger. So the holder of a single Voucher may assign a fraction to another Member as digitally specified by the Issuer.
  5. Name and Symbol and Contract Address: Each Voucher must have a name and symbol specified by the Issuer, and a unique Contract Address (public key).
  6. Contact Information: The Voucher must include contact information for the Holder to know how to redeem the Voucher as payment for the Issuer's products. The Issuer must keep this information accurate and up-to date.
  7. Unit of Account: Standard unit of measure for value in exchange. Each Voucher issued by a Member should specify a Unit of Account.
    1. Example: 1000 Vouchers can be said to be redeemable by the Issuing Member for 1000 Kenyan Shillings worth of the Issuing Member’s products.
  8. Expiration: Vouchers may have a specified expiration date or an expiration rate.
    1. Expiration Rate: For example, a Voucher with an expiration rate of 2% per month would result in a holder having 98 Vouchers at the end of the month, if the holder had 100 Vouchers at the beginning of the month.
    2. Expiration Date: For example a Voucher with an expiration date of one month would result in a holder having 0 usable Vouchers at the end of the month, if the holder had 100 Vouchers at the beginning of the month.
  9. Sink Account and Issuance Period: Expired Vouchers will accrue in a specified Ledger account determined by the Issuer after a specified Issuance period. This means that the balance of Vouchers in the Sink Account will increase by the sum of expired Vouchers, after the Issuance Period.
  10. Supply: The supply of Vouchers may be increased or destroyed by vote of the Issuers. The supply of Vouchers shall always be based on the Issuer's capacity to redeem them as payment for their products within the specified expiration.
  11. Fungibility: Each Voucher is fungible with the vouchers issued under that same contract, meaning that it is interchangeable and mixable with them. An account holding multiple identical Vouchers would display the sum of their quantity as their Voucher Balance minus any expired Vouchers.
  12. Bearer Instrument: The Voucher is a “digital bearer instrument”, meaning that anyone holding the access (private) key to the holder's Ledger account is considered the owner of the Voucher or Vouchers in that account. Note that Members may share keys or create accounts that require specific signing rules (like any 2 of 3 to sign).
  13. Utility: The Voucher is not marketed or sold by Members as an investment product. It confers no additional rights or benefits beyond the redemption for the Issuer's products.
  14. Liability: The Voucher is a credit obligation with joint and several liability of the Issuer. This means that the Issuers are collectively and individually responsible for fulfilling the obligation of the Voucher.
  15. Finality: Once published and registered on the Ledger certain Immutable Information cannot change while Mutable Information can be changed by Voucher Contract Manager.
    1. Immutable Information includes:
      1. Name, Symbol
        1. Expiration dates and rates
        2. Re-issuance period
        3. Precision
        4. Contract Address* (public Key)
        5. Unit of Account*
        6. Description*
        7. Issuer Name*
        8. Namespace*= An domain for which to register the Voucher.
        9. Proofs* (media files, hashes or attachments)
        10. Version number*
        11. Image* (optional logo)
        12. Address of Mutable Information (derived)*
        13. Valid from* (date that the contract was published)
        14. Valid until* (date that the information is considered outdated)
      2. Mutable Information* includes:
        1. Voucher Contract Manager (public key)
        2. Voucher supply (via minting or burning)
        3. Sink address
        4. Contact information*
        5. Name, phone number, email, location, country
        6. Signers (who attest to the certificate information being connected to the Voucher)
      3. (*) Note that all the above information is data stored and registered on a Certificate which is published on the Ledger
  16. Voucher Contract Management: The Voucher Contract (Smart contract) registered and published on the Ledger has a Manager that can edit the Mutable Information in the Voucher Contract. The default Manager is the Member that published the contract and who may transfer Management to any Account on the Ledger and also remove themselves as an Manager. Management can be transferred to a Smart Contract that enables different forms of voting etc.

CAV Pool {#cav-pool}

CAV Pool – a treasury object that can hold digital assets and enables exchange between them. The following are properties of Pools:

  1. Qualification: Pools are collections of digital objects with various exchangeability to each other. I.e. CAVs can be made redeemable for the other CAVs within the pool. By adding CAVs to the pool one can automatically receive an equivalent amount of other CAVs available to the Pool contract.
  2. Finality: Mutable Information published and registered on the Ledger may be amended by a Certificate Publisher but Immutable Information may not.
    1. Specification: (TBD)
      1. Acceptance: Which Vouchers are allowed in the pool
      2. Caps: The maximum quantity of each voucher allowed in the pool
      3. Price Index: Relative prices for the vouchers in the pool
      4. Pool Fees: A fee can be placed on exchanges and the Manager can assign where these fees go.
  3. Pool Management: The Manager of the Pool has permission to edit Mutable Information in the Pool. The default Manager is the Publishing Member who may assign Management to another Member and also resign as a Manager. A Pool Manager can also be a group operating a multi-signature wallet.

Certificate {#certificate}

Certificate (Bilateral/Unilateral Instrument) – a data object qualified as acceptable by another Member. A Certificate is similar to a University Diploma in which the University makes an attestation (qualification) that a Student has passed their coursework. The following are properties of Certificates:

  1. Qualification: Certificates qualify data such as Voucher usage or capacity to perform services. Vouchers as well as Members may be Certified by other Members, for various roles, services, accomplishments and so on. Certification qualifies Members or Instruments. Note in the Voucher Instrument example, Immutable and Mutable data are stored or referenced on a Certificate (denoted by (*))
  2. No Obligation: on Issuers to accept their Certificates in exchange for goods & services.
  3. Finality: Mutable Information published and registered on the Ledger may be amended by a Certificate Publisher but Immutable Information may not.
  4. Certificate Management: the Manager of Certificate (Instrument) Publication and registration on the Ledger has permission to edit Mutable Information in the Certificate. The default Manager is the Publishing Member who may assign Management to another Member and also resign as a Manager.
  5. Revocation or Expiration: a Certificate can expire and/or be revoked but the chain of attestation will be preserved on the Ledger.
  6. Acceptance or Denial: the Member holding the Private Key to the public address of the Certificate can accept, deny and comment on the validity of the Certificate
  7. Finality: Immutable Properties of the Certificate cannot be amended once published and registered on the Ledger,


Membership {#membership}

A Member of an Economic Commons is an individual person, organization or an association of Members with a common purpose, who ratify and Implement an Economic Commons it or use implemented Economic Commons Instruments as per their local needs

There are three Member Classes defined below, with the following rights and obligations:

General Members

  1. Right to utilize all Economic Commons-defined Instruments
  2. Right to hold or delegate custodianship of Ledger Accounts and Instruments
  3. Right to hold multiple Accounts and Instruments in the Ledger
  4. Right to vote on the usage of their issued Instruments in a Community Fund
  5. Right to view and inspect all Accounts and Instrument kept on the Ledger
  6. Obligation to report Members that don't comply to this Agreement or local laws
  7. Obligation to certify Core Service Providers
  8. Obligation to register any Instrument or Instrument usage on the Ledger and keep any relevant information up to date.
  9. Obligation to contribute in money or in-kind the agreed upon development and operating costs of the Core Services as defined in Service Agreements under this Economic Commons Agreement
  10. Obligation to hold a means of secure identification (such as a private key) in order to interact with a Ledger
  11. Obligation to demonstrate technical and management capabilities and capacity to meet Instrument and other appropriate standards.

Core Service Providers

Provide essential service for the Economic Commons.

  1. Technical: \

    1. Secure Member account and shared Instrument on registries (herein called the “Ledger”):
    2. Track and report all usage of all Member account and Instruments, securely and immutably
    3. Provide communications interfaces (such as software that allows interaction with the Ledger - herein called Wallets)
    4. Right to Publish Instruments on the Ledger on behalf of Members when given custodian shop of a Members private Key.
    5. Right to receive agreed development and operating costs and an agreed production share in respect of Core Services
    6. Right to use and migrate custodial Member Accounts and Instruments to an appropriate Ledger
    7. Obligation to maintain an open source software code base under AGPL3.0 for any Core Services and Agreements
    8. Obligation to operate the servers and various micro-service related to Core Services
    9. Obligation to hold and secure granted Member data and intellectual property jointly in common
    10. Obligation to provide Members access to their Ledger accounts and shared Instruments
    11. Obligation to provide a means of a secure identification to Members in order to interact with a Ledger
    12. Obligation to all Member accounts, data and shared Instruments are recorded in unique time order in the Ledger
    13. Obligation to utilize Ledgers that are secure and resistant to security breaches and loss of data
    14. Social:
    15. Support and sharing of knowledge regarding the Agreement's implementations, Instruments as well as Member rights and obligations
    16. Right to make available non-confidential Member and Instrument data to the general public
    17. Right to make available non-confidential Member and Instrument data to the general public
    18. Obligation to provide training and education
    19. Obligation to administer Member service agreements
    20. Obligation to ensure confidential data privacy and public information transparency
    21. Obligation to oversee quality standards
    22. Legal: \

    23. Right to assign an auditor to assess any Member Instruments

    24. Right to suspend services and remove Wallet access for Non-Performing Members
    25. Right to assign arbitrators for the mediation of disputes
    26. Obligation to provide Due Diligence, audits and arbitration of disputes for Members in relation to usage of Instruments and this Agreement.
    27. Obligation to ensure that Instruments are binding on Members when registered in the Ledger and inline with this Agreement


  1. Right to develop, design, raise resources and implement an Economic Commons
  2. Right of final veto on behalf of Members generally in respect of amendments to an Economic Commons agreement incompatible with the Aim and Principles
  3. Obligation to arbitrate in the management of Class Agreements and Admissions as described below
  4. Obligation to arbitrate disputes of Members in relation to Aim and Principles
  5. Obligations to call annual membership meetings, keep records, call meeting to make decisions that serve the aims and principles of the Economic Commons

Membership Agreements and Admissions {#membership-agreements-and-admissions}
  1. Members may participate in more than one Member Class. E.g. A Core Service Provider can also be a General Member and develop a Voucher redeemable for their services
  2. Any person or organizations holding a Ledger-account or whom utilizes Instruments is considered a General Member
  3. Mutual agreements between Members define standards, rights and obligations
  4. Non-Performance: should a Member be unable or unwilling to uphold their obligations or honor stated commitments they should immediately Issue a Certificate to attest to the situation and report to any Instrument Publishers and Members holding their Instruments. Such a Member will be designated as Non-Performing subject to the following:
    1. any material shortfall in commitments or obligations by Members individually or collectively shall be made good following review and recommendations by the Service Provider and subject to the agreement of Members generally.
  5. Termination of Membership: Member’s may terminate Membership at any time upon 60 days advance written notice of termination and shall comply with the obligations in effect at the time of termination.
    1. A Non-Performing Member wishing to terminate membership must demonstrate their complete inability to perform obligations to an auditor assigned by the Service Provider.

Jurisdiction {#jurisdiction}
  1. An Economic Commons subject to this Agreement transcends jurisdiction and all national and religious law including tax law
  2. Data may be mutually shared globally between Members independently of jurisdiction.
  3. Members must satisfy themselves that economic activity undertaken pursuant to this agreement is lawful in their jurisdiction

Amendments {#amendments}
  1. Amendments to this Agreement require a majority in number of Members.
  2. Amendments in conflict with the Aim and Principles are subject to veto by a majority in number of Guardians.
  3. All Members enter into this agreement in good faith and hold harmless Members of the Economic Commons.

Entirety & Notices {#entirety-&-notices}

This agreement represents consent to the entirety of a mutual agreement between Members to the expressed common purpose and no other.

Any notice given by the Members shall be valid only if delivered via the contact information for the Guardians. Notices include any votes to change the content of this agreement.

Official Signatories

In WITNESS WHEREOF, the duly authorized Guardians of the Economic Commons sign this agreement on the dates indicated below, and agree to abide by the terms of this Agreement.

  1. Member Class or Witness: (Guardian, General Member, Core Service Provider)
  2. Full Name:
  3. Contact Information or Service: (e.g. email or phone number)
  4. Proof of Identity: (e.g. Passport number and country or other proof)
  5. Date of Signing:
  6. Place of Signing:
  7. Signature or Hash:

Last update: 2024-07-09
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