Open source projects have suffered from a lack of reliable and sustainable funding models since the open source movement began.
Dedicating one’s energy to open source projects has in the past meant taking a massive hit to one’s pocketbook. The economic incentives were just never there. Doing good for the world has largely been an unpaid martyrdom, great for the soul but terrible for the wallet.
Short answer: the blockchain.
On the utopian.io platform, contributors to open source projects can be rewarded with the cryptocurrency, STEEM if their submissions follow their guidelines. Some open source projects are WordPress, Steemit, busy.org, DTube, DSound and Zappl to name just a few. When someone contributes to an open source project via the utopian.io site, people, as well as the official @utopian-io Steem account can upvote the post, which results in STEEM rewards. There are utopian.io content moderators who ensure that the quality of the post submissions are up to snuff.
So, how does someone get involved with utopian.io?
The first step is to sign up for a free Steem account on Steemit.com. Then, head on over the to the utopian.io website to get started. You log into utopian.io with your Steem account and doing so has been determined to be safe. Read the rules before you start planning your new utopian life, though.
The utopian.io project is integrated with the Steem blockchain, so it uses Steem’s built-in voting algorithm to make the reward process run in an autonomous fashion. Steem’s co-founder, Dan Larimer invented the concept of the DAC, or Decentralized Autonomous Company, which was later renamed and popularized by Vitalk Buterin as a DAO, or Decentralized Autonomous Organization.
This aspect of utopian.io makes it like crowdfunding 2.0 on steroids, where decentralized voting is the norm and computer rules determine the final payouts of contributors. Of course, there are still humans deciding which posts to vote for, but the distribution of rewards is handled by an algorithm instead of a central authority. And utopian.io is unique in the Steem ecosystem because it has human content moderators and quality control specialists who make sure that the utopian contributions meet certain standards.
In addition to coding, one can write articles, create graphic design and do social media campaigns to help bring more visibility to various open source projects. This article is in fact part of this open source collaboration on utopian.io.
You can also sync your GitHub and utopian.io accounts, thereby connecting them for more cohesiveness. Read more about this in @elear’s post: https://utopian.io/utopian-io/@elear/utopian-is-unstoppable-now-fully-integrated-with-the-github-project-feeds
So, where does the money come from?
The utopian.io Steem account has just received one million in Steem Power delegations and Steem Power is what enables people to earn STEEM rewards on Steemit.com and other sites. One STEEM is now roughly equivalent to $1 US dollar. Steem Power is similar to owning stock in a company, but with one added bonus: you have the ability to give others STEEM without having to actually give away your money. Your personal investment in Steem Power is what decides how the algorithm slices up the reward pool.
The more Steem Power (SP) you have, the more you can influence the algorithm that distributes the daily STEEM rewards. To put this in perspective, my Steem Power is currently 111,000 and this means that if I vote for your post, I can give you roughly $5 of STEEM. But out of that 111,000 STEEM, I have delegated 20,000 of it to a Business Intelligence leader who has low SP. So, it’s similar to giving out a loan that I can take back at any time.
There are many large Steem Power account holders who have delegated their SP to the @utopian-io account because they want to support its development and they believe in its mission. Last I heard, the @utopian-io account now has 1 million in Steem Power. This means that the @utopian-io account can vote on open source contributors’ posts, and give them a significant reward in the STEEM cryptocurrency. (Clarification: the website is utopian.io and the official Steem account is utopian-io)
Utopian.io is a new project, but I believe it has a very good chance of making a huge difference in the world. Is this the beginning of a new, shared, meritocratic economy?
It could be the solution we’ve all been dreaming of. I’m super excited about this because my heart belongs to the world of open source. I never cared much for patents, copyrights and trademarks.
About the author:
Leah Stephens goes by the pseudonym Stellabelle. She’s a writer, community builder, entrepreneur and blockchain flaneur. She’s currently working on developing an AI chatbot of herself. You can chat now with the AI version of Stellabelle here: https://chatfuel.com/bot/youtubestellabelle
Follow her on Steemit: https://steemit.com/@stellabelle