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Mon Mar 18 2024




Freeos Unchained

Where Freeos has been, and where Freeos is going.

In quantum mechanics there is a concept called “superposition”.

Superposition refers to a state in which quantum systems exist in multiple states simultaneously until they are observed.

Without going into the weeds of quantum mechanics, let’s just say the Freeos team has been sitting in a superposition of possibilities for Freeos --- one that requires its own (quantum) untangling.

And part of that untangling requires the team to look at where blockchain is, at the moment, and where it is going, while also considering what a cooperative community currency, like Freeos, requires for it to succeed.

Now to put this all into perspective, let’s look at the history of Freeos.

A Short History of Freeos

Freeos was originally intended to be launched on EOS, thus the portmanteau of “Free” +

Freeos was to leverage the promise of proof-of-personhood that Block One’s Voice was supposed to enable to create a democratically run economic system that delivered UBI-like rewards, without being a centrally-run hand-out, like most UBI systems are.

Instead, it was a radical idea that the issuance of a currency can be awarded to the base layer of the participants in exchange for their role in the governance of the economic system --- with incentive structures and game-theory applied principles designed to help facilitate economic systems. Where the benefit of the individual is the same as the benefit of the community.

Unfortunately, the features promised by Block One that would have enabled Freeos to launch on that network were never fulfilled. Voice never launched on the main EOS chain, and the proof-of-personhood that it was supposed to open for other developers never happened.

In addition, internal governance of the Block One and their issues with the SEC cast a long shadow that had many developers and users leave the EOS ecosystem, despite the very promising and truly capable tech --- even acknowledged by Vitalik Buterin himself.

Fortunately, as we were scrambling to search for a new home, we discovered an EOSIO chain that also was promising KYC, and had a great wallet to connect to dApps --- the Proton blockchain (now re-branded as the XPR Network).

And what seemed like extra luck, is that one of the most prominent block producers for Proton/XPR was in New Zealand, where most of the Freeos team was based.

What we saw was a great, award-winning team, building easy-to-use applications like Proton Market, Proton Swap, Proton Bridge, Proton Lend and more. We saw a future where Proton could bring some legitimacy back to EOSIO development, and it was a perfect place to transition to. It had everything we were looking for, and we could continue with our existing code base.

And so we continued on our new home, developed and deployed the Freeos AirClaim, the main Freeos dApp, and took over a practically abandoned EOS project to launch the DAOScape as a DAO platform that could be capable of governing Freeos (including governing code changes and deployments).

The DAOScape, in particular, was meant, in the roadmap, to unlock a number of use cases for the FREEOS token, based on the economic insights of Professor Richard Werner, to drive true value and demand.

The launch of Freeos drew over 7000 participants but this initial demand eventually revealed a hurdle that we hadn’t anticipated, centred around the very feature that we relied on --- KYC.

Our AirClaim had attracted many thousands of users, creating some good momentum for Freeos, and also Proton since most of these users had never heard of Proton until they had to use it for Freeos.

But many of these users were in countries where the only way they could potentially become KYC’d was by having a passport, not often a very easy possibility in many of these countries. Unlike places like America, Canada, New Zealand, Europe, a driver’s licence or a government-issued ID wouldn’t work for Proton’s KYC provider.

This significantly caused thousands of our users to have no way to access the application once we had transitioned from the AirClaim to the main governance dApp.

Also, despite the great products, the great code, the great user experience, the bear market seemed to take the wind out of Proton’s sails. Now branded the XPR Network, and intended to be part of the Metal Layer 0 ecosystem, the bear market, and other developments, unfortunately did not have a positive effect on the XPR Network’s market cap in 2023 --- affecting users and developers, on this technically advanced blockchain network.

Freeos, being on this network, has seen its own token value plummet, almost perfectly in line with the XPR token’s fate. With only Alcor, a low liquidity market open to most third-party developers, and a shrinking user base, we went out to connect with the rest of the blockchain world to see what could potentially be an option to keep this unique experiment, in running an economy democratically.

History is full of examples of where superior technology, or even user experience, fails to catch on, and it hard to not wonder if Antelope/EOSIO-based chains have been suffering from this fate. Like Sony’s Betamax, or IBM’s OS/2operating system. Or will Antelope rise back up, like Apple did in the early 2000s? If so, will Metalicus lead the charge on this front?

On a positive note, we are very intrigued by the Metal Blockchain’s A-Chain that leverages Antelope, combined with the Snowman protocols introduced by Avalanche as a possible solution that can bring back some life and relevancy back to the Antelope tech.

Based on the products they have developed, and the vision of Antelope combined with the structure of Avalanche to create a permissionless, public blockchain with custom subnets for private corporations (including banks) to use is compelling. We are curiously hopeful, yet we have no crystal ball that can give absolute confidence to be unflinchingly loyal to this network alone.

Recently we are getting clarity on how successful this XPR/Metal network could be. And how it connects to the original Proton/XPR Network, giving us a tangible basis for future plans.

Additionally, we are firm believers in the power of Network Effects and we are seeking these on both the future XPR/Metal Network and on other networks. Of note, we have received strong support from networks such as ICP and the ENF.

2023 and 2024 Learnings

Between the latter half of 2023 to the start of 2024, I attended a number of blockchain conferences, meetups and in-person discussions throughout Europe and Asia, looking to unlock the next step in what we had accomplished with the Freeos Economic System.

And the feedback I received, of what we had built, was surprisingly, very positive. As a result, we now have a wide variety of strong allies with strong industry connections ready in the wings --- once we decide on a detailed plan..

Most of the positive feedback has been on the vision of the product. The reality is, that nobody in the blockchain ecosystem has built an economic system that has its monetary policy run by direct democracy before --- and this idea was compelling to quite a number of individuals, teams, investors, market makers, blockchain platforms and more.

Not only did this idea catch on, with certain sharp individuals that were curious enough to see the systems we had built, it prompted a number of meetings and partnerships that are still ongoing. Instead of being alone in our own community, we suddenly had allies and interested parties willing to lend a hand --- and potentially funds, exchange listings, liquidity opportunities and so on.

But often this came with a caveat --- interest dried up as soon as it was known we were on an Antelope (EOSIO) chain due to some of the industry fallout of EOS, as well as many of the other Antelope chains not having a strong presence, market cap size, or TVL (total value locked) on-chain.

Those --- in the know --- are aware that Antelope tech is extremely solid (and looking better all the time), but chain dynamics and platform connectivity also matter, especially one with a low market cap, low liquidity, low trading volume and a small developer and user base.

We were strongly encouraged to rebuild, move, bridge or extend to another chain with more robust dynamics and hooks into where these potential partners and their teams are/were firmly invested in.

Like Vitalik Buterin, and many others, I personally believe that the Antelope/EOSIO tech is strongly underrated, but the truth is that most of the industry does not care about the actual value of the underlying tech, nearly as much as the underlying narrative --- which unfortunately has been tainted by the drama (and trauma) in the EOS ecosystem.

*Vitalik pointed to Dan Larimer’s article in his “EndGame” essay: *

But even as I defended our use of this technology to these potential partners, and how our choice of platform provided by the Proton ecosystem provided a strong user experience, gas-free model, and KYC to allow for a reasonable degree of Sybil resistance (needed for direct democracy), I was universally reminded that liquidity and users arewere king.

”Are you prepared to do all of the marketing effort to bring users into your application, or do you want to leverage the many more users in other ecosystems?” was the general question commonly posed. “Are you prepared to fully self-fund the liquidity to get your economics going?”, was another common question.

Also, it was pointed out that improvements to user experiences, gas-free models, and proof-of-personhood were appearing all over. Unlike when we started, these special features weren’t entirely exclusive to Proton any longer.

For exchanges and market makers, the question was about growing the user base, and the location of these users was not nearly as important as getting the numbers. “Get the numbers, and ideally an easier token protocol to be easy to appear on as many exchanges as possible, and we can help.” was a refrain from some of the most serious investors and professional market makers we talked to.

So, for proof-of-personhood, it became very apparent at these conferences that we could leverage easier solutions that worked for people in the developing world, not just the developed world that Proton’s KYC was more suited for (which is fair, since their solution is for compliance and banking in a mostly North American and European focus for the near-to-medium term).

Once back from my trip to Europe and Asia, our work on the adjacent DAOScape project gained interest from a number of clients.

Particularly, our proposal for a DAO that could help with crowd-sourced policy making, gained us some interest with some very strong potential clients (dig around and you will see one of the big names we are running a pilot with!).

The DAOScape was originally intended to wrap up the Freeos contracts with a community-run DAO, but spun out into a more general DAO tool for other projects to also use as we realised it had wider ecosystem value, and this has been interesting for a number of clients.

We have now been working with two very strong clients (again, dig around to find out more) on some pilot programs leveraging the DAOScape. This, and the potential to move the DAOScape into some interesting areas, has kept the team highly engaged, and a bit quiet on the Freeos front --- until now.

The Core Purpose of Freeos

To understand the path for Freeos, one needs to understand the core reason why it exists.

Freeos exists as a premise to answer the question:

What if money was a democratic commons, equally accessible to ALL?

It is a vision of a currency, and the monetary policy governing the currency, as being crowd-governed via direct democracy. The first currency of its kind actually controlled by the people, for the people.

We have been calling this new class of currencies a Cooperative Community Currency. As was originally shown by PwC’s currency classification system, we have extended this to include Cooperative Community Currencies and what benefits they bring to the currency evolution.

This new class of Cooperative Community Currencies looks at economics from a ground-up, grassroots perspective, to ponder a potentially very powerful idea --- what if the people of a society were the masters of their own economic fate, and the root of where money is formed and minted?

Instead of a top-down approach, where authorities (or hard-coded algorithms) controlled the issuance and parameters of the monetary supply, the people could generate this. And then --- with DAOs providing grants to develop goods and services --- a market could start to develop to support the community for this people-powered wealth.

Freeos has achieved an effective proof of concept of a working Cooperative Community Currency. Now to extend this Cooperative Community Currency movement, we’re looking at ways that we can extend this vision to a wider range of people, with more robust economic dynamics.

Key Elements of a Cooperative Community Currency

Freeos is a vision of a Cooperative Community Currency, made manifest and possible only with recent innovations in blockchain technology. Robust smart contracts, Gas-free blockchain models, and proof-of-personhood systems are critical to make this work in a way that could scale to the masses.

Freeos shares some characteristics similar to UBI projects such as Good Dollar, the Pi Network, and Worldcoin, with combined users of over 40 million. These projects and their user numbers show that there is huge potential in a project that can offer regular participation to earn crypto.

Crypto UBI Projects show there is huge potential in attracting a large user base.

Most of the activity for these projects is from countries outside of Europe and North America. After all, economic conditions are often less optimal, accessible or fair in other countries, and any way to get paid even a few dollars is considered to be a worthwhile pursuit.

Whereas a trickle of value to citizens of wealthier countries is less appealing or interesting, except for those who are seeking solutions to the unfairness and/or corruption of our economic systems. After all, for most in the developed world, the current, fiat-based, financial ecosystem works well enough --- and is very convenient and known, feeling safe and familiar to use.

Some who align with the vision of Freeos come from these wealthier countries, but not in the numbers required to build a vision of an actual democratic economic system. What we’ve heard from dozens of key industry experts, is that we need users and liquid markets to kick the economic potential of Freeos into high gear.

And in addition to voting on policy making, issuing the currency and having a more liquid economy to engage in, there exists an additional key important vector --- demand for the currency.

Demand can be handled in a variety of ways, some are more effective than others. We have been building off the insights of Professor Richard Werner, on how to generate demand.

Our ambitions on building additional demand vectors have paused as we survived a bear market on a low-market-cap chain. But could restart if we can secure capital to continue building. Also, some of our clients are interested in using these Cooperative Community Currencies in a way that that could support the economic demand generation envisioned by Professor Werner.

Generating authentic demand insights based on the work of Professor Richard Werner

Until funding is secure to build this demand, we are looking at going back to the roots where we can attract users and be hooked up into more liquid markets --- especially where our exchange partners, market making partners and interested investors are entrenched.

Freeos as the Precursor of a Cooperative Community Currency Movement

The view that seems to honour the commitment of our existing community, and aligns with our curiously hopeful view of the Metal Chain, as the future of XPR, is as follows:

Freeos becomes the precursor token of other Cooperative Community Currencies on a multitude of chains.

What does this mean?

Re-code and re-deploy the business logic of Freeos, to build Cooperative Community Currencies on other chains --- as new tokens and branding --- while keeping the original home of Freeos on XPR/Metal.

Users have the choice to keep FREEOS tokens on XPR, or to convert them to these new projects.

Instead of doing the expensive marketing work of pulling the users into XPR/Metal, what if we find the place where the users are? There are many teams and chains where we’ve experienced an interest in what we’ve built --- so why not open up this potentially revolutionary idea as wide as possible?

And if XPR/Metal builds a strong user community, Freeos can look attractive as it provides a place to earn tokens that have the opportunity to convert to other tokens on other chains --- some of which may find strong support and good market dynamics in those ecosystems.

The conversion also reduces the supply of FREEOS, meaning that --- if market conditions improve on XPR --- this may support good market dynamics for the original FREEOS token.

FREEOS becomes the origin point for other Cooperative Community Currencies.

So, in summary, Freeos becomes the starting place where Freeos can be burnt to mint the initial genesis tokens on these other chains. This both lowers the supply of FREEOS and gives Freeos users the earliest access to these other projects and platforms that might find strong conditions to thrive. One could think of Freeos (or POINTs) as a precursor token that has the potential to be all sorts of other tokens on other networks. Like how stem cells can be any other cell.

We have strong connections to teams on, or working closely with, Polygon, SKALE, Arbitrum, Optimism, Celo, Cosmos, NEAR, Dfinity (ICP), Ethereum Foundation, with some good opportunities available once we are able to make some clear decisions.

We also have very good connections with proof-of-person solutions on many (most) of these other chains, allowing for strong one-person = one vote that is Sybil resistant.

These partners include funding opportunities, access to investor networks, market making, developer resources, marketing assistance and so on.

A key issue is the complexity if we redeploy the business logic of Freeos entirely, as well as the tools to migrate the tokens over to another chain. Practically, we may have to initially make first moves into the ecosystem where the funding and development support is strongest.

Another issue is the complexity of running multiple teams. Likely the projects would need to be fully DAO governed from the start, and this increases the complexity, especially if DAOs need to be built from scratch.

Ways to mitigate these issues are to start on networks that are the most compatible to start, pushing the higher complexity of development, or DAO-wrapping, to later dates.

A way to mitigate the complexity of running multiple teams could be to create a type of Cooperative Community Currency Alliance that can work to cover various teams and their needs.

We still have serious decisions to work out, and we’ll continue to update the community as we proceed.


The core team, although having to weather a bear market and needing to take on client work (mostly related to the adjacent DAOScape tools), still believes firmly in all of the reasons why a cooperative community currency should exist.

We believe that it is important that there exists a model of people, from the grassroots, self-managing their own economic system directly for their own personal AND collective self-interest.

So, instead of keeping the core ideas of Freeos locked up on a single platform, and running the very real and well-known issue of “platform risk”, we can look forward at the many supportive partners and allies we’ve amassed to turn Freeos into the precursor of other similar “cooperative community currencies” in other markets and on other platforms.

We are firm believers in building “win-win” systems, and this means looking through the lens of mathematical game theory to create systems and dynamics that benefit everyone as much as possible.

So, from this win-win perspective, Freeos becomes not only the historic start of this democratic cooperative community currency revolution, it becomes the origin point to launch numerous others, some which may rise to great success. When any of those other projects benefit, Freeos participants also will benefit.

We encourage the community to participate in discussions, share the concept, and contribute to its development, helping to evolve our cooperative community currency model in our Telegram channel.

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