ACT: Citizens First
The internet age has given birth to entirely new models of fundraising. Constant availability of up-to-date information about current events has raised social consciousness among citizens all over the world. Meanwhile, shifts in the nature of business and finance have made it easier for private citizens to exchange money, goods and services across borders. The global nonprofit sector has been transformed as a result of these developments. Digital fundraisers allow smaller groups to find a wide audience for their own self-advocacy work. On the other end, the internet allows potential donors to connect with the causes that matter most to them, and to see the impact of their donation on a very human scale.
The ACT platform developed by Skalex, represents the next stage in this shift. ACT is a decentralized autonomous organization (or DAO) that aggregates micropayments from private constituents to fund grassroots social change initiatives. DAOs harness blockchain technology to collect and share digital holdings among group members. While the technology that powers a decentralized autonomous organization is cutting-edge, it’s easy for end-users to get started with the ACT platform.
Users connect to the ACT network through a mobile app. During the initial setup, they are prompted to choose which type of cause they’re most interested in. Then, they purchase “votes” which are used to fund proposals. The money raised through these purchases is pooled and used to fund successful proposals. Push notifications make users aware of new proposals in their interest area. Then, they can decide to vote for or against the proposal, or abstain from voting altogether. When a quorum of “yes” votes is reached, a smart contract automatically triggers the funding for the initiative, which is routed to the proposal’s initiators.
Because all interested ACT members are notified of new proposal, and the funding process is automated, ACT is transparent and egalitarian by design. Third parties cannot halt or intervene in an ACT initiative once it achieves a critical mass of votes, and people all over the world can determine whether it should get funded. Users’ voting power is also strictly constrained to prevent capture by any individual or organization using ACT.
ACT is fundamentally different from crowdfunding, as well. When users become part of the ACT network, they top up their voting account so that they are ready to support social initiatives. Rather than facilitating donations on a case-by-case basis (as with crowdfunding), ACT is a network that encourages sustained democratic process and engagement. Users quite literally “vote with their dollar.”
Financial Accessibility and Security
As it is, you don’t even need a whole dollar to vote. The Skalex team has designed accessibility to be at the core of the ACT DAO, which includes a low barrier to entry from a financial perspective. Thus, the price of a single vote is just 10 cents. Currency stability is important to accessibility, too, which is why votes costs are denominated in USD as opposed to cryptocurrency. ACT runs on the Ethereum blockchain, which is highly secure. This is unlike the original DAO, which was developed by its own team, and resulted in a very destructive hack. Ethereum has proven more secure, but ETH is still fairly volatile.
Although the voting procedure reflects ACT’s commitment to democracy, the purchase of voting power with money is not a perfect system. Skalex has worked to ensure that disproportionate voting power is not purchased by the most wealthy. After an initial voting period is over, a limit that reflects voting patterns is applied to the maximum number of votes individuals can put toward proposals, preventing individual wealth from having decisive influence over the success or failure of a project.
ACT Curation Engine (ACE)
A core component of ACT is the promotion of valid causes. Making sure that only high-quality proposals reach end users is important to establishing the legitimacy and ultimate success of the ACT platform.
This is where the ACT curation engine (ACE) comes in. Users can opt to become curators of proposals that have not yet been pushed to the broader network. They do this by accessing the curation engine, which allows them to review and vet proposals before they’ve reached a broader audience via push notifications. Curators can take an active role in determining the quality of a cause, such as requesting more information to confirm authenticity. They then upvote or downvote proposals. Essentially, ACE curators act as gatekeepers that maintain the integrity of ACT.
ACT is an ERC20 Token that will be traded on exchanges, and it is the only “currency” with which curators can purchase ACTION Tokens. ACTION are reward tokens used by the ACT platform as part of the evaluation algorithm for curator rewards. These rewards, which equal 15% of all platform revenue, will be distributed depending upon curation effort, prior curation success, the number of ACTION held, marketing effort, and how early curation is done.
In order to encourage long-term commitment, ACTION tokens are vesting tokens, which can only be converted back to ACT over one year at monthly intervals. They are also non-transferable. Right now, there is a lot of speculative trading in the cryptocurrency community, leading to small bursts of payoffs as opposed to sustained growth. This undermines the capacity for DAOs and other blockchain applications to foster long-term growth. Because the vision for ACT is to become a ubiquitous platform for social change, sustain development is one of its design principles.
ACT and ACTION were created to apply the concept of DAOs toward the greatest possible social good. Skalex presents ACT in the spirit of openness and decentralized democracy, which we believe this is the right step toward the future.