A penny for your thoughts. A quarter for your good ideas.
BitVote Application for Knight Foundation Grant Call
by Aaron Bale and Lynne Flynn
1 What is your project? *
Image a world where each day, a person automatically generated $50 to use on the things they needed or wanted, when anything and everything was at their disposal. One could use these automatic dollars to contribute politically, socially, better their own circumstances, or improve the world, or even save them up and put them toward something they really want to invest in on a larger scale. People would use this money, and not be apathetic to its existence, as they can control its use and direct its spending as they desire. Now, imagine this world, but change the monetary feature to one that expresses and promotes ideas, changes political landscapes, and makes control of the social and economic environments a type of control that each of us can take part in on a fundamental level. BitVote is that world. BitVote is a decentralized, uncensored tool to give each and every person a voice in all facets of their own world, as well as in the broader society. It can be used to place policy, and if put into effect, could implement change as far reaching as being the one tool for a truly democratic voting system.
2 What assumptions will you test?
We assume that the majority of people want to be able to express their opinions and ideas on issues in a way that will have impact for themselves and for society as a whole. We assume that, given the opportunity, people prefer to charter their lives, as opposed to having the social and political landscapes carved out for them and then having to accept what is given, or only being given limited options to choose from. We assume that if people can effect change in ways that advantageous to society, they will participate in a thoughtful and responsible manner. As has recently been proven, people will respond more openly and more willingly under the protective cloak of anonymity. We can use that fact in conjunction with our assumptions to test this theory. Given a chance, people will participate and promote a system which effectually gives them the opportunity to be part of the decision making in matters that currently they are not party to, but that have a great effect on them personally. We will test the assumption that this can be utilized in a large number of fields, such as marketing, social networking, activism, politics, and many others.
3 Who is the audience/user of this project? How will they be impacted? *
Initially, this project will be adopted by tech gurus, website owners, polling and survey sites, etc, as it will eliminate multiple accounts per user and give a more pure, actual result for any demographic. Thereafter, it will be picked up for use as an essential small and large business tool to determine marketing trends, customer care and satisfaction, and likely even corporate environmental and social policy. It, ideally, will give a real and measurable voice to every consumer, every activist, and every voter. The impact of BitVote is profound. Not only can it assure consumers that their purchases reflect their interest in environmental and similar issues, it can also ensure that even political issues, such as the ACTA, SOPA, TPP, CISPA, etc. are not barnstormed through Congress or written into an Executive Order against the will of the majority of citizens. With American citizens voting turn out at an all time low, this will end the frustration that being politically voiceless has created, and intelligent people will once again participate in the democratic process. Not only can the United States benefit, this can be utilized everywhere, throughout the world.
4 Who is on your team? *
Aaron Bale: Founder, instrumental in affecting SOPA Blackout of 2012, special interest in cognitive orthotics, CDSMP, and advocate at the Narcolepsy Network.
Education: Neuroscience University of Louisville
ETHDEV ( Ethereum Development) Members also on our team-
Jasper den Ouden: Lead Code Developer, named Head of HR Satair Group, Product Designer & Co-Founder @Strakzat · Oud-Beijerland, the Netherlands. Education:
(unfinished) Master Particle Physics at Utrecht University, the Netherlands
HAVO Natuur & Techniek Christiaan Huygens, Eindhoven
Vitalek Buterin: programmer, writer, founder ofEthereum, thedecentralized web 3.0 publishing platform,co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine. In 2014 won the World Technology Award for the co-creation and invention ofEthereum.
Vlad Zamfir: co-inventor Cryptoswartz, Cryptoeconomics expert and keynote speaker.
Leah Chase: public relations, marketing and beta testing. Education: Nursing degree.
Christine Hogg: writing, journalism, interviews, editing, web content, newsletters and press releases.. Education: BA in Film and Media Production from The University of Cape Town
Lynne Flynn: research and creative writing, management, editing, marketing, sales, HTML and networking. Education: Criminal Justice, Graphic Design, and General Studies.
Legal / Funding Advisor:
Sue Basko: Lawyer for Independent Media, licensed in California and Illinois
5 What progress, if any, have you made on this project? *
After seeing the effect of the SOPA Blackout, and seeing the output of time and energy to reach 'critical mass' (when things are adopted by the majority), it was obvious that there was a need for a better template to achieve success in similar operations on such a massive scale. Aaron then came up with the BitVote idea as the one feasible means to accomplish this. After time and discussion with a think tank of technical experts, the social engineering aspect was polished. It was then tested among actual voters in random surveys to assess voter reaction, and any possible pitfalls. Around this time, Aaron met Leah Chase and enlisted her skills for the BitVote team. Leah successfully pitched the project to the Ethereum team. After meeting with their approval, several members of Etherium joined ranks with BitVote, as well, to translate the concept in a technical manner using their programming skills and expertise. After that was accomplished there remained the problem of OnePerID – ensuring that no one person could have more than one account – to ensure accuracy and honesty in the results. To date, this has been solved in theory, but will need A/B testing to ensure effectiveness.