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# Papers should be written like open source software

A paper is almost always a collective effort, from peer review to friends and family contributions. All of it matters and shapes its final version.

In the end, how a paper is made can be almost as important as its content. What were the sections that the authors struggled with? What kind of concerns a specific idea raised? All of these conversations in their own uniqueness helped guiding the progression of thought.

In our opinion, Git provides the perfect set of tools to visualize the work behind writing a paper. Through commits, pull requests and issues one can see who contributed, and in what way and what effect it had on the final version. In adittion, we see a paper like _The social smart contract_ to be a living document that is constantly updated and amended. As developers we know the documentation of democracy's evolution, like democracy itself, is always a work in progress.

We decided to use this technology to draft _The Social Smart Contract_ and we encourage others to join in to bring more transparency and collaboration to this process.

# Guidelines for contribution

## Timeframe
![Contributing timeline](images/contributing-timeline.png)

## How to contribute

### Using Github _Issues_

Use issues to:
- make general comments
- raise your concerns
- ask a question
- request more details, explanation

We will do our best to answer as fast as possible all issues created by the community.

If you are not familiar with Github, look up the [Github user guide to create an issue](

### Using _Pull requests_

Use pull requests to suggest modifications to the paper. Here are a few guidelines for pull request creation:
- Please make your edits following the wiki markup language [Mediawiki Formatting](, they will be easier to merge that way.
- 1 pull request per change please.
- Give your pull request a subject/title that describes the edit.

We will do our best to address pull requests created by the community as quickly as possible. If the modification is a "no brainer" for reviewers we will merge it instantly, if not we will engage in a conversation with its creators to understand how best we can make use of his/her suggestions or explain why we are rejecting it.

If you are not familiar with Github look up the [Github user guide to create pull requests](
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[1. What is an open source paper?](#question-1)

[2. How can I contribute?](#question-2)

[3. How is an Intial Rights Offering different from an Initial Coin Offering?](#question-3)

# Frequently Asked Questions

<a name="question-1"></a>
**1 - What is an open source paper?**

For us at Democracy Earth Foundation how a paper is made is almost as important as its content. Our belief in democracy means we believe that human collaboration is the best possible way to arrive at great solutions, therefore our project is written as an open source paper - a document where anyone is free to contribute. It is published under an open source license and we welcome contributions from anyone as we aim for this document to be a living roadmap for planetary governance. Democracy is always a work in progress, and so is our work: _The social smart contract_ is a living document that will be constantly updated and amended.

<a name="question-2"></a>
**2 - How can I contribute?**

For the purposes of our Initial Rights Offering all collaborations are encouraged between September 1st and October 10th. We are utilizing Github as it does a great job at documenting the entire process of contributions. For more detailed information please refer to the [CONTRIBUTING]( file of this repository.

<a name="question-3"></a>
**3 - How is an Intial Rights Offering different from an Initial Coin Offering?**

Our token _Vote_ will be granted as a right to every human being by means of a Universal Basic Income, and it will have decision making as its primary function. In addition to that it will be possible to access the _vote_ token through a financial mechanism and use it as an asset like any other crypto holding released through an Initial Coin Offering. The funds will be directed towards the construction of a transnational network that will act in accordance to the personal sovereignty of its members and protect their human rights with encryption.

**4 - What is "liquid democracy"?**

Liquid democracy is a combination of direct democracy and representative democracy:

In _direct democracy_ everyone votes on every issue.

In _representative democracy_ we choose other people to represent us.

Liquid democracy combines both to allow the voter to make decisions on the matters he/she cares about, and _delegate_ votes when there is someone that he/she trusts and considers to be more knowledgeable on the matter. A good way to think about it, is that we already live in liquid democracy, but it's _frozen_: we can't change our vote for a certain period of time, only when there is a new election. Representative democracy was the best that Nation-states could do with the technology of the time, but the internet and blockchain technologies allow us to do better now, permitting each voter to customize the extent of his participation.

**5 - What is a _vote_ token?**

A _vote_ token is what users will utilize to cast their decisions in organizations that operate with liquid democracy. It also works as any other crypto asset and its value is connected to the penetration of decentralized decision making within society.

**6 - How do I get _vote_ tokens?**

_Vote_ tokens can be obtained in five ways:

1) purchased directly from non-profit Democracy Earth Foundation holdings to fund development and ongoing operations,
2) mined and granted free-of-charge upon Proof of Identity(*),
3) mined and dripped free-of-charge over time as Universal Basic Income, subsequent to Proof of Identity,
4) mined and earned if organization purchases on behalf of organization member, and
5) purchased, based on its current market value, from cryptocurrency exchange (trading in _vote_ tokens previously purchased from either Foundation or public).
(*)In order to learn more about the process of identity validation, please refer to section [3.3 Proof of Identity ](

**7 - Can I sell or give away my _vote_ tokens?**

Yes - the tokens are tradable and transferable as any other crypto holding. Because they operate within a liquid democracy, votes are meant to be delegated to others. We are actively working on breeding economic value to them and to prevent vote selling would be coercive. Its up to every Organization in the system (not the vote holders) to determine how votes are to be used inside the organization. That's where restrictions apply and if you want to make a 'one vote one person' system, its totally doable.

In addition to that tokens will be distributed by using an Equality variable that stabilizes the allocation for every member of the network to have a same starting line. In that sense we are aiming to make the vote economy as meritocratic as possible (in the real sense of giving a fair starting line for everyone).

**8 - What does a _vote_ token have to do with Universal Basic Income?**

True sovereignty cannot be achieved in an environment of induced scarcity. In order to effectively promote democracy, it is essential then to address both the political and economic realms. For that reason we are turning governance rights into a liquid instrument and issuing it as a right granted to every member of society through the mechanism of a Universal Basic Income.

**9 - How can _votes_ be crypto assets? Doesn’t that empowers the rich to have more impact over decision-making processes?**

Votes are crypto assets in the same way paper ballots are assets - an instrument of counting votes within a system maintained by the public. It is important to remember that attaching value to a vote is not new: voting has always cost money, at both the individual and the institutional level. From the act of casting a vote to the process of structuring a democracy, voting is a right exercisable only through the administration of a system of services (including design, production, distribution, collection, tabulation, analysis and storage), that must be paid for. These costs are understood by citizens less explicitly than implicitly: historically, with analogue voting systems this payment has been made indirectly through coercive taxation.

Blockchain-based voting system costs are, by comparison, vanishingly small, and conveniently built in as ‘mining fees’ - very small amounts taken at the time of a voting transaction. For this reason, the vote token must have a market-determined value - which in this case is an amount anchored to society’s value of an hour of time. The key aspect being DIVISIBILITY: a single vote token is divisible to four decimal places. At $7.25, the smallest unit of a vote is 1/10,000 or $0.000725 per “revolution” (a revolution therefore equals 1/10,000th of a vote).

The vote token offers an alternative to an historically unfair connection between money and decision-making. We are granting votes as a right that is distributed through a Universal Basic Income mechanism, and we introduce cryptographically enabled equality through a calculation that ensures all members receive an equal allocation of votes, despite the date in which they join the network. Those mechanisms are aimed at creating an environment in which members are not vulnerable to coercion due to lack of liquidity, induced scarcity and forced debt.

Finally, while it is true that liquid democracy enables any member, through delegation, to control more than one vote for any given votable decision, ultimately every voter is bound by the constitutional rules of the organization implementing the vote. Any voter's impact over outcomes is a combination of delegation and organizational governance. Our goal is to enable flexible institutional designs that can be customizable to attend all kinds of purposes.

**10 - Will digital elections increase voter participation?**

Low voter turnout is closely linked to the decrease in trust on our current democratic institutions, or the perception that one individual vote can't effectively alter the course of things. Being an incorruptible platform, on Sovereign each individual participation truly matters and is counted for. Our mission is to strengthen democracy by opening up more effective ways of participating, which Sovereign accomplishes. The greatest impact will not necessarily be to make governments more democratic, but _any kind and size of institution_, whether public or private, more engaging.

**11 - Is voter fraud easier when voters vote by mobile phone? How does blockchain technology enables incorruptible decision-making?**

The advances on crypthography and distributed ledger technology enable incorruptible decision-making because after a vote is registered it can never be altered, making virtual blockchain-based votes immensely superior to analogue votes in terms of fraud prevention. Additionally, this technology enables all members of the organization to audit the _votes_.

**12 - What does self-sovereign mean?**

Self-sovereign is anything that is fully under control of itself. Central authorities validade, control and sell data related to others identities. A self-sovereign identity is one that cannot be controlled by central authorities.

**13 - Could everyone in the world use Sovereign to vote on the same issue?**

Yes. Sovereign is intended for planetary governance as much as it is suitable to be used by an organization consisted of two members.

**14 - Does Sovereign exclude people who have no access to video (for the Proof of Identity protocol)?**

As of this moment we have not encountered an alternative to the Proof of Identity protocol that does not involve central authorities, but we and the digital hive mind will continue exploring options in order to make Sovereign available to all humankind.

**15 - Isn't Open Source too new to be implementable in elections?**

Open-source systems are already playing a role in some elections, for example, New Hampshire - USA has used open source software to allow disabled voters to fill out ballots online or on their phones. The counties of Travis (Texas), San Francisco and Los Angeles have budgets in place for open-source voting systems. Many major companies use open-source software including the US Department of Defense.

**16. What do "planetary jurisdiction" and "post Nation-state" mean?**

The blockchain knows no borders, it is a transnational technology. Allowing individuals from all nations to cooperate and make decisions together will create a new jurisdiction that encompasses the entire planet. Territorial divisions and the perpetual conflict between Nation-states have led to accelerated climate change, rising inequality, terrorism and forced migrations. Those are global issues that can only be addressed through a new model, where different parts of the globe cooperate, regarding the planet as one jurisdiction towards which all members are equally responsible and entitled to - we call that post Nation-state governance.

**17. What is the difference between centralized, decentralized and distributed?**

There is a lot of debate about it. For the purposes of our work we aim towards both architectural and political decentralization (or distribution, depending on who you ask). The first concerns the number of computers running the system, and the second concerns how many individuals or organizations controls those computers. Our solution is designed for blockchain networks, which are by nature not controllable by any single organization and have no single point of failure.

**18. What is blockchain technology?**

Blockchain technology refers to a database that is held and maintained by a distributed network, therefore being reliable. This database can be programmed to record any type of valuable information within its blocks, and each block is chained to the previous one through [cryptographic hashing]( The implied security of blockchains dramatically increases trust, allowing peers within the network to operate and transact with each other without the need for intermediators.

**19. What is a decentralized ID (DID)?**

Decentralized identifiers are intended for a verifiable digital identity that is self-sovereign.

**20. What does "public and private key" refer to?**

Public and private keys are generated as a cryptographic pair that works together, meaning that a message encrypted with the public key can only be decrypted with it's correspondent private key and vice-versa. This method is utilized to safely transmit messages, create crypto wallets, DIDs, etc.

**21. Is the VOTE token a security?**

No, the VOTE token is not a security. The VOTE token is an asset. What is the difference? To begin with, a security, by definition is an asset, but not all assets are necessarily a security.

-A security is primarily something from which you expect to receive a financial return in the future, and many cryptocurrencies fall into that category.

-An asset is different in that it has inherent value due to a clear, intrinsic functionality.

Tokens are assets, yet they can be securities if they represent an ownership in an organization (or meet other defined criteria set by SEC and other reg bodies). The VOTE token is by definition an asset, with the primary utility of decision-making. In addition, being a crypto asset, VOTE tokens contain the inherent benefits of decentralization, transparency and anonymity enabled by blockchain networks

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