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Advertising Devcoin Via Bounties and Shares – My Evaluation

Pretty much everyone that is taking part in the Devcoin community has one thing we can all agree on: Devcoin needs to gain more awareness. From inside and outside the crypto currency niche, we need to get people to understand what Devcoin is and how it helps people. At the same time, however, I feel that we have some pretty big differences in how to go about it.

Throwing Shares At Advertising

I am fully against this idea. It is not because I do not want to support the advertising of Devcoin, or even close to it. It is because when you give a party the chance to misuse funds, it is more than likely going to happen. For example, if you give someone $5000 for work that may cost $3000, that party is probably not going to return the extra or roll it over to the next piece of work. Instead, most people would just pocket what is left over. With Devcoin, we need to cut down on the chances of this happening (or eliminate them altogether) by not even allowing it to happen in the first place. And the first step here is to use funds in a clear and concise manner. If something costs $3000, the party that does it should have an invoice showing that, after which the payment would be remitted. Any other method would lead to the possibility of corruption. Note: please realize that I am in no way saying that anyone would misuse the funds, but it is a risk we are taking if we follow the recommendations that have been given so far. As the project grows and more people get on board, this risk continues to increase.

An Alternative – Pay in Devcoins

So, if throwing shares at advertising is a bad idea, how can we handle it? Well, it is a little more involved. We need to know a few things in order to properly evaluate it:

  • How much is the campaign? What is the expected result? Are there any discounts we can quality for somehow?
  • How much are Devcoins worth in Bitcoins (taking in to consideration how many would need to be liquidated)?
  • How much are Bitcoins worth?

All of these questions help understand exactly what is going to be needed, so that when a payment is made we can ensure that it is going to the proper thing. The math behind it is pretty simple:

  • Actual campaign cost / cost per Bitcoin / cost per Devcoin = number of Devcoins it should run

We, of course, need to also evaluate the options that are there for advertising. We do not want to just throw money out to someone in the hopes that some good comes of it. Instead, we need to be careful and ensure that we are following tried and true methods or people who have shown their skill in the past. This is important because the more money there is leaving the Devcoin project, the less the workers within it are earning; considering we are the ones keeping the project up and running, this is just not good.

It is also worth noting that we could possibly convert those Devcoins that need to be paid out in to shares once we can calculate the value of each share, such that the person who handles the campaign would get the value they are going for without us having to pay them out ahead of time in one lump sum. It would open the door to bigger campaigns in the future.

Other Ways to Handle Bounties

We are all part of the Devcoin project and we all work together to help ensure it is successful. With that said, some people have more time they can devote to the project than others. Bounties are sort of a slap in the face to these people, because those who do more work end up paying more to help keep the project afloat. Those who work less earn less shares, so their dilution is much less of an impact. To resolve this problem, I think that bounties for things like advertising should come from us making our own donations. For example, someone can offer up a certain amount of their shares or a flat amount of Devcoins. We would keep pooling these donations until someone takes care of the bounty's requirements or we hit the threshold required to pay for the services, after which they would be paid out.

To handle this idea, we could have a separate account that is for nothing but bounties. We could even call it “Bounty” or something. As people make their donations, they would be sent off to this centralized address. This would ensure full transparency in to what is happening with them, and would also ensure that people who offer up their own donations do not try to reverse their opinion on them later; they would have already been paid to the address and be ready for collecting.

This could bring up other concerns after, such as who has access to those bounty funds and can pay them out. It could lead to its own corruption due to the build up of finances within it. I would therefore propose that we, as a group, vote on someone who would take over them. For example, Unthinkingbit runs the Devcoin project. As such, he would be a great candidate for this system. I would think that by now we can all trust him, and he is the one with the supreme power with decisions regardless.

Pay Out Timing

Choosing when to pay out coins is important. The value of a coin fluctuates from week to week, day to day and even hour to hour. While x coins could be worth y amount right now, they could be worth more or less than that after just a short while. When we delay the payouts, we are also impacting what value we are actually transferring out. Someone may have spent $300 on something and by the time they get their bounty it is worth $50. Or it could be worth $60000. There is no way to tell until after the payments are given.

This, mixed with the lack of awareness as to what Devcoin is and what it offers I think are what is causing problems with getting people involved with picking up the bounties. There are a lot of them that I wish I could fulfill myself, but sadly my knowledge of these things is limited. To fix the problem, we really need to pay out bounties as soon as something is finished. Making people wait over two months, with no clue as to what is going to happen in the future, just does not cut it. I will be covering this a bit more in depth later on in an article related to the writing payments, but suffice it to say that I feel there are some problems here.

Creating Bounties and Determining Value

This sort of goes in line with the last two sections, regarding the fact that it should be us users that comprise the bulk of the bounties (with our own donations) and the pay out timing. So when we create a new bounty, we need to decide what it is worth. If we deem a programming task as being worth $10 and a Bitcoin is worth $10 at the time, we are saying that we should pay out 1 Bitcoin worth of Devcoins. But what happens tomorrow when that same Bitcoin is worth $20 and it takes the same number of Devcoins? Well, now we have an issue since we are paying out twice what the project is worth.

The price of any given bounty should be based on a dynamic scale. As the actual value of a Devcoin or share goes up and down, the amount offered for the bounty should as well. This ensures that the programmer does not lose value as they work on their project, but also saves the project from the person gaining significantly more value from it as well. What the person chooses to do with the Devcoins after they receive them is up to them; they can hold them and watch them increase in value if they choose. But the way the project handles the payments should be doing it in a static manner.

We do come up with some inherent problems with a system like this though. For example, how do we actually publicize the amount being paid out? Do we say x Devcoins or $x? Well, I think the best way to handle this would be a format like the following:

  • Create a rocket ship - $100 (13,192 DVC)

From here, the $100 would remain the same, but the number of Devcoins would keep fluctuating depending on their value at the time. If they went down in value by 50%, the payment would be twice what it is listed now. If they doubled, it would pay out half. In either of these cases, the person who gets them is earning the same amount: $100.

Why this is important. When we want people that are not part of the Devcoin community to take part and help us make it better (being that we may be limited in knowledge of certain things), we need to give them an incentive. Just offering up coins that may or may not lose value is not enough. If someone is normally earning $15 an hour at their job, they are likely not going to accept $10 worth of coins that may become worthless; they would rather just work at their job some more and get another $15 that is guaranteed. This is what we need to start offering people: a guaranteed pay rate. It protects both us and them, and should make both parties much more happy with the arrangement than what we are experiencing right now.

Conclusion

I sort of went off on a tangent about some other related items to bounties, but the point stands still: Devcoins are a form of currency and we need to start treating them like one. Just like we would not toss someone random amounts of cash to do what could be a little bit of work, we need to be careful with how many coins are are sacrificing. On top of this, since the crypto currency world fluctuates so much and is so volatile, we need to pay more attention to how much the coins are worth when we are paying them out. While this protects us when the value goes up, it would also protect the workers in case the volume goes down. When we do work we are doing it with the expectation that we will be earning a certain amount of money; taking away this assumption and leading us in to situations where we have no idea what we are earning is not the solution: it is the problem. This is a major wall that needs to be knocked down with regards to how Devcoin handles things before we can move forward and really start bringing on outsiders to help out with different things that need done. At the end of the day everyone has their price, and that price needs to be consistent. Take away the risk and people will be much more willing to take a stab at the project and see what they can accomplish. Then we all win!

Devcoin | Opinions


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