What Is Ohm and Why Should I Care?
A Primer on Ohm and the Acts of Kindness (AoK) Platform
What is the meaning of value? What gives a currency its value, or anything for that matter? Is it a matter of necessity or perception? What if it’s both? Why does digital scarcity generate any tangible value with nothing more than supply and demand?
Ohm is something very different than other cryptocurrencies. The objectives of Ohm are aimed toward changing the world with positive, real-world acts of kindness while recognizing and rewarding those acts using a versatile cryptocurrency as the foundation for a technology platform designed to support those objectives. Using the supply and demand model for other cryptocurrencies, we intend to create a currency with a value associated to it not by digital scarcity, but driven by the need for acts of kindness and desire to fulfill them.
The value of Ohm is not just determined based on supply and demand like other currencies, both crypto and fiat alike, but is determined based on the value of an act of kindness, which for some, that act could be perceived as necessity. An elderly woman who doesn’t have the strength to carry her groceries to the door, has a need for assistance, whether it’s out of kindness or incentivized with a reward, she would be willing to reward someone for their assistance. There are two ways to look at how this woman will meet her need – she can offer a monetary reward in advance, or she can hope that someone offers their help for free. In either case, whether someone helps because of the money being offered up front or because they feel compelled to do it out of kindness, the end result is the same – the elderly woman had her need met, and the person doing it did so out of kindness and perceived the value of the act of helping without the need for reward, or they did so because their perceived value of the act was in the monetary reward. This represents two different types of mindsets that hold true for everyone – “service-to-self” and “service-to-others”. Some people are motivated by how they feel rewarded by helping others, including acts of kindness, and others are motivated for self gain, and we see this all the time within the pillars of humanity, in finance, law, medicine, technology, politics. We have learned that money in its current form is also used as a tool for manipulation and provides a path to corruption. Ohm has a goal of changing the world, and changing how currency is valued.
Without turning the discussion into one of economics, we will touch on the diamond-water paradox and why this is important to Ohm. We will use a reference from Adam Smith:
What are the rules which men naturally observe in exchanging goods for money or for one another, I shall now proceed to examine. These rules determine what may be called the relative or exchangeable value of goods. The word VALUE, it is to be observed, has two different meanings, and sometimes expresses the utility of some particular object, and sometimes the power of purchasing other goods which the possession of that object conveys. The one may be called “value in use;” the other, “value in exchange.” The things which have the greatest value in use have frequently little or no value in exchange; on the contrary, those which have the greatest value in exchange have frequently little or no value in use. Nothing is more useful than water: but it will purchase scarcely anything; scarcely anything can be had in exchange for it. A diamond, on the contrary, has scarcely any use-value; but a very great quantity of other goods may frequently be had in exchange for it.
Smith goes on to say:
The real price of every thing, what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.
Smith believed that value was really associated to effort needed to acquire something. His theory was more recently replaced by the marginal utility theory, which says that the marginal utility of a good is derived from its most important use to a person, so if someone possesses those goods, they will use them to satisfy some need or want, with necessity taking priority over desire.
The marginal utility of a good is derived from its most important use to a person. Naturally, the one that takes highest-priority to someone at the time is chosen. It basically means, that if I have 1 diamond and 1 glass of water, but I’m not dying of thirst, I’m going to part with the water before the diamond because I have the ability to acquire more water, but not more diamonds. The scarcity of diamonds and the supply and demand model then drive the value of diamonds up. If water and diamonds were equally ubiquitous and the value was perceived equal, one would find the “value in use” significantly greater for the water.
What Ohm intends to do is create a platform built on a currency that has both value in use, and value in exchange, as though the diamonds are made out of water. A currency that can be used in exchange for things needed and wanted as with any other currency, while also being used to drive actionable positive change in the world through acts of kindness, something that every human being needs. The value of a currency, especially a cryptocurrency, should not rest solely on its digital scarcity.
The Ohm Organization
Ohm was founded as a discussion in a chat program, Discord. A large group of like-minded people came together and shared a semi-unified vision of a cryptocurrency that opposes the status quo. Having a large, diverse group of people fueled ideas like pouring kerosene on top of a fire. A fork of a previous coin was made, and Ohm was born. What went from an idea birthed into something real, and things had to get real to keep it going. Ohm has gone through many changes to settle into the original vision that everyone had when it started.
Just as Ohm intends to change the world through acts of kindness, the principles apply to the organization itself. All of Ohm’s employees are volunteers, giving their time and energy with nothing expected in return. Most have been rewarded for their kindness by being given Ohm. Some have been paid in cash. Some have received nothing at all because they refuse to accept anything in pursuit of our goals. The purpose is to have an organization which reflects the same beliefs we are trying to uphold through the currency and the community we are trying to build. No one person in Ohm is better or greater than another, and in order for the organization to be successful, there are some key tenets that must be upheld.
- Mutual respect for one another and each other’s domains of expertise and experience, regardless of position. Everyone wants to do their part, but they can’t do everyone else’s too. Let the artist be the artist. Let the marketing person be the marketing person. If the marketing person is trying to market cryptocurrency but doesn’t know the subject, they will have to listen to someone who does and work with in a respectful way. One must respect that someone else who is a master of their domain should be responsible for helping others to become masters of theirs, so don’t throw sand in each others’ sandboxes. The golden rule still applies, to treat others like you expect to be treated. Failure to uphold this always results in someone who wants to otherwise be there, leaving the organization. As a group just trying to start, people coming and going is to be expected to some extent, and it can be both good and bad.
- We are all volunteers. Ohm is not keeping lights on or paying bills. One day, we hope that Ohm is valuable enough to allow people to pursue this as their passion full time and still be able to keep the lights on. Even as a volunteer, a commitment and dependability is needed to be successful. As little as an hour a week is enough as long as you commit to it and can be depended on to accomplish small tasks.
- There are still going to be people who just want to make money. The lure of cryptocurrency will draw people in who are opportunists and just want to earn some new coins and hope it is the next bitcoin. While we aspire to be a valued cryptocurrency, it is not the purpose for what we do.
Creating an organization almost purely online with virtual presence and remote volunteers all over the world creates challenges in itself aside from managing a company or any other organization. As a young organization, Ohm has overcome several of these challenges and realizes there are more to overcome.
Ohm and The AoK Platform
The Ohm Platform and Organization is premised on showing the value of acts of kindness and how even the smallest acts can be more valuable than any sum of money. Using cryptocurrency as a means to promote a token of value while challenging the value of other cryptocurrencies that derive their value purely from digital scarcity, we intend to build a technology platform that is capable of self-sustaining a community of users and followers that want to earn rewards, similar to existing point-based reward systems today. Instead of points, we will reward with cryptocurrency with a goal of having 100% of Ohm coins circulated and owned through verified acts of kindness. In order to circulate the coins, promote the platform and the acts of kindness, and build the community and platform technology, we will have to use existing cryptocurrency platforms and exchanges as a means to circulate the currency initially. The Aok Platform is comprised of the technology components and applications that will be needed to accomplish these goals.
Those that are interested in earning Ohm but may not be the types that perform many acts of kindness without it advancing an objective of their own (service-to-self), may see the acts of kindness they are being asked to perform as a trivial opportunity to earn a new cryptocurrency. Those that are interested in acts of kindness but don’t believe they should be rewarded for them (service-to-others), we want to embrace and pay tribute to by recognizing the positive impact they have on the people and world around them by rewarding them with Ohm. Both types are helping to achieve the objective of spreading kindness into the world, but there is a profound side-effect on those that are purely opportunity seekers mentioned previously. It has been shown that over time, the more the opportunists are exposed to committing acts of kindness and the natural rewards that come with them, start to care less about the money or opportunity for themselves. Instead, they become more like the second group where they become more interested in simply being kind. Cryptocurrency, and its large appeal, provides a path for Ohm to not only make a positive impact in the world by earning it through acts of kindness, but to also influence people who may be less kind or giving, to do more of it once they feel the direct benefits of doing so, even if it has to be incentivized initially. Over time, the Aok Platform could have as significant an impact as Facebook has, but in an entirely different way. As these acts of kindness continue to spread, and people earn more Ohm, the currency will naturally be distributed and instead of the value of the currency being based purely on supply, demand and scarcity, it will be based partially on the value the rest of the world places on acts of kindness. What is a kind act really worth? What would the value be to you if it was something done for your brother, sister, children, husband, wife, mother or father? A kind act, depending on the perceived need, might be something you’d throw five dollars to someone for having helped you, or there might not be enough money to reward how important it is. Would you give someone a few bucks for stopping to help you change a tire? What would you give the same person if they stopped and pulled you out of a burning car that you were tapped in? Both of them are genuine acts of kindness, but how do you determine the difference in value? This is a difficult question to answer. There is however a consensus that these types of acts are valuable, and the AoK Platform wants to capture how valuable they are and recognize those individuals as agents for change.
The platform will be composed of several applications, which are segmented as follows:
- A node / daemon.
- A wallet or set of wallets for different operating systems.
- A REST API to communicate with a daemon.
- A website for promotion of the wallets and platform.
- A website community for submitting, upvoting and monetizing (with Ohm) acts of kindness and subscribing to topics of interest.
- Mobile applications to participate in the community and submit evidence of acts of kindness.
- A REST API to allow game companies and other entities to reward positive acts with Ohm.
The purpose of the platform as a whole is the overarching objective, which is to change the world one act of kindness at a time while also supporting the decentralization of the financial world that has concentrated most things of value into the hands of a few. Ohm would be a testament to whether or not people believe in the value of kindness.
The daemon is the most essential starting point for the platform. A bitcoin daemon, or in this an Ohm daemon, operates on the heart of the blockchain. The Ohm blockchain starts with creating a genesis block, and the daemon is responsible for querying and updating that blockchain. It provides a JSON interface using RPC commands, which aren’t web-friendly. It also does not have a user interface other than a command line, which is why the platform also needs an API and a wallet. The API provides a secure interface to communicate with the daemons / nodes, and the wallets provide a graphical user-interface to interact with an internal version of the daemon. The core code that is used for the daemon is also used for the wallets.
The wallet is a graphical representation of the daemon. Since the daemon operates off of a copy of the Ohm blockchain, so does the wallet. The wallet creates a copy of the blockchain based on the genesis block and another node or daemon on the Ohm blockchain to someone’s computer or device, and the same code that the daemon would use as a node, is the same code the wallet uses to work on the blockchain. The wallet provides a way for someone interested in holding or exchanging Ohm, to create a private key that secures their identity on the blockchain and allows them to start sending, receiving and minting (staking) Ohm. Their identity is secure based on the private key they used, and anonymous from a blockchain perspective. They could then generate public address to send Ohm to other Ohm owners, or use it to participate on cryptocurrency exchanges. The wallet is a secure way to manage the Ohm cryptocurrency on any device it’s deployed to.
The REST API
In order to interact with a daemon, RPC-JSON structured calls are used. These calls are not made using web-based protocols such as HTTP or HTTPS and are difficult to secure in a manner that doesn’t compromise the daemon and therefore, the blockchain. To accomplish this, a REST API that is JSON based and mirrors the RPC calls is needed as a pass through proxy to the daemon. The API also allows additional security to be implemented using mechanisms such as API keys, public and private key pairs, username and password combinations, OAuth, and other proven security methodologies. This prevents unauthorized access to the daemon and allows there to be an audit trail of what web-based access is used to view and manipulate the blockchain. It also provides a way to separate out which applications are accessing the API and for what purpose, so the API acts as a gateway and helps secure the platform and mitigate risks. This is a critical component to provide services that can be accessed from web and mobile applications and will be central to almost all of the services that the platform is envisioned to provide. Over time, the API can evolve and be extended to support other services that are not blockchain related but are key to delivering value to the other AoK components and objectives.
The main website will be used to establish the presence of Ohm on the web with an overview and explanation of what Ohm and the AoK platform is, along with the goals and objectives of the platform and the organization. It will include a reference to the Ohm blog, which will provide news and updates on Ohm and AoK as well as other relevant cryptocurrency and blockchain news. There will be references to other social media presence for Ohm such as Twitter and Facebook. Any partnerships or strategic alliances with other entities will be listed on the website and there will be links to the other AoK services, such as the Ohm Block Explorer. The goal of the website is to drive interest and participation, and ultimately to have users download a wallet. The wallet is integral to distributing the currency and building a base of users that are interested in investing in Ohm and the AoK platform, so the goal of the website is to drive the interest toward downloading and installing one.
MISSION AND PURPOSE SUMMARY
1. The mission of OHM is to educate the public about the benefits of sustainable, socially impactful and environmentally friendly (green) economic systems, while promoting creativity, socio-technical innovation, and positive action via experimental platforms which recognize and reward individual and collective activities consistent with these values. In support of this mission, OHM will manage a global digital currency called OHM, based on the principle that money should serve the public good. Through gradual and subtle effect, OHM seeks to inspire change in the world through incentivized positivity; revolutionizing proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain technology through interactive and experimental utilitarian platforms. Specifically, OHM upholds these values:
a. The money supply and the creation and distribution thereof should be governed democratically at the local, national, and international levels, independent of government institutions, for-profit banking systems, or central intermediaries.
b. Money is not inherently evil and should be utilized as a means to promote and engage humanitarian, environmental, and economically sustainable initiatives on an individual and global scale.
c. Assisting humanity and bettering the world should be recognized as containing value, representative of collective improvement, and individuals or entities who engage in such creative or beneficial enterprises should be rewarded for their contributions.
d. OHM maximizes efficiency by allowing individuals to control the ownership and distribution of their currency through utilization of secure, efficient, and lightweight PoS (Proof of Stake) blockchain technology, yielding self-referential systems which empower the individual maintenance of identity and asset-control.
d. OHM seeks to engage individuals in novel and experimental methods for earning cryptocurrency, developing and maintaining ARG (Alternate Reality Game) systems and social media platforms incentivizing goodwill (Acts of Kindness).
2. OHM shall study technological, legal, humanitarian, environmental, and economic issues pertaining to the management, utility, and creation of a global digital currency as described in section 1 above, and shall formulate and execute plans for related projects and products.
3. OHM shall represent the OHM Movement for monetary democracy, economic sustainability, creative expansion, and incentivized positivity at the international level.
- Revolutionize the blockchain industry by providing alternative means for earning decentralized currency via:
- Acts of Kindness (AOK) Social Platform: a unique platform which provides individuals a space in which they may share their positive actions with the world. In return, each user will be rewarded for community-approved and verified positive actions. Rewards will be in the form of general accolade and specific digital currency (OHM). This platform will enable individuals to be rewarded for positive deeds which they may already be performing, and serve as an example for others to perform in a similar fashion – benefitting humanity as a whole, one “Act of Kindness” at a time. With each rewarded act a ledger expands and an interactive means for exploring humanity at it’s finest is initiated.
- Implementation of RFID and mobile blockchain PoS technology: development of cloud-based applications which provide real-world, geocache “minting” experiences; providing digital currency with a tangible asset and functionality.
- Utilization of Alternate Reality Games: Through experimental provisions OHM seeks to use alternative methods to deliver experiential education to the public via management, design, and implementation of ARG style storytelling. Use of ARG’s enables global activity and participation in OHM, INC’s agenda: to improve reality.
- Engage in charitable activities: To repurpose blockchain technology to provide automated means of donation, i.e., transaction fees equate to an amount donated to a specific cause.
- Partner with other charitable organizations: Following the solidification of OHM’s technology and presence in the cryptocurrency marketplace, OHM seeks to partner with like minded organizations and individuals who seek to better the world.