Simbi Community Letter #7: What IS Simbi, really?

February 2022  Community Letter

Hello Simbians!

As February arrives and the days begin to get longer, most of us are still pretty much in hibernation mode. Simbi’s marketplace for mutual aid continues to grow organically, with remote deals comprising most member activity – take a look at the community’s recent stats on our Economy page (requires login).

Because the Simbi platform runs on a digital currency called “simbi credits,” and given the exciting (and volatile) rise of cryptocurrency markets in recent years, lots of people wonder how Simbi fits into the emerging picture of “DeFi” (“decentralized finance”). The short answer is: at least for now, it doesn’t.

One of our primary goals as an organization is to ensure that simbi credits represent real productive/helpful human capacity, which becomes impossible once simbi credits can be bought and sold directly for dollars (or other dollar-convertible digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies). It’s definitely true that the drawbacks of this intentional limitation are significant. Primarily, they are: 1) simbi credits only have meaning for members of the Simbi community, and 2) Simbi can’t fundraise by selling its own tokens.

But, the benefits are crucial to the long-term success of Simbi’s mission. Whatever potential is lost in speculative profitability for any particular individual is gained back many times over in the ability for members of our community to trust each other. On Simbi, no one gets rich quick; an accumulation of credits comes from an accumulation of good deeds, and no one benefits from tricking, over-selling, or out-negotiating others. And finally, Simbi’s continued status as an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity relies on rabidly preserving our core community ethos of mutual aid and volunteership.

There are many important reasons for simbi credits to only operate within the existing Simbi community. And, for now, the much-faster-and-less-costly databases we use to run the Simbi economy work just fine. So we’re not rushing to put Simbi on a blockchain or put simbi credits on exchanges, and would only take these routes if it allowed us to maintain our community development goals fully without sacrifice.

At the same time, just because Simbi lives outside of the “DeFi” ecosystem doesn’t mean we begrudge anyone who dove right in and did well! We gratefully accept tax-deductible cryptocurrency donations through a partner which converts them back to dollars for us!

We hope this explanation provided some useful background about how Simbi is structured to achieve our nonprofit mission! In next month’s Community Letter: member survey results!

Simbi’s web platform platform, and the non-speculative community currency that drives our symbiotic mutual aid economy, will always be free for individuals to join and use.
That being said, there are some things we aren’t able to trade skills for, such as web hosting, and other monthly expenses that can be seen on our Operational Expenses page. As a nonprofit organization, we are deeply appreciative of all ongoing financial support we receive from our member community, and please keep in mind, all donations are tax deductible!

Reminder: send simbi credits directly!

Simbi members can now send credits directly to other members, no negotiation required! It works a lot like Venmo or PayPal, but within the Simbi community. The memo line you add for the payment will even create a request listing in your account that you can re-use later! Let us know what you think!
Give it a try:
For more, see our blog or changelog!
Supporters keep Simbi growing!
Becoming a recurring donor is the most impactful gesture of support Simbi members can make. Special thanks to new Supporter in January Marcus
To become a Simbi Supporter, just activate the mega-badge on your profile to get started!
Volunteer badge
Wanna get involved?
Volunteer now!
Volunteers keep Simbi going!
As a small non-profit organization, Simbi relies on volunteers to operate! Connect with other volunteers on our new Discord Server (current member count: 31) to let us know how you can help Simbi move forward!
Simbi is also on Simbi! Check out our current volunteer requests to see how your skills could help improve the Simbi experience for everyone in the community, and get some simbi credits to spend!
That’s it for now! New year, same dedication to building sustainable networks of mutual credit & mutual aid! As always, reach out any time with questions or ideas to!
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