Charting FERMAT’s Next Leap Forward
Fermat, the decentralized, open-source project is fueling a movement called the “Internet of People (IoP),” has released a new distributed governance model inspired by the cryptocurrency known as Dash. It features an embedded voting system, which includes community-cancelable contracts.
Launched in April 2016, Fermat is building an infrastructure with a global map of everyone within the community with verified proof of how they are related. Fermat’s vision is to facilitate direct device-to-device communication, independent of any entity or web server. Data will be stored on end user devices and applications will be built to interact with each other directly and will be enabled via Person-to-Person apps as part of a new IoP technological paradigm.
Over the course of 2016, Fermat has successfully built and implemented an IoP token blockchain, distributed mining software, and IoP Wallets. The key innovation at the blockchain level is its unique mining model where licenses are issued to Fermat local chapters.
In August of 2016, the company released an important white paper targeting key elements of this IoP movement along with a call for participation among interested stakeholders.
Founder Luis Molina, a native Argentinian, began his career at the Latin America-based Kepler Technology, where he developed financial industry software targeting security and scalability for banking systems. During his time at Kepler, he assisted banks and other institutions in making a transition to Windows software, advancing one of the first mission-critical systems made with Microsoft technology. In the years 2000, he founded Frame Labs, a company specializing in internet banking systems and security consultation.
It was while living in Dubai in 2013 that Luis discovered Bitcoin and its potential to disrupt many of society’s inefficient systems. Shortly thereafter in 2014, Luis established Fermat, to build on the concept of the P2P economy and the Internet of People – a movement that now encompasses several continents.
Says Molina about this most recent development involving distributed governance:
“Fermat’s graphchain technology enables both a global mapping of everybody with verified proof of how they are related and also people to people and company to people interactions without going through intermediaries. To achieve this as a decentralized, open source project, we need a sound distributed governance system, one which includes what we call Contribution Contracts.”
Fermat’s contribution contracts element enables any individual or entity interested in offering their services, whether that is software development, marketing or business development support, to submit a proposal to the community of token holders.
Each token holder is then able to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on each contractor submission, ultimately accepting or declining proposals. Contracts that payout over time can also be terminated by the network after being accepted, a feature that incentivizes proposal owners to communicate and continuously prove value publicly effectively. A mobile app used by both contributors and community allows members to discuss contribution contracts in detail.
In order to record both the contribution contracts submitted and the votes cast by community members, the blockchain is used as an immutable database. Projects supported by the community are funded by the blockchain, which automatically allocates a portion of newly minted tokens to the contributors responsible for the execution of these projects.
“At the beginning, only token holders may vote. In the future, it is our aim that the system will evolve to include reputation of the participants and will consider their voting history and project outcomes,” added Molina.
Since its inception and due to its sophistication, Fermat has attracted recognized global experts to the project. Senior advisor Guillermo Villanueva is currently designing phase three of the governance system. Twenty-five years ago Villanueva designed, implemented and sold his own core banking system throughout several countries in Latin America. Following this, he held a variety of roles at Microsoft before founding Grupo Sabra, a company specializing in software business solution development and implementation, where he currently serves as Managing Partner.
“Phase three of our governance system is about communities, identity, and reputation. Once released, it will allow us to govern a large project such as Fermat, which is, in turn, a set of different inter-related communities, but it will also offer governance, identity, and reputation as a service for decentralized applications,” said Villanueva.
Today, the Fermat project’s mining community boasts over 80 national and regional chapters worldwide, all of which have been established to mine IoP tokens in a highly decentralized way. Every continent is covered by these chapters, encompassing nearly all European countries and several US states.