Ninux and AMMBR

A few days ago, ninux people were asked to participate in the future experimentation with the devices that AMMBR.com will (hopefully!) produce, starting 2018. We had a discussion in which different positions emerged, but before that, it is worth to introduce AMMBR.com (or at least what we understood of it :-)).

AMMBR is a project that will start an ICO to raise funds to realize a modular hardware device with initially two functions, the first is to create a mesh network in order to share Internet access, the second is to build a cryptocurrency network that can be exchanged between the network nodes. The idea of putting a cryptocurrency on top of a community network was already proposed, and also other projects are trying to achieve it. In principle, it can help solving a problem that every CN has, that is to define the value of the network. This is useful both internally and externally: in the first case, it helps understanding who is doing what, spot cases in which one person is taking too much control of the network, and recognize also the work that non-technical people are doing in the community. When the value of the network (and the cost that is necessary to keep it running) is known, then micro-transactions can be used to recognize who is doing what and help a balanced growth of the network. Typical example is when someone’s node becomes too important for the network but this person neither has the skills or the time to maintain it, other people can crowdfund its maintenance with currency, with personal effort, or any other way. If we have a way to quantify and track all these efforts, it is easier to encourage a balanced participation and avoid concentration of power and alleviate the so-called participation fatigue (people that burn out after too much involvement). In the second case, the value of the network can help explain how important is the network to people outside of it, this is something that the Guifi.net people have been doing quite well in the past years, but their model is so advanced that is not easily replicable. In principle, for these things there is not even need for real money, it could even be a closed system.

Our understanding of AMMBR is that a cryptocurrency could be used to make these things transparent, beyond the basic scenario in which small transactions are used to trade coins for bandwidth. For these reasons we are interested in the AMMBR model, and some people in our community (distributed in three islands in the South and center of Italy) gave their interest in participating to the experimentation. One way could be to place AMMBR nodes in some places where ninux nodes are present.

Of course, we are not inside AMMBR, so we can’t guarantee on its approach. From the information we have, it seems that the whole system will be open source and the hardware will have an open design.

One component, the chip that produces the crypto-currency will be kept proprietary. This is a negative side of it, but we were assured that this component can be replaced and the rest is fully open do  it’s a trade-off we can accept.

Summing up, people in the ninux community are ready to experiment with AMMBR, in a way we will decide when the products are available, if the following conditions are respected:

  • the software stack is open source
  • the hardware will be open, or can be replaced with other hardware

Remember that ninux does not have a centralized, legal representative. Every person is independent, so we can not “sign” any agreement as the ninux community. If AMMBR is interested in involving us, we will have to find a way to stimulate the community to take some commitment on it.

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