Colony for Co-Operations, a community of independent professionals



I have been following Colony for years and I am a big fan! I see plenty of potential in the platform. Among other things for an initiative I am working on myself.

Together with two partners, I am creating a community of independent professionals. Experienced freelancers, mostly with a background in the financial services industry. The main purpose of our community, called Co-Operations, is to help each other find interesting assignments and jobs. That is, this is the objective for the first phase. Once we have a solid community, we want to use Co-Operations as a platform for doing business together.

Inspired by Colony, we want to implement a (simple) system of incentives to be able to reward members for actions that create added value for our collective. We want to introduce ‘Co-Op Coins’ that members can earn by, for example, finding new Co-Operators, creating publicity for Co-Operations or by finding jobs and assignments. This will be the tasks. We put 5% of the turnover that is generated via Co-Operations in a joint piggy bank. Every year we distribute the amount that we have saved among the members, based on the Co-Op Coins that they have earned. So next to building a reputation, our members will earn money by doing tasks.

In my opinion, Colony can be a perfect infrastructure to mobilize the collective power of our community. Do you agree? Do you have any ideas and tips that we could use to encourage behavior that makes our community stronger and to prevent unwanted side effects?


Petrosjan Damen


Hi Petrosjan,

Interesting idea you have.

From what you described, it sounds like Colony might be a good fit.

Could you explain what you mean by this? Who is paying who in this scenario?


Hey Petrosjan!

This is actually very very similar to a project I was working on before I joined Colony! I wanted to create a worker’s cooperative for freelancers in SE Asia, and while doing research I found – I realized that the project was much better than anything I could create myself, and decided to contribute!

What you’re describing in terms of the turnover and shared funds is definitely a key functionality that works with Colony’s rewards cycle.

As Auryn was getting at, if you want to encourage the right behavior and prevent abuse and side effects, the devil is really in the details about how you set up your tasks to reward action. You can definitely import or create an ERC20 for the co-op coin, but it’s still up to you (and your team) to decide what kinds of work get rewarded, and how much of your internal token is paid out with every task.

This kinda thing is less a question about the technical side, but more about what your cooperative values and what the culture is. Which is not an easy question to answer!

P.S. tasks can pay out any number of ERC20 tokens, so you can reward your contributors in both money (Ether, DAI) and internal tokens (which give members reputation).


Hi Auryn,

Thanks for your reply.

Of all the revenue that our members earn through Co-Operations, 5% goes into a piggy bank. At the end of a year, we distribute that money among the members on the basis of the Co-Op Coins that they have earned. If someone owes an assignment to another member, the member in question pays another 5% of that turnover directly to that other member.

So there is a flow of money that runs between the members and a flow of money that goes through the central piggy bank. Is it a little clearer now?


Thanks a lot for your reply Gichiba! I fully agree that our values and culture need to be the basis of the rewards cycle. This Friday we will have a meeting with the first group of Co-Operators, members of our community, to determine the principles for our co-operation.

Are there already projects that have had concrete experiences with the Colony reward cycle? If that is the case, what lessons have they learned? I am very curious!


Interesting. So the co-op effectively charges its members a 5% fee for interacting with other members of the co-op, and then returns a relative percentage of that “revenue” to periodically to each member based on their co-coin holdings / reputation.

Is that right?

I’m not quite sure what you mean by this.


More or less. That will enable us to reward members for their contribution to our collective.


Just playing devil’s advocate here, what is to stop co-operative members from interacting directly in order to avoid that 5% fee?

It seems as if a fee structure like this might encourage members to transact with each other directly, outside of the co-op.


Say you have got two independent professionals. One professional (Co-Operator A) is looking for a new assignment and the other professional (Co-Operator B) helps him/her to get a new project. To reward Co-Operators B for this, Co-Operator A gives him/her 5% of the revenues involved. That is, 5% of the turnover that he/she receives with the assignment in question. We will limit this amount.


Ah ha! So kind of like a referral reward.
I help you land a contract/job/project, in return you pay me 5% of the reward for that contract/job/project.


Certainly that could happen. However, we want to experience whether it actually happens. We don’t feel like building in all kinds of controls. We want to work with the principle that it is up to the professional assessment of our members to determine whether they owe an assignment to Co-Operations. We mainly want to learn and experience how this works out.


Exactly! That is the less innovative part of our model.


Totally fair enough. I definitely appreciate the desire and will to experiment! Kudos


We mainly want to learn and experience how this works out.

That’s a good approach I think. What works for one org might not work for another, so best to just try and see if it works for you.

More importantly, we want to learn from you too! Please keep us posted on your experiments and reach out if you would like help setting anything up, or with thinking about how to structure domains and tasks to suit your org structure!