An economic protocol for scalable, ecological production

Basis enables a distributed productive system that limits externalities by aligning personal gain with social well-being

The Basis project is an answer to the question: "What comes after Capitalism?" The project enables a productive system that matches supply with demand without using profit, tracks production costs in a detailed way that allows adaptively pricing externalities based on collective knowledge, meets basic needs of participants, and preserves personal agency and autonomy. It does this without economic planning or authoritarian structures, being built from the ground up to be self-organizing.

How Basis works

Basis works by describing different types of economic entities (agents, resources, blocs) and defines the relationships and interactions between them. This includes profitless exchange between producers, detailed cost tracking, consumer purchases, methods for directing investment, and more.

The project's ultimate goal is to implement a scalable p2p (peer-to-peer) network that facilitates these interactions as well as allows interfacing with the existing market systems. This allows a steady and peaceful transition to a new economic model.

Producer network

The network Basis forms allows producers to order each other's products and services while automatically tracking labor, resource, and process costs. The transactions that happen in this network are transparent to all participants (with the exception of consumer purchases which are entirely confidential). This encourages cooperation and collaboration as a primary form of production while still supporting competition as a balancing force.

Ecological accounting

Basis replaces the concept of a price with separate collections of labor, resources, and processes. A chair no longer costs $35, but rather 4kg wood from a new growth forest in Oregon, 37 minutes of sawmill worker labor, 1.2 hours of trucker labor, 1.1L of diesel fuel, etc.

These costs are assigned to the products created by one company, and move with the product when it is ordered by another company. This matches inputs with outputs, completely eliminating the idea of profit.


2hr logger + 1hr trucker


200kg lumber + 6L diesel


refine(8L oil)

This cost tracking in disaggregate allows democratically assigning prices to certain resources and processes that are known to have harmful externalities, enabling prices for end products to be much more accurate. Allowing things like fossil fuels to be priced higher would increase the demand for less harmful energy sources.


The profit mechanism is replaced with a more intentful approach that balances the well-being of workers, the health of the environment, and consumer relationships. This is done using cybernetics, which determines producer performance in the absence of profit using the other available information in the protocol as a guideline. This allows automatic adjustment of the ongoing societal investment in a producer based on the demand for their products, the delta between their costs and their prices, etc. The cybernetics system can be thought of as a slow-moving gravitational pull toward benefiting society as a whole.


Credits (₡) in Basis are printed and paid as wages to workers and can be used for consumer purchases. Upon spending credits on consumer goods purchased from the producer network Basis forms, credits are destroyed. They do not circulate the economy and exist only outside the productive system. This creates a barrier around production which not only enforces its profitless nature but also allows for producers to price products separately from their cost without realizing those gains or losses directly, opening the pathway to new systems of value.

Basic income

Basic income is distributed to all participants periodically. Because the currency system is set up to not circulate the productive system, the basic income can be printed without taxation. Instead of taking from some and giving to others, it represents a social agreement that we are all productive to some extent, whether our wages reflect this or not. This not only acts as a simple safety net but also weakens the bond between productivity and economic survival, making the economy much more adaptable while also making a big shift towards free association.

Value systems

Severing the link between cost and consumption price allows for the use of different value systems. Maybe disabled people get much cheaper wheelchairs. Maybe we scrap currency altogether and try out a gift economy. However people wish to associate with each other in a productive sense is achievable in Basis because the currency and cybernetics systems can be adapted to fit many needs.

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Read the paper and find out how the protocol works in detail!