The funding will need to pay for people to operate the system, unless it is operated by volunteers. By “funding” here, we are talking about the needs of the system itself, not the projects, which are funded by their sponsors, using the system.
Our instance is a mix of both. We are primarily volunteers (entirely at the moment) and we are setting up a hosting service to cover the IT needs and hopefully provide enough profit to pay people as well. This way we provide an example of both methods of service provision.
Ideally the hosting service will pay its staff and then those staff will be able to run the system as “volunteers” similar to a corporate responsibility program. Without that work the hosting service has no unique value proposition so it’s in everyone’s best interest to do it and the service will obviously regard “volunteering” as part of the job.
Once the system is open source, people can choose any method to fund their efforts. A wealthy indidvidual could fund their own system entirely. Likewise a tech-savvy person could operate one without great expense.
In our example, satoshihost might only make enough profit to cover our initial pilot project, or it might do well and be able to fund many such projects. The requirement for the accounts to be open makes it extremely difficult for anyone to abuse this if it got bigger, because such abuse would cause the users to go elsewhere. In any case, if it does get bigger, it will automatically be limited because others will copy it.
It’s crucial that the funding of the system is kept outside of the system itself and 100% of donors money is direct to a recipient individual. Anything less is a slippery slope.
The possibilities are limitless.
- An IT company could run its own project
- Another company could pay an IT provider to run one for it.
- Someone could simply fundraise to set up their project. We will have BTCPay (with its crowdfunding system) so can help with that.
Directsponsor.org could provide some kind of “standards body” with its Articles of Association so that users could have somewhere to complain to if dodgy stuff was happening. Others may create their own standards body. We can use webs of trust (as does PGP) as we grow as a way to secure user confidence, though that is mainly provided by the system itself requiring direct proofs in return for direct sponsorship.