About Eco

We are a growing team of engineers, creators, economists, researchers, and activists. We started Eco to solve fundamental limitations in existing payment systems.

FAQ

How is Eco different from other payment platforms?

Existing payment networks have inefficient fee structures that impose additional costs of all of us. For example, it doesn’t make sense that we pay the same relative transaction fee at Starbucks as we do for a much more expensive one-time purchase online. They are designed for compliance at the expense of security, captive to the banking system, and are “closed” to capture your data.

Eco is designed to go beyond these limitations. Eco is an open source payment platform with transparent policies and shared governance, designed for global reach. Eco is not an app; it is a new standard for digital payments.

How will Eco benefit users, compared to existing payment solutions?

Eco is designed from ground up to be easy to use and open source, with transparent user policies (you control your data and know how it’s used), dynamic risk pricing (honest users should pay less over time) and with network fees that are only related to services users opt into (rather than opaque gatekeeper fees that you are forced to bear). This means merchants and individuals using Eco can trust that their transactions are as efficient and economical as possible, with transactions fees significantly less than any existing payment networks, which will decrease even more as the system grows.

What do you mean by governance?

Above we refer to “transparent policies” and “shared governance.” There are two important concepts of governance in the Eco system. First, with respect to Eco as a new payment standard adopted by others, the system will have transparent and consistent internal policies that consumers, merchants, developers and partners will subscribe to. Second, as a new self-contained payment economy, Eco will be governed by an independent body tasked with managing and adapting to the state of the economy. In both cases, Eco governance will be by established domain experts in technology, payments and economics. These groups will be comprised of members reflective of distribution in the Eco user base, to ensure policies are fair and transparent to users.

How will the Eco economy be governed?

Eco is creating a non-profit foundation that will coordinate the Eco Council. Eco Council members (“Trustees”) will vote on variables within the Eco "payment economy" and other policy matters needed to manage user incentives and guarantee efficient and stable performance of the economy. Some overall system design decisions or changes will be subject to voting by the full network of Eco users. If you are an interested expert in economics, payments, monetary policy or governance, please contact us about collaborating or joining Eco.org.

How will universities be involved in Eco governance going forward?

Many of our early contributors and interested governance partners come from NGOs or academic institutions. We believe this is critical to ensure a diverse set of expert contributors, to create a global council appropriately balances undue corporate or political bias. We have a number of early partners engaged in this effort, and we are always expanding the group of contributors with more experts from research universities around the world. If you are interested in participating, please contact us.

If Eco is reliant on a certain group of partners or stakeholders for governance, how will the system become fully distributed?

Economic governance in Eco is designed to be delegated to a diverse and representative set of expert Trustees, but these Trustees are accountable to a publicly auditable voting record, and Trustee seats may be removed or filled by the broader user base in the future.

Eco will start with a smaller curated set of trusted partners, but Eco, Inc. will not have actual or constructive control over this group. From there, in accordance with growth in Eco payment volume and user base, the network enables self-governance amongst a growing number of trustees. Addition and removal of Trustees happens by user voting processes. Thus Eco governance will remain distributed as the system is used by more people, to ensure that no single individual, organization or nation has disproportionate control over the network and system resilience is high.

When will I be able to use Eco?

Eco is currently testing a working prototype, and running on a functional testnet that has undergone a comprehensive third-party security audit. We are inviting beta testers over the coming months, if you’d like to help us test the Eco payment platform, please sign up as an interested user or merchant. We anticipate the platform will be openly available for users and merchants in early 2020.