2,524 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
Neil Crofts, founder of CivilisedMoney. Crofts believes people-to-people technology offers a game-changing alternative to banks.
Let's start with money. Lots of people are pretty confused about money; some think it is "the root of all evil," others are obsessed with it. The reality is that money itself is simply a human invention designed to facilitate the exchange of energy between people.
I want some help from someone else, so I offer to pay them some money in exchange for their energy. In turn, I was paid that money in exchange for my energy. When I buy something from a shop, some of the money pays for the energy of the shopkeeper, some for the supplier, some for the manufacturer and so on.
Where it all goes wrong for money, and for people, is when the same money we use for exchanging energy is also used for gambling or control.
The problem with gambling (and by gambling I mean the stuff that happens in the City rather than what happens with the horses) with the same money that we use for living is that it makes its value unstable. If one group of people exchange their unit of currency for so many potatoes and another group of people gamble with the same currency, then they artificially vary the value of the money, making potatoes more expensive or less expensive for everyone else.
We believe that this is fundamentally wrong. Unfortunately, the situation is unlikely to be changed by either governments or banks.
At CivilisedMoney, we believe that money and people are both good. We believe that money can be used to enrich people, to create enterprises that sustainably support humanity and to enable people to lead happy and fulfilling lives. We believe that if you put the population in charge of the distribution of money it will go to the right places and help to create a sustainable and peaceful world.
We believe that by creating an alternative to traditional banks — one that allows people to opt out of the broken system — we can help to bring this about.
So we set up CivilisedMoney online, offering people to people, financial services that allow people to transact, invest, loan, borrow, and donate directly with each other at fair and transparent rates.
CivilisedMoney is designed to enrich people, particularly our customers. The richer our customers are, the better CivilisedMoney does. By contrast, regular banks profit by indebting their customers. It offers a genuine alternative to the banks and a path to go beyond our current financial system.
There are already some great reward-based crowdfunding companies out there like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo in the U.S. and Crowdfunder in the U.K. There are also some great people-to-people loan companies like Zopa and Ratesetter in the U.K. and Prosper in the U.S.
CivilisedMoney will offer all the people-to-people financial services products in one integrated service. It launches with both rewards-based and equity-based crowdfunding. People-to-people loans are coming next. It is developing new products too. CivilisedMoney aims to be a one-stop-shop for all your people-to-people financial products, creating a viable alternative to banks.
In addition, CivilisedMoney is owned by you. You can invest in and own CivilisedMoney, actively creating a new future of finance and sharing in the benefits of that success.
CivilisedMoney and people-to-people internet services give people the opportunity to come together to take positive steps to create a fresh financial future right now — one that is fair, transparent and without the expense of branches and big bonuses or the dangers of banks gambling with your money. It is simply people connecting directly, fairly and transparently.
We see a near future where CivilisedMoney and people-to-people technology will completely remove the need for the middlemen, the banks.
Neil Crofts is ex-head of strategy at internet consultancy Razorfish where he worked with financial services clients such as NatWest, Banca Mediolanum and Egg. After Razorfish, Crofts established his own consultancy dedicated to authenticity in business in 2001 and published three books on the subject. He has worked with clients such as Microsoft, Shell, Jamie Oliver, NHS, Good Energy, and has lectured at both the London Business School and London School of Economics.