It is our goal to use BitCoin's unique infrastructure to implement a fair, transparent and secure voting method in combination of a unique way of pooling the BitCoins of many (or few) individuals toward common goals. Please click on the About link to the left for more information about BitPools.
We are currently in Beta stage so please be patient. Please Contact us with any bugs or suggestions you may have.
BitPools, put simply, is a way of pooling your money with other people. In a broader sense, it allows for moving projects forward using your money as your biggest voice on voting for how things are done. The concept could be as simple as a family pooling their money for a gift to a community coming together to fund a park. The possibilities are endless and our goal is to provide the vehicle toward achieving whatever needs to be done to get your project completed.
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency based upon an open-source, peer-to-peer internet protocol. It is through Bitcoin's unique features that BitPools will allow for achieving many things that have not been possible until today. With the ability for each person to transparently display the amount of bitcoins they currently possess and the security, anonymity and transparency behind the Bitcoin protocol, there is no need to worry about a third party holding your money while a project goes through its many stages before funding is required, and you will not need to trust a third party to count your votes when decisions need to be made.
Whether you are a small group of people trying to fund a small project or a large group of people with big goals in mind, BitPools offers an easy way to get involved and grow a project from a simple idea to a final ending. You may have heard the term crowdfunding at some point, someone will come up with an idea and ask people for money to fund his or her project. A website will collect people's money and if that person gets enough funding the money will be transferred to that person and s/he will move forward toward executing their plan. BitPools is a bit different. While anyone can come up with an idea or a goal, it does not need to be completely hashed out right away, and you keep your money until you are satisfied with the final plan.
Someone could come up with a broad idea such as funding a group vacation for the members of an online community for example. Those who support the idea would simply sign up for that project by placing a minimum amount of bitcoins in your public bitcoin address and pledge those coins toward that goal. While you are not committed toward spending those coins on that project if the final decision is not something you agree with, you are not able to pledge those same coins toward any other projects while you have them currently pledged.
At that point, as a group, you can start deciding things such as where to stay, minimum cost, travel agency, length of time and dates, etc. Throughout the process voting may be done to determine the sentiment of the group until the point is reached where final proposals can be voted upon. There may be several different final choices and you do not necessarily have to put your money toward one you do not like. When a proposal comes forward for a vote, a pledge goal will be included. At this point you will vote with your money. If the pledge total is reached, the proposal will go forward. A new group will be created just for those who supported the proposal.
Those who did not support the decision can either stay in the current group with those who did not agree with the proposal or, if allowed by the proposal, pay to join the winning group (usually the same amount that was required by the other voters). Or you can unpledge your funds and move onto another project (your funds never left your wallet). The winning proposal will have their bitcoins transferred to the proposed location (funding source, escrow account, broker, etc.) and each group member may move forward in their new group and even have the opportunity to propose further goals.
Utilizing the Bitcoin network, voting can be done in a secure, anonymous and transparent manner which does not rely on a third party to count your votes. While your group is working on your project there may be times where you want a formal vote whether it is for choosing leaders or any other manner of important decision. For these small votes you will not be voting with your money, but will still be using bitcoins to do so. When the vote is proposed, each group member will be given a unique bitcoin address for each proposed option (several leaders, group bylaws, etc.). The proposal will include a deadline to get the votes in.
At that point, each member will send a small refundable transaction (also determined in the proposal) to the address of their choice. Before the vote all bitcoin addresses and their corresponding vote option will be encrypted in a file and will be made available to all group members. Once the deadline has passed, the password to decrypt the file will be made available as well as an automatic tally of the votes. Anyone will then be able to verify through the encrypted file and password that the tally is correct.
The anonymity of the Bitcoin network allows people to send bitcoins to any address without anyone knowing where the money came from (caveat: there are ways of tracking the source of transactions but this can be easily overcome if you are truly worried about your vote being discovered).
One of Bitcoin's most intrinsic values is its security. With more computer power being spent on securing the Bitcoin network than any other computer process in the world, Bitcoin offers the best vehicle for secure, anonymous, transparent voting. All of this with very little overhead.
For the larger votes you will actually be voting with your pledged funds. Someone will propose a vote by the group members with the money going toward the final destination for the funds. This will consist of several options. It could be a Bitcoin address where the money is to be spent either for a service or a product or anything that is not in any way connected to the BitPools network. Or you will have the option of using an escrow service or a broker for more complex proposals. You may want an escrow service for something like serveral retailers pooling their money to purchase a large order through a wholesaler. The escrow service could take the bitcoins and convert them to the currency of the wholesaler and put the order through. A broker or contractor could be used for larger projects such as putting together subcontractors to get something built (website, park, software, TV ad, etc). The funds would go to the broker with the proposed agreement.
If the proposal fails to achieve enough votes, and thus enough funding, then all funds will be returned to the public addresses of those who voted. This allows for further proposals and further votes until the best possible outcome is achieved. Nobody is forced to spend their money on something they do not agree with and when a proposal is finally successful it is supported by all of those who fund it.
For those who do fund the proposal, a new group is created for that group. This allows that group to move forward together to communicate the progress of the project and to be involved in follow up projects. If allowed (as part of the proposal), new members will be allowed to join the group. In most cases, those new members will be required to submit the minimum amount that was funded by the other members in order to achieve this vote. This amount is then either put toward the project or distributed to the members in a way that was included in the proposal.
As the BitPool network grows, the voting structures available to groups will grow too. Each group may come up with their own voting structures and hierarchies which they find best suits their needs. This will allow for like minded people to move forward together in the way that they feel the most comfortable. But no BitPool user will be forced to spend their money for anything they do not agree to spend their money on. There will always be the choice to spend your money however you wish because you will always be in control of your funds at all times.
BitPools will be working with many trusted companies and individuals in the Bitcoin community to provide escrow and broker/contractor services. Each service provider will be vetted and have a rating system so that you will be able to trust where your group's money is going if you require such services to achieve your final goals.
Services will be able to provide quotes before final proposals go forward and, if necessary, may be bound by non-disclosure agreements.
It is the goal of the BitPools network to make available the best and most trustworthy service providers so we will encourage competition and as many choices to group members as possible.