Contribution Accounting System

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Published on April 29, 2011, edited by Tibi, Kurt, Ishan, Ian, Francois, and Steve. See original doc, last modified on Oct 14, 2012 before content was moved here.

Work on the value system is hosted on github. We are using REA (for Resources, Events and Agents) designed by Bill McCarthy of Michigan State University (See more on Bill McCarthy’s website). See a prototype HERE.

See Screenshots of the new Contribution Accounting System of Sensorica

See latest demo video March 2014.

More on NRP-CAS


The contribution accounting system (CAS) is an IT tool for commons-based peer production or peer production. At the network level, it describes flows of resourcesthe amalgamation of resources and contributions into something.

Contributions are evaluated and a Benefit redistribution algorithm is used to turn them into benefits, including fluid equity. The production and the resulting benefits is attributed to its creators.

The CAS is NOT a currency system, it is not a system of exchange. It keeps track of how contributions amalgamate into artifacts (can be products or services), infrastructure, social goods, etc. It keeps a record of who is doing what (role), how well (reputation) and how much (value) in a particular venture. Its output is a normalized distribution benefits, including fluid equity for a particular venture. If goods and services are created to be exchanged on the market, the CAS helps redistribute the revenue.

The CAS reappropriates labour, which is a major departure from capitalism. In capitalism, labour becomes a commodity. In a corporation for example, the worker exchanges his labour against wage. This transaction dispossesses the worker of the fruits of his own labour. In other words, the owner of capital owns the production of all workers. The CAS allows peers to turn their labour into fluid equity and thus to own the future revenue generated from the products they co-produce.

The NRP-CAS embodies tangible/extrinsic incentives. It allows redistribution of benefits to participants in ventures. Moreover, the NRP-CAS incentivizes collaboration by reducing the risk. If someone creates a venture and asks for collaboration but there is no documentation, no sharing of designs, or R&D processes, or of recipes (manufacturing script with bill of materials), other affiliates of the OVN might grow reluctant to participate, because the venture becomes too dependent on its initiator or main facilitator. If this affiliate leaves the OVN, no one can continue the work. Therefore, past investment is lost or eventual benefits are delayed. Proper documentation and logging into NRP-CAS reduces the risk for investment (in time, $, materials, and other), because it insures continuity of the venture in case the initiator or main facilitator leaves.

About value

See more on Value

Interpretations of the CAS

The interpretation of the actual version of the CAS is not settled yet.

CAS and potential of value

{Contact Tibi for more, proposed in a discussion about Social capital}

One can argue that nothing logged in NRP-CAS is valuable a priori. A prototype that someone physically assembles today and is logged in NRP-CAS and linked to different types of contributions (time, $, etc,) can end up never being used by the community, never cited, entirely forgotten. One way to see it is that something is valuable if it finds its way into other things. But nothing has is priori valuable, no matter how tangible or real it is. We can legitimately use an interpretation according to which NRP-CAS is only about potentials. Nothing has been marketed as valuable in the OVN's NRP-CAS until now. It only contains logged contributions. According to this new interpretation of the NRP-CAS we can say that things that are already linked together, these things that are used/consumed/cited in other things, are valuable or are in the process of becoming valuable. In other words, value in the system becomes actualized when resources (created through contributions) are linked together, value is actualized by the edges of the network of resources. But to quantify further (it's always a relative quantity set in comparison with other things) we need another process, and a part of that is subjective.

General layout of the value accounting system


As developed by Bob and Lynn, in collaboration with Tibi, Francois and other Sensorica affiliates.

OVN-OS stands for Open Value Network Operating System.

Other ways to refer to it are: Open Value Network infrastructure (OVNi), Network Resource Planning (NRP), of simply Contribution Accounting System (CAS).

Contributions log

The contributions log system assists affiliates in recording/logging contributions. One expects rewards (revenues) after the production/creation process, after efforts have been deployed. Fair redistribution of revenue, if based on authority ranking, i.e. if meritocratic, i.e. if in proportion to everyone’s contribution, which arrives at a time in the future, requires information on past contributions, risk levels, etc.. It is very important to record enough information about involvement, participation, contributions, even before formalizing the revenue redistribution scheme.

Contributions can be in time (which is complemented by a description of activities/tasks performed and skills required), money (spent in a particular venture), a virtual or physical space (for a given activity within a given venture), materials (including tools/instruments), access to resources or to the market (using social capital), etc.

Contributions have quantities AND qualities associated with them.

The NRP-CAS is organized to map formal ventures, some of which may have a direct path to market, i.e. resulting in products/services that will be exchanged on the market and generate revenues. Revenue and acknowledgement are extrinsic incentives. The value system also contains other categories/projects/ventures which don't have a traced path to a particular market. These are exploratory projects/ventures or passion-driven projects/ventures (see section on Integrating a gift economy within a value network).

Read about Sensorica's first contribution log system.

Evaluation of contributions

How different types of contributions are evaluated. This system has an objective part, which relies on some metrics, and a subjective part, which relies on negotiation. See more on The evaluation system

Back office catalog

Assigns value to deterministic, recurrent back office tasks. See the Back office catalog page.

(for continuous contributions)


Describes how different types of contributions are amalgamated into a single deliverable. The output is the fluid equity piechart.

The Benefit redistribution algorithm

Describes how evaluated contributions are turned into fluid equity. See the Benefit redistribution algorithm page.

Solidarity mechanisms

Pay dead ends or mistakes, bring in the main value stream other contributions.

Solidarity mechanisms are part of the OVN model to ensure two unique aspects: compassion and distribution of risk. Compassion is an important part of human-collaboration and therefore, the network provides insurance mechanism for its members based on the members’ reputation. In addition to compassion, solidarity mechanisms are used to partially reward for unavoidable failures in order to create higher levels of trust and knowledge base within the network; these failures include: process inadequacy, task challenge, process complexity, uncertainty, hypothesis testing, and exploratory testing. The network governance determines the decisions on the implementation of solidarity mechanisms.


See the Project page.


See the Venture page.

Transfers between ventures

See the Transfers between ventures page

CAS simulator

Allows OVN affiliates to plan their contributions. This engine uses history to predict fluid equity once the venture reaches maturity and generates benefit (which can also come in the form of revenue). Affiliates can use it to decide how to allocate their resources across different ventures and projects, in order to optimize their investments, to mitigate their risk, etc.

The CAS simulator also intervenes in the Project and task management system. For every available task it estimates the fluid equity once the venture reaches maturity (and generates revenue). This acts as a direct incentive for affiliates to take the task, knowing the impact is will have on their future benefits, and the risk associated with it (see discussion).

Install a CAS

Open NRP-CAS github

Open Lynn's guide to install the NRP-CAS

Network of networks

See the Network of Networks page.


See Sensorica's Google-based contribution accounting system

See Sensorica NRP-CAS tutorials

External links

P2P_Accounting on p2p foundation


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