Swarm City - Meet Trelleth
A novel approach to project funding and management using Trello and Ethereum.
Written by: Matthew Carano
Trelleth is a Trello Power-Up that allows anyone to create an ITO (Initial Token Offering) for every card on a project board. This gives anyone the ability to organize, communicate, and crowdfund any project and any task all from Trello.
How it works
A project manager logs into Trelleth.com to set up a new project. In Trello, boards are created and linked to the new Trelleth project. Then, the project manager may create task cards on the Trello project board. Each card is a step towards completing the overall project goal, and anyone viewing the board can easily see and conceive of the value of each step.
When a card is created, a new token is created along with it. Each card also has an Ethereum address. Project investors send Ether to the card address to help fund that particular task. Card tokens will be be created proportionally to the amount of Ether sent, and given to the project funder that sent Ether. That token gives the card funder(s) the right to decide when the task is done.
The card token also helps express how potential project investors view the value of that card in the scope of the entire project. The more the card is funded, the more valuable the task.
Then, service suppliers (including the project manager) may “claim” the task. To make sure suppliers have incentive to not spam the board by claiming a task and not completing it, suppliers are required to put a certain amount of Ether in escrow in order to be allowed to claim the task. The supplier escrow amount will be determined when the card is created.
When service suppliers complete tasks, they must prove it by attaching that proof to the card itself. Project investors who hold tokens in that card may vote to approve the task completion. Once approved, the Ether is released to the supplier and project tokens are minted for the card investors. Project tokens represent stake in the overall project, and token holders benefit from “owning” a piece of the project itself. Card tokens are also useful to the card investors as a record of their investment in a successfully completed task.
Matt is a musician and wants to source funds to record his new album. He logs into Trelleth and creates his “The Blue Album” project. Next, in Trello Matt creates a “Recording Tracks” board and assigns it to the “The Blue Album” project. On that board Matt creates a “Sing Vocals On Track 1” card. Matt’s mom has been waiting for this project to happen, and to support it, she sends 20 ETH to the card address. Matt may then claim this task, record the vocals, and post them on the card for the card token holders to approve. Matt’s mom, satisfied with the result, releases the Ether to Matt. Matt’s mom receives project tokens.
On the same board, Matt now creates a card called “Guitar Solo For Track 1”. Matt is a great songwriter but doesn’t have the best guitar chops, so he definitely needs to hire someone willing to play.
Now this isn’t Matt’s first album, and he has a relatively good reputation in the community for producing good content, and wouldn’t you know it, several guitar players are watching to see if this card gets funded. Matt does a very good job promoting himself, so there is definite interest in his project, and several investors add Ether to the card wallet. Matt also add Ether to the card wallet because he wants stake in this important card.
Once it hits a certain funding threshold, several guitar players claim the card. This triggers communication between Matt (the card owner) and the guitar players. Matt awards the task claim to the guitarist he thinks aligns best with the project. Once the solo is complete to the satisfaction of the card investors, the Ether is released to the guitarist. The card token holders receive project tokens for helping to fund the project.
Implications and Ruminations
- Interested parties may begin funding a project the moment a card is created. Earlier investors get proportionally more project tokens than later investors.
- Many times projects are funded based solely on the appeal of a White Paper. Using Trelleth, people can assess the value of a project to a much deeper level because the entire organizational framework is exposed.
- Governing bodies may use Trelleth to raise public funds for specific goals. A person may vote with value, giving funds directly to specific tasks they believe in, ignoring tasks they don’t.
- Crowdfunding is now empirically managed with no need of a central authority to provide escrow and conflict resolution services.
- People may participate in projects they believe in (as investors and suppliers) regardless of size and scope. Suppliers who want to participate but only have limited time may choose to work on 1 task. Investors with limited resources may contribute at the micro level.
Trelleth is a completely novel approach to project management and funding that incentives investors and suppliers without a central authority, using blockchain technology for trustless, irrefutable interactions.