Technology Commons Trust

The Technology Commons Trust foundation operates a cryptocurrency based trust fund to advance the open internet. TechnologyCommons.org is legally established in a safe and stable jurisdiction (The Netherlands) as an independent not-for-profit entity. The foundation ("Stichting") is governed by a non-remunerate board. The Trust wants to "contribute to the vision of an Internet that empowers humanity".

How does the Trust operate?

By design TCT does not get involved with individual efforts to advance the technology commons. Effective philantropy in the technical space at scale requires more than budget and in-depth expertise - it requires long term commitment, a global network and a clear vision. Instead the trust focuses on its key role as a transparent and efficient cryptocurrency based trust fund.

User Operated Internet Fund

The User Operated Internet Fund is a fund managed by the Technology Commons Trust in partnership with the NLnet Foundation, a recognised philantropic organisation and the support of the Network Steward of the PKT Cash project. The User Operated Internet Fund is designed to fulfil the PKT vision of "internet by the people for the people", and more generally to promote open innovation in service of the public interest. This is achieved by way of microgrants for independent developers of free and open source hardware and software.

NLnet has a rich history going back to the earliest days of the internet in Europe, and uses its unique expertise to select and mentor projects with the social highest impact for the money. Our belief is that users themselves should collectively own and operate the internet locally. That leaves room for a rich global economy to be created on top to facilitate access as well as sharing and exchange of services, content and information. A healthy balance of power will not come about if the future of the internet is decided upon among a handful of big tech companies and incumbent telecom operators.  A proprietary internet driven by closed vendors protecting their own market share with black boxes is hostile to the innovation that we wants to deliver. The Technology Commons Trust wants to power the redecentralisation of the internet, and pave the way for an internet for all operated by and for users.

Read about the Open Call <> Apply for a grant

Projects

Here are some projects currently made possible with funding from Technology Commons Trust. For a full overview of the projects, please check the overview of projects at the User-Operated Internet Fund.

Armbian

ARM-based single board computers, first popularised by the Raspberry Pi, have resulted in an ever increasing ecosystem of small computing platforms that are low-cost yet increasingly powerful. This makes them popular with many computer enthusiasts and electronics tinkerers, also in low-income regions of the world. Armbian Linux provides an actively maintained and optimised Linux operating system for these devices, based on the Debian family of operating systems. This uniform base allows the devices to function as e.g. a router, the core of a 3d printer  or as the heart of a low-cost laptop. Armbian has a unique custom image building tool. In this project, the Armbian community will create a new generation of armbian-config - the critical core component that configures the hardware and software features.

More: https://nlnet.nl/project/Armbian/

CeroWRT-II

When we go on the internet these days, we often forget or even don't know what gets us there. Hidden in our broom closets and underneath the sofa, there are physical devices like wireless home routers that can make a big difference in how good our internet connection really is.

This project is about upgrading the quality, security, and queue management of home routers - continuing the work of Cerowrt that successfully re-architected the Linux WiFi stack to include pioneering new Flow Queueing (RFC8290) algorithms that successfully reduced working latencies for WiFi at all rates and ranges by 10x or more. This improved throughput under contention by a lot.

https://nlnet.nl/project/CeroWRT-II/

Open source ePDG for VoWiFi

This project from the Osmocom community delivers an important contribution towards a fully open source mobile infrastructure, by implementing the first open source Enhanced Packet Data Gateway or ePDG. Inside the 3GPP cellular network architecture, the ePDG is the interface between the operator network and the public internet. Phones connect to the gateway in order to use VoWiFi (voice over WiFi) services.  ePDG sits between the phone and the IMS core (same for VoLTE, VoWiFi and VoNR in 5G), and acts primarily as an IPsec gateway with ISIM card based authentication and key generation.

With efforts underway to create a fully open source FOSS based 4G network with a FOSS based IMS core with VoLTE functionality, having a FOSS ePDG is the only missing part for operating VoWifi from FOSS.

More info: https://nlnet.nl/project/Osmocom-ePDG/

Inspired? What to help create your own fund?

Are you looking to donate cryptocurrency to charity and not sure how to go about? In many places in the world, cryptocurrencies are still a complex legal area, and unfortunately there are still quite a few regulatory pitfalls and fiscal uncertainties ߞ not to mention running the risk of fraud, conflict of interest, corruption etc.

With the help of the Technology Commons Trust, you can structure your own fund to give crypto assets to charitable organizations in the structure of your choosing.

We ourselves work through an established and fully audited philantropy with decades of proven track record ߞ which is not just efficient, but creates a clear legislative context for everyone involved. It brings along professional financial management, strict governance oversight, and delivers transparency throughout our entire operations.

Contact us to discuss possibilities.