What is Pain Token?

Implementing Pain Tracing Blockchain into Organizations (4)


Philosopher Hannah Arendt called for a certain kind of courage, the kind of judgment that requires individuals to risk their lives to defy orders and maintain justice for humanity.

Courage is probably necessary. However, governance that relies too much on individual courage is not sustainable. The number of people with courage is small and unlikely to increase.

We can now create a mechanism (which was impossible in the past) to objectively tell people that we do not like something without courage.

Asaki Nishikawa, a member of VECTION, has proposed a simple system called “Pain Tokens”. It is a hypothetical right that assumes the following context.

  • It is easier to reach an agreement on pain than on happiness
  • Avoid believing that a cause (idea) or someone’s happiness naturally involves suffering
  • Make latent and invisible pain visible
  • Organizational failure can appear as a signal of pain, through which the organizational structure can change

Pain Tokens take the form of tokens (a unit of entitlement, like virtual currency) that are used in the network and operate according to the following rules:

  1. Pain Tokens are distributed to the organization’s members in fixed amounts over a fixed period of time
  2. Non-transferable
  3. Members decide how much to exercise each period
  4. Exercising is done anonymously
  5. The organization is obligated to attach to its output a traceable amount of Pain Tokens exercised in producing them

Pain Tokens are recorded in a public blockchain, and therefore cannot be tampered with, and are an anonymous, decentralized, change request authority for the organization.

Pain Tokens do not require any evaluation of the specific proposal. Moreover, it is unique in that it can anonymously express the fact that “pain” is occurring without knowing who is causing it or why it is painful.

So, how does an organization respond to the exercise of the Pain Token? For example, the following assumptions are possible.

The exercise of the Pain Token changes the organizational structure (the contribution of each member, authority, command, and the way resources to route).

The size and shape of the change are determined by a separately defined algorithm (without human intervention to prevent as much discretion as possible), taking into account the total amount of Pain Tokens exercised, the classified information of the exercised member groups, and the current organizational structure.

Pain Tokens are just a rudimentary example of a mechanism for tracing the pain signals of organizational members inside and outside the organization. However, if a similar mechanism can work successfully, it should be able to give a little more concrete substance to actions such as “Do not purchase products that are not fair.”

Original idea and articles by Asaki NISHIKAWA, Draft written by Toshihiro FURUYA and Moya, Simultaneous editing by VECTION

This article is based on the “Blockchain and Revolution: What are the conditions under which decentralization can be a ‘revolution’?” and “r/place subjects and governance: Blockchain and interfaces that invite revolution.” We have extracted, added, and re-edited the parts describing pain tokens and PS3.