A group of Buddhist programmers have created the world’s first cryptocurrency-based spiritual community. Lotos is an online Buddhist network built on Ethereum blockchain. Members pay a monthly fee to access content and features, but this can be earned back in the form of Karma Tokens, by meditating or teaching online. These tokens can then be spent on courses, donations or monthly fees. The platform would allow teachers and students to form online democratic communities (or “temples”) where they could study and practice Buddhism
The idea is laid out in a white paper, which details the creator’s plans to create a global decentralised monastery based on “Buddhist economics” – which means all currency would be accumulated and spent “in ways helpful to the Noble Path.”
What does Buddhism stand to gain from blockchain? Cryptocurrenices hold the promise of eliminating corruption whilst creating a greater degree of accessibility and democracy.
Will Lotos broaden Buddhism's appeal? The spiritual practice is known for its ability to innovate and adapt: could this be a way to enhance access to its teachings, and help to establish trust with newcomers? Or will some be discouraged by the transactional nature of a cryptocurrency network?