Bitcoinist recently sat down with Tim Peterson, CEO of Onarbor – a startup university merging crypto, art and science.
What exactly is Onarbor?
Onarbor is a new kind of university, a startup university. At their cores, universities are places to be creative, learn, and build your credentials. To support these missions, universities must publish and get funding. Onarbor aims to help people publish and fund original science and art, collectively “works”, as well as fund the reviews of these works.
How did Onarbor come about?
We are bunch of MIT and Harvard academics who are passionate about media, finTech, and the future of universities.
Onarbor launches with original research published by MIT and Harvard faculty (Tim Peterson, Onarbor’s CEO, currently works in Harvard’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology department. However, publishing is open to everyone and Onarbor supports all disciplines, both the sciences and arts.
How does Onarbor compare to tumbler?
Like Tumblr, Onarbor “Works” can be any type of digital content: documents, film, music, images, files, or HTML5 apps. Onarbor differs from Tumblr regarding reputation-building. Reputation on Onarbor, which can thought of as a G.P.A., is built through voting on the works and reviews and by being invited to collaborate on works. Reviews of the works are in text. Onarbor also differs from Tumblr in allow creators to get and give funding. Funding for both the works and reviews occurs through the digital currencies, Bitcoin and Dogecoin. Funding amounts are set by the works/reviews creators and can be free or have a fixed floor with flexible ceiling. Dogecoin tipping, as made popular on Reddit, is also possible in the reviews’ commenting threads. So to put it into context to other sites you might know, Onarbor not much as much Tumblr as it is part Kickstarter, part Stackoverflow, and part Github.
What is your vision for Onarbor?
The first overarching idea for Onarbor is to provide creators with a rewarding, efficient, and yet highly collaborative environment to lessen our reliance on the myriad funding and publishing mechanisms we currently must navigate. The second major aim is to disrupt traditional publishing and media. Digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin allow for true microtransactions that we believe will ultimately obsolete ads. The Google/FB-model of ad supported content is a low-yield model that has reached its peak. The time is ripe for 10X approaches such as Onarbor.
How does Onarbor help the individual?
Individuals benefit both by getting funding and building their reputations.
Who is the end user for Onarbor?
We are initially targeting academics because this is an underrepresented group on the consumer web with lots to creative work to offer, but the end user could be any creator.
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