What is FOAM?
FOAM is an open protocol for decentralized, geospatial data markets on the Ethereum blockchain. The protocol is backed by the native Foam Token (FT) which can generate smart contract addresses that are tied to physical coordinates and corresponding derivatives as an open standard. FOAM enables interested parties and developers to build geospatial applications that are connected to highly-coordinated and verifiable crowdsourced coordinates on the blockchain.
What is meant by “protocol”?
A protocol is a standard and open language, such as HTTP, SMTP and SSL, used for Internet systems to coordinate and work together on a specific problem. Historically there has been a lack of financial incentive to create new protocols. Blockchain tokens are for the first time allowing an entirely new business model to form around incentivizing new open and decentralized smart contract protocols. Tokens solve the “chicken and the egg” problem new networks face for user adoption by providing the financial incentives that drive agents to coordinate towards the completion of a protocol process.
Fundamentally, smart contract protocols should be as basic and
modular as possible to connect network participants including developers, users, investors and service providers. These features allow protocols to be detached from any individual application or use case and be an open building block that anyone can access and hook into.
How is a protocol different than an application?
The FOAM protocol is constructed from a set of Ethereum smart contracts that are open and free to use. The protocol is not rent seeking or proprietary, but a free public infrastructure funded by a globally distributed set of token stakeholders. The base utility of the protocol is never intended to be cost prohibitive. Many types of for-profit user facing applications can build on top of the protocol and integrate it into their operational stack.
What problem does the FOAM protocol solve?
The FOAM protocol allows an open standard physical coordinates in the built environment to have an equivalent blockchain smart contract address that are publicly owned and accessible. The importance of establishing an open standard for verifying location is interoperability. For a variety of different agents, parties and smart contracts that need to negotiate with each other would be very complicated without a standard for validating location and layering contracts on top of the same physical location. Currently, there is no standard for blockchain contracts in different verticals to reference physical locations and their attributes.
Attempts to form a standard around coordinate systems has often been crippled by proprietary, lack of simplicity or most often, an economical incentive structure around them. The FOAM protocol adds a monetization layer to open source mapping which opens new geospatial markets of exchange.
What kind of verticals can utilize FOAM?
FOAM will be useful to adopt in a number of use case verticals, such as Internet of Things devices, drones, supply chains, solar energy tokenization, real estate ownership and crowd equity, augmented reality applications and geospatial data markets. Just as tokens want to adhere to the Ethereum ERC-20 standard, tokens that are tied to the built environment will want to utilize the open standard of the FOAM protocol. The importance of establishing an open standard for verifying location is interoperability. As tokens, dApps and ecosystems form around the protocol, interoperability will allow for new kinds of geospatial markets and value exchange.
How does the FOAM protocol work with existing non-blockchain map solutions?
FOAM is backwards compatible with OpenStreetMaps (OSM) a community-driven mapping project whose goal is to create the most detailed, correct, and current open map of the world. Like Wikipedia, it is constantly being updated by a community of now more than three million members.
OSM represents a democratization of cartography, citizen cartography, in a field long closed off to non-experts. OSM is leveraged currently by Mapbox, Apple Maps, Foursquare and Craigslist as a crowdsourced base layer that is open and non-proprietary, the value of proprietary map data is rapidly plummeting, approaching zero, as OSM gets better and better. There is an extensive tagging system developed by OSM to account for attributes in the built environment, such as elevation, altitude, building height and number of floors. FOAM will connect to the OSM API and adopt their tagging system.
The FOAM protocol adds a monetary layer to OSM and solves the problem of the ability of the crowd to keep the data current with tokenized geospatial data markets. FOAM turns a physical coordinate into a blockchain wallet that can hold a balance and be tagged with crowdsourced data. If Bitcoin is digitally scarce vale and Ethereum is programmable money, FOAM is programmable space.
What is Foam Token?
The FOAM protocol is backed by the native ERC-20 protocol token called Foam Token (FT) which can generate Crypto-Spatial Coordinates, smart contract addresses that are tied to physical coordinates. Tokens can be activated and tied to a physical location and tokens
are spent by being bound to a smart contract. Foam Tokens create an asymmetrical peer-to-peer market where users either generate a Crypto-Spatial Coordinate, bond signal in the form of Foam Token to a CSC, create a SPACE contract on a CSC and issue Space Tokens, or join and contribute to or purchase a Space Token that already exists in circulation. Foam Token is a finite and scarce digital asset that will first be distributed in a public token sale.
The functions of Foam Token are:
Deposit to generate a CSC
Bond as a Signal into a CSC
Bond to generate a SPACE contract tied to the CSC
Bond to purchase Space Tokens (ST)
A transferable store of value
Protocol governance and update mechanism
What is a Crypto-Spatial Coordinate (CSC)?
A Crypto-Spatial Coordinate (CSC) is an on-chain verifiable Ethereum smart contract address with a corresponding address that is positioned in physical space and that is verifiable both on-and offline. This allows a physical address in the built environment to have an equivalent blockchain smart contract address that is publicly owned and accessible. The CSC smart contract can hold a balance of a crypto-tokens, and by extension a physical coordinate can either increase or decrease its balance of token holdings submitted by outside accounts. Further a CSC contract can assign derivative coordinate addresses to new contracts that want to be tied to that location.
What is the Z-axis in a CSC?
The FOAM protocol introduces a new blockchain spatial dimension. Whereas conventional coordinate systems using longitude and latitude are connected to the horizontal geographical layer, the Crypto- Spatial Coordinate enables a vertical Z axis, which is the token balance of the address and the stack of smart contracts that reference the address of the physical address. This ties in the geospatial layer with the vertical stack of smart contracts deployed on the vertical crypto-ledger. The physical altitude and elevation of contracts are accounted for, but the FOAM protocol Z-axis is of the virtual contract stack at one coordinate.
How do geohashes correspond to legal addresses?
They do not map to legal addresses 1:1 - CSC’s will be their own unique system of a coordinate address system
What about multi-story buildings? How do your refer to "the west wing of the 5th floor of 255 5th Ave."?
Each contract located at a CSC receives its own unique address on the crypto-vertical Z-axis. Further data can be embedded into a contract and the FOAM protocol will leverage the building attribute tags created and maintained by OpenStreetMaps (OSM) for example:
What is the minimum size of a CSC?
The smallest possible Crypto-Spatial Coordinate is 1m^2. This allows for roughly 500,000,000 CSCs on planet earth.
What is needed to create or interact with a CSC?
Foam Token is needed to create a new CSC or interact with an existing CSC in the form of depositing or bonding a token or activating a CSC to generate a new SPACE contract at that location.
What’s the minimum Foam Token needed to establish/bond a publicly accessible CSC?
We also introduce a fraction of a FOAM token, a BUBBLE denoted as BUB = 10-n x FT for a yet to be determined n. This is the minimum amount of Foam Token needed to be burnt and spent to activate a CSC. Beyond the base utility of the protocol, larger and varying amount of FT will be used to tag, deposit and bond different signals of data in the emerging geospatial markets.
Can you re-retrieve your bonded token, or is it a one-time operation?
Yes you can retrieve it if you are bonding to an already existing coordinate, minus Ethereum gas transaction costs.
What are the incentives to deposit FT into CSC rather than holding? Doesn’t it result in a cost depositing them?
The reason FT is deposited into CSC is to form a collective swarm signal, an economic bounty, at a specific CSC that can attract parties to develop on that site. A signaler only loses their FT when they approve of a proposal for a project that answers their signal in exchange for Space Tokens. A signaler does not have to approve of a project that comes to a CSC automatically, but if they do they receive the best possible discount on that projects Space Tokens and an additional bonus based on how long they have been signaling at that site.
As for the opportunity cost of depositing your FT and bonding it to a CSC as opposed to holding on to it, is that 1. You still own it and can withdraw and 2. if you signal correctly (or follow the behavior of other successful signalers) the reward in Space Tokens will outweigh the gains from selling FT.
Why aren't CSC’s pre-generated and located in a registry and why does the FOAM protocol need a native token?
The FOAM protocol and Foam Token enable the creation of new coordinate smart contracts that are then available as a public utility. The protocol allows users to build geospatial applications that are connected to highly-coordinated and verifiable crowdsourced data on the blockchain. This allows in real time for the network effects of the protocol token to be tracked by the number and usage of CSC’s and the corresponding markets that emerge between them. A pre-generated registry of coordinates would be an enormous amount of contracts to produce (500billion) and would not be driven by network adoption.
Tokens provide a way to define a protocol with a unique and tradable. The added value of a specific utility smart contract will have a price. Tokenizing this modular utility into a protocol allows stakeholder to participate with aligned incentives to work together toward a common goal— the growth of the network and the financial appreciation of the token. Further, a native token allows for tailored protocol governance and monetary policy through a decentralized set of stakeholders that can add new functionality to the token, separate from the global governance of Ethereum. A tokenized monetary system built into a protocol allows for autonomy and self-reliance.
What are SPACE Tokens?
Foam Token can be used to generate a SPACE contract that is tied to a Crypto-Spatial Coordinate and assigned a unique address. Space Tokens (ST) are utility tokens that are created by bonding Foam Tokens (FT) to a CSC. Space Tokens are a sub-token of the protocol that can be used for a variety of different purpose. Space Tokens are assigned a unique address on the Z axis of their corresponding CSC. The creator of a Space Token can set the parameters of the token and also issue a sale of their token as the sale administrator. Space Tokens are interoperable and ERC-20 compliant, they can be used within any outside application and users of the Ethereum blockchain will bene t from utilizing Space Tokens for tokens that relate to the physical environment.
What are the economics of Foam Token?
Foam Tokens create an asymmetrical peer-to-peer market where users either generate a Crypto-Spatial Coordinate, bond signal in the form of Foam Token to a CSC, create a SPACE contract on a CSC and issue
Space Tokens, or join and contribute to or purchase a Space Token that already exists in circulation. Because Foam Token (FT) are needed for all of the above functions, the liquid supply decreases with network activity which in turn drives digital scarcity. Foam Token drives network effects, increases in value over time and provides an economic and protocol framework for a signaling economy in the built environment.