An Ethereum Implementation of Medical Research Crowdfunding

by Thomas C. Veatch

The following is a specification of an ethereum contract application program.

Constituents in the process of medical research crowdfunding include the following roles:

  • Reward bringers. Payers. Employers.
    • questioners: who contribute funding to research on particular questions
    • design utility validators: questioners who pre-release their contributed funds based on the adequacy of the research design to answering their question, or who propose reasons why their question would not be answered by the result.

  • Reward Takers. Receivers. Employees.
    • question designers who raise questions that people might care about
    • agglomerators of the questions into definable research projects.
    • research project designers.
    • those who conduct the experiments/collect the data.
    • subjects of the experiments, human or not
    • providers of any material or services required in the research.
    • those who analyse the data and apply suitable statistical methods to it.
    • those who determine the statistical methods that are appropriate to the data and question.
    • those who write up the results.
    • reviewers who approve the validity of the reasoning from data to answer of question.
    • editors who interact with the authors to make the results accessible
    • Independent quality control adjudicators who assess the adequacy of the quality of work of the various employees. Trusted. Practical. Wise.

Imagine now a tight yet flexible contracting system in which the contribution of funds on the front end is carried out subject to a contract, a many-party contract, or a set of linked contracts that ensures on the back end that contributed funds actually receive their expected value. Tight in that the system is required to deliver an acceptable result before the funds are delivered; flexible in that only the roles required for the particular research project are used while unneeded roles are not.

The contract set must include obligations of the many constituents to competently perform their appropriate roles, such that the demands of the original contributors of the funding are actually met through the joint completion of all the different roles to produce the research output bearing on the question asked.

  • Let there be a community capitalism website with an associated tree-structured project set and three-tiered bank account tree.
  • Let the tiers be: pledged. committed. released.
  • Let each project in the tree have its associated three-tiered account.
  • Let the tree building/managing/display/editing system enable each role to self-identify, engage in contracted roles including funds contribution as well as performance of work roles.
  • Let there be a multi-phase operation of contract engagement accessible to potential participants including application/bid, comparison, offer, acceptance.
  • Let there be a phased budgeting system for each project with budgets for one or more levels of specificity in project specification & design & budgeting, project implementation.
  • Let there be a system for adjudicating between competing participants in which lowest price bid is not the only criterion but also capability/reputation within their area of competence also plays a part in selecting participants from applicants.
  • Let there be a followup communications and funds-commitment process in which pledge money becomes committed when questioners see the research proposal & design.
  • Let there be a contributions-to-action function that determines based on pledges, commitments and budgets, what level of action can be engaged triggered.


Copyright © 2017 Thomas C. Veatch All rights reserved.
Last Modified: January 8, 2017.