What is this? These pages started as a detailed straw-man proposal to flesh-out what it would take to realize our vision of a free and open cloud. They now serve as examples of the technology needed to implement the different facets of open cloud services. Here's how we are going to get there.

OneCommons Ecosystem

OneCommons is designed for Internet-scale resilience and scalability through decentralization and democratic governance. It is not a single entity but rather a set of participants, open to all, both commercial and non-commercial, bound together by a set of agreements and protocols.

The following roles provide the functionality described above:


Roles for groups or commercial entities

Site and Service Operators

Site and Service Operators own and operate the websites and web services hosted by the OneCommons cloud. For the most part, end-users interact directly with the websites owned by site operators and the site operators utilize OneCommons much like they would Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform. They utilize open source code managed by developers.

Cloud Providers

Cloud Providers provide the physical and virtual hosting for OneCommons’ infrastructure. They could be existing cloud hosting companies that own their own data centers or run on top of a hosting service.

Roles for Individuals


Developers are responsible for developing and managing any and all code that runs on the platform. They may also act for site operators but code development is a distinct role compensated separately. All code development is organized as projects.


Users maintain their OneCommons identities across sites and own the data they create. They can optionally pay a subscription fee for premium services. Users’ participation gives them a stake in OneCommons decision making and helps them earn CommonCents tokens.

Platform roles

The job of running the OneCommons platform itself is divided up into roles that could be fulfilled by independent entities. In the beginning onecommons.org will be responsible for these roles, but a key for its long-term growth is to have independent entities fulfill these roles. Their numbers would be limited, however, since they will need to be entrusted with privileged access to systems and data.

Infrastructure Operators

Manage and administer the cloud infrastructure (for example the Kubernetes control pane) upon which the services and sites running on the platform depend.

Data Custodians

Manage the DataCommons. Entrusted with data keys and write access to the DataCommons block chain.

Financial Custodians

Provide the financial gateways that enables users to purchase subscriptions and CommonCents tokens. They are also responsible for maintaining the currency reserves that are used to guarantee liquidity and price stability. Multiple ones could exist, for example, in different jurisdictions.


The not-for-profit entity entrusted with governance, oversight of core infrastructure development, and certification of participating organizations.