Yesterday we announced the launch of our own PeerScienceCoin (PSC), a secure, blockchain-based payment token. In a series of three blog articles over the coming days I’ll be telling you more about PSC and the drivers behind its introduction.
Driver 1: differentiating between parties paying and consuming
PSC will enable us to differentiate between parties paying for a service and parties consuming a service on the Peerwith platform. Academic institutions, funders and publishers frequently finance services used by researchers leading to complex and inefficient processes surrounding payments and reimbursements. PSC will enable parties to buy tokens upfront which can be used by researchers on the platform. PSC will simplify budgeting for clients allowing real time overviews of spend and remaining budget.
Case 1: authors and publishers
Scientific publishers are important stakeholders and primary candidates for purchasing PSC. In this introductory phase, Peerwith will be acting as the sole seller and buyer of PSC. Publishers can now buy PSC from Peerwith. PSC is hard linked to the US Dollar – 1 US dollar (USD) = 1 PeerScienceCoin (PSC). Each coin represents a value on the Peerwith marketplace which can be used to pay for services. The marketplace in this context is either the Peerwith marketplace or a publisher-branded marketplace solution.
Parties consuming a service are a publisher’s book and journal authors. We expect publishers to re-sell or give away coins to their authors. Authors can come to the marketplace, post their request and connect and collaborate with experts without the publisher sitting in the middle. Authors can pay in full or a partial payment with the coins.
It’s in a publisher’s best interest to prepare manuscripts before submission as this reduces post-submission editorial costs. PSC will also allow publishers to (partially) pay for these services without having to get involved in the process.
Case 2: researchers and institutions
Secondary candidates for purchasing PSC are institutions and their researchers. We see PSC playing a key role in our existing Institutional Payment Solutions as coins offer a more flexible solution for managing budgets and/or discount vouchers. Institutions can buy PSC upfront for their researchers to later spend. PSC will simplify budgeting for clients allowing real time overviews of spending and remaining budget.
Key to the introduction of PCS is that it allows the peer-to-peer model to stay with researchers and experts as coin payments allow institutions, as the paying entity, to step out.
Case 3: local partners
Additionally, we predict the coin will benefit researchers from less stable countries where the USD is not easily accessible. These countries are some of our most important markets and local Peerwith partners are logical candidates to buy PSC to later distribute. Researchers in these countries can benefit from the introduction of PSC which will allow for a simple payment method replacing bank and money transfers.