FAQs2021-02-08T20:58:12+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

What about taxes? Is this legal?2021-02-08T21:30:56+00:00

Yes. Service providers will receive a 1099. Not only will members receive value and savings, but local and state governments will be able to derive revenue from transactions.

Are Civitas like Bitcoins?2021-03-29T21:25:05+00:00

Not really. While both are certainly “digital currencies,” Bitcoins are in the category of cryptocurrency—digital currency managed by using encryption techniques called cryptography to secure its transactions. Bitcoin is complex, volatile, inefficient for retail transactions, lacking of market regulations, and often utilized on the seedy or downright illegal side of digital transactions. In that sense, the problems are similar to the ones we have with the cash economy.

Community Vines was founded on the principles of local trust and stabilized, sustainable communities. We help communities prosper by eliminating unnecessary middlemen and corporate profiteers who pilfer money out of local communities. We meaningfully help individuals, but always work towards the common good. In keeping with those values, Civitas are like any other non-U.S.-dollar currency. Civitas are backed by the corporation, Community Vines, which is subject to various liquidity regulations, particularly maintaining a sufficient Liquidity Coverage Ratio (the proportion of highly liquid assets held by financial institutions, to ensure their ongoing ability to meet short-term obligations), and thus are less volatile, and more safe and resilient, than cryptocurrency.

Why should I have confidence in Civitas?2021-02-08T21:30:46+00:00

Civitas are not only backed by actual dollars, but they also represent the intrinsic value of community, relationships, and trust, because they’re earned from, and spent on, people in your own community. If desired, members can exchange earned Civitas for dollars at any time, for a currency exchange fee. Finally, the Community Vines system adheres to standard practices of liquidity.

Can Civitas be counterfeited?2021-02-08T21:30:38+00:00

No. Since they are only tracked and maintained internally, Civitas are impossible to counterfeit. It will also be possible to verify that no ‘illegitimate’ Civitas have been added in the system.

Can Civitas be borrowed or gifted?2021-02-08T21:30:29+00:00

Yes. Civitas can be gifted and borrowed. Terms associated with the lending of Civitas are negotiated between the parties. All non-exchange transfers, whether gifts or loans, incur a moderate transfer cost. This cost will be significantly lower when transfers take place within a Community.

Can Civitas (platform currency) be exchanged for dollars?2021-02-08T21:30:19+00:00

Yes. Any Civitas that are earned or purchased can be exchanged for Dollars. While there is no fee to purchase Civitas, there is an exchange fee for converting them to Dollars. Civitas that are gifted cannot be exchanged for Dollars until they are transacted.

Why not just use dollars on the Community Vines platform?2021-02-08T21:29:59+00:00

For several reasons:

  1. An alternate currency facilitates a thriving, barter-based ecosystem and helps keep local economies local. It also conserves dollars for dollar-only transactions (e.g., utilities, mortgages, etc.).
  2. Holding and using Civitas provides a hedge against uncertainty in the dollar-based economy.
  3. The Community Vines platform, with its exclusive use of Civitas, makes it easier for people to convert their skills—from the rudimentary to the professional—to currency. This requires minimal requirements and overhead, and enables the creation and effective use of a trusted reputation in the gig economy.
  4. To further strengthen the Community, a small exchange fee incentivizes members to spend their Civitas, purchased or earned, within the community (in the Community Vines ecosystem) rather than “cash out.” This helps to keep local economies local.
  5. Members will be required to maintain a balance of Civitas that is at least equivalent to their contracted spend commitments. (For recurring jobs, such as lawn mowing, for example, members will be required to maintain a balance to support the term of the contract for at least two MONTHS.)
How is the value of a Civita calculated?2021-02-08T21:29:46+00:00

The exchange rate of U.S. dollars to Civitas will be 1:1.

What are Civitas?2021-02-08T21:29:36+00:00

Civitas are platform-based currency used to facilitate disparate barter exchanges between members in the Community Vines ecosystem. Interestingly, “Civitas” is the Latin word for “Community.”

What is Community Vines true revenue potential?2021-02-08T21:29:00+00:00

Proforma estimates project revenue of ~$71,000,000 four years after launch. The proforma is being updated regularly with a sophisticated “scenario” model that permits multiple assumption adjustments.

Although Community Vines is in a pre-launch stage, we are delighted to share the details about our revenue projections at different stages of growth with prospective investors. Contact us to explore becoming an investor in Community Vines.

What makes this idea exciting to people?2021-02-08T21:27:42+00:00

Focus group participants have been highly enthusiastic about Community Vines. In addition, significant players among the potential strategic partners are in the wings and prepared to assist when the MVP is ready to be introduced

Community Vines creates excitement in different people in many ways:

  1. For the individual with skills, it will provide the ability to monetize those skills, creating new income streams.
  2. For the person who needs skilled labor or knowledge workers, it will provide a means to find individuals with those skills, and easily exchange services using a unique ‘asynchronous’ barter model.
  3. For service-minded individuals, it will provide a way to discover opportunities to volunteer using their specific skillsets.
  4. It will incentivize volunteering by establishing trust and will provide a means of brokering volunteer activity in communities.
  5. It will provide a powerful means by which people can leverage the skills of friends and family in support of fundraising causes.
What niches will you target first, and what is your plan for growth?2021-02-08T21:28:50+00:00

Community Vines has developed an aggressive growth plan, starting with specific niches in select communities in Pennsylvania. We are delighted to discuss these plans in detail with current investors, but due to their specificity and the confidentiality, we cannot share them online at this time.

What is the status of Community Vines intellectual property?2021-02-08T21:26:27+00:00

The Community Vines business process and software to support it are patent pending.

How has the Community Vines concept been received?2021-02-08T21:27:25+00:00
  • Multiple focus groups at the Ben Franklin incubator have yielded unanimous support for the concept.
  • Potential strategic partners in the Credit Union industry have spent considerable time with the CV team and provided enthusiastic endorsements. This partnership would promote immediate adoption of the platform by credit union members — a substantial population. These partners have expressed interest in assisting with modest capital and in-kind contributions when the MVP is ready to be introduced.
Has the Community Vines concept been proven?2021-02-08T21:27:09+00:00

The proliferation of successful verticals in the gig economy have demonstrated the economic viability of gig economy marketplaces. It is clear that platforms have begun replacing the middleman. However, no platform facilitates the exchange of services *across* an endless array of “verticals” in a free market as Community Vines does.

Who are the competitors?2021-02-08T21:28:28+00:00

HomeAdvisor (pay-for-play); Facebook Marketplace (goods); AirBnB (lodging only), Uber (transportation only), Alibaba (B2C, China), BizX (B2B), BarterQuest (Australia), Simbi (no cash out), Care.com (Care-giving), GigSmart (Staffing & Projects).

What is the size of this industry?2021-02-08T21:27:54+00:00

An estimate of the legal, private exchange market in 2011 was $1.3 trillion (Intuit 2020). This market has grown substantially since that time. 

How comprehensive is the Community Vines business plan?2021-02-08T21:26:13+00:00

The Community Vines business plan is comprised of two elements:

  • Community Vines has a detailed and dynamic Scenario Planner that shows the viability of the financial model given differing assumptions.
  • A detailed Business Model Canvas illustrates our desired strategic partnerships, key activities & resources, customer segments & relationships, channels, and value propositions.

We are delighted to discuss our plans in greater detail with individuals who are interested in becoming investors or partners.

What types of experience does the Community Vines leadership team possess?2021-02-08T21:25:59+00:00

The leaders of the Community Vines team are seasoned veterans in financial services, business operations, retail and merchandising, and information technology. All have been involved in starting or operating going concerns. Three principals have each had startup, operations, technology, and executive experience, as well as B2B and B2C sales and marketing experience. One member of the team served as a CEO of a financial institution for over 10 years.

For more information about the team, please see their individual profiles.

Is Community Vines a disrupter? How?2021-02-08T21:26:56+00:00

Community Vines is an aggregator of the gig economy like nothing that’s been imagined before. It disrupts the dependence of local communities on large-scale conglomerate providers, and provides new opportunity for members of a community to compete in the marketplace. By introducing vetting and trust ratings into a community marketplace, providing a repository of trusted local providers, and giving buyers and sellers a secure and convenient place to negotiate and complete transactions, Community Vines gives its members an invaluable end-to-end experience. It also provides a powerful and cost-efficient way for providers to go to market and promote their skills and services.

What are Community Vines’ competitive advantages?2021-02-08T21:36:27+00:00

Community Vines has important differentiators from other service-marketplace platforms. It is neither a fee-for-leads platform nor a pay-for-placement platform. Rather, it establishes a pure market-driven, community-based ecosystem for the brokering of skills and needs. It is entirely focused on the local gig economy.  While narrowly-focused business models such as Uber and AirBnB have proven to be viable and thriving marketplaces, none have incorporated the limitless array of skills and services, the creative integration with social media, or the leverage of localized community trust ratings to the extent that Community Vines will. The broad diversity of the service portfolio creates unique economic stability for both Community Vines and its members.

What makes Community Vines a great opportunity for investors and partners?2021-02-08T21:25:28+00:00

Community Vines combines the power of an internet platform with the rapidly evolving economic realities of the 21st Century. The platform helps to integrate the various pieces of a community’s existing ecosystem, and minimizes friction around financial transactions and social exchanges. One estimate puts the size of the legal, private exchange market at $1.3 trillion (Intuit 2020 Report).

How can I get involved with Community Vines?2021-02-08T21:20:20+00:00

We would love to have your help in spreading the word about Community Vines. Essentially, the message is that “Gig-economy 2.0” is coming, and it’s going to be a “game-changer”. Presently, people can sign up to be notified when they can create accounts and begin building their profile. We are using a referral system for signups, and there will be incentives for signing up your friends and family. In addition, we are looking for investors and partners to help us fulfill the promise of Community Vines to transform local communities and economies. Learn more

Where and when is Community Vines going to launch?2021-02-08T21:22:23+00:00

Community Vines plans to launch in Lancaster and Centre Counties in Pennsylvania soon.

How do providers get paid?2021-02-08T21:29:15+00:00

Providers get paid by delivering quality services that are requested by other Community Vines members. Once a recipient of service and a provider agree on contractual terms for the service, funds for the transaction are earmarked (“locked”). This means they are dedicated funds and cannot be used for any other purpose. Once the service has been delivered, each party rates and reviews the other. When this has been completed, funds are released to the provider.

How does participating in Community Vines benefit me?2021-02-08T21:22:05+00:00
  1. For the individual with skills, it will provide the ability to monetize those skills, creating new income streams.
  2. For the person who needs skilled labor or knowledge workers, it will provide a means to find individuals with those skills, and easily exchange services using a unique ‘asynchronous’ barter model.
  3. For service-minded individuals, it will provide a way to discover opportunities to volunteer using their specific skillsets.
  4. It will incentivize volunteering by establishing trust and will provide a means of brokering volunteer activity in communities.
  5. It will provide a powerful means by which people can leverage the skills of friends and family in support of fundraising causes.
What skills and services can members purchase or provide on Community Vines?2021-04-12T21:20:51+00:00

While we anticipate that members ultimately will be able to monetize almost any skill they possess, when it launches Community Vines will enable community members to provide or purchase services that fall into the following categories:

  • Education
    Tutoring, training, and similar offerings.
  • Information Technology
    Installation, maintenance, and repair of computers and other electronic devices; data analysis; networking; and similar services.
  • Personal Services
    Shopping, cleaning, organizing, coaching, and other personal services.
  • Home Improvement
    Repairs, upgrades, installations, and other services for all aspects of your home.
  • Arts and Entertainment
    Caricaturists, illustrators, magicians, musicians, comedians, and other providers of artistic or entertainment services.
How is Community Vines different?2021-02-08T21:21:46+00:00

Community Vines is an aggregator of the gig economy like nothing that’s been imagined before. It disrupts the dependence of local communities on large-scale conglomerate providers, and provides new opportunity for members of a community to compete in the marketplace. By introducing vetting and trust ratings into a community marketplace, providing a repository of trusted local providers, and giving buyers and sellers a secure and convenient place to negotiate and complete transactions, Community Vines gives its members an invaluable end-to-end experience. It also provides a powerful and cost-efficient way for providers to go to market and promote their skills and services.

Community Vines has important differentiators from other service-marketplace platforms. It is neither a fee-for-leads platform nor a pay-for-placement platform. Rather, it establishes a pure market-driven, community-based ecosystem for the brokering of skills and needs. It is entirely focused on the local gig economy.  Community Vines accommodates the limitless array of skills and services, facilitates creative integration with social media, and leverages localized community trust ratings to an unparalleled extent. The broad diversity of the service portfolio creates unique economic stability for both Community Vines and its members.

What problem does Community Vines solve?2021-02-08T21:23:36+00:00

Community Vines brings community members’ skills and needs together to create local, member-defined marketplaces. We restore local economies and trust to intra-community commerce, where individuals—not institutions—are the providers. Unlike the faltering global economy, these local marketplaces will remain stable, and even thrive, during times of economic turbulence and uncertainty. And Community Vines directly tackles local unemployment and underemployment by providing the means to monetize skills locally, whether as a sole means of income or a supplemental one.

How does Community Vines work?2021-02-08T21:21:19+00:00

The Community Vines platform enables community members to publish both skills and needs to a community marketplace. In essence, every member can be both a provider with skills and a consumer with needs. Community Vines removes the friction of discovery, negotiation, and transaction. The platform supports the following activities:
1. Bartering
Traditional bartering is the direct exchange of goods or services between two parties. Community Vines expands the possibilities of bartering by enabling indirect exchanges of goods and services between multiple parties. This is accomplished by enabling the exchange of services for a platform currency that can then be used to purchase other services from other providers.
2. Fundraising
Fundraising works similarly to bartering, except that the payment for services is directed to a cause rather than to the provider. In this way, members are able to give their time and talent in support of worthy causes in their community, which Community Vines helps to promote. This helps providers establish trust in their skills within the community.
3. Volunteering
Volunteering also works similar to bartering, except that payment is neither received nor made. In this way, Community Vines makes it easy for members (and eventually organizations in the community) to find skilled volunteers. This also helps members establish trust as providers within the community.

What is Community Vines?2021-02-08T21:06:56+00:00

Community Vines is a marketplace platform that enables individuals to monetize their skills while strengthening personal connections within their geographic communities, building a locally oriented “Gig Economy 2.0.”  It provides is a framework that establishes a comprehensive, scalable, sharing economy marketplace, monetizing member skills and supporting volunteering and fundraising causes in communities across the nation.

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