Hypha Worker Co-operative: Self-Nomination

Hi all! Andi from Hypha Worker Co-op here. I am writing to nominate the co-op for Namada’s RPGF program.

Hypha is a non-profit worker co-operative based in Tkaranto (Toronto), Canada. Our mission is to collaborate with communities to build better relationships with technologies. Hypha’s expertise is in developing technologies and systems that uphold human agency, minimize surveillance, and support data sovereignty. We collaborate with a range of organizations as technical partners on digital projects, providing high-level strategy and guidance, as well as hands-on development and web engineering solutions.

In addition to our relevant project work (outlined below), Hypha also actively supports calls to action such as creating a tool to check proxy functionality at the outset of recent Iranian protests, and providing open office hours to advise on working remotely in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hypha’s project work relevant to Namada’s retroactive public goods funding program includes:

Starling Lab

Hypha provides core engineering capacity to the Starling Lab, building open source software and cryptography-based workflows. In the past year, Hypha supported the Lab’s International Criminal Court submission of digital evidence and award-winning investigative journalism, alongside many other initiatives that implement cryptographic authenticity and decentralized preservation in areas of journalism, law, and history. More details about our collaboration is in our blog post.

Cosmos testnet orchestration tools

Hypha manages Cosmos Hub’s testnet program and has built a suite of public goods to simplify the configuration and management of test networks for the Cosmos ecosystem. This includes the following open source repositories:

  • Cosmos Ansible: playbooks that launch complex testnet setups (single/multiple validators; multiple chains with relayers; and ancillary tools including for faucets, block explorers, monitoring, and alerting)
  • Cosmos Genesis Tinkerer: tool to modify exported genesis files by swapping validators, delegators, changing account balances, increasing voting power, adding new tokens to the supply
  • Cosmos Discord Faucet: a Discord bot to dispense testnet faucet tokens for long running testnets
  • Cosmos REST Faucet: A basic REST based faucet for ephemeral testnets
  • Cosmos Consensus Monitor: validator pre-vote and pre-commit monitoring dashboard

COMPOST / Distributed Press

Hypha is incubating Distributed Press, an open-source tool that activists and journalists can use to publish content to decentralized web protocols. The motivation behind the project is to tackle looming issues in publishing: growing political censorship, disinformation, walled gardens, and the decline of independent media. The initial version completed in Q3 2021 supported publishing to IPFS and Hypercore through an API. The upcoming version, scheduled for launch in mid 2023, allows no-code publishing to decentralized web protocols to improve the UX for non-technical users.

Hypha also initiated and stewards Distributed Press’ sister project COMPOST magazine, which serves as a reference use-case for the publishing tool. COMPOST publishes art, fiction, poetry, speculative works, and experiments that relate to the web as a commons.

Restructuring Futures

Hypha leads the development work on this project to build a decentralized collaboration tool for artistic creators. A working prototype of this technically resilient and imaginative space for digital making will be ready in Summer 2023.

Sacred Stacks

Hypha was the technical partner on this 2022 project led by Nathan Schneider. We supported nonprofits, cooperatives, and social activists from around the world with Web3 literacy and learning. A project booklet is forthcoming.