Lotus was made out of necessity. I am working on a piece of software which I feel is the most important project in the world. It's a decentralized, non-corporate, uncontrolled, unmoderated, encrypted, peer to peer messenger. For it to work, it needs a token that communicates "I value your time, please give me the courtesy of paying attention."
Lotus gets attached to each message as a way for us to filter out spam, and focus our attention on messages that are important. The messaging protocol is meant to replace email, twitter, and other corporate messaging platforms – all of which have become useless to me because of spam, or destructive because they manipulate the information I'm shown.
That project is called Stamp, and I've been working on it for years now. It's a big task that will take many more years of my life to complete if I continue to do it alone. Other software engineers come help me from time to time on various things. I greatly appreciate their help, but their time is in great demand – and so it's mostly been a lone task, since I don't have enough money to pay for their time.
Lotus also gives me a way to communicate "I appreciate your help." If you have some Lotus, and give some Lotus, then you're in some small way helping me with my passion, and I appreciate it. Seeing people use Stamp, and give Lotus away gets me all fired up.
I want people to give Lotus away so that everyone can use Stamp free-of-charge. People shouldn't have to pay to use Stamp – unless they want to send me spam or propagandize me.
Stamp needs a lot of open-source, free, components to work, all the way down to the Linux kernel. It also needs a lot of users or there won't be anyone to use it with. I don't know who all of them are, but somebody knows. Lotus, passing from one person to another, can eventually get to them – and communicate that their time is valued. Maybe it'll get them fired up also.
There are also other projects that suffer from similar problems of needing a token, and Lotus can hopefully serve them as well. One project by the bcPro Foundation that I'm excited about is called LixiLotus, which is also in development and focusing on community development in Vietnam.
There are all sorts of volunteers in the world who I would like to show appreciation to, and if people work together, we can eventually distribute Lotus to them and collectively let them know their work is appreciated.
And, I hope they'll use Stamp, and other software utilizing Lotus, free of charge.