Two open source hardware enthusiasts, Justin Huynh and Matt Stack, have started the Open Source Hardware Bank to fund hardware projects such as the microcontroller board pictured above.So, this is a major plot element of my science fiction novel Makers, coming from Tor next October: microcredit-funded open source hardware hackers laboring in dead malls (the first third of the book was syndicated on Salon as "Themepunks"). It's always a little weird when sf starts to leak into reality.
The fledgling bank is funding only open source hardware projects using capital raised from other hardware geeks. It's like a community of Facebook friends borrowing and lending among themselves – a peer-to-peer bank.
"This speaks to the rise of the do-it-yourselfer, someone who is not just a consumer but also a producer, inventor and investor," says Huynh. "But someone also ought to be thinking about the money problem when it comes to open source hardware and we are doing just that."