This post is about why I wrote “Peer Production on the Crypto Commons”, a free book type resource (website, ebook, pdf).
The short answer is that I am inspired by the people who see some broken aspect of their society and set about to fix it or build an alternative. I am not optimistic about the direction in which the dominant global institutions are steering our society. I am optimistic about what we can do to re-engineer things if we continue to better leverage the benefits of the digital commons and the freedom to communicate and distribute information securely at low cost.
Politeia has been live for one year now, and I have been reflecting on how it has gone in relation to what I was expecting and hoping when it launched. For a more quantitative overview see this report.
Voting to make decisions As a Decred contributor, having Politeia available is great because now issues where there is no clear consensus among the community can be resolved by a stakeholder vote.
A look at Politeia data for the first year
It’s time to call it. 2019 is indeed the year of the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). The term DAO, once tainted by the disastrous DAO hack of 2016, has regained its luster, with an explosion of new DAOs, DAO platforms and tools to support them.
I can barely contain my excitement. DAOs are not just some conceptual pipe dream for me. I work in one. For the last year, I’ve paid my rent working in the Decred DAO as a technical writer/developer.
Working for the Decred DAO In 2018 I became a Decred contractor, and as the year draws to a close I’m planning to spend a higher proportion of my working time on the project next year. This post is about my experience of working on Decred, why I’m into it and how it works.
Autonomy, and minimal administrative or management type experiences, are worth a lot to me. “Going to work” on/for Decred is contributing to one of the (varied and expanding) selection of sub-projects that are open.
The launch of Politeia marks a significant step in Decred’s development, expanding stakeholder governance beyond its core function of adopting or rejecting changes to the consensus rules, and equipping stakeholders with a means of making other kinds of decisions.
These decisions can be as fundamental as extending or refining the project’s very purpose. Ticket-voting stakeholders are about to assume full control of the project’s direction. Some sort of amendment to the Decred constitution is highly likely, and proposals for a number of other high-level policies have been discussed.
This post considers the funding of blockchain projects through treasuries owned and operated by stakeholders. Specifically, it re-visits the Dash Treasury DAO and its support services, and considers what Decred can learn from this example ahead of the upcoming launch of Politeia. It also sets out some broad differences between the approaches of Dash and Decred, and considers how autonomous funding fits with commons based peer production.
How are cryptocurrency projects funded?
This post is a response to a number of posts from prominent blockchain personalities about how on-chain governance based on coin-holder votes is inherently plutocratic and bad.
Vlad Zamfir— Against on-chain governance
Vitalik Buterin —Notes on Blockchain Governance
Vitalik Buterin — Governance, Part 2: Plutocracy Is Still Bad
Haseeb Qureshi — Blockchains should not be democracies
Dean Eigenmann —Against community governance
I find the use of the term plutocracy in this context to be inaccurate and alarmist.
This post considers DASH’s treasury model and history of proposal voting. Relevant data and R code are in this github repository.
This post is structured as follows:
Introduction to Dash and the Treasury DAO Review of Treasury Proposals from August 2015 — January 2018 Summary of relevant points for decentralized governance of development funds DASH was I think the first cryptocurrency to award a portion of the block reward to a fund which is administered by a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) for the purpose of developing and promoting the project.
This article gives my perspective on the governance of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. I didn’t take much interest in the blockchain space until summer of 2017, when the Bitcoin Cash fork and the underlying reasons for it caught my attention. I started looking into this and discovered an interest in how these decentralized networks/projects/currencies make decisions about how they should evolve. On the one hand these are (mostly) open source software projects, but on the other hand the software is being used to run networks that hold hundreds of millions of dollars in value.
Governance of the Decred project subsidy through Politeia I’ve recently taken an interest in cryptocurrency projects that are attempting to decentralize various aspects of their governance. Decred is interesting in this regard because it aims to decentralize decision-making about both:
the adoption of consensus changes that require hard forks the spending of a project subsidy (10% of the block reward) Decred Governance Basics Decred combines Proof of Work (PoW, 60% of block reward) with Proof of Stake (PoS: 30% of block reward) to secure the network, with the remaining 10% of the block reward going into a project subsidy wallet to fund development of the project.