ETHdenver was a blast; it was great to see some familiar faces and shill DXdao to the masses. I wanted to put this thread together to recap on some thoughts I’ve had throughout the events. These thoughts are my own and are not indicative of DXdao’s opinions as an organization nor its individual contributors.
The first and most blatantly clear finding is how excessively far ahead DXdao is as an organization surrounding its governance. We had a decent idea of this at ETHlisbon, but that, to me, was more of an “in the weeds” crowd. ETHdenver presented a much wider array of projects and individuals where differences in governance approaches are immediately clear. For lack of a better term, there was lots of faux governance on display.
This became obvious when speaking about DXdao - the “oh wow” moment almost always came around our on-chain governance, holographic consensus or reputation voting model. There were dozens of projects that expressed an interest in adopting our governance approach to me alone, which brings me to…
We live in an ecosystem where the most accessible governance models lack decentralization or make serious sacrifices along the way. Projects fear centralization risks, regulations and liabilities more than ever before. In my opinion, DXdao as an organization should deepen its priority of its governance efforts. The existing DXgov squad should receive additional development priority, DXdao should look deeper into what GAAS or standardized consultancy would look like under the DXdao umbrella, and how/if it could lead to a potential revenue source for the DAO while retaining a FOSS approach. (Ideal pipeline to me: Token alignment through launch fees on Aqua, granting projects decentralized governance out of the box with DXvote/Gov 2.0 model, providing a permissionless community pool on Swapr, assisting with a code protected KPI based token emission schedule, etc). On that topic:
DXdao should consider a dashboard or hub where its products can be aggregated and a “decentralized project pipeline” can be pushed. I’ve brought this up as a topic previously, but it never felt like a good opportunity to capitalize. As a result of findings at ETHdenver, it is much more clear (to me) that DXdao’s success will derive from a “decentralization onboarding” style approach; incubating projects (both new and existing) through a simple to use and understand process that is as accessible as the current centralized solutions. We are nearly at a stage where we can facilitate this and should consider the benefits such a dashboard could introduce. 1Hive created a minimal dashboard that should give a decent idea on what a basic framework could look like. Also, some investor focused dashboard discussion.
Another thing to come out of ETHdenver was an interesting situation with POAP, or proof of attendance protocol. To give some context, DXdao issued a POAP in a way that was “highly discouraged” but not directly breaching any guidelines after receiving a manual approval surrounding its distribution method and content. As soon as it went live, Dave received an irrational and unprofessional response from the POAP handle, describing the campaign as “pathetic” and stating that DXdao is banned from POAP, before blocking all communication channels.
Although the POAP team acknowledged the shortcoming and implied that we are no longer banned, we are still yet to receive confirmations for our ETHdenver POAP’s that were submitted well before the events took place and as a result have gone through ETHdenver without distributing our commemorative POAP’s. Even if we have personal relationships with teams or said teams have acknowledged their centralization and are working to improve it, DXdao should reevaluate its support for projects with such evident centralization issues, in my opinion. No individual should be capable of banning, removing or otherwise hampering use of a protocol, and the situation resulted in undue stress on those involved.
This whole situation sets a dangerous precedent and should be a good attention call on some areas of centralized weakness at DXdao:
POAP - As mentioned above, my opinion is that DXdao should reevaluate its dependency on POAP to issue fun community centered memorabilia. Alternatives would include minting NFT’s through GC, or potentially funding/creating a decentralized alternative.
Community tooling - Currently DXdao utilizes Discord, Twitter and DAOtalk as its primary community outlets. These have clear centralization risks; to name one, Discord has a history of shutting down channels with no notice or reason. We are already safeguarded from this through Keybase and have identified that “pissing into the wind” would not be beneficial to DXdao, but should continue to strive toward integrating decentralized alternatives where possible. We are thinking about Lens Protocol, GM.XYZ, and more.
Blogging - DXdao and its products make use of Medium. We are actively thinking about the introduction of mirror.xyz to our repertoire, especially as they are simplifying how a DAO can own its publications.
Codebase - DXdao uses Github through individual contributors but is actively moving towards Radicle as a decentralized solution.
There are likely more to address but these were the few that immediately came to mind.
Although we are clear on our vision, that of a decentralized future, it remains unclear what exactly is the primary selling point of the DXdao brand. For our products this is obvious. For DXdao, there are a multitude of approaches which can muddy our voice and create education difficulties. Should DXdao be selling itself as the worlds most open and accessible collective that anyone can get involved in? Should it be selling itself as a suite of permissionless DeFi products? Should it be selling itself as a governance framework provider? What is the primary actionable KPI to monitor when we sponsor events such as ETHdenver? New contributors? Users of our products? New devs? How about the relationship with our products; should we include them in our turnover or are these independent? These are a few things DXvoice will be focusing on in the coming months.
All-in-all, ETHdenver presented the greatest opportunity to date for DXdao to shill and connect with interesting and relevant projects. The ecosystem’s apparent dependency on centralized solutions and problematic governance models makes me incredibly bullish for DXdao’s decentralization first approach. I am unbelievably thrilled for what the coming year will bring and how DXdao can continue to pave the way towards a decentralized future.