[Proposals] Building a Dwebsite for DxDAO’s Alchemy

This is a proposal to turn DxDAO’s Alchemy into a Dwebsite (=decentralized website) that uses only ENS and IPFS.

I’m from Almonit organization for Dwebsites, where we see such steps as essential in having true decentralized Dapps and DAOs. This is testing the water proposal, we’d like to hear your opinion about this idea before submitting it for DXdao to vote on.

The problem

DXdao members use Alchemy to interact directly with the DAO. Most do it via alchemy.daostack.io, though in principle “power users” can also create their own Alchemy instance on a different server (or locally on their computer).

There are two centralization and security problems with how Alchemy is used right now.

The first is for users of alchemy.daostack.io. The problem is that alchemy.daostack.io is centralized, so if attackers gain access to it, they can manipulate DXdao members by presenting false information. This problem doesn’t exist for people who run Alchemy locally, but those are a small minority.

The second problem is that Alchemy uses the services of The Graph to get structured data from Ethereum. For our knowledge this was done for UX reasons, but there is a possibility to replace it with direct data from Ethereum blockchain (using a web3 provider or a local node). This problem exists for all users of Alchemy, even those who run an instance of it locally.

(theoretically, it is also possible for users to maintain their own service of The Graph, but this again requires resources and technical knowledge that most don’t have.)

The solution

We propose to turn Alchemy into a Dwebsite running on ENS + IPFS. This will decentralized the DXdao interface, so that members could use DXdao in a decentralized private way.

This is possible since Alchemy is built as a standalone Webapp. There are three steps in creating this solution.

  1. Connecting DXdao to an ENS name (we’re not sure yet which name, possibly alchemy.dxdao.eth). The idea is that DXdao decisions regarding Alchemy Dwebsite will automatically update the Dwebsite. We need to create smart contracts to create this connection.

  2. Changing routing in Alchemy to make it an IPFS website. this step is purely technical. The paths in Alchemy, as it is built today, need to be changed in order to run it on IPFS.

  3. (optional) Substituting dependency on The Graph by directly querying Ethereum blockchain. We’re not sure if this step is desired by the community. also, it may turn out to be quite a lot of work.

Currently we’re thinking of making a proposal for steps 1+2, which are necessary steps for an Alchemy Dwebsite. Later on we could extend it with another proposal for step 3.

Almonit (or: who are we to make this offer?)

Almonit is an internet project for Dwebsites. We started as a side-project of a few friends in the second half of 2019. Our goal is to decentralized the web, especially by checking the limits of what can be done with Dwebsites. In the process we’d like to bootstrap as many projects as possible, such as DXdao, into the Dwebsites sphere.

Under this umbrella we released two things so far.

  1. Browser extension for accessing Dwebsites: Firefox (recommended) and Chromium-based browsers.

  2. Decentralized search engine for Dwebsites: almonit.eth (or almonit.eth.link if you don’t have a browser extension to access .eth websites directly).

As part of making the search engine we also took upon ourselves the curate the Dwebsites world, so we know that DXdao already got a Dwebsite of its own: dxdao.eth.

We are in touch with DAOStack people. This proposal stemmed out of discussions with them.

We didn’t discussed costs and time-frame yet because we want to see first the community thinks. So please, let us hear your thoughts!

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I’m for eliminating potential vulnerabilities. 1 & 2 for sure would be great to do soon. #3 may be not so pressing a need. But I’m open if it is does not push the budget.

A DAO with a Dwebsite with a decentralized raise, and dApps to offer would capture a lot of attention and prove DXdao to be a beacon of light for the industry.

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on 3) - it might also be an option to get dxDAO members to run “theGraph” nodes to become less reliant on others.

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@neiman cool proposal! I have to say I agree with all of it, and the good news is that look that we will have the landing page we used for the BC-Dapp project (which we think that we some changes and more links it can be the entry page to the dxdao stack), a new developer who wants to collaborate forked the BC-Dapp repository and he left only the lading page ready to be used and published to IPFS and use ENS.

The work in progress: https://github.com/fMercury/landing-page/pull/1

I guess the best way to engage would be to talk with him, and see how you guys can collaborate he goes under @fberdun in keybase.

And update about theGraph, you dont need to run in the landing-page.

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Just for historical reference, before The Graph implementation was live, Alchemy was practically unusable.

This being said the folks at The Graph want to decentralize over time and perhaps there’s a business opp. for the DXdao in this direction.

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That’s a great idea.

Was it just slow or were there other issues?

Btw Geth also has a new-ish graphql option that can be explored. Not sure if it helps.

But if The Graph people aim to be decentralized maybe it’s really best to communicate with them on this topic.

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It was slow to the point that nobody was willing to use the software. Voters wouldn’t vote, stakers wouldn’t stake, etc. So not “just” slow, “user-breaking” slow. Think: loading screen taking hours level of slow.

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Sure, didn’t mean to downplay the severity, simply wanted to know if this was the issue.

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Update: considering the release of DAOstack Voting DAPP (Presenting Voting Dapp 4 DAOstack DAOs) and AugustoL comment on this thread, I think we would not submit our proposal to DXdao for the moment.

The DAOstack Voting DAPP seems to solve the problem I described in the post, right?

But we’ll follow closely how it develops to see if we can help in somehow!

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The DXdao voting dapp will improve the voting infrastructure we are suing right now (Alchemy) and provide a more decentralized solution (Dapp over IPFS with direct fetching form blockchain).

The DXdao website is under development, two people were already working on it and it will hopefully be deployed and removed from the BC-Dapp in the following days.

We have plenty of things in our to-do list, fell free to contact us in keybase in the #development chat.