Kate: Welcome to the first call of the year, everyone, happy new year. It’s exciting to be back with some refreshed energy. So today, we’ve got a pretty damn packed agenda as we mentioned in the Telegram chat that we’re gonna really start to talking about the original goal of Genesis Alpha, we’re going to hear from Natalia around sharing vision for beta and beyond, we’re gonna dive into some initial thinking on the reputation model and just get a bit of some feedback very quickly on that.
I will do a bit of proposal tracking and with Fran.
And then at the end we’ll start talking about this concept called Working Groups, which is as obvious as it sounds and it’s just a kind of a technique that you can use in decentralized organizations, to start getting more work done, once the number of people starts growing.
We won’t have a lot of time for updates. But we’ll make a really small a bit of time.
Nathalia you mentioned a new pollinator coming on, but I don’t see them so there won’t be any introductions.
We’re gonna start talking about that notion that’s always kind of eluded us of nailing a goal or an objective for Genesis Alpha but we’re not gonna try to achieve it today, we’re just gonna start talking about it.
So I don’t know about all of you, but personally, I did a lot of reflection about Genesis Alpha over the break and anyone else did a bit of thinking?
So, yeah, a few hands.
So for me it was really interesting to reflect that it’s so easy to kind of criticize or to find the gaps or to identify all our weak spots.
And then I was reflecting that actually in participatory decentralized organizing that’s really only the start of the work is identifying the gaps and the weaknesses and the second part is about creating action and proposals, and this might be like a fully-fledged proposal on Alchemy, or it might just be in action “hey this thing is broken, I’m just gonna fix it.”
So it’s kind of identifying if something is broken, how can I do something about it and then you’re taking that right up to the extreme limit at the systemic level… So just re-introducing that concept that we actually have the mandate to change things that we notice our working as well as they could, especially given that a DAO is a new form of organization and we’re at the very beginning of this. So I also noticed during my reflection that I was making this kind of separation, between my role, I was kind of like, a facilitator, and I see myself as a pollinator, and then kind of like them, like DAOstack as this kind of parent figure, which was a really interesting reflection, and this is actually, this is a lot of thinking being done about this, it’s cool the parent-child modality and it’s kind of the basis of how a lot of hierarchical systems and old school organizations operate. It’s kind of like, I don’t have to fix it, mom or dad will fix it.
So we actually really have to move out of that modality to have any shot at organizing in a decentralized participatory way. So there was a some internal infection, that I’ve been doing and… And I think that’s like if any of you have worked in decentralized participatory organizations before, that’s kind of the only constant thing is that things were always need changing and fixing and improving and it’s up to us to do it.
So today, the call is just about revisiting so what’s going well and to what do we need to improve together? So just before we jump into kind of why we started Genesis, I just want all of us to kind of do what we call a fist of five, and this is to think to yourself but we’re gonna do an internal fist of five, so it’s just thinking from one to five and in 2018, how did we do as a DAO, how did we as a group, as a community do, one being pretty terrible five being we know that we were excellent and this can be totally on your own, kind of, scale or your own rating but I just want you to think internally now how we do as a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, one being not great, five being awesome, just think it to yourself.
Okay, so when you’ve got that, I just want you to think, how did I do as a member or a pollinator or team member in a Decentralized Autonomous Organization?
One being "eeh", five being I was amazing, I was excellent.
And just think that internally to yourself before we move on.
Okay, and any newcomers we’re just doing a bit of an introductory processing reflecting on our progress as a DAO and then we’ll move on from there… And just before I pass to Nathalia just wanted to revisit the reason this Genesis Alpha exists, which is as the testing ground for Genesis final. With the vision in mind that DAOstack Foundation becomes a DAO.
So we have a lot to learn about the human practices which we’ve been doing a lot of… And we also, obviously, need to keep testing the security in the system and to make sure we can hold a lot more money and build out the crucial UX features and resources to hold more users.
So eventually the plan is for most of the budget to be in Genesis and our long-term vision is for DAOstack to become a DAO.
So with that quite long introduction, I’m gonna pass over to Nathalia to talk talk about Beta and beyond.
Nathalia: I also am gonna make a little shift since Matan doesn’t have a lot more time on the call. Let’s do the reputation and general ideas around that before.
Matan: Okay, I… So actually, I think it would be easier to discuss reputation once we have outlined the vision because I think the former is derived from the latter. So, let’s stick to first is speaking about the goal and then let’s discuss the reputation.
Nathalia: Sure the thing is just that we were gonna do a little recap about 2018 and then our road map for 2019… Going to try to keep it very short.
And yeah, there’s an article coming up soon about this that Ezra and the marketing team have been working on, but basically in order for us to continue building more cohesion as a team with Genesis.
And I wanted to just share with you guys. But when we started the year in 2018, the DAOstack team had already been working on the development of the project for more than a year, and even more years in research beforehand. And since then, we have launched our working product, on the main net doubled our team size, upgraded the platform and the governance protocols and then launched Genesis which has been managing around 60 ETH a month and growing in size, producing, around 230 proposals and passing around 120 so far. We’re ready, ready to move to Beta and with Beta will come Alchemy Earth which is a major release for our DAO interface in Alchemy, it would be the first production and client ready version of Alchemy which would be also used for the next set of DAO pilots, and this would be the first version of Alchemy where we can DAOs to each other using an ecosystem browser. It also comes with the performance and usability, to eliminate some UX issues we’ve been having… And as part of this upgrade, includes releasing a caching layer for applications on the DAO stack as well as the ability to add your ERC20 token support for DAO treasuries and yeah, we were very excited to launch Alchemy Earth with the next batch of pilot DAOS and Genesis Beta.
For beta, we will also include our next version of holographic consensus protocol, which we’re continuing to refine and which aims to improve the DAO resilience and the GEN price fluctuations and to also strengthen the game of staking. So I see another big focus for DAOstack in this beginning of 2019 and beyond is the dxDAO which is a project that was initiated by Gnosis and built using the DAOstack technology, it will be be independently governed by the DutchX trading protocol starting in April with the plan, and 100% community owned. And the reputation holders will be able to manage the DutchX trading protocol. So I hope that was fast enough! Matan, if you want to go ahead and share more about the general vision and reputation ideas go for it.
Matan: Okay, thank you, thank you very much… So I will have to ask your excuse. I’m in the midst of packing and running and meeting. So, I’m not reading from something prepared, I’m just speaking spontaneously.
So yeah, let’s start with the vision, the goal and then we’ll derive from that, the early thoughts about reputation.
So in terms of vision, our vision is a whole ecosystem of DAOs, large scale organizations that can basically operate just about anything it. There is the need to have one kind of "group DAO" if you wish… Or maybe special DAO also cut itself eventually if needed, and that DAO which you wanted to call the Genesis DAO has basically the goal to develop that system.
Part of it is, is literally. Develop things, develop code and products and marketing and what not, to build this ecosystem and part of it is growing the network effect of predictors which is a crucial critical element inside Holographic consensus, which is itself a critical element inside scalable coordination. We believe that we have right now the only solution for scale of coordination, which we call Holographic Consensus. And in that game, even if you can play with many different protocols inside that concept, you can define many different protocols of governance, but all of which will have a common factor, that they are scalable thanks to a predictors network that’s constantly producing predictions about the faith of proposals or outcomes in DAOs and… And then there is a critical need for that to build that network effect predictors both for the purpose that it will be sufficient market for predictors, that’s one. And the other, the defensibility of the network effect is that the network effect is defensible so that you cannot just fork the code and basically get everything. If you forked the code change the token from GEN token to other another token, you lose the predictors network effect.
Now, why that’s a good thing, it’s a good thing because then it allows you to have to guarantee in a way the sustainability of that network effect, and give a good incentive to be staked in that token economy, and the fact that people are staking that token economy is what driving all of us being here and get funds for development. So that’s our bootstrap mechanism. We need the network effect locking in order to have the bootstrap mechanism and that’s not something we invented. In fact, just in different words, it’s completely the same story of the way that Ethereum works and Bitcoin works. I’s all the same thing. It’s the universal dapp utility token model which is based on the network effect defensibility. So with that big picture in mind, what we of course, had vision is that eventually that body that drives this whole ecosystem is not for the company, but it’s rather itself a DAO what would be more natural if we are building ecosystem and technologies for DAOs, what would be more natural than asking that the body that’s driving that ecosystem is itself a DAO?
However, we’re not there yet and we are building the technology and we are producing the first early experiment. I would say the first ever DAO experiments in the next couple of months. I think it’s super exciting, but we also need to be humble. There is a long way ahead of us in terms of product in terms of protocol, contract security, UX psychology and community and what not.
So while we understand that, we want to reach a state that a full driving of this ecosystem is made by a DAO, we were forced to start this project as a company, and gradually and responsibly transition the keys to that vehicle to the DAO.
But that’s the vision for Genesis. Genesis was supposed to be that DAO that eventually is DAOstack. Genesis is that DAO that built DAOstack. So, maybe the name that we chose was not good. Maybe it’s confusing. Maybe we could just call it the “DAOstack DAO”, but it was kind of too lengthy. And then we thought maybe about Genesis and it’s also connected with the name of the token, anyway long story. Not sure we made the right choices, but that’s what it is, at least for now.
So the DAOstack DAO or Genesis is to basically drive the ecosystem. Imagine that, if we are successful, if the GEN token will go up as we believe it should go up with the utility value that it has… And then imagine that two years from now, we run a source of capital worth of $200M or one billion dollars. That’s the vision. And now imagine that this DAO is basically that funding vehicle holding that fund and distribute that fund to actors in the network to agents, any sort of agent in the network, any sort of actors in the network to further push and support the development and sustaining of the project. It can be actors, which are companies, it can be actors, which are themselves DAOs and be actors which are just freelancers.
I mean, most likely it would be more like a fractal structure so that the large, heavy vehicle will mostly fund big organizations and then individuals will get funded through these big organizations. I would predict that this will take place. So eventually the end point scenario of this, there will be DAO that is kind of like the decentralized version of the Ethereum Foundation for the DAOstack project. It is like the funding root vehicle and then DAOstack Technologies, which is currently the company that basically the birth of that DAO will just become just another company in that ecosystem, and we hope and already have the signals that that’s possible, but we hope to see many more companies, or maybe DAOs, teams whatever, and DAOstack Technologies would be just one another such company that will get funded by Genesis, so the role should be eventually exchanged rather than DAOstack Technologies funding Genesis, we hope to see eventually Genesis funding DAOstack technologies.
Kate: Can I just quickly get a sense check from everyone? Is this surprising, what Matan is saying or is this kind of what you already had in mind… I’m seeing some nodding heads. So this is making sense and kind of reflects how we’re thinking together about what Genesis offers.
Matan: So given that basis now, maybe the last point of the goal.
The one major goal is to drive the GEN token up. Now, it sounds a little bit like we’re ultra capitalist or something like that but we’re not. We have more higher level goals, such as unhierarchical cooperation, this is our highest meta goal, but we also want to ensure that this project is self-sustainable. In order to make sure that the only way that can be self-sustainable its own self-economy running up.
So the one thing that should unite us… Of course, also the meta goals, also, the economy and we’re speaking about that and we are building that. It should be very clear that the one thing that unites us is to commit to driving up our shared economy. It’s kind like our cooperative. We want to drive up the sustainability of our cooperative. So when eventually in one year, there will be six different companies funded by and maybe 200 individuals get funded by the Genesis DAO. We wanna make sure that all of those six companies are building products that have utility that is using the GEN token utility and not some other token utility because that’s our shared interest and more so it’s also our moral obligation, because we are using funds that are supported by the token purchasers. So, I think morally, we are obliged to take this move. So this is also something to keep in mind… Given that now we have the opportunity, because we are transitioning technologically, we were shifting from Alchemy Alpha to Alchemy Beta, I think it’s going to be a big transition on one hand and on the other hand, it’s still small, so we can still learn from what has been taking place for the past year and make relatively meaningful changes, it would be much less easy to make meaningful changes when we have 5000 people… So now it’s a good opportunity to stop for a moment, to ask, “What do we want that DAO to become and how do we direct the arrow into that direction?”
So what do we want from this DAO… We want basically two things because eventually what is a DAO? DAO is simply a decision making system. Eventually, this DAO is holding some assets, these assets can be funds, it’s all tokens or I don’t know, holding a DNS or ENS and eventually that DAO is just producing decisions over those assets.
So, what we want from a good DAO? A good DAO should be aligned with its own purpose, producing decisions that are aligned with with its own purpose. So in this case, aligned with producing the DAO ecosystem in the meta-level and aligned with raising the GEN value up. In the more materialistic level.
We want the visions to be aligned with the goal and the purpose and then we want to do this DAO to be collectively intelligent, so it should be producing good decisions. For example, why do we think that token holders are not necessarily the best decision makers? Because you can have many, many tokens and know nothing about how to drive things up… So not necessarily the amount of token of token that you hold whole reflects the quality of the decisions. On the other hand, the amount of token that you hold does reflect your interest in the economy so there is something to take into account here in terms of economical "weight" but not necessarily the only factor. To sumarise that we want a DAO to make good decisions in two dimensions, good decisions in terms of alignment with the highest goals of the DAO and secondly, good decisions in terms of collective intelligence.
So these two things we have to take care for, so we have to take care that the decision makers are economically aligned with the purposes of the DAO… So, they have direct interest to make it successful. That’s one thing. And, and the other thing is that we want to make sure that those who are most informed to make good decisions are also those who are “weighted” to make those decisions. So these are the two things that are the bottom of how to make a good choice moving forward and now it’s a technical question and not necessarily uniquely decidable technical question. We can now discuss and have a lot of ideas. How do we turn those meta ideas into eventually a formula? But I want to make sure that first, we agree, we understand the basics because these are the basics.I mean, we have to have an understanding of the basics before we can move on to the details.
So the last thing is about actually about reputation here to say, again, reputation is basically weighting your voting power which means that if we want to create a collectively intelligent DAO we need to make sure and align with the purpose, we need to make sure your voting power is reflected by the DAO just to make sure that you’re aligned but then also make sure that your voting power also reflects your contribution to the ecosystem, what you’ve already proven to contribute to the ecosystem.
And here, I think we need to solve that right now. I want to point out one problem that we need to solve. Right now, we just made an experiment and we just distributed some reputation that doesn’t necessarily reflect anything and we need to a fix for that. We need to make sure that players that are significant in contributing the ecosystem they can also contribute in decision making. So the way that I can envision it is that eventually those many, many players in the ecosystem and that are making the most contributions, and can be teams, it can be companies, it can be sub-DAOs, it can be individuals, they hold the reputation also to make decisions about allocation of funds. And in here you can have a company that can hold reputation, a sub-DAO such as dORG can hold reputation in Genesis. Gnosis, an external company which is highly contributional to the DAOstack project can hold reputation. And then individuals of course can hold reputation.
And the last point just to reflect how now things are a little bit twisted…
Just try to think about it from our perspective right now, the situation is that, take team members, for example, in DAOstack Technologies, take myself, for example. Some people would say, "Well you’re not active in the DAO, but that’s no true. I’m active 24/7 in the DAO. But since I’m not doing it via the DAO process, I won’t get reputation there, because I’m producing via the company process and that’s a problem we need to solve, we need to eventually we need to solve it in a way that when you’re producing when you’re contributing something which is good in the subjective sense that we have mentioned before, you’re entitled to reputation.
Right now because of this separation between the DAOstack Technologies company and the DAOstack project and the Genesis DAO, because of these separations we do not reflect it properly, so we need to find new ways to reflect more correctly. For example, Pat made a proposal by which Tibet, who is a team member, will get reputation for producing the identity feature in Alchemy.
Which was, I think, was a nice experiment for Pat’s direction and it was actually approved, but think about it. What next, should I ask for reputation for upgrading the protocol, should Yehonatan ask for reputation for paying salaries on time? Where does it end? To me, it makes much more sense that we, the DAOstack Technology company which is working as a company, I think it much more sense, that for example, once in a few months, we, as a company said to the DAO, "Hey we’ve done such and such, we produced application we’ve built such and such business model, whatever, and we’re asking for some reputation for that as a company, as an entity… And then at the same time Gnosis, is doing such and such promotion or investment or producing products and they’re asking for reputation or dOrg is producing a new client they’re asking for reputation or the Bo and Shivan team is doing stuff and are asking for reputation. I think the more we are resorting to reflecting the reality as it is, I think the better we would have our reputation distribution moving forward.
There’s much more to say but let’s stop here. And hear some reactions.
Kate: Matan, could you summarize your initial plan? Like, how could we do reputation going forward?
Matan: So the reason I made it a little bit obscure is because actually there are different ways to do so… And I want to let people think about it, but… But for example, such I would suggest that every entity that is contributing to the ecosystem… And including DAOstack Technologies itself, including Gnosis, including dOrg, every entity that is contributing to the ecosystem should ask for reputation for that entity. That’s one thing, number two, I think we should have also reputation, and there are different ways to do so and let’s not go into the details right now, but I think we should also reserve reputation for people who take their GEN and lock it up for, let’s say, one year or two years. Because when you take GENs and locking them up for two years, you’re saying something, you’re saying "I’m a long-term supporter of the project. I have a strong incentive to drive that token up it does make sense that you have a voice about how to use the funds of that organization.
These are the two most important things. We are going to give reputation to every autonomous entity that is contributing to the ecosystem and two, we are going to somehow tie some of the reputation to locked token holding. By the way, it can also be the other way around, rather than giving reputation to those that have tokens and are locking them we can also do the opposite, and give lock tokens to those who produce good stuff and got reputation and I would advocate doing both.
Kate: Okay, great, thank you, Matan.
Very detailed meta level and specific address there. And do we have any questions specifically around reputation first? And then if we have time, we’ll get to more of the goals and objectives that Matan was talking about, but specifically around his initial reputation ideas.
Felipe: Two questions, first is I think one of the first actionable steps that we could do is that if you feel that your current reputation percentage does not reflect what you should have just make an ask and see how the community reacts that should be a valuable way to deal with it. And when we talk about organizations holding the reputation, I think that’s awesome, especially if we address how these organizations make decisions in their own micro-DAOs, and that’s what excites me the most to see coming in the future.
Matan: Yeah, just to say I just want to warn for one thing. And that’s actually what I tried to hit for a warning from the situation of duplication. I can come to the DAO and say "DAO, I want reputation because I made more contributions to the project and I also upgraded the Genesis protocol recently… But then DAOstack could say “We just produced Alchemy Beta, we want reputation.”
But if you notice there is actually duplication here I think it’s better that you get reputation not just tied to your condition, but also to the way that you made the contribution. Because I did not upgrade the Alchemy protocol or manage the company as a DAO member, I really did it under the company… The company’s roadmap. I did under the direction of the board, and so on and so forth, so I should get so not me should get the reputation for that. I think the company need to get the reputation.
Now, I may also spend some hours of my week producing crazy ideas that my partners in the company not to want to think about, I can still ask the DAO to think about them and then I should ask for reputation for those ideas directed to me. So I’m just saying that this kind of culture identifying not only the contribution that you make, relating to a reputation, but also relating it in the right ways, such that it reflects also the process you got to that’s your first question. Your second question… Yes, I think… Entity holding reputation is definitely the future that’s already in the early white paper appeared. And it’s a question what you mentioned is a big question whether a DAO should entitle an entity reputation given it can ask “What is your internal governance system?” I’m not sure that’s required when for me I would say just as a token economy should be fungible, I would say reputation allocation should be fungible. When an agent is producing something contributional, the DAO should decide whether this contribution is contributional or not, and how much reputation to allocate to it. If it is, I don’t think that the DAO should ask the entity to break down its autonomicity, I don’t think that DAO should ask that entity “how do you manage your internal stuff?” That’s its own business, I would say, and the same I would say fo sub-DAOs, I don’t think that DAOs should enforce sub-DAOs. There is one exception to what I’m saying which is top down things for example and it could be like fund allocation. Imagine that now you come up with 10 people and you’re saying we are founding a new sub-DAO under Genesis, we call ourselves Genesis B, and we are going to allocate funds to further development but we are more professional we are small, we are lean and now we’re asking from Genesis $500k, and then we will better distribute these funds in a better, faster way.
The DAO could just agree, yeah, and say "I will give you those $500k provided that they have a supervision on the way that you internally manage that."
Francesca: So maybe this is a stupid question, but I’ve been thinking about this for a while, which is, this practice that we seem to have established that new pollinators ask for reputation, and I’m quite confused about that because I thought that actually the idea was that the way you get reputation is by making a proposal that people like and then getting the DAO saying, "Okay you can have reputation for something you actually did like an idea you proposed or work you executed and that you don’t just arrive no one knows you, and then you just ask for reputation and get it.
So I was just wondering whether, that’s correct, and maybe in this next phase, we should discontinue just asking for reputation when you arrive, because we’re experimenting let’s see how this works kind of a dynamic.
Matan: That’s a really good and really, really a tough question, so to be honest, the way to boot strap reputation is a tricky question and there is no one right answer to that. And what we have taken as a route is to kind of like the policy of not having a policy.
Well, you can make a proposal and ask for reputation, it can be, as you say, making a contribution and asking for reputation for that, but it can also be reputation for who you are.
“I’m a good decision maker, I want to get reputation for that DAO”. Okay, makes sense, maybe. So my answer is disappointing since I think there is no one answer. I think there should emerge a culture and what you’re mentioning is definitely one self some of the points that we want to touch about in the transition from alpha to beta and when I say touch about does not need to be an exclusive one strategy, it can be a culture. “From this point onward let’s allocate reputation such and such way”. Or it could be more flexible, like let’s just agree about some outlines, what makes sense or not and culturally accepted as a community and then adopt them. But just to say one comment, the one reason why it makes sense to have this, or some similar mechanism is in order to scale up reputation because if you only get reputation by producing something, which I think in terms of alignment is actually a very good way, but in terms of scaling is a little bit problematic in the sense that the DAO will grow slower while as if you can gain reputation by asking for reputation or proving that you’ve got good reputation in other DAOs that are considered by Genesis to be pretty aligned with them or because you lock your GEN tokens for two years. So, if Genesis decides that this kinds of generic mechanism are suitable for distributing reputation it does, it will make sense that for some of these forms… But you are right, that right now it doesn’t make sense at least in the sense of it being pretty random… You can ask for 100 REP and someone else will ask for 120 but the nice thing to see that culture has emerged, right? A culture has emerged and gradually everyone are asking the same amount, which is quite interesting, I think.
Kate: Okay, so we’ve spent quite a lot of time on that and it’s obviously gonna be a start of a longer conversation, Matan and I think it’s gonna be really useful somehow. Maybe you Felipe you could think with me on this, how we grab all of this information and make it accessible to the rest of the community.
Matan: I need to drop out of the call but can I just ask, so everyone please just write me directly if you have any questions, any suggestions, any wild ideas, any wild critics anything just write me directly in Telegram, and it may take me time to answer, but I will reply each and every message, and that’s kind of like. Discussions is always the best way to get cohesion over this position.