Uniswap’s first governance vote fails … despite 98% support

https://cointelegraph.com/news/uniswap-s-first-governance-vote-fails-despite-98-support

Uniswap’s first governance proposal has ended in defeat, with votes in favor falling a whisker short of the required threshold.

The first governance vote for decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap has ended in failure, despite the proposal attracting overwhelming support of 98% of votes cast. Despite this, it fell roughly 1% short of the 40 million votes threshold needed for approval by the close of voting.

The poll ended earlier today with almost 39.6 million UNI staked in favor, compared to roughly 700,000 opposed. DeFi blogger Danger Zhang (‘@safetythird’) described the vote as “the DeFi equivalent of winning the popular vote but losing the electoral college.”

Uniswap governance vote results: Uniswap

Ironically, the proposal sought to reduce the number of tokens needed to submit and pass proposals. It was put forward by open-source lending protocol and major UNI token holder, Dharma, 

Currently, proposals can only be made by entities holding at least 1% of UNI’s circulating supply (10 million UNI, worth around $30 million), and need to surpass 40 million total votes (worth $130 million) to pass. Dharma’s recommendations would lower the thresholds so holders of at least 3 million ($9 million) UNI could suggest upgrades, and only require 30 million supporting votes ($100 million) for a proposal to pass.

Responding to the vote’s conclusion, Dharma CEO and co-founder Nadav Hollander described the result as “a disappointing outcome that demonstrates the impetus for the proposal in the first place.”

However, Dharma’s proposal was not welcomed by all within the DeFi space, with critics pointing out that if it passed just two entities, Dharma and blockchain simulation platform Gauntlet, would almost have the number of tokens needed to find quorum between them. Dharma currently controls 15 million UNI in a single address.

Some onlookers hailed the vote as a success, with crypto developer Agustin Aguilar arguing that voter abstinence should be understood as a barometer of opposition to the proposal:

DeFi Protocol MANTRA DAO Partners MATIC Network, an Ethereum Layer-2 Blockchain Scalability Solution Provider – Crowdfund Insider

https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/10/167986-defi-protocol-mantra-dao-partners-matic-network-an-ethereum-layer-2-blockchain-scalability-solution-provider/

DeFi Protocol MANTRA DAO Partners MATIC Network, an Ethereum Layer-2 Blockchain Scalability Solution Provider  Crowdfund Insider

Decentralized storage project Filecoin launches long-anticipated mainnet

https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/81183/decentralized-storage-project-filecoin-launches-long-anticipated-mainnet?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Decentralized information storage project Filecoin has finally launched its mainnet at block 148,888

The launch comes three years after Filecoin’s initial coin offering, which raised over $205 million in 2017 and was one of the largest token sales that year. The process towards Filecoin’s launch has been marked by numerous delays and a recent investor revolt against Protocol Labs, the network’s parent company. 

The platform, which is built on top of the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), is meant to allow users to buy and sell unused storage using the network’s native cryptocurrency, filecoin (FIL). Filecoin users can hire miners to store or distribute data, and miners can earn rewards for completing their requests.

The Filecoin team announced its multi-phased plan to launch on mainnet in late September this year, beginning with a “pre-liftoff phase,” which gave users time to set up and prepare their systems. The platform also hosted an incentivized testnet competition called Space Race, where over 500 miners onboarded over 325 pebibytes (PiB) of storage capacity. The team says that’s equivalent of having “enough space for 90 million 1080p movies, 1,400 full copies of Wikipedia, or 7 times the entire written works of mankind (in all languages) from the beginning of recorded history to the present day.”

In total, there are more than 500 pebibytes (PiB) of verified storage already available for clients to use, according to Filecoin’s head of operations Ian Darrow.

© 2020 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Finance Redefined: Can DeFi and on-chain governance change human nature? Oct. 7-14

https://cointelegraph.com/news/finance-redefined-can-defi-and-on-chain-governance-change-human-nature-oct-7-14

Decentralized community governance isn’t always so decentralized.

This week, one bit of news really grabbed my attention: Dharma getting criticized for allegedly trying to capture Uniswap governance.

Dharma is the company behind a crypto payments and exchange app, a sort of Ethereum-based cousin of Square’s Cash App. Or at least that’s what I previously used to describe it — if you visit the website now you basically only see mentions of DeFi and some very trippy images.

The Dharma website design is now very… daring. And inspired by Uniswap in some ways.

The Dharma website design is now very… daring. And inspired by Uniswap in some ways.

Like Uniswap and Compound, Dharma is backed by some traditional Silicon Valley venture capitalists and Coinbase. It’s also one of the most vocal “community governance” members of both protocols — shocking, I know.

But I don’t mean to single out Dharma here. They have legitimate interests in the matter given their tight product integrations with DeFi, and on Uniswap they’re trying to do right by their users who missed out on the airdrop.

If you take a stroll through the Compound or Uniswap governance dashboards, you’ll probably see the general issues I see with these types of “decentralized community governance” protocols.

Most proposals are submitted by a small clique of stakeholders, usually the team or some highly-related company (another name that often pops up is Gauntlet, which is funded by Paradigm, Polychain… and obviously Coinbase). It doesn’t help that making a proposal on Compound requires a fully formed technical implementation and 100,000 COMP (worth $10 million or so).

Sure, you may discuss things on the forums as a small holder. But I have serious doubts that those public forums are where the real decision-making occurs. To be fair, the Compound and Uniswap forums could not be more different. The former is a place devoid of life or fun, the latter rages with discussion and accusations.

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The rich get richer

Somehow, I feel that the token distribution schemes had a very, very strong effect on that disparity. Uniswap’s “reward anyone who randomly used us in the past” was definitely much more equitable than Compound’s “let’s distribute tokens with no lockup to whoever manages to pull in the most capital.” 

In general, there’s nothing really fair about yield farming launches — the richer you are the more tokens you receive and the richer you get.

Most of all, this is not inventing anything new. It’s a corporate board, plain and simple. Corporate boards benefit the team and the already-rich who can devote capital to the venture, it’s just that with DeFi you get tokens instead of shares. 

Honestly, crypto has always been oligarchical. And that’s fine, that’s human nature. But if we really want to make something different, we have to realize that our actions are taking us down the same path that formed the modern world.

Maybe it’s possible to have a truly decentralized governance system — whatever that means — but it certainly won’t happen when we actively reward wealth with control. (And control with more wealth.)

The blame games are getting out of hand

A story that made me chuckle is the sincere belief shared by some that YFI fell because Alameda Research (the company behind the FTX exchange) shorted it.

The blockchain doesn’t lie, and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried didn’t exactly deny it, so maybe it’s true.

Of course the logical reason for a bull to get irritated about shorting is that by doing so, bears create extra selling pressure. And that’s probably true, but one also has to remember that they provide extra buying pressure on the way down. It’s quite well established that futures — which make shorting very easy — dampen the overall volatility of the market.

Emotions are running high, and anger is usually associated with the bottom of a market cycle, so maybe this news is actually good?

But there’s another blame game that makes very little sense and suggests people are still crazy. Andre Cronje, the founder of Yearn Finance, is once again being attacked because people “aped in” to one of his unreleased projects.

It was basically an impermanent loss mitigation proof-of-concept for other developers to try. People put huge sums of money and then lost it — one particular address put in 1,000 ETH and got back 74 ETH.

But despite Cronje’s giant, stark warnings (see below) people were still bashing this as yet another example of him “testing in prod” and making people lose money.

Except that, well, nothing actually happened. The system worked fully as intended, nobody got hacked. This is just what usually happens when you pile into some random smart contract.

So, errr, maybe read the sign. Then there’s nobody to blame and we can all enjoy DeFi again.

DeFi Pulse Now Grades Decentralized Finance Risks

https://decrypt.co/45027/defi-pulse-now-grades-decentralized-finance-risks

Crypto investors have a new reference point for evaluating decentralized finance projects, thanks to a new risk indicator from DeFi Pulse.

DeFi Pulse announced on Tuesday the release of the DeFi Pulse Economic Safety Grade, developed in partnership with blockchain simulation platform Gauntlet Networks, to give users a way to better understand the risks they’re taking when locking value in DeFi protocols. 

The Economic Safety Grade is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100 and measures a protocol’s risk of insolvency, with higher scores indicating a safer investment. It’s another sign of an industry working to break into the mainstream and become more accessible to novice users.

DeFi, short for decentralized finance, is an emerging industry based on a variety of blockchain-based protocols that use code known as smart contracts to provide financial services like loans or interest. Instead of relying on centralized third-parties like traditional banks, DeFi protocols use value contributed by users in the form of cryptocurrency deposits to provide financial services; users receive interest income in return.

DeFi Pulse has become one of the leading indicators for tracking the growth of DeFi and identifying quality protocols, using blockchain data to measure the total amount of value locked (TVL) in DeFi protocols and providing basic information about projects’ functionality.

The DeFi Pulse Economic Safety Grade measures the risk of protocols becoming insolvent—that is, when the value of contributed collateral is less than the total value of all loans that have been issued. If a protocol becomes insolvent, users that have contributed cryptocurrency to be used by the project are at risk of getting back less crypto then they put in, or, in a worst-case scenario, none at all. 

Grades have been assigned to two DeFi projects so far, lending services Compound and Aave, which earned a 91% and a 95%, respectively. Scores are updated in real time based on potential price movements and borrowing patterns.

Aave Raises $25 Million to Bring DeFi to Institutions

DeFi is still a young industry, having only recently caught the attention of crypto enthusiasts—it took nearly three years for TVL in DeFi to gather its first billion, which it hit on June 2020, but less than four months to go from $1 billion to $10 billion

The next wave of growth will likely rely on drawing in users with little or no experience with crypto. If so, the DeFi Pulse Economic Safety Grade could be a valuable tool in helping those users stay safe, invest wisely, and stick around for the long term.

Governance Roundup: What DeFi protocol communities are discussing and debating

https://www.theblockcrypto.com/genesis/80335/defi-governance-proposal-roundup?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Quick Take

  • In addition to major feature launches, many protocols have minor parameter decisions (e.g. changing interest rates in MakerDAO) that must be made by token holders
  • Most of the governance happens on forums, where users submit proposals and ideas, and community members give their feedback
  • The first layer of voting is typically informal to gauge interest, and then proposals are moved to token holder voting (or execution via a multi-signature signers)

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this Genesis research on The Block.

Interpretation of PIKE ecological governance, the future value of PPC shines

https://medium.com/@pikeprotocol/interpretation-of-pike-ecological-governance-the-future-value-of-ppc-shines-1d45456a05bc?source=rss------ethereum-5

DeFi (Decentralized Finance) has become one of the hot topics in the crypto field this year. The DeFi market has experienced several…

Dfinity unveils ‘open algorithmic governance system’ as final milestone before launch

https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/79323/dfinity-unveils-open-algorithmic-governance-system-as-final-milestone-before-launch?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Dfinity, the much-hyped and long-anticipated blockchain-based cloud computing project, today unveiled a token-based governance system that will be used to control its “internet computer.” 

It’s the final milestone before the network’s public launch, which will occur later this year, according to a press statement.

Dfinity, which launched in 2018 and has raised more than $160 million in venture capital, aims to establish the basis for a new decentralized internet. In June, the network opened its doors to third-party developers. The newest piece, which it calls the “Network Nervous System” (NNS) is an “algorithmic governance system that onboards independent data centers to the network.”

At the center of the new governance system will be a token, called ICP (formerly called DFN). According to the release, ICP token holders will be able to lock their tokens within the NNS to create “neurons” that allow them to vote on new proposals. 

The ICP tokens can also be used to power decentralized applications, similar to the way Ethereum gas works. Specifically, the tokens can be burned to create new “cycles,” which the company calls “the fuel” to run software on Dfinity.

Since the cycles will have a stable value, they will also function as a stablecoin for use in decentralized finance (DeFi) applications on the network, according to the release.

© 2020 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Inside the blockchain developer mind: The governance crisis

http://www.blockchaincompany.info/post/8574735/inside-the-blockchain-developer-mind-the-governance-crisis

In order to achieve blockchain mass adoption, three fundamental problems should be solved. Let’s dive into the third one: governance.
1434_aHR0cHM6Ly9zMy5ldS1jZW50cmFsLTEuYW1
This is Part 3 of a three-part series in which Andrew Levine outlines the issues facing legacy blockchains and posits solutions to these problems.

Read Part 1 on the upgradeability crisis here and Part 2 on the vertical scaling crisis here.

Upgradeability, vertical scaling and governance: What all three of these issues have in common is that people are attempting to iterate on top of a flawed architecture. Bitcoin and Ethereum were so transformative that they have totally framed the way we look at these issues.

We need to remember that these were developed at a specific moment in time, and that time is now in the somewhat-distant past when blockchain technology was still in its infancy.

One of the areas in which this age is showing is in governance. Bitcoin launched with proof-of-work to establish Byzantine fault tolerance and deliver the decentralization necessary to create a trustless ledger that can be used to host digital money.

With Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin was seeking to generalize the underlying technology so that it could be used not just to host digital money but also to enable developers to program that money.

With that goal in mind, it made perfect sense to adopt the consensus algorithm behind the most trusted blockchain: proof-of-work.

Proof-of-work is a mechanism for minimizing Byzantine fault intolerance — proving BFT is not as easy as people like to pretend. It is not a governance system.

Bitcoin doesn’t need a governance system because it is not a general-purpose computer.

The reason general-purpose computers need a governance system is that computers need to be upgraded.

One needs no clearer proof than the magnitude of changes planned for Ethereum 2.0 and the aggressive advocacy for the adoption of the necessary hard forks.

We are not the first to point out this problem. The founders of Tezos accurately forecast this problem, but they ultimately failed to deliver a protocol that meets the needs of most developers for the following reasons:

  • The blockchain is written in a different language than the smart contracts.
  • They introduced a political process where decision-making occurs off-chain.
  • They failed to deliver on an on-chain explicit upgrade path.
  • They failed to establish distinct classes that can act as checks and balances.

The smartness of smart contracts

Developers must be able to code up the behaviors they would like to see in the blockchain as smart contracts, and there must be an on-chain process for adding this behavior to the system through an explicit upgrade path.

In short, we should be able to see the history of an upgrade just as we can see the history of a given token.

The appropriate place for governance is in determining which smart contracts are made into “system” contracts based on whether they will increase the value of the protocol.

The challenge is, of course, coming to a consensus on that value.The most controversial point I will make is the critical need for algorithmically distinct classes that act as checks and balances on one another.

While intuition might suggest that more classes make consensus more difficult, this is not the case.

First, if the upgrade candidates are already running as smart contracts on the mainnet, objective metrics can be used to determine whether the ecosystem would benefit from turning the “user” contract into a “system” contract.

Second, if we were not trying to bundle upgrades into hard forks, they could be piecemeal and targeted.

We would simply be trying to assess, in a decentralized manner, whether the system would be improved by a single change.

Checks and balances

It is commonly understood that in any economy, there are essentially three factors of production: land (infrastructure), labor and capital. Every major blockchain only recognizes one class: capital.

In PoW chains, those who have the most capital buy the most ASICs and determine which upgrades can go through. In proof-of-stake and delegated proof-of-stake chains, control by capital is more direct.

In addition to being problematic on its face, the absence of any other classes to act as a check on capital has a paradoxical effect that leads to political paralysis.

No group is homogenous. Classes, properly measured, create efficiency — not inefficiency — by forcing the members of a class to come to a consensus around their common interest.

Without such pressure, subclasses (groups within a class) will fight among one another, leading to gridlock. Properly designed classes motivate their members to come to an internal consensus so that they can maximize their influence on the system relative to the other classes.

If we can codify individual classes representing infrastructure, development and capital, then upgrades that receive approval from all three classes must, by definition, add value to the protocol, as these three classes encompass the totality of stakeholders within any economy.

Such a governance system, when combined with a highly upgradeable platform, would be able to rapidly adapt to the needs of developers and end-users, and evolve into a platform that can meet the needs of everyone.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Andrew Levine is the CEO of OpenOrchard, where he and the former development team behind the Steem blockchain build blockchain-based solutions that empower people to take ownership and control over their digital selves.

Their foundational product is Koinos, a high-performance blockchain built on an entirely new framework architected to give developers the features they need in order to deliver the user experiences necessary to spread blockchain adoption to the masses.

Gauntlet’s Tarun Chitra wants to de-risk DeFi with an automated governance platform

https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/78863/gauntlets-tarun-chitra-wants-to-de-risk-defi-with-an-automated-governance-suite?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

“A lot of it has just been putting a finger to the wind.”

Tarun Chitra, a former programmer at D.E. Shaw, is talking about the nature of decentralized finance (DeFi) governance. For much of the young market’s history, vital protocol decisions — ranging from changes to stability rates to interest rates — have been made through Zoom calls with the loudest voices often seeing their recommended changes see the light of day. In many ways, it reflects the scrappy nature of the burgeoning market, but it is also un-scientific, says Chitra. That’s the problem his company Gauntlet Network is trying to solve. 

The firm, which launched in 2018 as a ratings agency-like company for the crypto market, has pivoted to offer a platform that makes it easier for market participants to make governance decisions in an automated fashion. The shake-up comes as decentralized entities in crypto are picking up steam. Non-custodial exchanges are now seeing hundred of millions of dollars in trading volumes, whilst trading of DeFi coins are making up an increasing percentage of trading volumes on centralized exchanges.

DeFi projects are governed by a community of governance token holder with varied structures, the most common of which is a multi-sig one in which a set of private key holders execute votes on behalf of token holders.

“Shareholder advocacy is going to exist more seriously in crypto but currently it is difficult for investors to think about these projects and the things they would need to vote on, such as interest rates,” Chitra said. 

At a high-level, Gauntlet monitors various DeFi protocols, running various simulations of certain governance decisions such as the parameters around what would trigger a pay-out for a decentralized credit default swap to the addition of new collateral types for Maker DAI. After examining these various simulation, Gauntlet submits what conditions would translate into the best performance for a given asset to the platform — which users can then automatically submit to the protocol. 

“Compound might want to increase collateral in the event of a March 12-like event,” Chitra said, explaining:

“So Gauntlet would be listening to the on-chain activity and then automatically say, “hey look BTC is very scary right now, so we are submitting code to the blockchain to make the collateral limit a lot lower and we generate a dashboard that shows the reasons why you can vote for this. They are still choosing but we are monitoring and generating proposals.”

“We are trying to automate as much as possible, taking these best in class financial models and measuring risk in all these protocols and acting as an alert system for investors,” he added.

 In a sense, it is also helping introduce less risk to the system. Indeed, Chitra says the platform takes a leaf from the page of hedge fund risk systems. “On Wall Street, you have a risk desk at a hedge fund they are running similar simulations and if certain conditions are met the systems will shut down a trading strategy,” Chitra said.

Already the firm has lined up “most of the big COMP/UNI holders,”according to Chitra.
 
One observer of the DeFi market said “this is actually very similar to e.g. delegating tokens in Proof-of-Stake—only their expertise extends to other protocols.”
 
“I think this is clear & useful though,” the person added. 

“Automated Governance acts as an immune system for a DeFi contract, providing the community with an off-chain risk monitoring system,” a blog post by Gauntlet reads. “Investors can rest assured, knowing that their assets are monitored for safety even in the rockiest conditions, much like a hedge fund’s risk management system or application performance monitoring.”

Underpinning Gauntlet’s monitoring system are new models purposely built for DeFi. In a way, Chitra said the firm had to go to the drawing board, devising new types of financial models that look different from Wall Street’s due to the unique nature of these markets.

“In crypto, it is a lot more crazy because there are unique dynamics between participants. It is possible for a third party to see you trade and pull liquidity,” he said, adding:

“It feels like the 1980s when the unique dynamics in options and derivatives gave birth to models like Black-Scholes.”

© 2020 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Inside the blockchain developer’s mind: The governance crisis

https://cointelegraph.com/news/inside-the-blockchain-developer-s-mind-the-governance-crisis

In order to achieve blockchain mass adoption, three fundamental problems should be solved. Let’s dive into the third one: governance.

This is Part 3 of a three-part series in which Andrew Levine outlines the issues facing legacy blockchains and posits solutions to these problems. Read Part 1 on the upgradeability crisis here and Part 2 on the vertical scaling crisis here.

Upgradeability, vertical scaling and governance: What all three of these issues have in common is that people are attempting to iterate on top of a flawed architecture. Bitcoin and Ethereum were so transformative that they have totally framed the way we look at these issues.

We need to remember that these were developed at a specific moment in time, and that time is now in the somewhat-distant past when blockchain technology was still in its infancy. One of the areas in which this age is showing is in governance. Bitcoin launched with proof-of-work to establish Byzantine fault tolerance and deliver the decentralization necessary to create a trustless ledger that can be used to host digital money.

With Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin was seeking to generalize the underlying technology so that it could be used not just to host digital money but also to enable developers to program that money. With that goal in mind, it made perfect sense to adopt the consensus algorithm behind the most trusted blockchain: proof-of-work.

Proof-of-work is a mechanism for minimizing Byzantine fault intolerance — proving BFT is not as easy as people like to pretend. It is not a governance system. Bitcoin doesn’t need a governance system because it is not a general-purpose computer. The reason general-purpose computers need a governance system is that computers need to be upgraded.

One needs no clearer proof than the magnitude of changes planned for Ethereum 2.0 and the aggressive advocacy for the adoption of the necessary hard forks. We are not the first to point out this problem. The founders of Tezos accurately forecast this problem, but they ultimately failed to deliver a protocol that meets the needs of most developers for the following reasons:

  1. The blockchain is written in a different language than the smart contracts.
  2. They introduced a political process where decision-making occurs off-chain.
  3. They failed to deliver on an on-chain explicit upgrade path.
  4. They failed to establish distinct classes that can act as checks and balances.

The smartness of smart contracts

Developers must be able to code up the behaviors they would like to see in the blockchain as smart contracts, and there must be an on-chain process for adding this behavior to the system through an explicit upgrade path. In short, we should be able to see the history of an upgrade just as we can see the history of a given token.

The appropriate place for governance is in determining which smart contracts are made into “system” contracts based on whether they will increase the value of the protocol. The challenge is, of course, coming to a consensus on that value.

The most controversial point I will make is the critical need for algorithmically distinct classes that act as checks and balances on one another. While intuition might suggest that more classes make consensus more difficult, this is not the case.

First, if the upgrade candidates are already running as smart contracts on the mainnet, objective metrics can be used to determine whether the ecosystem would benefit from turning the “user” contract into a “system” contract. Second, if we were not trying to bundle upgrades into hard forks, they could be piecemeal and targeted. We would simply be trying to assess, in a decentralized manner, whether the system would be improved by a single change.

Checks and balances

It is commonly understood that in any economy, there are essentially three factors of production: land (infrastructure), labor and capital. Every major blockchain only recognizes one class: capital. In PoW chains, those who have the most capital buy the most ASICs and determine which upgrades can go through. In proof-of-stake and delegated proof-of-stake chains, control by capital is more direct.

In addition to being problematic on its face, the absence of any other classes to act as a check on capital has a paradoxical effect that leads to political paralysis. No group is homogenous. Classes, properly measured, create efficiency — not inefficiency — by forcing the members of a class to come to a consensus around their common interest. Without such pressure, subclasses (groups within a class) will fight among one another, leading to gridlock. Properly designed classes motivate their members to come to an internal consensus so that they can maximize their influence on the system relative to the other classes.

If we can codify individual classes representing infrastructure, development and capital, then upgrades that receive approval from all three classes must, by definition, add value to the protocol, as these three classes encompass the totality of stakeholders within any economy.

Such a governance system, when combined with a highly upgradeable platform, would be able to rapidly adapt to the needs of developers and end-users, and evolve into a platform that can meet the needs of everyone.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Andrew Levine is the CEO of OpenOrchard, where he and the former development team behind the Steem blockchain build blockchain-based solutions that empower people to take ownership and control over their digital selves. Their foundational product is Koinos, a high-performance blockchain built on an entirely new framework architected to give developers the features they need in order to deliver the user experiences necessary to spread blockchain adoption to the masses.

The Good Governance Premium – Never Stop Marketing

tl;dr: DeFi is exploding. Barriers to entry are low. What is the differentiator? Good governance. The pace of innovation within the DeFi space is too fast for me to keep up. A few weeks ago, a project called Sushi Swap came on the scene and within 6 days, had over $1bn of liquidity locked in. I saw a lot of … Read More

Source: The Good Governance Premium – Never Stop Marketing

Decentralization May Not be Considered Core Value of Blockchain Tech, Harriot Cao from IRIS Foundation Argues – Crowdfund Insider

https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/09/166971-decentralization-may-not-be-considered-core-value-of-blockchain-tech-harriot-cao-from-iris-foundation-argues/

Decentralization May Not be Considered Core Value of Blockchain Tech, Harriot Cao from IRIS Foundation Argues  Crowdfund Insider

Dash is evolving into a decentralized cloud cryptocurrency

https://cointelegraph.com/news/dash-is-evolving-into-a-decentralized-cloud-cryptocurrency

Dash is transitioning into a decentralized cloud cryptocurrency by releasing a platform that supports blockchain-verified user data storage and a decentralized API.

Payments-focused cryptocurrency Dash is starting to release insights into its new platform, which enables data to be stored within the network in the form of decentralized cloud service.

The forthcoming Dash Platform has been developed from longstanding ideas to evolve the cryptocurrency’s functionalities — dating back to the announcement of “Dash Evolution” back in 2015.

Dash Platform will incorporate four features: a Dash Drive, a decentralized API, or DAPI, a username layer, or DPNS, and the Dash platform protocol, or DPP.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Mark Mason outlined what exactly the company means by “turning Dash into a decentralized cloud.”

In Mason’s words, “Dash Platform is an application development platform that leverages the Dash masternode network and blockchain by transforming the p2p network into a decentralized cloud.”

Clients will be able to integrate their applications to the Dash Platform by using the distributed, decentralized application programming interface —  the DAPI. Meanwhile, the Dash Drive provides support by enabling these clients to send, store and retrieve application data as well as to query the blockchain through a simplified interface.

“One key advantage of DAPI is that it provides developers with the same access and security of a full node, without the cost and maintenance overhead,” Mason said.

For its initial MVP release, the Dash Platform will work as a Database as a Service, or DBaaS. To this end, it will use data contracts with custom data structures defined for the applications that store their data on the Dash masternode network. This data will, in turn, be notarized via Dash’s blockchain.

Ryan Taylor, the CEO of Dash Core Group, has summarized the driving idea behind the platform as being to combine the “user experience of a centralized solution with the decentralized benefits of a permissionless network like Dash.”

The platform’s cloud functionalities mean that all data on the network will sync across user devices — e.g. tablets, desktop and smartphones.

New human-readable usernames, rather than alphanumeric cryptographic addresses, will be supported via the Dash Platform Name Service, or DPNS, layer. Platform users will be able to create usernames on the layer, “friend” other platform users and accept friend requests — as well as transact DASH using these usernames.

Dash believes that moving away from complex cryptographic identifiers will spur more people to adopt cryptocurrency by incorporating familiar interfaces and processes into its decentralized system.

As previously reported, cryptocurrency can already be transacted with usernames within a number of existing closed wallet ecosystems, though Dash claims that its service is distinct as the username layer operates natively to the blockchain.

‘It doesn’t need me:’ yearn.finance’s Andre Cronje on the protocol’s path to decentralization

https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/78010/it-doesnt-need-me-yearn-finances-andre-cronje-on-the-protocols-path-to-decentralization?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

In the fast-paced world of decentralized finance, the people behind the protocols are sometimes just as captivating as the protocols themselves. 

That’s certainly the case for yearn.finance’s Andre Cronje, the former banking developer who seemingly built out both a cult following and billion dollar protocol over night. Indeed, the governance token tied to the protocol, YFI, has surged beyond $30,000 since its inception at the beginning of the summer. 

If it was up to Andre, however, he wouldn’t be affiliated with the protocol as much as he is. Cronje is currently trying to expand the number of folks responsible for shepherding the protocol.

In the most recent episode of The Scoop, he explained why a proper decentralized protocol doesn’t need a decision-maker or figurehead, and discussed yearn’s planned transition to a more decentralized model in which multi-sig holders would approve strategies. 

“We haven’t fully transitioned yet,” he said. Still, he said: “I disagree with this idea that people have that I am yearn because it doesn’t need me. If I were to have a heart attack on this call now, it’s going to continue without me.”

We also discuss: 

  • Challenges of decentralized governance and how the yEarn community has fared
  • Why it’s difficult for other projects to replicate YFI’s success with their token launches
  • How the experimentation happening in the DeFi world matters to the traditional world of finance
  • What lowering the barrier of cost in DeFi means for innovation 
  • What’s behind the kind of toxicity in the space that almost drove him out
  • Some of the new project ideas yearn is working on, such as Stablecredit

© 2020 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Book Sheds New Light on Ethereum’s $55 Million DAO Hack

https://decrypt.co/41952/book-sheds-new-light-on-ethereums-55-million-dao-hack

If the biggest mystery in Bitcoin is Satoshi’s identity, Ethereum’s may be: Who was behind the DAO hack?  

Bloomberg News technology reporter Matthew Leising has devoted the better part of four years to answering that question. In his forthcoming book, “Out of the Ether: The Amazing Story of Ethereum and the $55 Million Heist That Almost Destroyed It All,” due out September 23, he lays out who he came to suspect.

The DAO hack was a June 2016 attack on the first Ethereum-based decentralized autonomous organization, which had raised $150 million in a crowdsale. An unknown attacker, or attackers, exploited a flaw in a smart contract and absconded with $50 million worth of ETH.

Out of the Ether cover. Image: Wiley

The DAO hack is a seminal moment in Ethereum history because it posed an existential threat to the network. Fallout from the hack led to the splitting of the network into the Ethereum Classic blockchain, where the illicit transactions remained in place, and the Ethereum blockchain, where they were essentially erased. 

Given the hack’s importance to the nascent currency, it makes sense that it provides the lens through which Leising can explain how Ethereum came to be the second-largest cryptocurrency.

“I just wanted to tell the big story of the early history, of course, because I’ve gotten to know a lot of the people,” Leising told Decrypt. “And they’re just a fascinating group of people.”

Building a better DAO

The book, then, is equal parts oral history and whodunnit, with Leising in the role of lead detective. Throughout the book, he follows a series of tips and clues that lead him to encrypted messages on the Ethereum blockchain, hastily drained exchange accounts, and, ultimately, a Japanese cryptocurrency broker with access to an exchange account involved in the heist. 

While in the book Leising describes the man’s explanations as a “dog-ate-my-homework excuse,” he told Decrypt, “I don’t have a smoking gun. I can’t say with any certainty that he did it. But he didn’t deny that that was his account.”

Instead, he said, he left it up to the reader to decide.

As ambiguous as that might feel, it’s actually not that important, just as learning the identity of Satoshi wouldn’t change that much for Bitcoin. It’s not even necessarily the top reason to read the book.

That reason would be the level of access Leising was able to secure, not just to talkative public figures like Vitalik Buterin and Joe Lubin, but to just about everyone involved in founding, accidentally endangering, or saving Ethereum.

“There’s a lot of people I spoke to, and everybody was really generous with me. Apart from a few people, like [eighth Ethereum co-founder] Jeff Wilcke and [former Ethereum Foundation Executive Director] Ming Chan, I spoke to everybody involved in the early days and in the Foundation and in slock.it [which coded The DAO].”

As for his attempt to find the Ether thief, Leising told Decrypt, “I sprinkled it throughout the book to keep people’s interest and try to explain in as easy a way as I could one of the craziest heists that’s ever happened.”

Which makes sense. After all, Leising said, “It just gets weirder and weirder and weirder the deeper you go. I tried to just bring people along and tell a good story.”