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.
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 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.