EthDAO: Making Ethereum great again

At Aragon One, we care a great deal about our users. We care about the ones we have, but most importantly, about the ones that we don’t have yet. Those people are the ones who could benefit from Aragon the most.

We are doing all that is in our hands to create a great user experience powered by secure smart contracts. However, it is not that easy. Those contracts have to run somewhere. We chose Ethereum as the platform to build on. Even if we love Ethereum and it was the community that we originated from, we are also looking into Polkadot. Our long term goal is making decentralized organizations widespread. It’s such an important mission, and we just cannot afford to lose this opportunity against the status quo .

That’s why a plan B is always a must. However, we love Ethereum and we would like it to work. To successfully transition towards Eth 2.0, to gather even more developer mindshare…

For that, we have some suggestions about enhancements to the protocol. But, before that, a couple disclaimers.

These are personal views from me, CEO at Aragon One, one of the development teams working on Aragon. This doesn’t represent views from Aragon or the Aragon community, as the only way for the project to signal something is via an Aragon Governance Proposal.

I am writing this because I deeply care about Ethereum. Also because Aragon holds ~0.25% of all ETH. I also hold ETH personally. So I’d love for Ethereum to work out #tribalism.

Focus on developers

It’s clear that developers are the end user of Ethereum . With the latest UX advancements like meta-transactions, and the future protocol advancements like economic abstraction, the users wouldn’t even notice they are using Ethereum.

It’s time to recognize that, tweak the messaging, and aggressively target developers outside our bubble.

Let’s get away from the world computer messaging . There are way more inspiring ways of selling Ethereum to developers. Like a clean canvas for societal experimentation , a secure platform to build a new financial system , etc.

And let’s please get a new website up on ethereum.org. We can crowdsource this with EthDAO.

Note: Since first writing this, people from the EF have reached out about their ongoing efforts to launch a new website. I’m happy to hear there’s progress in that front. Anyway, I think that having multiple takes at this and choosing the best one is the best way to go.

Open source sustainability: introducing EthDAO

Blockchains solve the tragedy of the commons… but Ethereum development is quickly becoming a tragedy of the commons itself.

How can Eth 2.0 take 3 years to be ready? Why are great teams working on Eth 2.0 underfunded?

I have heard from the Ethereum Foundation that allocating funds is hard, and I know it is from our experience with the Flock and Nest grant programs. However, funds need to be spent for technology to be built.

Aragon Nest was the first grants program giving funds to a team working on Eth 2.0 development. It felt like the pragmatic thing to do in order to push development forward.

However, Aragon raised funds to build Aragon, not to build Ethereum. I find it hard to justify to our community that we are spending funds on that while the EF has way more funds than we have.

The original plan (as heard from Ethereum cofounders) was to migrate the Ethereum Foundation funds into a DAO once the technology was ready. Now it is ready, so I propose that it’s time to do so.

Proper governance

Bitcoin can take a different angle to governance because it’s digital gold. For digital gold, moving slow is a great property.

For a protocol still in the works like Ethereum, building a generalized state machine for developers to create dapps, stagnation means death. We don’t know how users will adopt dapps, we don’t know which properties developers will want, and we certainly don’t know what’s the best governance mechanism for something like Ethereum.

But the current governance process (or lack of) for implementing changes to the protocol, rough consensus , equals to abdication.

Rough consensus refers to a governance process (if we can call it so) which gives a set of individuals power to make decisions based on what they believe is the sentiment of the community.

This has issues like:

  1. Easy to capture via psy-ops and individual targeting
  2. Measuring the sentiment of the community becomes a blackbox and highly subjective process
  3. Embraces personal characters, increasing centralization

I think it’s time for Ethereum to have some proper governance.

We could implement a committee system that just represents how it works today in a transparent manner.

It can be just signaling, not even binding votes.

The broad ETH holders can vote new members into the committee, or kick out existing ones.

The committee could also do the same for itself, and invite or kick out members.

The committee would vote on EIPs to be implemented.

Technical specification

We have spent 2 years building tools to make DAOs real.

Thanks to that, building the DAO described here would be straightforward.

Read more about how it would work and its parametrization:

EthDAO Governance

Summary

With those three improvements, I feel Ethereum would have a bright future.

The worst downside that can happen is that the EthDAO is hacked (either its code or its governance mechanism). Then we stop using the signaling for the technical committee, and we lose some millions of dollars.

The best upside is that the EthDAO helps us coordinate around protocol enhancements, and allocate capital an order of magnitude more efficiently.

I think it’s a bet worth making.

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Wow, huge props, and about time. Awesome proposal, can’t wait to see how this pans out - let the (no doubt fascinating) discussion commence!

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Wow. This is the most constructive proposal addressing these problems that I’ve seen so far. Thank you for putting this together :slight_smile:

As you probably know, Tennegraph is working on creating signalling mechanisms for Ethereum. AFAIK it only aggregates signals that are already out there by following EIPs and seeing what “influencers” say about it on social media. It’s a start. It would be cool to see that combined with a DAO that creates more transparency by allowing people to signal their preferences with a token that can be counted and measured. That could maybe help to reduce the noise, and move towards exploring more robust and actionable systems. Something like that could then be used to help the broader community signal preferences towards EthDAO or other governance experiments.

If it’s helpful I started aggregating similar resources that could help move things in that direction here. Overall though I think it requires funding, community buy-in, a way to get users/data from Twitter/Reddit/Etc to a decentralized database, and contracts to record signals/votes. Doable, but hard lol

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Thanks for the link! The most thorough resource I’ve seen putting together all different efforts and opinions on the matter of gathering community sentiment.

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Regarding the focus on developers, it would be great if tools devs use to interact with Ethereum (I’m looking at you web3.js…) had better documentation, examples, and organized and up to date links to external resources that explain core concepts around Ethereum data (logs, hex, events, etc…). While Ethereum core devs all get this stuff, and so do contract devs, a data scientist who wants to pull some info from the blockchain for analysis or a web developer who just wants to display some stats on a UI is going to be incredibly frustrated incredibly quickly. 80% of the battle is creating something people actually want and can use, and documentation goes a long way to help with that by increasing usability, and thus adoption.

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Totally agree – got kind of depressed when I saw there’s no https://hack.aragon.org equivalent for Ethereum. It’s just crazy

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@luis So I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and it’s becoming clearer and clearer that improving developer UX is essential. Aragon already does a great job of this with hack.aragon for documentation and tutorials, the Nest program to fund concrete projects, and the Flock teams that work on long term projects that benefit the ecosystem. This is awesome because it’s a clear upgrade path that supports projects as they grow.

As the Aragon platform scales, new user/developer onboarding is going to be critical. While there’s already the wiki and hack.aragon, I think that the new Auturk TPS apps will allow us to do even more:

  • documentation, tutorials, and live DAO demos that showcase the power of new Aragon apps that emerge in the ecosystem (starting with Auturk TPS)
  • games and hackathons where community members can collaboratively hack on and upgrade DAOs to earn prizes in ANT (maybe even some adversarial games to test attack vectors / bugs)
  • a “wishlist” of projects that would benefit the Aragon ecosystem that developers can build to learn about Aragon and earn ANT in the process, potentially even graduating those projects to Nest grants and Flock teams

I’m starting to brainstorm ideas around this and call it The Coop. The idea is that it’s a place to incubate ideas so they can hatch in the Nest and join the Flock. Literally just came up with this yesterday, but I’m really excited about it! It’s a WIP, but if you have any thought on the above ideas or want to check out the website that would be awesome :slight_smile:


Edit: WOW I litrally just read your post on dev ux again and you’re saying the same things and even used the :chicken::egg: metaphor! I swear I didn’t pull that from your post! lol It evolved from Aragon Cooperative => coop (for short) => The Coop (like a chicken coop that incubates eggs/ideas), but yeah glad we’re on the same page :slight_smile:

  • regarding “Authentic Stories of Success”: the Hatchery section of the website is a placeholder to address that
  • regarding “Advocacy Headlamp”: the Help section is a start to gain feedback, but the workflow that @lkngtn designed in the Coop DAO Framework really addresses this with community governance and shared rewards. It’s a WIP/brainstorm and not a baked proposal, but the goal is to let the community learn and grow by doing, and the more work you do the more of a voice you have, so users/community members can help guide the whole thing.
  • regarding “Homework Time”: The Coop

well someone has heard you Luis… have to say that the new www.ethereum.org web definitively represents an improvement, at least regarding the Focus on developers point :slight_smile:

that’s awesome burrrata, please consider that the AragonCoop purpose has already some background history that stills need to be refined, concreted and agreed among the Coop members, being and being an “idea incubator” is something that we haven’t discuss so far.

I don’t want to extend this post very much as it’s clearly an Out Of Topic, but please consider having a read (and propose discussions) on this thread Aragon Coop DAO - A Minimum Viable Manifesto (MVM) and its embedded links so we can lay the groundwork properly for agreeing on what’s ‘The-Coop’ and what is not. Of course, once the proper governance framework is structured and consensuated, you’d be able to perform whatever proposal you consider for re-defining the Coop scope and purpose. (BTW, great work you have done in the AragonCoop Github thanks a lot! @Julian and myself will make sure all of it will be taken into consideration when defining a proposal the AragonCoop governance framework and Bylaws)

@sepu85 The Aragon Cooperative had a meeting on Monday and agreed that the working groups would create proposals of what they would like the coop to do, then the working groups would present those proposals for feedback, and then the coop members would vote on them. I am following the process we agreed upon during that meeting. The Coop (WIP) is my vision of what I’d like to see in the world. It does not change anything within the Aragon Cooperative unless members choose to adopt it. It is a proposal which the group can accept, reject, or provide feedback on when it is presented. It is also an extension of the Aragon Cooperative Workflow Proposal that @lkngtn created, so clearly there is interest in the group to move in that direction. As was stated in the meeting neither you nor @julian have the authority to unilaterally govern the coop. The coop is governed by membership, and members govern by voting. Once proposals are ready coop members will vote on them to decide how to move forward. That’s what we agreed on. I look forward to seeing your proposal on what the coop should do.

Furthermore, regardless of the Aragon Cooperative’s decision on which proposals to move forward with I am free to move forward with my own projects however I want. I’m building what I want to see in the world and anyone is free to join me. If the Aragon Cooperative wants to get on board with that, cool. If not, that’s also great. I’ll still be building and exploring :slight_smile:

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Hey @sepu85,

I don’t think @burrrata means for this to be in the Aragon Coop. It seems to be something else.

It is confusing though.
(edit)
Lol, just seen the above response :woman_facepalming:

All gone a bit OT… (I’ll get mi coat:)

(another edit)
so I’ve asked that we all delete these posts from @sepu85’s above.

sure you are following what was agreed in the meeting! but without the proper context (this thread for example), the message can be very missleading.

I am not calling for having any authority over other people here, the beauty about Descentralization is that we all are the authority and everything can/shall be discussed, but again, there are forums already on that topic, pls don’t flood here!

This is very cool!

Two questions:

  1. What would be the relationship between this new site and the developer site? Is this more like an educational platform (with rewards, hackathons, etc.), while the dev docs are just docs?
  2. Have you considered a name that collides less with the Cooperative? Initially I thought they were the same thing when reading the post

Let’s break the :chicken::egg:

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When you say the developer site, you’re referring to hack.aragon right?
If so, then I’m thinking that (Name TBD) it could be something that lives in parallel, but that’s more interactive and community based. There’s lots of great resoruces in hack.aragon and the broader ecosystem, and people can use that to build stuff, but then might want help getting refining their ideas or contributing to more than a Hello World app. A framework and community can help with that by creating open issues with bounties (see rewards section) from a “wishlist” (like these or these. It would also be fun to create challenges where people can compete/collaborate for prizes, but that’s just a dream. Anyways… for all this to happen there would need to be better docs around new Aragon apps, better user onboarding guides for DAOs, and some existing demos (like the Coop DAO Demo) to set an example and provide inspiration. These things can and probably will get done, eventually, by someone… but I thought I’d get the ball rolling. That’s what this is. I’m creating things I want to see in the world. Sorry if they’re a little disorganized, but it’s a WIP :slight_smile:


Speaking of WIP, here’s the evolution of the project:

72hrs ago the Aragon Cooperative had a meeting to discuss the outcome of AGP-40 and decided that we needed to set a direction for the coop with clear goals and deliverables. A few working groups were formed and agreed to create proposals on what that might look like. I was the lead on OWL (ongoing work-based learning) and also a participant in the Coop Workflow Proposal. As I said in the meeting, I want to create things that allow the community to self organize with minimal overhead, dogfood the Aragon apps to showcase what they can do, and create a framework of incentives around community education so that more people use and build stuff with Aragon.

48hrs ago @lkngtn built a DAO to demo his ideas in Cooperative Workflow Proposal. I thought that was awesome so I started building docs to help explain how it works. I started in HackMD, but that was too clunky. Then tried Gitbook, but it’s not very collaborative. Then I discovered Docusaurus. After playing around with Docusaurus, it became clear that distinct siloed piles of documents is silly. The whole point of DAOs and Aragon is to create communities. You can’t create a community around docs. Docs are important, but only if people read them. With that in mind, Docusaurus has lots of great features built into it’s template that allows for social and technical integration to create a dynamic ecosystem around a project. This is perfect for The Coop because our goal is to support Aragon community members creating cool things they want to see in the world via Aragon apps. This requires social engagement/sharing, education/docs/onboarding (docs), and demos/tutorials/bounties (TPS GitHub integration). The Coop does all that.

24 hrs ago it was clear that Docusaurus was awesome so I pivoted towards building a (free) website for the Aragon Cooperative that would be more dynamic and interactive than just docs. I wanted to build something that would make it easier for people to find information and engage with the Aragon Cooperative. The Aragon Cooperative could then fill the website with whatever content they wanted. Since we are in the process of creating proposals for how the organization should move forward after AGP-40, I filled it with content that reflects the proposal I wanted to see (a combination of the Coop Workflow Proposal and some brainstorming discussions and OWL).

Since then, members of the Aragon Cooperative (really just @julian and @sepu85) are giving me pushback even though I’m following the very processes they defined and agreed to in the Aragon Cooperative meeting. This is frustrating, and I’m no longer enthusiastic about volunteering my time unless the broader Aragon Cooperative signal that value my contributions (@lkngtn is the Aragon Cooperative DAO equipped to use the signalling app?). That being said, I still love Aragon and DAOs and want to keep building and moving forward. I forked my own project and am now exploring taking it in a different direction. As I started doing research on what that might look like, I came across @luis’s post on dev UX and it reminded me about this thread talking about dev UX, so I thought I’d share the idea. Here we are.

I agree that the naming collision is a problem. I opened an issue yesterday to fix that. It’s a WIP, but originally this project was intended to be a proposal for the Aragon Cooperative so the name made sense. If Aragon Cooperative community members signal that they value my contributions, I’ll keep working on them and submit a proposal. If the Aragon Cooperative community members vote that they like this idea then it can become part of the Aragon Cooperative. If Aragon Cooperative community members vote that they do not like this idea, then of course it would be required to change the name immediately! As is, it doesn’t really matter because the Coop is an autonomous organization managed by members who make decisions via voting. There’s nothing wrong with building a side project and presenting it as an option for the group to consider. In GitHub terms, it’s an Issue that might become a PR, and might get merged if the project maintainers want to. The Aragon Coop members are in control of this process.

I came here to empower freedom by creating tools for decentralized governance at the speed of software. I think that’s what I’m doing. If not, please let me know :slight_smile:


Let’s break the :chicken::egg:
Not sure what you meant here. Is this another reference to the naming collision, or something else?

Wow. Are we really doing this. :superhero:

Nice post :clap:

I thought we were getting on with it.

This is cool though.

Maybe move this conversation to its own thread.

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This does have a link to the whole eth thing tho’ (IMO)

but yeah, +1 own thread.

Maybe worth saying I deleted my posts before, 'cos something’s just don’t need be around (& that’s ok too). Distracting.

Onwards… agree, let’s make something ahppen

(I wrote more earlier, not sure where it’s gone - tried to paste into less posts. Never as good 2nd time around)

We’ve started today, a few hours in.
Working well, really into it.
Made nice little piece

I understand some of this though, it’s amazing. Done a real days work today, with meaning.

All we’re asking for is to fulfil the opportunity that was mandated to us.

Serious about all this, it matters.

Operating in real border(less) territory too, exhilarating.

Props to all (& thanks)

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