OrgTech Weekly #15

Colony mainnet launch, OpenLaw legal wrapper repository, new Autark roadmap, and more!

Previously on OrgTech Weekly

Most clicked: Aragon, DAOstack, Colony, Moloch [a comparison], Memorandum of Understanding between dOrg, LLC and Open, Esq LCC, Wetonomy embraces the DAT paradigm.

Project News

Aragon

  • Autark Flock Proposal for Aragon Network Vote #3. Autark is rebranding That Planning Suite to Open Enterprise, to reflect its evolution into a suite of apps for the general coordination of organisations. They're targeting a soft-launch to mainnet during Q4 2019 and aim to expand the functionality of the existing suite (e.g. add support for bounties that aren't connected to GitHub issues and for reviewers to get a percentage of the bounty), to enable new governance mechanisms (e.g. new voting patterns, dispute resolution, and vetoing), and to work on various initiatives that will support the Aragon ecosystem. Lots more details in the linked proposal.

  • The Founding Episode - In Flight by Aragon One Podcast. Aragon co-founders Luis Cuende and Jorge Izquierdo introduce their new podcast and discuss the evolution of crypto since 2017, IEOs, blockchain fundraising, and decentralised infrastructure.

  • Aragon Black Blog: A blockchain for Bookchin. A follow up to last week's "A History of Decentralization" post, this essay explores Bookchin's "libertarian municipalism" philosophy in relation to blockchain technology.

Colony

  • Glider has launched. Colony's mainnet was soft-launched 2 weeks ago and is now ready to go public. This first release brings reputation, the ability to use any ERC-20 as your colony's native token, task management and payments within single-level domains, role-based permissions, and the ability to distribute rewards according to reputation earned. Check out the contract here and the release notes. The dApp is not live yet, but developers can start interacting and building with the Colony Network (e.g. to integrate Colony with the dxDAO).

ditCraft

  • ditCraft released updated ditExplorer with UI improvements. Previously, ditCraft announced dit v0.2 with support for deploying smart contracts on POA Network's xDAI network and an integrated Twitter bot for (Twitter-)KYC. ditExplorer is a graphical interface to dit, a decentralised Git which uses staking with reputation-based "knowledge tokens" (KNW) to coordinate and vote on merge requests.

Edgeware

Open ESQ

  • The operating agreements of dOrg, LLC and Open, ESQ LLC were published on Open Law. Both agreements, as well as their Memorandum of Understanding (reported last week), were written with the legal support of Open ESQ. With their assistance in forming the recently launched PoolTogether LLC-DAO, it looks like Open ESQ are building up the experience to be the lawyers of choice for new DAOs.

OpenLaw

  • The Era of Legally Compliant DAOs. OpenLaw has built upon the earlier work of Open ESQ and dOrg, with the launch of the OpenLaw DAO, a free legal repository for people to easily deploy Limited Liability Wrappers for their DAOs. These wrappers will prevent DAOs from being defined by default as general partnerships, which would result in joint and several liability for all members. This dramatically expands the use cases of DAOs, empowering them to take on more traditional contractual relationships and manage physical assets.

Brain Food

  • Dynamic Governance: Where Cybernetics Meets Sociology. Dynamic governance, or sociocracy, is a management approach where decisions are made with consent where nobody objects, as opposed to consensus where everybody agrees. Teams ('circles') are interlinked through individuals who belong to two or more circles across all hierarchical levels. As a consequence, dynamic governance can help organisations to move forward with decisions quickly while also make use of knowledge throughout the organisation.

  • Introducing Gauntlet. Designing cryptoeconomic systems is a complex endeavour as their decentralised governance often involves lengthy update processes and their decentralised architecture may be subject to lucrative attack vectors. Gauntlet is building a simulation platform to run agent-based modelling which "leverages battle tested techniques from other industries to emulate interactions in crypto networks". By modelling the choices of individuals, the tool could map emergent patterns and ultimately contribute towards more secure and effective incentive designs and governance mechanisms.

  • Risk-adjusted token bonding curves. Most token bonding curves follow a fixed pricing function of token supply and demand. Due to external factors and information asymmetries, such bonding curves can be subject to market failures. The ixo Foundation proposes an adaptive impact financing mechanism, with an alpha coefficient as a modifier on the bonding curve. As a result, the adjusted price accounts for risk information. For instance, in the case of impact investing, the price of such a bonding curve would reflect the chance of reaching an impact milestone. Open questions include how the risk factor can be deterministically calculated.

Beyond OrgTech

  • A dose of democracy in corporate governance may help save social media. Social media businesses thrive by fine-tuning algorithms to optimise their platforms for user's attention and engagement. Yet, scandals such as Cambridge Analytica raised awareness of the political power that is influenced by these platforms' business decisions. In this political backlash, social media may benefit from involving users directly in the governance of their platform's rules. When legitimising output is not only costly but also politically controversial, a more reasonable approach would be to legitimise inputs by co-creating the rules of a social media platform with the user.

  • Blockchain and Public Companies: A Revolution in Share Ownership Transparency, Proxy-Voting and Corporate Governance?. Traditionally, shareholders of publicly listed companies were registered personally, yet today's systems are optimised for transaction throughput which resulted in the creation of new intermediaries. Non-transparent and highly complex ownership structures inhibit corporate governance to reach and engage the large and fluctuating amount of shareholders. While the complexity is currently mitigated by proxy-voting mechanisms, transparency remains low. Along with digital identities and progressive regulation, blockchain could increase such share ownership transparency and provide the basis for a "shareholder democracy".

Events

OrgTech Weekly #14

dOrg Limited Liability DAO, StandardBounties 2.0, Ethfinex DAO, and more!

The latest issues of OrgTech Weekly haven't been strictly "weekly", due to time spent on developments behind the scenes. The hope is that these will allow me to scale OrgTech Review and bring more original insights on top of the news roundups. The first development is the introduction of Theodor Beutel to the team, who helped me co-write this issue! Theo is a long-time community member of the DAO space, who is working on governance innovation across fields, from international development at GIZ Blockchain Lab to organisational technology at DAOincubator, and was the first ever guest on DAOstack's podcast. As for the rest, watch this space!

Previously on OrgTech Weekly

Most clicked: DAOstack - The Future of Smart Companies, Colony - Introducing Glider, MetaCartel DAO - Accelerator Applications Now Open.

Project News

Aragon

Bounties Network

  • Ushering In a New Era of Bounties: Going Live with StandardBounties 2.0. Bounties Network have released a significant upgrade to their generalized bounties smart contracts. Bounties can now include non-fungible tokens, multiple payout recipients, and dynamic payouts (e.g. milestone-based piecemeal payments). Also, with their new Meta Transaction Relayer, the gas for transactions can now be paid by third party sponsors. Note that these contracts underpin Gitcoin and Aragon Projects, so you can expect this functionality to find its way into those apps too.

Commons Stack

DAOstack

  • Holographic Consensus - Part 2. After discussing the model conceptually in Part 1, Part 2 defines an MVP specification that is embodied in v0.2 of DAOstack's Genesis protocol. DAO members can attempt to highlight (upstake) or minimise (downstake) a proposal by staking DAOstack's GEN tokens based on their prediction that it will pass. The proposal will be "boosted" if the confidence score (upstakes/downstakes) is persistently greater than the boosting threshold, which grows exponentially with the number of currently boosted proposals. More details on the GEN Predictors Network here.

  • Ethfinex Launches Funding DAO. The 21 founding members consists of three equally sized groups - the largest token holders, active community volunteers, and existing Ethfinex team members - who will govern a trial budget of $5,000. Others can join the DAO by successfully submitting proposals.

  • KyberDAO Experiment #2 on DAOstack. After their first experiment with Aragon, Kyber Network are now running a test DAO on DAOstack, with a trial budget of $4,500.

dOrg

Edgeware

  • Edgeware's Unusual Lockdrop: Get Tokens Even With Frozen Funds - Unconfirmed Podcast. Dillon Chen appeared on Laura Shin's podcast, explaining lockdrops as a novel mechanism to distribute tokens and looking ahead at Edgeware's role in the Polkadot ecosystem. Edgeware's lockdrop is ongoing (stats here).

  • Edgeware introduces OurNode. This DAO for Web3 server infrastructure operates like Moloch DAO, in that you can't withdraw money but you can "rage quit" after losing a vote. You can earn OurNode DAO tokens by donating server resources or donating EDG/DOT tokens. To access the server resources, you will need to burn OurNode DAO tokens.

Moloch

Wetonomy

Brain Food

  • At the first talk of YC's Summer 2019 batch, Airbnb advocated for startups focusing more on community stakeholders, echoing the principals of the crypto movement. a16z Crypto partner Jesse Walden highlighted the link to OrgTech and DAOs, concluding that "the next frontier [of crypto] is providing online communities with new tools to harness their collaborative energy."

  • Can DAOs compete with platforms?. Digital platforms fail due to pricing decisions, lack of trust, amongst others, according to this study. Through transparent and self-enforcing smart contracts, DAOs may increase a platform's chance of survival by creating trust among stakeholders, even when they are anonymous. However, decentralisation may be a hindrance to agreeing on politically controversial yet critical pricing decisions when subsidies are beneficial to network effects and long-term user growth.

  • Aragon, DAOstack, Colony, Moloch. A comparison. Aragon provides a modular backbone that supports any decision-making mechanism, which may make it easier for them to build out a developer ecosystem. DAOstack explicitly prioritises decentralised decision-making at scale, targeting the problem of attention with their "holographic consensus" model (linked above). Colony's focus is designing mechanisms that don't rely on voting, overcoming inertia with time-driven reputation mechanics that help workers "get shit done". Moloch is a "minimum viable process" for resource allocation, which prioritises minority protection with a novel "rage quit" mechanism.

Beyond OrgTech

  • Libra Association, the entity behind Facebook's newly revealed digital currency, may be governed in a more "open and collaborative" way than some anticipated. The white paper states that the Libra Association "will develop a path toward permissionless governance" and aims to "start this transition within five years". It remains to be seen whether such intentions materialise, given that key decisions require a two-thirds supermajority among validator nodes, which are initially provided by the founding members, including VISA, PayPal, eBay, and Uber, and carry a $10M membership fee.

Events

OrgTech Weekly #13

dxDAO and PolkaDAO live, Colony mainnet release candidate deployed, introducing Aragon Fundraising, and more!

Previously on OrgTech Weekly

Most clicked: Digital Cooperatives are the Future, MolochDAO: a primitive solution, Aragon Network and Token Primer.

Project News

Aragon

  • Introducing Aragon Fundraising. Based on Vitalik Buterin's proposal for DAICOs, Luke Duncan's research on "emergent organizations", and Billy Rennekamp's batched bonding curve mechanism, this app will enable Aragon-based DAOs to run transparent and accountable ICOs. The DAO's use of funds is naturally transparent, since everything is managed (and can be audited) on-chain, and accountability is enforced by segmenting funds between a reserve and discretionary pool. Mainnet release targeted for this summer.

  • Futarchy Courts. Aragon Court seeks to protect minority stakeholders by providing neutral arbitrators that will protect their individual rights. Disputes will be handled by default at the lowest level of authority, but can be escalated by appeal to higher authorities. Jurors are only rewarded if their verdict aligns with the ruling of a higher authority, so they are incentivised to resolve disputes fairly. The final authority (e.g. supreme court) is a futarchy decision market. Luke Duncan (Aragon Researcher) explains this mechanism in more detail and frames it in relation to traditional court systems.

  • Aragon One mid-2019 Roadmap Update. 30% of the roadmap is complete, including custom labels, Aragon Agent smart contracts, app upgrades, a mobile app, and further research into Aragon Court. Moving forward, they will work with Autark on user profiles, with Aragon Black on the Fundraising app, on a UI for Aragon Agent, budgeting and recurrent payments for the Finance app, implementing Aragon Court, and more.

  • Autark / Open Work Labs - May 2019 Update. They have completed development of the Forwarder API (which will enable better communication between Aragon apps), user profiles, and an MVP home page for DAOs. They are beginning work on Dynamic Forwarding and integrating an upgraded StandardBounties contract into the Projects app. These current two tasks will need to be completed before they can launch That Planning Suite on mainnet.

  • Aragon Network Vote #2 Review. John Light (Aragon Community) evaluates the latest vote. Some things that went well: voting app UX, proposal process followed more closely than in ANV #1, better communication and community spirit overall. Some things that could be improved: several proposals were submitted last minute without adequate input from the wider community, and one wealthy voter was able to swing several votes at the last second.

  • Can Crypto Change How We Run Organizations? - Blockcrunch Podcast. Luis Cuende discusses who Aragon is targeting, what their go-to-market strategy is, and why Aragon is interested in Polkadot.

Colony

  • Introducing Glider. Colony's mainnet release candidate (Glider) has been deployed to the Görli Ethereum testnet. This release won't have the full whitepaper functionality; you'll be able to create a new colony, create your colony's internal token (or import any ERC-20 token), manage tasks and payments within single-level domains, assign permissions on a role basis, and more. Colony's reputation system can be used to proportionally distribute rewards, but will not influence permissions at this stage.

DAOstack

Democracy Earth

ditCraft

  • PoW #02: Releasing ditExplorer v0.1. ditExplorer is a webUI which visualises the voting/staking processes occurring during dit code merge requests, displays contributor profiles along with their xDAI/xDIT balance and knowledge tokens (KNW) in different areas of expertise, and lists the results of past proposals. As per the previous PoW, dit is now live on POA Network's xDAI network, enabling you to stake and vote for code changes in a GitHub repository with xDAI. Check out the docs here for a guide on downloading, installing, and demoing the ditCLI.

Edgeware

Giveth

Kleros

MetaCartel DAO

Brain Food

  • Conviction Voting: From ad-hoc voting to continuous voting. Conviction Voting is an application of continuous voting in which your vote accumulates more power over time if you don't change it. It is argued that this mechanism will be more agile and secure than traditional majority voting, which may make it more effective in cases where true democracy is not required. Check out the original research proposal here.

  • A Tale of Two DAOs and the Rise of Contributor Experience. The quality of experience for a contributor engaging with a DAO could make or break the success of that DAO and its network. A comparison between DAOstack and Decred's proposal flows highlights different approaches to "Contributor Experience"; easy proposals mean more noise, difficult proposals could mean no noise at all.

  • Launching Digital Guilds on OpenLaw & Ethereum. Using Aragon and OpenLaw, you can create a digital guild with a tribute system a la MolochDAO. Technical details and steps outlined in this article.

Beyond OrgTech

  • Organization Science have put out a call for papers on "Emerging Technologies and Organizing", mentioning blockchain. "From organizational boundaries to employment relationships... This Special Issue seeks to advance scholarly understanding of how these theories and ideas need to evolve in the context of these new technologies." This could be the perfect opportunity to spread awareness of OrgTech and DAOs in the academic community.

Events

OrgTech Weekly #12

Launching Kleros Escrow, Updating the Edgeware Lockdrop, Commonwealth's Multi-Chain Governance Portal, and more!

Previously on OrgTech Weekly

Most clicked: Dumb on Purpose - A Behavioral Criticism of Meritocracy, Introducing Humanity DAO, Blockchains are Bureaucracies par Excellence.

Project News

Aragon

  • Aragon Network and Token Primer. Luke Duncan presents an overview of the organizations using Aragon today, the Aragon Network governance process, and the mechanisms behind the upcoming Aragon Court.

  • Released Aragon 0.7.2, with improvements to the labelling system and a new help and support system.

  • Released aragonUI 0.38.0, with a new TokenBadge component and compact mode for IdentityBadge.

Edgeware (by Commonwealth Labs)

  • Important Updates to the Edgeware Lockdrop (May 2019). Edgeware's Lockdrop contract has been launched on the Ethereum mainnet, they have extended the Contribution Period Length to 90 days (instead of 14), and they have a new early participation bonus schedule, new timelock bonuses, and more inclusive signalling.

  • Commonwealth have released a multi-chain governance portal, with interfaces to attest identity, discuss proposals, run for councils, govern protocols, and conduct meaningful conversation. This portal is currently only available for Edgeware, Commonwealth's own protocol. Check it out here.

Gitcoin

Kleros

MolochDAO

Brain Food

  • Random Walks Across the Aisle - Introducing Certainty Through Randomness in Electoral Systems: Random sample voting can result in more representative, informed, and incorruptible governance. It's also much cheaper (a sample of 16,587 can be extrapolated to 900M with 99% confidence), which means a society can adopt more frequent votes and "continuous elections" that keep representatives more accountable. However, random sample voting may struggle to gain legitimacy in a statistically illiterate society and continuous elections may generate too much volatility.

  • Who Owns my DAO?: DAOs have two irreducible dimensions which complement each others' weaknesses. The social layer of DAOs is owned by many (Decentralised) and, through legitimacy (which prevents forks) and adaptability (which provides resilience), protects the autonomy of the automation layer. The automation layer is owned by none (Autonomous) and, through transparency (which fosters trust) and self-enforcement (which prevents undue concentration of power), protects the decentralisation of the social layer. Understanding the nature of ownership helps to set these dynamics in context.

  • Digital Cooperatives are the Future: DAOs can obtain defined legal personalities (and benefits such as limited liability) using the structure of a membership corporation. This "digital cooperative" model is how Nexus Mutual operates.

Beyond OrgTech

  • On The Horizon - A new publication from Work Futures on Platform Ecosystems: "We will uncover and share the techniques of platform ecosystems, to understand the dynamics of self-organizing systems of increasing complexity, and to explore the boundaries of markets, governments, and new forms of governance for open, distributed, and decentralized business ecosystems." Despite no mention of them, this resource manages to be quite relevant to OrgTech and DAOs. Check out this report on the "Evolution of the Platform Organization" (Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

  • Uber Drivers Are Contractors, Not Employees, Labor Board Says: The US National Labor Relations Board argued that "The drivers had significant entrepreneurial opportunity by virtue of their near complete control of their cars and work schedules, together with freedom to choose login locations and to work for competitors of Uber”. However, a former board chairwoman has criticised this "permissive" view of entrepreneurship, which ignores that drivers have no control over prices/marketing.

Events

OrgTech Weekly #11

Introducing Humanity and MetaCartel DAO, dOrg to build bonding curves for DAOstack, and Moloch DAO receives 4,000 ETH from Ethereum leaders!

Previously on OrgTech Weekly

Most clicked: Colony Q2 2019 Update, a thread on conflict facilitation in light of the MakerDAO turmoil, oscoin applications for user testing.

Project News

Aragon

DAOstack

dOrg

  • Gnosis Ecosystem Fund Update II. Gnosis have awarded the dOrg team with a $30,000 grant to work on giving DAOstack DAOs (including Gnosis' dxDAO) the ability to launch and interact with token bonding curves.

Humanity DAO

  • Introducing Humanity DAO. An experiment in unique identity, governance, and Universal Basic Income. The DAO will maintain a registry of unique identities, which will unlock new identity-reliant governance capabilities such as democratic voting.

MetaCartel DAO

  • Forking MolochDAO. The MetaCartel's new DAO aims to "bootstrap an environment that could enable data network effects". The DAO will fund dapps based on their end-user success metrics such as revenue, user retention, and product growth. To incentivise data sharing, participating projects won't receive their grants until they have shared their data.

Moloch DAO

Brain Food

  • Blockchains are Bureaucracies par Excellence: Blockchains automate bureaucracy by replacing human administrators with “middlemachines". By formalising coordination rules and procedures, they help to power global systems that are seemingly less fettered by individual preference, subjective human judgement, or personal authority. However, we should be wary of their potential to become dehumanised “silicon cages” that could end up seriously hindering our freedom and creativity.

  • Governance FTW! Episode 1: State of Ethereum governance: A roundtable discussion of insights generated during a governance workshop by the Coalition of Automated Legal Applications (COALA).

  • Dumb on Purpose - A Behavioral Criticism of Meritocracy: Meritocracy incentivises people to pursue ideas they know are bad, but which will also earn them rewards. The solution is to 1) measure merit more accurately, and/or 2) decouple rewards from measured accomplishment.

Beyond OrgTech

  • Platforms for a Post-Industrial Civilization - Complexity as a case for boundaryless organizing: The boundaryless organisation is not separated from the system it is helping organize (e.g. Airbnb organizing the hospitality market), it IS the system. Rather than focusing on identifying problems and solutions, boundaryless organisations will be ecosystems that take advantage of complexity and scale to allow solutions to emerge organically.

  • Radical Autonomy at Scale: The case of Buurtzorg, a Dutch healthcare company that has managed to scale 15,000 employees despite being fully autonomous, by operating a "network of teams" org structure: "Every time a team gets to 12 nurses, they split. The two newly formed teams grow until they reach that magic number before splitting again. This allows the organization to grow exponentially without damaging quality, satisfaction and cost levels."

  • When Workers Control the Code: Wired profiles "platform cooperative" Up & Go, a house-cleaning sharing economy platform governed by its cleaners.

Events

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