Get your heads out of your ass. On behalf of leadership, I apologize to the ShapeShift community

It doesn’t matter who I am, but the success of ShapeShift DAO is very important to me. Obviously, from a financial standpoint. But more importantly, to the industry that is carefully watching a company decentralize, and how it conducts itself as a DAO.

You started off great, headed towards the right direction. Albeit, the “right direction” is subjective to the individual. A few months later, it almost seems like the DAO has completely reversed course. Is the market spooking you out all of a sudden? , you out of all should know that this is the time to build a strong community and nurture work ethic. This isn’t your first rodeo.

To all the ex-ShapeShift employees, this isn’t your ShapeShift anymore. I sense a great deal of arrogance coming from you all.

Mistake #1 - I sense that a lot of discussions regarding this recent debacle happened in private chats. I don’t know who was in the private discussions, or what was said. And frankly, I do not care. It should have started in a public forum.

Mistake #2 - Once a proposal is passed by the DAO, especially without any opposition, it should be final except under extreme circumstances. I agree that the budget is extravagant. Many points I’ve read are valid. But guess what? No one had the balls to speak up when it mattered.

Mistake #3 - The DAO is nothing without contributors. If you’re going to create division within the community, you might as well just hire old ShapeShift employees exclusively. I hope that the damage you’ve created is recoverable. How do you think the contributors of the DAO feel right now? Underappreciated, attacked, betrayed, scrutinized, are just some of the words that come into mind.

Mistake #4 - God I hope I am wrong about this. Please tell me that the 15mil FOX vote on the random proposal for ENS was not you showing off your influential power. That was reckless, immature, and shows that ShapeShift has a long way to go in terms of decentralization. Was it supposed to be a threat?

There are a few more mistakes that I can mention, but for the sake of my sanity I will refrain. Instead, I will offer my deepest, sincere apologies on behalf of the immature actions of the influential FOX holders. Hopefully these short-sighted mistakes were a result of stress and market concerns.

Community comes first. Product and results will follow. I will always have your back, FOX family. Don’t let these recent blunders push you away.


Concerned FOX.

Dear ,

Thank you for voicing your concerns. Love that we can discuss this in a public forum 1f642

Re: Mistake #1

This past week has been a bit of a rocky one, no doubt, but I think it will take much more than that to steer the DAO off its course. Regardless of what’s happening in the markets, we’re still getting closer to achieving our mission every day. ShapeShift has survived bear markets before, and we’re even more resilient in our current form.

In many ways I think this past week has been healthy. What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger. Can we DAO better? Absolutely, and I invite anyone in the community to call anyone else out if they think they can be daoing better, and also encourage anyone in the community to welcome that feedback with open arms, even if they may disagree. Trust that while your fellow fox inevitably sees things differently, they likely want the same thing in the end, the success of the DAO and the realization of our mission. This invisible FOX hand that binds us together is part of the magic of DAOs that enables diverse, distributed anons around the world to coordinate to achieve shared goals, but free markets can only work with information, competition, and transparency. Now every FOX holder is empowered to propose ideas, give feedback to workstreams/individuals, or just freaking dao it. If we can embrace this chaotic, sometimes scary culture, and trust that all FOX holders are on the same team, we will achieve our vision and change the world.

If we let Moloch, god of chaos, stir up drama and turn eachother against eachother, we will destroy ourselves and mankind may have no better hope. The choice is yours anon.

Re: Mistake #2

Admit the timing on this was also a bit rough, but it was a tricky situation, and I personally don’t see anything wrong with giving constructive feedback after a proposal is passed. You’re right that once a proposal is passed, it is final. That said, the community is empowered to pass a proposal after the fact that modifies the initial proposal. That isn’t even being proposed currently, at least not yet. Rather, another concerned fox shared their concerns directly with ws leaders (nothing wrong with voicing concerns directly with leaders before taking it to a public forum either imo, especially because the intention was always to bring the conversation to the community; I personally appreciated the collaborative approach).

My understanding of how this played out was that the community clearly did want to approve the marketing/growth workstream proposal and didn’t necessarily have better suggestions at the time, but was also concerned about the large spend and whether we were focusing on things such as product marketing enough. As market crashed, appetite for high spending decreased and urgency to see the results and ensure that broadly as a DAO all workstreams are focusing their energies effectively (and whether we have product market fit) increased. If there are concerns about any workstream, I would hope that they are voiced and addressed asap as opposed to waiting until the next budget proposal is up for review.

Re: Mistake #3

Not sure you’re right about community morale among contributors, but always sad to hear if any contributors are feeling any of the emotions you listed. Always happy to chat with contributors who are feeling unhappy in any way, either 1 on 1 or at community lunch (we have that anon submission form too), but from what I can tell most contributors are loving DAO life. I hope they are not just telling me this to make me happy!

Re: Mistake #4

I think I know who this voter was, and pretty sure they didn’t have negative intentions nor were trying to flex haha. Agree that was a surprisingly large vote, but hey, at least that FOX holder is hodling their FOX and participating in governance. Would rather have that FOX in the hands of a community member that is aligned with the vision of the DAO and heavily incentivized to add value to it than Justin Sun or Kim Jong-Un for instance. The core utility of FOX is governance, and right now 1 FOX = 1 vote. if you have a better idea for how to structure our governance process, please propose it, but important to understand that we are building toward a future where FOX token holders have independent, autonomous control of the treasury. We should be nice to our fox whales, but really in general, not assume ill intentions for any FOX holder without evidence, no matter the size of their holdings.

Please keep the mistakes coming! happy to hear all feedback on how we can dao better, and like you said, would prefer that these concerns are voiced and addressed publicly 1f642

Gm fellow fox :fox_face: 1f49c

ConcernedFOX, I think you raise some valid points.

It’s understandable how some members of the community, and the growth workstream in general, might feel a sense of whiplash after having this recent discussion take place shortly after the related proposal passed. As Willy said, there’s nothing to prevent subsequent revisions to proposals, if that’s the community’s will. But this seems to reveal a broader opportunity to improve our governance.

For instance, we should ask ourselves - are we getting governance fatigue? Is the pace at which measures are brought to on-chain voting too fast for a thorough community deliberation? If so, we may need to sllloowww things down - perhaps by limiting the number of measures per week or month, or by extending the voting period. The growth proposal is instructive here; while some Foxes did voice concern about the relatively high budget contained therein, there was never much of a deeper discussion.

I worry sometimes that our governance process runs the risk of becoming a rubber stamp, where people default to a “Yes” vote rather than take the time to really think through a proposal’s implications. That may have been the case here. (This is taking nothing away from the outstanding weekly governance calls, which do a great job of highlighting the various proposals).

We also may have been lulled into complacency by the prior bull market. I’m really glad that the current downtrend in crypto/FOX is making people look harder at budgets. It’s about time! One of the great things about bear markets is they strip away that false sense of success (everything seems to be going well when prices are going up), and replace that with a healthy dose of reality. Shortcomings and areas for opportunity, which erstwhile may have been hidden by the thin veneer of #uponly, are cast in stark relief. It’s sort of like when you’re at a dance club, and the house lights suddenly come on at 2:00 AM. Everything/everyone looked so cool in all the strobes and lasers and neon, only to be replaced by harsh white lights; suddenly you’re surrounded by fatigued, bleary-looking faces, looks of repressed desperation as people realize they’ll have to deal with real life in the morning…and oh by the way someone has vomited in the corner.

The lights are turning on. That’s okay, and that’s healthy. It’s time to face reality and sort through issues that have been bubbling under the surface. I welcome these discussions and deliberations, even if they evoke a sense that “oh man, things are getting a bit dramatic.” And the cool thing is that this is happening all out in the open, for the most part. What a pleasant contrast to centralized organizations, where dissent and feedback are limited to suggestion boxes, where constructive criticism and/or dissent is filtered through leadership’s lens, and real decision-making is made at cloistered “executive off-sites” where a handful of people determine what happens. Fuck that! Here at the DAO, it’s all up to the community.

ConcernedFOX raises an excellent point about token distribution. If one single entity can effectively have carte blanche over any given proposal, we have a long way to go in terms of decentralized governance. I’m hoping that over time, distribution becomes more widespread and less concentrated amongst the top holders. Undoubtedly those top holders are acting in what they perceive to be the best interests of the DAO; by definition, they have a very direct interest in its success. But nonetheless, we should consider: if one single entity can effectively dictate the outcome of every vote, how decentralized is our governance?

There’s a discussion worth having here around a simple question: “is there room for improvement in our current one-FOX-one-vote system?” I think it’s worth exploring. While there are arguably much higher-priority issues in the area of Tokenomics (like ensuring we have sufficient stablecoins to weather a protracted bear market), we should be looking at other DAO’s and examining how they approach governance. What could we learn and borrow from those different approaches? Because again, if the goal is decentralization, where single actors can’t unilaterally determine what happens via governance, the EPNS vote shows that we have a lot of room for improvement. There are myriad other approaches that could augment or replace the one-token-one-vote paradigm. Let’s keep this in mind moving forward, and not be beholden to the current process just because that’s how we started.

At the end of the day these types of discussion make me more bullish on the DAO. Apathy is deadly to crypto projects. Clearly, this community is not apathetic! As long as we keep our discourse respectful and civil, we’ll be in good shape. As crypto prices continue to decline (given the current climate and momentum, they probably will), we must be on guard to maintain that civility and not lot fear and rancor take over. Every crypto project goes through tough times–just look at the history of Ethereum–but as long as we remain committed to growing the community, to building an awesome platform, and to committing to a path of ongoing decentralization, we truly are going to make it.


Is 1 FOX account = 1 vote possible?

Hey I’ll address each of the four points you made… two of them are very reasonable. Your writing is also very clear and articulate and I appreciate that.

Mistake 1 - Some of the discussion did indeed happen in private DM’s. I struggled with this question. Should I post my grievances publicly from the start, thereby putting those leaders on the defensive, feeling blindsided? Or should I DM them first, discuss it to some degree, and then decide how best to bring it more public to the community. I went with the second option, in part because I wanted to hear their perspective on the issues (maybe I had some facts wrong?) Perhaps you are right and first option was better, but I’m conflicted on this one and people I trust advised me in both directions.

Mistake 2 - This is a fair point. My goal wasn’t to block this workstream, nor reverse/destroy it somehow. My goal was to provide feedback and start a discussion to being improving things. A week before the vote when I started digging into this, it felt too last minute to raise the issue publicly. I was explicitly trying not to torpedo something. But your point is a good one: the comments should’ve been much earlier in the process, and if we’re doing things correctly, a vote should represent the sentiment.

Mistake 3 - Not convinced of your point here. If feedback “creates division” then I’ll create division. My goal isn’t to make everyone feel comfortable and supported. It’s to build something great with great people, and I want to be supportive where I see the good work happening. It’s improper to project that my comments about leadership within one specific workstream means I have some issue with all contributors to the DAO. That’s nonsense, and it deflects from the specific issues I brought up about a specific workstream.

Mistake 4 - Voted on this one with a large wallet, it’s what I had active at the time, and the result was already clear so I knew it wouldn’t alter anything. Let’s stop with the conspiracy nonsense. There is zero need for me to “demonstrate voting power.” It’s always been public knowledge that I’m the plurality FOX holder (and the amount is <6% of total, for the record). And to be very clear about this, I would never unilaterally torpedo a vote that the community strongly favored, even if I could.

Sure - the sky’s the limit with governance. Optimism is employing a related approach where they have a bi-cameral process in which token holders are accompanied by a “Citizens’ House” where each holder of a special governance NFT gets one vote (although it’s based on a subjective determination of who should hold said NFT, rather than giving one vote to each holder: Governance Overview | Optimism Docs

Balancing those dynamics - one vote per address, one vote per token - could be interesting. Vote delegation and liquid democracy could be interesting. While I think it’s premature to seriously consider abandoning our current process for a specific alternative approach, it’s definitely worth researching and thinking outside the box; there could very well be governance mechanics that allow for more participation, while also making the process more decentralized and less prone to governance attacks (i.e. a well-funded outside actor buys up a shit-ton of FOX and then dictates what happens with the DAO, as we’ve seen recently with the Curve Wars.)

The Helium community is proposing moving to a one-miner-one-vote system: HIP 60: Entity-Weighted Voting · Issue #399 · helium/HIP · GitHub

Controversial topic

The Helium community is proposing moving to a one-miner-one-vote system: HIP 60: Entity-Weighted Voting · Issue #399 · helium/HIP · GitHub

This is interesting 1f440 Love to see new experiments in governance, and agree with that governance can and should continue to evolve as better solutions emerge. The main challenge with 1 individual, 1 vote systems in decentralized governance is sybil resistance. If/when sybil resistance is solved and we can associate an account with a unique identity while still preserving privacy, I would be open to considering something like quadratic voting to level the playing field. A quadratic voting strategy would take the square root of a user’s FOX balance to calculate their voting power, so an address with 100 FOX would have 10 votes and an address with 15,000,000 FOX would have ~3875 votes. Unfortunately, until sybil resistance is solved, a strategy like this would be easily gamed by sending 1M FOX to 1M addresses for example.

Great 101 on quadradic voting from Vitalik for those that are unfamiliar with the term: Quadratic Payments: A Primer

I’m not really privy to anything that’s gone down here, and my gentle sensibilities may have been slightly offended by the specific manner in which this was handled, but I think the points are overall quite valid.

Mistake #1

I feel the disconnect here personally as well. IMO we make many decisions in voice chat or smaller discussions, in ways that don’t end up documented in the public forum. This is, in fact, the first issue I worried about with our governance process; that said, I admit that I’ve found myself so busy I can’t even keep up with the activity in the public forum adequately, much less follow my own advice and document my own positions here consistently.

Mistake #2

I have zero context here on what happened which prompted this concern. To a large extent that’s a me problem; I’ve been so heads-down recently that I haven’t been keeping myself in the loop. I completely agree with the statement here, I’m obviously missing something important because I don’t understand why it even needs to be said. The extent to which we approve extravagant budgets is the extent to which we need to do governance better.

My best guess as to the underlying tensions is that they parallel the extent to which we’re relying on multisig holders and a centralized treasury too much. Compare, for example, how we do things today to what the situation might look like if all proposals had embedded TXes which immediately allocated funds: in that case, it would be unambiguous what was allocated, when it was allocated, and where control and responsibility for it lay. Relying on “just-in-time”, month-to-month funding from TMDC stable stacks is effectively adopting an extra “shadow” layer of complexity and risk.

I personally feel the capital inefficiency full preallocation would involve is an insignificant concern next to the hard-to-quantify and potentially-organizationally-fatal downsides a sparse-allocation “debt-ceiling” style of allocation could have. (Like, for example, pressure not to ask TMDC for funds to cover an already-approved budget allocation causing someone in leadership to have a crisis of confidence.)

Mistake #3

Again, zero context on the specific concern here so this might not be at all relevant, but my Hot Take is that we’ve so far largely failed to deliver on the promise of decentralizing employment. Our workstreams currently act essentially as traditional employers; there’s very little in the way of contributors who are operating on a full-time-equivalent basis without contributing almost exclusively to a single workstream. I personally feel like our workstreams are developing in a siloed direction, and that’s not healthy.

To be candid, I share a sense of underappreciation, though it might not be coming from the same place as the OP. I feel it’s been quite difficult to make contributions that aren’t in service of someone else’s priorities, I’ve had work I’ve tried to do towards advancing my own goals dismissed or taken as a hindrance, and I’ve seen blame given much more readily than encouragement. I’m a special snowflake and this analysis is inherently subjective, but these are distinct differences from my experiences with ShapeShift the company, and I’m worried that my subjective experience here isn’t isolated. To the extent that it isn’t, I think that we can, and we have to, do better.

Mistake #4

I really don’t think this vote in question was intended as a signal of anything ulterior, but I can see how it could be reasonably feared to be, especially in an environment of limited information. I’m particularly sensitive as a security professional that it’s very important that those in positions of trust (the definition of which I think probably reasonably includes large FOX holders, especially those whose holdings exceed quorum) not only act in a trustworthy manner but be perceived to act in a trustworthy manner. We can’t succeed without trust, so it’s essential that those that need to be trusted by others visibly telegraph that their actions are sober, deliberate, and backed by transparent rationale. This is true in general, whether discussing a software component like a smart contract, the developers of a protocol, multisig holders, or holders of significant voting power.

I feel that the extent to which members of the community are concerned here is the extent to which we must improve on this point. In a very real sense, anything that someone might perceive as drama is drama, and it will kill our community.

Some context

I was a ShapeShift-the-company employee, but I was (almost?) the last person hired. I was a remote, mid-pandemic hire, so I didn’t get to share much of the office culture – never even got to see it, actually. I’d also only been working for a matter of months before the plans for decentralization were announced internally, and most of my “immediate family” of centralized co-workers aren’t full-time DAO contributors any more.

All this means I feel a strong connection to the “new generation” of foxes. It also means that my FOX bags are smaller than any other former centralized fox, since I was the lowest-seniority employee on the pile.

I point this out last, simply as some context for my thoughts above. I sincerely hope my perspective and these observations are helpful.

I would like to thank you for your time, insights, and perspective. While I myself have spent some effort pondering governance it’s effects and limitations not only for our DAO but also existing and future DAO’s, I primarily choose to offer thoughts and look to stimulate conversation in doing so. These are community issues and if deemed problems should have community lead solutions. When it comes to governance the perception of being on the cusp of enjoying blissful profits and continued unabated rewards, the appetite for tinkering can be understandably apprehensive. I am not oblivious to the insatiable drive for gain and desire to maximize measures of austerity to better insure those in the position to capitalize and those who “believe or have faith” that they can achieve that position are able to do so. One of the biggest fallacies can be, the narrative that those who have already or eventually achieve will be the ones most willing to take the chance or “risk” to help those still working to achieve. I say this to point out that those in the positions of power will rarely create the ability to exclude that exertion of power without an alternate means of control. So as to governance the choice to have a monetary token amassed, held, and controlled by a small minority makes perfect sense to those in that position. I am not here to say that is right or wrong just a statement offered as to why change can be complex and difficult. Why do DAO’s need to be governed in this fashion; precedence? Not that it has worked all too well up to this point for the longevity or future proofing of the stated concept of a DAO, maybe lack of viable tested options could be stated as a different causation. If anything time has shown that participation requires some simple things, accessibility, accountability, and capability. We can talk about those items and more in different conversations, but I would say that they are some of the primary building blocks.

I feel that it is time again to state I am putting this forward as conversation to the community, these can be perceived as sensitive topics and comfort levels vary compounding that this can be challenging to do this in public forums or even at all.

If your real goal is to have maximum participation and diversification or decentralization of structure this would be very hard to achieve with any top down systems in place this includes the governance process. While this can seem like complex subject matter at it core it isn’t, and I would say confusion is often injected to provide a false sense of complexity and means to obfuscate the true goals of structure. For example as to capability any governance process can fail when individual votes don’t matter this can be real or perceived but still holds true. As stated top down governance isn’t limited to the scope of proposal process or amount of capacity in this case governance token but also the concentration of voting “power” and the ability to amass and continue to amass the exertion of that ability. If you “remove” the executive structure but still have all of the ability to determine outcomes, has the executive structure been removed or just a different means of control put in place? Proxy voting can come in many different forms and can even be both realizable or not with one or both parties.

Ok I am looking to keep the focus on governance but I would like to applaud the openness shared by the community, and this is everyone! No matter the background or means, I appreciate as do many others the conversation and possibility to work on process and build innovative great things. Thank you all.

I would be remiss if I did take a moment to point some interesting points shared by MrNerdHair in the pervious post.

Relying on “just-in-time”, month-to-month funding from TMDC stable stacks is effectively adopting an extra “shadow” layer of complexity and risk.

I would state that I would very much prefer longer stated determined goals, strategies, and documented simulations to work toward common goals in this area. I am also concerned that on many occasions of raising questions of spending or a focus on profit or even potential for revenue I have received a simplified reply around the point that the DAO has a significant stream of FOX (something like that) entering the DAO treasury weekly or maybe monthly. I never saw this as a viable answer and now with a market swing a reply like that seems like sacrilege and someone could get burned at the stake (tongue in cheek).

Hot Take is that we’ve so far largely failed to deliver on the promise of decentralizing employment. Our workstreams currently act essentially as traditional employers; there’s very little in the way of contributors who are operating on a full-time-equivalent basis without contributing almost exclusively to a single workstream. I personally feel like our workstreams are developing in a siloed direction, and that’s not healthy.

I can see this as being a very hard transition from traditional organizations, this is why I offered what might of been received as a “radical” alternative to a false sense of security in a workstream process, meaning if you fall back into a very comfortable situation it makes it all the more difficult to change behavior.

I feel it’s been quite difficult to make contributions that aren’t in service of someone else’s priorities

Personal perception as well I would say this is more common than currently acknowledged and can be a growing concern if growth and participation is a realizable goal, if wanting a flexible and transient work force this is all good.

Ok thank you again all for taking the time to read, I will put my soapbox away.