Proposal to Create Fund for Adding Blockchains to ShapeShift

Summary

This proposal involves creating a fund for the purpose of adding new blockchains to ShapeShift

Abstract 

The Network Effect states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of its number of components. For example, Facebook has over a billion users. 1 billion^2 = 10^18, which is a LOT of possible connections. This is a big part of why FaceBook has so much dominance in the industry.

For ShapeShift, this manifests in the number of blockchains we have on our platform. Each blockchain we add gives us more of a network effect than the one before it. Therefore, we should add as many blockchains (that provide value to our users) as we can to the ShapeShift platform.

Motivation

Currently, the way to add blockchains is to go through the proposal process, which takes a lot of time and energy that could be better used elsewhere. Because our code is now open source, it is no longer necessary for us to add blockchains ourselves. One of the most famous books in personal finance is Rich Dad Poor Dad, and its main idea is this: “The poor trade time for money, the rich use money to buy other people’s time”.

It is far more effective for us to pay developers to add their blockchains to ShapeShift, than it is to spend the time to do it ourselves. Therefore, I advocate creating a fund for the explicit purpose of rewarding blockchain developers for adding their platforms to ours. This will streamline the process and save us a lot of time and money in the long run.

Specification

In addition to the fund previously described, this proposal involves the following:

  1. Providing resources that show developers the basics of what it takes to add their blockchain to ShapeShift.

  2. Creating bounties so that their community provides testing, bugfixes, and long term support.

  3. Creating bounties for the front end work it will take to display the new blockchains properly. (We probably want to do this work ourselves)

    Benefits

This proposal will make it far easier to add new blockchains, which will greatly strengthen the network effect ShapeShift has, leading to increased profits over time.

Drawbacks

The easier it is to add new blockchains, the more management it will take to make sure that only blockchains that provide high value are added, while also making sure contributors are rewarded sufficiently.

Vote

For: A fund is created to pay those who add new blockchains to ShapeShift.
Against: nothing changes.

3 Likes

Love this concept @IrohDW!

Let’s position ShapeShift as the open source interface/wallet where all chains can integrate themselves rather than build their own wallet & UI from scratch. Then any chain that is added to THORChain can be plugged into a growing crosschain web, and ShapeShift can be Yggdrasil, the tree connecting all realms.

I think a FOX bounty program for this would be an excellent way to bootstrap these network effects and incentivize development for the first handful of chains that integrate.

We may want to add some qualification criteria that a chain must have a market cap or at least $100M and $10M trade volume to qualify.

I’d be curious to hear @Josh’s thoughts and whether there are any blockers to something like this.

The idea for this concept came from a conversation @IrohDW and I were having earlier about integrating PirateChain; they could be a great pilot if we decide to proceed with this.

PS: How cool would it be if some of these chains made ShapeShift their official wallet? Kind of like how Keplr has become the recommended wallet for Osmosis (that could be us!!). Reminds me of an idea @Beorn had a while ago to make the mobile app chain-themable; the idea was that the cosmos community could share links to download the ShapeShift Cosmos wallet, and when a user opened it, rather than having BTC and ETH enabled by default, the app would have Cosmos enabled and be set to a Cosmos colored theme. Always loved this idea :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Speaking on behalf of many members of the Pirate Chain community: this sounds extremely interesting.

We would love to be one of the first blockchains to be listed on the new ShapeShift platform.

We have lots of developers willing to do the work, but we would need guidance as to what needs to get done.

We would also be more than willing to set up a fundraiser to help pay for the costs of getting on the platform.

Pirate Chain is the world’s most fungible blockchain, with the largest anonymity set. Unlike Zcash, we do not have any transparent addresses (“t-addrs”), meaning it is nearly impossible for us to get on KYC/AML centralized exchanges. The new ShapeShift architecture is the perfect resource for getting ARRR into the hands of more people!

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I’ll get you guys the guidance you need soon. I’m working to get this proposal implemented ASAP

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I’ve run into a few stumbling blocks for this proposal, and I’d appreciate some help from the community on them:

  1. The specific amount of FOX for fund?
  2. Terms and conditions for rewards?
  3. Who will make resources for devs, and how detailed should they be?
  4. Who will make bounties for the front end and back end work?
  5. Which workstreams will be responsible for running the fund?

For #1 I’m thinking that the reward could be based on their market cap, and perhaps there should be a minimum market cap to receive any reward.

2 Likes

thanks for listing these questions so we can hone in on the important details.

Curious to hear @Josh’s thoughts on these, and appreciate you organizing a meeting between multiple stakeholders to discuss (Discord)

Re: number 5 - I am of the opinion that the Engineering Workstream should manage these funds as well as determine when an integration has been completed and can be merged and paid out

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Do you have any sort of of cost comparison on this for what it would cost to integrate, say Pirate Chain(choosing this as it was the previous proposal you had), in house vs having a bounty type system for the chains to add themselves?

I think before we go down this road too far, it’s important to understand the costs of this vs the keeping the integrations in house.

Typically when you outsource stuff like this the costs are much greater(hence the asks for comparison), but its off set by the work load relief on the team to focus on more tasks and projects in house.

A few questions-
What value opens up inhouse to offset the likely increased costs to creating this opening? Would the Engineering team have any input on what level of capacity doing this would open up for their team once implemented? Are we talking 40, 50, 100, 200 hours per project that we would implement in house?

What kinds of value added projects could the engineering team reach towards if these types of projects were off their pile of work?

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Those are some great questions. I am meeting with the leaders of multiple workstreams soon to ask questions like those in order to get the specifics of how to make this proposal work before I submit it to ideation.

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I understand the problems of Zcash, but as this is a bold statement, and I do not know all of the details yet of your blockchain project, what differentiation do you have from BEAM or of coarse Monero? Any published auditing? Thanks for the link I was already researching as well, sorry didn’t want to add another reply.

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You can learn more about Pirate chain here: https://pirate.black/

3 Likes

Hey There. Thanks for pushing the ability of community devs to add chains up in the governance conversation. It’s super important.

The ability for the community (including other blockchain communities that are also part of ours) to add new blockchains in our code is a high priority for engineering. And some of the 200K FOX that has been allocated to the engineering workstream for bounties is earmarked for promoting this.

Currently, we have one community dev shadowing two core devs in adding Bitcoin to our Unchained backend. If someone from Pirate Chain wants to follow along, please inquire in the #dev-chat channel in Discord. The community dev is planning to add Bitcoin Cash once they understand how to do it.

We then need to get the new chains added to HDWallet and the Unchained library. Then it can be added to the new v2 front end code. For these libraries and front end code, it is easier to dev on if the backend Unchained is already complete. Once Bitcoin is done in Unchained, we will work with the community as we start to add Bitcoin to these libraries and front end. This will spread the learning. We will be creating docs for it as well.

Until we have developed and communicated this more clear path on how to add new coins, I don’t know that this proposal as defined will be able to do much. At this point, I think the bounty funds in the Engineering workstream will do what we need in this regard. Maybe once we have the process and docs in place, we could revisit this and see how we can super-charge the adding of new coins.

I think this is an important conversation to have, and unfortunately I am not able to attend a call Thursday at 9 or on Friday.

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Thanks Josh this is kinda what I was getting at in the propasal discussion room, I appreciate you puting it to words and through a provided example.

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I love this concept and will almost certainly support! (depending on specifics)

3 Likes