What is "ShapeShift Foundation?"

Hai guys,

So every once in a while I keep seeing this talk of “ShapeShift Foundation” that will be in charge of ShapeShift assets.

Before I can confidently participate in the DAO, I am concerned a bit.

What is ShapeShift Foundation?
What is its role? How much power does it hold?
How come the DAO has no say in the formation of this foundation?
Is it really a DAO if a foundation is controlling it?

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Hey - the foundation actually doesn’t exist yet while the DAO does. At some point later this year the foundation will be fully launched and will hold and maintain some of the current technical assets of ShapeShift that can not be completely decentralized quite yet.

It’s goal will be to help ShapeShift fully decentralize, and be an influence towards decentralization in the community.

The foundation will not control the DAO and the DAO will not be beholden to it. The DAO already exists without the foundation today and the goal of the foundation will be to help the community decentralize ShapeShift to a sufficient extent where it no longer needs to exist as soon as reasonably possible.

More details will be announced around the foundation when it is fully ready to be launched into the world but ultimately it should be viewed as a support mechanism for the DAO on the track of progressive decentralization for a limited time, but it will never have the power to direct or control the DAO.

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Sorry if this has been answered alreaedy, been only lurking for now. But if it hasnt been created yet, shouldn’t the DAO members have a say in its creation? Or is the foundation only just an idea and not something thats actively being worked on

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The goal is for the foundation to be funded with the centralized company’s current resources to last for a few years and should not be looking to sustain itself
long term, so the DAO should never need to fund the foundation.

The DAO will have the ability to check the foundation with votes of no confidence on its members if the community does not feel they are performing up to snuff and put pressure on the foundation to replace people and it will also be possible for the DAO to simply ignore the foundation if it doesn’t like their actions.

Put another way, the DAO won’t directly control the foundation, neither will the foundation control the DAO, but the DAO will have the ability to check and balance the foundation as it sees fit during its limited existence.

Much of these exact details are still being worked out and will be released at the time of the foundations actual creation.

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Thank you Jon. It’s definitely interesting to see.

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I Would like to see people appointed to the foundation who can “bridge” the two communities, individuals who have ideas and can produce pathways that continue to help shapeshift resources transition into the DAO, not just hardware or software and patented IP’s. This would include former personnel who have transitioned to the DAO.

I can see this as a potential pain point with so many taking the reins as “leaders” but still may have tendencies of a centralized and traditional company, this is very new to everyone and can be especially difficult for those expected to “flip” a mental switch and now be DAO minded. Of course these individuals hold currently the vast resources of Shapeshift knowledge and experience. The potential exists for many outcomes of course but I would like to offer caution to one in particular. And in doing so point out how this or these “bridged” individual(s) can add benefit to the foundation beyond assisting to transfer the physical and intellectual property left behind after the closure of ShapeShift LLC.

With the 3 year gradual unlocking of FOX assets the incentive can be for “genesis” foxes to work with the DAO and ensure this investment is safe guarded, this is by intention. This is great and ideally this would prevent a massive “brain” drain from the community in the beginning. But what is the incentive for these new “leaders” to share this role, yes ideally the DAO can vote them out, but if they are doing a “good” job why would they. Now the sticky point, what defines good is up to the DAO which is made of coarse of those individuals with considerable FOX assets (voting power) and others like for example

  • Profit minded or primary driven by the potential of future or greater wealth generation. This is to a varying degree most DAO members, so if the value of their investment grows at an acceptable rate they are “happy”.

Highly profited minded individuals most likely won’t want to disturb this dynamic of “higher leadership” for fear of a dip in profit even if temporary a loss is not acceptable if at all believed to be avoidable.

So now who’s available to try and hold them accountable is a much smaller minority of DAO voting power, mainly the individuals who would like to replace them.

Pitch I would like to replace the genesis fox members who have had access to all the resources and experience and now have been insulated by former and current team members who have incentive “salaries” to continue to hold these positions. To break down further If you work with a team that already has working knowledge why would you have to share with others outside that team the how, why, and what got you the results besides a reporting tool and actual verifiable open source code. To continue with the pitch, and I promise that I will do a “better” job for a lot less after a determined “assimilation” period. And I hope this doesn’t set me up for failure.

So one can see a simple scenario of a percentage (how large?) of these genesis fox collective holding these “salaried” roles see my comments on this here for the three year period or as long as desired and then moving on.

Back to the initial point of having a foundation asset that helps ensure that these transitioning individuals have the tools and accountability to share this Intellectual Property. Individual(s) that can mentor them on becoming mentors and consultative to the DAO vs salaried owners/leaders of departments.

Otherwise the most probable scenario is the genesis fox hold all the higher DAO positions and the majority of other DAO community “general” members vie for the bounties. And this is what some may envision as the direction of the DAO and be fine with it.

I am looking to offer thoughts, my thoughts and open a dialogue. I am not looking to insult or attack the hard working and exemplary ShapeShift employees that are entering this unknown willingly and at great expense to their and families well-being. These are uncertain times already with a pandemic now throw in a complex income transition. Please do not think that I do not value your actions, ability, skill, knowledge, stress, and the choice that you are making to continue with the DAO.

Instead I am looking to offer a toolset that can be added to your already expansive skill set and provide what I see as value to the DAO at its current stage of development. Thank you for taking the time to objectively read and please vote your thoughts. If you like as a stress reliever curse at me in my Discord DM’s I will understand.

Is this something other DAO members believe useful?
  • Yes
  • No
  • I dont see a need for this
  • Not important at this time

0 voters

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Thanks @Niko for asking this question and thank you @jonisjon for the great answers. It’s important for DAO members to understand that the foundation has no control over the DAO and simply exists to support it.

I’m curious to hear more details on the toolset you’re envisioning @Neverwas, but voted Yes because I definitely agree that appointing members to the foundation who can bridge the communities is valuable, and look forward to being one of these bridges when the Foundation is established :slight_smile: :bridge_at_night: :fox_face:

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Thanks willy I would gladly share more if asked, sorry I wrote this on the fly after catching the post this morning so I needed to proof and make some grammar corrections everyone.

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I voted yes to keep this discussion ongoing. I am not doubtful that the foundation is 100% well-intentioned – and needed. But @Niko brings up a good point, that even if if is created to support the DAO, everything is still being done behind closed doors. I’m not too concerned about it at the moment; witnessing SS’s ethos and the leadership, I am confident that they are doing the best to finalize the decentralization of a huge company with so many moving pieces. But I can definitely see where the concern is coming from, and it is something I have mentioned in the past.

It’s still a bit vague though… the foundation will be created to support the DAO. How? Why? Hahah, I guess until we know exactly what it is in detail, there’s going to be questions thrown around more often. I know they’re working to get out more details soon :muscle: maybe incremental updates / info as its being finalized would calm down anxious minds.

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The foundation’s job is to, for example, pay the AWS bill. The DAO can’t do that kind of stuff simply because it can’t have an AWS account. There’s a laundry list of stuff like this (AWS, App Store accounts, probably some Segment/DataDog stuff) that we don’t have a decentralized solution for yet, which the foundation will handle while we figure out how to replace it.

Because the foundation’s primary mission will be to remove itself from existence, and it will have a very small number of employees, I’m personally not too concerned about it. The foundation does have some funds to draw on to do its job, but when it dissolves those will go back to the DAO.

Probably the single most important thing it will hold, however – and the trickiest to replace – is the current ShapeShift membership database and the encrypted mobile wallet backups it contains. The backups must stay secret because some people are probably using terrible passwords. While we do our best to stop people from using weak passwords, the reality is that disclosing the database to the public would likely result in attackers stealing some users’ funds.

The new web app is being designed with a brand-new decentralized wallet storage system, which will protect users against this kind of dictionary attack even though the encrypted wallet will be hosted in a public manner, probably via IPFS. No email-based login will be needed for the new system, but the foundation will host a migration flow that will enable existing users to upgrade.

Personally, I expect this migrations service to be the longest-lived thing that the foundation has to host. At some point (probably after there’s a migration flow for still-logged-in users built into the mobile app, most of our users have migrated, and the rest have received several stern warnings via email) the foundation will be able turn it off, destroy the backups, and shut itself down completely.

(If you’re curious about the new wallet system that’s in development, or if you just want to listen to me brag about it more, come hit me up in the security channel in Discord!)

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I realy enjoyed this, thank you. Great informative share. I will definatly be trying to find reasons and excuses to hang out in the security channel, as should everyone if they want to be able to make informed decisions on how shapeshift can better protect the DAO interests.

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