Delphi’s Autobid Contract: What it Means for our Community

5 min readDec 7, 2017

When our team originally conceived of the Autobid contract, we realized that one of the things that excites us the most is that we might be able to play a small part in helping to inspire a new wave of projects that are increasingly interested in a more fair and equitable distribution of risk between the team and the community. This seemed even more important when we considered that buying tokens represents the very first exposure many people have to cryptocurrency (and/or investing in general), and sadly enough, we have seen a number of outright scams dressed up as exciting new ideas and breakthroughs. Beyond that, we recognize that even empty promises can be well-intentioned. That’s why we are so happy with the Autobid contract, which right out of the box will offer newcomers a new level of security and protection, while also giving project supporters and development teams a chance to “shake hands” before anything more concrete gets set in stone. Oftentimes, people end up investing in how well a team can market an ICO before being given any opportunity to really assess their ability to develop or execute on a vision, and we think we have found a way to break free from that paradigm.

To be clear, none of the above is intended to point fingers or lay blame. We simply don’t have any interest in doing things this way, and the Autobid contract is our best effort at offering a superior solution. Obviously, we can’t say with certainty that this is the solution, but even if release of this contract just manages to elicit a broader discussion about more sustainable ways forward and a move away from the “fund now, develop later” mentality that is so often favored in the crypto space, we would consider it a great success.

But as time went on and we dove deeper into the full implications of what the contract’s flexibility affords us, we got even more excited about a theme that seems to consistently emerge from every discussion we have: a theme of community-driven development. While the financial protections the contract offers are a component sorely missing from the current fundraising models, and we’d certainly be thrilled to see this initial transfer of risk adopted by any project, the beating heart of the Autobid contract is the culture it has the potential to promote. We feel like we have found a way to say, through code, what we have been trying to say all along: that we firmly believe Delphi Systems’ mission of distributed truth-sharing is critical, we will be embarking on this journey with or without a set amount of public funding, we’d love for you to join us, and we humbly ask for your help along the way.

In the same way that Delphi looks to restructure how people view and work with the truth, we hope to do the same for cryptocurrency development in general. We want to help improve how projects interface with their supporters, allowing the community to interactively impact or determine the larger vision and direction of the project.

What Does Community-Driven Development Mean for Delphi?

After reading about these goals that we’ve set out to accomplish, the question may naturally arise: “What will this actually look like, day-to-day?” Well, the honest answer is that while we have a few thoughts about some exciting things we’d like to try, we also aren’t 100% sure, at least not yet. At a high level, we want to open up as many channels of communication and feedback as we can (some more formal than others). This includes everything from the traditional approaches other projects might take (like being active on chatrooms and reddit discussions), to more experimental methods, like allowing users to use the PHI token to signal for things like feature development and priority (we are particularly excited about this one; look out for more details on this front soon). We want to explore all the ways that the community can cooperatively interact with us during the development process, to make sure that everyone who has something to say has their voice truly heard.

When it comes to community engagement, one of the most common complaints we have heard is the concern over a lack of clarity or consistency with regards to communicating progress and updates to project supporters. To combat this, we are now in the process of ironing out a plan to keep whoever is interested in Delphi in the loop within a schedule they can count on. Whatever the latest is, we want you guys to know (and also want to hear what you think about it), and we will be experimenting with different media outside of the traditional blog updates for communicating this information very soon.

Another important piece of this puzzle for us is the emphatic encouragement of the spirit of collaboration that we have always tried to embrace. We are going to be counting on the community to help test where appropriate, provide honest feedback whenever you notice something you feel could be done better, and to simply contribute in ways that play to your respective strengths. We want to go above and beyond in terms of being responsive to (and respectful of) any and all contributions, no matter what form they may take. And of course, if you have any ideas about how to best move forward or anything on your wishlist of things you’d like to see out of Delphi, please let us know. This will most certainly be an iterative process, and we have been consistently surprised at how creative and thoughtful the Delphi community has been so far; we’re supremely confident that our friends out there are up to the challenge.

Delphi Systems is a passion project, and we really want to explore (and push) the boundaries of how involved the community surrounding the project can be. There have been many experiments tried along the way, some of which have worked (and some of which haven’t), but we truly believe that the Autobid contract represents more than just a way to put our work above all else; it represents a sincere declaration that we value our supporters and your feedback, and an acknowledgement that we couldn’t do this without you. We sincerely thank you for all your support thus far and can’t wait to show you a few more of the things we have been working on recently.