How high-assurance software development will push open source economic infrastructure forward and help build up trust

Lev from DappHub casually Unplugging from the Fiat Matrix

Over the last few months, I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the MakerDAO protocol, the people who created it, and why it has been so successful. I have been reading through thousands of Reddit posts, tweets, Medium articles and Git commits. I have been traveling the world to meet as many of the team as possible and learn about why they are the way they are. It has been a really interesting trip down a totally new rabbit hole. At the bottom of this warren I found two fascinating Jedi called Lev and Martin

Some call it #defi, some call it #dopefi, I have no idea why.

I want to make a prediction and then walk you through how I arrived at it:

50% of all assets will live on an open source financial protocol in 50 years.

You should see the section on derivatives.

Today, nearly all assets are described in simple SQL databases that are wrapped in layers of complexity. We call these banks. Over time, as new assets are created, the creators of them will choose whether to instantiate them on the closed system or an open one. My hunch is that this shift has already begun. …

A mental model for potential

I want to explain some of the experiences I have had that very few people can relate to. I have been lucky enough to stumble across a few rocket ships before anyone else cared. This has helped me build up a mental model for things that have potential.


In 2010, I started a little company selling custom apparel on the internet. I integrated Wufoo, Google Checkout & PayPal to sell around 100,000 sweatshirts to students. In 2012, I read a blog post about a little company called Stripe. I instantly understood the value of what they were doing and…

App updates, working with MakerDAO & a trip to California

A sneak preview of where things are heading.

We have had a really great start to 2019. Everyone is together in the studio and we are focused on shipping our app as soon as possible. One experiment I ran was to ask our community if they had any questions for me in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) format. You can check it out here.

A big update to the beta for iOS

Mike, Jin and Christian have been working hard to get the iOS app ready for release. The last 10% of the tweaks always take a lot longer than expected.

An update on the state of the company

To the sharehodlers of Balanced Software, Inc.,

Your CEO has not misspelt shareholders, he is making a terrible pun on the meme of #HODLing. This is probably the most valuable meme in history. It began when an inebriated individual encouraged everyone on the Bitcoin Talk Forums to never sell their Bitcoin, no matter the price. You can learn more about it here:

2018 was a rollercoaster year for Balance and the cryptocurrency industry. I wanted to write to you and share all of the progress we have made and some of the problems we have faced. Without you, we would…

The business models emerging on the interchain

Every business aims to generate positive cashflow at some point. If you are starting a freelance design studio, your goal is to cover your expenses each month and produce enough profit to fund your lifestyle. If you are starting a technology startup, your goal is to grow extremely fast for a decade or more and then extract huge profits. The ambition is the same regardless of the scale. You want your project to have positive cashflow.

Positive cashflow indicates that a company’s liquid assets are increasing, enabling it to settle debts, reinvest in its business, return money to shareholders, pay…

What Balance is trying to buidl and why we are trying to do it.

Bitcoin gave us unstoppable digital gold. Ethereum gave us unstoppable digital contracts. 0x Project gave us unstoppable digital exchange. Dharma gave us unstoppable digital debt. Aragon hopes to give us unstoppable digital organisations. All of these projects are creating incredible buidling blocks.

Imagine if bank branches were as beautiful as Apple Stores.

Balance is buidling a Distributed Autonomous Bank.

We think it is really important that there is an open source interface to the open source financial system. We have seen what happens when centralised companies are built on top of decentralised protocols. GitHub is one of the most powerful interfaces to Git. They tell everyone to embrace open…

Big improvements to our tool for managing Ethereum wallets

We have been really blown away by the response to Manager. We wanted to make it easier for everyone to see and send the tokens stored in their wallets.

📈The Y axis is the number of #viral emoji-based tweets I send per month. Y do you ask?

Balance has shipped a few products that people like. Manager is the first product that people want.

🖲 Exchanging Tokens

I have always found exchanges incredibly hard to use. You have to understand order books, candle sticks, bids, asks, and spreads. There are a whole bunch of terms that have been cribbed from the closed source financial system that I think have no place in the token economy. We want to make it simpler…

Open economic infrastructure & a popular wallet are joining us

WalletConnect is a simple way for web-based dapps to talk to mobile wallets. We want to make it easier for people to interact with decentralised applications (or dapps) that run on protocols such as Ethereum. Our hope is that WalletConnect will become an open, inter-operable standard which will benefit dapp developers and their customers. Bluetooth was an industry effort to make short-range wireless connectivity simpler. We want WalletConnect to be an industry effort to make wallet connectivity simpler.

Bluetooth helps objects work together. WalletConnect will help dapps and wallets work together.

We have made a lot of progress since we announced the project:

  • Welcomed several open source contributors to the project
  • Secured a…

Changing the dapp experience to protect people’s privacy

Last weekend I attended the #WalletConf after EdCon. There were lots of fascinating talks about the future of Ethereum and wallet software.

One of the most important takeaways for me came from Dan Finlay, one of the creators of MetaMask. I want to make sure dapp developers know one thing:

MetaMask plans to phase out the injection of Web3.js

Today, the MetaMask Browser Extension automatically inserts a Javascript file into every single web page you visit. This allows dapp developers to talk to Ethereum via the MetaMask wallet quickly and easily.

Right click on this page, click Inspect Element, and search for Web3 to find it.

There are several drawbacks to the current approach…

Richard Burton

Working on Love kiting. Writing helps me think.

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