Hello and welcome to our latest development update. The past weeks were quite busy for our team — as mentioned in one of our latest posts, we spent a week in Berlin presenting Akropolis and Polkahub at DOTCon, Web3 Summit, Dappcon, and ETHBerlinZwei.
In addition to sharing experience with other projects in blockchain industry and DeFi, we continued our work on the rebuilding community-driven financial stack as an alternative to existing financial infrastructure. Our development work is focused on Ethereum because of its ecosystem lead and composability of its DeFi stack, while our R&D development on Substrate serves to enable the protocol to get access to various financial products and assets in Web3 ecosystem.
Following the release of the DAO Governance module back in June, development of the Ethereum-based protocol has focused on providing users with a user-friendly experience. In this regard, the main work is focused on two things:
- creating an easy and simple framework for DAO management (AkropolisOS), as the existing solution built on AragonOS is extremely time-consuming from the development point of view — integration of various DeFi applications takes a lot of time (and sometimes is not possible due to different testnets).
- Adding fiat-on-ramp functionality for the simplified onboarding of product users.
So why do we need Akropolis OS?
As you may know, there is a lot of existing DAO frameworks already, such as AragonOS (which we actually used before), DAOstack, etc. However, we found existing solutions to be cumbersome as they are trying to solve everything at once and have far too complex architecture. This, in turn, often leads to time-consuming customization of the framework for the specific product features — and if you spent more time on customization than building, why even use such a framework?
This is why we decided to start working on our own light and modular framework — AkropolisOS. DeFi is usually referred to as money legos, so we decided to give developers their own building legos — but for the development of their DAOs. We took inspiration from OpenZeppelin SDK which modular architecture proved to be one of the best practices in the market for creating building blocks from which you can assemble smart contracts customized for specific tasks.
AkropolisOS will allow building DAO management platforms with DeFi protocol support. Developers will be able to quickly set up DAOs with different logic structure — let’s have a look at the core modules:
- Core — the DAO factory (a set of contracts for creating a basic DAO)
- Permissions — a set of contracts for managing access rights in the DAO, for example, the policy of joining the DAO.
- Tokenomics — a set of contracts for implementing different token-based DAOs (for example, Ryan Zurrer’s bonding curve model).
- Voting — a set of contracts for decision making in DAO.
- Finance — a set of contracts for building DAO accounts and operations with them (deposits, withdraws).
- Lending — a set of contracts for social insurance / social credit models implementation inside DAO.
- DeFi — unified interface for managing integrations with DeFi protocols like Compound, DyDx, and others.
Such a framework will allow us to work on our product faster and more conveniently — with this, we’re aiming to deliver our product on mainnet until the end of the year.
We have presented AkropolisOS at Web3 Summit and shared its main features there — and will be glad to share more with all interested people!
And what about fiat-on-ramps?
We have implemented an integration with the fiat-on-ramp — Wyre — in the Kovan testnet. But as we told above — AragonOS framework is not very friendly in terms of development options and integrations — and our testnet Governance module is on the Rinkeby testnet at the moment. To merge Wyre integration into our testnet fully, we will need to complete the development of AkropolisOS and move from Rinkeby to Kovan — we expect it to be ready in October, alongside with the Alpha release of our product.
As we have told in our previous update, we have been working on implementing the Argos v.0.1 Release following our AkropolisChain Roadmap.
And we have some exciting news — our development on Substrate is ahead of schedule! Therefore, instead of the Argos release, we are now launching the Corinth Release which was scheduled for December previously — and it includes all functionalities from both Argos and Corinth Releases.
We disabled the old version of the AkropolisOS chain node and launched a new testnet — you’re welcome to try it. In this new testnet, we have added DAO management and Staking functionalities:
- Creating a DAO, setting up its maximum number of members and duration of voting cycles (hard-coded at the moment and will be customizable in the future releases).
- Adding and excluding users from the DAO as it provides both the fair application process and ability to leave the DAO by submitting a proposal.
- Voting for proposals will give you a transparent and safe way of asset management
- Depositing / Withdrawing funds (test AKRO tokens at the moment). Fund management functionality will be added in the future — and you will be able to do joint investments in various assets, get social credit or insurance.
- Staking over the node (working in the test mode). As we mentioned in our previous updates, we are actively working on staking — and we will be opening this feature for everyone soon. If you want to participate in the test staking, please fill out this form.
To the best of our knowledge, our DAO implementation is one of the first of its kind on Substrate and we are going to increase its features and functionalities so that anyone who wishes to do so, can later use our framework to create DAOs on Substrate.
Also, to enhance UX, we began working on our browser extension for Polkadot — more on it below.
Polkadot Browser Extension
One of our main focuses is creating a simple UX which will provide smooth onboarding of users to our product. And we need a convenient infrastructure for this — for example, something similar to MetaMask as a browser extension. Debates about it being “user-friendly” can take long hours, but we need it as the first step to provide a simple UX. Polkadot team offers its own extension — Polkadot-js, however, it lacks some important functions and, according to the Parity team, they don’t plan to expand functionality further.
The existing Polkadot-js extension allows you to connect to a limited set of chains and does not allow you to send transactions directly or stake tokens, etc. Simply put, it can be used only for signing transactions. As we need much more than that for our development (and we imagine, that other teams in Polkadot ecosystem too), we decided that it was necessary to add the familiar Metamask-style set of operations to the browser extension. Thus we forked the existing Polkadot extension to expand its functionality.
Current UI/UX of Polkadot allows you to do similar things but it has its own “pain points” — you will need to create a keystore file, and each transaction will require you to fill your password so that you can decrypt the keystore and finally send/sign it — one would say that it’s too much for a simple user.
Our Polkadot browser extension, on the other hand, will work similar to Metamask — you will need only a password to unlock your wallet, and it will pull all information about different chains and fill needed parameters automatically (similar to when you choose different testnets in Metamask). At the moment, all parameters are hard-coded, but we will, of course, need a registry of all Substrate projects in the future for the proper automatization and smoother user and dev experience. Polkahub which we introduced in the previous development update and which we presented on DOTCon could provide such registry — so stay tuned for more updates!
So, what was it all about? Main takeaways
The main update here — our development is ongoing and it’s faster than we initially thought it would be. We’re on schedule with our Ethereum development and want to ship the initial product by the end of the year — with AkropolisOS underway it will be a much simpler job not only for us but also for other teams who would want to build on it. Our Substrate development is ahead of time (thanks to our development team and development-friendly environment created by Polkadot team) and we’re excited to what is yet to come — public staking, fully operational browser extension, PolkaHub and more.
And of course, we couldn’t have done it without the ongoing support of our community — and DeFi community in general. We are looking forward to community feedback, network hacking and help us by finding bugs. We will be releasing a bug bounty program for this — more details will be published later, so stay tuned for updates!