You know good things gonna happen when this is how the blocumenta Art #Blockathon starts

DAO #Blockathon Experiment — discovery mission to the #Cyberwilderness 👩🏻‍💻📲🌐 ⏩ 👩🏻‍🎨🌲🌈

Background

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been merely 2 months since I had a blissful Sydney end of summer weekend relaxing with my Galilean hills village friend Matan Field, founder of DAOstack. I had no idea what would our friendly catchup lead to and I am yet again feeling immense gratitude that the universe is bringing us to all the right places time after time. 🙏🏼

We’ll review events to give a complete picture and take you on the journey we’re going through in the DAO #Blockathon experiment.

April 2019, right after EDCON Sydney

We’ve had an epic #EDCONHACK and EDCON main event (Check Vitalik’s rap and Australian wildlife dance here) which bitfwd has been fortunate to co-organize with LinkTime and other awesome communities. While sipping together organic Kombucha in my lounge like crypto hipsters after that creative gathering, Matan and I shared some time chatting about our ventures in the crypto space, Matan suggested he’ll onboard me to join the first experimental DAO that was launched by DAOstack.

We went through the user journey of DAOstack’s web interface Alchemy and proceeded to the onboarding process using the social verification process and boom!! 💥💥💥 A proposal to accept me to the DAO and mint some non transferable reputation to credit my account was submitted to the protocol.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but, I immediately sensed the maturity level of Alchemy as a product and could envision various ways whereby this would be relevant to the experimental work we’re doing in the bitfwd crypto community ventures network.

#Blockathon discussion

Through bitfwd, I’ve been involved in running #Blockathon events (Blockchain Hackathons) since 2017, broadly speaking in such events there are two reward mechanisms.

1. Bounty Reward

A bounty reward is allocated to participating teams and individuals that are using the sponsors’ tech or working on proposed problem statements brought up by the hack team or the sponsors.

2. Hierarchical/tiered reward — e.g.🥇🥈🥉

Teams are competing to win prize reward whereby a judging committee is typically deciding on winners, some cases include peoples choice or other variations of additional rewards.

Those two models are quite common and each of them has pros and cons.

Bounty reward

👍 Pros: Sponsors are almost always guaranteed to get participants working with their proposed guidelines for them to win the bounty. (the optics of their ROI are *seemingly* clearer).

👎 Cons: The event’s atmosphere is less energized because the rewards are almost guaranteed and therefore the excitement element is reduced, a member of our team once took the extreme stance to compare the bounty reward model to participation awards. In addition, bounties can put a tight grip and force participants to go with ideas and projects they are not authentically curious or passionate about.

Hierarchical reward 🥇🥈🥉

👍 Pros: The excitement of competing on finite resources and achieving impressive results in short time sparks ambitious energy and drive rapid developments. Participants are pushing themselves far, very unique and creative things come out of it.

👎 Cons: The judging committee structure is centralized and it’s almost unable to avoid bias and be able to assess projects equally. The judging committee is naturally biased, those who have been in hack’s judging panels know that they can be prone to politics and in extreme cases even collusion.

Transitioning from offline to p2p #Blockathon

MVP stage

Since the first #Blockathon event we ran in Sydney in 2017, the bitfwd crew has been invited numerous times to put together a #Blockathon event in various amazing locations all over world (#cryptolifetakesyouplaces as my mate Moritz Neto from Florianópolis says, when #Blockathon Brazil?!).

The first event we ran outside of Australia was in our 2nd homebase — China. We formed the initial #Blockathon movement with our main China partner HiBlock. While munching Durians in the crypto-finance hub of Singapore we’ve started the dev + ecosystem content localization program for China and SEA. Since then bitfwd has worked closely with the lovely people at HiBlock and we became family. Bob Jiang, founder of HiBlock took the initiative to translate Tom Terado’s open sourced V1 ”The Ultimate Guide to your own #Blockathon” and bring the party to the Chinese community. Since then several #Blockathon events were held in the land of the Dragon including Beijing, Chengdu and a Shanghai #Blockathon event that got support from the Australian government! 🐨🇦🇺💘🐲🇨🇳

Scaling stage

Currently bitfwd is actively working with a projects and communities from all over the world, we’re putting a lot of thought on how can we scale the #Blockathon and share that special experience with as many people as possible. One option we thought of was creating a franchise like ETHGlobal team has done really well, but,it doesn’t feel like it is suitable for our #cyberwilderness avant-garde culture.

An inspiring experience I’ve had participating in the online CoinList’s 0x Protocol hackathon together with Mark Pereira made me certain we need to take the #Blockathon and start transitioning it to be fully digital. That would make it much easier to respond to the invitations we get to run #Blockathon events. We want this special event to be inclusive and accessible to a diverse crowd. In addition, turns out the bitfwd culture is an embodiment of the decentralized future, we wanted to share this magical experience we are having on a daily basis with the world. For us this experience isn’t limited to a hectic hack weekend, it’s a lifestyle! This is what lead us to outline the initial principles for what is the #Blockathon meant to be:

#Blockathon Principles

Diversity and Inclusion: We want the #Blockathon to be available for everyone, including people who cannot afford flying regularly and/or pay for accommodation in locations that are typically expensive (e.g. ETHNewYork, ETHDenver etc).

#Cyberwilderness web3 principles: We want the #Blockathon to be an ever evolving experience that is shaped by the participants and empowers them with knowledge, opportunities and access to influential networks that will accelerate their development process like nothing else would.

Continuity: We want to build a lasting experience that people can decide how far they go with and how deep down the rabbit hole do they want to fall into, yet, and experience that is welcoming n00bs as well as qualified crypto nerds. The inspiration to that part is from the amazing Mark Pereira who’s been onboarded to the crypto world in our first #Blockathon and his life effectively turned into a continuous #Blockathon (Shout out to Mark Pereira, founder of Alice 👱🏻‍♀️📲🕳🐇🎩🍄🐛🧪🙀).

DAO #Blockathon experiment

Back to the Kombucha sipping lounge discussion Matan and I had in April, we realized, DAO is the answer (chatting to Matan often DAO comes up as the answer to everything 🤣). We’ve discussed a way by which DAOstack’s Alchemy interface can serve as a creative environment that has all the attributes we mentioned above. Next, after a rather dramatic and nerdy debate, I received my reputation in the mother of all DAOs, the beloved Genesis Alpha DAO. Since than, we’ve been experimenting gradually with the outlook of a DAO transformation for various parts of bitfwd ecosystem and the associated crypto community ventures.

When I flew to New York in May, I attended the DAOstack + dOrg DAOify Hackathon. At the hack, I put together a proposal for Genesis Alpha to support a DAO #Blockathon experiment for bitfwd’s upcoming Blocumenta Art #Blockathon. Running this experiment is beneficial for DAOstack that has interest in a bigger implementation in #ETHBerlin with the Department of Decentralization +. The proposal passed and we proceeded to follow a long tech tradition: try some alpha/beta tech in Australia or New Zealand before rolling out it out in the U.S. and the rest of the world, if it doesn’t work, n00ne will hear about it anyway, coz kiwis, marsupials and punkish crested birds are discrete and none judgemental 🥝🧪🦘🍄🐨 ⏩🤐.

Blocumenta — the #Blockathon plot thickens

As we’ve ramped up our preparation to the blucmenta Art #Blockathon, we’ve had weekly calls scheduled with community participation from a range of weirdos that thought it’d be cool to see what would this lead to, the main efforts behind the experiment was put by bitfwd, DAOstack team (Livia Deschermayer, Eylon Aviv) and blocumenta (Denise Thwaites). As usual in crypto startup activities, things where lets say, not exactly clockwork, we weren’t sure what can we actually achieve, time came close to the event and our dedicated DAO was still not yet deployed 🙀. I was too busy with the event logistics and had no headspace to model and simulate parameters and scenarios. Lucky enough Eylon owned that taks and was able to work with my responses which were mostly: I reckon your suggestion makes sense brother go for it!

We’re still working through some of the conclusions, will likely have a bit more to share soon, I will note a couple of quick observations regarding what we’ve played with.

- DAO deployment considerations

At the lowest level, a DAO is a smart contract that has the business logic to carry out a whole lot of functions governed by some predefined economic parameters and features. It is the decentralized web equivalent of venture organization structure: mechanism to facilitate funds allocation, teams resources, board of directors if you wish it to serve as such and so on. There are a lot of nitty-gritty to how a DAO work that we’ve learned on the go (and still learning). It was thrilling and sometimes frustrating, but overall it was super rewarding.

Given more time to review and consider the various parameters, we would be able to circumvent some pressing issued we had to improvise with during the #Blockathon.

- Onboarding new participants to the DAO

Crypto products are infantile, and hence, like an infant, despite the unconditional love we have for them and the excitement they bring us every time we are interacting with them, they are still crawling, crying and crushing, they’re not ready for prime time. This means that we need to improve the onboarding process manifold both from UX perspective as well as documentation (mobile is a must IMO :). Onboarding challenges become even more extreme when playing with n00bs, and we are in the business of converting n00bs to the crypto space on a daily basis.

Here’s the link to a quick Medium post I’ve put together for #Blocakthon participants:

Conclusion: We should work harder on onboarding support, UX and documentation to get people equipped and educated as much in advance as possible to maximize impact and empower them.

- Serendipity — The #Cyberwilderness is showing itself!

During the hack, we’ve received requests from people from around the world to participate and had crypto pioneers joining the Blocumenta Art #Blockathon from other continents!!!!! This validated that a DAO #Blockathon is indeed a way to boost the right kind of engagement with web3 native products. Brian XV who joined from New York posted a submission and the DAO awarded his hack project!

Next steps

I’ll be editing this post (Hopefully I’ll have time for that) to put in more details that I haven’t yet covered, such as:

The team Burn ETH 🔥 who was awarded by the DAO for unbelievably creative mashup of crypto + art + psychedelic economic games. Tom Terado wrote a great piece about it:

The story of Jenny Jingjing Li and Rosalie Prom entering to the crypto space (thanks James Brown of AlphaWallet for mentoring!!):

Socials for Daniel

Learn More about bitfwd

From DAOstack:

Learn More about DAOstack

Experience Alchemy, currently live (in alpha) and in use on the Ethereum mainnet.

Follow DAOstack on Medium, Twitter, or any of the other channels you’ll find on our website.

Interested in joining the Pollinators, our official early-adopter community, and participating in the Genesis DAO? Message our Pollinators program coordinator.

Part of an organization interested in creating a pilot DAO or building on DAOstack? Connect with us here.

Developer? Check out the DAOstack Github, or jump into the stack with our friendly Hacker’s Kit.

bitfwd

We bring you workshops, open-source projects and blog to take you where the bit is going

Daniel Bar 丹尼尔👩🏼‍🎤

Written by

#Cryptopreneur @ bitfwd.com | Web3 UX researcher 👩🏼‍🎤📲🌐 ⏩🐨🌈 | Community @ EHF.org 👩🏻‍🌾🌲🌏

bitfwd

bitfwd

We bring you workshops, open-source projects and blog to take you where the bit is going

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