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Politeia: Approaching Escape Velocity

Dustin LeFebvre
Oct 16, 2018 · 3 min read

Politeia marks a major inflection point for Decred, imparting a major increase in stakeholder sovereignty over matters of treasury and policy. This leap forward marries the powers of a financial system with those of a nation state government, all while dissolving oracles that previously controlled power and permission. This is big.

Decred’s principles are, to some degree, guided by the early interactions of its founders while developing on the Bitcoin project. In what was supposed to be an open-source, permission-less system where contributors could participate where they felt they could add value, politics, power and centralized censorship froze out our founders. Undeterred, they presciently identified what the pitfalls of Bitcoin would be, and began work on Decred to address the centralization of the miners and core developers, the funding problem, and the lack of a governance system.

Development on Decred has come in fits and starts, but Politeia now marks a significant leap towards a more decentralized system. Community members immediately gain sovereignty over a treasury that has been respected and carefully preserved by the founders. This move marks a significant accomplishment by putting the stakeholders, not the developers or miners, in charge of the project’s funds, ethos, and strategic direction. This, in addition to the security and authority delivered through the hybrid PoW/PoS system, endows the stakeholders with sovereignty to control the Decred system. With Decred, those who own and stake the coin, those who have skin in the game, determine the future direction. Work will soon begin in earnest to build the infrastructure to construct the smart contract that will directly control the treasury funds to further decentralization.

It is now incumbent upon the community to respect the new found responsibility of managing The Treasury. This Fund, which has been growing since the genesis block, serves to alleviate a conflict of interest that exists in most other coins. Contractors and those who submit accepted proposals in Politeia will receive funds directly from The Treasury as dictated by the stakeholders. There are no other interests at play. Decred was independently funded to raze the walls and microphones constructed by surveillance capitalism and to enable a new free and sovereign financial system. There was no ICO, no equity token, and the only venture capitalists involved actively participate pari passu with every community member. They contribute in the same Matrix channels, believe equally in the Decred project, and are judged equally on the quality of their ideas, not the shop they work for or the title they hold. Decred will now act as a corporation, a bank, and a government. The stakeholders and the Decred community will determine what that means and what it becomes through their ideas, contributions and their votes. It is only through the quality of ideas, rigor of debate, and recruitment to our ecosystem that we can build Decred and fully realize its potential.

We hold certain principles to be core to our project: decentralization, free and open source software, excellence in engineering, fungibility, free speech and consideration, privacy and security, and deliverables before hype. The launch of Politeia emphatically supports these principles. Above all, we believe in the power of evolving, progressive, autonomous stakeholder decision making. Decred has a working system of governance that finds consensus within our community, and has done so for almost three years.

Politeia is a major milestone in our journey, and today, we reflect upon where we come from, where we are, and where we’re going. The new system will be iterative, involve learning, frustrations, and challenges. Ultimately, it will be refined in a way that best serves our stakeholders and endows them with the power to control their rights and privacy.

Today, with Politeia live and accepting proposals, we invite contributors and ideas to be considered by our community in order to push forward our free, permission less, oracle-free project. It is only the quality of our community and it’s ideas that will determine the shape of our Decentralized Autonomous Organization(DAO). Come join us.


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