The DFINITY Main Round: Preconditions and Our “Don’t Be Evil” Rules
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Many people have been asking when DFINITY’s pending “Main” fundraising round will run. This will collect donations for DFINITY Stiftung, the not-for-profit foundation based in Zug that disburses funds to support development of DFINITY technology and will help launch a new blockchain computer network. This will host a giant virtual mainframe that provides the world with “decentralized cloud” functionality.
Originally we expected to push ahead with the Main fundraising round not too long after we ran the public “Seed” fundraising round back in February. However I am glad to report that rising ETH prices afforded us more flexibility than expected. Even though our strategy involves scaling out the organization aggressively, we have substantial runway before Main if we want to use it. Given this absence of pressure, we decided three demanding goals should be met first (of course, we will also consider whether timing is opportune).
Our goals reflect our philosophy:
DFINITY Stiftung must demonstrate outstanding progress scaling its operations to create one of the best teams in crypto (view progress here).
Selected game-changing novel crypto technologies introduced by DFINITY must be demonstrated in a network setting.
There must be emerging enterprise support for the project, since DFINITY is not just an exercise in theory.
I’m pleased to report to Seed participants that our pursuit of these goals has been going tremendously well. In fact it has been going so well that Main might run late summer or early fall. Please follow my Twitter or blog, or the DFINITY Twitter, blog or Slack to stay up-to-date.
Our approach towards Main and fundraising generally is substantially different. You might have noticed that we haven’t been soliciting press. Indeed, such is the quiet we are also usually omitted from prominent lists of projects. There are also a bunch of other reasons for that, including industry politics, fear of disruption (“Hear No Evil, See No Evil”) and of course, more than anything, we simply don’t play games that involve distributing tokens to people in exchange for speaking slots, articles, shout-outs and other pumps. None of this will harm us of course because so many informed people already know about DFINITY… the project is already happening!
Just for lulz I’d like to relay some important principles we bring to our fundraising. They take the form of what we will not do. You can draw your own conclusions about where we draw inspiration:
Decide to award millions of dollars from any funds raised directly to founders as a bonus, “earn-out” or other such nonsense — we believe founders should stand with participants, not cash out before they’ve proven anything with their works.
Quietly sell deeply discounted tokens to venture capitalists in a pre-round, then have them pump the forthcoming fundraising by publicly and loudly declaring their participation in the press without carefully disclosing to readers what has happened.
Create a team page on our website full of people from some different organization who have nothing to do with crypto with the purpose of creating a misleading impression of how many people are actually working on the project full time (we always strive to make working relationships clear and transparent, and indeed compose our team from real engineers and scientists working on a full time basis).
Decorate a team page with “magic circle” advisors who are really just there to collect tokens in exchange for providing social proof and — in practice — don’t really add much and mainly function to inflate the expertise that appears to be dedicated to the project.
- Bad captain
Neglect to tie in founders and key technical personnel with vesting incentive packages where tokens are released slowly over years contingent upon continued contributions being made. Founders should not be able to cash out early, walk away and start working on competitive projects.
- Snake oil
Post wild, unjustifiable and factually incorrect technical claims about how this or that exotic technology will make it possible to easily surmount fundamental design challenges faced — rather than actually innovating and coming up with new math.
This is the DFINITY version of “don’t be evil”.
If you want to see something better hold on to your hat. Progress at DFINITY is accelerating. There will be more news soon.