The Path to Governance
We often marvel at the institutions of old, of the kings and queens of times long forgotten. The great tales of conquest and mythical intrigue that surround and shroud a people, our heritage, now a mere mist of memory. It astounds the mind to think of these times: Dark ages, times of peril and survival and struggle. And it astounds us all further to think of the monolithic institutions of thought that arose from them. Landmark pillars of our modern world, writ in the foundations of spilled blood, iron inks, and all the heady mystery that comes with fomenting dissent. And while the history that got us to now is indeed a terrific patchwork of failed ideas executed poorly by flawed human beings, one common thread emerges: For whatever odd reason, the Homo Sapiens as a species pines to be free. Fast forward through the earliest republics, past the feudal states, past the writing of the Magna Carta and the overthrowing of the Barron lords, past the era of revolutions, and we arrive at a single point in history where the concept of democracy has never been more successful the world over. Today, we are beginning a new era of democratic experimentation. As we have witnessed the successes of applying democratic thought to society as a whole, to our governments and our cultures, we turn now to our organizations, our companies, our corporations, our partnerships — perhaps even beyond. As we struggle to define freedom to ourselves within the construct of an incentivized corporate structure a new mechanic emerges: The Decentralized Autonomous Organization.
Freedom is a broad word that holds about as many different meanings as there are people, but it is clear that within the concept of social structures, people are generally referring to their freedom of agency and their freedom of influence: They want the right to hold their own opinions and the right to act upon them and see them enacted. Historically, these simple concepts of freedom have been shunned at the workplace, left alone on the doorstep perhaps to be picked up again at the end of the day. The traditional concept of corporate structure simply precludes the idea of personal agency as you must give up a bit of yourself for the betterment of the company as a whole. And the structure has worked fine for many centuries: In exchange for this bit of your own time, skill, and agency, you get compensated in currency. But this system has its flaws. It can stifle innovation and forward thinking, getting stuck in the ruts of managerial oversight and bureaucracy. It can create power imbalances and place massive responsibilities upon the shoulders of single individuals.
The DAO eschews all that, replacing centralized ladders with decentralized funnels of democratic leadership. What this looks like, just like political democracy, can be very different to meet different needs. The future of the technology would seem to dictate that we may one day reach a point where a large part of our societal structures are simply automated away by code performing actions based on the votes of anyone interested. While this line of thinking aims ambitiously, with current tech it trends more towards tilting at windmills. Realistically, a DAO can currently provide some automation for the business, but the killer feature is the transparency in governance and the ability for anyone to come and go with ease, contributing as they see fit. Gone are the days of dark money flows and gatekeeping corporate cliques and here is the age of verifiable transactions and voted upon governance.
The path to governance within this kind of balance between corporate incentives and free agency for workers is not easy and so far nobody has perfected it. Like most human systems, it is doubtful they ever will. That said, we are all trying to come as close as we can. Fortunately, this also means the case studies available are equally vast and DAO architects coming into this space have more than enough to work with to see some ideas of what’s actually working and what isn’t. But one thing is certain: The cat is out of the bag, the genie is out of the bottle. There’s no going back at this point as the collective volition has already tasted the reclamation of their agency.
And so it begins. If you are reading this, you’re early. Welcome to the GET Protocol DAO.
A DAO exists precariously upon a precipice of insanity. Who would have ever thought to give control of their company away into the hands of the general public? On paper, the notion seems astounding, perhaps even a bit of lunacy, and yet it has so far been proven out to be at least somewhat effective at creating an organization that is able to remain highly transparent, nimble, and responsive to market forces. It’s easier for these orgs to remain fluid, adopting talent from an ever growing pool of nomads living freely from DAO to DAO. Of course, nothing really ever goes according to the plan on paper. Consequently, here at GET Protocol we believe the correct approach to building a DAO is through a hybrid form of governance that acts as a funnel and we have found this metaphor to be helpful in developing the structure of the DAO. In keeping with this, we start wide, allowing bad ideas to form if need be, but slowly, and with the will of the community front and center, we have developed a system that “funnels” these ideas down, winnowing out the chaff and allowing only the most structured and valid of proposals to rise to the surface. The approach consists of a bit of direct democracy, representative democracy, and holographic consensus. It’s less complex than it might sound at first blush, but using this combination of methodologies has allowed to do a number of big things right out of the gate. First, the system is quite resilient against bad actors and can readily protect itself against both token manipulation and vote manipulation within an active proposal. Second, it scales incredibly well and allows us to grow with the system without need of a total revamp later on. And all this while maintaining multiple different levels of involvement and market exposure that will fit into anyone’s goals. Here’s a first look.
The DAO will be structured around multiple bodies of government: The Community, the Queue, the Council, and the Secretariat. Each acts as a certain check against the other and will incorporate varying levels of direct community action. The Community is all-encompassing and all main proposals will originate here. Anyone will be able to create a proposal and it will be able to be safely considered. The Queue is not so much a body as it is a process that exists in tandem with the Community vote to buy the attention of a proposal and it is here that staking and locking mechanics will live (along with at least one type of new governance token). This process is known as democratic holographic consensus and a considerable amount of information will be coming out about this process over the coming weeks and months to break it all down, but needless to say, the Queue plays a very major role in how proposals move forward. The Council acts as a final backstop, a representative body of government and the only body with the power to hold binding votes. The Council is the most active level of participation in the DAO and holds the highest level of responsibility. Many more details are coming soon on each of these, but for now, here’s a simplified affinity flowchart that shows the some of the relationships we’ve been working on.
Finally, the answer to the question you’re all asking: Five months. Maybe. That’s the goal and we’re working around the clock to make that happen. We can’t give hardline launch dates yet, and plans sometimes change. But this is the target. The reason we’re announcing early this time is that this is a big deal with a lot of moving parts and some of the most complex deployments we’ve ever managed. Consequently, we want to get it right by our community and correct any errors early as they might arise, but also we want to use the time to release regular educational pieces about how all the parts will fit together. We want everyone to know as much about the GET DAO as we do and be ready at launch with a full understanding of how it will work. So over the next half year or so, we’ll be publishing posts on each of the governance bodies, possible new token distributions, elections, and so, so much on the Queue. Be aware that any of this is subject to change, especially as we open ourselves up more to feedback, but overall we’re hoping to have an especially happy Halloween this year together on the path to governance. We cordially invite you to come along with us.