MetaCartel DAO
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MetaCartel DAO

Meet Odyssy: the Dao Launchers

In our past few interviews, we’ve had the pleasure of speaking with a number of MetaCartel members that offer a wide range of insights and talent to the community at large. This past week, we sat down with the founders of Odyssy — a development shop focused on the propagation of web 3 technology.

More specifically, this trio has been spearheading the development of crucial dao launchpads including Daohaus — an interface to deploy a dao contract account — and PokeMol — a front-end interface to easily interact with a newly created dao. For those unfamiliar with these tools, it’s important to note that all daos launched through the platform currently utilize the Moloch framework.

In this discussion, we covered topics such as:

  • Dao Tooling (Daohaus/Pokemol)
  • Why Moloch?
  • Joining MetaCartel
  • Starting Raid Guild
  • Web 3’s Future
  • Ethereum’s Role in Dao Propagation
  • Examining Dao Shares

Let’s get right into it!

What is Daohaus?

Daohaus is the place for people to easily deploy their own dao. We built Daohaus as a way for people to launch their own Moloch contracts. We offer “Easy” and “Hard” modes which allow people to create the framework for their dao.

In easy mode, people enter the name of their dao with a brief description. From there, they are prompted to select their tribute currency (WETH or DAI) along with the minimum tribute size. Next, they set a number of different proposal parameters including duration, voting period, grace period, and abort window (for ragequitting). After selecting a proposal deposit and processing reward, you’re ready to summon!

Hard mode is the exact same framework as easy mode with the ability to set any ERC20 token as the tribute currency, along with a few other minor modifications.

All in all, we wanted to provide a tool for non-technical people to launch their own Moloch contract in less than 5 minutes.

How does PokeMol tie into this?

Once we had launched Daohaus, we saw that there was actually quite a lot of interest. We currently have over 40 unique daos with more the 200 individual members.

One thing that we noticed was that people really needed a frontend to interact and share these daos with others. With this in mind, we built PokeMol — short for Pocket Moloch.

With PokeMol, anyone could quick link their Daohaus contract to a PokeMol frontend, giving users an intuitive and visually appealing dashboard to vote on proposals, view share supply, bank funds and more.

Pokemol was actually built specifically for MetaCartel. We received a grant that allowed us to pursue the project that you can freely interact with today.

What we quickly recognized was that unless prompted, many dao creators didn’t know that they could use PokeMol. With this in mind, we decided to work on a new upgrade that allows every Daohaus contract to automatically receive a unique PokeMol page. By simply going to pokemol.com/dao/{YOURDAOADDRESS} you now have a way to easily manage social coordination using smart contracts.

What’s the big goal here?

The concept of a dao is extremely powerful. The idea of having an autonomous contract handling fund distribution helps build trust while lowering coordination costs.

What we really need now is a way for these frameworks to become digestible and accessible to the average individual. People are trying to experiment with a decentralized community for a variety of use-cases, and we’re excited to help people start their own dao in a stress-free manner.

Taking this a step further, we want to make easy while also allowing for open loops that people can customize — Cutting coordination cost while encouraging experimentation and composability.

The goal is to get something out there and get people trying it so we can learn how people like to use it. From there, we can start building on the ideas that are working best.

What was it about the Moloch framework that was so exciting?

First and foremost, the inspiration for Moloch — Meditations on Moloch by Scott Alexander — was something that immediately resonated with us. I highly recommend reading that for anyone interested in a philosophical read on the nature (and difficulties) of human coordination.

Ethos aside, most daos were overdesigned. This is what ultimately lead to the vulnerabilities in The DAO back in 2016. Moving forward, many of the next daos tried to incorporate too many schemas which allowed things to balloon out of control.

What was so inspiring about the product Ameen, James and other Moloch collaborators built was the concept of a Minimum Viable Dao. It’s so simple that it lends itself to composability. This framework ultimately allows daos to become flexible.

If you overdesign a system, it’s only going to fit niche use-cases. With this framework, we can really invite creativity from a solid foundation.

You mentioned that Pokemol was actually spawned out of your involvement with MetaCartel. Can you talk about joining MetaCartel?

When we heard about Peter and James starting MetaCartel, we soon joined as some of the earliest members. We recognized there was a big need for an interface to deal with all the dao inner workings. We started collabing with the Abridged SDK and originally started developing Daohaus at ETHBerlin for MetaCartel’s first Demo Day.

The week before the hackathon there was a lot of buzz around daos. We saw this as a great opportunity to build a Dao Launcher. At the time, pledging was very difficult (and time-confusing) on the existing dao contract. We took this opportunity to build Daohaus into what it is today.

How did these lead to the creation of PokeMol?

Once we provided a way for people to launch a contract, we recognized that a lot of people were getting stuck. There was a lot of clear interest, but in the past you had to go through a manual process of lengthy word docs to figure out where and how to submit proposals, vote, etc.

When we did communicate with dao creators it turned out that handing someone a stack of config files and telling them to deploy it wasn’t working for most people. With this, we wanted to build something that allowed each dao to have their own page — making it very easy to pledge.

We presented this via a grant to MetaCartel and received the funding to build it out!

Can you talk a bit about Raid Guild?

Raid Guild was actually started with the leftover funds from the PokeMol grant. We wanted to put the extra funds (plus some of the ETHBerlin funds) into a dao to work on different projects.

Raid Guild is essentially project management through a dao. We wanted to see if it was possible to keep all funds decentralized and still meet deadlines. Raid Guild has a 10 share minimum, but shares are much smaller than that of MetaCartel or Moloch (10 shares is roughly 1ETH).

With Raid Guild (and daos in general), you can keep the money in the bank to have more governance power or take it out to have more tacos — it’s entirely up to you! If you win a grant, it’s expected that you rage quit in order to pay for the thing(s) you proposed.

What about Odyssy? What is it?

The three of us met via a common interest in web 3. We all started with a background in web 1 & 2 and once we recognized we were all interested in the same thing we thought hey, why don’t we team up? Collectively, we could use Ethereum tooling to build a dev shop and leverage multi-sig for operational expenses. Our goal was (and still is) to inject Ethereum tools anywhere you can. Altogether, that’s Odyssy — we aim to do everything we can to help bring web 2 developers into this new world.

As for the specific roles, Ven is a full-stack designer with a background in graphic design and typography — tackling everything from branding to wrapped components. Dekan is a full-stack developer with a background in python, flash games and javascript — generally tackling the R&D side of our projects. Sam is also a full-stack developer with a background in marketing and product — but he mainly deals with making kick-ass tacos.

Generally speaking, we like to focus on projects that excite us. As a web 3 developer, you’re always breaking new ground which is quite fascinating. If there’s something that interests you, you go and play with it. The more we experiment, the more we wonder how we can transition web 2 to web 3.

To paint a picture of what a project at Odyssy looks like, I like to tell the story of LASSO’s. At a Wymong hackathon, we worked with a local lawyer and built a legal wrapper around Moloch using some of the state’s more progressive series LLC / crypto laws.

We wanted to come up with a name besides dao — we have some reservations with that word anyways. So in order to keep with the localized branding we decided on Legal Autonomous Self Sovereign Organizations (LASSO). With that we then thought we could drop the L and have a new term for daos. We quickly realized that wasn’t the best idea because it makes us all ASSOs! 🤣

In case you couldn’t tell, the Odyssy team likes to keep it cool. 😎

What excites you about web 3?

To start, I think we all know how broken the internet is today — Our data is being monetized from underneath us everywhere we look. These services might be “free”, but we actually pay for them by selling out our data.

Web 3’s main value is that you can transfer value from companies back to the individual. Cryptocurrency and blockchain allow people to take their sovereignty back. In a world where we can be our own bank, web 3 allows us to make an agreement that we’re not going to continue with the failures of the past and instead collaborate to make an improved future.

We’re just now starting to accept that the internet is its own sovereign territory. Unfortunately, we weren’t ready for the internet when it came out, meaning that it’s now up to us to fix it. We really need to take control of our own destiny and create a better future for generations to come.

Web 2 revolutions will still happen but web 3 enables the true future. We need to be honest with our level of innovation to create products and services that reinvent the way we share (and capture) value on a global scale.

Why haven’t we gotten there yet?

Plainly stated, we didn’t have the tools to do so for quite a long time. This is still an incredibly developer-driven community. It’s only in the last year or two that new people have been welcomed. It took a long time to get the infrastructure to the point where anyone could actually use it.

Nowadays, we’re starting to see building blocks and composable products that are readily available to be used. Instead of competition, people are collaborating. Innovation is going to start picking up faster and faster.

As we all know, the ICO boom slowed things down a lot. Seeing as this was the first real killer app, it showed the weaknesses we needed to face due to the potential for scams, greed and exits. If the original dao didn’t implode on itself, we may have seen an opportunity to coordinate what ICOs were trying to do — giving people the opportunity to fund projects that truly deserved it.

What can you share about The DAO?

The DAO was the first real super-dao. It was a way for the Ethereum community at large to pool funds and coordinate innovation. The contract was complex and ultimately ended up suffering from a lag in efficient decision making.

Decentralized communities are obviously still relatively nascent. What I like about this round of daos is that we’re starting smaller and building the ground up. In doing so, we can work on coordination and scaling.

With the original dao, there were a number of complexities that made it difficult for people to get their money out. You had to submit a proposal to withdraw instead of being able to freely do it without permission as we see with rage quitting.

After the hack, people were afraid of daos. They thought they had to be perfect. When something that was touted as being so big and monumental was exposed, people started getting PTSDao. It’s only recently that we’ve been able to learn from those mistakes and create something new.

What is it about the dao structure that is unique?

At the end of the day, daos are a path for people to self-organize and fund whatever they want. Whether it’s a parent/teacher association coordinate funding for how a school spends funds or a community building a local garden, daos expedite funding through automation. Trust is built directly into code, something that we haven’t seen so far to date.

Why is Ethereum so crucial for daos?

Ethereum has the security to enable daos to happen. Seeing as the user-base is the security, other platforms will need a ton of traction to get here.

In fact, centralization breaks the notion of a trustless dao. Decentralization is a key element at play. The underlying protocol needs to be as decentralized as the dao itself.

Seeing as a dao is purely just a decentralized community at the base, by adding a trust layer in the form of Ethereum, we can effectively turn any flat organization into a dao.

Can you talk a bit about dao shares?

As it stands today, shares are simply a record in the dao. In the Moloch framework, shares are non-transferable as to limit random entry and keep the decision-makers aligned. With this being said, shares are simply ERC20 tokens, so there’s no telling what they *could* represent.

In the coming year, I expect to see multi-token share models or systems in which shares and voting are separate from a reputation token. What’s cool about Moloch-type shares is that they are built more around the idea of a community that know each other rather than capital-first.

All DAO’s have different purposes — MakerDAO is as a market-making dao(the actions are very much early stage) — and daos like Moloch and MetaCartel are more social. With this in mind, it’s only natural that their shares should differ from one another.

The last thing to note about Moloch-type shares is that they are deflationary. Seeing as Moloch-type daos are non-profits, the value is in the people and projects. Shares don’t appreciate in value but the knowledge and people you meet make up for it.

In the profit-driven world of cryptocurrency, it’s extremely refreshing to have found a model that focuses more on people than profit.

— — —

If you’re interested in learning more about Odyssy or any of the tools they’re building, we recommend staying up with them via the following links:

Daohaus

Odyssy

Github

Medium

Raid Guild

MetaCartel

In the coming months, expect to see more interviews and MetaCartel’s gameplan for ETHDenver. As always, you can find me on Twitter or via Telegram @coopahtroopanew.

Until next time!

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Cooper Turley

Cooper Turley

Chance favors the connected mind. Focused on building communities by making crypto cool again.

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