When the SKALE Labs team set out on our mission in 2017, we had a very clear plan and vision.
The first phase of this plan involved the architecting, building, and testing of a novel decentralized technology known as the SKALE Network. In the second phase, SKALE Labs was to transfer all assets relating to this new technology to a foundation erected for the purposes of fostering a community around the promulgation and support of SKALE and other decentralized technologies. Such a transition would signify a point in the technology’s stability at which it would be able to be open sourced and run by the community which supports it, instead of a traditional corporation.
I can say with pride that after thousands of hours of hard work and effort from many different people, we are now ready to transition into phase two. Today, we open the GitHub repos for the SKALE Network and launch the NODE foundation.
Why Open Source Now?
We’ve received many inquiries about when the code will open and why is it not open yet. The short answer is that the time is right now as we plan to launch the network this summer. We also needed time and space to plan, make mistakes, and correct them over the last 18 months.
The fact is that once you are out in the open, you are owned by the community. This is absolutely the right way to grow a stable technology, but creates enormous challenges during early development. Being fully open without a strong baseline of stable work that others can build atop can lead to the stymying (and potential failure) of a project — something we’re all too familiar with in the blockchain space.
To some extent, we slowed our growth and market awareness with this model. But we did it with intention and with emphasis on prioritizing long-term benefits over short-term growth.
The Need for the NODE Foundation
The Network of Decentralized Economics (NODE, for short), a Liechtenstein Foundation, has been erected to carry out the mission of fostering a strong community of people and businesses to both leverage and contribute to the SKALE Network. To ensure the longevity of the foundation, it has been apportioned SKL tokens vesting over a 7 year period to provide it with a budget and resources to fulfill its mission of supporting decentralized networks and in particular supporting the network.
The Foundation will be supported by a decentralized set of Network Representatives. These representatives will be comprised of dApp Developers who run SKALE Chains, Validators who run SKALE Nodes, Independents such as investors that helped kickstart the network economics, and developers/representatives that actively build, maintain, and evolve the code base.
These representatives will be initially selected by the Foundation but will then be elected in the future via on-chain voting. This group will be critical for ensuring voices of key constituents are heard. Their primary role will be to facilitate OnChain voting, grants, and budget/treasury decisions.
In our vision, the community of token holders and stakers are the true owners and decision makers. Their votes will help place Network Representatives into their roles and their votes will determine all critical economic changes to the network.
We feel this model will bring agility, efficiency, and organization to the SKALE Network without compromising on decentralization. It is designed to be grounded by core economic factors (such as an un-alterable total supply), but with enough flexibility to be able to evolve over time, as more individuals and businesses join the ecosystem
The Path Forward for SKALE Labs
While SKALE Labs is handing over all assets related to the SKALE Network to the foundation, not much is changing insofar as its operation and active role in the continued support of the network. We will still be regularly contributing and maintaining to the SKALE Network repositories as well as fostering and supporting the community.
What does change, though, is our relationship to the network. As of this week, the SKALE Labs team will no longer be the owners of the network.
From this point on, the SKALE Labs team will contract with the Foundation and provide whatever resources and services available to ensure the continued growth and success of the network and related technologies. This relationship will be overseen and managed by the Foundation and Network Representatives to ensure decentralization, community goals, and vision are always made top priority.
Check out the code!
Now the Foundation is in place, we open the repos today. This is where we go as a community from 1 to 1,000. We’ve put a lot of hard work into this and are excited to hear your feedback. That said, we know that nothing is perfect, and are hoping that the community will be able to take the foundation we’ve laid out and improve upon it.