By Jonas Lamis, Founder and CEO of StakerDAO
I’ve spent the past 3 years immersed in crypto. Specifically, I’ve focused on building and running validator operations on top of Tezos, a leading proof of stake blockchain. My company Tezos.Capital is among the largest “bakers” in the ecosystem, and my podcast Tezonomics, and twitter handle @tezoscommunity are widely followed.
What I have witnessed in crypto over this period has been nothing short of astounding. Dozens of credible projects, and thousands of questionable ones, have launched. Billions of speculative investments have flowed. Many of the brightest minds have left whatever they were working on to come to this industry. And now the inevitable spector of global regulation is stirring.
The truth is, what many of us are building in crypto is really important.
The 20th century was one giant leap forward in the global centralization of power. If that century taught us anything, it taught us that without checks on unbridled centralization, things get out of alignment.
It seems more than ever that businesses cater to investors at the expense of consumers. Governments cater to business at the expense of the governed. Financiers devise opaque offerings to enrich themselves without regard to their externalities.
But, largely because of the internet, The People are catching on. The internet revolution allows a diligent band of watchers to hold centralized power accountable. It allows a small team of makers to challenge the biggest of the 20th century dinosaurs.¹
Financial trust has lagged behind.
While you might trust some small team’s app on the App Store, you are much less likely to trust them to manage your money. Financial management was the great unsolved problem holding back true decentralization. But that is now being solved with cryptocurrencies.
Thanks to blockchain, you can now trust the transaction without trusting the actor. This notion that value exchange can happen between anonymous participants in a trustless way is what has the global regulatory regime shifting into high gear.
So what is a good crypto actor to do?
In my case, it’s to be pragmatic. Crypto solves real problems. And that means it needs to interact in our world of laws and regulations. I believe that the best innovations driving crypto in this direction over the past few years have been at the intersection of on-chain governance, provably secure smart contracts, and decentralized financial products. Tezos has been at the center of the first two. MakerDAO has invented the third. My goal is to learn from and stand on the shoulders of the teams that have pioneered solutions in these areas.
From Tezos: We build on the industry leading on-chain governance process and recast it with a new security token governance standard “ GOV .1” and a paired security token — STKR. Our month-long governance cycle brings together community, council, and operations to drive decentralized products to market.
From MakerDAO: We build on the notion of a multi-token model, one token that governs and other tokens that deliver financial products to their users. While doing so, we acknowledge that some of these tokens offer an expectation of profit and that there are regulatory responsibilities that come with that understanding.
Today, StakerDAO is launching a secure, decentralized, compliant governance platform for managing financial products. From this platform will come a growing set of offerings — created and governed by the Staker community. I find it hard to believe that the world of centralized financial service providers, operating opaquely and only for the benefit of the few can indefinitely sustain itself against the coming waves of open, decentralized finance. With the launch of StakerDAO, I aim to push society in that direction.
: Ronald Coase won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his Theory of the Firm on this topic.