“The Bitcoin Foundation has had its role in the last two years. Unfortunately, it is internally recreating the same archaic political system that fails to work for society,” Olivier Janssens, Bitcoin millionaire and early adopter, said one month ago, “We don’t need another intermediary. We can do this ourselves.”
When the Bitcoin Foundation came under fire in May during the election of Brock Pierce as their new director, leading to ten prominent Foundation members resigning, Olivier said enough was enough. On Bitcoin’s official subreddit, he offered a $100,000 bounty for a radical new idea.
“I want to announce today that I am organizing a contest and giving $100,000 in Bitcoin, to a group that can come up with the best platform to make this happen,” he said. The deadline is today, the 17th of June, and it seems like “Project Douglas” has come up with an answer.
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Project Douglas is a team of developers Dennis McKinnon, Casey Kuhlman and Preston Byrne. For the past three weeks, the team claims they have not slept and have been working tirelessly on their answer to Janssens’ contest: Eris.
Eris by Project Douglas
Using the Blockchain, a framework named DOA and an Association, Eris looks to be a new way for Bitcoin users to make decisions. However, according to the developers, Eris does not intend to be a replacement for the Foundation.
“We not intend, nor is our proposal designed, to replace or compete with the Bitcoin Foundation,” the developers said, “Using traditional forms of organizational governance, the Bitcoin Foundation has played a critical role in standardizing the Bitcoin protocol and encouraging adoption of cryptoprotocols’ use worldwide. We are grateful for its efforts and look forward to learning how we can work together.”
While the framework for their proposal is outlined in overwhelming detail on their website and Github, it’s incredibly lengthy and a bit difficult for the average user to understand. For that matter, it would be more beneficial to outline their key points in summary in this article.
Eris, DAO, and User Involvement
Eris is the overall program where users will be able to contribute. The program itself is not functional yet, but is planned to utilize chat rooms, crowd funding, voting and reputation system. As user’s reputation score improves, they will be allowed access to more responsibility.
The spectacular thing about Eris is that it won’t run on servers. It will run on a DAO system that Project Douglas has developed. Eris uses BitTorrent protocols for storage, Ethereum and user interaction in its proposal.
“Later versions of Eris will include a module for proposing, voting for, and funding the development of other applications or cryptoprotocols,” the dev team stated, “This will expand the functionality of the cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole.”
DAO is the decentralized system supported by Project Douglas that allows for decision making based on the blockchain and the system supporting Eris. Users will be assigned positions based on their reputation score in four different categories: Citizen, Moderator, Executive and Judicial.
Citizen: Create and vote on proposals
Moderator: Monitor content
Executive: Create proposals and modify the DAO code
Judicial: Decide users’ continued participation when violations occur
While the proposal is an entry to claim the bounty proposed by Oliver Janesse, it does still propose a sort of “foundation” due to the need for a real world presence.
“Noting that the bounty to which this proposal relates involves the replacement of the Bitcoin Foundation, we have also designed a legal architecture in which to house the Association DAO (ADAO).”
“Provided we win the Bounty a sufficient proportion thereof will be directed towards the AÐAO’s development. We propose to found a non-profit corporation, a charitable trust or foundation. This is to be determined once jurisdiction-appropriate legal advice is obtained.”
As per legal requirement, the Association will be supervised by a Board. The staff of the Association contains four parts as of now, and has room to contain more as the project moves forward.
Executive Director: Oversees day-to-day activities of the Association and acts as its spokesperson. Responsible for interpreting the outcomes of the trustless policy platform and summarizing its results for external publication.
Development Manager: Responsible for advising the Executive Director and the Board as to the active technical projects being undertaken by the users of the ÐAO and how the Association could deploy its resources to assist.
Community Relations Liaison: Responsible for gauging the temperature of the ÐAO’s user base and representing its views to the Board and to the other members of staff, especially when there is a feeling the community is not adequately represented. A Community Relations Liaison should be as contrarian as possible and be willing to directly challenge other members of staff and the Board. Primary responsibilities are organizational transparency and assisting the Chief of Staff in interpreting the outcomes from the trustless policy platform.
Compliance Manager: Mirrors the Board office, but in relation to the day-to-day functioning of the organization.
Project Douglas understood beforehand that the idea of an Association would be met with opposition, but they quickly outlined their justification as to why it should be used. It contains five sections, and can be read in their proposal webpage.
“We admit that the use of a legal entity to achieve our aims is not entirely in keeping with the ethic norms of decentralization’s proponents. There are those for whom the very existence of a central controlling entity will be unpalatable, or even unacceptable, for our proposed application.”
“However, for reasons stated above we think accountable, real-world supervision will promote the adoption of the decentralized internet rather than hinder it.”
The dev team ended their announcement with a few final thoughts to pass along.
“We are aware that many in the Community see cryptoledger technology as a tool to be deployed in direct action to frustrate state intervention in everyday life,” they said, “The aim of Project Ðouglas is to demonstrate the utility of ÐAOs in everyday applications and to advance the state of the art. It is our view that compliance functionality is not only an added feature – it is a prerequisite. Public, corporate, institutional and government buy-in will require it.”
Olivier Janssens has yet to make a statement as to whether or not Eris has claimed the bounty, although June 17 was the deadline.
Featured image by Shutterstock.