Marking a dizzying breakthrough for one of the weirder projects in Cryptoland, MolochDAO, an experimental, decentralized system to provide funding for Ethereum infrastructure, has approved its first grant. To begin with, it’s earmarked a modest $3,000 for doing, er, something to do with the so-called State of Ethereum 2.0 report.
Launched by Spankchain CEO Ameen Soleimani in February, MolochDAO is a consortium of startups and developers building shared infrastructure on Ethereum’s base layer. Consortium members deposit funds and vote on proposals to carry out.
The point of the exercise is to support Ethereum amid deepening funding woes. As of late, the non-profit Ethereum Foundation has begun to step back from Ethereum development, while venture firm ConsenSys (which funds Decrypt) has tightened its budget following last year’s price drop.
MolochDAO has a unique feature. Unlike other models of fundraising, like a Board of Executives or whatever, members can “ragequit” if they dislike a proposal—taking a proportion of the consortium’s funds with them.
This type of intricate game theory is a way to breathe fresh life into the base layer’s development—using a fairness model that is baked into the hard code of smart contracts, Soleimani told Decrypt earlier this year.
And it seems to have worked. Yesterday two of Moloch’s 24 members voted to support the obscure efforts of Kyokan, a “blockchain-native software consultancy” that works in conjunction with several prominent Ethereum startups. Among other things, Kyokan co-authored a report earlier this year, recommending that Ethereum find stronger leadership.
Soleimani wasn’t wholly clear what Kyokan’s greater purpose within Ethereum would be. Nevertheless, you can attempt to parse it for yourself here and here.)
Because there is no quorum for votes, Kyokan proponents—Soleimani and one other developer, “Cassandra”—were able to push the proposal through despite everybody else abstaining. “There were no rage quits,” Soleimani told Decrypt. The point of ragequitting, apparently, is to disempower those who might try to co-opt other members—it’s impossible to bribe or bully another member into submission if they can profit from running away.
"Now that we've proved our grant funding mechanism works and that Moloch can make meaningful contributions to the ETH2 effort, I'm optimistic that we'll rally more support around our cause," Soleimani continued, offering up a soundbite worthy of a Binance press release.