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ConsenSys CEO Joe Lubin and Ethereum co-inventor Vitalik Buterin have kicked $700,000 (4,000 ether) into MolochDAO, the odd funding experiment helmed by Spankchain CEO Ameen Soleimani. The donation brings the fund’s total to $1 million.
“My dark dreams are starting to come true,” Soleimani said.
MolochDAO, a “decentralized autonomous organization,” was developed by Soleimani to pool resources to fund the building of core Ethereum infrastructure. It is as much a social experiment as a business experiment: Developers must offer a funding proposal and donate to a central fund to join, and can abscond with their portion of the funds at any point—a “ragequit”—if they disagree with how the funds are being used.
As such, groupthink holds little sway—why submit to a demagogue trying to game the system when you can take the money and run? The whole thing is posited as a solution to the scourge of Moloch, the Canaanite God of child sacrifice that legendary web philosopher Scott Alexander, in his essay Meditations on Moloch, described as a metaphor for social discord.
(The premise of “Meditations” is basically—why do individuals act selfishly when it ultimately costs them more to do so? Moloch is the name Alexander gives to this ill.)
Last month Moloch completed its first grant, and Lubin and Buterin’s round marks the largest sum donated to the fund. Technically, the round was split between four entities: ConsenSys, the Ethereum Foundation, Lubin and Buterin all pitched in 1,000 ether each.
How did Soleimani convince Lubin and Buterin to pitch into the fund?
“Logic,” he said.”I used game theory. It’s how you win anything.”
And what was the grand proposal Lubin and Buterin offered, their vision to embolden developers and rescue the Ethereum network from the scourge of destitution?