Thoughts About ETC from Charles Hoskinson
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Charles Hoskinson talks about Ethereum Classic and addresses three points to the Ethereum Classic Community.
There are three that I’d like to discuss. First, the ECIP 1017 monetary policy proposal. Second, IOHK’s treasury proposal and future roadmaps. Third, a broader point on community management and governance.
With respect to ECIP 1017, I think Snaproll has done a great job producing something fair and timely for our community. I’m in full support of it and I’d like to see it approved and implemented. My reservations actually don’t come from a desire to install a hook for a treasury, but this of course would be nice, but rather a lack of process for communicating with all the major stakeholders.
ETC isn’t just Slack or Reddit. There are other communities that are directly responsible for the success of the project that either cannot or will not use our standard communication mediums. Second, they, in some cases, do not speak English. My primary reservation is that we cannot change the social contract of ETC without their consent or we have every right to expect a surprise fork just like the EF endured.
IOHK has been proactively trying to broadcast the need for a MP discussion in places like China and we’ve even sent Carlo there in person. I’d love to see both Snaproll and Elaine enter this market as well for several face to face meetings. Yes this process takes time, but it can and should be expedited.
In reality, if conversations began now, then unless there is strong opposition to ECIP 1017, I think we can get final approval in mid-March and then it’s a settled matter. Things could go wrong, but as with Die Hard, I’ve been amazed at our ability to pull together when absolutely necessary.
Second, IOHK has recently released a treasury proposal. I would like to apologize for it’s poor and confusing release to the general public. We intended on a soft discussion that would gradually solidify over time. It was not meant to be a papal bull encased in immutable canon law once given.
My second point is that I do not believe that it is wise or sane to implement a treasury system with a smart contract. It will take likely 6-12 months of research and development to build a proper peer reviewed and tested treasury system (something the DAO never did) and we will likely have to introduce new cryptographic primitives, data structures and other pieces of complexity to implement this system. The earliest it can be safely done would be Q1 of 2018.
Utilizing a smart contract for a global system would make it bloated, force development in a sub-optimal language solidity and greatly restrict our flexibility. It makes no more sense to me to embed a treasury’s mechanics into a smart contract than to embed our consensus algorithm into one.
Third, I would like to remind everyone that one of the reasons the hard fork occurred is that the core entity pushing it has absolutely no accountability to the stakeholders of Ethereum. The EF cannot be defunded or compelled to behave in a certain way from the holders of Ether. It’s effectively like a supreme court justice in power for life without fear or recourse for actions beyond brand damage.
Decentralizing the capital available to the ecosystem and making it flow in stages with contingencies and revokeability would completely change the social dynamic. An entity like the EF would be forced to ask have they really achieved proper consent from the community for an action. Lack of consent wouldn’t breed anger, it would remove capital.
This mechanism is an extremely powerful governance tool and ought to be explored. ETC was founded with the goal of minimizing centralization and strongmen pushing us into bad directions.
My last point, with respect to the treasury, is that we should dream big with ETC. The reality is that smart contract competition is going to get extremely tough in 2017. Tezos is launching with smart contracts. Rootstock will be a player in the second half of this year. Ethereum continues to evolve rapidly. There will also be many more.
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