Let’s be clear about one thing before we begin: Evmos is in survival mode. Not financially, we are still blessed with an incredible treasury. We’re fighting to stay relevant and survive as a competent network that looks attractive to developers.
We all know that Evmos needs more DeFi. While that's certainly true, that's not telling the full story; an equally important topic that is often not even considered is that Evmos requires more DAOs and more collaboration among DAOs.
No Community, No DeFi
DAOs are the backbone of the blockchain space and are directly responsible for a mind-blowing portion of both activity and the overall TVL. Conversely, DAOs are born from DeFi protocols as they decentralize in a safe and progressive manner. Of course, there are different types of DAOs that bring unique benefits to a chain.
Protocol DAOs, for instance, bring in more developers to the ecosystem, as they fight for their own sustainability and revenue generation. Protocol DAOs innovate, create value, and ultimately move the DeFi space forward.
Social DAOs, on the other hand, attract long-term users who are invested in the success of the chain and not just the incentive program going on at that moment. Social DAOs build comradery and liven up the entire network with their activity.
Investment, venture, or co-op DAOs, by their nature, attract more projects to the ecosystem because they are financially incentivized to do so. In addition to these, there are other types of DAOs like philanthropy DAOs, freelance DAOs, collector DAOs, and countless more that continue to show promising use cases.
Each of these DAOs may have has their own governance token or other related token, bringing in TVL (total value locked) and volume into the ecosystem. Introducing a new token to the ecosystem is not a bad thing — its a good thing.
It is time to stop underestimating the significance of smaller project tokens or belittling projects that are not blue-chip protocols. It is also essential to avoid preconceived notions about projects that are not from “our” ecosystem. Ethereum DeFi has already gone to hell and back, and have gone through the growing pains of early DeFi, and we can learn from their experiences instead of the “well, in Cosmos we … “ and pretending to have experience in building the extremely complicated math and economics involved in protocol planning.
Evmos will never grow this way. Stop trying to re-invent the wheel. Once we get our footing and momentum back and start breathing a sigh of relief, that is the time to begin thinking of radical ideas that may work beautifully — or end up failing miserably (failure is fine and an inevitable part of continued innovation — but if we can avoid it in the beginning, we must).
Can Evmos DeFi really be revived?
The foundations for an Evmos DeFi comeback currently rests on two important pillars: a strong DEX and a lending protocol, Tashi. I say this as objectively as possible, as those active in governance will fully know that not all governance members have supported Tashi throughout the entire process. There is no room for favoritism when you’re fighting to survive.
Lending protocols are paramount for a network as they drive a significant portion of the DeFi ecosystem through the value-creation of derivative assets. So while Tashi may look no different than Umee or Mars from the outside, for the Evmos ecosystem, they will play one of the first crucial roles in enabling protocol collaboration.
In other words, lending protocols allow for the building of new DeFi assets on top of other protocols. If you thought liquid staked assets were awesome additions to the Cosmos ecosystem, wait until you see the power of DeFi derivatives. With EVM extensions, we have a unique opportunity to capitalize on even more novel and endless ideas for DeFi that were not possible before.
That being said, our goal was and never will be to “simply increase TVL” or give high incentives to appease users, but to help create enough liquidity for these types of high-risk protocols to safely launch — we are aware that while incredibly helpful for DeFi ecosystems, lending protocols are one of the riskiest for obvious reasons. This is serious shit.
Pressure Grows for More Community Leaders
More Shifts in the Evmos Core Team
Now, without a marketing head (or a replacement team that we're aware of), a fully-dedicated BD or DevRel, and an uncertain future for the support team, we face an even more incredibly difficult situation.
We do not strive to be a "Cosmos DAO" and our way of decentralizing the community should never be compared to other Cosmos chains. We are a layer 1 network; they are app chains with mainly one product or service to focus on. It would be like comparing the governance duties and processes of a corporation vs. that of governing the state of California.
We are not a DAO.
"Evmos DAO" is NOT a DAO - let's make that clear - we strived to be, but it proved too difficult to begin as decentralized as possible. The governance workstream, in full honesty, is practically the “DAO” at the moment. And no, I am not comfortable with this, and it was never supposed to go down like this. Without workstreams / subDAOs operating to support the governance workstream, we will, however, be forever be stuck in this loop.
The governance workstream cannot continue to attempt do everything ourselves. We have — by necessity, not choice — have become the BD workstream, public goods workstream, tokenomics workstream, outreach team, and everything in between. Governance is unfortunately the least of our focus at the moment — irony in its fullest.
Admittedly, it takes time for communities to mature, and even the greatest DAOs like MakerDAO took over 3 years to fully decentralize. It's a slow process, but you can help expedite it by offering your skillsets to the network!
It's as simple as introducing yourself, what your skillsets are, and finding a good fit with the community, fulfilling your duties, and getting rewarded for your contributions. If you’re an ambitious leader-type, you might find the creation and leading of a subDAO intriguing. I have seen fearless leaders come out of the blue and revitalize the community through the uplifting of each other and newfound fire.
There is incredible power in (competent) community run teams for workstreams like marketing and growth. This power extends to nearly all "aspects" of a normal project - when the community is invested in the project, when the community is more involved, when the community is taking ownership AND accountability, incredible work is often accomplished. It's human nature. Now multiply that by 10, 15, 20 community members, and you begin to see the birth of a beautiful, well-oiled machine. Don't take my word for it, just take a peek at Messari Governor or Snapshot.
How to DAO?
Just effin’ DAO it. It is a cliche phrase in the DAO space, but seriously, just do it.
One of my first exposure in leading a subDAO was literally as simple as going on a governance forum (after a few weeks of getting to know some of them of course), posting a thread saying, hey I think you guys need X. I have experience with Y, and here’s some data to help my case. I’m requesting $XX,XXX to build a team of 5 over the course of N months. After the team is assembled and first deliverable finished, we can reassess future funding.
So yes, just do it - but also be professional, reasonable, and actually bring something useful to the network. Ultimately most proposals that are not seen as a net-positive for the ecosystem will not pass. So while we encourage more leaders to step up, please don’t waste our time with garbage half-assed proposals.
Regardless of how amazing your proposal is, however, more likely than not you will be met with heavy resistance. People you’ve never talked to may send you death threats. The process can take months (hey, I said it was simple, not easy). But in the end, it’s up to you to convince the community that you and/or your team is qualified, ready, and committed.
The ECP Framework on SubDAOs (Review Time!)
Definition and Purpose
Workstreams are the sub-units of how Evmos DAO advances its purpose. A workstream is a group of people actively working on tasks that align with Evmos' Constitutional Values and community run initiatives. As such, ratifying workstreams sets boundaries on what is and isn't in scope for Evmos DAO's governance.
Anyone may start a workstream and gather momentum behind it by posting on Commonwealth. Until a formal proposal for a budget is made, this workstream is considered “informal.” A workstream can be as broad or narrow as its initiators like, but workstream proposals must satisfy the following criteria:
- Have a clear objective that aligns with Evmos' values and objectives as listed in the Constitution.
- Distinguish itself from or explicitly state its improvements on existing workstreams.
- The specific KPI that the sub-DAO will focus on driving success in
- The actual work that the sub-DAO will undertake to drive toward the KPI
- Propose clear budgets and timelines for producing outcomes and all in line with the budget proposal flow.
Workstream Formation Process
The burden falls mostly on the proposers of the sub-DAO, i.e., the sub-DAO must convince the Evmos Community to fund its operations and support its mission. In other words, the sub-DAO should lobby for its formalization and funding proposal to pass.
More tokens to community members? Blasphemy!
If you're still worried about the price at this point, I guess I'll leave you with this gem of a quote from the last governance call: "we can hoard this nut, watch the value go down until its zero - or we can, as a community put our heads together and figure out what we need to do." (paraphrased)
When we called for treasury diversification and other initiatives when Evmos was $2.5, it was too risky.
At $1.50? Holy crap, not after this big drop. Let’s reconsider once we’re back at $2.
$1? LOL you must literally be insane. occasional death threats were fun.
Even still, when compared with other DAOs of similar nature, our community pool is still very formidable, competing in dollar value with some very respected Ethereum DAOs. And we finally have a method to diversify into stablecoins without creating market sell pressure. A huge strategic asset moving forward.
But, what about protocol DAOs for projects and such? How can we be mindful about onboarding them successfully into the Evmos ecosystem?
Great question. For Part 2 of Hey Evmos Community, we need to talk.