elkhart · Wallis （Erik Voorhees） Return during the outbreak of COVID-19 DJ industry . After bars and restaurants are closed , His friends had a party in the forest , the 37 Year old cryptocurrency entrepreneur in charge DJ Work . The fact proved that , He from 15 He has been an off and on amateur since the age of DJ, Most of them play progressive family music .
I was drinking at a bar in downtown Denver and asked ：“ Are you calling DJ ShapeShift？ Or worse DJ name .”
“ No , There's better DJ name .” He said with a smile .
Wallis looks healthy , Relax and be happy . This is with me 2020 year 2 Month see ShapeShift（ A crypto exchange ） The situation at the time of the CEO is very different , That was weeks before novel coronavirus pneumonia broke out. . It's a different world . A different kind of ShapeShift. Different Wallis . at that time , I'm on his ShapeShift Headquarters visited him . The headquarters house is very good , There is a luxurious meeting room , Fashionable art hung on the wall , You can also enjoy the scenery of the Rocky Mountains .
We met at the bar for a reason ： That office no longer exists , It's closed . Although the COVID-19 pandemic does force most parts of the world to work remotely , but ShapeShift The changes are different . The team took more radical steps ： Not only did they close the office , Their members are trying to dissolve from the existence of the company .
“ today , We announce ShapeShift Decentralizing .” Where's Wallis 7 month 14 Announced Wednesday , Explain that the company will transform into a decentralized autonomous organization or. from 2022 year 1 Month begins , The corporate entity will cease to exist . After this transformation , No company , No CEO .“ No board of directors , There are no shareholders . No employees , There is no bank , No office , No National Bureau of Statistics OSHA posters .” Wallis posted on his twitter account .
ShapeShift Not the first DAO, contrary DAO Everywhere, . The long-term and growing list includes UniSwap、Maker（MKR,+7.61%）DAO、ThorChain、Dream、SushiSwap、OneHive and DXDao. Many of them are decentralized exchanges , Such as composite exchange . Some are chain venture capital DAO, such as Flamingo, An online community , It unites to buy irreplaceable tokens （NFT）. And some stupid organizations , For example, one called “Krauss” Of DAO, It is trying to buy the franchise of the American Basketball Association . Its twitter page boldly asserts ：“ Players won't win the championship ,DAO Will win the championship .”
these DAO Spreading 、 grow up 、 Reproduction . According to the website that collects and summarizes industry statistics DeepDAO, By 2020 year 8 month 7 Japan , share 2200 name DAO Member or token holder . Now , The number of members and token holders may have reached 714000 name ?
According to the same source , last year 8 month , these DAO The total value of is 6300 Thousands of dollars . Now it is 73 Billion dollars .
They have not yet attracted widespread attention from the mainstream media , However, many blockchain insiders have been optimistic about DAO, Even if they are just scattered ideas . Maybe it's time for them now .DAO Will be the next NFT Do you ？
Back to Wallis , Something made him and ShapeShift And others DAO Different . This is a real company . as far as I am concerned , There are no other traditional companies —— Have the staff 、W-2 Tax return 、 cubicle 、 fax machine 、 Guard company —— Trying to turn yourself into a DAO. There seems to be no precedent in business history .
And Wallis himself , He is OG The living link between bitcoin and the new chapter of decentralization . He spent most of his encryption time mixed race .2011 year 5 month , He works for the free state project in New Hampshire , The project consists of a group of radical liberals （“ Some of them are very annoying , Some people are smart ”）. He met Charlie there · Slim , And was hired as the third employee of bitcoin exchange . The fate of the bitcoin exchange is bad , Got it Winkklevii Support for . Then they fell out , Then came the lawsuit .
“KYC The provider's revenue per customer is higher than ours . This is ridiculous .”
He launched online games Satoshi Dice, The transaction volume of the game once exceeded the sum of all other activities on bitcoin . You can still see Wallis 2012 Annual announcement Satoshi Dice Online forum of . In that post , He joked that ：“ You don't know? …… I poisoned what people won from the website IT The coin . then , Once the master dies , I'll take them back . This is my income model , I think this is quite reasonable .” This is an era when jokes still exist , Simpler times .
But instead DAO It's not a joke . This is a high-risk gamble , It may affect the whole encryption system . So I'm here to ask Walsh two simple questions ：“ Why? ？ Then why ？”
At the afternoon reception , Wallis began to elaborate on the ideological and practical reasons for his transformation （ But at its core , You almost feel something deeper at work , There's something more personal —— A kind of Atonement .）
Let's go back to the beginning . stay 2014 Founded by Wallis in ShapeShift In the first incarnation of , You can easily exchange one token for another , Without providing any personal data . For legal and regulatory reasons ,2018 year , They are forced to use the know your customer approach （KYC） The rules . Most users hate it , Even Wallis hates it . As he revealed to me last year , This destroyed the company , wipe out 95% Users of . As he tells me now ：“ It feels like suffocation .”
He hates collecting customer data . He hates spending money to save it . You almost feel that he hates the special ShapeShift. But if he wants to run a mature company , He felt he had no choice .“ We cannot fail to obey the law ”, Wallis said ,“ I'm not going to take the risk . I'll change the rules , But I won't break the clear law .”
He also admitted that , The company “ Must have struggled for years ”, Sometimes I feel desperate . In the darkest turning point , Wallis realized that every client was losing money ,“ because KYC Providers make more money per customer than we do . This is ridiculous .”
Wallis looked at me and said ：“ I'm just a little angry , What am I doing ？ I'm not proud of what we're building here . I don't think the state is proud to spy on innocent people .”
these years , He always abides by the rules , Run the store the way a competent CEO should , He also had a headache . in some ways , The solution becomes obvious . If you feel bound and suffocated by rules , So what is logical —— If it's bold —— choice ？
Wallis, look at me ：“ You changed the rules of the game .”
This idea quickly became popular during the influenza pandemic . Like most countries in the world ,ShapeShift stay 2020 year 3 The moon becomes distant . Like most countries in the world , The team was surprised to work on their own schedule at home , How efficient are they . When … When dispersing , They seem to work better . Wallis has enough time to think , To reflect , Even to find the soul .
He began to indulge in decentralized Finance （DeFi）. Wallis was particularly affected Uniswap Inspired by the , He thinks that Uniswap have “ The same magic as early deformation ”. He likes it Uniswap“ There is no middle layer , Ultra low friction , They didn't KYC”.Uniswap There is a centralized company , But there is a decentralized agreement . Wallis did not deny it Uniswap“ Than ShapeShift The volume of business is much larger , Even on some days with Coinbase Quite a ”. Perhaps the most important thing is ,Uniswap There seems to be no strict regulatory requirements .ShapeShift Can I go that way ？
With Wallis right ShapeShift The idea of decentralized switching centers （ He was in 2021 year 4 month 15 The idea was announced on the tax day of , It's no coincidence ）, He began to consider further large-scale measures —— Decentralize the entire organization . It feels good . It felt like returning to his ideal . Wallis thinks , The spirit of encryption can be summed up in five principles ： Dispersed 、 unchanged 、 Borderless 、 Anti censorship and transparency . He told me ：“ A centralized company cannot adapt well to these things . It is subject to jurisdiction . It usually provides services only to certain countries …… It is generally purchased in close proximity .”
He quoted Coinbase Example .“ I don't want to Coinbase Upper hatred .” He soon clarified ,“ I am a Coinbase Super fans of . It is the most important company of all encryption technologies .”“ meanwhile , I don't know what their slogan is today , But it may be a bit like ‘ World borderless Finance ’. They can't be . They cannot be world borderless Finance .” Although he respects the intention of the bank account , But he predicted ‘ They will act more and more like banks ’,“ If you're too close to the star , You can't escape its gravity .”
This is an ideological reason . But as any disillusioned Marxist will tell you , Ideology itself can only let you go so far . They have practical reasons for the conversion . So , We can turn to ShapeShift Co founder and chief operating officer of , His public name is “Jon ShapeShift”.（ Out of “OpSec reason ”, He doesn't use his full name .）
Jon Tell me ：“ New organizations will be faster 、 leaner 、 More freedom . He is interested in the new DeFi Tired of the agreement .” He said ：“ With our concentrated resources , We can't keep up . No matter how many engineers we add , No matter how much money we raise , The inherent bureaucracy of centralized companies means that you can only do so many things at a time . Everything needs to go through product inspection 、 Legal inspection 、 Engineering inspection , So many checks and inspections .”
from Jon From the perspective of the new model , Maybe a team wants to try ShapeShift and OpenSea Integration between , The other team wants to try something else , For example, with Dream The cooperation of . They can do both at the same time . No red tape . There is no written document from a lawyer .“ We are a centralized entity , It must be selected and prioritized constantly , This means that some problems are always delayed , contrary , More progress can be made simultaneously in multiple directions .”Jon say , He thinks that DAO turn “ Just a logical competitive move ”. In a way , This will “ Free market economy ” The concept of has been pushed to the forefront ： Even for-profit companies are too bloated and bureaucratic , Can't compete . This is Wallis's vision ： There are no more meeting rooms , There are no more meaningless meetings , No more enterprise infrastructure . All this will disappear . The rest is DeFi The actual work of .
“ However , I'm still confused about how all this actually works .” I asked .
“ Oh , Or take accounting . A lot of accounting no longer needs to happen .” Wallis said DAO No tax return . So all this dirty tax preparation ？ Besides , Wallis said ：“ because DAO On the blockchain , It is audited every second .” Wallis seems excited about this new minimalism , It's like cleaning a garage 、 People who marvel at all the new spaces .
So you're fired ？
But Wallis didn't clean the garage . He runs an honest company , That means he has a responsibility .“ I have to make sure I don't cheat my three supporters ： user 、 Employees and shareholders .”
I'm particularly curious about employees . There is about in all 65 individual . Many people （ Probably ） rely on ShapeShift To pay the salary 、 Medical care 、 Rent and mortgage . that , How one carries out thorough reform , And do it in a way that is not an asshole ？
Wallis gives employees 4 To 6 Months' notice 、 Severance pay for an additional two months , And most notably , Issue a series of fox to all employees （FOX） Tokens, （ Through smart contract , Every time 15 Once per second ）, Alleviated the blow .“ At current prices .” He said ,“ Their monthly income is higher than their salary .”（ Of course , Unless prices happen to fall .）
Wallis not only sends messages to employees FOX Tokens, , They also distribute tokens to the community .ShapeShift Claim to have 100 More than ten thousand ShapeShift The customer and DeFi Enthusiasts implemented “ Encrypt the largest airdrop in history ”.Gitcoin、SushiSwap and Desent etc. DeFi Thousands of users on the platform wake up and suddenly find... In their wallets FOX Tokens, . It seems to be a shrewd play .Arca Research DAOs Analyst Nick · Hotz （Nick Hotz） Express , The move “ It brings financial benefits to users , And expanded the community of stakeholders ” . Tokens themselves become more interesting , Because now they let you vote on the governance of the project . These tokens have also become more valuable , At least for now —— since DAO Since its publication , The price has more than doubled .
Here are DAO Actual working mode of . First , It will not be a pure “ flat ” organization .“ We are not completely free of hierarchy .” Wiley · Ogozali （Willy Ogorzaly） say , He outlined most of the plan .Ogorzaly yes ShapeShift The employees' , Is its main product manager . He speaks fast , verdure , like DAOs. stay Zoom On the conference call , He showed me through an organization chart , He explained that the , Different “ workflow ” Will function like the Department of the company —— product 、 marketing 、 Partnerships, etc .
Token holders will vote on the amount of money allocated to each workflow , Then the workflow leader has the right to use these funds . therefore , for example , If the product workflow is assigned 100 Thousands of dollars , It may choose to spend the money on a team of part-time contractors , Or it may be outsourced to another company , It may even pay actual employees .
It surprised me . I thought DAO It will be a fatal blow to normal employment , but Jon and Ogorzaly say , stay DAO In ecosystem , Conventional “ Work ” It's still possible . They imagined , Some people will work as part-time contributors , Some people will participate in prudent projects , Some people may even be employed as employees (Ogorzaly For another Denver based encryption project Opolis Feel excited , The project makes DAO Employees can get W-2 Tax returns and statutory wages .）
DAO It's impossible to do everything when jumping .SoeStHIFT Creating a foundation , Funded by the Ministry of Finance , It will deal with all headaches , The Tao is not ready to crack . for example , It will handle the actual domain ShapeShift.com The maintenance of the . It will manage all code that is still closed source （ It eventually plans to open all source code ）. It will manage the server for the final scheduled dump . There is no ready-made manager （ Not even Wallis ） Will be allowed to enter the foundation , As Jon said , He guessed that the team would be less than 10 people ,“ Should be seen more as a support function , Instead of running the show ”. The ultimate goal of the foundation is to relax its existence , Finally turn everything into DAO.
“ Whatever he does , Wallis will be the leader of transfiguration .”
Not all ShapeShift The staff are on board .“ I don't want to whitewash it .” Wallis said some people would like it . however ,Ogorzaly say ,ShapeShift Most of our employees have long been loyal believers in the concept of decentralized encryption , And many people are concerned about the centralization of the past few years KYC Take a lukewarm attitude .“ When I heard we were decentralizing 、 When returning to encrypted messages , I can't get any more excited .” He said energetically .
about Ogorzaly Come on ,DAO It's Christmas morning . But he admitted , It's hard for his family and friends to understand what this strange news means , Is it good news or bad news . His friend asked him ：“ So you're fired ？” He will answer ：“ Um. , It's not true , But it's a little .”
So what are these developers and engineers doing ？ShapeShift How to make money ？ It's no longer up to Wallis . This will be done by FOX Token holder decision . for example , The community will decide whether to start charging （ At present, there is no ）.Ogorzaly say ：“ Personally, I will vote against it .” He prefers to see ShapeShift Focus on ancillary revenue items , And act as OpenSea Interface with other projects . Even Ogorzaly The facts that can be said to reporters are amazing . You can imagine Facebook A senior vice president of , Jotted down her hopes with joy Zuck How to change the business model ？
This transparency is DAO Of “ Don't close the door ” The spirit of . In a way , It's even an inspiring way , A way to empower the community , One of the best ways to stimulate hive thinking .OpenLaw CEO 、DAOs Legal expert Aaron Wright Provides an optimistic comparison ： Wikipedia . It's decentralized , It is community managed , And it works . He pointed out that , Although large technology companies “ Problems have been encountered with the expansion of scale and the improvement of importance , But Wikipedia doesn't have the same problem . I think this is, to some extent, a community first approach .” He predicted ,“ In the long run , If you give these DAO Long enough constraint ”, They will eventually become “ A more stable 、 Run better ”.
Maybe it's true . But they also carry some important asterisks .
DAO The sound of
It's hard for you to find Griff Green More determined DAOs Advocate . He was the first DAO Community Manager , Referred to as “DAO”, This is a disastrous experiment , Hacked 5000 Thousands of dollars , And threaten The etheric fang The existence of . For encryption trivia enthusiasts ：“ Green told me ,DAO Finally, you should name yourself , and ‘DAO’ Is a placeholder name .” He said with a smile ：“ This is a practical title of king .DAO Once there is , Will name yourself . But all kinds of things hinder us .”
Now ,Green Describe yourself as “ Series non profit DAO founder ”, Launched Giveth、Commons Stack and DAppNode etc. DAO. He is DAOs The followers of , May be DAOs The followers of . even to the extent that Green Also recognize some challenges that many people ignore .“DAO It's hard work .” He said ,“ We often forget the work needed to build culture and create a truly solid culture .”
Anyone who has ever done desk work —— Even seen 《 The office 》 One episode of people —— Will be right. “ Company values ” or “ Mission statement ” Something like that . But these things are important .“ If you look at other organizations , They have human resources . They have an appropriate system , It's like ‘ Who organized the bad working committee ？’ Who did it ？ Where does this come from ？”
Green say ,DAO Often struggling to resolve conflicts , because “ Oh my god , Do you know how easy it is to avoid conflict ？” Then there is the question of retention .Green Think DAO Can be a “ Big economic dream ”, But it is also true that people tend to accumulate institutional and domain specific knowledge , If the contributor is DAO In and out , Agitation may incur costs .
Or leadership ？DAOs The charm of is that they let creativity flourish from the bottom up , Inspire everyone to create . But without a CEO , There's no room to imagine Steve · Steve jobs 、 Cathy · Wood or Elon · musk , Wallis thinks they are “ The only God like hero I've ever had ”. Is it a DAO Can create iPhone Do you ？DAO Can it inspire a trip to Mars ？
Jon Recognize that this is a potential limitation .“ This is definitely part of the trade-off .” He said “ I don't think we're covered . We don't think everything will get better , We must accept trade-offs .” However , He is not particularly worried about how this will affect ShapeShift, because “ Eric …… Never Steve · Steve Jobs tough CEO……” He also pointed to a decentralization project that flourished without a CEO ： The currency .
also , Think DAO It may be naive to really have no leadership , Even if it lacks a nominal CEO.Green The following predictions are made ：“ Wallis will be ShapeShift The leader of , Whatever he does .”
At least today ,ShapeShift There is still its leader at the top of the organization chart . The leader is very interested in getting rid of KYC And the constraints of laws and regulations . Wallis is finally free . No longer store customer data he doesn't want to store , There are no more legal issues , No more “ Suffocating ” The problem of . From January ,ShapeShift Will no longer be responsible for these things . It's still that simple ？
Wallis used as an unregulated DeFi Role model Uniswap Recently, access to certain tokens has been restricted on the grounds of regulatory issues . A debate is imminent . Legal expert Wright Express ：“ How will regulators treat DAO It's still a little unresolved .” “DAO What benefits will be classified ？” He asked ,“ Are they securities or commodities ？”
Wright Pointed out that , As early as 2017 year , Securities and Exchange Commission “ It's just DAO Look at this in its own context , They say ：‘ see , First, this DAO There are not many owners ; second , Someone seems to be in charge of this DAO.’ Because of this combination , Interest itself is a security .” If all this reads like nonsense ,Wright The point is ：“ We don't have a clear answer yet .”
Wright Even helped draft a new law in Wyoming , The law allows DAO Effectively registered as a limited liability company , This will limit the exposure to legal liability .ShapeShift I won't go this way .“DAO Will not register anywhere .” Wallis later told me in a follow-up email ,“ There is neither reason nor advantage in doing so . Registration is not decentralized .” Time will tell if he is right .
Last , We need to acknowledge the views of cynics . Skeptics might think , Dissolution Yes No ShapeShift One way —— Behind the Coinbase、Uniswap、Binance Wait for big companies —— Exit the stage gracefully . This is just an encryption method to declare bankruptcy , But full of enthusiasm ？
I asked Wallis this question directly .
“ I think I'll say , Look at the incentives .” He said that all insiders FOX Tokens have been locked for three years . therefore , If so , Next few months , Everything will fall apart . He has a lot of guts in the game .“ We want to let ourselves , As an executive 、 Employees and shareholders , Can be consistent on the same incentive mechanism —— This is long-term work .”
Wallis not only believes that this will work in the long term , And he suspected DAOs Will be the future of the organization —— Even replace the company .“ I think it can be a model for non encryption companies .” He said ,“ But all right , Maybe not all companies .” He admitted , This is not suitable for local restaurants 、 Dry cleaners or Barbers . He said , Must let DAO Fire up , It needs to have an exciting brand or a compelling story , Otherwise, the community is unlikely to participate . Or as Wallis said ：“ A urinal manufacturer does not necessarily inspire a community .”
One Urinal DAO stay 《 Onions 》 It will be a good story , in fact , That reminds me 2002 year 《 Onions 》 An old article in a magazine , But suddenly it makes sense . at that time , The biggest computer seller is Dell .“ If the company reaches its goal, it will be closed .” The onion headline says ,“ We did it .” CEO Michael · Dell said in the simulation article ：“ When I started this company , I swear before we completely change the way computers are sold , I won't rest . finally , That's the day .” With the realization of his goal , Michael · Dale cleaned his office , Fired all the employees , I'm glad it's going bankrupt .
This article 《 Onions 》 My article has been remembered by me for nearly twenty years , Because I found that a company would happily close itself because of some principle , It's ridiculous . That's what Wallis did , Or at least a distorted version . He has no illusions , Think it will be easy , Simple or painless . It's good for him . He seems to be attracted by the struggle .
“ The meaning of life often comes from struggle .” Wallis said that when I entered the bitcoin industry , I think this is the greatest struggle I can participate in ： Bitcoin's struggle with fiat money and Banking . He vowed not to give up the struggle ：“ Before bitcoin replaced the global monetary system , We won't win . That was when I retired .”
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