Notes and topic ideas for community calls

I will likely be busy during the call on August 18th, but wanted to suggest some ideas in case it is helpful. Feel free to use whatever you like or ignore all of them!

Following the format of last week’s call:

Opening

Talking Points

  1. Relevant news recap
  1. Trustless proposed governance structure - legislative & executive
  1. Thoughts on using the Discord forum vs. the Discourse forum (forum.trustless.fi).

Q & A with the community

Closing

  • Any other challenges/concerns/points?
  • Action items & next steps

Extra topics to riff on, if needed (can be used for any call):

There is also this trilemma visualization from fluid.ch. stablecoin-trilemma-423x300

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Below are notes from the Trustless community call on August 25th. I will continue posting notes from community calls here, when I am able to do them. If anyone has a suggestion for a better place to post these, please do share.

Trustless community call August 25, 2022 notes

Governance discussion recap

-Lucas summarizes his forum post about the governance structure. It is important to decide which governance parameters to “turn off” control to, which ideally should be most of them”. Proposed Governance Structure: Legislative and Executive

-Steve explains the diagram he made showing a workflow & timeline for Trustless governance. During the 6 months after launch where Hue (and the algorithm) is finding its footing and becoming stable, Trustless will continue determining how to delegate jobs throughout the community. After that, the jobs are delegated and prioritized with deadlines.

-Putting parameters in code is important before launch. - Lucas

-The 6-month gradient metaphor is better than assuming a flat, steady experience in the first 6 months because we will have to try new things and experiment along the way. - Steve

-After it is decided what the community can control, then ask them what jobs they are willing to do. - Steve

-We must distinguishing three categories for Trustless jobs/operations:

  1. Things that can never be touched by humans.
  2. Things that can be touched, but are restricted.
  3. Things the community has full say over. - Lucas

-Defining “codification of controls”: First, examine the function or “lever” being considered. Is it run on-chain or off-chain? Is it run by human input? Can it be run by human input? Should it be run by human input?. E.g., what pools in Uniswap to incentivize, what TWAP prices to peg Hue to, etc. Also, how long permission should be given to the community to control certain parameters can be codified. - Lucas

-Last week, TnD mentioned that governance should be a ticking time bomb and this timeline should be made clear to the community. For many reasons, including setting expectations, risk reduction, and as a possible selling point.

-Should we plan to move towards fully-fledged executive and legislative branches leading up to and after launch, or should we start at launch with a fully developed structure? Regardless, our proto step should be making it transparent and, when possible, simple for the community. - Steve

-We should aim to be the C-Span of DeFi. What to call it? (web)3-Span? T(rustless)-Span? De-Span? - Lucas
(Editor’s note - C-Span [https://www.c-span.org/] is an American public affairs TV channel which broadcasts proceedings of the US government).

Trustless ethos

-Currently, it is the truth that we are entirely trusting of Miles’ code even though the project is called “Trustless”. However, this isn’t only true of Trustless but of many projects. We are aware of this contradiction, and it is important to be honest and transparent about it. That said, we are all working on this together and (hopefully) working towards the same goals. This is also why it is important for setting specific governance parameters before launch. It is all humans behind this. - Lucas

-This topic (recognizing the realistic limits of trustlessness and taking steps to reduce trust when possible) is also relevant to risk assessment plans, e.g. audits, crowdsourced bug bounties. Decisions to approve these could fall into category #2 of Lucas’ three Trustless jobs/operations categories. - JP

-Trustless is planning to make the code available to the public shortly after launch, so doing crowdsourced bug bounties could happen after that. - Lucas

zkSync news recap about dynamic fees

-News recap about zkSync, Ergs, and dynamic fees.

Brief introduction of the Trustless NFTs concept

-The concept is to have Trustless artwork reacting as commentary to relevant news events. Example. - Barto

-It is like taking a slightly antagonistic approach to NFT artwork as a way to promote the Trustless brand. We can use it as a trojan horse into other media channels and into the existing community. - Steve

-The goal is to find a balance between antagonistic and ambiguous without name-calling. We want to speak towards universal, yet inconvenient truths in crypto/DeFi and possibly the wider world. - All in agreement

-The Trustless NFT topic will be continued next week. We encourage community members to read and contribute to the forum topic about NFTs in preparation for the next call.

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Amazing, thank you for the summary! This helps because I wasn’t able to make the call this week.

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Most excellent Jaypow. Keep it up!

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Trustless community call September 1st, 2022 notes

NFT Artwork

  • Unveiling of Barto’s NFT concept art. There are 3 pieces: A “Trust No One” pyramid, a person hacking apart the bad octopus/kraken, and arms pulling apart the centralized man. These concepts have been in the works for a while and have been simplified over time.

  • The Trustless brand vision is to be slightly antagonistic by revealing the reality and truths of DeFi, illuminating the flaws and correcting them via provocative imagery (as NFTs). - Berry

  • Should the NFTs be poster artwork style vs. PFP (profile picture) style? NFTs should be aligned with our brand values. Instead of trying to compete with other PFP projects, let’s focus on the Trustless vision. It is the functions of the NFT that are valuable. - Steve & JP (note - another benefit of Trustless releasing its own NFTs is that royalty fees from NFT trading can go to a treasury).

NFT Launch

  • Should Trustless mint NFTs? Lucas thinks yes. BAYC is an example of how an NFT launch has been kept fun and exclusive, while adding clout. Cryptopunks are another, who benefited mostly by first-mover advantage. NFTs can be coded to include features and benefits. We found four NFT marketplaces launching on zkSync. We’re looking for one that is developed and functional, but also small enough that we can convince them to accept Hue only for purchases (after the Trustless mainnet launch?).

  • Ultimately the Trustless NFTs will be traded in other marketplaces on zkSync. We can’t predict which NFT marketplace will become #1 in zkSync, so it makes sense to focus on an NFT marketplace/launch platform that serves Trustless’ initial needs and then let the NFT market sort itself out over time. - JP

  • Minting/airdrop. How should it be done? How can we reach an external audience? We could work with the minting marketplace/protocol for ideas. - Lucas

  • Using task platforms like Project Galaxy or Guild is another way to encourage external participation and produce traffic. It may result in some people participating to gameify a future reward i.e. sybil attackers, but it will also produce some genuine interest. In these platforms, the NFT is shown prior to the task so that users can see what they’re working towards. Guild is recommended since they have more quality projects on there right now. - Drewbeefy.eth

  • Two other task platforms are RabbitHole and Quest3. - JP

  • Task-based NFT rewards feels similar to the Trustless discord roles, whereas an awareness-focused distribution would target a different audience. - Berry

  • Why not both? - Barto

  • Launch timeline: Some NFTs will be released prior to the Trustless launch, some will be released later. This would have an effect on using task/quest platforms like Guild or Project Galaxy, where most projects using these platforms are already on mainnet. - Berry & JP

NFT Functionality/Incentives

  • The important question is, what are we trying to incentivize via these NFTs? For example, should it come with an interest rate boost/discount? - Lucas

  • Interest rate benefits could be risky. We should focus on art features of the NFT first, and practical functions later. - Berry

  • NFTs are like stories. We should tell a meaningful story about decentralization via the NFTs, and that will generate some community interest on its own. There should also be community contributor incentives via the NFTs that focus on making Trustless and DeFi simpler for non-technical users, e.g. writing articles. - bitsmartgee_eu

  • Berry is skeptical of participation badges, but also recognizes that NFTs can be motivational tools that incentivize users to join the journey and realize the value.

  • Quick overview of some examples of NFT distributions and functionality from other projects. - JP

2 Likes

Amazing summary @jaypow, super helpful for me to catch up!

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Trustless community call September 9, 2022 notes

Lead-in

  • We talked about jobs to be delegated two weeks ago and NFTs last week. Today, we will be continuing with the former topic.

Jobs to be delegated to the community

  • There is of course a divide between executive & legislative branches. So, how much control should the community (the legislative branch) have vs. the executive branch? - Miles

  • A few things need to be controlled by the protocol early on, such as reward incentives for liquidating positions. However, the community could have control over where TCP should be launched, e.g. Should it go to a treasury, how should it be allocated, how to seed liquidity pools, etc. Also, should some of the funds go to a developer fund or elsewhere. Examples of investments for the fund could be investing in other tokens, voting incentives, purchasing liquidity for the protocol, etc. This is also where community input could come in. - Miles

  • Controlling money is a lot of power for the community to have. How much power should we be delegating, given the risks? - Steve

  • Interest rates (for Trustless) control the peg and money into the protocol. This is a lot of power and some of the fundamentals will under the control of the algorithm and not subject to DAO influence. However, should the algorithm be optimizing entirely for the peg, or instead optimizing to keep it within 1-2% of the peg while managing incentives to keep Hue on peg? This is to be decided. - Miles

  • Do any jobs fit into these models you have described? - Steve

  • Yes, some. For example, contract upgrades. The legislative branch could set deadlines and manage them. There could be some control delegated to the DAO for parameter decisions, e.g. managing interest rate bounds or adjusting the percentage of protocol income being diverted to stakers (currently, 1/5 of the protocol income is diverted to stakers). - Miles

  • Some of these makes sense, but some are fiddly and complex. For example, the specifics of code or interest rate mechanics could be hard to communicate simply in writing for a broad community to understand. - Steve

  • Maker’s interest rates have fluctuated wildly, which is one reason why they have changed the backing of DAI. As TnD has mentioned, Liquity’s “soft peg” for LUSD is between $1.00 and $1.10, so it is functioning as planned. If Hue was a directly dollar-backed stablecoin it could maintain a very tight peg. However, it is of course backed by ETH. Determining how closely Hue holds the peg has a lot of value for the user. - Miles

  • A friend of Steve’s said he would be interested in more DeFi protocols if they had FDIC insurance. Could there be a Trustless insurance policy for when Hue goes outside of a predetermined peg range? - Steve

  • Would be risky to have an insurance policy for Hue’s peg. However, there are insurance projects out there which offer services to many DeFi protocols. - Miles (Editor’s note - and some of these are integrated directly into the dapp UI of certain projects. This could potentially be worth incentivizing amongst Trustless front end providers).

  • Other possible functions of the DAO could include deciding on community grants, partnerships and integrations, and security/risk assessment funding. - Jaypow

  • Would partnerships mean voting on simpler, one-way type partnerships like having a token listed on an exchange, or voting on more reciprocal, interwoven partnerships such as shared liquidity incentives or where Hue is used as a reserve asset? - Miles

  • I am thinking mostly the latter. What type of partnerships require a DAO vote and what specifically the DAO can vote on in them should be determined prior to the DAO going live (Editor’s note - This would be a great example of something to include in TCP’s Decentralization Guide or Constitution. For example, Reflexer’s Governance Minimization Guide and Integrations pages in their docs could provide a useful starting point for inspiration). - Jaypow

  • The Trustless Foundation would be the executive branch, not a separate entity. It will be run by independent directors who have no affiliation with anyone. - Miles

  • If the Foundation becomes the executive branch in the proposed timeline, and if it is made clear to the community about the checks and balances that the legislative branch has (as well as the functions of both branches), then this governance structure would be acceptable to me and likely most of the community. Especially given the decentralization schedule, with complete decentralization looming on the horizon (the duration of which is proposed to be roughly 3 years long, but is being dicussed). - Jaypow

News recap about Maker considering a proposal to move DAI’s USDC backing into Coinbase Custody

  • “Betting the company” analogy, and why it should be avoided: Businesses/organizations must practice making changes throughout their lifespans so that they don’t have to bet the company on new decisions (such as, betting their future on a single decision). If Maker proceeds with this, it would be like throwing decentralization out the window. Observing the community’s reaction to it will be very telling of where we are in DeFi. - Steve

  • Maker had a vision and now it seems they are giving up on it. - Miles

NFTs & Trustless Partnerships

  • Miles spoke with the CEO of MintSquare. Let’s take a look at the Trustless NFT concepts and decide how to customize them with unique features. More to come on this.

  • We will begin announcing more of our partnerships soon. - Miles

2 Likes

Incredible notes @jaypow ! Your work is a huge help to the Trustless Community.

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Trustless community call September 15, 2022 notes

Opening/recap

  • Figma acquired by Adobe
  • Congrats on the Eth merge. Indirectly benefits zkSync, price action wasn’t crazy, mainstream still doesn’t understand. Many incremental upgrades still yet to come.

Fundraising slide deck - explanation & initial thoughts

  • Figma slides: https://www.figma.com/file/2lUVkSjI6EwZFaYGp9k70x/slide-preso?node-id=0%3A1
  • Thanks for the team and community who have been contributing and testing the protocol. ~40 days to go until zkSync 2.0 mainnet. We want to make sure the Trustless vision of true decentralization can succeed, and to do that we need more people involved, particularly in terms of hiring. This will require funding to help bring the protocol’s vision to fruition. - Miles
  • Miles & Steve had a chat a few weeks ago. We believe zkSync 2.0 is the future, and realize that we need to act quickly because competition is coming. We need funding so that we can elbow our way into the space. (Steve then goes through the pitch deck on Figma) - Steve
  • The slide deck’s narrative is concise, but it still requires trust in the team to do the right thing. - Barto
  • We don’t know if this will work with investors or not. It is like a fishing expedition. We are looking for investors who are aligned with our goals. - Steve

Fundraising slide deck - communicating the vision to investors

  • We are probably missing the point with these slides. From an investor’s perspective, it doesn’t demonstrate how it will bring a big enough return for investors, to offset the risk/reward. We need investors to think that this has the possibility to become one of the 100x projects in their portfolio. We should include these concepts: Building the onramp to zkSync, giving users the tools and resources they need to thrive, all while being completely trustless. - Miles
  • The complexity of that larger vision is hard to communicate on this deck. It would be good to allude to it, but this is a new business that is yet to be well understood. Few people know how a DAO works, how to value it, and how to extract value out of it. This slide deck is the start of a larger conversation. - Steve
  • I’ve been trying a thought exercise: Imagine that we haven’t done anything yet and Trustless was just an idea. What would those slides say? Something like, “We’ve looked at the ecosystem and seen a gap, so we gathered a team to build the solution.” However, we have something we’ve already built that works. - Miles
  • That is a strength, but we need to hire others to fulfill our vision and that vision should be included at the end of the deck, since it is a work in progress. - Steve
  • When making a big bet on a hope and a dream, that is worth something. Having something that is already working is almost less interesting than the hope and the dream. Still grappling with this discrepancy. - Miles
  • Is this a Reflexer-sized vision, or a Maker-sized vision? - Lucas
  • Perhaps Reflexer has failed in a sense thus far, given the size of its ambitions. I see this mainnet launch coming up as a small event in the lifespan of Trustless if the vision is grand enough. - Miles
  • With that big of a story, we may not know how much to raise. And it is okay to have that uncertainty. - Steve

Fundraising slide deck - numbers vs. technical info vs. broader ideas

  • There is probably a minimum amount to raise, around $5 million, and a maximum amount around 20-25%. Have spoken to a variety of investors, and the most consistent feedback has been “Show me the numbers. How can I deliver on the returns I have promised people who have put money into my fund?”. We don’t need to actually put out numbers, but we need to paint a clearer picture than we have so far about the scale and vision (either one or both). - Miles
  • I’m more focused on the big brushstrokes. We want to create a DAO-based ecosystem on zkSync 2.0. Current DeFi is centralized and compromised. We have a vision of a Trustless DAO ecosystem to build those products. Insert money here (for the additional growth cost). What are the numbers/handles for the return? That is the big question. Outlining all the mid-level details is a big task in a pitch. Let’s stick to the high-level concepts & valuations. - Steve
  • In terms of numbers, we could include token values of other projects, interest earned by other projects (e.g. Maker), etc. Maybe it’s like the “city in the sky” symbol that Barto created. We need to distinguish Trustless from the other protocols that exist, and communicate that “This is a turning point. Trustless is the new one-stop shop for DeFi, newcomers and experienced alike.” We need the investor to feel that, and to imagine the scenario in which we would win. I want to see the possibility of outsized returns, a vision that gets me excited, and a team that makes me think they have a good track record and can fulfill this vision. We need to show that we have an incredible team and are capable of executing, that this is a huge opportunity and the launch is coming soon. - Miles
  • There is a lot of implied value about layer 2 in the deck. Not sure how much investors will know about the value of it, and may lose some investors. - Barto
  • We can include something about layer 2, just don’t need to have many details. - Miles
  • “Layer 2 is dope, next slide.” - Steve

Communty members on stage

  • It’s a good idea to raise funds, but tokenomics and “raising trust” in the community is more important. It should not be too expensive for people to participate, e.g. if there is a TGE. Security is also important. - The Pristine (community member)
  • Gitcoin Grants round 15 is happening now, which is a fundraising option. There is also Nouns DAO NFTs, which are another option. - bitsmartgee_eu (community member)

Closing

  • We will work on this. More slides to come, probably next week. - Miles
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Trustless community call September 22, 2022 notes

Opening

  • The focus of today’s call is workshopping the slides that we retooled since last week’s call. These new slides are focusing on telling a larger story of Trustless. - Steve

Updated slide deck with an improved story arc

  • Link to Figma slide deck: https://www.figma.com/file/O2LR17jrK9aM0lHrFqgWY5/Trustless?node-id=3156%3A208
  • Most of the discussion outcome is summarized in the above Figma slides :point_up:.
  • Initial summary of the new slides, version 1: Trustless is building the first truly decentralized stablecoin on zkSync. We believe we have a great brand. Other major protocols are giving up on DeFi (e.g., Maker), but we are leading DeFi forward. We’re planning to raise a certain amount and we have a cool team. We want investors to realize that we are building a decentralized stablecoin, we’re building it on a layer 2, and we have a superb team. - Miles
  • Initial summary, version 2: We are taking market share. DeFi is centralized, but we are at the verge of layer 2. We are building a brand of foundational products and have an incredible team. We have a vision to build out a whole slew of interconnected products that replicate the best, most successful protocols and build out DeFi and own the entire ecosystem. The potential returns are massive (see hundreds of millions of dollars in other DeFi protocols). Here is our cool team and our timeline. - Miles

Closing

  • We have some meetings and workshops coming up where we can improve this further. We’ll have more to share next week. See you then!
3 Likes

oh! great news!! i can`t wait for you, trustless finance.

Trustless community call September 29, 2022 notes

Opening

Roadmap

  • We wanted to make our roadmap more public. Its progress will depend on zkSync’s roadmap.
  • We’re going to start referring to the protocol as Hue instead of TCP going forward. - Miles

Pre-launch

  • We have some legal work to continue. Not immediately launching a DAO makes this easier. - Miles
  • There are also a few more engineering tasks that don’t involve the DAO, and will be restricted based on the state of zkSync:
    1 - Revamping how the contract upgrade logic works
    2 - Removing some TCP token logic in the system, so that certain mechanisms can work without the TCP incentive
    3 - Integrating Charm

Post-launch

  • Certain protocols will be whitelisted to deploy on zkSync. We will deploy TCP to the chain then (in its baby alpha testnet stage, likely 0.1 ETH capped deposits). We will plan to shutdown and upgrade as zkSync slowly increases their limits. - Miles
  • When zkSync goes mainnet they will have an artificial cap (0.1 ETH), which reduces risk and expectations. This is a good thing, especially for a new technology. - Steve

Mid-term

  • After we get into a rhythm with zkSync and we continue opening up limits while managing risk, we start shifting our focus to additional protocols. Could be a debt protocol like Compound, or pursuing the zkSync-native stablecoin thing, or launching a DAO when the time is right. - Miles

Long-term

  • 6+ month vision. We want to capture DeFi on zkSync, bring protocols together, and get our brand name out via marketing. - Miles

Updated slides

Closing

  • More slide updates to come, but it is looking better. See you next week!