Dash Core Team Organization Announcement

Ryan Taylor

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Dash Community,

Over the course of the last year, the Dash Core Team has placed a great deal of emphasis on professionalizing our operations to serve the Dash DAO as best as we can. Today, I am pleased to announce a number of initiatives we are undertaking to continue that process of growth and professionalization.

As you are likely aware, Dash’s founder Evan Duffield has been planning a transition in his role for some time. On our Q4 2016 conference call and again at the recently held Open House, he announced his intention to shift his focus toward an advisory role and exploring other means of investing in the Dash ecosystem.

This transition has been underway for quite some time, and is a part of an overall transformation in the way the Dash Core Team plans to operate to best meet the needs of a growing network. A number of efforts were already underway. These include a transition to market rate compensation for our full-time contributors, and a dramatic expansion of the core team that was announced and approved last month.

There are a number of other changes we plan to implement to provide better legal protections for the Dash network’s assets and the Dash Core Team members, to enable the ability to offer traditional employment options for a number of roles, to create stronger accountability of the Dash Core Team, and to organize ourselves more appropriately to deliver against the increasing number of workstreams underway.

Today, we are pleased to announce some changes to our organization structure. The Dash Core Team has always operated effectively as a partnership, with each functional area having a representative and equal vote in internal Core Team decisions. That doesn’t relieve the need for an internal organization structure that aligns individuals to the various work areas. As Evan transitions to his new role, we are making two changes to ensure we have leadership continuity in place to deliver on our promises to the network.

Andy Freer is being appointed as CTO of the Core Team to help guide the various technical teams working on the current software and future Evolution versions. Andy has 8 years experience as a CTO prior to Dash and has been involved with the project since late 2015, and has done a brilliant job designing and building our next-generation architecture under Evan’s guidance. Going forward, our development will require an increasing level of coordination across the various teams in support of Evolution, so it makes sense to have Andy ensuring each of the team's efforts are synchronized and aligned to our development priorities. UdjinM6 will continue leading the DashCore development team, along with Jon Kindel leading the DAPI and integrations teams, Chuck Williams leading the various Web teams, Nathan Marley leading the DashDrive team, and MooCowMoo leading the infrastructure team.

In parallel, I was appointed as CEO of the Core Team. My role is to continue coordinating the day-to-day activities and priorities across the functional areas, ensuring our alignment with the team’s strategy, and providing public-facing representation for the core team in the media and strategic business relationships.

A press release about our internal organizational changes has been distributed to the media through Wachsman PR, and we expect coverage to begin shortly.

Does the assignment of a CEO mean that Dash is becoming centralized?

No. The Dash network remains a fully-decentralized DAO, just as it always has been. The Dash DAO has no CEO, but rather hires various entities to serve its needs in a fully decentralized way. The Dash Core Team is simply one of many entities that serve the network, such as the Dash: Detailed team, or the DashForce team. To be clear, the Dash Core Team intends to continue operating essentially as a partnership, just as we always have when Evan was on the team under the “Founder” title.

What else is planned?

We are presently undergoing a legal restructuring to provide a number of benefits to the network. It will likely take at least two months to complete this process. The Dash Foundation is woefully inadequate to provide the Dash Core Team, its members, or the network with effective legal protections and will be replaced with a new legal structure designed to fulfill a number of needs.

We want to ensure that network assets such as the Dash brand, trademark agreements, domain names, and other assets that belong to the network itself are not held by the Core Team or its members. Those should be held in a separate entity with legal obligations directed to the serving the network to better protect those assets and ensure that if the network funds another development team instead of the current Dash Core Team, the assets are retained.

Another objective of the restructuring is to ensure that the Dash Core Team can offer regular employment as an option for our current all-contractor workforce. The Dash Foundation is not a perfect choice for providing this option due to a number of legal constraints on funding that entity.

The entire team looks forward to continuing to serve the network and to the many improvements still underway to make our team more accountable and effective than ever. We strive to deliver the best technology, business strategy, and execution in the industry, with the goal of bringing a fully-decentralized digital currency to the mainstream. We thank you for your continued support on this journey.
 

magicmushroom

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What does Evan's new role as an advisor entail? Will he stop being involved with the code as a part of this transition into "exploring other means of investing in the Dash ecosystem"?
 

crowning

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The Dash Foundation is woefully inadequate...
We have now blockchain-funded entities which take care of everything the Dash Foundation was intended to do, so it's obsolete.
What's with the remaining donations the Foundation got?
That's some serious money today...get the donators their money back?
 

Minotaur

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What does Evan's new role as an advisor entail? Will he stop being involved with the code as a part of this transition into "exploring other means of investing in the Dash ecosystem"?
Evan has been on this transition for almost a year now, as part of 12.1 he provided advice and checked that the code was going in the direction of the concepts he introduced with Sentinel but the code itself was developed, optimized and released by our dev team, without Evan coding on a daily basis. Going forward it will be the same, Evan will contribute his creative input where relevant and is thinking about ideas for the future. As we grow we need to adjust the organization behind the team. We are going for a formal structure with teams working on different areas. Evan and the core team agree we need that organization to be managed professionally and that requires a different set of skills. Evan will always remain our founder and advisor to the team that will never change.
 

Leonidas

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Those should be held in a separate entity with legal obligations directed to the serving the network to better protect those assets and ensure that if the network funds another development team instead of the current Dash Core Team, the assets are retained.
I just took that quote as an example but my comment is for the whole post : wow !

I'm very grateful for all the work everybody is doing and when I see the post made by Ryan Taylor, I can see that Dash still is dash and sets everything to remain dash, that is to say an autonomous decentralized organization invented to survive its creators.

It is really impressive to have such an already strong organziation with such a great transparency on everything.

Congrats to all of you !
 

Ryan Taylor

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We have now blockchain-funded entities which take care of everything the Dash Foundation was intended to do, so it's obsolete.
What's with the remaining donations the Foundation got?
That's some serious money today...get the donators their money back?
Are you referring to the membership dues the Foundation collected?
 

mastermined

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Does the assignment of a CEO mean that Dash is becoming centralized?

No. The Dash network remains a fully-decentralized DAO, just as it always has been. The Dash DAO has no CEO, but rather hires various entities to serve its needs in a fully decentralized way. The Dash Core Team is simply one of many entities that serve the network, such as the Dash: Detailed team, or the DashForce team. To be clear, the Dash Core Team intends to continue operating essentially as a partnership, just as we always have when Evan was on the team under the “Founder” title.
I like that part ;):D
 

Ryan Taylor

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There may still be a purpose for the Dash Foundation regardless of what other entities the Core Team establishes and operates through. For example, it could continue with a mission around advocacy or education. The Dash Foundation leadership and members will need to decide on a path forward, which could include dissolving and returning dues to members, or altering their mission. It is simply that the core team will eventually stop utilizing the Foundation as a legal entity to represent it in agreements, which is primarily how it was used up to today. The Dash Foundation will be best positioned to answer questions once the Core Team's transition to new more-appropriate legal entities is complete sometime later this quarter.
 

akhavr

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We want to ensure that network assets such as the Dash brand, trademark agreements, domain names, and other assets that belong to the network itself are not held by the Core Team or its members. Those should be held in a separate entity with legal obligations directed to the serving the network to better protect those assets and ensure that if the network funds another development team instead of the current Dash Core Team, the assets are retained.
What entity will hold these? If not Dash Core Team, will be the Dash Foundation? Or a separate entity?
 

AndyDark

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What entity will hold these? If not Dash Core Team, will be the Dash Foundation? Or a separate entity?
This is the question. I think it's right that the Core Team shouldn't control these assets because that's too much power (it gives them (us) a massively unfair advantage when bidding to develop the software / do business development etc because that team could use those assets as leverage when trying to get their agenda passed within the network). At the same time I am personally skeptical that any non-DAO's will survive long term (organizations existing with some power within Dash that are not funded i.e. accountable to the Network) so I don't know where the foundation fits in (and personally I don't have much knowledge / experience with the foundation myself).

EDIT: i think it's also fair to say, the Foundation was created early and before our decentralized governance, which is the usual thing to do in cryptos. Secondly, some people have paid to be a member and those funds were used for things like trademarks which have ongoing costs etc - so basically it's a complex issue what to do, and not my area anyway :)
 
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fernando

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We have now blockchain-funded entities which take care of everything the Dash Foundation was intended to do, so it's obsolete.
What's with the remaining donations the Foundation got?
That's some serious money today...get the donators their money back?
What entity will hold these? If not Dash Core Team, will be the Dash Foundation? Or a separate entity?
We are looking into that and we should have a clear answer in a couple of months. We are working with several lawyers on this and the final setup will be announced when we have all the info.

The role of the foundation has been changing all the time because we didn't have the governance system when it was created. The original idea was that it would hire developers and that kind of stuff. It was also a good way to hold network assets that needed a real world legal entity. However, with the governance system in place two things happen:

-Different entities can compete for funds and hire people to work for dash. Several of them already exist (dash core team, dash detailed, dash force...). However, the foundation is not well position to do that because, due to legal restrictions to this kind of entity, it can't get funds directly from the blockchain without risks. In order to be tax exempt all members and significant donations need to be account for. We've looked into how to do this for the blockchain and a few ideas sounded good, but there are no precedents and there is risk that at some point the IRS could come to the party.

-The amounts of money and assets is significant. In theory the foundation could hold assets for the network, but it still needs to solve how to fund that. Also, a US foundation can be sued and the assets would be at risk. We are looking into alternatives that can both represent the network and be really safe.

Having said that, I believe the foundation can still have a role as one of the entities in the ecosystem if that is what the members want. They (we) have funded it and are the owners. We will have elections very soon and the members should decide on what they want by electing directors that represent their view. In case of dissolution the funds would be distributed. However, most of them were spent on legal proceedings related to the dash trademark and there would be some additional dissolution related expenses, so probably not that much in the end.
 

jimbursch

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-The amounts of money and assets is significant.
Whenever significant amounts of money are in play, be prepared for a contentious debate about how those assets are handled.

I would like to suggest that it be made clear that the Dash Foundation (and its assets) are not Dash (as in the protocol or the governance or the network). If there is a fight over the assets of the Foundation, we want people to understand that it has no bearing on Dash itself. I would argue that Dash is the MN Network and everything else (Foundation, Core, Nation, Detailed, Force, etc.) is something else other than Dash. Even the Dash Community is not Dash.

Does that make sense?

New Dash users are going to be confused about who's who and what's what in Dash, and it's going to get worse as more people get involved in Dash in a variety of ways. It think it is healthy that Evan is stepping back as founder, helping to make it clear that he is not Dash. At some point, Core will have to step back and make it clear that they are not Dash either.
 

Ryan Taylor

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What entity will hold these? If not Dash Core Team, will be the Dash Foundation? Or a separate entity?
My own hypothesis is a trust with obligation to the network would be a much better setup than putting these assets into a US-based non-profit controlled by members (who's only obligation is to pay dues). But I will defer to experts that do this for a living to come up with the best answer possible.

I do believe that it is critical that everything we create needs to be accountable to the network, so separating the network's assets into a separately controlled entity makes a ton of sense. The Dash Core Team should not possess assets that belong to the network.
 
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Ryan Taylor

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Whenever significant amounts of money are in play, be prepared for a contentious debate about how those assets are handled.

I would like to suggest that it be made clear that the Dash Foundation (and its assets) are not Dash (as in the protocol or the governance or the network). If there is a fight over the assets of the Foundation, we want people to understand that it has no bearing on Dash itself. I would argue that Dash is the MN Network and everything else (Foundation, Core, Nation, Detailed, Force, etc.) is something else other than Dash. Even the Dash Community is not Dash.

Does that make sense?

New Dash users are going to be confused about who's who and what's what in Dash, and it's going to get worse as more people get involved in Dash in a variety of ways. It think it is healthy that Evan is stepping back as founder, helping to make it clear that he is not Dash. At some point, Core will have to step back and make it clear that they are not Dash either.
Yes, the Dash network and the Dash Core Team doesn't contribute to the Dash Foundation. The Dash Foundation holds very little assets, and which is funded exclusively by membership dues. The Dash network and Dash Foundation are separate entities with different "owners" and separate finances.
 

NDB pH

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Yes, the Dash network and the Dash Core Team doesn't contribute to the Dash Foundation. The Dash Foundation holds very little assets, and which is funded exclusively by membership dues. The Dash network and Dash Foundation are separate entities with different "owners" and separate finances.
Let me pose a question: Dash.org registered domain name is an Asset representing a Brand of what entity, as officially, its registered and owned by Evan Duffield as an Individual Person and as the registrant and he left the field blank in the form registrant's Organization.And I think as the founder, some other Assets are registered and listed under his Name as the owner. Are there legal documents he signed transfering or relinguishing ownership of these asset and to what entity? how about Dash nation slack as the official Dash Slack site. who owns it... is it Tao Satoshi and Dash detailed,etc.also Dash Force,etc ... Can Ryan Taylor answer this Please. while Dashevolution.com was registered by the registrant: Evan Duffield under registrant Organization: The Darkcoin Foundation,Inc
 
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Ryan Taylor

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Let me pose a question: Dash.org registered domain name is an Asset representing a Brand of what entity, as officially, its registered and owned by Evan Duffield as an Individual Person and as the registrar and he left the field blank in the form representing an Organization.And I think as the founder, some other Assets are registered and listed under his Name as the owner. Are there legal documents he signed transfering or relinguishing ownership of these asset and to what entity? how about Dash nation slack as the official Dash Slack site. who owns it... is it Tao Satoshi and Dash detailed,etc.also Dash Force,etc ... Can Ryan Taylor answer this Please.
This is precisely the issue I'm proposing resolving. We need to create a separate legal entity that can own assets like these in order to transfer them out of individual names. I have spoken with Evan and he is of course willing to transfer ownership to a legal entity that represents the network. Such entity simply needs to be created first, which is underway.

This is how the Dash Core Team wants to handle assets that it or its members / founder currently controls. Tao of Satoshi's show & public Slack, Dash: Detailed, and Dash Force will need to answer for themselves how they want to manage assets they control. I cannot speak for them. There is a cost in setting up legal entities, so at their scale, "trust me" might be an acceptable answer, or they may want to retain ownership of their assets as for-profit entities serving the network. The Dash Core Team is explicitly not seeking to operate at a profit, but many other entities will desire to do so.
 

NDB pH

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This is precisely the issue I'm proposing resolving. We need to create a separate legal entity that can own assets like these in order to transfer them out of individual names. I have spoken with Evan and he is of course willing to transfer ownership to a legal entity that represents the network. Such entity simply needs to be created first, which is underway.

This is how the Dash Core Team wants to handle assets that it or its members / founder currently controls. Tao of Satoshi's show & public Slack, Dash: Detailed, and Dash Force will need to answer for themselves how they want to manage assets they control. I cannot speak for them. There is a cost in setting up legal entities, so at their scale, "trust me" might be an acceptable answer, or they may want to retain ownership of their assets as for-profit entities serving the network. The Dash Core Team is explicitly not seeking to operate at a profit, but many other entities will desire to do so.
when Evan started the project, He first register it as Xcoin then Darkcoin and eventually Dash .org...All the Asset of Xcoin,Darkcoin is now owned by who. The Darkcoin Foundation,Inc or the Dash network? lets really ask the Founder, Dash Core team members, Fernando,who open the Darkcoin Foundation Fiat Bank account and other legal documents submitted to be able to sign ASU Skysong Innovation Office space and was signed by Evan Duffield as the official Represantative and on behalf of the The Darkcoin Foundation,Inc

When the lead developer of VCASH, John Connors, who owns v.cash assets and its github contents disappear, some other prominent community members wants to continue the project and claim ownership of the assets and its vcash development. John Connors the lead developer, prevented them from accessing the official v.cash and github and gave them hell. it can happen to Dash network and the Darkcoin foundation sooner than later so its time to spend money legally to prevent this from happening when the Founder and the Core team is still willing and amenable verbally to transfer and relingquish ownership and when there is still no conflict, animosity and irreconcilable differences between the founder, Core team and Dev Team leadership under the CTO. You also mentioned that Dash Team run the projects as Partners and partnership, this is very dangerous because when conflicts arises Partnership sours and they sometimes not in speaking termsand the Project and DAO suffers. so its time to do something about this
 
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Ryan Taylor

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when Evan started the project, He first register it as Xcoin then Darkcoin and eventually Dash .org...All the Asset of Xcoin,Darkcoin is now owned by who. The Darkcoin Foundation,Inc or the Dash network? lets really ask the Founder, Dash Core team members, Fernando,who open the Darkcoin Foundation Fiat Bank account and other legal documents submitted to be able to sign ASU Skysong Innovation Office space and was signed by Evan Duffield as the official Represantative and on behalf of the The Darkcoin Foundation,Inc

When the lead developer of VCASH, John Connors, who owns v.cash assets and its github contents disappear, some other prominent community members wants to continue the project and claim ownership of the assets and its vcash development. John Connor the lead developer prevented them from accessing the official v.cash and github and give them hell. it can happen to Dash network and the Darkcoin foundation sooner than later so its time to spend money legally to prevent this from happening when the Founder and the Core thing is still willing and amenable verbally to transfer and relingquish ownership and when there is still no conflict, animosity and irreconcilable differences between the founder, Core team and Dev Team leadership under the CTO.
Again, this is what we are already doing.
 
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jimbursch

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a trust with obligation to the network
Interesting... so the trustee(s) would be contractually obligated to abide by the will of the network as expressed by relevant budget proposals that are passed. So if a proposal that stated "The domain dash.org shall be administered by @johndoe for a term of two years beginning January 1 2018" the trustees would have to hand over the dash.org admin to fulfill their fiduciary obligation as trustees.

Of course we would want trustees spread out over multiple jurisdictions, beholden to no authority except the network, holding the multi-sig keys required to fulfill their duties. Those keys would be issued by the network, and can be revoked by the network if necessary.

Very interesting.
 
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xjones

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If the Dash developers ever splinter and form multiple groups (as has happened with bitcoin -- Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Unlimited, and others), we'll need a mechanism to resolve the disagreements so that masternode owners can decide which version of the software to use. Despite all the talk about a Dash DAO, we have no DAO-based mechanism in place to resolve disagreements of this type.

Masternode votes only control the budget, and there is no mechanism for these votes to resolve any disagreements between people.

So we need a good solid non-profit organization run by trusted people who have no undisclosed stake in Dash.
 

xjones

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Those of you who think that

merely having control of the budget will prevent splinter groups from creating incompatible protocols​

are misjudging the situation.

It doesn't take much of a budget to fork off the code and make small changes -- e.g., change a few constants -- that greatly affect the protocol.

If such a fork were created by some of the core developers, it would be very hard for masternode owners to decide which software version is the authoritative one.

Consider also that in the worst case, discussion forums such as this one would be under control of one of the two splinter groups, and what is currently a relatively censorship-free place for discussions might no longer be one. Just like on Reddit there's /r/Bitcoin (heavily censored so contrary opinions discouraged and often prohibited) and /r/BTC (not censored at all and full of crap).