Dashians misconceptions about dash

Bitedge

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Originaly posted https://bitedge.com/blog/dashians-misconceptions-about-dash/

Every major crypto could have a post like this written about it. I care about dash and believe in its potential so I am writing the dash version.

I notice my fellow Dashians in person and online, spouting what I consider to be at least partial misconceptions about dash.

Misconception: Masternode operators vote wisely
I am a masternode operator, I met several masternode operators at the Dash Open House and I talk with a lot of masternode operators online.

We have very little understanding or insight into the proposals we vote on. If we vote on proposals at all its mostly by

  • Gut feeling.
  • Our perception of the reputation of the proposer.
  • Groupthink. We see other people making negative/positive comments or up-voting/down-voting a proposal and we follow the crowd.
I think more than 50% of all treasury funds that have been paid out for proposals, other than to Core, have been wasted. Prediction markets could help but the real solution is to pay treasury funds after projects have delivered and to have treasury bounties.

Misconception: Dash has solved governance
The dash governance system with the treasury, DAOs and masternode voting, is the best governance model in crypto. However, it is not a guarantee against all possible governance problems.

Compared to other cryptos the dash governance system is more complicated with more moving parts. This gives it the potential to do more. It also gives the potential for more governance issues as the below examples demonstrate.

There could be a governance crises in dash that causes a coin split or devastates the project. People counter that governance disputes will be settled by masternode votes (remember, we are the people who have very little insight or understanding on what we vote on). Here are a few possible cases where that might not work.

1. Masternodes vote in favor of a proposal and Core refuse to release the funds. Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor has discussed this exact possibility saying if the masternodes voted to fund something illegal, like a new Silk Road, Core would not allow it.

Edit: Part of the budget finalization procedure used to need manual action that was usually taken by someone from core. This is no longer the case. Also Ryan Taylor might have been saying if masternodes voted for core to do something illegal like build the next silk road then Core would refuse but if this was done around core they could not stop it.

2. Research shows we only need to give 35% of block rewards to miners to provide more than adequate security. Masternodes agree and vote for the change. Miners credibly promise if the change happens they will abandon the network in unison, make a competing chain and attack and kill the main/legacy chain.

In this case, does he who controls the spork control the future? Or since managed masternode services run most of the masternodes does it depend on what software Moocowmoo, Splawik and Node 40 chose to run?

3. Core turn evil. Today people say “if core turn evil we can defund them”. This will sound very naive if it ever gets to that. We will not all agree if or when Core have turned evil. Core are funded for months in advance and the damage an evil Core could do before being defunded or despite being defunded could be devastating.

Having a powerful governance structure in place gives us the responsibility to continue to spend more time and effort on improving governance than other cryptos do. We must keep working to make dash governance more robust and less centralized, while guarding against making it too complicated for people to understand.

Misconception: Dash is the easy to use payments crypto
I am fully on board with the evolution roadmap and philosophy but a lot of Dashians talk about where we hope to be in 3-5 years as if we are already there now.

People say dash is easier to use than other cryptos. As of right now, it’s not. We hope it will be but today its pretty much equally difficult to use as any major crypto.

The same applies to the idea of dash being the payments crypto. That is what we want to be, not what we are today. Yet at conference after conference dash representatives present their hope for the future as if it’s already a fact.

Let’s learn from bitcoin’s mistakes
One of the main catalyst for bitcoin’s problems in 2017 was the lack of frank discussions about bitcoin’s potential problems within the community before those problems became serious.

When you are being attacked from the outside it’s easy to ignore all tough questions and only pay attention to like minded people.

In the bitcoin community in 2014/15 everyone just wanted to shout "RAH RAH RAH! TO THE MOON! ANDREAS ANTONOPOULOS!". This made bitcoiners feel good about their investment and encouraged others to get on board. However it did not prepare the project for the inevitable challenges ahead.

Let’s try not to do that in the dash community.

Originaly posted https://bitedge.com/blog/dashians-misconceptions-about-dash/
 
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GrandMasterDash

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I don't think core will go "evil" because from everything I've seen, there are some very credible people onboard. HOWEVER, the lack of transparency and their grip on development is much too tight. For example, I recently requested some feedback regarding usernames, there hasn't been a single reply, complete silence. I wasn't expecting details, just a simple, "don't worry, we've got it covered" response would of been appreciated.

Also, core have so far retained legal advisers, a HR team and, most recently, a big marketing company, yet I have absolutely no idea how any MNO can interact or engage with them. Say, for example, a group of us want some help hiring a project manager, we're left to our own resources instead of utilizing what we've already hired. It makes no sense to me. Defunding core would beg too many questions regarding these legal, HR and marketing "departments".

I'm left somewhat ambivalent.
 

solarguy

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"
"Misconception: Masternode operators vote wisely
I am a masternode operator, I met several masternode operators at the Dash Open House and I talk with a lot of masternode operators online.

We have very little understanding or insight into the proposals we vote on. If we vote on proposals at all its mostly by

  • Gut feeling.
  • Our perception of the reputation of the proposer.
  • Groupthink. We see other people making negative/positive comments or up-voting/down-voting a proposal and we follow the crowd.
I think more than 50% of all treasury funds that have been paid out for proposals, other than to Core, have been wasted. Prediction markets could help but the real solution is to pay treasury funds after projects have delivered and to have treasury bounties."


I am reminded of Winston Churchill's famous quip,
“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.

I also am a masternode operator. Keep forgetting to sign up for my badge, but I digress. I disagree that"We have very little understanding or insight into the proposals..." Does every MO know every cogent fact about every proposal. No, of course not. But as a group, there's always somebody (and most likely several somebodies) that have insight into that particular topic. And the various forums give us a chance to talk about x, y or z proposal. I think on the whole, we have done pretty well with the treasury money, and I would challenge you to show me 50% waste in specific proposals that were a flop.

However, I agree with your premise that we could do better and we should do better. The beauty of the free market is that, as new needs come up, new solutions will present themselves. Don't be too hard on yourself and the whole MN community. This form of governance has never existed before. We have permission to stumble a bit as we get our bearings.

One thing that I think would be helpful is a dedicated forum just for the Masternode Operators. As it sits now, it's hard, or impossible really, to have a conversation just among the MNs. As that community develops and gets to know each other and gains experience, there are any number of improvements we could make. I'll give you just one example.

There could be specific instances when the MN community really is pretty thin on the knowledge base. As a community, we could identify 6 or 8 or 20 experts/consultants that cover 99% of the kinds of things the community is weak in. As the new crop of proposals come in, we identify the 2 or 3 or 10 things we would like to know more about and we agree as a group to spend a couple hundred bucks to get an opinion from a lawyer that specializes in crypto, or a private investigator that specializes in verifying that Bob really is who he says he is online, and that Bob is an upstanding citizen, as opposed to a felon convicted of several securities related fraudulent schemes.

Finest regards,

Carry on.

 
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David

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Originaly posted https://bitedge.com/blog/dashians-misconceptions-about-dash/

1. Masternodes vote in favor of a proposal and Core refuse to release the funds. Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor has discussed this exact possibility saying if the masternodes voted to fund something illegal, like a new Silk Road, Core would not allow it.

3. Core turn evil. Today people say “if core turn evil we can defund them”. This will sound very naive if it ever gets to that. We will not all agree if or when Core have turned evil. Core are funded for months in advance and the damage an evil Core could do before being defunded or despite being defunded could be devastating.
Just to address two of your points:

1. Core can only withhold budget funds that were paid directly to Core. Many proposers, particularly unknowns in the community, will have budget funds paid from the Blockchain directly to Core. Core will then serve as escrow. However, if somebody did submit a proposal for illegal acts to the network and used their own personal Dash address as the payment address, then if the proposal was approved, they would receive the funds. That's why it's trustless--the network distributes the funds automatically, without going through anybody else.

3. Masternode owners ultimately decide the fate of the network. Period. An "evil Core" could recommend and even code changes, but without the masternode network accepting those changes, they would not be implemented. It's just the same as if Bitcoin Core proposes something and the network ignores them--which could be happening in November, if SegWit2x is successful (Core strongly opposes it, but 94% of the miners accept it.) Also, most Core Team members aren't going to sit there and be evil for free. They would probably want to keep getting paid, evil or no. Money (or the lack thereof) is a great incentive.
 

akhavr

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1. Masternodes vote in favor of a proposal and Core refuse to release the funds. Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor has discussed this exact possibility saying if the masternodes voted to fund something illegal, like a new Silk Road, Core would not allow it.
Can you explain this in more detail? If "Silk Road proposal" passes and Core disagrees, then what? They will fork the network?

Research shows we only need to give 35% of block rewards to miners to provide more than adequate security. Masternodes agree and vote for the change. Miners credibly promise if the change happens they will abandon the network in unison, make a competing chain and attack and kill the main/legacy chain.
Can you give a reference for this research? Thanks.

"
One thing that I think would be helpful is a dedicated forum just for the Masternode Operators. As it sits now, it's hard, or impossible really, to have a conversation just among the MNs. As that community develops and gets to know each other and gains experience, there are any number of improvements we could make.
I remember we already had such discussion here, on forum, or on slack. It led to creation of MNO badges.

If MNO-only forum is still necessary, I can bring it up and limit signups only to MNO's. Create new thread with voting, if you deem it necessary?
 

GrandMasterDash

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If MNO-only forum is still necessary, I can bring it up and limit signups only to MNO's. Create new thread with voting, if you deem it necessary?
I am all for an MNO only forum but I think it's really important that it's entirely transparent so that the public at large can see everything discussed. Another idea (perhaps my preference) is a forum where it costs non-MNOs a small fee to post (say 0.0005 dash).
 
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Bitedge

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Can you explain this in more detail? If "Silk Road proposal" passes and Core disagrees, then what? They will fork the network?
OP edited for clarification

Edit: Part of the budget finalization procedure used to need manual action that was usually taken by someone from core. This is no longer the case. Also Ryan Taylor might have been saying if masternodes voted for core to do something illegal like build the next silk road then Core would refuse but if this was done around core they could not stop it.

Can you give a reference for this research? Thanks.
All 3 scenarios are hypothetical. Ryan did say at the open house that the block reward split could be changed based on research.
 
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GrandMasterDash

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OP edited for clarification

Edit: Part of the budget finalization procedure used to need manual action that was usually taken by someone from core. This is no longer the case. Also Ryan Taylor might have been saying if masternodes voted for core to do something illegal like build the next silk road then Core would refuse but if this was done around core they could not stop it.



All 3 scenarios are hypothetical. Ryan did say at the open house that the block reward split could be changed based on research.
Actually, what he did say was (made clear by proposals like mine), proposals can't compel people to do things. Proposals are lead by the people submitting them, that they are offering to do something and the MNOs simply accept or reject it.

As for changing block rewards (based on previous attempts to change proposal fees), it would probably be impossible to implement unless it was driven by Core. I suppose in theory it could happen, but I highly doubt it.
 

solarguy

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I am all for an MNO only forum but I think it's really important that it's entirely transparent so that the public at large can see everything discussed. Another idea (perhaps my preference) is a forum where it costs non-MNOs a small fee to post (say 0.0005 dash).
I wouldn't mind a little privacy for the MN's. What if there are sensitive/controversial issues to discuss? We may not want the whole world to see that. The privacy thing is a pretty thin curtain anyway, because we are fairly sure some of our competitors have masternodes so they can stick their finger in the pie occasionally and run interference.

And I would not make it so that non MNs could join for a fee. Essentially, you end up with exactly what we have now.
 

GrandMasterDash

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I wouldn't mind a little privacy for the MN's. What if there are sensitive/controversial issues to discuss? We may not want the whole world to see that. The privacy thing is a pretty thin curtain anyway, because we are fairly sure some of our competitors have masternodes so they can stick their finger in the pie occasionally and run interference.

And I would not make it so that non MNs could join for a fee. Essentially, you end up with exactly what we have now.
True, but my thinking is, a small fee would deter flyby comments. You know, it's like the small charge on plastic carrier bags Personally I don't get it, why are people so reluctant to spend a few cents on a plastic bag yet they'll throw away 10x on all sorts of rubbish. It's crazy but it works like that. Yours.org is similar. Just 10c to publish or comment, yet it keeps the conversation constructive.

But anyway, even if it's entirely MNO-only, it's really important the conversations remain public (read-only) because our users need to trust us. Besides, with so many MNOs, it would be impossible to keep "secrets", which is probably why Core doesn't trust us.
 
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camosoul

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Nailed it!
I've been labeled the world's biggest troll for saying exactly the same things in simpler terms.

I stopped voting as a protest of the deliberately shit budget system that was chosen over much better options. I've since gone numb to proposals getting even worse. I consider the system so badly broken as to be a dead branch of development, and it is easy to observe that an overwhelming majority of MNOs agree. Few vote anymore. I predicted this and was labeled a troll.

The leadership have become stuck in a yes-man echo chamber convinced of their own superiority by ignoring all forms of criticism and labeling it "troll" the same way SJWs label everything they disagree with as "racist," "sexist," etc. Even to the point of proposing obviously self-defeating and out-of-scope features. I'm labeled as just a big asshole for daring to say so.

Several very useful proposals have been stonewalled by "core." It's not always a "failure to deliver" problem, but a deliberate sabotage by 3 specific core members. They don't want any "outsiders" achieving anything and stealing their thunder. This ranges from simply being uncooperative, to frivolous legal threats intended to tie up limited resources. Massive nerd egos willing to wreck the whole project just to be "the ones who did it." This has resulted in fundamental integrations and functional partnerships being destroyed. We could have been using IX in retail for almost 2 years now. One such proposal was going live, and in the exact same hour this IX bug suddenly required IX to go offline... This IX bug was a long-known zero-day flaw that was never exploited, and not fixed or mentioned until convenient. That is just one specific example of many... This immature crap has held back DASH artificially for most of it's existence.

Why would I tear down my own investment? I wouldn't. I want to point out out it's defects and improve it. But, ego and internal nerd politics have taken over...

12.2 was on the roadmap for September... A roadmap published 2 months before. Welcome to October. How did it get so far off track so fast? I expect to miss targets 6 months out. But, not 2.
 
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