Maker will thrive in the bear market... If we can keep calm and carry on

All of crypto is in full meltdown right now, and it will probably only get much worse (so bad that you won’t believe it - such is the nature of crypto markets). It’s spilling over into peoples emotions and if you check crypto twitter right now it’s not exactly pretty. Basically when prices were going up people like to take the credit and think of themselves as genius traders, but now that things are going down, everyone suffers from cognitive dissonance and look for external reasons and people to blame for their losses.

Maker isn’t looking too pretty either. Our governance process is failing on a number of critical fronts, and we’re about to get flipped in TVL by instadapp, a project that was originally built as a small frontend on top of Maker.

I’ve found that my own engagement (as well as others) on a number of critical governance issues that we are facing right now can’t help but contain some of the desperation and frustration that exists both because of the general crypto downturn, as well as the abysmal performance of maker relative to other defi projects.

The connection where bad governance leads to bad performance in the market, which then leads to bad sentiment in the community that then causes even worse governance is a potential vicious cycle where the whole project can unravel as people fight, argue and dig into their political positions, rather than try to work together, look for solutions and ways to go forward as a DAO. I think it is perhaps the biggest risk we are facing right now due to the combined complexities of the chaotic state of the newly formed core units, the foundations dissolution, the much greater scale that Maker and DeFi is now operating and the brutal, multi-year bear market that likely awaits crypto.

I want to try to address this social risk to see if we can normalize open discussion about it, and proactively take action that strongly prevents governance from moving closer to death spiralling in this critical time.

The most important thing to remember is that when you talk to people on an internet forum such as this, your social brain isn’t able to comprehend that you are dealing with other humans. Your natural instinct is to engage as if you are playing a computer game or dealing with a machine, when the reality is that we are all a bunch of humans talking to each other. There’s no cold, rational machine, no objective algorithm. Just humans sitting in front of screens and writing messages to each other.

For this reason we should all try to strive towards writing nicer things to each other, because normal social cues such as smiling and open body language isn’t conveyed over the internet, they are instead extrapolated from the written messages, and usually extrapolated in the worst possible direction. So if someone writes a considered, critical point about an objective issue they’re seeing, the receiver of the message will likely interpret the message as a personal or political attack and completely ignore the possibility that there is a legitimate reason behind it… Unless great care is taken to convey the emotional context of your message.

At the same time personal sensibilities and feelings should not get in the way of actually acting professionally and doing what’s best for the project and MKR holders. Falling into this trap is just as bad, if not worse, because if we are not able to make tough decisions and act like a business in a competitive environment, especially a cruel bear market we have a 0% chance of survival. We need to communicate nicely and cordially, while acting professionally and making decisions based on high expectations and standards, with no hesitation to act when it is necessary, even if feelings will get hurt.

I want to end this post with some hopium to help us gather the resolve necessary to overcome the great challenges we face. If we solve how maker governance politics plays out on this forum then we have a bright future ahead of us, because the reality is that maker has always thrived in bear markets and will do so even more in the one that’s ahead of us, mainly because of two things: USDC and RWA.

The huge amounts of USDC that maker is accumulating is grossly misunderstood, with almost everyone painting it as a liability despite it being the biggest ace up the sleeve of Maker. The reality is that it is a huge asset, and we should strive to accumulate as much USDC as possible. Why? It is capital available to us at a 0% cost, since we are paying no DSR. The more USDC we have, the more we are essentially able to borrow at 0%, and then turn around and lend out at good, stable, competitive rates - the perfect recipe for a highly scalable financial business. The thing about USDC is that while it doesn’t pay a yield, it is hyper liquid. It is the easiest thing in the world to get rid of when we want to and have the legal infrastructure to do so, because it is literally money.

RWA is the other critical piece of the puzzle. The real world economy doesn’t care about crypto cycles, and there are always good and safe yields available, especially as you scale up and do larger deals. We are almost past the point of no return where DeFi will change forever as the Maker community starts to wield the power to deploy unlimited capital through highly scalable, maximally secure and regulated Delaware trust companies - the global standard for financial transactions. Once we have passed that threshold we will actually be able to participate in the same billion dollar deals that financial giants like Goldman Sachs base their business on.

This won’t be tests, or “blockchain trials”, or cool tech experiments. If we can keep the ship steady, Maker will soon become a real world bona fide financial giant, armed with our giant piggy bank of 0-cost USDC that we can deploy in safe and moderately profitable transactions at maximal economies of scale. Bear market or no bear market, it will make no difference.

Meanwhile the rest of defi will be waddling in broken ponzinomics and worthless coins that just don’t make sense in a bear market.

But before we can get there, we first need to get our governance process under control. So please lets all work together to steel our resolve and collectively improve as a governance community by speaking more nicely with each other, while expecting and demanding professionalism, and be prepared to take the necessary, tough actions that are needed to survive and thrive in a professional and competitive business environment.

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Agree—I can’t wait for the RWA FUD to end and that pinned Signal Request to be taken down. Tired of the “debate” about what this RWA provides or does not provide, and this & that—sounds like a bunch of noise—what ever happened to focusing on protecting what made Maker the heart and soul of DeFi, what we call DAI? Are we more passionate about an asset class (RWA) that corresponds to less than 1% of DAI outstanding, or have we fallen out of love with this amazing technology?

It seems these days we creating more ways to anger one another, as oppose to uniting and building the future of the DAO.

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I think it means “we’re in a strong bear market” instead of “let’s turn off the lights and go back to our corporate jobs”.

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Since you’ve now mentioned this twice, let me offer a different perspective.

I’d much rather we transparently and openly discuss our issues until they are resolved. There is absolutely no reason to hide this debate from “outsiders”. Pinning it illustrates our confidence in the strength of the DAO and its ability to recognize and tackle problems as they arise. It also invites everyone to contribute to finding a solution to our RWA problem.

This applies not just to the current RWA issue but any issue with Maker in general. I’d rather we air our grievances openly and talk about them than dismiss them as FUD or worry how others might interpret our debates.

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I guess we walk the same path, but got on different shoes
Live in the same building, but we got different views :man_shrugging:t4:

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I personally bought more MKR reading this thread :grin:

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But ya—you’re right. No doubt about it—discussions are healthy—I would prefer at a time when we could be entering a “Bear Market” that we stick together, as Replenish has said here on this post. And I personally would like to see the community grow, not diminish—also attract new community members.

Hence, we have had a lot of awesome community members come and go. We used to have this kid named @lix — awesome community member, super smart, helpful, creative, opinionated—-and he was not afraid to voice his opinion. Well he got burnt out—or got upset about a community governance decision and left the community— and now he’s somewhere else—I am sure making a ton of money (he was good at it) and helping out that community.

We also had a lot of awesome former Maker Foundation employees who I thought would stick around and are now gone.

I guess what I am saying is, we should bond together like glue — especially if the objective here is to be fully decentralized with thousands of participating MKR token holders. Otherwise—MakerDAo we’ll just become another centralized entity, IMO.

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It’s good that you put it here, I also miss a lot of people who have sadly left and not just because of natural fluctuations. I also think it’s important to think positively, but sometimes you have to ask the uncomfortable questions, because answering them correctly builds confidence, or highlight dysfunction of the organization.

Ignoring problems can only fuel a crisis later on.

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What I see thet it’s a strong bear market for the other DeFI players too, and in the meantime we have not only lost our first place in the market, but we have slipped out of the top 3 in TVL terms and there was a significant reduction in the growth rate.

Its frustrating. Are we falling behind or is it just temporary?

“What matters is not that you are better than the next [person], but that you are better than you were yesterday.” - Jigoro Kano, founder of modern Judo

TVL is a useful metric, but I prefer Dai supply, which is steadily trending upwards and a better indicator of adoption.

Historically, to the extent that word means anything in crypto, I’d say that the rise of other DeFi protocols has only helped Maker. Look what Compound did last year. It’s not nice stepping off the top podium, but we stand to get a slice of a much bigger pie if we’re hooked into more large DeFi platforms.

Finally, I’m not convinced about the bear yet. Not like 2018 anyway. Not trading advice.

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And here again is someone who has moved on…
We still don’t have marketing, an old contributor has moved on, but at least the money is still in the treasury.
What can we learn from this?

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Indeed—the community keeps losing talent while others recruit it. What can you do… how to Retain talent, eh?

“Incentivize, incentivize, and incentivize” — Sam Williams - Co-Founder & CEO @ Arweave

Lovely points made by @Kathleen in that LinkedIn post. I agree with her view on active participation within DAO communities. It is so true how one must connect with the community and have a presence—by being authentic. And that is one trait that Kathleen brought to this community. Happy to see her move on and on a mission to bounce back stronger than ever.

Thanks for sharing @purrfection

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Since there is a labor shortage in the broader economy, few people know about DeFi, and every DeFi protocol seems to be recruiting en masse; I think MakerDAO needs to step their game up if they want to compete for this very small talent pool. Otherwise, we will suffer the consequences from these individuals choosing to work for competitors. MakerDAO and DeFi in general are no longer just a hobby or side gig, they are legitimate businesses that need highly passionate and talented people to run these businesses successfully. This is a multi trillion dollar industry after all. Silicon Valley 2.0

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“If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it.”

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Damn I had not thought of this approach… :laughing:

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