Meet Your Delegate #6

Meet Your Delegate #6

Welcome to the (announcement for the) sixth episode of Meet Your Delegate, where MKR holders and the broader community get to know their delegates :heart:

For this episode we will have delegate candidate @GFXlabs presenting their platform and holding an AMA session.

@LongForWisdom will be doing the hosting.

When

2021-11-17T17:00:00Z

Meeting ID: 811 8576 2439
Passcode: 554063

Shoutout to @blimpa for the template :cupid:

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Meet Your Delegate: Episode #6

Agenda

  • 00:00: Introduction with LongForWisdom
  • 03:08: GFX Labs Delegate Platform
  • 06:18: Questions
  • 33:35: Conclusion

Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoiTAghnWFE

General Introduction

LongForWisdom

00:00

    • Hello to everyone. Welcome to the MakerDAO Meet Your Delegate meeting #06. I am LongForWisdom. Today we have the chance to talk to newish potential recognized delegate GFX Labs.

Christopher Cameron and Getty Hill

Delegate Introductions

01:00

  • PaperImperium: this is Getty Hill, one of the big cheeses at GFX labs, and we are here to answer your questions.
    • Getty: Thanks, guys, for having us here today. I’m looking forward to getting involved in MakerDAO Governance more. It’s been wild for me since I was involved in the world of MakerDAO, and I missed the days aside; you guys have quite a complicated protocol these days. We’re glad to have Chris joining us, helping us navigate the world of MakerDAO, and understand all its ins-and-outs and what can be improved, where we can add value, and try to do some incredible things. We like to participate in other protocols and build cool cross-protocol integrations and a bit participation. I think everyone knows very well that the world of DeFi is a pretty small one so that we can do pretty neat things in the grand scheme of things.
      • We’re looking forward to answering questions you have for us; if you guys want to hear more about what GFX Labs is doing outside of the governance space, happy to talk about that.

Questions

Can you give us a summary of the platform?

03:08

  • Getty: The general gist is we’re a team of builders. Everyone on the team is, especially when it comes to Governance matters, we believe. We’re not trying to go out and do a million different protocols and be a name that we get to throw around and say: “we did 20 different protocols of Governance, and we made a proposal on each of them”, that’s not what we’re about, I’ve been involved with Compound, that was the first DeFi protocol that I fell in love with, but by far, and over time, have branched out into many others. We used a lot of them.
    • The beauty in our team especially is, we don’t have a mandate to make money. Of course, some of you would have to make money.
    • We are a startup, but we don’t have the same type of purview in the grand scheme. We’ll probably get votes from some of the funds, or the hope is to get delegate votes from them.
    • Generally speaking, they’re all very kind, and they understand that we’ve done good work on these other protocols. We’ve driven value; we’ve helped improve the protocols.
    • They don’t ever really message me and say I got to vote this way. You got to vote this way. You should do this or that. They understand the gist: that we’re going to drive value.
    • We looked for our compensation on a protocol basis. We realize that this is an emerging field and that there will be many more questions and answers. Our stick is we’re going to take the initiative; we’re going to find places where we can add value; we’re going to start small and build into it. We hope to do some meaningful things.
    • In particular, what the governance team looks like today. We do a lot of things at GFX, and governance is part of it. The governance team right now is Chris. Another nice guiding face shaver on the FADE protocol, who does protocol stuff, myself for doing Compound UniSwap.
    • We do all of these, each of us individual one, but then we help audit each other’s decisions and thoughts and proposals on each of them. You see that we’ve been posting and voting on all the different polls that are coming through.
    • Chris has been doing an excellent job and helping the rest of us who aren’t so familiar with MakerDAO to understand all the different polls in digesting that information.
    • We’re using some of the knowledge we have from other protocols to be like, Hey, we should be doing this or that, how can we improve? That’s a decent general overview of the governance efforts and our platform. Chris, do you want to add anything?
  • PaperImperium: No, but responding to some questions in the sidebar.

Astro: Why would I want to go from having my contract to working with GFX?

06:18

  • PaperImperium: GFX will receive the delegation pay for this contract? Because there’s a cut to the chase of this line of questioning. You know, why would I want to go from having my contract to working with GFX? Quite frankly, I think the future of delegation will be to bring delegates house within groups and companies that can provide them with the economic, legal, and technical advice and expertise that helps them make informed decisions.
    • I think it’s no secret that here at Maker, we’ve suffered from delegates not having access to the expertise they want.
    • It has led to many circular arguments and reasonings around several different topics, such as the Deco Protocol proposals; I mean, that’s the kind of thing where if we’d had access to straightforward legal advice like this would have been a settled issue months ago. So I think there are big advantages to being inside a slightly larger organization where you can develop professional expertise in protocol governance, so I think it’s just better than going alone.
  • Getty: One of the cool parts is we have different perspectives. My co-founder and I worked in Grapefruit Trading for the last three years, and our expertise became doing DeFi based trading and understanding protocol risk and liquidity and markets.
    • We are familiar with: using different apps, putting size through these apps, what all the liquidity and market side of this, all the protocols will ever participate in at least seemingly right now are all going to be finance-based. That’s what everyone’s background is on the team.
    • What’s awesome is whether the guy who’s on phase Ph.D. candidate for Econ at a great school in the United States, and we have a great collection of opinions and views on stuff in addition to having developers solidity knowledge, straight knowledge all around, so that’s the beauty of working together.
    • We can leverage each other’s knowledge because, in the grand scheme of things I’ve done in governance by myself for a while, you only can get so far. If you want to scale, you got to do with people.

Joshua Pritikin: Will Maker see forum posts from Getty and Christopher, or will Christopher handle the communication side of the work?

09:04

  • Getty: The tentative plan right now is none of us will be posted individually on the forum, all the comms will come through the GFX labs handle, and we’ll be signing with our names to like each of them. You can know that all the posts will be the opinions of the firm.
  • PaperImperium: For those who have asked PaperImperium’s handle, you should expect to see very little of that from now on. I will periodically check it for DMS for direct messages just because people notified me there. Any opinion or Opposition of GFX labs will come through the official GFX labs handle. Even if you privately messaged me about something business-related. Please, be aware that it would not necessarily be the views and opinions of GFx.

David Utrobin: For your communications on Discord, will you be on a GFX handle instead of PaperImperium moving forward?

10:16

  • PaperImperium: At the moment, I’m PaperImperium on there as a point of contact. I generally try to avoid weighing in on it. It may be imperfect for the first week or two, but I’m trying to avoid weighing in on anything that would be contentious or up for a vote. I was just there; several of us brainstormed ways to control Peg about novel ways to control going under the peg. In the future, if that ever happens… You might see me on there for chitchat, but we’ll be trying very hard not to get in the weeds about anything that is for a vote or anything. So but I’m available as a point of contact.

David Utrobin: Before things go to a vote, are you going to be talking from the handle about opinions and gathering feedback to inform your decision-making?

11:14

  • PaperImperium: Yes. You can send a message to the GFX labs handle if you prefer to communicate through the forum, but most people prefer quicker and more user-friendly. Feel free to reach out to me on Discord or whatever your preferred platform is where you can find me. Just remember that you were talking to me, that I will have my own opinions and recommendations that we internally discuss, and we’ll publish our informed opinion at the end. If you have input, it’s how I will solicit input.
  • Getty: We’ll try to do a good job telling people on the forum: especially the big topics, how we think on issues, and outline when we support something.
    • Most employment, we don’t support something. I’ve been on the side of putting a lot of effort into governance proposals. Don’t only watch them get like shut down because a big contributor didn’t voice their opinion early on. You have to go back and rework the entire thing. I know that firsthand is very frustrating. We’ll do our best to try to prevent causing that pain for anyone else.

Astro: Why does the company as an entity want to be involved in governance across different protocols? Why do you expect such involvement to be profitable despite holding no crypto positions?

13:08

  • Getty: The world of governance is largely untapped across protocols. In the grand scheme of things being the exception MakerDAO, Governance has only existed for a year and a half for most protocols, like comp tokens. It was one of the first major ones kicking off the original DeFi. Summer. We think it’s largely two. There’s a lot of talent to come in. There’s a lot of meaningful progress that can be made. At the same time, we are a startup trying to make money, and we will look to get compensated for the value that we provide to protocols in a meaningful fashion. We’ll be transparent about that, as anyone outside of paper peering will be involved in the voting decisions. Yeah, I think we addressed that, that we make decisions on a team basis over here with a single point person for protocol.

Chat: What amount of time per week do you think PaperImperium and others will be involved?

14:30

  • Getty: This is Chris from a full-time gig pretty much. He does some other stuff for DeFi, but like this is, that’s one of the beauties by us employing him. He gets to do this all the time. We think that’s meaningful for him: being able to do that and for us to focus on governance things everywhere. So the answer is a lot of time.

Someone: Hasu and Monet Supply contributed to a piece recently about DeFi treasuries, and they picked apart makers. When Maker’s revenue surpasses certain buffer limits, Dai is used to buying back and burning Maker. Hasu believes protocol should retain earnings. From a more philosophical view, what do you think about that?

14:57

  • Getty: I generally agree with what Hosu and Monet Supply were saying. I think in particular with Maker, though, and the argument perhaps has less weight. This should not be taken as necessarily a pro-burn lots of MKR stance. I like the burning mechanism, but to what degree and how much is always an open question. When it comes to retained earnings, the difference is that Maker is uniquely positioned amongst DeFi protocols and that if it has something that it is worthwhile to spend money on, in particular, if it’s an investment, it can create Dai, those obligations can back done, though, the one exception, I would say is if you’re trying to stockpile cash to pay for personnel, which is quite expensive at Maker it’s hard to mint Dai against people’s time. But let’s say if you see some collateral or business deal that we want to get into. Maker’s main line of operations, as in the creation of guarantee of user-generated Dai, then it’s the cost of capital is very low for Maker, but simply because sourcing it is so easy for most purposes. I would say I think they were spot on, but Maker is a strange bird. So for many expenses, I don’t think that’s relevant.

Someone: When you say the low cost of capital. What is their cost of capital? Can they mint Dai at zero cost, or is that not correct logic?

17:19

  • PaperImperium: That’s not correct but let’s say Maker wants to diversify its reserves by holding some treasury bonds or something; let’s say there’s an easy way to do that. If Maker is sure that the collateral is worth Dai, then that’s literally what happens every time someone deposits Eth into a vault; Maker can also do that of its account, presumably, right. That’s what we do when someone trades Maker USDC or USDP, as a new Dai as minted; Maker has acquired that USDC or USDP by creating a Dai.
    • Now Maker, of course, has a solid commitment to always be over collateralized. Even with the safest collateral, you would still need to mint no more than the par value. But it’s like I said, there are exceptions where this might make sense, like stockpiling cash to pay for personnel in a revenue drought or something like that, because we cannot easily mint Dai to pay for people. But if we see a project we want to partake in and are confident in it, then you can mint Dai against it. That’s what Maker does.

Astro: What are GFX Labs going to do about conflicts of interest and the fact that we will participate in governance in a meaningful fashion of multiple protocols?

19:00

  • Getty: We’ll state how we feel on the things we vote, and if there ever is seemingly a place where we have a conflict of interest, I think you could perceive as in the recent polls for asset off-boarding for a handful of coins, including Compound to stand on those. Having a personal opinion on there, but it didn’t seem appropriate. And we’re just going to keep on doing that. We’ll keep on trying to be as transparent as possible. And we encourage you guys to ask us any questions about those if you ever think there is perhaps, you know, a conflict of interest anywhere will seem to be as transparent as possible, you guys.

Someone: Is the company holding MKR?

20:03

  • Getty: No, we don’t hold any assets. I hold all the DeFi tokens because I am just spraying prey on them; I believe in DeFi. The company itself does not take positions.

Prose11: About the idea of political parties within the delegation, do you see yourself combining forces with other delegates to push for what you believe in? Do you generally have a feeling about how DAOs should address that?

20:25

  • Getty: Corporate Governance is a very popular thing in the corporate world that occurs everywhere, and lobbying people to get your initiatives done. It already exists in fashion; I don’t believe it will not happen in DeFis law and governance; we’re not all that different in reality. In my mind, it’s inevitable. We certainly have seen those collaborations and other protocols. In the grand scheme of things were in all these protocols, to reach quorum or to get your proposal if passed executive and implemented, you need a substantial amount of assets to do that. We’ll need to be friendly with one another. Perhaps political parties will form over time; I guess it won’t be nearly as formal as the actual political system, but more like the corporate governance system.

Someone: What is the profit model if no assets are held?

21:39

  • Getty: There are two parts to this one. The GFX Labs has to regulate products; we have Eth lands, which is like a fun video game that we’re developing, like Ostensibly Minecraft on the blockchain; you all should check out we have a playtest that’s quietly running right now on elance.com.
    • And that’s what like majority of the team is currently working on; we also have our more Boomer product for less of a term that I think would be exciting. And that’s Poppy, which is like the DeFi credit card. Users can do it as people put up their Eth or any other coin, go down to Starbucks, wherever swipe it and use borrowed USDC, or whatever to pay for their assets.
    • Essentially, like right now, everyone does this, or a lot of people do this, they’ll put up assets and Maker DAO or ave a compound, withdraw USDC or something Coinbase get in their bank account, but it’s just an exhausting process. In particular, the governance efforts, it’s to part one, we hope to be seen as an exciting place to work that is for a formidable force in governance that does incredible things.
    • That can help us attract talent as hiring is hard these days. And then the other part, two, is we look to get compensated for our participation, the value that we provide to protocols over time.

Someone: Do you envision that compensation to be an MKR bonus or a fixed fee or maybe a combination of both, or you have not taken an opinion on that one yet?

24:02

  • Getty: In the context of Maker DAO, they’re going to be looking to get our feet wet. First, make sure that we can instill some good faith into the community that we’re here to do some productive things. And once we’ve built up some more infrastructure on our side, we’re going to we’ll explore a bit more about which model makes the most sense for both parties. To to be determined, I would say is the answer, but there will be something, so I’ll be transparent about that.
  • PaperImperium: Right now, Maker is unique in that it is doing a trial run of compensation to delegates which covered a lot of costs right there. To be clear, that’s where the revenue for our government tactic activities that Maker is coming from now.

Someone: Are there any efforts to specifically build up a multi-disciplinary team that could cover more areas of expertise that might be required than a single person can provide? If so, which profiles are you looking to employ to provide that?

25:31

  • Getty: We talked about this a little bit earlier; I’ll glance over it right now. The general idea is that we have a pretty collective team that will have a single protocol. Who does governance stuff on our team, that they focus on that they’re an expert in that they feel like they know exceptionally well and can meaningfully contribute to. We don’t want them to spray and pray to other protocols. And at the same time, we are hiring for a lot of things. For both: the products that we’re building and governance stuff if you’re interested in doing that. We are Chicago-based. If you are in Chicago, you’d get points or willing to move there, but I won’t show it working for us too much. But I would be very excited to talk to anyone who wants to.

Someone: My question was specifically about the challenge for delegates to form an opinion about different proposals or even in a single proposal that might require different areas of expertise. For example, one can be at the same time an expert in real-world assets legal structures as well as smart contract security as well as operations and finance, or governance.

26:45

  • Wouter: I think you answered, but my question was specifically about the challenge for delegates to form an opinion about different proposals or even in a single proposal that might require other areas of expertise. At the same time, one can be an expert in rebuilding assets, legal searchers, smart contract security, operations, and finance, for example, governance.
    • Getty: We have team members who are very good with the economic standpoint of this. Chris is good with the regulatory side of this stuff. And the legal side of this. I say I’d be more so in the coverall or perhaps operations; we got team members who are very good with solidity and can help look at solidity things and write things as well. We don’t want anyone on the team to feel they’re taking a load and are trying to get in uninformed opinions. If we don’t have an excellent opinion somewhere, like you’re just not contributing to that or say, we don’t have it on for one or try to become informed, hopefully. So that’s an excellent answer to your question.
  • PaperImperium: Part of the advantage is having multiple wheelhouses under the same roof, so the other person in the governance section right now is a Ph.D. candidate in economics. That’s helpful, and GFX will itself have access to legal counsel and other forms of maybe technical expertise. Maker has excellent technical knowledge that delegates can ask opinions, but not all delegates have access to these things. As you pointed out, that’s been a pain point at Maker. And then, of course, we can also build off the fact that perhaps other folks in the governance section have seen the same challenges and other protocols; that’s probably less likely and makers case, but that’s another source where sometimes people have seen things before.

Someone: Some of the positions that you take need to fit in a vision. For example, the DAO market-rate compensation should not be above it; it should be below. All options could be valid depending on what the strategy is. If you want to 100 percent put everything on onboarding, you might compensate higher than when you pursue a different strategy. How do you plan to deal with developing that vision? Do you agree that that is needed to provide a consistent governance framework or delegation participation?

29:04

  • PaperImperium: I think it’s hard to give an honest, thoughtful answer about how a vision might affect particular policy positions, right? Just because crypto is a as a whole and Maker itself, that they move so, so quickly. Perhaps we could get back to you with an answer.

Someone: Will you be giving feedback? For example, if there is a proposal that you disagree with for a specific reason you already outlined that, will you be very clear about these reasons? The more specific you get at one point, you start more or less holding the pen of the proposal. Do you think delegates should ever put forward their proposals because ultimately, your best opinion is what you write yourself? If not, what is the line exactly that is (x?)(31:07)(across) there?

30:33

  • PaperImperium: I think there’s no obvious reason why if we see an easy value add, we would not want to propose it, but I will. You know, I, it’s not necessarily my decision to make by myself.
    • Getty: There are a million things we would love to do. There’s so much low-hanging fruit in the world of governance; right now, in participating protocols, there’s a lot of optimizations that can be made but can’t possibly do all of them. So to make any protocol productive requires helping people’s I think we would take more of the opinion: we’re going to push specific initiatives that we believe are essential in time. But mostly, if someone you know has a hard time navigating governance or gets the attention that it deserves, those are things that we believe are important to help people. And the only way we can build a constructive protocol is to make sure others have a platform to grow. I mean, everyone starts from zero at some point.

Conclusion

LongForWisdom

LongForWisdom: Are there any final shoutouts that you want to make?

33:35

  • Getty: If you have MKR come delegate to us, please have you that’d be very nice. If you have tokens on other protocols, and you like what you hear about the general stuff that we’re doing, you can do that as well. It’s all going to be the same address as well. Of course, I’m Maker DAO, you have an actual delegate contract, but the owner of that delegate contract is the governance handle that we’re using everywhere. Feel free to reach out with any questions or thoughts to decrease your ire message on the forum and send a DM.

Common Abbreviated Terms

DAO: Decentralized Autonomous Organization
RWA: Real-World Asset
DeFi: Decentralized Finance

Credits

  • Artem Gordon produced this summary.
  • Andrea Suarez produced this summary.
  • Everyone who spoke and presented on the call, listed in the headers.

How is this different than a @PaperImperium re-launch?

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My understanding is that it’s a formality required to make GFX Labs a recognized delegate

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It’s a chance for anyone to ask Paper about GFX, what they stand for as a delegate, potential conflicts of interest, etc. All the usual stuff.

GFX as an entity is different from Paper, and they would retain control of the delegate contract if Paper no longer worked for them, so it’s important to give the community a chance to ask about GFX’s priorities, separate from PaperImperium’s.

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This full call is now available on the MakerDAO Youtube channel for review:

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Meet your Delegate - Episode #06

November 17th, 2021

Agenda

  • 00:00: Intro with LongForWisdom
  • 01:00: Introducing GFX Labs with Christopher Cameron and Getty Hill and Discussion
  • 34:20: Outro

Video

https://youtu.be/SoiTAghnWFE

Introduction

LongForWisdom

Agenda and Preamble

00:00

  • Hello to everyone. Welcome to the MakerDAO Meet Your Delegate meeting #06. I am LongForWisdom. Today we have the chance to talk to our newish potential recognized delegate GFX Labs.

Christopher Cameron and Getty Hill

Presentation

01:00

Discussion

03:08 - LongForWisdom: Can you give us a summary of the platform?

06:18 - Astronaut: Why would I want to go from having my contract to working with GFX?

09:04 - Joshua Pritikin: Will Maker see forum posts from Getty as well as from Christopher, or will Christopher handle the communication side of the work?

10:16 - David Utrobin: For your communications on Discord, will you be on a GFX handle instead of PaperImperium moving forward?

11:14 - David Utrobin: Before things go to a vote, are you going to be talking from the handle about opinions and gathering feedback to inform your decision making?

13:08 - AstronautThis: Why does the company as an entity want to be involved in governance across different protocols? Why do you expect such involvement to be profitable despite holding no crypto positions?

14:30 - Someone (from chat): What amount of time per week do you think PaperImperium and others will be involved?

14:57 - Someone: Hasu and Monet Supply contributed to a piece recently about DeFi treasuries. When Maker’s revenue surpasses certain buffer limits, Dai is used to buying back and burning MKR. Hasu believes protocol should retain earnings. From a more philosophical view, what do you think about that?

17:19 - Someone: When you say the low cost of capital, what is their cost of capital? Can they mint Dai at zero cost, or that is not correct?

19:00 - AstronautThis: What is GFX Labs going to do about conflicts of interest and the fact that we are going to participate in governance in a meaningful fashion of multiple protocols?

20:03 - Someone: Is the company holding MKR?

20:25 - Payton Rose: About the idea of political parties within the delegation, do you see yourself combining forces with other delegates to push for things that you believe in? Do you generally have a feeling about how DAOs should address that?

21:39 - Someone (from chat): What is the profit model if no assets are held?

24:02 - Someone: Do you envision that compensation to be an MKR bonus or a fixed fee or maybe a combination of both or you have not taken an opinion on that one yet?

25:31 - Someone: Are there any efforts to specifically build up a multi-disciplinary team that could cover more areas of expertise than what a single person can provide? If so, which profiles are you looking to employ to provide that?

26:45 - Someone: My question was specifically about the challenge for delegates to form an opinion about different proposals or even in a single proposal that might require different areas of expertise. For example, one can be at the same time an expert in RWA legal structures, smart contract security, and operations and finance, or governance.

29:04 - Someone: Some of the positions that you take need to fit in a vision. For example, for compensation in the DAO, the market rate should not be above it, it should be below it. All options could be valid depending on what the strategy is. If you want to put everything on talent onboarding, then you might compensate higher than when you pursue a different strategy. How do you plan to deal with developing that vision? Do you agree that you need that in order to provide a consistent governance framework or delegation participation?

30:33 - Someone: If there is a proposal that you disagree with for a specific reason, will you be very clear about these reasons? The more specific you get at one point, you start more or less holding the pen of the proposal. Do you think delegates should ever put forward their proposals because ultimately, your best opinion is what you write yourself? If not, what is the line that is crossed there?

33:35 - LongForWisdom: Are there any final shoutouts that you want to make?

Closing Comment

LongForWisdom

Outro

34:20

  • Thanks again, both of you. Thanks to everyone.

Credits

  • Kunfu-po produced this summary.
  • @gala produced this summary.
  • Everyone who spoke and presented on the call, listed in the headers.
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