As the Element Protocol pursues decentralization and control is handed over to the DAO, we want to offer, for debate and consideration, the following as core tenets and principles under which the DAO should consider operating. These principles are what Element has held true to since the beginning and we’d be excited to see this carry over into the future of the protocol and its contributors.
But all that said, these are our proposals, not directives. At bottom, we understand and fully endorse that the DAO — and not any corporation or controlling interest — will be what sets the course for the future. We trust in that.
From the launch of governance, the protocol will be governed by the community. Our team’s commitment to true decentralization is of the utmost importance and something we’ve envisioned from the start. We believe better decisions are made through the collective set of stakeholders, users, and contributors. Centralization as we see in the real world carries risks, while decentralization allows for better community participation, robust debate, and the ability of users to make decisions and control what they use. Those who find the most value in the protocol will be able to best determine its future. Decentralized finance should be democratized finance.
Dedication to Research and Experimentation
We will always choose to experiment rather than simply rehashing existing solutions. We find that introducing new primitives and experimenting keeps the work interesting, and allows for innovation and discovery that the space as a whole can learn from and iterate upon. Our early members came from a research background and have always enjoyed pursuing new directions. Even in the Governance platform, we chose to build it from the ground up, proposing something new in hopes to benefit the entire ecosystem with decentralized governance tools.
An Additive vs. Extractive Approach
From the start, Element prides itself as not being an extractive protocol but an additive one. DeFi is defined by its additive nature and without the inter operative DeFi “legos” the industry would not be where it is today. When introducing new primities to the space, we look not to recreate existing solutions, but rather look to build on top of them and use these existing lego pieces in new ways. This mindset solidifies our dedication to collaboration within DeFi. We’re not looking to take mercenary capital, but to expand on the robust ecosystem already in place. A part of this collaborative approach is inviting — and encouraging — others to build on top of the Element protocol.
We are builders and researchers who are committed to excellence but we never took the waterfall approach with ourselves or with the community. We’re not afraid of disagreements, or of changing course, or of failure. Because if we become paralyzed by that fear, that means we’re not taking risks, and we’re not being challenged. Consistent with this, we’ll do everything we can to avoid echo chambers and taking the easy, well-traveled path. We share ideas early, ship solutions quickly, and iterate based on feedback and debate. We believe putting something out there with a willingness to take criticism and make mistakes is a positive-sum mindset: it keeps us humble; it makes our primitives more robust; and it helps to develop the DeFi space into something more than the sum of its parts.
Driving DeFi Adoption
What we’re building is bigger than ourselves. And we make all of our decisions under the premise that we should move the DeFi space forward as a whole, not just the Element protocol. One of the critical challenges we face as an industry is adoption, and bridging TradFi and DeFi plays a role in this approach. If we want DeFi to move faster and move forward, we think it’s important to engage with all the relevant stakeholders, sincerely and responsibly addressing risks, and acting for the long-term. We’re willing to push forward smart regulation for the industry as we believe this allows for more clarity, further improvements, more legitimacy, and, ultimately, increased adoption.
Building a Smart Community that Governs (and lasts)
The community has been a massive part of building the protocol to what it is today and we’re confident they will shape the future of it. Since the beginning, we put effort to attract a community focused on research and sophistication versus tribalism and short-term thinking. We believe a successful protocol requires a community that engages in innovation and that has hard and thoughtful discussions, challenging each other consistently. It is a community like this that allows for new innovations and primitives to form.
Our statement of principles ends where it starts: with trust. For all of the talk of crypto being a “trust-less” system, at bottom it’s just the opposite: the systems presume that people can make the best financial decisions for themselves in performing their transactions, and managing their affairs. And here, in transferring the protocol to the DAO, we trust that the members of the DAO will take it to the next level and honor these core principles.
Join Our Community! 🧝
We want to hear from you! You can always ask questions in our Discord if you need any help, feedback, or just want to learn more about Element.