David Kerr and I wrote this piece on decentralization as the first in a limited series of overviews on DAO fundamentals. This series is the product of a collaboration between the DAO Research Collective and The Defiant. This piece was initially published to The Defiant on July 19, 2022.
Decentralization is a concept that historically describes local governance structures where the responsibilities of planning and decision-making are not made by a centralized authority, but rather distributed throughout its membership.
Although the terms ‘centralization’ and ‘decentralization’ were not coined until the 19th century in relation to significant political upheaval across Europe, the concepts have existed since the very inception of society. In spite of the obvious benefits of decentralization regarding inclusivity, representation and personal freedom, human history has primarily been a study in centralized authority because of the benefits it provides in efficiency in making decisions and its ability to be effective over large geographic areas.
However, recent technological advancements have allowed for decentralized principles to be utilized more effectively and many of the historical limitations are no longer applicable as robust mechanisms of governance utilizing decentralization are now available.
If you’re new to crypto and feeling overwhelmed - welcome, you’re in the right place.
Some of my smartest friends have started spending more time learning about Ethereum, and through that process, several of them have asked me similar questions, usually about specific definitions (like “what’s gas?”) or broad conceptual pieces (like “how does Uniswap work?”). These questions inspired me to put together A Simpler Guide to Ethereum.
This guide is broken up into five main sections:
I’ve spent the last few months working with Josh Stark at the Ethereum Foundation, specifically focusing on supporting projects like The Year in Ethereum 2021 and a handful of other smaller research pieces.
One of the projects I’ve been tinkering with recently is figuring out how to calculate the total market capitalization of assets on Ethereum, or in other words, the Ethereum ecosystem’s total market cap. This is the total value of all assets on Ethereum including ETH, ERC-20s, NFTs, and synthetic/derivative assets.
This is a relevant and useful metric. The entire crypto ecosystem is made up of blockchains, and these blockchains enable the creation of new types of assets, as well as new methods of utilizing and trading the assets. One of the most obvious questions to ask about crypto is “what is the value of all of the assets on Blockchain X?”, and for a huge blockchain ecosystem like Ethereum’s, the only sensible way to answer that question is to include the value of all assets that live on Ethereum, and not just the value of the blockchain’s native token (ETH, in this case).