September 22nd, 2022

Decent DAO’s roadmap is live. The roadmap reviews the key milestones of 2022 and outlines the execution plan for 2023. Check it out below!

Note: We intend to update and release this roadmap on a quarterly basis—content may change significantly from version to version as Decent adapts to the ever-evolving market.

September 15th, 2022


This article analyzes three data storage protocols: Arweave, IPFS, and Filecoin. Sarcophagus chose Arweave as its data storage protocol because Arweave guarantees data permanence without relying on another party or service.


September 1st, 2022

In the push to decentralize the financial rails of the world, DeFi has largely been throttled by one thing: Credit. Lenders need to grant credit to borrowers on the basis of trust, but in a decentralized economy, trusting the wrong individual can mean catastrophic losses. TrueFi, RociFi, and ArcX are three protocols that have been working to overcome this DeFi roadblock by making on-chain credit a sustainable reality.

Why Is On-Chain Credit Needed?

Credit in DeFi is primarily used for leverage or to gain exposure to another asset without the need to sell your current holdings. The issue is that most DeFi credit comes from overcollateralized loans. Given the trustless nature of DeFi, overcollateralized loans are considered a necessary evil, ensuring that lenders do not lose all their funds due to an anon borrower taking the loan with no intention of repayment.

While this protects lenders, overcollateralized lending has poor capital efficiency and fails to provide the same growth opportunities as traditional credit. Take, for example, borrowing DAI on AAVE: There is a 77% maximum loan-to-value ratio (LTV), meaning for every $100 deposited, users can borrow $77. Low capital efficiency inhibits the expansion of DeFi. Traditional finance offers undercollateralized and unsecured loans—such as mortgages, student loans, and credit lines—facilitating entrepreneurship and growth opportunities. Without undercollateralized credit, DeFi faces headwinds on the path to becoming the future of finance.

August 25th, 2022

DAOs have enabled an entirely new form of remote, decentralized work. However, this leapfrog in organizational structure also brings with it some challenges. In a decentralized economy, how can people find work and maximize their labor potential? And how can they prove that they are equipped to complete the work?

For people just entering the Web3 scene, DAOs can seem like messy, disorganized throngs of people working together, and figuring out how to contribute can be daunting. Needed tasks might be scattered in the DAO’s Discord (if one exists) or floating somewhere in its governance forums. Plus, once a contributor finds a task, how can they prove their suitability for the job? Anonymity and privacy are core tenets of Web3; for many contributors, sharing a LinkedIn profile is not an option. Dework aims to solve these problems by functioning as both a decentralized job board and Web3 resume.

August 18th, 2022

written by wen_me

Choices, Choices, Choices…

As you know, there is no right path; there is only your path. Finding that path depends on what tools are available and what outcomes you hope to achieve.

August 12th, 2022

Why The Builder’s Journey?

Decent has been building decentralized applications for five years now. We’ve successfully operated and scaled a full-service venture studio that has thrived amidst all the exciting ups and brutal downs of the market. This year, we are embracing the frontier headwinds of transitioning from an LLC to a DAO—becoming an on-chain venture studio and a globally-recognized, contributor-friendly organization.

Simply put, we’re software builders who’ve lived a decent journey. And we know there are builders out there who have experienced and coded a similar path. We want to connect these builders and share their relatable stories with the rest of the crypto community.

August 9th, 2022

L2 Giants: Polygon vs Arbitrum

Layer 2 blockchains have seen rapid growth since Ethereum gas costs have priced many users out of the market. With so much value up for grabs, the scaling solutions are battling it out for both users and builders.

July 26th, 2022

Stablecoins and their so-called “stability” have been hot topics since the massive blow up of UST and Luna, leaving many investors questioning whether they can feel safe holding any sort of USD pegged asset. Understandably, the trust in algo-stables has died down greatly. Tron’s USDD hovered below $0.98 for 12 days in June and even USN (Near’s native stablecoin) will transition to a v2 where it is fully collateralized by USDT (Coinmarketcap, 2022; Decentral Bank, 2022). 

Fiat-backed USDC and USDC, on top of being the largest and most popular, are the most stable iteration of stablecoins. However, these stablecoins are issued by centralized authorities, which is counterintuitive with DeFi’s desire to be completely permissionless and decentralized. While MakerDAO’s DAI is often touted as the overcollateralized and decentralized solution, most of its backing is in USDC (de Best, 2022). Liquity and its stablecoin, LUSD, aim to be the solution to both stability and complete decentralization.

In 2017, two friends launched a crypto meetup in Cleveland to educate and steer the local community toward open-sourced, decentralized technology and its potential to change lives. Connections were made among kindred spirits. Stimulating ideas were exchanged. Pizza was sliced. This was the birthplace of Decent.

Chance encounters along the global crypto event circuit seeded Decent’s early development. Many of the builder and investor relationships within our robust network began with a friendly conversation and the realization of a shared passion.

As our business grew, we adopted a remote work model best suited to our unique team. We’re proud of our strides in cultivating engagement through our digital headquarters, Decent Island. Conducting meetings and social gatherings in this tailor-made virtual environment has enriched our company culture.

Tokemak is a decentralized liquidity network. Its name is inspired by tokamaks, which are donut-shaped plasma confinement devices used for energy fusion generation. Sounds complex, right? The Tokemak protocol can also appear complex, so let’s break it down in layman’s terms so that everyone can participate in the future of liquidity provision.

The Liquidity Problem

Liquidity is the number of assets available for trading and the corresponding ease with which these assets can be converted into one another without affecting their current market price. Strong liquidity creates market stability, fairer prices, reliable markets, and more seamless transactions (Cryptopedia, 2022a). Markets cannot exist without liquidity (Stankovic, 2021).

In his early days of DeFi market-making, Cook witnessed DeFi’s crippling liquidity problem. Early-stage DeFi founders have to allocate a lot of brain power and capital resources toward bootstrapping their protocol, paying large sums for market-making and budgeting for the protocol’s token inflation. As a result, DeFi liquidity can be fragmented, unpredictable, and costly. Insufficient liquidity results in poor pricing and volatility. This negatively impacts protocols and DAOs seeking deep liquidity for their tokens; exchanges looking to offer the best possible pricing; individuals hoping to avoid slippage due to the price impact of their trade; and protocols’ abilities to flow assets between each other (Tokemak, 2022). Cook believes liquidity is the next key infrastructure layer that needs enhancing. Increasing DeFi’s access to liquidity increases the bandwidth of value flow across all intermediaries in the DeFi space (Sokolin, 2022). Tokemak is used by liquidity providers and yield farmers, DAOs, new DeFi projects, market makers, and exchanges. Tokemak’s goals are to provide sustainable liquidity across DeFi while increasing its Protocol Owned Assets (POA), or its reserves, and protecting liquidity providers from impermanent loss (Tokemak Community Call, 2022).

We continue our analysis of the latest DeFi fixed-income solutions with Pendle. Founded in late 2020 by TN Lee, Pendle is a DeFi yield trading protocol with a native automated market maker (AMM) where users can obtain fixed yield or compounded yield exposure on yield-bearing instruments (Pendle Finance, 2022). We at Decent can relate to TN’s founding story; he began as an early member of Kyber Network before starting a Layer 1 development shop. This development experience bolstered TN’s confidence in DeFi and led to fixed-income yield trading solutions. Fixed-income solutions were largely unexplored and underdeveloped until Pendle’s launch on mainnet in June 2021. Since then, the vertical has seen several fixed-income protocols launch and compete for users and liquidity. Pendle’s goal from the start has been to realize this opportunity through education and a friendly, permissionless application experience.

What is a fixed-income solution in DeFi? TN believes it's a stable and more predictable flow of earnings from an investment over a period of time. The majority of yield in DeFi is generated via lending, liquidity provision, or both. Yield volatility can be challenging for investors, but fixed-income solutions offer an attractive, capital-efficient alternative (Choi, 2021). TN breaks down DeFi’s fixed-income market into three categories: securitization and tranching, fixed-rate lending, and interest rate swaps, the last being Pendle’s market. Interest rate swaps, which are typically executed by sophisticated market participants, expand the interest market in DeFi by increasing the amount of optionality, speculation, and hedging opportunities against DeFi rate exposure. Pendle specializes in trading yield that allows buyers and sellers to interact without having to hold any of the underlying assets (Choi, 2021). Interest rate trading is complex, which is why Pendle’s majority of users are hedge funds and sophisticated DeFi traders. Long term, this is where Pendle’s mission of education and seamless user experience makes an impact. Trustless, permissionless systems are open to all users anywhere.

If a blockchain is going to be accepted as the global payments monetary network, it must have reliable uptime. Cryptocurrencies have introduced the financial world to decentralized monetary systems that are open-source, trustless, permissionless, censorship-resistant, immutable, and supported by participants worldwide. A prevailing in math we trust ideology emphasizes the idea that computer networks can operate more effectively than centralized traditional systems.

Blockchain’s reputation is pedestaled by its ability to handle such responsibility. However, the industry presents a spectrum of tradeoffs. Whether it's one chain or multiple chains co-existing, network participants must understand the pros and cons of their choices. Empirically, uptime is impacted by which side of the spectrum a chain falls on. Does uptime need to be 100% and is that possible?

Uptime refers to the operational integrity of a computer system, i.e., the percentage of time it properly functions without failures or outages (Cavicchioli 2020). The criticality of this metric in crypto cannot be understated as billions, even trillions of dollars are dependent on the network being sound and fully operational. On-chain monetary networks have global participants, stakeholders, and investors (users) relying on consistent daily uptime. Uptime also refers to the protocol layer. For example, while the Ethereum mainnet operates soundly, an application and its corresponding smart contracts may be compromised, thus shutting down the protocol temporarily or permanently.

Maple Finance is tapping the institutional lending market in DeFi. Pun intended. Founders Joe Flanagan and Sidney Powell, both from TradFi backgrounds, found that traditional debt capital markets were broken and turned to smart contracts as the solution. What started as an idea for the world’s first crypto bonds, aka smart bonds, pivoted to a business that enables institutional borrowers to borrow in the DeFi ecosystem more efficiently (Crypto Unstacked, 2021). Launched in 2021, Maple’s business model for crypto-native market makers focuses on under-collateralized lending, true credit creation, and capital creation, leveraging the strong balance sheets and cash flow now present in crypto-native companies. Maple believes they are an on-chain capital market infrastructure, a technology company facilitating a system and marketplace for people to run lending businesses, fixed income asset management, and OTC lending desks. So far, it appears as though they’ve found the right tree vein, having originated $1.2B in loans since last May, with competition 30x their current levels. They are in the right forest. 🍁🌲

Maple believes the current market is ripe for several reasons. First, they see the broader market growing with crypto-native companies that have balance sheets large enough for true credit creation. However, these companies have typically been barred from TradFi lending due to the speculative uncertainty surrounding the crypto markets. In Maple’s opinion, the market desperately needs true credit creation for the industry to grow further, which implies the need for under-collateralized lending rather than the commonly used over-collateralized lending present in the crypto space. Moreover, they feel the broader market participation, development, and skillsets of the DeFi degens have grown. With crypto and Web3 now more accepted, Maple believes they are the solution that provides the significant and necessary capital required by crypto companies to scale their operations to the same magnitude seen in TradFi. What makes Maple different is the capacity to source new liquidity and originate more loans in the space. People can lend into pools to provide capital to real businesses generating real cashflows and part of these cashflows are paid back for the ability to access capital from Maple (Token Terminal, 2022). 🥞

How does Maple work? Maple’s Gitbook provides a great high-level overview, but here is a TLDR. A participant in the protocol can either lend, borrow, stake, and/or become a pool delegate (Chung, 2022). Pools of capital are funded by lenders who are either large institutions or sophisticated, smaller lenders. Lenders earn interest on their lent capital as well as $MPL tokens as lending rewards. Capital is then aggregated into pools and lent to institutional borrowers who are looking for capital to fund their operations and growth. These pools are then uniquely managed by pool delegates. Pool delegates are one of Maple’s competitive advantages. Delegates enable real scalability and play into Maple’s infrastructure rather than serving as a traditional lender. Delegates bring in reputable strategies, expertise, and capital networks. Delegates are responsible for underwriting, due diligence, and negotiating terms. They are essentially a checkpoint controlling the interaction with borrowers and, throughout the term negotiation, they are determining creditworthiness. They manage the liquidity pools, creating and pursuing their own unique strategy (Token Terminal, 2022). Stakers provide pool cover by staking MPL tokens into pools to provide first-loss capital. These tokens will be liquidated first in the event a borrower defaults. Stakers receive a percentage of the interest earned by

April 12th, 2022

Could this be blockchain’s “David and Goliath?” Sort of. While it isn’t a fight to the death, it is a proving contest between core development communities for the title of cryptocurrency’s best, hardest, soundest money. The battle pits monolithic examples like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, and Binance Smart Chain against modular examples like Ethereum’s future modular PoS. Crypto is currently dominated by monolithic blockchains. Monolithic blockchains have been proven over the last decade-plus. However, the discussion is growing around the future of modular blockchain technology and how it’s a better way to solve scalability while preserving decentralization and security.

Monolithic blockchains have dominated crypto blockchain adoption since Bitcoin’s genesis in 2009. Bitcoin is the “Goliath” monolithic blockchain, leading market capitalization for the last 13 years. Ethereum is the runner-up. Monolithic blockchains handle the three basic features of a blockchain stack: consensus (PoW or PoS security), data availability (block space), and execution (the computation and state of transactions). For Bitcoin and Ethereum, this monolithic approach has “led to crippling inefficiencies, reflected in the blockchain trilemma.” The blockchain trilemma implies the trade-off between decentralization, security, and scalability. “Bitcoin and Ethereum chose to be highly secure and decentralized, trading off scalability; while other chains made different trade-offs,” like Solana and Binance Smart Chain (Polynya, 2021b). This is why many value Bitcoin or Ethereum as the current and future leaders in cryptocurrency.
March 24th, 2022

Ethereum Mainnet will merge with The Beacon Chain to upgrade Ethereum’s current proof-of-work consensus mechanism (PoW; mining) with proof-of-stake (PoS; staking). It’s designed to have minimal impact on how Ethereum operates for end-users, smart contracts, and decentralized applications (Bieko 2021). The Merge is expected to take place in Q2 2022— likely May or June. The Ethereum community is gassed up; this tentative deadline instills some positive expectations. But knowing Ethereum, and knowing development in general, we can only be anxiously optimistic. Ethereum evangelists have displayed tremendous patience over the last several years. We’ve been hearing ETH 2.0 chatter for what seems like a lifetime. Let’s review what The Merge entails. In our opinion, the Merge kickstarts Phase 1 - Shard Chains, in the ETH 2.0 roadmap.

The Beacon Chain (Phase 0) shipped on December 1, 2020. It introduced proof-of-stake to Ethereum and set Ethereum up for shard chains. calls it a “new way to keep Ethereum secure, like a public good that makes Ethereum healthier and earns users more ETH in the process. One stakes ETH to activate the validator software and, in doing so, processes transactions and creates new blocks in the chain.” Note: the Beacon Chain exists separately from Ethereum Mainnet—that’s why it’s called the Merge. The Beacon Chain is already running, preserving the history of the network and its functionality but crucially changing the consensus mechanism (Nelson, 2021). Once this merge occurs, Sharding (Phase 1) begins. “Shard chains are the key to Ethereum’s future scalability as they allow parallel transaction throughput. There will be 64 of them deployed in Phase 1 (with the possibility of adding more over time as hardware scales). Phase 1 is primarily concerned with the construction, validity, and consensus on the data of these shard chains. Phase 1 does not specify shard chain state execution or account balances. It’ll be like a trial run for the sharding structure rather than an attempt to use shards to scale. The Beacon Chain will treat shard chain blocks as simple collections of bits with no structure or meaning” (
March 11th, 2022

Satire or sarcasm as design is gigabrain signaling. In crypto, it’s how designers pay ironic tribute to the original web. Crypto dApps offering this design alongside traditional finance-related services such as lending and borrowing provide a comforting, nostalgic user experience, conveying a sense of familiarity that users can easily digest. 👾

The design industry’s latest trend is mixing retro 70s design textures and typography with 90s design layouts. This 70s design trend has been happening for several years alongside the brutalism design trend, says Shadowy Super Coder. NNG describes brutalism as “a style that intentionally attempts to look raw, haphazard, or unadorned, echoing early 1990s-style websites.” Crypto saw a combination of these two design trends in 2021, especially among younger designers building fun and exciting new Web3 projects. The crypto industry is young and ambitious, and degens go hard on this design vibe for inspiration. They feel their childhood wonder in the DeFi playground. 👶🏽

“Pascal Deville characterizes the style revival as a youthful rebellion against soft, corporate, crowd-pleasing styles such as flat or material design.” It’s now become ubiquitous in Web3. In contrast to traditional brutalism, the appeal is “its ruggedness and lack of concern to look comfortable or easy” (Levanier, 2021). Degens are unforgiving as they play against the house, aka the traditional financial system. “These web-design trends are reactions against the perceived uniformity of web design. Brutalism can be used effectively in visual design, but antidesign should be avoided for most products” (Moran, 2017). There’s a fine line between what works and what doesn’t—first-mover advantage played an important role for a couple of projects.

Let’s keep the Layer 2 conversation rollin’ 😏 with Arbitrum. Built by Offchain Labs, Arbitrum believes they are the ideal scaling solution for any Ethereum contract. Instead of using ZK-Rollups, Arbitrum uses Optimistic Rollups technology. Arbitrum One mainnet first opened beta to developers on May 28, 2021. After it fair launched to the general public on August 31, the team announced they were happy to provide gas relief to the Ethereum network. Founders Steven Goldfeder, Harry Kalodner, and Ed Felten confirmed full decentralization was the ultimate plan for Arbitrum One and launched under the moniker ‘beta’ to ensure accountability on that transitional goal. This honest decision did not phase investors. Aside from the $120M Arbitrum raised through its Series B prior to launch, they were able to hit $50M TVL in 3 days post-launch. Moreover, they secured Reddit as a partner due to their strong long-term commitment to the decentralization ethos. 🚀

First, let’s review a story Arbitrum’s founding team shared in a Blockcrunch podcast. Before rollups became the popular Layer 2 solution, Ethereum scaling had Side Chains, State Channels, and Plasma as the development topics of conversation (find definitions here). Everyone was talking about State Channels and Plasma. When Arbitrum was raising seed round financing in 2018, investors were asking if their scaling solution was a State Channel or Plasma. At the time, Plasma had the ambitious goal to make transaction fees cheaper than rollups because not only was the execution being scaled but the data was taken off-chain. However, rollups were a simpler model and put the data on-chain. While Plasma did have successful implementations, rollups won the smart contract composability race. That is the key to rollups’ current success in DeFi. 🔑

Privacy is foundational to the spirit of crypto. It’s a core piece to the puzzle surrounding the self-sovereignty of your digital assets. People need protection in this new realm of finance, especially considering the scale at which founders are transitioning their companies and projects to DAOs. With lots of buzz earlier this year surrounding DeFi privacy projects, let’s take a look into one of the largest privacy solutions on Ethereum today: Tornado Cash. Tornado Cash is the non-custodial solution for crypto users who want to maintain their anonymity while keeping their professional assets on-chain and private. 🤫

First, let’s explore what a transaction mixer is. A transaction mixer scrambles funds from multiple users and transactions before each transaction reaches its intended address. This mixing provides a veil of privacy that makes it difficult to trace the amount of funds and where they went. Remember our post on Starknet and zero-knowledge proofs? Tornado Cash also uses zero-knowledge proofs as a means to muddle transaction data. Specifically, they utilize zk-SNARKs, which stands for Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge. You’ll recall that there are two parties involved with zk-proofs cryptography protocol: a prover and a verifier. Moralis Academy explains that “the prover seeks to prove a hypothesis while the verifier determines the veracity of the prover’s claim. The concept behind zero-knowledge proofs is that one can prove possession of a piece of information without revealing it.” According to DeFi Rate, instead of spamming additional transactions between sender and receiver, “Tornado Cash scrambles user funds within a smart contract in a black-box environment, which isn’t visible on the public ledger.” This gives Tornado Cash the element of decentralization because a smart contract handles the funds rather than a third party. Founder Roman Semenov says Tornado Cash is designed so a third party can’t control it. 👏🏻 🦄

Moralis Academy breaks down the Tornado Cash process:

  • Users generate a “secret” when they deposit ETH to the Tornado Cash smart contract and create a “commitment” hash along with their deposit.
  • The contract adds the funds to its list of deposits, and when the user is ready to withdraw, they must provide the corresponding secret that matches the unspent deposit from Tornado Cash’s deposit list.
  • zk-SNARKs accomplish the function without exposing the specific deposit that corresponds to its secret.
March 1st, 2022

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.

- John Gall, Systemantics: How Systems Really Work and How They Fail

Left Curve Hard Question

We’ve been trying to answer the question “what is a DAO?”.

Sounds like a dumb question at face value. Our team has been working and building in the crypto space for years. If we don’t know what a DAO is by now we’re most certainly ngmi.

February 23rd, 2022

Wen ETH 2.0? Doesn’t matter. Layer 2s don’t mind. They are busy working to help ETH achieve 100k transactions per second. As we wait for ETH 2.0, compatible Layer 1s and Layer 2s are competing for market share through usage and TVL. What’s their crypto purpose in the interim? The short answer is scalability, increasing the capacity of the ETH blockchain to handle transaction volume. StarkNet is a Layer 2 solution that’s been a quiet yet highly viable contender to make this happen. We’ll look into StarkWare, its parent company; StarkWare’s first product and original scalability solution, StarkEx; and the progression to StarkNet, the multi-app ETH Layer 2 solution enabling funds from a single wallet to interact across multiple apps on Layer 2. To start, let’s review the technical definitions surrounding zero-knowledge proofs (ZK), STARKs, Layer 2s, ZK-rollups, and permissionless decentralization; all of which enforce the maintenance and decentralization integrity of ETH mainnet. It’s bullish to note Vitalik feels ZK-rollups are the closest option to ETH 2.0 sharding. As you can see, Detective Decent is following the money and Vitalik on this one.

StarkWare develops STARK-based solutions on the blockchain. Capital is flowing into StarkWare following its $162M in total funding from their recent Series C raise of $50M at a $2B valuation. The founding team is Eli Ben-Sasson and Uri Kolodny, academic and entrepreneur respectively. Eli’s inspiration for StarkWare evolved from theoretical computer science and the desire to make proofs shorter and quicker. With the help of Bitcoin, Eli realized “blockchains are very good for proof systems—proof systems are very good for privacy and scalability.” This sentiment is much aligned with crypto and the decentralized finance ethos. What’s bullish about StarkWare is the transparency and exponential verification speedup it offers that previous ZK-based protocols failed to embody.

What are ZK proofs?

“Zero-Knowledge Protocol (or Zero-Knowledge Password Proof) is a way of doing authentication where no passwords are exchanged, which means they cannot be stolen. This is cool because it makes your communication so secure and protected that nobody else can find out what you’re communicating about or what files you are sharing with each other.” - Cossack Labs

February 18th, 2022


In recent years, one of the main concerns in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space has been the scalability and performance of Ethereum amidst the prolonged transition to ETH 2.0. As a result, several Layer 1s have emerged, such as BSC, Avalanche, Solana, and Fantom — all of which are trying to prove that they are the most compatible and highest performing alternative Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) chains. Let’s focus on Fantom, deemed a high-throughput open-source smart contract platform for digital assets and decentralized applications (dapps). We are hearing more bullish optimism about Fantom than the rest amongst local degens, especially for NFTs (we’ve seen Fantom NFTs as many first-time crypto purchases). Plus, our bullish curiosity heightens when we see Andre Cronje and Sam Bankman-Fried of Alameda Research at the same party 🚀

Founded in 2018 by Ahn Byung Ik, Fantom is a fast, powerful, scalable, and customizable next-gen Layer 1 platform that uses a single consensus layer to support the creation of multiple execution chains. Fantom’s two core technologies are the Lachesis Protocol, the core consensus layer, and Opera, the application development layer. Lachesis utilizes Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) scaling technology, allowing any computer connected to the network to process transactions in parallel. It combines Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance (aBFT) and Proof of Stake (POS). Lachesis has four main qualities: