Jupiter Infrastructure AMA Series with Dylan Macalinao (Saber & TribecaDAO)

Jupiter Infrastructure AMA Series with Dylan Macalinao, Co-founder of Saber, General Partners of Ship Capital, and co-founder of TribecaDAO

AMA Transcription

[00:00:00] [BEN] Hi, welcome to exploring Solana with Jupiter. I’m Ben Chow, one of the co-founders of Jupiter and the host of this podcast. For those who don’t know, Jupiter is the key swap aggregator and infrastructure on Solana, giving you the best price swaps for any token. And with almost 10 billion in trade volume and representing 2% of Solana’s daily transactions, we are one of the most popular DeFi protocols on Solana.

[00:00:25] So in this AMA series, we’ll talk with key crypto folks in the Solana ecosystem and deep dive into the important topics, prompts and stories of the day.

[00:00:36] Hello, welcome to Exploring Solana with Jupiter. In the show, we’ll be talking to Dylan Macalinao, Founder and CEO of Saber, as well as Ship Capital and Tribeca DAO.

[00:00:46] We’ll be talking shop on Tribeca DAO, the challenges of DAO governance. And what’s up with Saber wars?

[00:00:52] Tune in if you’re interested in DAO governance and the tooling and people who surround it.

[00:00:57] Dylan man. Great to have you here, man.

[00:01:00] [DYLAN] Thanks for having me.

[00:01:01] [BEN] Yeah. Yeah. I’m super excited. I think this is the first time we’ve sort of talked in public like this.

[00:01:07] Just so you know, we’re trying out something new here. We’re actually both doing this Twitter Spaces, but also live streaming it to our Discord channel. There’s a fair bit of people in our Discord community that, I guess, don’t have Twitter. We’re trying to see if this will stream well to them so they’ll be able to like follow along and also be able to take questions from the #text channel in Discord so it should be pretty cool.

[00:01:32] Awesome. Thanks for everyone for joining. I think this is going to be a great, great AMA. I am super pumped to talk about DAOs with Dylan of Saber and Tribeca DAO. You know, why don’t we get started? I usually start off with just, you know, the same question I ask everyone, because there’s probably a small number of people who don’t know you yet, but if you mind kind of giving a brief intro about yourself and maybe talk about also why you started Tribeca DAO.

[00:02:00] [DYLAN] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yes. I got into crypto in around like 2017. So super interested when I learned about ethereum and I think ICO craze is happening at that time. And so first I was just like trading random tokens and I ended up getting more into building with my brother, Ian, who’s also my co-founder at Saber. I guess, co-founded like pretty much everything.

[00:02:18] Yeah. And so, um, I guess to like fast forward in time, I got involved in Solana, like early last year. Yeah. I ended up like connecting with Raj and some people at Solana labs from there ended up like first working on Metaplex and then kind of show you after their second thought, like Solana’s great and very obvious that it was gonna be this big, deep chain.

[00:02:36] Like you already had people like Alameda and John putting in heavy resources into the Solana ecosystem. So yeah, wanted to like create a DeFi protocol and Saber made sense, one, because like Ian had kind of already written the code. So he wrote like a, like a first version of Saber, which we called Saber Slop for the first Solana Hackathon, which was like end of 2020, I believe.

[00:02:55] But yeah, Solana was just like very different at the time. And like, you know, wasn’t really going into it as like kind of like, you know, creating a startup back then. It was more just like learning about Solana. And I was like learning about new chains. And so yeah, we ended up like working on that project and very shortly after just like realized there are a lot of big primitives missing from the Solana ecosystem.

[00:03:13] Things like multisig and in governance, STL governance was also like in a very early stage at that time as well. Yeah. Even like back then, like, uh, from when we like started Saber, like we definitely, we’re always thinking about like the economics, like we just like saw how curve was a growing successful in, in context, all the other layers and all of it.

[00:03:30] And so, yeah. Decided like we wanted to like work on that. Yeah, I think governance is also good, but they’re just like some like things where we felt like it made more sense for us to build our own protocol. One being like, like we’d really like anchor. And so yeah, building something like an anchor was just easier than trying to work, I guess, with SQL governance and other things too, like, you know, couldn’t be tokens and stuff.

[00:03:52] Like I think that there’s like something for that now. Yeah. There’s like, wasn’t that stuff before and felt like it was just easier to put up from the ground up. Yeah. I guess also to more about like, why Tribeca is separate. Like, we definitely want to like, think of it as like a protocol that like Saber doesn’t know we own, it’s sort of a common, like public good that like anyone in the site you can use.

[00:04:10] I mean, anyone can contribute to. Yeah, definitely have had like pretty good traps too far, as far as like organic teams coming in and helping out building it. We’re just really cool.

[00:04:18] [BEN] I love the ethos. I mean, we’ve been sort of competitors since this sort of Saber mercurial days and I have like lots of respect for how you guys have executed, but like, I really love the, you know, how you made Tribeca open source, you know, was that always in the plan?

[00:04:36] I mean, it sounds like you’ve been thinking about Tribeca. And quarry and a bunch of other things like since the very beginning.

[00:04:43] [DYLAN] Yeah. It was definitely always the plan. Yeah. I think like, yeah, first like Saber, like we actually weren’t open source for, for a bit of time and yeah, I think a lot of it is like, kind of like the common excuses like people give. Like he will say security. Honestly, the main reason is competitive advantage, for sure. Yeah. I guess someone can just like fork your protocol before you have a real moat like set up. Yeah. Like I think that’s like the number one reason why, like, people don’t open source it and it makes a lot of sense from a business perspective.

[00:05:07] Right? Like, it’s like kind of like bad when like someone else’s kinda like tastes your work. And especially if like, they don’t like commit upstream or something to where yeah. It’s like they benefited from your open source, but like you didn’t benefit from it kind of like thought more about like open source and stuff.

[00:05:19] I think like we find that we like, we like open source in Saber. Then we felt like we had a pretty good mode in place. And so just open sourced it. And then for other things that we were doing, like yield farming or governance. Yeah. Like, like a bigger reason why like Saber is going to do well is that the Solana ecosystems is a hold as well.

[00:05:34] And so, yeah, by making it easy for people to like actually set up stuff like yield farming or governance, like the locks, all that. I think it strengthens it, use this as a whole and therefore makes like Saber more competitive when you think about it, like compared to the entirety of our landscape.

[00:05:46] [BEN] Are you saying that like, you felt more comfortable say open sourcing Tribeca DAO before you’ve had say a moat because you see Tribeca more as like something that supports Saber? Is that how you’re seeing things? Or maybe a mutual, maybe what you said, like a mutual or common good that also helped Saber?

[00:06:06] [DYLAN] Yeah, definitely like, um, I guess kind of like both of those, like I think with Saber initially, it’s just like, um, because we’re kind of new to the ecosystem.

[00:06:14] Yeah. I just like felt hesitant. I have like very mixed thoughts when it comes to like open source and should tenous requests open source. Like how much do they open source? Because I do agree that like, that’s actually, like one of the day’s competitive advantages like for example, we like with Saber like say we can actually like open source, like a lot of our stuff.

[00:06:30] Like same when we opened Tribeca, you know, would that be a competitive advantage for, for Saber? Like, I think it’s arguable that could be. Yeah, I think at the end of the day, the ecosystem as a whole moving forward is probably more beneficial than just like there being like siloed and being always successful.

[00:06:45] [BEN] I feel like this is a big question for every team and something that like, you know, we’re also thinking about all the time. Do you think you would have started Saber open-sourced looking back or do you think you’re okay.

[00:06:59] [DYLAN] I think we would have. Saber was like kind of open source because it’s like, after the Hackathon, like we ended up doing with Saber, we actually just like committed back to SPL.

[00:07:08] So like, like Saber is based off of like, we’re just like a normal, like AMM swap and then yeah, like Saber’s innovation was just adding like a lot of that, the curve, like Saber swap math to it to make it work for stable swap. I think, in retrospect, like, yeah, it probably would’ve been better just open source from the beginning, just cause like, I mean, I guess the one it’s like it fits into like the ethos and everything, but I also don’t think like, the reason why Saber was successful was because we were closed source at first.

[00:07:31] But I definitely think that we would have been successful, like regardless. Yeah, but yeah, I think it’s a tough question. And, uh, I think like, even if you go into even more, like, I guess, proprietary things like, or like things that are more complicated, cause like Saber is like, in my opinion is a pretty like simple program compared to a lot of the stuff that like stick on the ankle mark or something that’s doing.

[00:07:49] I think it becomes kind of like, I don’t know, I guess like more gray area of like whether or not there’s a true competitive advantage for you to like start closing.

[00:07:56] [BEN] Yeah, I agree. And I, I mean, I would, I would say also that, like, there’s just many factors in that decision. I don’t know if there’s like a one right answer for everyone. I mean, I also think that probably in your case, like I consider you guys to be some of the fastest team, like developing teams too. And if you are that on the faster side, then maybe it doesn’t matter to be closed source, you know, as long as you’re pushing ahead.

[00:08:20] [DYLAN] I agree with that. Yeah. And I guess, yeah, I guess that’s pretty key, right? It’s like being fast. Cause like, say that you move slower than like you open source, someone forced your thing. And then they’re like a fashion team that you build, like things you’ve planned out building like trap is on you. Yeah. It’s kind of tough. And then like, I think like another like interesting open source debate too, the stuff that happened recently with like Serum where like someone kind of bug and like a future Serum version and yeah, they were like, you know, requesting like a bug bounty. And like, I think there was some people in community who also agreed. But yeah, I mean, like in that case, you’re in is incentivized to like build a closed source and like all your leasing is going to actually deal with everything.

[00:08:56] Yeah. It’s like, it’s, it’s kind of tough to reason about, uh, when you think about like moats and everything.

[00:08:59] [BEN] Totally agree, you know, but on the positive side to that, and I think like for me, the biggest draw for open sourcing is the fact that your moat is really your developer contributor community. And I know our team has contributed to Serum and a number of things that have been open source.

[00:09:18] And when we’ve spotted things, it’s just easier to help out and fix, you know, like why not?

[00:09:22] [DYLAN] Yeah, no, a hundred percent. Like, I think like if you don’t open source, it also just makes it really hard for other teams to interview. And I think integration is definitely the main point of protocols, I guess, going back to Tribeca as well.

[00:09:32] We’ve had like other teams who have like, contributed like useful things like our front end or, or our contracts, um, that like we’re planning or have, have used in Saber, but like they building it for their own use. And so, yeah, I think when things like that happened where like everything’s very synergistic, that’s sort of like, I guess like open source working, like as it’s intended.

[00:09:49] [BEN] Yeah, for sure. For sure. So while we’re talking about Tribeca DAO, maybe for those who don’t are not as familiar, could you like explain how Tribeca DAO works?

[00:09:59] [DYLAN] Yeah, for sure. So Tribeca is modeled pretty closely towards a combination of like compound and incur governance. So. Yeah. When we were thinking about Tribeca, like we just like look at a lot of like different DAO models and like kind of like came up with like a combination of like different features that we thought made the most sense.

[00:10:16] So like, I think the main way to think about Tribeca is like governance itself. Right. Which is just like you voting on DAO proposal things. I don’t think it’s actually like a real, I guess like tokenomics effect to it. Like maybe this underlying of, in terms of like you have like certain voting power, but I think it would be e tokens did really well.

[00:10:33] It basically creates like a real tokenomic model of like, why you actually want to like stake a lot of these tokens and why you want to save them for a long period of time. So VE stands for vote escrow and the way it works is like, say I have like Saber. So saber is not actually, I guess, it’s like really the governance token.

[00:10:48] If you think about it, like the real governance power, all lies in like when you’re actually stake Saber it’s like when you stake Saber, you can choose like a period of time you want to take for, so for us, it’s like all the way up to five years. And like the longer you stay, the more like VE Saber you get. And the, VE Saber constitutes like voting power in the DAO and like the main things that you can use voting power right now on our, uh, like one is just like on chain governance.

[00:11:09] So like, I want to send this amount of treasury to someone for a grant, things like that. Or I want to like, upgrade like the Saber program… But then there’s like other, like, sort of like specific like functions that we created that we thought were released for Saber. So for example, like in Tribeca, you have this thing called gauges, which works with like the core yoroi program.

[00:11:29] Using these, like the VE tokens, you can like allocate a certain weight to different pools and that affects like the saber, like, and you’ll know how it works… And so, yeah, that’s a real useful if like, say you’re a stable coin, like surterra, for example, you went like UST become like really big on, on Saber and therefore Solana…

[00:11:45] Like they basically now having an incentive to just like purchase a bunch of Saber, lock it and then vote on the U S T gauges. Yeah. So that’s, I guess kind of how I would like see Saber, oh sorry, see Tribeca as a governance framework. It’s like very focused on this idea of like vote locking. Yeah. I think there’s a lot of other interesting things that can be built on top of this framework, but, um, yeah, that’s just like, sort of like the base layer of it.

[00:12:06] [BEN] Basically the motivation around Tribeca DAO is to basically fulfill out sort of the governance side of the token. Right? Like to be able to actually do governance with your token.

[00:12:19] [DYLAN] Yup. Yup, exactly. Yes. New governance of the token and it, in a way that I think. I think like that the incentives, I guess like work out better than like a normal existence that doesn’t have like a VE lock.

[00:12:30] [BEN] Got it. Got it. One small question on that. Now on the proposal side, can anyone make a proposal for anything?

[00:12:39] [DYLAN] Yeah. Yeah. Uh, with Tribeca, like the parameters are, um, like it’s all up to the doubt itself and you can even like tweak parameters based on like the DAO. One of these parameters is like the minimum amount of the VE Saber required to like create a proposal or I guess like accurate appraisal.

[00:12:53] So like the way our system works is like, anyone can like write a draft, which I showed them on the front end, but, um, only people who have. X number of the VE Saber are allowed like active proposal and actually make it available for voting. And the reason that exists was to like prevent spam. Like this is like something that we just copied from, from compounds governance.

[00:13:11] But yeah, I mean, like, I, I think like the kind of like beauty of Tribeca is, is made in like a very moderate way. So like, if you don’t like that or like you think that, that the like token, like threshold should be like a lot lower. Um, it’s like all in like the DAO’s control to decide.

[00:13:25] [BEN] That’s cool. And how has that worked out for you? Like, have you seen a lot of spam that you’ve had to filter out or do you think it mattered?

[00:13:33] I think it seems fine. I mean, the other thing too is like, it is something that we’re trying to figure out how to do better is like, I think there should be more like a discussion. Before these DAO proposals. So like right now there’s no forum discussion area directly on the Tribeca UI.

[00:13:48] We use like the separate, like governance forum that, um, I think that most other teams use, um, who, who do that kind of thing. Uh, and so I think like one good thing with the threshold is that it basically like, say that, um, Yes. It’s like, you don’t have that much, like VE saber you’re actually required to like, put more thought into your proposal and like not putting grant and then like actually get feedback on it from other people.

[00:14:08] I think it’s debatable. Like if that number is too high and I think what could like solve that is like, maybe you could like delegate votes to other people. Like say I have like VE Saber, so I can delegate to like someone else. So I think is like an active and like good participant community, but just like, doesn’t have that much Saber…

[00:14:21] Uh, cause maybe they just like just joined the community. . Yeah, I think so far it’s been pretty good.

[00:14:25] [BEN] oh, that’s really cool, man. I like the idea of delegation actually. That, that, that’s pretty neat. So, yeah. So I’m kind of curious on that end. How are the proposals then created? Is it just, there’s like a topic, that’s something that pops up that’s important or how do they come about?

[00:14:41] Yeah, so, um, I’d say they usually start with like forum discussions where someone just like posts something that they think makes sense. Like, say for example, like saber adding fees to it’s like swaps because like right now the program doesn’t actually take any fees. So it’s only making discussion posts.

[00:14:56] Like people would comment on it. And then on the, like the Tribeca UI, you can like, just like post some like, like, or you can just like upload some code basically. And like, have that like be voted on to like execute. What we’re trying to do is also create like these, like, I guess like templates where like, um, sort of like, like no code where it’s like, it’s a lot easier for someone to like, make like common proposals.

[00:15:16] I think ideally like you don’t have to be like Jason Miller with a saber code base or it’s like make simple governance proposals, like now say you want to like, allocate like a certain amount of funds to someone for like a grant. I think like, ideally someone can do that in like a no-code way. And so yeah, we have a science, like create some of those.

[00:15:31] I think sometimes teams have started to create other kinds of like templates that you have for their own doubts, but yeah, definitely want to see a trend more that way.

[00:15:39] [BEN] Oh, that’s really cool, man. Has there been any like proposals you didn’t agree with or. You thought like were or something that didn’t work out in, in the current system that you, you, you, you kind of had to adjust for?

[00:15:53] [DYLAN] I think it’s people creating proposals that don’t have too much discussion and like activating them, because like I said, like what, what’s something that’s like voting. It’s not really meant to be discussed on during that time, or like, there’s no way in that, like the actual Tribeca UI to do that. Uh, and so, yeah, we’ve thought about different ways.

[00:16:10] I think like the easiest solution that can help is, like forcing someone to like link like a host to like their, their governance forum or whatever. Like when they’re like, uh, initiating proposal, just like prove that like someone actually discussed it at this, but yeah. I mean, like, there’s been like proposals for sure where, like, I didn’t really agree on and you know, like people like vote against it and there’s also been proposals where like, I didn’t agree on it.

[00:16:31] Like the majority did, so it got passed, but yeah, I guess that means that governance isn’t working properly.

[00:16:38] [BEN] Yeah… I wonder what’s a good percentage of things you should have before you feel like government is. Yeah, I don’t like half these things. Okay. It must be. That’s interesting. That’s that’s really interesting. Let’s say someone does create something and it doesn’t pass. Is there a cost? And they just resubmitted it again.

[00:16:59] Yeah. Right now it’s just like the soul, like gas fees or whatever her transaction costs, which is like pretty low. Yeah. Someone can like submit a proposal. I guess as many times they want to activate it for voting. Like that hasn’t happened, I guess yet, but I mean, theoretically, you could create some kind of like filter against that or like you could like prevent that guy’s address from voting.

[00:17:19] Maybe I think it’s a little bit teacher acid, but I haven’t really accounted a probem yet…

[00:17:22] [BEN] Okay. Maybe it’s a peer thing that keeps people from doing that kind of stuff. Who wants to be the asshole?

[00:17:28] [DYLAN] That that’s true too.

[00:17:32] [BEN] Why don’t we get into the juicy thing, you know, uh, which, which is like a, the saber wars. So do you mind just like sharing, uh, briefly what, what that is for anyone who doesn’t know what that is?

[00:17:44] [DYLAN] Yeah, for sure. So I kinda alluded earlier when I was talking about like Tara and UST that’s idea. Uh, way to basically create like value for the saber token is through basic competition of like different like assets.

[00:17:57] Mostly they’d be like USD pegged, stable coins, but like even seen this with like steak soul things like M soul or LIDAR soul, basically in a competition of like, which pools and you know, which acids get the most yield from the rewards because like, theoretically, like people would shift their capital to like, whatever pool has, like the best, like APY.

[00:18:15] And so, yeah, There’s this dynamic where like you have different like stable coins, like Tara, for example, who they’re trying to buy up, like a bunch of saber tokens to, to make sure they have floating pounder gauges. There’s, there’s been other interesting things like UFC, which is like a, a Solana native, like the central stable coin.

[00:18:31] They like created something with solution for like, basically I’m doing kind of like a public, like bidding of like saber tokens, where they would just purchase like saber from the public as like a five-year year VE lock so that we didn’t have like maximum voting power and in return, like people would get like these like bonds that represent like some amount of UXP.

[00:18:49] So yeah, I think it’s like pretty interesting dynamic. Definitely like Solana is like pretty early, so. You know, like there’s not actually that many like assets who are really aggressively like fighting, I guess, this like war or whatever. But yeah, I think it’s like a pretty like cool tokenomic. I think like curve has definitely shown that it’s like worked pretty effectively with like UST and MIm and Frax and all these other like big, stablecoins that are using a lot of like their doubt treasuries and revenue to just like buy up more like curve tokens. Hopefully we see that like kind of behavior, uh, continued to increase within Saber.

[00:19:21] [BEN] Do you think this is sort of a, an education thing? Like people it’s not on their radar for them to do, or maybe it’s a time of the market. I mean, what. Or just everything’s early?

[00:19:32] [DYLAN] Yeah I think it’s just early. I think all of like the stablecoins in Solana definitely are thinking about this.

[00:19:38] Like, when I think about like how their dish, peen or those core or just like how like they’re spending like their DAO. Yeah. They’re definitely like keeping in mind this, like, you know, we need to like, make sure we have X amount of like Saber tokens in order to participate effectively and, and have like decent TPO in our pools.

[00:19:52] Yeah. And so I think, yeah, I think it’s just early, I think like TBL on Solana or just like the amount of like capital in like Solana is like pretty low right now, especially when compared to like other ecosystems. So yeah, I think it just a matter of like Solana becoming bigger, hopefully that also increases the activity in what happened with Saber. So would you characterize Saber wars as like Saber skirmishes now, or, yeah, I don’t think it’s a full blown out war, I also think that like, there’s a certain participant that just has like way more capital behind it than other, like, you know, like new stable points, that being Tara. So, yeah, I think it’s like a little bit unfair or maybe not unfair, but just like, this is kind of hard for other like newer students to compete.

[00:20:32] And so. Yeah. I don’t know. I guess it comes to the question, like, is there actually, like some of these people can do, but I think in, in some ways, yes, like I don’t think Tara actually has like that much, like drastically more than other people right now, but based on like, what I’m going to gauge, so it definitely seems like they have the most.

[00:20:47] [BEN] Overall, like how do you think it’s going? Or is there anything interesting or surprising that has popped out of it that, you know, you didn’t expect?

[00:20:54] [DYLAN] Nothing I’d say super surprising because I mean, because we model all this off of just always happening with curve. Like I think a lot of people, like we’re familiar with that narrative. And so, yeah, it was kind of easy to like, educate like different stablecoins and the other kinds of like assets, like kind of like why this like saber, like wars thing makes sense.

[00:21:14] [BEN] Is there anything you, uh, change about how you’re doing the gauges or?

[00:21:19] [DYLAN] I mean not necessarily change or just, I think there’s a lot of other features that can be built on top and like a lot of things that already exist on curve. Like for example, like bribes where essentially like, you know, rather than be just like Santara and I’m just like buying Saber from the market.

[00:21:33] Instead of I could do is just like get people who already like have a lot of like Saber voting power. And like, you can basically see how they’re voting on chain and like, if they vote in a certain way. Then you reward them by like airdropping them into lunar or something. I think that’s pretty interesting.

[00:21:49] It’s probably easier for people getting involved than, than just like trying to market by like a token that like Axie right now is like pretty illiquid. But yeah, I think there’s a lot of other like cool features and stuff when you get on top of it, for sure. And like things that like, even like curve isn’t really doing.

[00:22:02] [BEN] Does this fall under like the airdropping thing that you mentioned, do you think this falls into the category of, uh, this topic that people are talking about, which is like, what is it like bribery, mechanics or something?

[00:22:12] [DYLAN] Yeah, exactly.

[00:22:13] [BEN] What do you think about that in general?

[00:22:16] [DYLAN] I guess it’s hard for everything to be like, super, like, I guess, like fair if there’s like financial incentives, right? Like there’s definitely gonna be like whales and stuff have come in and like, you know, they’re able to like benefit more than people who are not whales.

[00:22:29] And so I think bribing is just like, it’s just something that exists… I mean, existing they’ll deal with it as well. Like in terms of finance, right? Like there’s a lot of like bribing going on behind the scenes. But I think, I guess what’s interesting with like crypto is like bribing is, it’s more like transparent because everything’s on chain.

[00:22:44] Yeah. You’re like already, like, I guess, analyze behaviors that are probably really happy in the digital finance world are just happening, but like more transparent in this, what the spirit of defi is.

[00:22:52] [BEN] I’ve really heard, read around a little bit. And I kind of feel like people have made the, I dunno, the comment complainant, or what about this wars mechanic?

[00:23:02] Like the end state is sort of this. Plutocratic, you know, where like basically the whales sort of dominate everything. Right. Because I mean, I feel like, like to win at it, right. You have to get all of the, the majority of the token and then it feeds itself actually, because you lock it in, you gave more power and you gave more token. And then it’s a, it’s like a feedback loop, right? I mean, Is that going to be the end state then? Or do you think, do you think it’s okay. That’s the end state, should it be more democratized or, you know, what do you think?

[00:23:38] I think it is okay from the perspective of Saber DAO. Like the Saber DAO benefits when like stuff like this is happening for sure. Basically like the Saber DAO’s incentive is like, they want like the competition for the VE Sabers to be as competitive as possible. Cause it just means that the DAO is better. Yeah. I think like the perspective of like people who are against it are people like stablecoins, like especially newer stablecoins too like just like don’t have as much like firepower behind them.

[00:24:04] And yeah, I think at the end of the day, like, I think with like crypto and defi does really well, is it makes it like, very clear, like how financial incentives work in like a very transparent way and yeah, you don’t have like, trust people, right? You just have to trust like that, like game theory. And instead of if they’re correct. So in that sense, like, I do think like that probably is like the end state for something like a Saber, which is that you’ll have like more and more power, like concentrated towards like certain whales. But I think those whales can be superseded in some way.

[00:24:32] Like, I think like if you look at like how with curve and like USC and Mim becoming like a very dominant, like pool on curve when like, you know, like they were like a lot smaller when they first started, I guess it’s definitely possible to like, I guess like make your way into that system, but yeah.

[00:24:46] End of the day it’s like a, it’s a finance it’s, it’s all about just like financial incentives and, and what’s best for like what the Saber DAO. But not both. I think like it’s all about what is best for the Saber DAO and its value.

[00:25:01] Hey, Ben Chow here. You’ve been listening to Exploring Solana with Jupiter, where we talk with some of the key crypto folks in the Solana ecosystem where their founder, investor, builder community or marketer. As builders ourselves, we go behind the scenes on some of the important crypto topics, problems and stories in Solana.

[00:25:20] So if you liked what you’ve heard, follow us on your favorite podcast app.

[00:25:25] [BEN] It’s interesting to me, like, don’t you think though, that like the health of their, I’m just exploring some of these questions, but maybe it’s not as DAO related, but don’t you think in one sense the health of your token is in how distributed it is and this is sort of a force of concentrating it.

[00:25:45] [DYLAN] Yeah, I agree. I think you do have like smaller, stablecoins who are queuing positions and like, there still are meaningful that they’re getting like some like liquidity. I guess. Yeah. My point was more that I do think that, like, there are certain assets that people just have so much more of the saber and therefore will, will dominate, I guess the other like, uh, like I guess thought too, is that just like, the system is definitely evolving and like, if it’s like very obviously bad and like there’s a better solution, then I’m like very open to like, changing anything that like exists with like the saber, tokenomics or model.

[00:26:20] Yeah, I guess right now, I feel like it’s working the way it’s intended and I can’t really think of a better solution right now, but yeah, I think that’s the beauty of like being like these, these protocol is. Hopefully someone else can come up with a better solution implemented. And yeah, that’s like now, like the new Saber DAO.

[00:26:34] [BEN] I guess maybe one democratizing force would be, you know, where it’s playing the context role or something, you know, where it’s, you know, you can pull together other people’s smaller holdings to become a force.

[00:26:49] [DYLAN] Yeah, no, definitely that’s good too. And I actually, like, I think there should be multiple of these like saber, like VE Saber staking derivatives. I think like right now, Sunny, like, definitely like has the most of any of these staking derivatives or like people thinking about like building them. Um, but like, I actually think it’s like healthy for the ecosystem if like there’s like more of these.

[00:27:09] Um, and yeah, you’re right. Like say like some stablecoins, like actually decides to like build their own, like VE Saber staking derivatives. I think that’d be really good for them. It’s something that like, I’ve pitched to like different stablecoins that we’ve talked to in Solana.

[00:27:20] [BEN] Interesting. Okay, I’m going to switch over a little bit. It’s two questions actually. So one is. You’ve built Tribeca based on, you know, compound curve, that, that relationship. Do you have ideas on how you’ll differentiate or kind of like branch off into a different direction?

[00:27:36] [DYLAN] Yeah, I just like philosophically, like, I feel like there’s like no shame in like, I guess like being like heavily inspired by other models. I think like, it only really makes sense to like, do something different if there’s actually a good reason why it’s better. And so I guess my answer to that question would be like, yeah, this system is like very flexible to like, where if someone thinks of like a different model, you know, the DAO can definitely migrate to that. But yeah, right now, like, I guess like for us, like the system works, um, and like nothing better than proposed yet.

[00:28:03] [BEN] Got it. Yeah. I tend to agree. It’s good to have a model that that is proven or that you’ve seen work. So the other question is this is a broad question. So how do you see the DAO evolving in the future from where you are now?

[00:28:18] [DYLAN] I guess. Uh, I think the big thing is that I think it’s just going to gradually decentralized. People who were like, I guess initial contributors or like currently like the largest contributors, I think over time, like the power will kind of like move towards other people would just become a more decent type system.

[00:28:34] I think it’s a path of like, pretty much any like DeFi protocol is that like, I guess, like you said with Andre right now, right? Or like you’re in is a good example of something where like, he was like the initial like contributor and then like over time, like, as it’s intended for a DAO, like there’s more important people who came and like are now sort of like maintaining that protocol. Yeah, I guess that’s like the main thing that I want to work towards.

[00:28:53] [BEN] Cool. Yeah. I feel like that’s a natural progression, you know, in fact actually, you know, something that we think a lot about, um, for Jupiter too, is how to, especially with regards to sort of, you know, tokenomics and things, how to make sure there’s space in the future to, to have room for it, to incentivize and, and bring on, you know, future contributors or people who want to lead on after you, if you decide to like, you know, not continue, you know?

[00:29:22] [DYLAN] Yeah. That’s definitely true.

[00:29:23] [BEN] And I think any protocols should be thinking like the same way, like how does this survive beyond you? You know?

[00:29:28] [DYLAN] Yup, exactly. Exactly. But yeah, it’s definitely a hard question because not like you said, like, I think the incentives for like someone to take on an existing project or contributing to the same project versus like creating their own right now, it doesn’t make as much sense.

[00:29:40] And then like when you ever, you talked about your centralization too, right? Like there’s like this like pretty fine, sort of, I guess kind of balance between like efficiency in moving fast and stuff. Like, I would say as we’ve like switched to like a DAO model, like we’re definitely moving slower because now like things actually have to go through a DAO boat and like, you know, things have to be like, I guess more formalized. Yeah. It’s all about balance and in timing, I think,

[00:30:02] [BEN] Oh, let’s talk about this because I think this is important. Like speed versus decentralized. Do you think there is a way to have both?

[00:30:13] [DYLAN] No, not really. Unless like the DAO basically, I guess, I don’t know. Like they appoint some guy to be like, like dictator or something or like the central leader, but I think in like a truly decentralized system where you’re trying to make things like democratic and up to voting.

[00:30:30] No. It’s like, you can’t really be like fast in that kind of system. I think like US like government or just governments in general, I think are a good example of that as well. Yeah. The more like different parties you have trying to make things more democratic, like the slower things are to, to actually happen. Yeah. So I’m going to conclude this unless like the DAO decided that they want like a single leader type model.

[00:30:51] [BEN] But you know, it could actually be, what about a single leader within a certain domain? Like someone to head up something like a project or?

[00:30:58] [DYLAN] Yeah, I think it’s actually interesting. Yeah. I thought about this one. Like, um, I think I was talking to like, like someone from squads when they’re talking about the physics, like idea of like some squads or something. Yeah, I think it’s pretty interesting actually, where I guess I did like delegating someone to, to serve a specific role and like having them, like, I guess have autonomy as long as it’s over that domain. Yeah. I think that’s very interesting.

[00:31:18] [BEN] Gosh, I just, this just reminds me of, um, you know, I used to live in San Francisco a while ago and San Francisco is a mess of governance. For me, one of the problems has been that people vote on every little thing. It’s like, you know, as a collective, how can, you know, the nuances of every little decision to make the right choice?

[00:31:41] You know, it’s like, I don’t know. I, it feels weird. Yeah, definitely. And what’s interesting is there was actually a time in San Francisco’s history where they sort of had like a CEO or basically like an operations manager that oversaw everything. This is a long time ago, but when they did actually that there was a brief period where San Francisco ran pretty well. I mean, this is like way before my time. And then I dunno, for some reason got rid of that role.

[00:32:10] [DYLAN] Yeah, definitely makes sense. I mean, I think there’s a reason why I like companies like have a CEO. Right. And like, have like the structure they do is because like Stephanie more efficient when you have like a single, like leader who I guess like making the final decision, but like, even just as like, kind of like the governing person. I mean, I guess that’s another like side tangent point. We’ll just like, you know, like, I think a lot of people right now are thinking of DAOs as like startups, right? And like, I guess, you know, because like lugs or like venture back, like companies who end up like starting DAOs. Yeah. But I think like there’s a lot of differences between like what a DAO is versus like what a company is.

[00:32:44] Yeah. It’s like a, it’s a kind of, I guess like interesting, like I think people like think of company or think of DAOs too much as startups, when I think it should be thought of like a different mechanism altogether.

[00:32:54] [BEN] Yeah. I, you know, like actually something that, that, I mean, I spent a decent amount of time thinking about, you know, Jupiter and how, how to, um, but we will want Jupiter to become a DAO, you know?

[00:33:05] And I’m kind of, of the opinion that. I think there are things that are slow. Like, I mean, like there’s things you want to go fast, but there’s also things that need time, you know, and to see if those are the kinds of things that maybe would be the appropriate thing to, to run through a DAO, you know? Yeah.

[00:33:27] Like when I say slow, it’s like, you know, sometimes you don’t really know the answer or how to execute on something and it just needs like a lot more time for discussion and, and points of view. And, or maybe it’s just something that, you know, is just not critical. You know, it’s more of a supportive thing to the main thing.

[00:33:48] And I don’t know, I I’m trying to identify these things and see like, well, is this a good candidate for, I guess in my mind, I feel like becoming a DAO is not this instant thing. Feel free to argue with me against this. Okay. So I don’t even know if this is right, but I just feel like a part of me is like, well, I think we need to take a gradual approach, you know, gradually giving more power and responsibility to the DAO and then deciding like, what are those things? And, you know, and then have this, have this sort of roadmap to becoming a full DAO. Or maybe you should just rip off the band-aid and go full out, man. Like, I don’t know.

[00:34:29] [DYLAN] Yeah. I, I do think that, um, gradual makes the most sense. I mean, like I’m trying, I’m trying to think of like Saber, I think at this point, like pretty much all our functions are like pretty decentralized, um, like obviously the front end isn’t, but that’s just like, yeah, like that’s controlled by the front end.

[00:34:47] That’s not something that the DAO can control, like maybe the DAO can eventually like put this on the predator or something. I don’t, I don’t actually know how that works. But I think like when we were thinking of like how we wanted, the doubt also was kind of a gradual process of like some of these things are like really sensitive.

[00:35:01] Oh actually, like, I guess one other thing is like, you know, like creating some kind, like emergency DAO type power. That’s something that we did create. I don’t think we’ve ever used it, but like, just in case, like for most monitoring to a DAO like if something really bad happened that just like wasn’t foreseen, there is this like emergency DAO type function within Tribeca that like any DAO can, can enable or whatever. It’s not something that I think leave it we’ve enabled. And like had a re done. .

[00:35:23] [BEN] What does it do? What is this emergency DAO thing?

[00:35:27] [DYLAN] So I believe the way it works, like say that you need something get patched really quickly and like, you don’t want like something to go through, like a three-day vote. You can elect a certain like council to, uh, like basically, uh, I guess like have like really fast power and like, they could have like power over like a certain subset of things to. But it’s not something we set up for a Saber, but it is something that we were thinking of. Like that would probably be useful to exist, especially as people are going through a more transitionary period where certain things like they don’t want to necessarily give all the power up to the DAO. Cause like maybe something that really backed out into the protocol.

[00:36:00] [BEN] Wait and is this council or a group, is this preselected or does the DAO choose that council and then can turn it on when needed? Or how does that work?

[00:36:13] [DYLAN] Okay,it’s not super built out the way it works. It could be like pretty like fluid the way that we were intending it for it to work is like, it’s basically in Tribeca like, you can set like certain, like parameters of like, this is like, who is like creating the DAO and yeah, I guess like during the creation step, there’s like when you saw these people, but like, it can be changed later, like for, for governance reasons.

[00:36:35] Yeah. Okay. I actually, yeah, sorry. I’m not familiar with how this feature works. Like Ian would know it better than me, cause I’m pretty sure he’s the one who built it. Yeah. But it was something like that. Just like in case, like there was like some like emergency where like you need something to pass really fast.

[00:36:46] Like say for example, there’s like a breaking bug. And so you need to upgrade the program really fast because you don’t want to like lose money, like stuff like that.

[00:36:52] [BEN] Yeah. I think, I feel like the wormhole hack was a good case for this. I think they really had to get the validated nodes on the network to agree right. To shut off and stuff. So I think that’s a pretty legit case fast-acting powers.

[00:37:06] [DYLAN] Yeah. Yeah, exactly. But, um, yeah. I, I guess like the reason that we haven’t really turned it on is because like, as you can imagine, like, it’s kind of like something that kind of negates, like the segments of DAO, right?

[00:37:15] Like it makes it like if there is this like power. Yeah. Like, like, I guess it like overpower the DAO in some way. Like, you don’t really want that. So maybe there’s like some balance. I’ll be, how can we implement it in a way that’s like restricted towards like certain functions and I’m just like freaking everything or something. But I do think it’s like someone useful to, to have.

[00:37:32] [BEN] I mean, honestly, in these early days, I feel like if you don’t have something like probably getting, I mean, I feel like anything could happen, you know? Like we’re just, it’s so early man. Like I feel like these systems have not been really battle tested as much as they, I mean, we’re like really more the frontier phase.

[00:37:59] Cool. Like any other anecdotes you have around like, you know, the slowness of a DAO versus, you know, being able to move as fast as you could. Like, it sounds like you’ve gone through some slowdown there. Like, is there things you would have changed or done differently? You know, having gone through some of this, you know, DAO transition.

[00:38:17] [DYLAN] Yeah. It’s a good question. I think we did it at like a good time. Cause I think by the time we did it, like, we felt like, like, like in the early days at saber, like we definitely moving like really, really fast and like all these like new program upgrades. And I think, yeah, by the time that we like kind of migrate more to a DAO, we felt like pretty comfortable at our position.

[00:38:35] And that like, you know, even if we move a little bit slower, I don’t think it would compromise like our position within the Solana ecosystem. And yeah, I think like that thesis has been like pretty, pretty true. I think in general, like the way we think about like the protocol and like due to development is that like, there’s a pretty limited number of things that are, are still like super useful for us to like, are super useful for like, I guess like Saber, like as a protocol to like really do, unless like you want it to like pivot and expand to like things that it’s not.

[00:39:04] And so like, my focus has definitely been more around, like, how do we get like other participants to like, buy into Saber? Whether that’s through like stuff like stable coins participating in like saber war. And I think like the DAO has helped a lot with that because like now when we work with someone, like, say UST example, right? Like they can actually like create a proposal on like our saver doubts, like do certain things which, which they have. And I think the down model and like open sourcing and all this, like, I guess kind of like the extremely ethos towards like defi is definitely better when you’re moving towards the phase of focusing on like composability. And, and how do you integrate with other people and get other people to participate in your sort of network.

[00:39:42] [BEN] You know, I think this is a good topic. Cause I’ve been thinking about this, like DAO and engagement, you know, it seems like, I mean really one aspect of the saber wars and these gauges is just to drive engagement, you know, in the Dao. Are you seeing that, like when you look at sort of proposals that you write versus sort of the gauge voting?

[00:40:03] [DYLAN] Yeah. I don’t even think participation in governance could, could be better. I do think though, like the system has worked pretty effectively as far as like getting like big saber holders of the lock. It’s like race capital, like, yeah.

[00:40:16] Chris announced like a few months ago that they feed the other saber for five years, which is like really cool. And there’s other, like other big saber holders I’ve talked to who are planning to do the same thing and like be locked all their Saber. They see it as like really beneficial and like, and honestly just like really pop up for them to like participate in governance system. So yeah, I guess in that sense, like it, it definitely is working. I think that, sorry, I forgot like the initial question you asked kind of.

[00:40:40] [BEN] Oh, yeah. Yeah, for sure. Let me comment on that. I mean, I think the V lock thing is awesome. I think investors max locking their, their token is, I mean, the thing is it feels like a win-win situation, right?

[00:40:52] Like you’re signaling that you’re a longterm investor, which, you know, makes you a more attractive investor and then, you know, like you gain out in the end too, you know, it’s not a detriment to you, especially if you’re, if you truly believe in the long-term, you know?

[00:41:05] [DYLAN] Yeah. So actually a side point on that as well that we’ve been thinking about is. What if like, you know, when you’re doing VC and you’re, you’re raising a VCs, whatever, I think private rounds, like what if you do it as like a VE token, rather than a lock, rather than like this normal token? Because I think that main argument of like, why you put like no clear or like shorter clip is that you basically wants like have like some kind of building power in the DAO uh, cause like no VC, like if your base they’re gonna be like, oh yeah, we’re, you know, we’re going to dump or whatever.

[00:41:32] Right. Like they’re like, yeah, we’re gonna be long-term. And so the way to actually force like these investors to be long-term is like, if you raise in VE tokens, because then like would be impossible for them to dump. But yeah. They maintain building power, which I think is like, good.

[00:41:44] [BEN] You’re definitely going to find out which type of investors.

[00:41:47] [DYLAN] Yeah, exactly, exactly. That’s it. That’s the hard question.

[00:41:51] [BEN] Okay. So in short, the VE locking is definitely working. I guess my question was more participating in governance, like voting on proposals. Like how do you get that? I mean, are you seeing great engagement? Do you, it sounds like you think it could be better. Do you have ideas for how you can improve it?

[00:42:09] [DYLAN] Yeah. So, um, I think something really cool. Um, so this, this project called dialect, uh, I think they’re working on like entree notifications on Solana. Like they made this like Saber wars bot thing where you can actually say the percentage of people who are putting on gauges, like percentage of like total VE Saber.

[00:42:24] Yeah. Like they just posted one like an hour ago, it says like 64% of like votes committed. So 64% of like all VE Saber people when there’s like a day left on this vote, that is actually not bad. Like actually better than I thought it would be. I think stuff like this, like notifications is definitely good.

[00:42:39] And like, there’s a lot of teams working on this. Like dialect is one of them, but notifies another one who, who we’ve talked to on call eco X engage. So I think that would definitely help. Yeah. Like, I don’t think people are like checking like the Saber forms every day. Uh, like even I don’t like check them every day.

[00:42:53] So I think like that’s pretty useful. I really think that the main way to like increase voter participation is if there’s like an economic incentive. Which is like, what, like VE locking for like gauges does, for example, or like a bribe system within VE does. And so, yeah, I think really the only real way to incentivize people is like, they’re making money. So if there’s some like financial gain, then people will probably like participate in governance.

[00:43:18] [BEN] For sure for me personally, I do like what you said about the notifications and the social side. So I, I think, I think that’s a pretty good, like sort of maybe potential future direction is like just making it more social and maybe reputational.

[00:43:33] Well, I mean, probably just naturally, but you know, the, the more people know about something that may, you know, the more that they’ll maybe they’ll get engaged, but on the economic side, Are there some mechanics that are less like warlike, you know, can there be a mechanic where everyone wins?

[00:43:50] [DYLAN] No, I, I don’t. I think just in general, in like life, like not everyone can win. There are definitely things where like you can work together and like, w like not everything I guess is like super like zero sum. But if you think of the NSA, like, if you’re thinking about like finance, Like game theory and tokenomics structure incentives.

[00:44:09] Like there definitely is some incentive that makes it so like there’s winners and losers. Like that’s just like financial markets in general. So, yeah, I mean, uh, I can’t really see a system, but I do think there’s like things that could be done, maybe that like, have like better like overall set of structures, but not in a way where it’s like every single person can kind of win at the same time, if that makes sense.

[00:44:31] [BEN] Yeah. Yeah. No, it makes sense. Or you could, I mean, if you did tie it to participation, maybe there’s just a simple thing. Like the more you participate, the more, the more you capture of the wealth, you know?

[00:44:43] [DYLAN] Oh, Yeah, that could be interesting. Yeah. I just, I can, in any like situation where people are doing something like a financial benefit, like it’s hard to see a scenario where there’s not someone on the other side who’s like not, or maybe not even losing, but just like not winning as much. Yeah, I don’t, I guess like interesting to see different design things like that.

[00:45:04] [BEN] I just always wonder, you know, I’ve worked in gaming before and I did a social gaming company and our game was a zero sum war game. And the unfortunate aspect of that one, which was hard to overcome as that with a zero sum means you have losers, which means they churn out and, you know, once your churn beats your growth, like you’re flatline.

[00:45:27] I always think about that. And actually what ended up happening with all social games is that they all moved to, this is why you always see P versus email. Like nobody does like, you know, zero sounds good. Cause you know, psychology is like everyone wants to be a winner.

[00:45:43] [DYLAN] No, it makes sense. Fun. I think also, I mean, it goes back to your earlier point too, which is that like, if the DAO is like very concentrated towards like a single, like stablecoin winning or like this, the saber where they’re concentrated into that.

[00:45:55] Does it actually, you know, make it so like, people don’t wanna participate anymore. Like, you know, people think like, oh, like I’m too far behind. Like, there’s no way that like, you know, like me, like getting this like Saber, like VE Saber would even count, because this person has so much, like there’s a balance and it’s something like we’re gonna keep in mind…

[00:46:10] [BEN] Yeah,. I mean, honestly, this sounds like game design, like, uh, you know, you always trying to make sure that no one’s too far ahead, you know, where like everyone else quits, so everyone’s sort of within range and could be actually the best design games. Yeah. The reason why people like settlers of Catan and everything is because there’s always, even if someone’s ahead, there’s always a possibility you can beat them.

[00:46:35] And as long as you have that hope you stay, you can stick it. You’ll you’ll stay in. Yeah. You’ll stay makes lot of sense. Cool. Awesome. We’re just about at the one hour, mark, this has been an awesome conversation, man. Really loved everything you shared, anything you want to just share with the rest of everyone listening about like anything upcoming or excited about, or, um, yeah.

[00:46:55] [DYLAN] So in terms of like Tribeca stuff, So there’s a new contributor now focusing on running a lot of documentation for Tribeca. Like I guess probably the hardest part of using right now is that like, you probably have to talk to like one of the people who like helped build it, because I was just like, very like sparse docs, but yeah, hopefully that, that will make things easier for the integrate.

[00:47:14] And I guess in general, like if you are interested in grading Tribeca and using the system, like that makes feel free to reach out to me and yeah, like we can like help provide support. Very excited to like, like if you want to help contribute to like improving the front end or improving the contracts or building new features. Yeah. It’s definitely like, I’d say one of the big reasons why we open source in the first place.

[00:47:33] [BEN] Yeah. Awesome, man. I can’t agree more. You know, having done, I did our SDK docs or version of them and they’re like incredibly helpful for sure. So, yeah. If anyone is interested, I hardly recommend helping out.

[00:47:49] It’s a, I mean, Tribeca is going to be something I feel like everyone’s going to use so awesome, man. Well, thanks for coming on. Thanks everyone for tuning in. I think this has been great. So we’ll be doing more so on a sort of infrastructure ecosystem AMS, and the next one will be next week on analytics. So thank you everyone. Thanks. Awesome. All right, everyone have a good night and we’ll see you at the next one.

[00:48:20] I’m Ben Chow and you’ve been listening to Exploring Solana with Jupiter. Thanks so much for listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, subscribe and let us know by rating.