Starting a conversation with the Fingerprints Community
Over the last few months I’ve been thinking a lot about how Fingerprints and other non-protocol DAOs should organize. The only path forward for Fingerprints to remain true to its original vision is to radically embrace decentralization.
I changed my mind on this instance. I used to think it was maybe necessary for a non-protocol DAO like Fingerprints to accept some centralization in order to carry its multiple desired objectives.
Now I think this is backwards: Fingerprints should reduce its objectives to a number that can be carried out in a decentralized way, have the adequate structure to incentivize these objectives before trying to expand its goals and reach.
The onuses and bonuses of guiding the DAO should not fall entirely on the DAO team. It should be carried by the token holders — in our case, every PRINTS holder should carries the burden and the power proportional to their holdings.
I believe this added responsibility should also have the effect to increase the value of the token. Like an inverse Spider-Man quote: “With great responsibility comes great power”. In the case of an organization that holds such a valuable, genre-defining collection and has the ability to co-create valuable artwork, the power should more easily translate into value for the token.
My personal objective is to render myself dispensable to the DAO in the next few months. I believe this should also be the objective of other members who are currently key supporters of the main DAO activities. That doesn’t mean that I or any other key member should abandon the DAO, quite the contrary.
This only means that the DAO should be able to stand on its own — and in turn, I believe this will make the token holder position more valuable — and hence, PRINTS more valuable. Being less dependent on single individuals will transform our organization into an institution that can truly outlive any single person.
By having this goal, my personal objectives — and those of every team member who I believe should be granted a PRINTS holding proportional to their importance thus far — are better aligned with every other PRINTS tokenholder.
If we look from first principles, there are really three main activities in Fingerprints:
Maintenance and custody of the collection
Adding to the collection: i.e. buying new artwork
Launching new art projects in partnership with artists
Supporting activities to the above: Finance, Marketing and Community (a poorly defined activity of keeping the social aspect of Fingerprints healthy, fun and significant)
There are a few other activities, investments and incubations we have decided to do along the way, but the bulk of Fingerprints value and brand is concentrated here, so I’ll ignore the rest for now and focus my attention on these three.
Today I’ll speak on the collection, and during this week I’ll tackle the other two subjects in separate blog posts.
The Fingerprints Collection is the main reason for the DAO to exist. It started as a collective collection of Autoglyphs and expanded and defined a category-defining collection: blockchain art.
This curatorial thesis was not defined by me. It was DAO member Sam Spike, who first pointed out that the artworks using the blockchain as a medium would be historically important for both the crypto and art worlds. This was agreed by the early members, and we went on to collect many artworks that are truly defining a genre. The museum-level curation of Fingerprints still remains one of its key defining characteristics.
The activities in collecting include the maintenance and custody of the collected artworks — currently held in a multisig controlled by some of the largest PRINTS tokenholders — and the purchase of new artworks, currently decided by the Curation Committee with input from people involved in Finance (mostly for timing and sizing).
The main guideline to tackle decentralization in the curating activities is preservation. We need to be able to decentralize increasing both the security of the assets and guaranteeing the excellence in the curatorial decisions.
Luckily, out of the three activities (collecting, new projects and supporting activities), this is probably the area where this can be most easily done.
We need to tackle the issue of custody of the collection first. This would involve us moving from the multi-sig model.
This model was important for the first year of existence, because it gave us flexibility to explore and the ability to move quickly. But it’s time to establish on-chain governance over all collected artworks on the Fingerprints’ treasury. The $PRINTS holders should hold the ultimate power to control the assets in a direct way.
Next, we need to establish a clearer cadence and process for the committee to be elected. Again, the ultimate decision power over who should be part of the committee should also go the the PRINTS holders, in a detailed, well-establish process. The committee should hold the responsibility to keep our collection true to its thesis, and to keep the thesis itself relevant.
This is meant to be a conversation-starter, formalizing in a way some conversations I had with individual members. The appropriate way to conduce this decentralization effort, the organizational design to support it and all the relevant framework will be discussed in our Discourse (open to all) and our Discord (open to holders of 5k+ PRINTS)
Let’s continue the conversation tomorrow.