I helped launch the Honey cryptocurrency protocol while I was working at Aragon in 2020. I’m also the founder of 1Hive LLC, the legal entity which owns the 1Hive.org domain and administers the community forum, community discord server and community Github organization. I’ve contributed product strategy, project management, protocol design and analysis throughout 1Hive’s history. 1Hive LLC has consistently provided liquidity, participated in community governance, and continues to hold over 3000 Honey.
1Hive is one of the few decentralized autonomous organizations in existence. As a community we have experienced the irrational exuberance of a crypto bull market, and the thesis questioning reality of a prolonged bear market. As a community we have launched several products, including a decentralized exchange (Honeyswap), tooling for decentralized governance (Gardens), a bounty platform (Quests), and a decentralized oracle protocol for resolving disputes in optimistic games (Celeste). We have seen a market cap peak above 40M dollars, as well as a 95% drawdown. Despite what one might think from the current price of Honey, 1Hive is still very much alive as a community–we have contributors who are still consistently engaging in discussion and development and trying to figure out what comes next for 1Hive.
Some contributors might support one direction, but not another. Conviction voting enables proposals to pull in different directions even with minority support. This is one of the reasons why 1Hive feels more decentralized in practice even though it’s still much smaller than other projects. This is a unique strength of our governance model, but it can become a weakness if we aren’t sufficiently aligned at a high level. We need people to understand what we are doing, see that we are doing it well, and then if they like what they see to support us by choosing to buy honey and participate in governance, and/or accepting honey in exchange for work.
This document is my way of articulating my vision for 1Hive. It is the result of my experience contributing to the project over the years, and countless hours of thought about what I would like to see 1Hive become, and what I think is most important for us as a community to collaborate on at any given time.
How 1Hive is supposed to work
1Hive was inspired by Block Rewards in Bitcoin and Ethereum. If you’re unfamiliar with how those work you should take the time to read about them more in-depth, but a quick summary is that cryptocurrency reward is given to Miners (and later Validators in the case of Ethereum) each time they successfully produce a block. The reward create an incentive for individuals all over the world to act as block producers, and the decentralized protocol they follow ensures that blocks are regularly and reliably produced, and malicious or negligent participation is systematically punished.
1Hive essentially asks the question, what happens if we reward a broader range of contributions with a crypto currency than just block rewards? What if we could effectively reward developers for building and maintaining our core protocol? What if we can also reward content creators, community builders, project managers, governance participants, and all the other various roles which help cryptocurrency communities like Ethereum and Bitcoin thrive?
We created a protocol for decentralized resource allocation, which consists of conviction voting and a dispute resolution oracle. This has enabled us to distribute a native cryptocurrency to a broad range of contributors across a number of different projects in a way that is meaningfully and sufficiently decentralized.
The community has iterated on the Honey protocol over the years, but the idea has always been that we issue a cryptocurrency and distribute it to contributors, if the contributions are valuable to the community we expect that the value of the currency will increase, in turn increasing the rewards available for contributors, activating a fly-wheel effect that results in growth.
So far we’ve managed to distribute over 1M in funding directly to contributors all while operating in a more meaningfully decentralized fashion than just about any other “DAO”. However, we have not seen enough of a return from these allocations to be sustainable, let alone result in growth.
Where we have failed
I’m not sure if the above vision for how 1Hive should work is shared by everyone in the community, but I think it is fairly broadly agreed that the community does intend to grow the value of a community currency by investing in public or common goods that are relevant to the communities stakeholders.
I think our biggest failure has been a lack of value creation, or at least, we have failed to create a sufficient connection between the value of outflows and the value of the Honey currency. Its my opinion that isn’t due to a problem with the Honey protocol, though it is likely that the protocol could be improved, or at least re-parameterized.
Instead I think this has be due to a lack of the ability for us as a community to sufficiently articulate what we should be building and how that will impact the Honey economy. Projects like Gardens (v1), Celeste, and Quests, as well as improvements to the Honey protocol like streaming proposals, enable people to Use honey. However, simply being able to use Honey to participate in governance over Honey isn’t sufficient to drive significant demand for Honey.
We have tried to link the success of the open source projects the community has funded from the common pool to the value of Honey with some degree of success. A portion of protocol fees on Honeyswap are converted to Honey and returned to the 1Hive common pool, and Celeste requires Honey to be staked in order to participate as a keeper. However, neither of these projects has an active team with a credible plan for growth currently.
What we can and should do about it
Though even if we manage to fix those things, we would still need to attract community members and/or incubate projects that intend to leverage Honey in order to support and participate in the 1Hive community (see my thoughts on how we should use Quests more), and contributors (see my proposal for how we should use Streaming proposals and my proposal to update the community covenant).
Additionally I think we should be actively evaluating protocol parameters and making changes as needed to maximize the value of common pool outflows overtime. To help facilitate this I think we should consider making parameter governance continuous instead of discrete.
In terms of projects that should be a priority, I think we should focus on refining Celeste, marketing it as a solution for decentralized dataset curation and moderation, which I’ve started to work on in the context of Canon.
As the owner-operator of 1Hive LLC, I intend to continue to maintain the 1hive.org domain, these notes, and the 1Hive community discord server. I also actively participate in community discussions and governance, and will do my best to push 1Hive in the direction outlined above as I find the time and motivation to do so.
I’m currently focused on research related to machine learning and AI.
At this point my contributions to 1Hive are a relatively minor time commitment for me, however If you support this vision for 1Hive, consider supporting my work using Honey.
==Disclaimer: I’m writing these notes to articulate and contextualize my current vision for 1Hive, it may not always align with the vision of other members of the 1Hive community. This is intended to be an evergreen document, so the contents may change over time as I refine my thinking. I intend to keep it updated when my views on 1Hive change significantly, but it may not always reflect my most current thinking. Keep this in mind when choosing to link or reference this document.==