Decentralization is quickly becoming more than just a pipe-dream. It has crossed into the realm where technology meets social philosophy and integral psychology. It has become a word of great gravity, sounding world-changing echoes of equality through all governments, classes, sexes, and races of humanity. The decentralized nature of some blockchain protocols are changing the previously accepted power structure and enabling a better form of democracy. This is why Spl.yt aims for decentralization.
W.B. Yeats wrote in his poem “The Second Coming,” “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold,”. He was speaking of a great disruption. And disruption is exactly what decentralization will bring to so many legacy establishments worldwide, from finance — the first and most obvious use case, begun with Bitcoin — to healthcare records, supply chain management, travel, real estate, voting, energy, verification of hard assets and in the case of Spl.yt, e-commerce.
Yet instead of things falling apart, we are seeing them come together. As decentralized blockchain structures have demonstrated, an ecosystem’s strength can be increased by its lack of central authority, allowing the sum of its parts greater transparency, security and accountability. Possibly most important for commerce, blockchain ecosystems empower individuals with direct peer to peer (P2P) interaction and exchange, mitigating the need for the red tape and added costs of middlemen. And with this new accessibility for individuals to directly connect and transact in an orderly fashion, we are seeing the additional benefits of lowered costs, increased security, and a future ripe for innovative products.
With these thoughts in mind, Spl.yt is dedicated to maintaining a decentralized development and management of its ecosystem. But what exactly is the best way to initiate growth in a decentralized fashion? The following highlights some of our plans on how Spl.yt will achieve decentralization:
- Non-Profit Orientation — A truly decentralized project must be structured so that all stakeholders’ interests are aligned with the product’s benefit. Entities who exist to maximize profits and revenues are frequently manipulated to meet those ends, rather than focusing on driving the network effect through meeting user needs. For these reasons, the Spl.yt Core Foundation is a non-profit company so it can focus on making Spl.yt the best e-commerce system without concern of undue influence.
- HAIKU— A Holocratic Autonomously Incentivized Kaizen Utility (“HAIKU”) helps bridge the gap between an initial team with centralized control and a product that is ultimately governed and managed via decentralization. HAIKUs are a modified form of the investor protection contemplated by Vitalik Buterin. HAIKUs give users protections over their own rights and an ability to influence how a team performs, all through a smart contract mechanism. This mitigates the risk of 51% attacks traditionally represented by other DAOs while still leveraging those models’ crowd-sourced knowledge, participation, and natural centralization-resistance. Spl.yt is currently exploring and testing a modified HAIKU model to ensure the platform is already on the path to full decentralization at launch.
- Representation of All Parties — We believe systems built to coordinate many people’s behavior and transmit value are often better decentralized. A decentralized system must reflect the thoughts and interests of everyone involved.Therefore the interests of early adopters, developers, users, and anyone else involved have a chance to influence the direction without any single party accumulating veto power. At Spl.yt, we recognize that volatile utility tokens creates a situation where financial interests and users, and developers interests may clash over who directs outcomes. We are actively researching and developing methods to overcome this current market reality in a way that minimizes informational asymmetry between the parties to the greatest extent that is technically possible.
While Decentralization makes a lot of sense in blockchain protocols, we must remember that for most projects, decentralization is still a goal than reality. Full decentralization is difficult to achieve and even harder still to maintain. Decentralized networks are a paradigm shift from what we have been accustomed to since the beginning of human history. Thus, it will be as much a change in how behavior is influenced as much as just a technical process that needs to be worked on and improved every day. Spl.yt is committed to this process as we believe that while decentralization is possibly the most difficult route to pursue, it is ultimately the best path for the greater benefit of its users.
We look forward to working with our users, contributors, and the rest of the blockchain community as we all explore how to truly achieve decentralization.