Decentralization, like democracy, doesn’t work. It’s a nice catch-phrase that sounds good, and that’s part of the problem. People tend to go with what sounds good rather than what would be best over time. Nobody really wants others to decide on issues that they have little knowledge or understanding about, like having a stranger fill up your shopping cart in a grocery store.
In a decentralized project — what nearly every crypto project markets itself as— the costs and benefits for individual decision-makers are quite low. This results in unproductive behaviour and stasis, which can only be countered by secretly turning it into a centralized project working behind the more attractive ‘decentralized’ moniker.
The bigger a project (or nation) becomes, the less incentive each individual has to act in a meaningful way. This results in small, special-interest groups (e.g., devs or whales) who work to gain concentrated benefits while everyone else faces diffuse costs.
Democracy doesn’t work, but collective selfishness — a selfocracy — does. When we are able to agree on a common code for our selfish interests (like the US Bill of Rights of its Constitution did) then we can become far more functional as a society.
When we make selfish decisions instead of democractic ones, everyone is better overall. That is because people tend to take greater responsibility and care when costs or benefits are high for them, which doesn’t really happen when they do something for a larger group.
So, how can we codify our selfish interests in a way that actually benefits others?
The GovDAO protocol, called Avatar, is a way for people to self-organize around productive economies that they can extract value from. It allows for collective ownership and control of the means of production in a free market economy where everyone is acting in their own self interest.
With Avatar, people can look out for their own interests and what benefits them rather than trying to figure out what is best for everyone else and wasting time to service their needs.
- Inclusive: It allows anyone to participate in an economy of any size, and its governance. Compare with this standard blockchains where participation is difficult for most people who would need to purchase expensive mining equipment or hold lots of coins to meaningfully participate.
- Economically Sustainable: Avatar-based economies are backed by existing human productivity rather than debt. This can allow for sustainable Universal Basic Income (UBI) programs for governments everywhere.
- Encourages Deep Innovation: Participants are incentivized to innovate and develop new ideas and projects and channel those ideas into value-producing entities.
But before we talk about anything being ‘sustainable’ and ‘inclusive’ we need to talk about debt. Money is what drives the world, plain and simple. When money is based on debt, people are driven into poverty and despair.
Systems based on debt cannot be sustainable stores of value. DeFi is a good example of this, as wonderful as it is. DeFi copies unsustainable debt-based monetary models that are based on future promises of labor or value. Although it would not appear to any individual ‘degen’’ that they are servicing debt rather than creating credit for themselves, it is the only way DeFi works.
Avatar introduces a completely new kind of economic model that is based on value that already exists. This singularity can allow crypto, and economies in general, to be productive while being based on the reality of present value rather than the promise of future value. This is similar to the sound economies of our ancestors that were based on the real value of things like precious metals and livestock rather than debt.
DeFi, and blockchain in general, allow users to transfer value. Avatar allows users to produce value for their own economic benefit in a way that benefits others.
Making the World Better Through Selfishness and Greed
The goal of the Avatar protocol is to leverage our (let’s admit it) inherent selfishness and greed to improve how the world around us works. Such a method is, counterintuitively perhaps, our only hope to substantially improve the state of the world at this point in human history.
All too often, we select (and elect) persons that tell us what we want to hear but end up doing the opposite of what they had promised. With Avatar, we can make choices based on what works or what exists now. When people are competing against each other to show something that works better or is more useful right now, we can begin to make choices based on reality.
This is why the OPE, GOV, and UBI projects go far beyond crypto. It may, over time, change how the world works.