Paribus: No More Crypto

Super Bowl Sunday

This weekend will see the 57th annual Super-Bowl in the US exactly a year since the infamous Crypto-Bowl. Last year many said it was a blow-off top indicator and time has shown how right they were.

For those that have hung on through the highs and lows of the past 12 months, the Crypto-Bowl seems like a distant memory. Despite all of the turmoils, upsets, and disasters crypto is still here and has weathered the storm well. Although most people’s portfolios are a fraction of what they were at the height of the bull run, the technology has proved to be resilient.

This time last year the space was awash with venture capital funding, people were preparing for mass adoption, and hopes were high. In the intervening months, the pride and arrogance of some led to catastrophic collapses that destroyed projects, investors, and exchanges.

This year’s Super-Bowl won’t feature Matt Damon advertising crypto, nor will it herald the top of the cycle. Instead, the battle-hardened communities and projects that have been built throughout the turmoil are preparing for the growth cycle ahead.

At Paribus we’ve come far despite this backdrop of drama. Each failure of centralized systems last year reinforced our desire to make Paribus as decentralized as possible.

Whether it was through malicious intent or incompetence, every significant failing in the space only gave regulators more reason to enforce their control. Being more closely aligned with the legacy financial system than blockchain technology the future direction of regulations became clear.

For these reasons, we decided to adjust our plans to emphasize the development of the vePBX governance token. As well as working on NFT loan integrations we understood the urgency to decentralize control of Paribus as soon as possible. Just as building a new protocol is fraught with challenges and difficulties so too is finding a way to decentralize control of the protocol in a future-proof and safe manner.

While the technical aspect of governance mechanics is fairly straightforward it raises many ethical and philosophical questions that aren’t easy to resolve. Power and control have a tendency to gather in the hands of a few people so we’re working on methods to avoid this outcome such as quadratic voting.

As Deniz, our CEO explained in a recent interview, “When you take the whole concept…and put it into governance it works really well”, adding, “I personally have seen a lot of votes swayed by whales and I didn’t want to see the same thing happen on Paribus…We can’t just give all the power to whales because that defeats the whole point of crypto and decentralization.”

As a theory decentralization sounds simple and logical, however in nature it only ever occurs through continuous effort. Anyone who has ever played the game Monopoly will understand that after a while one person usually becomes more dominant throughout the game, eventually winning.

A similar situation is playing out with the Ethereum and Bitcoin networks where there are concerns about the dominance of certain investors and institutions. With the Cardano network, there’s a continual emphasis on decentralization and a strong community that actively engages with methods to ensure this happens, such as favoring small stake pool operators.

A key differentiating factor that characterizes the approach Paribus takes is to learn from and rely upon others. Being the best to market is far more important to us than being the first, as we believe for longevity this approach is crucial.

That’s why we’re working on solutions to the governance issue now and taking the time to ensure our MVP is as secure as possible. At the time of writing Hacken is double-checking our most recent changes and all being well we’re aiming to release the MVP next week.

As Deniz said, “Our goal is to go live anywhere between 12–15th February…next week Wednesday to Friday is the potential go live date if things go well, which I think it will…That’s our plan.”

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