Holders of DATA, the utility token that powers the Streamr ecosystem, will be able to vote on Streamr protocol governance decisions starting on February 11, 2021. This marks a first step in empowering the Streamr community to make important decisions about the future of the project.
Decentralized governance allows anyone with a stake in the project to contribute to steering it. There is now a Streamr space on Snapshot, enabling the community of DATA holders to signal their opinions.
The governance process will kick off with two Streamr Improvement Proposals, SIP-1 and SIP-2.
SIP-1: Token migration to enable token economics
The main reason for the token migration is to double the hard-coded maximum supply from 1 to 2 billion DATA.
This does not change the circulating supply or market cap, nor will any new tokens be minted without passing a separate governance vote about each minting program specifically at a later time. The proposed change here is simply to technically enable such decisions to be taken by token holders in the future.
A controlled inflationary pool is a powerful tool to incentivize network participation, as seen in almost all blockchain networks including Bitcoin and Ethereum. In the DeFi space, there are many examples (e.g. UNI, CRV) where minted tokens have been used to energize the community, and often the growth has added ecosystem value orders of magnitude beyond the caused dilution. Token holders can also defend against inflation by participating in the related programs – participation being exactly the goal of the incentives.
Subsequent proposals will need to be drafted and voted upon for any tokens to be minted. That said, here are some potential use cases for such tokens.
- Bootstrapping the decentralized Streamr Network. Similar to yield farming in DeFi, minted tokens can act as early-adopter bonuses and help focus the community’s efforts. This would also enable nodes to be rewarded already in the Brubeck phase where the Network’s usage fee mechanisms don’t exist yet.
- Rewarding DATA holders for voting on governance proposals (such as this one)
- Incentivizing long-term maintenance and development of the Streamr codebase
- Incentivizing long-term ecosystem growth and building of applications beyond the lifespan of the current Data Fund.
The change to the hard cap is the only material change in the token migration. However, it is also an opportunity to do a few technical improvements which have appeared since the token launched in 2017, such as implementing ERC-677.
The practicalities of the migration
In the token migration, a new token smart contract will be deployed, and token holders can swap their existing tokens 1:1 for the new token at any time. The Streamr team will also notify exchanges and other custodial parties and encourage them to migrate the tokens in their custody.
The new token will adopt the DATA symbol, while the old token will be renamed to DATAv1. You will be able to migrate your DATAv1 tokens at any time.
SIP-2: Drop Canvas and Dashboard features for now
Streamr Canvases are microservices that consume and act upon real-time data, defined in a visual drag-and-drop editor. Dashboards are collections of visualization widgets extracted from Canvases. While they have proven to be useful tools in the ecosystem, maintaining the tooling in future milestones requires considerable resources. Besides, as the whole Streamr ecosystem moves towards decentralization as envisioned, the Canvases can hardly continue their centrally hosted existence.
The proposal is to remove the Canvas feature from the Streamr Core application and the associated API. The code will be archived into a fork for safekeeping.
Dropping Canvases will improve the Streamr team’s ability to focus on the essence of the project. Specialized tools and methods are already available to most developers and are often being used by them. For example:
- Node-RED is a popular tool for creating data-driven automation workflows, and it already supports Streamr.
- Chainlink and API3 are frameworks focusing on connecting data to smart contracts, with capabilities that go well beyond the simple oracles that can be built with Canvases.
Where can I go for further information?
There will be an AMA on the Streamr Discord server on 9.02.2021 ahead of the vote.