When the SKALE Labs team set out on our mission in 2017, we had a very clear plan and vision.
The first phase of this plan involved the architecting, building, and testing of a novel decentralized technology known as the SKALE Network. After this was completed, the second phase was to erect a Foundation which fostered a community around the promulgation and support of the SKALE Network. With this second phase, SKALE would be involved in the transfer of all assets relating to the SKALE Network to this Foundation. This transition would signify a point in the technology’s stability at which it would be able to be open sourced and run by the community which supports it, instead of a traditional corporation.
It is with great pride that I can announce that after thousands of hours of hard work and effort from the entire team, we are now ready to transition into phase two. Today, we open the GitHub repos for the SKALE Network and launch the NODE Foundation.
Why Open Source Now?
Over the past few months, we've (naturally) received a multitude of questions from the community around dates of our open sourcing and why it hadn't already occurred. The short answer is that the time is right now as we plan to launch the network this summer. We also needed time and space to plan, make mistakes, and correct them over the last 18 months.
Once you have open sourced, you are owned by the community. And while this is definitely the right way to improve and battle-test the technology, it creates enormous challenges during early development. Being fully open without a strong baseline of stable work that others can build on can lead to the stymying (and potential failure) of a project — something we’re all too familiar with in the blockchain space.
And with this approach, we've definitely received a lot of criticism and slowed our growth and market awareness. But we did it with intention and emphasis on prioritizing long-term benefits over short-term growth.
The Need for the NODE Foundation
The Network of Decentralized Economics (NODE, for short), a Liechtenstein Foundation, has been created to carry out the mission of fostering a strong community of people and businesses to both leverage and contribute to the SKALE Network. To ensure the longevity of the Foundation, it has been allocated a percentage of the total pool of SKL tokens vesting over a 7 year period to provide it with a budget and resources to fulfill its mission.
The Foundation will be supported by a diverse set of Network Representatives comprised of dApp Developers who run SKALE Chains, Validators who run SKALE Nodes, Independents such as investors that helped kickstart the network economics, and developers/representatives that actively build, maintain, and evolve the code base.
While these representatives will be selected by the Foundation initially, future elections will be held via a variant of on-chain voting by token holders. These representatives will serve to the community through the facilitation of on-chain voting, grants, and budget/treasury decisions.
We feel this model will bring agility, efficiency, and organization to the SKALE Network without compromising on decentralization. It is designed to be grounded by core economic factors (such as an un-alterable total supply), but with enough flexibility to be able to evolve over time, as more individuals and businesses join the ecosystem
The Path Forward for SKALE Labs
While SKALE Labs is handing over all assets related to the SKALE Network to the Foundation, not much is changing relating to our operation and active role in the continued support of the network. We will still be regularly contributing and maintaining to the SKALE Network repositories as well as fostering and supporting the community.
What does change, though, is our relationship to the network. As of this week, the SKALE Labs team will no longer be the owners of the network. Today marks the beginning of SKALE Labs' contracting engagement with the Foundation. This engagement will be overseen and managed by the Foundation's Network Representatives to ensure decentralization, community goals, and vision are always made top priority.
We're excited to see where things go and are ecstatic to finally be able to show you what we've been working on. Although a lot of hard work has been put into this, we know that nothing is perfect, and look forward to the community taking the foundation we’ve laid out and improving it.
SKALE’s mission is to make it quick and easy to set up a cost-effective, high-performance Elastic Sidechains that run full-state smart contracts. We aim to deliver a performant experience to developers that offers speed and functionality without giving up security or decentralization. Follow us here on Telegram, Twitter, Discord, and sign up for updates via this form on the SKALE website.