Introducing Historians DAO

0x9428
July 4th, 2021

$HASH has since grown from its debut a few months back into a project well beyond just collectible generative art. Highlighted in an earlier post, we have broad ambitions for $HASH to be a community driven effort to archive + curate Ethereum history. To that effort, we have enabled users to add 'annotations' to $HASH NFTs, allowing the story captured in each txhash to spill into the $HASH-verse.

Annotations populate on other NFT platforms
Annotations populate on other NFT platforms

Annotations, today, are largely created because of owners intentions to enrich their own $HASH NFTs. Self-annotation has worked well with about 800 annotations already written by the community, but does leave for some undesired effects. Owners can maliciously write annotations that suggest the $HASH represents something it doesn't. The interpretations of history can be vague or dubious due to lack of due diligence.

Also, the high barrier of entry to writing $HASH annotations presents an issue for growing $HASH to a broader audience. Writers of annotations typically need deep know-how of reading Ethereum transactions and context of the happenings around the transaction to write a good annotation. As the Ethereum space grows, $HASH will become harder and harder to grok as the history it captures become more nuanced.

Thinking deeply about how we can address the issues, it became clear that we need to find ways to incentivize the specialization of archiving and writing about Ethereum history. i.e we need a class of community members that act as historians.

Enter the Historians DAO, a group of historians that will work together to establish the accuracy of annotations.

The DAO will be granted powers within the $HASH community to voice their opinion upon the accuracy of annotations created by users. The members of the DAO will deliberate amongst each other and form verdicts that will be propagated throughout the $HASH-verse. Such deliberation and actions are all public, found on Discord.

With the DAO, we can create a flywheel of specialization and reputation building for historians. As historians voice their verdict on the quality of annotations, they become subject-matter experts and build their reputation. As they continue to build their presence as a historian, their reputation and the DAO's reputation grows, and their verdicts become ever more important in the $HASH-verse.

As the flywheel of expertise + reputations builds, we believe an economic layer can be created in the near future where historians' skills and experience can be contracted out (write the annotation for owners or help hunt for txns). As it becomes more and more economically feasibly to be a historian, they are empowered to develop their expertise and continue to build their reputation.


To begin this flywheel, we have onboarded the inaugural group of historians; chosen by POB studios because of their contribution and interest in the $HASH project since its debut. We believe they have the right intentions and ambitions to see through the vision described earlier.

They will be working together to adjudicate $HASH annotations via the 'verdict' model, inspired by traditional tribunal decision making bodies.

Any historian can write their 'opinion' on a specific $HASH annotation. If a historian disagrees with the opinion, they can abstain from 'upvoting' the opinion and write a competing 'opinion' on the same annotation. Like the US supreme court deciding upon cases, a majority and dissenting 'opinion' can both coexist.

Whenever an 'opinion' reaches the threshold of votes, which is currently set at simple majority of the historians in the DAO, it can be submitted on-chain and distributed as the canonical opinion provided by the $HASH historians DAO.

We hope this model enables $HASH historians to develop their own norms and precedent when adjudicating annotations. They can scope their own jurisdiction as a judicial body and rely on specific opinions written for other annotations as precedent when deciding to take on new 'cases'. This is left entirely left up to the historians to decide how best to build their reputation within the community.

As of now, the DAO can issue opinions with two broad options: 'verified' or 'disputed'. A 'verified' verdict from an opinion would imply the accuracy of the annotation. A disputed verdict would suggest a factual inconsistency found by the historians. In the future, decided by the historians, they can create new options as to what their opinion is saying. For example, a 'plagiarized' verdict can be used to help black list annotations that are found to be copied from somewhere else and taken as their own writing.

Because opinions can work against the annotation writer's intention, we allow anybody to submit the opinion (once it reaches the vote threshold) to the blockchain. This means that if the owner has no intention to submit the verdict on-chain, another figure can do so for the benefit of the community. Currently POB studios is doing just that for those unique cases.

With the inaugural historian DAO, we hope that this body of experts can work to net-benefit the $HASH-verse as well as build their reputation. As the community grows, we can see the DAO grow to accommodate the demands.

Like many traditional judicial systems, the historians DAO can appoint historians to lower 'courts' where they have a scoped jurisdiction. These lower courts can specialize in specific histories like 'NFT trades', 'Defi history', 'Hacks' and offer their opinion. If their opinion is disagreed upon by the writer or owner of the $HASH NFT, the DAO can create an appeals process to bring the case to a higher court.

We are largely leaving these ambitions for a future date to explore and develop. For now, we will have one sitting panel of historians working on all spans of history.

FAQ

How do I get a verdict for my $HASH?

As of right now, there is no formal process to ask for a verdict. You will need to go on discord (channel #request-verdict) and ask for a $HASH historian to write one for you. We will largely leave this to the historians to figure out what is the best way to take requests.

What happens if I get a disputed verdict?

If you receive a disputed verdict, you can take their input and correct your annotation and resubmit for a new verdict.

Are historians economically compensated?

As of now no, we are exploring economic layers in the $HASH ecosystem to incentivize their continued work. For now, we hope that the intentions of reputation building is enough. We are working actively to create the right economic/token alignment for the DAO.

How can historians be added or removed?

Currently the DAO members will largely decide on the membership requirements. In the future, we may give this right to decide membership to $HASH holders.

Can historians be wrong with their verdict?

Absolutely, there is no economic model to prevent it in the same way that a court doesn't decide upon absolute accuracy but instead on the interpretations of prior art and experience. We chose the inaugural members because they have showed the skills and interest to be a historian.


We are super excited about the Historians DAO, it is a key first step towards building $HASH as the library of Ethereum. With this, there is a TON more ambition for growing the DAO to come and we are excited to share those features with you in the future. For now, we hope this DAO will kickstart a critical need in the community: deciding upon the accuracy of $HASH history.

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