The Ethereum Foundation Should Be a DAO, Democracy Comes to Ethtrader and More in a Chat with Top Mod – Trustnodes

The Ethereum Foundation Should Be a DAO, Democracy Comes to Ethtrader and More in a Chat with Top Mod


Carl Larson looks the part. A bit geekish, a coder, and in charge of what has become one of the biggest crypto community space.

Ethtrader has managed to remain a fun, lively, gathering zone. Plenty of memories there and a lot of memes which might explode if eth goes 324.

It’s a bit of bitcoin mixed with dogecoin. All that seriousness and revolutionary spirit, mixed with outright silliness.

As top mod and founder of Ethtrader, Larson has undoubtedly played a great part in facilitating this online festival. Ethereum just would not be the same without the Ethtrader Woodstock.

We caught up to find out a bit more and found there’s two interesting experiments going on which may have implications far beyond the crypto space.

How did you get to establish the donuts?

Carl Larson: Reddit approached the sub with the possibility of hosting the Subreddit Points experiment. I had previously explored a similar idea (first called ethtrader dao, then recdao) so was pretty open to the idea and it turned into a collaboration.

Did they offer anything in return for it?


So what do you do, what’s your background?

Most recently a full stack developer. Now I’m working on ethtrader/daonuts full time.

And how you pay for that?

Well, I don’t really.

But someone is? How you funding it?

No, it’s not funded, except now that 300k donuts/week, but that is not really possible to turn into real money at the moment.

That suggests close collaboration with reddit admins no? They the ones issuing the donuts, so you hired by them?

Not sure what you mean. I talk occasionally with reddit devs. I have my own source of funds I suppose that can last a short while for this.

Let me understand, reddit issues the donuts, you manage them. You get a % from that management I guess?

No I get an allocation for being a mod. 13k/week like any other mod… that’s the allocation of donuts that the community has decided goes to mods vs distributed based on karma.

I think you’re probably best know for “representing” eth investors in the issuance “debate,” but before that how did you become top mod of r/ethtrader. Were you the first to register it or?

Yes, i registered it and have been in the community since early days (but not a headliner if you will).

So how did you get on that “debate.” Did you reach out to the Ethereum Foundation (EF) or they to you

Can’t remember. I authored the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) so that was probably why I was on the call.

And what did you think of that debate?

I think it was bullshit. We didn’t switch to 1 eth/block. the coinvote was largely ignored. And mostly “environmental” arguments were discarded for not being technical despite that being a primary reason to switch to Proof of Stake (PoS).

So, why do you think they were ignored?

Because devs rule ethereum.

I think you support ProgPOW?

Not a hill I’d die on but sure.

Why do you support it, do you mine?

No, I don’t mine. I think mainly because we should try to remain asic resistant. That was a design decision early on and don’t see reason to discard now. Conservative is to stick to those decisions. Also i think it won the coinvote, right.

What’s your analysis of what is being called Afrigate?

I like Afri and think he wasn’t treated very well. I’d be happy for devs to speak their minds. That said, I think the r/ethtrader community was also unfairly labeled as toxic based on really no evidence. It feels like it was a turning point though.

Do you think there should be a community split?

I think parity supporters are probably ready to get a bit dirty fighting for a bigger wedge of the pie. Like in the comment from Gavin and i think the stakes are high. Probably it will get nastier.

So then should there be vetting of r/ethtrader mods like you would if they’re say from eos?

You could put that up to a donut vote. If that’s what the community wants then it would be right.

You have no view on it?

I’m not sure we have vetting on eos. I would treat them the same. Also no way to know if a mod is lying

Are ethtrader mods voted in?

The last batch was yes… I wouldn’t vote for a mod who seemed primarily involved in eos, no, there’s not really any way of knowing anyway. We just have to take people on their actions and content which we should try to ensure is public and transparent.

If there’s votes, that’s interesting. Haven’t heard of them. When was the last vote?

[A link is provided]

That’s adding members. And for removing them? Is there some expiry term?

No expiry term, but a vote could remove mods too. Even me. [Links to a vote on Larson remaining as top mod.]

The Ethereum Foundation, what do you think of it?

EF is a little disappointing. Transparency not great. Messaging not great. Vitalik is great.

What exactly is disappointing about EF?

I would like the EF governed by a DAO. I would like the EF to promote Ethereum as a dapp platform/web3.


A DAO experiment for running the Ethereum Foundation sounds very interesting.

The way a DAO is meant to work is by participating eth effectively running the organization by deciding who gets paid how much and where funds should be sent.

It’s a simple idea in a way: separating management from ownership or possession of the funds, thus keeping them directly accountable. Yet in practice it is a very complex idea because no one has really done it before.

One crucial problem is security. A small bug and all the funds might be stolen. The solution to that is obviously don’t code bugs, something far easier said than done.

Yet it can be done. Bug free code is in fact possible. The longer such code runs live without exploitation, then presumably the more secure or the more bug free it is. So you start small, and gradually grow if it starts looking like the code is free of bugs.

Electing moderators is also a very interesting experiment. One problem however might be that the top mod has effectively absolute power. So someone could be elected as top mod and then cancel elections.

Reddit admins therefore might have to update the rules to allow them to intervene if elections are not abided.

Making it all a meeting of the old and the new as crypto experimentation goes beyond just money, to social media and the way we organize work itself.


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