At Colony, we use the OKR method for setting quarterly goals and keeping our distributed team of 12 in sync and accountable. Below is our quarterly report on Q4 2017 and a look ahead at Q1 2018.

Peace out, Q4

Our goals for Q4 were focused on building and learning: the Colony Network, the dApp, the market.

To that end, we launched the second phase of our private beta and developed the foundations for the Colony Network, the dApp, and our JS library.

More beta testing

Our beta testing showed us two main issues with our token incentive model:

  1. It was too rigid—adding tokens upfront and not being able to change it posed a problem when deciding on the value of a piece of work.
  2. The token was meaningless—a result of the beta being deployed on a private testnet and not being able to publicly exchange tokens.

We improved our task workflow to make incentivizing and rewarding contributions easier and more flexible.

The problem of token meaninglessness is a tough nut to crack on a private testnet, but we implemented wallet functionality to give users control of their tokens, and placed the onus on the colony’s owner to make the token meaningful.

We’ll continue to maintain and learn from the beta. However like most apps built on Ethereum, our beta is hybrid of centralized and decentralized technology, and for us, that’s just not cricket. We believe that dApps should aspire to be fully decentralized.

Therefore, rather than continuing to develop our existing beta with this hybrid approach, our focus now is on removing the need for the server altogether, making Colony a fully decentralized application with a mainnet launch targeted for Q3 2018.

Mainnet beta will enable reputation, price discovery for a colony’s native token, and the ability to add incentives using any whitelisted currency (such as ETH, DAI, and the Colony Network token: CLNY).

If you want to try out the current beta, get in touch with Collin who can send you an invite.

Building the foundations for Colony dApp on Mainnet

Our focus has been on building the Colony Network (aka implementing the Colony whitepaper), finishing the dApp, and releasing the JS library.

Developing a dApp that is truly decentralized entails re-thinking some of the ‘trusty’ elements that are built into the current beta. Two major areas of research have been distributed databases and identity management, both of which currently depend on a hosted server.

In the distributed database world we’ve looked at Wolk, Fluence, Orbit-DB, and BigchainDB to name just a few. Each of these projects has a unique approach, and it’s important that we choose one that meets our specific requirements of compatibility and scalability going forward.

On the identity side of things, research has been focused on how to keep user accounts both recoverable and secure when interacting with the dApp. In the Colony protocol, reputation is non-transferable — that’s a feature, not a bug! Inability to send between accounts discourages the idea that reputation is fungible. However, in the unfortunate event of a lost key or compromised account, we want a user to still be able to recover their reputation score. uPortand the ERC725 are both promising solutions being considered for the fundamentally important challenge of robust identity management on Ethereum.

Speaking of reputation, Elena and Alex have been writing the smart contracts that will become the Colony Network. This entails carefully examining the functionality described in the Colony whitepaper and translating it to Solidity. Task creation, rewards, and reputation changes from task completion have been committed, and the Colony Network is moving steadily toward a public testnet launch.

Team Growth

Last quarter we welcomed these three handsome devils to our team: Tim, James, and D.A. as an advisor.

Talkin’ ‘bout Colony

Here are some articles and talks by us and others from last quarter.

Aron’s Devcon3 talk:

Article on our rep system:

Colony token sale contract:

Nick Neuman’s review of our whitepaper:

Oh hai, Q1

2018 is going to be a good year. Our main goals throughout this quarter are:

  1. Make Colony Open
  2. Run a Hackathon

Make Colony Open

The foundational work of beta testing, publishing the whitepaper, and manicuring our Github repos has put us in a spot where we feel ready to make Colony open. 🎉

This has always been the goal: Colony is to be a project owned by the people who build it. It was just a question of when.

Over the next 6 months, we will be taking steps to make Colony open, which includes:

1. Opening our repos

The Colony Network. Even before a testnet launch, it’ll be important to get fresh eyes on the contracts that will comprise the Colony Network. Ultimately, all functionality described in the whitepaper will need to be implemented in the contracts, and conversely, the detail of the implementation incorporated into the whitepaper. Alternatively, if something should work differently in the contracts than is expressed in the whitepaper, we’ll want to update the whitepaper to reflect that. This month we’ll do our best to remove all the inside jokes from the ColonyNetwork repo, and brush up the README to help welcome anyone who’d like to contribute to the most important part of Colony.

The Colony JS Library. Through Q4, we have been working on a library that allows developers to build their own applications on top of the Colony Network. When it’s finished, the library should have everything needed to either contribute to dApp development, or build a standalone app that interacts with the Colony Network.

2. Implementing a contribution mechanism + reward system for contributors

Colony is meant to be a platform that fairly rewards open collaboration. Concurrent with the opening of our repos, we’re going to implement a contribution mechanism to keep track of contributions to the dApp, Network, and JS library.

Colony Hackathon

To celebrate the release of the library, we’ve got some super secret plans for a distributed hackathon next quarter. We’ll be doing a lot of the prep work to run that effectively, including getting better dev docs (which also is necessary for making Colony open to community contributors), and interacting with the community on getting involved and working with Colony.

We’ll be publishing more on this, and open sourcing the library this quarter, so heads up for that. If you’re a developer and want to get involved, email us at [email protected].

Colony makes it easy for people all over the world to build organisations together, online.

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