November 5, 2022

Our perspective on the Eco Currency's roadmap

Upgrades to the Eco Protocol must flow through the community governance process. There is much to research and build; based on the Eco whitepaper and the ideas of the Ecommunity, we are supporting development efforts for several near- and longer-term updates to the system — always intended to make Eco more accessible, promote governance participation, and ultimately grow the Economy.

Near-term priorities

The coming weeks and months are all about governance — figuring it out, and doing it. They’re also about community organization, and about the beginnings of Economy building.

With that in mind, below is first a set of near-term initiatives across governance, community organization, and Economy-building that we intend to propose and support.

ECO and ECOx on Uniswap

While ECOx works natively as an ERC-20 token on Uniswap, ECO — because of its rebasing functionality — requires additional support to integrate. We expect a proposal for a code upgrade to the ECO token contract to come soon, which will make ECO compatible with Uniswap V2. Keep your eyes on the governance forum for more on this.

DeFi-focused token wrapper for ECO

Beyond Uniswap V2, there’s a broader solution available for integrating ECO into DeFi protocols — including Uniswap V3: a token wrapper. We expect a proposal for a wrapper contract which will abstract away ECO’s rebasing functionality to enable easy integration into other protocols.

Trustee elections and activation of monetary policy

An initial group of Trustees will be discussed and then subsequently proposed and voted on. Until Trustees are elected through community governance, monetary policy for ECO will not be active.

Eco Association grant-making

Eco Association will begin a grant-making program to support activities that grow the Economy. Setting the process and rules for submission and review — and making the initial grants happen — will be a near-term priority.

Gitcoin grant-making

In addition to direct Association grants, we anticipate supporting the setup of a Gitcoin Grants program for the Eco Protocol.

Snapshot and governance expansion

We think it’s important to enable a “temp check” version of governance, where proposals can be put to a non-binding vote before being proposed to the full community governance mechanism. We anticipate leveraging Snapshot for this initially.

Ecollectives

We have some ideas about how community members could pool voting power and form working groups — perhaps even powered by the Eco ID system. We like to call these “Ecollectives.” More to come on this soon.

Eco ID growth

Eco ID itself will be open-source, and we’re also looking to support libraries that make it easy to interact with Eco ID as either a verifier or a reader. Building out this system could serve as a powerful early use case for ECO, and is a necessary reputation and identity primitive for the long-term success of ECO.

With all of these, Eco Association plans to contribute by voting, adding developer and security resources, and generally helping the community organize — in addition to working with collaborators to research and submit some of the proposals.

Longer-term “roadmap”

Below are several potential system upgrades and areas of research, projecting beyond the immediate startup phase. As Eco is designed to evolve according to the preferences of its user base, it is difficult to predict a firm roadmap or sequence. However, it is possible to collect ideas in developmental “phases” based on broader trends.

Phase One

Everything listed above in the Near-term Priorities section, plus:

Eco distribution and usage partnerships

With the launch of the protocol, an array of distribution and usage partnerships for ECO will be revealed. The Eco Association plans to work on many of these, supporting the adoption of ECO — and would encourage everyone to consider ways to drive usage of ECO. Strong proposals will be considered for grants from the Eco Association.

Phase Two

Monetary policy upgrades

As Eco’s monetary policy system begins to function and we collect Economic data, there will be a number of opportunities to refine and improve monetary policy execution. There are already several that should be considered, including:

  • Upgrades to the random inflation distribution/claiming mechanism
  • Allowing linear supply changes to be take effect gradually out rather than all at once
  • Adjustments to the Trustee voting system
  • Adjustments to the default proposal values when starting each governance cycle
  • Targeted random inflation options (perhaps based on developing reputation credentials)
  • And much more…

Increased governance flexibility

At the outset, Eco’s governance mechanism is (intentionally) simplistic — anything can be upgraded, and only one proposal can advance to voting every two weeks. Making this more nuanced, including allowing separate timelines for community and monetary governance to proceed, will likely be necessary to making system governance more efficient.

Protocol funds streaming

Many use cases concerned with growing the Economy would benefit from a mechanism to “stream” ECO from one wallet to another — rather than sending it all at once. This is one of the places where “programmable money” is most compelling.

Non-custodial interface for using ECO

Building a non-custodial interface for using ECO — earning it, sending and receiving it, buying things with it, and more — will be critical. Eco Association may engage in this work directly, or may support grants to build this out if a sufficiently compelling proposal is put forth.

Ongoing Economic growth

This will be a theme forever — but continuing to grow ECO distribution and usage partnerships will be critical on every time scale.

State channels, rollups, and other scaling explorations

While launching Eco on Ethereum L1 is a well-considered decision, the time will come when Eco needs to support lower-fee modes of transaction. There are many explorations to make here — ranging from state channels to rollups to new chains and more. Some could be application specific.

Phase Three

Broad governance improvements

Beyond some of the ideas noted above, there will be many ways to improve Eco’s governance long-term. While we will all undoubtedly learn more as the system begins to perform, some of the major opportunities include:

  • Non-coin-voting governance, likely based on Eco ID
  • Iterations on the Ecollective concept, allowing people to pool their voting power and vote as a bloc Upgrades to delegation, including allowing more atomic delegation actions
  • Integrating Snapshot or other off-chain voting mechanisms more deeply
  • Considering narrowing the upgradability of the system as the system matures

Novel Economic designs

Might there be ways to issue even new tokens on top of the Eco Protocol (whether wrapping ECO or leveraging Eco IDs)? How could ECOx and ECO be used to support those initiatives? In the coming months, as we flesh some of these designs out, we look forward to sharing them.

Services for easy integration of ECO

It should be easy for any product to integrate ECO — as a reward layer, a payment mechanism, and more (even Eco ID as an identity layer). It will be key to build infrastructure to support such integrations, including, for example, rebase management and tax calculators. Some of this may be funded through grants.

Eco ID V2

While the initial Eco ID design is an excellent primitive, there will be ways to improve that over time. That might include negative attestations, mechanisms for coordinating signatures, integration of ECOx or ECO staking dynamics, and privacy-preserving functionality. There is a broad design space here around decentralized identity that we should all explore together.

Public goods funding mechanisms

Eco should, as a protocol, support the funding of public goods natively. The ability to do so in an economically-aligned way is one of the great promises of crypto, and Eco can do its part in making that happen.

Inter-protocol compatibility

There are many DeFi protocols that would be very interesting for Eco to integrate into with increasing economic activity. In the long run, every protocol should integrate with Eco.

Increased protocol utility for ECO and ECOx

Within the Eco Protocol itself, there are many places where ECO, and especially ECOx, should be used — streaming funds for conducting necessary system operations, securing and/or collateralizing certain use cases, and more.

Shielded and labeled transactions

Combining built-in privacy with some of the scalability explorations noted above is a natural fit. A further extension would be to allow for transactions that are shielded but also still labeled in some specific way to allow for information about them to be used for monetary policy decisions.

Conclusion

The above is just an initial list of some of the things that the Eco Currency protocol can look to leverage in the future. Eco Association will be working to support many of these possibilities, and we invite you to begin to craft proposals, engage other participants, and move towards this future. There’s much to build, and it’s just the beginning.