After launch, the new Cardano-based DAO creation and management toolkit, The Summon Platform, has gained the attention of DAO advocates across the blockchain world.
CryptoPotato sat down with its four co-founders The Summon platform: Adam Rusch, Ph.D., president of the non-profit Summon Association, Thomas “TCT” DiMatteo, CEO of Summon Labs, Riley Kilgore, CTO of Summon Labs, and Matthew Bowen, Esq, general counsel of Summon Labs.
Our conversation took place on August 2.
Since the Summon platform was announced two weeks ago, there has been a lot of interest from the blockchain media as well as the mainstream tech media. Would you help our readers understand how Summon appeared with such apparent momentum?
It has been exciting to see that the Summon platform has been extremely well received, and everyone from our core team to the wider Cardano and blockchain community has seen the platform as a key piece of infrastructure.
The Summon team grew out of the Cardano community and through ADAO, the first DAO on the Cardano blockchain, so we’ve been able to prove ourselves and earn the trust of the community over the past year through all the open source work we’ve done. Over the past year, the team has been working deep on infrastructure and core foundations to enable things like the Summon platform. In early 2022 we released Cardano’s first multi-point wallet and the community loved it.
It was finally easy for a small group of people to manage collective funds. We then built a token staking gateway based on smart contracts so that projects can reward their holders without the need for a trusted third party. These Dapps, along with the nearly 40 other open source repositories on our GitHub, have earned us a trusted place as community-first creators, and the Summon platform is no different.
Our momentum is probably due to this huge advantage we have compared to some other groups that are brand new to the ecosystem. Cardano has a smart and critical community. They are not afraid to ask tough questions. We appreciate this feature and always rise to the occasion. We are fortunate to have gained a lot of critical knowledge, which is gathered in The Summon Platform.
According to your various recent announcements, here are two organizations responsible for The Summon Platform: Summon Association and Summon Labs. Can you analyze this model?
We follow an ecosystem development model that has a non-profit association working with development companies to bring the platform to life. The Summon Association was created to maintain the brand and identity of the platform, distribute the tokens that will govern the platform, and coordinate work within the ecosystem. We have contracted Summon Labs to be the core developers, but the most important parts of the platform will always be open source, and we hope to attract more developers to contribute and build on them.
A strong theme running through your various announcements and medium posts is ease of use.
Right, as Thomas said, in terms of building an ecosystem, our team has contributed extensively to non-DAO tools to empower anyone and everyone to develop.
Ease of use is definitely at the forefront of our minds. We believe user-friendliness is required for integration, and the Cardano ecosystem is sometimes perceived as not user-friendly by some other ecosystems. So the easier we make it for people and organizations in every sense of the word, the better we can help them harness the power of blockchain.
We believe it is essential to give the user not only ease of use, but also the power over when to use the tools we work with. We make sure to strike the right balance between making it easy for people to use and giving them the most power possible. The most possible control over their own funds and their own systems, their own DAOs. So they always know that if they start a DAO with us, they’re still in control. They can take it anywhere else, and we’re here to help them with their DAO. We are not here to audit their DAO.
Would you explain the SUMMON token and its role in The Summon Platform?
The SUMMON token will serve as the governance token for the Summon DAO. While Summon is primarily a platformer and will continue to serve its purpose as such, it is also controllable. The potential for the future of the platform and tokens is directly based on the sentiment of users who choose to cast their vote on Summon DAO.
By holding SUMMON tokens, you will have a direct say in how the Summon platform ecosystem develops and operates because it is a governance token. And personally, as president of the Summon Association, I’m excited about the idea that there will be DAOs that have seats at the Summon convention. There will be DAOs that have SUMMON tokens and will be recognized by the Summon convention. This is a kind of model that we really haven’t seen before – that a DAO would be represented in a real, physical organization. And it will be really cool when the DAO members vote on who the representative is.
I think most DAOs on Cardano will use Summon as a way to interact with the Cardano blockchain. I think with that said, you will be able to have a big influence on how people interact with DAOs on Cardano. Simply by governing the Summon ecosystem.
Maybe we can zoom in and hear your thoughts on the whole idea of DAOs?
DAOs, or Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, are a new form of organization made possible by blockchain technology, accelerating their adoption along with the emergence of web3 culture into the mainstream. DAOs are decentralized, meaning they are not centrally controlled by any entity.
Instead, DAOs are governed by the collective decisions of their members, which are usually represented by tokens on the blockchain.
Because DAOs are a relatively new phenomenon, there is no legal framework specifically addressing them. As a result, DAOs must navigate a complex legal landscape with little guidance. This can be difficult, particularly in jurisdictions where DAOs are not formally recognized by law.
In addition, the lack of official recognition can make it difficult for DAOs to access traditional financial services and markets. Despite these challenges, DAOs offer a unique governance model that holds promise for the future.
The Summon Association has engaged global experts on how to best structure a DAO in order to minimize exposure to regulatory risks while maximizing the benefits of decentralization. However, because DAOs are still relatively new, there is still a lot of uncertainty about how they will be treated by regulators in the future. As such, DAOs seeking regulatory compliance may face challenges navigating the existing legal-regulatory landscape and should consult timely with blockchain-savvy legal counsel for advice on best practices and risk mitigation strategies appropriate for their your particular circumstances.
I’m interested to know why you chose Cardano as your blockchain ecosystem? And does The Summon Platform have a vision for a cross-chain future?
The Cardano blockchain leverages a new consensus mechanism that enables all the benefits of Proof of Stake while allowing users’ funds to remain safe in their wallets, whereas most Proof of Stake systems require something known as slashing. In addition, the e-UTxO model enables transaction determinism and an extremely high level of synchronization.
I’ve been working with Plutus since before it went live on Cardano’s testnet or mainnet. I’ve been working on it since before it was finalized in the specs. I have personally contributed to many different underlying tool sets in Cardano.
My belief is that Cardano is the right blockchain model, but we plan to do cross-chain. We will continue to prioritize Cardano, but I believe it is likely that we will soon target the Algorand and EVM chains as well.
Thanks so much for this discussion guys. Any last words?
At launch, the Summon platform will be the prominent way to create a DAO, coordinate governance, and interact with DeFi primitives on Cardano. We are excited to offer this service to the community and hope more people will join us to expand the ecosystem in a way that provides an opportunity for everyone, especially those who feel left out of traditional systems.
The Summon Platform’s “Community Token Distribution” of SUMMON governance tokens took place on Monday, August 3, 2022. For more information about the Summon Platform, visit summonplatform.io.
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