On governance, safety and controlled removal of unwanted, centralised power

Sep 30, 2020

Fetch.ai decentralises the active parts of the economy: autonomous economic agents representing data, hardware, people, devices and more all co-operating to solve problems for you. From transportation, through energy, self-driving vehicles, supply chains and hospitality, these agents work seamlessly, tirelessly, and get things done free of human intervention.

Best laid plans

As part of our incentivised test-nets, and the up-coming mainnet version 2, we are super excited to get the wraps off this process: submission and voting on these important decisions and publishing, refining and implementing the start of this future governance.

The lightest of clouds, but lined in silver

One of the key issues is that of staking. Version 2 of our staking contract, originally due for release on the 1st October 2020, is a major step forwards for us: it enables participation in incentivised testnets, provides the connection between ERC20 FET and our testnet tokens and development, and is a huge leap towards increasing utility of the FET token for everyone. It’s flexible, powerful, and works for you: but there’s one small catch — if we upgrade the token’s smart contract, we have to stop and restart staking. This would never have been an issue with our previous plan, as we’d have done that anyway when we moved to mainnet v2. But for now should we decide to perform this upgrade, it represents a major inconvenience for our users, particularly the increasing number of developers. As a result, we’ve taken the decision to pause the launch of staking v2 for just a short period of time — a matter of a week or three — whilst we do what needs to be done.

The immediate steps

So what does need to be done? Firstly, nowhere in the history of the human race did any situation ever improve when those involved decided to panic. Knee-jerk reactions rarely lead to good outcomes, and it is vitally important to us — as it always has been — to do the right thing. That’s the right thing from a legal and regulatory perspective, the right thing for all our partners, the right thing for all those that support us at exchanges, and the right thing for our rapidly growing community of builders, supporters and HODLers.

Now it gets even more exciting

This is an incredibly exciting time for Fetch.ai. Our new staking, all the amazing things built using agents in zoning, delivery, hospitality and more, new user interfaces and tools to make it easy for everyone, our incentivised testnets, new partnerships…it’s shaping up to be a great end to the strangest of years.

We will keep you all posted on progress. We’re doing this and reaching a decision as fast as we can, but not so fast that we drop any of the many balls that we have to hold. For those of you holding FET on exchanges and in your own wallets, an upgrade would be seamless for you, except a brief pause/resume in deposits and withdrawals in the case of exchanges. If you’re in our existing Fetch.ai staking that ended a month ago, then it’s worth getting around to taking your tokens out as soon as you can do so.

Onwards and upwards, and as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy puts so perfectly: don’t panic. Because in this case, there’s no need to. It’s a good thing, like when a Christmas present turns up a couple of months before you expected.

More on the details, but with less waffle, here.