Tracheopteryx: The Path to the Future Must Go Beyond Hierarchical Top-Down Structures

Tracheopteryx, a co-founder of Coordinape, insists that "the path to the future" must be able to move beyond hierarchical top-down structures that come from business.

In traditional companies, the decision on compensation levels is typically made by an employee and a manager. In decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO), however, the circle of decision-makers for compensation can be quite small.

This article is part of / "Future of Work Week."

The question is, what if there was a way for the whole community of contributors to work together and decide on compensation openly.

Coordinape is a new platform,

Gift Circle, Coordinape's flagship product, was developed as a result of Yearn Finance's grant process. "It's a way to do decentralized retroactive compensation, and it's about deciding on compensation," said Tracheopteryx in an interview when describing the product.

"Tracheopteryx said that the future of labor needs to be able to break out of the top-down rigid, hierarchical structures we're familiar with from the corporate world. We need to create better ways for human minds to come together and think, and that's what Coordinape is trying to do. One of the ways in particular that Coordinape is taking on is compensation."

First, a user creates a group to determine who is eligible to receive GIVE tokens for working on a project with an income budget that is set aside for the contributors. During the working period and within their circle, contributors decide how many

GIVE tokens are the portion of a contributor's total compensation that will be allocated. For example, if a contributor receives 10% of all GIVE tokens from other contributors in their circle, they would receive 10% of their total compensation.

Zack Anderson, the co-founder of Coordinape, says that GIVE is a powerful reputation marker because of the money attached to it. The GIVE token says that a contributor should get some of this funding for his or her contribution to the project.

Zemm, co-founder of Coordinape, said that when a contributor is sending GIVE around, the individual worker chooses who to compensate and not to compensate, from their experience. The contributor's role in addition to working on the project is deciding who deserves those gifts from their experience.

Compensation is a topic that often comes up in discussions.

Coordinape’s Gift Circle is based on the idea that a group of contributors, who are doing the work, will know compensation better than an individual at the top. The gift giving ceremony may reward those who are most visible or outspoken with their work efforts; however, it prompts conversations about who deserves what.

When members of a gift circle are determining their GIVE allocations, they naturally ask themselves: "What is valuable?" and "How am I doing, according to your expectations?"

Coordinape is trying to create clearer pathways for conversations about compensation to take place. By having these conversations, a contributor can discuss internally and with peers what significant contribution looks like and whether someone's work is "actual output or emotion without progress," as Anderson puts it.

"How can we be sure that what we say is important and what we want to focus on is actually getting focused on?” Anderson asked. Coordinape's answer is the Gift Circle, which “puts the decision-making of who should receive what funding at the edges,” said David Hoffman, co-founder of Bankless Nation.

Coordinape is used by around 300 DAOs, including Bankless, PoolTogether and

The diagram in the previous section shows how the various parts of a program interact.


When contributors have sent GIVE to their peers, an interactive map is created that shows all interactions between members.

Each line in the circular diagram represents an interaction of GIVE between two contributors. Any member of a circle can see how a given teammate distributed their GIVE to others, and see how many GIVE tokens another contributor got, providing a visual representation of how compensation is distributed.

The circle map enables transparency in that it shows the members of a circle where value is created for their community, and for each other.

When a team member's work is seen as valuable by others, they are more likely to understand that their work is important.

The philosophy of Coordinape

When leaders of projects, teams, companies and DAOs make compensation decisions in a top-down way, they create an adversarial environment between leaders and workers.

When the decision-making power is confined to a small group, there's only so much they can do, said Tracheopteryx in an interview with CoinDesk. This corporate fiction, the dominant scaling technology for human effort in the world today, significantly impairs collective intelligence and obstructs effective human coordination.

Even the most benevolent and generous leader can only be so good at deciding compensation, because determining "good" compensation requires the consideration of many factors that are beyond the scope of a single individual and a small group.

Compensation that is "good" includes understanding more than just people wanting to be paid a fair amount relative to their peers' income, feeling seen within the community and experiencing psychological safety.

"There's a lot of stuff that goes into good compensation," said Tracheopteryx, "and the figure isn't the only factor."

The most important issue for Coordinape is, "Who has the power to decide who gets what?" At present, only a small group of people have this power and so Coordinape is trying to increase the number of people who can determine who gets what.

If compensation decisions were made in a fairer and more just way, then Tracheopteryx believes that "you've taken a big chunk out of the problems we have as a culture."

CoVaults, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, is the first platform to allow the trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum with fiat currencies.

Coordinape's tools decide how much the contributors in a circle are paid. The actual payments happen outside of the blockchain.

At the end of the epoch, Coordinape converts the results into a CSV file, which shows what percentage of GIVE tokens each contributor in the circle received. Users can then export this and use it to process compensation on-chain.

Later this summer, Coordinape plans to release its first smart contract product named CoVaults, which, according to Zemm, is a "custom-built escrow contract that we've been developing for the last year that allows people to deposit funds into a vault and manage how those funds get distributed out to a collection of circles."

With CoVaults, which are created and managed by the owners, users can now store ERC-20 tokens in a vault and have on-chain distribution executed automatically.

By using the on-chain distribution mechanism of Coordinape, contributors can be sure that funds for a project's compensation have been placed in the vault. They also trust that funds will be distributed seamlessly when an epoch ends. Additionally, users of CoVaults can earn yield on their deposits through their integration with Yearn Finance.

Emphasizing simplicity, Anderson explains, "CoVaults offers a more complete user experience because it's a one-stop shop where you can deposit funds, create circles, run the epoch and disperse funds seamlessly.

Tracheopteryx believes that CoVaults is an important Lego block in the future plan to create infrastructure that will allow for truly self-sovereign labor.

Enduring the adversities

“We’re in a critical time on planet Earth right now,” Anderson says. “We are facing a lot of really wicked challenges that require collaboration at a global scale.” Despite being in the clumsy toddler stage where awkwardness persists, DAOs, according to Coordinape, could be one of the solutions that can help. If DAOs are to succeed, many things are required and one of them is for people to be rewarded fairly for contributing in them.

In order to create a natural free flow reward system, Coordinape is trying to find new ways for humans (or silly apes) to coordinate. As William Gibson has said, "The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed."

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