There are now talks about breaking up Big Tech, like there have been with banks, industrial groups or energy conglomerates in the past centuries. It seems that companies often end up growing into quasi-monopolistic giants threatening the freedom of choice of their users.
Up until now, the solution has always been to rely on States to push for change. This was the case because States were the only entities influential enough to fight against their generation’s corporate behemoths.
But companies don’t just rely on external pressure to change. Internal pressure, from employees, management and shareholders, can also amount to sensible evolutions. In large groups, we have seen shareholders band together and push for change. This is called corporate activism.
Like its social or political counterparts corporate activism is a major medium of change.
Most activist campaigns are led by funds or management, in an effort towards greater profitability or more sustainability in the company itself. This very US centric activity hasn’t been adopted by small shareholders or in other countries, but it’s demonstrated the potential to transform corporations into vectors of change for our societies.
People fight for their rights and their political beliefs, but rarely for the impact of the companies they use or own. We want to empower these people.
Corporate activism apathy is not a structural problem, it all boils down to coordination.
By lowering barriers to entry, DeFi is enabling greater access to financial services, erasing the complexity often required by regulations, and activating network effects with financial incentives.
This is a good step towards creating efficient coordination online. We can reward users for their labour and empower them by granting them control over the financial services they use (via the liquidity mining of governance tokens).
These techniques result in faster customer acquisition and theoretically a greater number of users involved in the project.
Treasury held by some of the largest DeFi projects (open-orgs.info)
The truth is that governance tokens allow projects to explode in value in an early timeframe but voting participation is extremely low most of the time and power is often little more than anecdotal, especially in comparison to traditional shares.
To be fair, total decentralization is neither advised nor possible from the get-go. We cannot expect projects to succeed on such ambitious terms so quickly. Even if they were to succeed, the coordination problem underlying voter’s apathy would remain.
With Paladin we want to boost the voice of users in order for them to become activists, thus solving a coordination problem by aligning incentives and creating the right platform to help activism thrive. To do this we uphold the following core values.
A neutral common
We want Paladin to be a place where governance tokens can be utilized safely. This means that we will never hold your tokens, we will never vote in your stead nor try to influence you. Our mission is to help users better utilize their governance tokens and empower activist coordination, nothing more.
The essential difference between under the table governance deals and vote leveraging is simply the availability of data. Borrowing votes is not frowned upon, manipulating governance is. Paladin is before anything a facilitator of public governance.
Coordination of users in corporate governance is not an Ethereum problem, nor is it a crypto problem, it is global to the current structure of finance. In time, Paladin will be available everywhere.
It will also be everywhere. A Paladin doesn’t stay in his castle (no matter how beautiful paladin.vote is), he comes to all battlefields, wants to be integrated in vaults, liquidity pools and any other place that allows governance tokens to fend for themselves.
Your vote is a resource
We understand that there’s a market for voting power and that there’s no better way of you seeing how your vote is an asset than seeing others who are ready to pay for theirs. While strictly limiting our actions to corporate votes, we will enable vote lending in order to bootstrap the coordination mechanisms behind Paladin. This will allow speculators to earn more yield, activists to bootstrap their influence in the ecosystem, and protocols to thrive with more vibrant governance dynamics.
With these 4 weapons, the Paladin is ready to fight on any terms.
So should you.