The future of the Guardians

There’s a discussion going on in the Guardians public chat TG channel which IMO needs to be here.

Edit: To start us off I’ll quote Charles Hoskinson who said this:

The entire point of this group is to call for accountability and transparency behind those with power
The focus now has to be upon tools, principles and conduct


Just a couple of “roles & responsibilities”, which could be part of the Guardianship of Cardano:

(1) Continuous follow up / audit of the operations of the Cardano Foundation, collecting valuable Community feedback and even releasing a quarterly assessment report, being the Community´s review about the performance of the Foundation and it´s board members. Eventually if the Foundation would incorporate such a feedback into their decisioning, that would be the best. We have actually started with this by collecting questions from the Community and aiming to interview Pascal Schmid, the new leader of the Cardano Foundation.

(2) Acting as an external advisor to the Foundation, who keeps close touch with the Entity and represents the Community´s voice and interest in certain way & matters, in which case democratic and wide consultation and consensus with the Community is essential and the Guardians have to act as an fully impartial, independent mediator & aggregator.

(3) Detect & tackle on social media, Internet and other channels all kinds of Fake News, Trolls and highly inaccurate articles, media content and other attacks, which are damaging the Cardano brand or personally any individual leader, key contributor in the Cardano Ecosystem.

(4) Defend the Community itself, during hard market situations, or when potentially hackers are attacking some part of the Ecosystem, when there is any infrastructure issue with Cardano, etc.

(5) Review, Investigate & Audit any roadmap item, research initiative, adoption project, startup or Ecosystem entity who is showing suspicious behaviour and not performing according to their commitment or expectations.

(6) Review Staking Pool operations, infrastructure, performance, feedback, level of decentralization, and other qualities (provide certificate?).

(8) Review DAPPS built on top of Cardano from security, usability and other points of view (provide certificate?).

(9) Review Treasury financed projects & initiatives regarding their progress, commitments, deliverables and transparency.

(10) Support the Cardano Foundation to build a decentralized, efficient infrastructure / capability for Community Management.

(11) Support the Global Foundation DAO Research Initiative for the Cardano Foundation.

(12) Monitor the health of the Cardano Ecosystem and the progress of Cardano Adoption, maybe even releasing quarterly assessment report regarding the status and major achievements, challenges and risks.

(13) Monitor Cryptocurrency Exchanges where Cardano is traded and provide some rating.

(14) Monitor Cryptocurrency Wallets which support Cardano and provide some rating.

(15) Support various Social Media channel moderators of Cardano, whenever there are some “problematic” Community members identified, take it a step further and have a more intimate discussion regarding the issues with such a member and help to understand and resolve the situation in a diplomatic and nice way.

(16) Monitor the ADA cryptocurrency market in respect to price manipulation, pump & dump campaigns or any suspicious trading activities.

(17) Help & Support other Groups forming from Community members who want to dedicate themselves to the “Guardianship” cause. This is especially important to let the decentralization principle stand and share all these duties.

(18) When there is any serious & significant emergency situation threatening the Ecosystem act as a “SWAT“ organization that immediately fully engages with the critical case, raises awareness, coordinates with various parties, organizes Community support and carries out all actions legally possible to resolve the issue. Similarly to what happened with the “Liberate the Cardano Foundation” mission.

(19) Following, reviewing and verifying the progress of the understanding & education of the Community for the upcoming sustainability era of Cardano, when liquid democracy and treasury will determine the future path Cardano takes. This is a huge responsibility, and we should verify that the Community is being properly prepared for this never ending task. This may also include the review of delegate platforms / groups / representatives, to where individuals may delegate their voting rights to.

(20) Potentially any essential function that we believe the Cardano Foundation should take, but for any reason decides not to take. (An example of a few functions, which might be expected in this post: Of course it´s better to try to delegate such functions to other Entities in the Ecosystem or other Community Groups who might be experts in that particular topic. Nevertheless it should be verified in a delegation case whether such a function properly works.

(21) Lastly but not least some selected Community Projects we would organize & run in the domain of Community Building. We have already proposed a Cardano Street Art Competition (which is pending due to funding issues). Very clearly this is not tightly related to the “Guardianship” ideology (though some future projects might likely be), nevertheless we would have to do some more fun projects & activities on the side as these are the real energizing, highly enjoyable and rewarding activities. This would also allow us to keep the Guardian “brand awareness” within the Ecosystem, while lot of the above services might not be so much visible, enaging or interesting for the vast majority.


Because everyone needs to know: I have put my role for the GoC to rest and will be back when my help is really needed in a situation like we’ve been before.


And your help will always be very welcome and appreciated Andreas.

Added (18) for this.

1 Like

To clarify my own standpoint: I left the Guardians private channel after the Parsons resignation mainly for private reasons. I might rejoin, like Andy (and if allowed!) if another serious situation arises, but I might not be able to do that.


Charles said “The entire point of this group is to call for accountability and transparency behind those with power”.

Of course we don’t need to follow him, but if we do, it seems to me this is very specific, unlike @bercinho’s list above, which to me looks very ambitious.


I can confirm there is an ongoing discussion about the possible future(s) but it’s not that simple as it may look like. It wasn’t that simple to achieve all the things up to now, especially by being 100% unfunded and volunteers. Not easy from the required know-how, from time invested, from the efforts to collaborate over Telegram chats only, from ongoing consenus finding in a distributed team. And all this unfortunately without a proper constitution, which I had suggested at an early stage and several times.
Anyway: Our current “setup” allows us a unique form of independence, and that’s why I personally would prefer to limit our activities very consciously, to be ready and free of third party interests when “shit hits the fan” next time. Collecting money from third parties always includes some dependency, even if it would allow us some more activities.

However keep in mind that most of the guardians already dedicated their free time for months and years in voluntary community management, or in community projects. The experiences from there was also the main reason to start this initiative.
All of us must decide how much time we can bring in for free, or if there is a way to become paid for it. And when getting paid, how independent in expressing his opinion and raising his voice one can remain?

In my opinion, the community now needs other (constructive) activities from a wide source of contributors. And when such activities happen then they would need some mentioning and audience (for example in AMAs or tweets). The cardano effect podcast is such an initiative, but there is much more from actively writing content here in forum, blogging, divining into some of the given research and engineering projects from the roadmap, participating to the different testnets, writing sumaries of findings and let others know about.

Of course, each Guardian alone, or a sub-group of Guardians, with other qualified and contributing community members, can begin any activity wherever they want and under whatever name they want. But from the moment the Guardian “brand” is used to do something in the ecosystem that competes with other initiatives, it automatically means stepping back from its “guardian” position. This is what we must understand and decide because in my opinion there is no simple “do both of them at the same time”

In my opinion it is better if many other initiatives start and are supported instead of giving up this somewhat special value of the Guardians (without wanting to be supercilious here now).


The vision I personally had for a Guardians kind of group was described on this post and eventually this is form where the “Guardians of Cardano” name was taken.

Why I think it’s important in this context is because Guardians is just one take on all the various, diverse Community founded, self-organized and decentralized groups which may arise in the future along some key and disticnt value proposition they would provide to the Ecosystem.


Do you see the guardian role as an independent entity or as part of a well functioning foundation?


IMO we need a structured, systematic and constructive approach how to deal with this agenda.

(A) It will all come down to what currently missing critical value added capabilities & services the Guardians may provide for the true, clear and unquestionable benefit of the Cardano Ecosystem. Only tangible capabilities & services should be analyzed, ones which there is a real urging need for in the current stage & maturity level of the Ecosystem and they also have verifable, measurable qualities. It´s also a key decision whether these should be proactive / preventive or reactive capabilities, both having pros & cons.

(B) The Community, maybe the various key enitities in the Ecosystem and the Guardians have to consult and agree upon this portfolio and declare it in a constitution. There should be a Community wide debate about this.

I have made some suggestions in the beginning of the thread, this by no means should be interpreted that I believe we should do all this, it´s simply an initial set of potential services identified.

Obviously as the Ecosystem matures, priorities change, new perspectives open so this constitution is not written in stone, but has to be flexible enough to adapt to new need & change in preferences.

(C ) Once the consitution is set, it should be measured and estimated what organization in terms of capacities, competences might deliver the portofilio required and how to implement checks & balances for such a portfolio. Who will monitor and how will someone review these checks & balances is important.

(D) The nature of the organization and the goals will determine an efficient governance sturcture to put in place.

(E) Finally the organization, goals & governance will imply whether operations cost (CAPEX, OPEX) should be covered or not.

Whether we should opt for (a) charity organization (free voluntary work with no compensation) (b) non-proft organization (proven work & justified expenses are compensated on a standard market rate) (c ) profit organization (beyond work & expenses compensation, there are measurable KPIs set along the goals in the constitution and provided services for bonus targets) to cover the operations of the group it´s not possible to tell without going through the previous steps.

From where possible revenue streams may derive from depends on the possibilities of the Ecosystem, which today seems to be (i) staking pool (ii) donations (iii) compete for Treasury financing (iv) selling of merch and other assets (v) sponsorship from the Cardano Foundation.

Independence is extremely important and any potential source of income should not influence it, othwerise it´s a risk of conflict of interests.

(F) It should be also considered to be a primary priority to promote the decentralization and support the founding of many similar Community groups, maybe around the Guardianship cause, but also other causes.

By no means are the Guardians of Cardano special or more worthy then any other group to follow in the future. We simply had an early entry advantage into this club of “Cardano Community Groups” and executed a project successfully. But that´s it.

For the sake of the entire Cardano Ecosystem one of our main goals should be to enable other self-sustaining, self-organized groups to scale in a decentralized fashion having each of them with their unique characteristics determined by their members, that also imply what services they would provide, what initiatives they would tackle and for this what capabilities they would have to build. The higher the diversity, the number and the global decentralization the better and healthier it is.

I would strongly suggest to start with the first step, step (A) and identify, describe and debate what critical services, capabilities are needed around the “Guardianship of the Cardano Ecosystem” for 2019 & 2020.


Well, besides getting rid of Parsons, the original idtea was to fill in for the lack of support from the Foundation, all we agreed upon during the offset is that the questions were to be answered, or Parsons was to resign, and that there should be a way for the community to become more involved.

It was CF their mandate and they botched that job because of upper management.

This is why the logo of the Guardians is what it is, each peace represents a lounge member (at the time of logo creation). My plan was to add a piece for every new lounge member untill the owl reaches his final form.

When the logo will be completed, you are looking at about ~2000 pieces (members). People who want to actively help promote Cardano and become more involved as a community member.

Now, does this sound like a bad idea for Cardano? A big group of supporters doing whatever they can because they love this project? Is our current situation of slow progress and almost non-existent communication a better solution? Would it not benefit if there are other groups starting community initiatives (Even when CF does get it together, will they??)

Should we be funding everything ourselves knowing that we are doing the Foundations job and cleaning up their fucking mess?

The foundation was supposed to help build this community, we ended up around 65 lounge members, please note that there is an ongoing discussion about opening up the lounge by @Undersearcher, i’m not sure what the best approach is regarding the lounge.

But it do know this, the radio silence isn’t exactly a good sign that any of the community’s expectations will be met, that any questions from MONTHS ago will ever be answered. Is this what everyone wants from Cardano? A spineless community subjected to the whims and competence of a foundation or it’s management? Are they fulfilling their mandate now?

I don’t know what you guys are thinking, now that Parsons is gone, but almost none of the community’s questions have been answered. There is no communication about what is going to happen with The Foundation or the interim chairman, Pascal Schmid who we recently approached for an interview but has not replied since.

What the plan is to start growing and building this community. Emurgo said they would be a sort of interim CF, yet @SebastienGllmt asks us in our TG channel if we are going to continue making efforts to promote cardano towards open source developers with campaigns.

Campaigns like that were supposed to be funded by the foundation, and if not executed by them then who?

What is wrong with a group trying to find a sustainable way to keep growing with the community they fight so hard to promote, protect, moderate and grow?

I’m sure lots of people here know that Marketing campaigns require immense amounts of time and effort, the amount of time i personally have already invested got me friggin fired, which is entirely my own fault.

Just do not have the audacity to tell everyone here that it’s wrong to keep pursuing a way to grow this community, because some people decided to leave the group for personal reasons, because they don’t have time, or do not want to continue putting in that amount of effort.

If you think the effort is too much than it is quite unfortunate you feel that people who don’t share that opinion should not find a way to sustainably keep doing just that, putting in the same amount of effort to help us grow.

I expected more support from you guys, @RobJF , @Andy_Hendrikx, you guys keep saying you guys are out and will return when the need arises, i sincerely hope there will be some community left by the time this is needed.

Cardano’s development will be finished in 2020, Tick Tock guys…


I agree with every sentence you wrote Tim.


The idea that everyone can become a Guardian is attractive & fair and we should keep this policy.

Everyone who loves the Cardano Ecosystem should have the right to “defend or protect” it according to his / her best effort & competence and also given a way and guidance on how to do so, how to contribute to this cause, how to join a group committed to the Guardianship.

We would still have to work in small decentralized groups for efficiency, security & sustainability reasons, but could have a common cause and also a joint platform to communicate.

The entire “Guardianship” is successful once we have those 2000 pieces of Guardians building up the puzzle of the owl, no matter how they are organized, where they are geographically located and what level of commitment have they made or eventually what services they support.

Scaling is essentail. Decentralization is the only way. We have to grow this movement together by having new groups being built up from the ground, but in the meantime keep our identitiy and the original cause.

We also have to be practical and not too idealistic, but driven by an ideology of the Guardianship we might all believe in.

So there are two things here, one is a Community interest and potential movement of a Guardianship of the Cardano Ecosystem and the other is the “Guardians of Cardano” being such a first group.

It would be great to have “Vikings of Cardano”, “Gladiators of Cardano”, “Protectors of Cardano”, “Jedis of Cardano”, “Paladins of Cardano”, “Knights of Cardano”, “Ninjas of Cardano”, etc. groups growing out of the movement somehow collaborating for the same objectives.

Nevertheless this doesn´t change the need to go to the first step (A) and set a scope.

1 Like

Sorry Tim but you’re dead wrong. There is a massive difference between saying that there should be no efforts to support and grow the community, and saying that the Guardians are better placed to perform a much more specific role, to call for accountability and transparency from those in power.

To be honest I’d have expected more from you.

1 Like

Still a job to be done. CF board has not been restructured. There is still not enough transparency.


True, but we might hope that will soon be resolved, preferably but not necessarily with an interview with PS.

You are well aware of the change in the upper-management of the CF and the removal of Parsons a few days ago. Do you still want the remaining people in the CF to be held accountable and expecting a new Foundation in just a matter of a few days? You have to assume that there are things happening behind the screen now. I am sorry, but expecting a proper designed and well functioning Foundation isnt being very realistic.

What is wrong with a person sharing the way he would like to see the Guardians?

I am deeply sorry for sharing my opinion.

Check your DM. I will give you a bit more in depth explanation.

1 Like

What I wonder: Do you guys really want to organize so many of this planned activities in ONE (centralized) institution?

When I suggest a respectful and open approach by also considering what we always said (everyone can become a guardian) this means:

1.) look for a way everyone can agree on. In my opinion, this is impossible for one large group trying to do so much different things. But if it is built by multiple independent initiatives there is not even the demand to decide now about all this announced and assumed stuff.
People and community will decide based on what they see and what they like, instead of “all-or-nothing”.

2.) the power should be distributed between this different projects. No need to build one large group of x-thousand members. Better x-hundred projects and initiatives with smaller and much more efficient decision findings. If one can’t agree (anymore) with one group it’s his free decision to leave and may join another initiative. He can join pure voluntary ones, or those ones who are able to get funded and pay for the efforts.
Also try to imagine what happens if something in this one group goes wrong and becomes intransparent or inefficient in its activity? Is there any choice or alternative? Is there any other project who can jump in? having a wide and ecosystem of independent groups IMO is crucial.

3.) we (the Guardians) have no mandate to cover all these topics and claim them as our responsibility. There is no ICO money invested in, and there was never ever any vote about our role in the ecosystem.

4.) one questions is if the given Guardians “brand” can or should be used for a very wide range of other activities? what happens if one activity limits/reduces/damages other parts? not a problem if Guardians remains what they originally started to be, and every community member (absolutely independent from being one of this get-rid-of-Parsonsn Guardians) can decide to start or join some initiatives running under their own brand and fundamental constitution.

5.) The first communication after Parsons resigned was that CF will need some time for reorganization and become operative (1-2 months). So it’s not even clear if they then still can’t use their existing money for most of the mentioned potential Guardians activities. I expect they will recover soon and start doing what they should do. Then we should support it and not try to do the same things twice but both with some missing elements (funds, heads, creativity, strategy, …)

6.) another question is where the money should come from? One idea was to become a staking pool. Another one to become a rating agency. I’m pretty sure that already this two activities absolutely don’t fit together. Now imagine what other institutions in the ecosystem would think about the Gaurdians “honest opinion” when they try to participate at the same time as operative projects?

7.) my proposal in the group was to keep the guardians value by explicitly NOT going into any of these operative areas. Both third-party money funds and going into competition with other projects completely and inevitably destroys the ability to act unbiased. INSTEAD clearly say that many projects can raise, and if 4-5 guardians want to run a stake pool they can do. but not by claiming they are “the guardians pool”.

By decentralizing the whole issue, the unique value from Guardians for this ecosystem can remain, AND every other project can start with just that group of people who share the same ideas, values and ways to work together. What purpose does it serve if the brand created (for which we have become known to the outside world) is now to be used for other projects?


I’m sorry you feel that way Rob, i never stated we are better placed, i meant that right now, we are the only group in the ecosystem actively contributing to grow the ecosystem.

So, who are the ones in power? TML have left CF for IOHK, no new statements, no answers. Pretty much nothing to clarify the situation and keep the community informed.

Don’t get me wrong, i love all of you and it was amazing working together, maybe my confidence of those in power is at an ATL and i’m bitter because i feel the community deserves answers they were promised months ago…

@jonmoss is the last foundation staff member active on this forum, so i would really like him to join this discussion. This is what he is being paid to do.

I hope all of this can spark a discussion on governance. I think what we will soon discover with the treasury system is pretty much the same as how international treaties have evolved in law. We will find some rules to be universal (Transparency, Decentralization, One ADA one Vote) and hopefully some common goals (flow of value for the unbankable) and values to protect and uphold (cooporation with national law and international law systems when it comes to universally accepted crimes) but we will at some point also need to have more local governance and any governance system needs to account for this. The reason is simple it is the weakness of the majority vote in none uniform populations causing a paralyzation of any action that is not universal.

In such a light I see nothing wrong with Guardians of Cardano trying to help foster growth of the community (as one task.) As could any other group. Just as with staking we need to diversify but give incentives to local governance and support while also having an overall governance system on more universal issue.