Greece can lead in Digital Governance Innovation by choosing Solana
TLDR: Greece would benefit greatly from a crypto-first approach in its digital transformation plans. It is my strong belief that the best chain to do this on is Solana.
The power of assembly through web3
ConstitutionDAO. This DAO successfully broke all crowdfunding records, raising more than $40million in a few days in an effort to purchase the US Constitution on auction. Although they didn’t win the auction, it was a big win for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), bringing this new concept of digital governance to the masses and proving that decentralized coordination works.
If you are unfamiliar with DAOs, this beginner’s guide by GreekStartupPirate Alex Alexakis and myself is a great way to catch up to speed
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Other European countries are already well on their “crypto-journey” way. Malta’s Digital Innovation Authority, Switzerland’s creation of Crypto Valley, and Portugal’s focus on attracting Crypto talent are all examples of governments embracing this inevitable shift towards a decentralized world. Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation (working with FTX, Everstake, and Kuna) rapidly deployed the “Aid for Ukraine” crypto donation website to help the war effort.
It is now time for Greece to join in this trend, and I believe that Greece can lead by example through innovation in digital governance.
What follows is a brief overview of why Greece and Solana are great for each other
Greece, meet Solana
Solana is a public base-layer blockchain protocol that optimizes for scalability. Its goal is to provide a platform that enables developers to create decentralized applications (dApps) without needing to design around performance bottlenecks. Solana features a new timestamp system called Proof-of-History (PoH) that enables automatically ordered transactions. It also uses a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm to help secure the network. Additional design goals include sub-second settlement times, low transaction costs, and support for all LLVM compatible smart contract languages. — Messari
There are 3 key reasons why I believe Solana is the correct choice for Greece
Transaction Speed, Costs, and Scalability
The ConstitutionDAO example I cited previously was built on Ethereum; currently the most popular blockchain for decentralized applications. Because of this decision, the cost to participate was prohibitively expensive for many people. “One contributor tweeted that they paid $70 in gas to send $200, then spent another $70 to get the money back. That means they’re out $140 on what should have been a $200 refund. For anyone who sent less than the current gas price, getting a refund simply won’t be worth it.” Gas is a cost for doing things on the blockchain. This same activity on Solana would have cost each participant less than $1.
These near zero cost, lightning fast transactions also allow for blockchain-based payments. Solana Pay is the first decentralized payments rail, giving merchants a payments solution that is both more dynamic and cheaper than traditional rails like credit cards. Bringing this to Greece would quickly bring the banking sector into the future, while putting the country on the map of crypto-friendly destinations.
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The developers on Solana are referred to as “glass-eaters”, referring to the difficulty for new developers to code using Rust instead of the more common Ethereum language, Solidity. Rust is “the most loved language by the developer community since 2015” and for good reason:
- Rust offers excellent documentation.
- It comes with a highly user-friendly compiler with top-notch tools such as integrated package managers and multi-editor.
- Rust can efficiently resolve memory errors and concurrent programs that languages like C and C++ cannot.
- It is super fast and is safe by default.
“By choosing Rust, which is a harder language to learn than Solidity and is much more likely to be used by professional programmers, they are hoping to attract developers who can build custom, scalable programs.” — Richard MacManus
If Greece were to lean into Rust as programming language to focus on, there is an opportunity to develop a “center of excellence”, bringing more investment and jobs by equipping students with a skill that is in high demand.
The Innovators and Visionaries
Anatoly Yakovenko and Raj Gokal have not only created a “jack-of-all-trades” blockchain, but have built an ecosystem that inspires and attracts the greatest minds in crypto today. Already, we can see that Solana has “the highest and most consistent developer activity”. This support goes beyond developers, with investors like Andreessen Horowitz, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, and Multicoin’s Kyle Samani betting big on Solana being the dominant layer-1.
The road to digital governance requires super talented builders in the governance space like Sebastian Bor, head of Solana’s Governance program, “Realms”, but it will also need non-technical disruptors like crypto legal expert Sam Mehr, who’s DAO driven PAC is a first in lobbying for crypto reform and largely inspired by DAOs on Solana.
There might be an argument over which layer-1 is the biggest competition for Ethereum, but there is no argument over which layer-1 is quickly gaining ground in DAO tooling. According to Deepdao.io, 2 of the top 3 Defi DAOs are Solana based, thanks to Mango and UXD Protocol. Both of these protocols have been essential in building out Realms, helping grow the Solana DAO ecosystem to a collective treasury size of over $1.5 billion
The following tools cover a wide range of essential features in governance, ranging from voting, treasury management, social graphs, and more.
Squads is a collaborative infrastructure for web3 native teams that allows them to organize, make decisions and manage digital assets together.
Mango Markets is a borrowing, lending and trading DeFi protocol on Solana. Mango currently has a live vote for funding the AthensDAO conference!
Unique.vc is a platform that enables individuals to quickly and inexpensively create or join a venture club, pool and manage assets, collaborating in a trustless way.
Jet is an open source, non-custodial liquidity protocol pushing the envelope on decentralized finance and debt capital markets efficiency.
Socean is a suite of Defi solutions, its 2 flagship products are Socean Stake: a stake pool with the best delegation strategy and highest risk-free APYs and Socean Streams: a marketplace for governance token streams
NATION is a DAO platform aimed at bringing governance to the masses. Powerful enough for the most advanced users and decentralized organizations, yet intuitive enough for anyone to join and create DAOs, even if they don’t understand crypto. (“Aid for Ukraine” was created using NATION on Solana)
Gilder is a mobile app that brings all of the powerful Solana governance tools to your phone. Users can quickly read proposals and vote, or even delegate their decision making with this all-inclusive app.
Grape is a suite of DAO tools and primitives for any type of community. From token verification to decentralized marketplaces to community-owned social networks, Grape is at the forefront of DAO tooling experimentation. Many of Grape’s team is based in Greece and are the organizers of AthensDAO
Every project mentioned above will be at the AthensDAO conference this May (more details at the end)
Solana, Meet Greece
Greece has a global reputation for its stunning landscapes, food, and contributions to modern society. The development of the fundamentals of modern democracy places Greek innovation in most developed nations around the globe. However, in more recent times, the country faced major upheavals socially and economically. — BeinCrypto
This is a really good article highlighting the multiple reasons why Greece is a good bet on digital governance innovation. I highly recommend reading it!
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Digital Governance as a Priority
The current Greek administration has been pivotal in transforming Greece’s public sector services. Greece started 2020 with a poor track record amongst its European peers, but ever since then it has been a rapid development of new services, somewhat ironically thanks to the Coronavirus. The need to have a digital certificate of vaccination and coordinating the vaccination of the entire population was met with amazing success. Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis said “We had a plan that was ready beforehand…We knew what we wanted to accomplish. The pandemic added the dimension of necessity,”
Pierrakakis says aim is to digitize the entire state | eKathimerini.com
Greece aims to digitize the full range of the public sector in the coming years, Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos…
The digital program behind consolidating all services into one online destination has been such a success that Cyprus will be modelling their Gov.cy site after Gov.gr
New tax reforms dubbed operation “Brain Regain” have started; the most important policy being a 50% income tax break for 7 years to any new residents of Greece.
This is an administration that is all-in on going digital and growing entrepreneurship.
Greek Crypto Talent
Andreas Antonopoulos. Georgios Konstantopoulos. Eleftherios Diakomichalis. Lefteris Karapetsas. Nikos Andrikogiannopoulos. Long last names usually have one thing in common; their all Greek. Add in other Greek notables like Aggelos Kiayias, Dionysis Zindros, Elias Simos, Nicholas Platias, Vassilis Tziokas, Greg Xethalis and you quickly see how much of the brain power in crypto has roots in Greece. Maybe this is too patriotic, but its a fact.
On a personal note, it’s surreal to be writing this 1 year after tweeting our first intentions to build in the space. One year later I am more bullish than ever on Solana and Greece. We’re currently working on a new community building agency based in Greece and our goal is to hire 10 local employees by the end of the year
From May 22nd-May 28th, Athens will host the biggest participants in the Solana DAO ecosystem for a merging of the minds on all things related to digital governance. The main event is at Innovathens (a leading innovation hub for South-Eastern Europe) based in Technopolis, one of Athens’ largest and most vibrant cultural venues.
What you can expect:
- Discussions on the state of Governance, Defi, and NFT DAOs
- Presentations from all of the major DAO tooling platforms
- Hackerhouse style work on development grants
- Roundtables focused on key Solana Governance initiatives
- Livestreams of the event and media interviews
On May 23rd, we will create AthensDAO on the Solana blockchain, a DAO focused on promoting digital governance initiatives and crowdfunding to help make AthensDAO an annual event for many years to come. This might be a world first; only people who are present will be considered founding members of this historic moment. If we’re ambitious, we’ll also try to create MarbleDAO, an organization focused on bringing back the Elgin Marbles to Greece.
On May 28th, in collaboration with StepN, we will host a running event at the Athens Botanical Gardens.
The event is invite only for 150 people. These invites have already been sent, but we have reserved 25 spots for Greek developers, investors, and members of government. If you are interested in attending, you can find the rsvp form here (https://grapes.network/rsvp/).
I couldn't be more excited for this event. We’ve been building together for what feels like forever, and when we all meet in person, we’re going to find so many new and exciting opportunities to explore together.
It is my biggest hope that Greece will also embrace this moment and start to explore this amazing world of digital governance with us.
More details about AthensDAO
About Grape Network
Grape Network is a toolset for building token-based communities on Solana. The network’s tools help DAOs and decentralized communities coordinate members, communication, and incentives more effectively. Grape Networks’ community, The Grape (“Great Ape”) Community, is a token-based membership community focused on accelerating the growth and adoption of Solana.
You can read our newest technical roadmap here: