Empowering DAOs on Cardano: Interview WIth The Summon Platform

The Summon Platform, a new Cardano-based DAO management and creation toolkit, gained attention from DAO advocates all over the blockchain world.

CryptoPotato met with four co-founders of Summon Platform: Adam Rusch (Ph.D.), president of the non-profit Summon Association; Thomas “TCT” DiMatteo CEO of Summon Labs; Riley Kilgore CTO of Summon Labs; and Matthew Bowen (Esq, general counsel at Summon Labs).

The conversation took place August 2.

The Summon Platform has attracted a lot of attention from both mainstream and blockchain media since its announcement two weeks ago. We would love to have your insight on how Summon gained such momentum.

Thomas DiMatteo

It’s been exciting to see The Summon Platform being extremely well received. Everyone, from the core team to the wider Cardano community and blockchain community, has seen the platform as an important piece of infrastructure.

Summon was born from the Cardano community, and within ADAO. This DAO is the first on the Cardano blockchain. We have proven ourselves and gained community trust through all of the open-source work we have done. The team has been hard at work over the past year on core foundations and infrastructure to enable things like the Summon Platform. We released Cardano’s first multisig wallet in early 2022, which was a huge success.

A small group of people finally managed their funds together. We then created a token staking portal based on smart contracts so that projects could reward their holders without the assistance of a trusted third-party. These Dapps and nearly 40 other open-source repositories on our GitHub have earned us a reputation as community-first builders. The Summon Platform is no exception.

This advantage is likely to explain our momentum, especially when compared with other new teams in the ecosystem. Cardano is a community that is smart and critical. They don’t hesitate to ask tough questions. This trait is valued and we have always responded to it. We are fortunate to have gained a lot of critical insight which is being put into The Summon Platform.

Your recent announcements indicate that there are two organizations responsible to The Summon Platform: Summon Association (Summon Labs) and Summon Association (Summon Association). Could you please elaborate on this model

Adam Rusch

We are following an ecosystem-development model that has a not-for-profit association working with development companies to bring the platform to life. Summon Association was established to manage the brand and identity of this platform, distribute tokens that will govern it, and coordinate the work within the ecosystem. Summon Labs has been contracted to develop the core platform components. However, the most important parts of the platform will remain open-source and we plan to attract more developers to help us build and improve them.

Your Medium posts and announcements should have a strong theme of ease-of-use.

Riley Kilgore

Thomas rightly stated that our team contributed extensively to non-DAO tools for building an ecosystem.

Our top priorities are ease-of-use and accessibility. Cardano’s ecosystem is often criticized for being unfriendly to users. The better we can help organizations and individuals leverage the power of blockchain, the more we can make it easier to onboard them.

Adam Rusch

It is important to provide the user with the ability to control the way they use the tools. We want to strike the right balance between giving the user the best tools and making it as easy as possible for them to use. They have the most control over their own treasuries, systems and DAOs. They know that if they create a DAO with our help, they will still have full control. They can take it anywhere, and we will help them with their DAO. Their DAO is not under our control.

Could you please explain what the SUMMON token does and how it is used in The Summon Platform?

Riley Kilgore

Summon DAO will use the SUMMON token as a governance token. Summon is an e-commerce platform that will continue to serve its primary purpose, but it can also be managed. Summon’s future and the tokens it holds are determined by the sentiment of those who vote in the Summon DAO.

Adam Rusch

Because it is a governance token, holding SUMMON tokens gives you a direct voice in the development and management of The Summon Platform ecosystem. As president of Summon Association I’m excited that DAOs will have seats at the Summon assembly. The Summon assembly will recognize DAOs who hold SUMMON tokens. This model is something we haven’t seen before. A DAO would be represented in a physical organization. It’s going be amazing when DAO members can vote for the representative.

Riley Kilgore

Summon will be the most popular way for Cardano DAOs to interact with the Cardano Blockchain. With that said, I believe you will be able have a lot more influence on the way people interact with DAOs in Cardano. Governance over Summon’s ecosystem is all it takes.

Perhaps we can zoom in a bit and get your thoughts on the whole idea.

Matthew Bowen

DAOs (or decentralized autonomous organisations) are a new type of organization that has been made possible by blockchain technology. They have seen accelerated adoption and the rise of web3 culture. DAOs can be decentralized which means they are not controlled centrally by any single entity.

Instead, DAOs are governed primarily by the collective decisions made by their members, which are often represented by tokens on blockchain.

DAOs are relatively new and there isn’t a body of law that addresses them. DAOs are required to navigate a complicated legal landscape without much guidance. This can be difficult, especially in jurisdictions that do not recognize DAOs.

DAOs may not be recognized as such, making it more difficult to access traditional financial markets and services. Despite these difficulties, DAOs are a unique model for governance that has promise for the future.

Summon Association engaged global experts to discuss how to best structure a DAO to minimize regulatory risk and maximize the benefits of decentralization. DAOs are still relatively young and regulators have yet to address them. DAOs looking to comply with regulatory requirements may have difficulty navigating the legal-regulatory landscape. They should consult blockchain-savvy legal counsel early to learn best practices and risk mitigation strategies that are appropriate for their particular situation.

I would like to know why Cardano was chosen as your blockchain ecosystem. Is The Summon Platform able to envision a cross-chain future, and does it have a vision?

Riley Kilgore

Cardano’s blockchain uses a unique consensus mechanism that permits Proof of Stake to be used while users’ funds are kept safe in their wallets. This is unlike other Proof of Stake systems which require slashing. The e-UTxO model also allows for determinism in transactions and a high level of concurrency.

Plutus has been my work since it was first launched on Cardano’s mainnet or testnet. Since before the specifications were finalized, I have been using it. I have contributed to several different underlying tool sets in Cardano.

Cardano is my belief, but I believe we can go cross-chain. While we will still prioritize Cardano, I believe it is likely that we will soon target Algorand or EVM-based chains.

Guys, thank you so much for your talk. Do you have any final words?

Adam Rusch

The Summon Platform, which will launch on Cardano, will be the best way to create a DAO and coordinate governance. It also allows you to interact with the DeFi primitives on Cardano. We are thrilled to offer this service to the community. We hope more people will join us in expanding the ecosystem in a manner that offers an opportunity for everyone, even those who feel excluded from traditional systems.

On Monday, August 3rd 2022, The Summon Platform distributed “community tokens” of SUMMON governance to tokens. Visit summonplatform.io for more information about The Summon Platform.

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