MakerDAO Co-Founder Mushegian Left ‘Principles’ of His Latest DeFi

Nikolai Mushegian, the co-founder of MakerDAO, left behind a code of principles before his mysterious death three months ago. This manifesto, which was recently published by his colleague Brian McMichael, provides insight into the 29-year old’s views on DeFi tech development, ecosystem building, and working with potential users.

McMichael shared the manifesto on his Twitter page, noting that it was intended for Mushegian’s last development project, Rico, a stablecoin platform. He described the principles as being derived from “cultural differences” of the project.

The first principle is that every project should prioritize building a system of incentives. According to Mushegian, incentives are the natural law of the DeFi segment and any element of the protocol that goes in conflict with these incentives will be exploited.

The second principle is that DeFi teams should focus on “credible neutrality”. This means that a sound and credibly neutral system will be more successful than one that relies on “growth hacks” and compromises.

The third principle is that DeFi teams should work to create integrations and “power users”. These are customers who are interested in improving the project they are using and creating “synthetic assets” that will catalyze the growth of the Web3 protocol.

The fourth principle is that crypto developers and marketers should be honest about their products. Mushegian stressed that teams should not market their platforms in a misleading manner and that every possible interaction with the protocol should be described when introducing it.

The fifth principle is that teams should avoid playing in “decentralization theaters”. This means that any point of centralization, including interfaces or GitHub repositories, should be avoided in order to ensure true decentralization.

The sixth principle is that every proper DeFi design should be auditable. This means that not only cybersecurity vendors should be able to audit the system, but also “power users” with limited resources.

Nikolai Mushegian was found dead in Puerto Rico on Nov. 1, 2023, three days after posting a tweet about the CIA, Mossad, and the global “pedo elite” that he claimed were targeting him. His death was followed by that of Amber Group’s founder Tiantian Kullander, who died three weeks later at the age of 30.

The code of principles that Mushegian wrote for his last development project, Rico, provides an insight into his views on DeFi tech development and ecosystem building. He believed that every project should prioritize building a system of incentives, focus on “credible neutrality”, create integrations and “power users”, be honest about their products, avoid playing in “decentralization theaters”, and make sure their designs are auditable.

His death, along with that of Amber Group’s founder, was a tragic loss for the crypto industry. His code of principles, however, will continue to be a valuable resource for DeFi developers and marketers who are looking to build and promote their projects in a responsible and honest manner.


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