Martin Saps

Blitzscaling ZIP: Introducing ZIPdao

April 3, 2020


DApp interoperability across 13 protocols, today

Out of the gate, ZIP allows for economic interoperability for any DApp across several leading token networks including:

  1. Ethereum (and all ERC20 tokens)
  3. Cosmos (via peg zone)
  4. Enigma
  5. Ocean Protocol
  6. Foam
  7. Chainlink
  8. Aragon
  9. Golem

For ZIP to practically work with any of these tokens it just needs someone, in fact anyone, to collateralise the smart contract with that particular token via a lock up.  

And we’ve only just got started. It’s incredibly easy for us to make any additional tokenized network interoperable with minor custom development work. Just get in touch

With every token integrated into the system it gains immediate interoperability with all other tokens, bringing powerful network effects for both communities and developers. Meaning together we can grow the global pool of developer talent and entrepreneurs building DApps. We believe this is the catalyst we’ve all been waiting for to make Web 3 and its principles a reality. 



As a community, ZIP is open and inclusive by default. It does not discriminate. 

In order to effectively align and coordinate a rapidly growing community around this shared goal, we believe a DAO with simple, but well designed, governance early on is critical. 

Therefore we are excited to announce the soft launch of ZIPdao on the Aragon Network. We reviewed many DAO solutions leading up to ZIPdao’s release, and aim to deploy further innovative governance structures with other platforms in later stages. 

The purpose of ZIPdao will be to mobilise a global industry wide open standard in cross-chain economic interoperability, and the tooling needed to support it.   

ZIPdao will be supported by Aragon’s suit of governance tools and aligned with their manifesto to create and support global communities. 

We are excited to be announcing its founding members over the coming weeks, starting small but quickly rolling out partners ‘Chainlink style’ 😉 

If you would like to get involved please say hello via our Discord Channel or check out ZIPdao.


Pathway to Decentralisation

A decade of Lean Startup has shown us as a ‘startup’ its critical you validate assumptions before hardcoded into the system. And our work within the Token Engineering community; that complexity creates fragility. 

Our purpose launching the ZIPdao this early is to establish transparent but effective governance right from the start, and a major criteria for us was that ZIP’s governance system is reliable and able to evolve to rapidly meet the emerging needs of the network. 

To do this our strategy was to first launch with a very basic and relatively centralised version of ZIPdao that could iteratively transition to a more decentralised organisation. 

All voting power and access control rights will be delegated to what we are calling ‘ZIP Core’, a working group of employees within Outlier Ventures (OV), augmented by the Outlier LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) 20+ members. As the community grows, and more stakeholders will come on board, starting with a group of advisors, voting rights will be distributed and more formal governance rules and mechanisms will be established to handle the gradual increasing complexity of decision making. 


Minimum Viable Governance: ZIPdao Scope

The initial scope of ZIPdao will be deliberately narrow, directing the technical roadmap and operations of ZIP directly with its customers and the underlying protocols it supports. 

ZIPdao’s initial set of rules and functionality are designed to be deliberately very simple. The hope is that as the community scales and the complexity of decision making increases, more formal structures will emerge, and power will be distributed across the community. 

At this stage, all matters related to monetary policy and ownership will be deferred to OV and ZIP Core, and remain outside the scope of ZIPdao. This is primarily for regulatory considerations.   

Dao Membership 

Importantly membership in ZIPdao is permissionless in the sense anyone can submit a proposal for ZIP Core, Outlier Ventures Members and eventually Advisors to vote on.

Governance Tokens & Voting Power Distribution 

ZIPdao has now issued 1 million governance tokens (ZGOV), which will be used exclusively for voting. With voting power proportional to a stakeholders holdings spread across ZIP Core, Outlier Members and soon a group of 3rd party Advisors selected from the wider community.   

As an OV spin-out, it will control the majority of ZGOV tokens and initially have the sole power to distribute or mint more tokens in the future as it sees fit to ZIPdao Advisors and the network of participants we hope start collateralising the ZIP network. The remaining minority share of ZGOV tokens will be distributed to ZIP Core. 

The Rules of the DAO 

At soft launch, any member who has joined ZIPdao will be able to submit proposals, create new Github issues and request funding through ZIPdao, no ZGOV tokens required. 

Initially, only ZIP Core and OV will be able to vote on submitted proposals and Github issues. 

Value Flows

Today, Phase 1: ZIPdao’s governance tokens will be held by Zip Core (made up of a mix of 5 employees and members) who will be required to vote and submit proposals. 

Over April, Phase 2: ZIPdao’s governance tokens will be hatched and distributed to first Advisors and then founding members as they join and begin to collateralise the network with further future distributions happening over the course of 2020. 

Phase 3: ZIP Core will seed the DAO with initial suggestions on ZIPdao’s design, ZIP’s technical roadmap, and network operations, but what happens next is really in the hands of the ZIPdao as a whole.  


Get Involved! 

If you would like to follow our progress please visit our DAO. We would love to hear your feedback and we welcome formal proposals to be submitted via ZIPdao for vote.  

We will also be holding open weekly community calls every Friday at 3:00pm GMT. To send us feedback or join the calls please join our Discord Channel, or follow us on Twitter


In no particular order, thanks to Matan Field, Jack Laing, Burrrata, Luis Cuende, and Michael Zargham for your insights.

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