Grindery DAO 1 - Merging The Dream
Grindery was founded with the intent to make paying out your team effortless and easy. It wasn’t that there was something we needed to prove; rather something we could improve. We set out with a dream, not knowing that it would take some time to merge what we hoped to bring to the blockchain community with what was actually possible.
Our Early Ambitions
When we started Grindery in 2018, it was our intent to do payouts on the blockchain because paying people through banks on a global scale was expensive, and frankly: a headache. Albeit not so much for the people receiving the money, but from the processing side, it was truly painful. It costs money, it's complicated, the processing causes delays, and so on. The whole thing is a mess from an organizational perspective. We, on the other hand, had a strong idea that moving payments to the blockchain would make things a lot easier and significantly more efficient.
Quickly, we realized that we were thinking too far ahead. This was 2018, it was too early to bring this to the blockchain. It’s one thing to manage and distribute payments in crypto, but back then, and even now to an extent, crypto doesn’t pay the rent. Also, back in 2018 it was, and still is for some people, painful to receive crypto. Due to limitations around people’s education of how cryptocurrencies work, the general fear of crypto, worrying about off-ramping it properly if not through an exchange, and so on.
Going from on-chain to off-chain was even more complicated than going through the banks. It just didn’t make much sense. Nor did we want to look at DeFi, and trading crypto to crypto, dealing with speculations and owning tokens. In the end, people need fiat to pay the bills.
We had to table this idea for the time being.
Building the Infrastructure
Instead, we started on the process of building the stuff around the payout process by building contracts and payment requests by developing our legacy project: gWork. We did this with the approach of a distributed organization, taking into consideration that we’d be dealing with contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors and so on. At the time, we didn’t even think about DAOs, because the potential of DAOs was just being worked out.
Approaching smart contracts with a “pay when paid” philosophy - where when the parent organization gets paid, it automatically triggers payment to the contractors and subcontractors, seemed logical to us. This wasn’t anything new, the construction industry’s been using this for years, but it makes a lot of sense. When the work is complete and the customer pays, the contractor gets paid. This makes a smart contract trustless, which means no one has to worry about the management of it. We did that for several years, building in a non-Web3 environment for contracts and payment requests, based on this logic, with everything running on fiat. Alongside that, in the background, we were working on our automation part: Grindery Nexus.
This past August, we were ready to merge the two - what we’d been building slowly over the past few years for internal use at Inbound Labs, and the capability to automate it. We finally built what we wanted to build in the first place.
Grindery DAO 1
We put our idea into practice by creating our own DAO, and using our prototype tool to pay our team with our most recent payout cycle. It wasn’t flawless, there was some learning to be had, an adoption cycle that took place, but it worked. We completed our original mission. We conducted a payout cycle without any banks, relying on Safe, USDC, and Metamask, all on Ethereum, and integrated with accounting (Xero, if you’re curious). With the Grindery team as the lab rats, we realized our original dream. We might not have created a way to pay the rent via tokens directly, but USDC is definitely a lot easier to offramp.
This was the proof that Grindery Nexus is indeed the improvement that can support cutting edge work structures, relying on smart contracts and reporting, and doing all the payments and settlement on chain, without a bank in the middle. It’s freedom for organizations. It’s freedom from financial institutions. It’s freedom to decentralize payments, distribute currency in a DAO via a voting mechanism, and open up the door for further innovation.
Building Better Payouts. Period
Our goal with Grindery is simple. We want to show that decentralized processes can be better than centralized processes. It’s not about trying to build a better crypto payment system for payouts. We are trying to build a better payout. Period.
And our intent, the theory that we experimented with and proved here, was that it’s possible to tailor a payout process for our organization, with public accountability. This meant relying on Slack to share the payout requests with everyone before approving them. The entire process was predicated on transparency.
Grindery’s original mission was to make payments on the blockchain easier. We’ve done that, and demonstrated it with Grindery DAO 1. That was just the first step. We’re advocating for payouts to be conducted however you think it should work. You’re not restricted to banks anymore, and you can defer control to the community or not. You can use any accounting system, any chain, any token.
You can be in charge of how you want your organization to operate and get paid.
Want to try it yourself? Have some questions? Learn more here.