Our solution provider concept is not clear, we need to improve. What can we learn from Foldit [Closed]

Dear ThreeFold Enthusiast,

The last months there has been quite some talks over how to deal with the solution provider concept, we would like to make this post as a starting point to improve on this situation.

Originally the concept was meant to be as follows:

The Principle:

A solution provider is someone who builds and/or sells a solution on the TFGrid, a total of maximum 50% of the TFT Revenue stream can go to the combination of the creator of the solution and the sales channel.

There are multiple parties/roles involved:

  • A promoter/influencer (can be more than one) is the party who makes sure the world knows about it
  • A sales channel is someone who sells the solution potentially using fiat currency and will do deployment and billing. The customer needs to sign a contract and terms and conditions with the sales channel…
  • A support channel is someone who supports the solution. The customer needs to sign a contract and terms and conditions with the support channel (often the same as the sales channel).
  • A sales and support channel is someone who sells and supports the solution potentially using fiat currency and will do support, logistics and billing. The customer needs to sign a contract and terms and conditions with the sales/support channel.
  • A solution creator is the team/person who creates a solution using TFGrid capacity.

Depending on the value as provided by each of the above channels/roles the 50% can be split.

This has to be defined well before we ask for a vote of the community.

ThreeFold has legal requirements to full fil

I am sure the community wants us to do the proper thing and realizes we have legal requirements to fulfill.

  • We cannot promote any solution where the end customer is not signing a T&C with a well defined party (company). There are quite some service provider requirements which need to be fulfilled by the provider (e.g. kyc in certain situations, gdpr, …)
  • We cannot promote any solution unless we know the customers will be supported, imagine it fails and customers become really mad and e.g. loose data, our full community and ThreeFold would be the victim of this.
  • We cannot promote any solution where there is risk of compromising the security of our customers, just like any other platform tries to do e.g. all smart contracts on ethereum are and need to be opensource. In case it’s not opensource the supplying party needs to take all risk and indemnify threefold and any developer of ThreeFold technology.

I hope the reader can understand that ThreeFold doesn’t want to take legal responsibility for items we can’t control nor fulfil.

There are issues we need to address towards the future

  • Better Info flow
    • The text around it on the wiki is too minimal, and needs to be fixed.
    • The FAQ which had info around solution providers which was contributed on our wiki for which we are grateful was not properly reviewed and it allowed confusion.
  • We need to agree on how to deal with legal requirements as mentioned above
  • We need to agree and write down how we do GEP’s and DAO votes, now it seems to be too error prone and only very few vote. It also happened too quickly. E.g. we need to make sure that information like distribution percentages are clearly defined before starting a DAO vote.

The Solution which sparked some controversy:

First of all we would like to express our gratitude to Foldit for creating a UI solution on top of the TFGrid, it’s amazing to see how people are building on top of TFGrid.

DAO proposal for approving Foldit as a solution provider on chain and the dao vote https://dashboard.grid.tf/5E9cw3assBdZtgb4gAYPweFPTjkoekS46tb6Z3tbyjx7zbXX/account-dao

Unfortunately some mistakes were made:

  1. The procedures as described on our forum were not followed see About the Solution Provider Proposals category
  2. The vote request did not specify the split of the revenue (e.g. 25% for sales channel, 25% for UI, …), so we technically can’t even implement it.
  3. The moderators of the forum and chats did not do a good enough job to communicate about this and explain well what was done and why.

The DAO vote should never have made it onto the blockchain.

Some people realized that we have an issue and that we would not be able to execute on the DAO request because we don’t even know what to execute on.

This sparked a continued debate where some believe (ThreeFold core team included) that a product like this should be opensource or at least checked before it can be deployed, because otherwise developers could insert malicious code and steal money or even worse plant backdoors in deployed solutions. This means allowing people to deploy a UI which sits between the user and the TFGrid and TFChain can hijack a session. Just like on Ethereum or any well respecting blockchain there is a requirement to have the code opensource (the smart contracts), and no-one would trust non opensource code.

There was also a debate about the percentage, how much should Foldit receive, which is the reason why we couldn’t implement it in the first place.

The ThreeFold Team escalated to the community that we cannot implement the decided DAO vote for these reasons and we need to do a new vote and resolve the issue.

The ThreeFold Belgium team offered Foldit to redo the DAO request, use 25% as the distribution percentage and or do code opensource or make a mechanism which allows ThreeFold or someone else to check the deployed code (which is for sure not our preferred mechanism, we don’t want to be the judge on validating code, this is not our job).

In the meantime TFGrid released version 3.9 and there were breaking API changes because of the farming bot, Foldit has not implemented those changes yet nor agreed with our previous suggestion.

We hope of course Foldit will reconsider and work with us to see what needs to be done.

Let’s compare with other solution providers

GreenEdge and Zonaris Product

The roles:

  • Promotion: GreenEdge
  • Sales: GreenEdge (with billing and terms & conditions, also using EUR as currency)
  • Support: GreenEdge
  • User Interface: GreenEdge
  • Product Creation: GreenEdge (it’s their own product running on top of TFGrid)

GreenEdge has signed a support agreement with ThreeFold, GreenEdge gets their customers to sign terms and conditions which means GreenEdge is now legally responsible for their customers, which means if they would provide malicious code it’s their responsibility. GreenEdge asked for 50% of the revenue and received it.


The roles:

  • Promotion: ThreeFold
  • Sales: ThreeFold
  • Support: ??? not defined, so what will customers do if issues
  • User Interface: Foldit (Foldit is a UI on the ThreeFold core product)
  • Product Creation: ThreeFold and partially Foldit

I hope we don’t upset the community by writing above, we want to re-enforce we are very happy Foldit took effort to create a better UI on top of TFGrid and would like to make sure there is reward and recognition for this.

Further Discussions

More Info

Some other posts written about it

We now need to integrate these ideas and come up with proper suggestions.


Alright, I’ve kept my mouth shut for a long time as to not stir up any drama in the community but this is getting silly. I’ve seen so many distortions, half-truths and sophistry pass by that I’ve had enough.
I apologize for the tone in advance, I probably should calm down first, but I’ve remained calm for months now, and it’s time to give my perspective on this whole situation.

I started working on Foldit in my spare time because I was interested in the Threefold tech. I dug through their libraries and started making a POC for my own use, just to get a better understanding and to develop my own skills. Once that was done, I completed the challenge I set for myself and was ready to move on to something new. Until I saw that it’s possible for community members who develop applications on the grid, to actually make a bit of money from the work they did. So I decided to continue developing and to apply to become a Solution Provider.

I applied and the response was fantastic. I got so many messages from people who were over the moon that we created this, including from the Threefold team and Kristof himself basically saying that we need to get everything we need to make this successful. Great, I thought, I got the full support from the Threefold team and the community. This quickly changed.

Next day all communication stopped. I still got tons of messages from the community, but Threefold stopped communicating with me. Fine, I thought, I’ll wait. So I did. One week later the DAO vote cleared, the community gave its approval for Foldit to become a solution provider. For those who don’t know, this does not happen automatically. After the vote, someone from Threefold has to manually approve the application, which did not happen. Fine, I thought, I’ll wait. A week passed by without any communication, until a very nice person from Threefold contacted me to have a call.

In the call the person informed me why Threefold refused to approve my application, despite the community approving it. Two issues:

  • Foldit is not open source, we want SP’s to be open source
  • Receiving 50% of the revenue is too much, we can’t give you that

A lot more was said, but I’m trying to keep this as succinct as possible. Let’s address these issues:

Foldit is not open source.

Technically this is not true, although in practice it is. Because I was planning to make a decentralized app, Foldit is completely client-based, which means that my web server sends you the application and after that there is no communication between the Foldit web server and the application running locally in your browser. Anyone with a minimum of technical know-how can check this. All code is sent to your browser and can be inspected, althought it has been scrambled and obfuscated. You can track all network requests, which only go to Threefold services (and one to coingecko to fetch the TFT price).

First, some context: I have a full time job and made this in my spare time. I coded this all by myself, with a bit of help frome someone to create the server images. I am not a company, I don’t have a lot of resources or time to fully dedicate myself to this project. Once I applied, I got a lot of messages from people who wanted help with their code. From individuals, but also companies, who have been struggling getting their applications up and running, some of them basically making the same thing I am making. Why are they struggling? Because developing on the grid is a shitty experience. There is (or at least there was when I started) zero developer documentation. Everything had to be figured out by studying the library code or reverse engineering the playground code. That is not an easy task, perfectly doable with enough perseverance, but it does require quite a bit of experience and effort. As a side note, this is not meant as criticism of Threefold staff, I have high levels of respect for them, and especially the developers. They do an excellent job and create some really awesome tech. I’m sure the lack of documentation is because of the same reason I rarely write any documentation for my code, because of a lack of time, or because we’re not given the time.
Threefold was now asking me to make all that work, which I did with the idea in mind to make a bit of money for my efforts, available for anyone (including companies with multiple developers who are basically making competing products) to just copy/paste, dissect and skip over all the tricky issues in making an application like this work on the grid. I have no problem with people making similar services or products on the grid, I welcome it. This can only mean good things for the grid, but to ask me to help everyone for free and basically give up on Foldit (because I don’t have the same amount of resources) is a bit of a stretch. There is a huge difference between a company (Threefold) asking people to develop applications on their services, and therefor making their libraries open source (which if they didn’t, no one could develop anything because there was no documentation, reading through code is your only option.) – and then asking the people making those application (after they have been approved) to now also make all of their code open source. Saying that people who use open source code must also build open source is but one disingenuous argument made about this topic, another was that it even might be illegal to do it closed source because of licensing. I won’t address them all, they’re so misguided that they’re not even wrong.

I made this point in the call, and the person from Threefold understood this and suggested a compromise: Make your code available for the Threefold team to review, so they can ensure I’m not up to anything nefarious. While I was still very annoyed that these stipulations are only made now, I said that maybe I’m open to that if everyone is treated equally. I asked whether Zonaris has had any code reviews, and the response was “no but we can, we have access to their code”. I have sincere doubts that this was always the case (I mean at the point of their approval), but I can not prove it.
One of the arguments they used was that Threefold was promoting Foldit, which is kinda true. They did make a tweet and made some announcements on Telegram, but I never asked for that. While I appreciate them doing this, (in all fairness, they have a vested interested in doing so, so it’s not entirely altruistic) I have never asked to be promoted, nor was it ever a condition for applying as an SP that you have to be promoted by Threefold and therefor have to make your code open source.

But fine, let’s say I agree to code reviews, which (in principle) I’m not against. The main argument used for this is security, but this is very misleading. Doing a code review provides zero insurance that the code actually served by the webserver is the code that’s being reviewed. I can give Threefold access to my code repository, they can see it’s completely clean, and I could just serve up another (malicious) code base if I wanted to. If the goal is to protect users – doing a code review, or making it open source, provides absolutely no security guarantees about Foldit “being clean”, whatsoever, and anyone claiming it does is either being untruthful or is very misinformed.
Another suggestion was to sign some kind of agreement/document where I swear to be a good boy, also not something I’m against. I know I have good intentions, so that’s fine by me, but it (again) serves no actualy security purpose. If this was an official legal document, maybe it could hold some power, but I don’t have a company so I’m not entirely sure how that would work.

Foldit should not receive 50% of revenue

Now we get to the juicy part, and what is (I suspect) the real deal breaker for Threefold. I have no way of knowing or proving this, but I suspect that seeing an actual, concrete price coupled to an actual server application on Foldit (eg: A Minecraft server for €10/month) triggered (or retriggered) a realisation that maybe Threefold’s pricing model was a bit off.
I don’t follow every little bit of news within the community but I did follow stuff about Solution Providers, and all the small print and conditions about promoting, selling, sales channels etc… was just never a condition for applying. Yes, there have been occasional mentions of those things, in a lost wiki page, or a random forum post, but nothing concrete or clear. The idea that all these things were conditions from the start, or at least that they were communicated clearly to people, is utter nonsense, and I’m glad that that’s being admitted. Doesn’t change the fact that changing the rules, after an application, after a year of development on those pretences, is a shitty thing to do.

I agree, 50% is too much. I think everyone agrees, and everyone who saw that from the start probably agreed. Yet those were the conditions. My reasoning was that they’re probably keeping those rates so high to attract developers, and that after they got a sizeable pool of devs, who are all building stuff, that these rates would go down. Lots of crypto project offer high rates to early adopters, after which those rates go down, seemed like a simular situtation to me. Nope. As soon as I applied, after a long silence, I was informed that it’s not okay for me to get those rates.
For those who don’t know, when you apply for an SP on the grid, you can set your own percentage. The person applying for the SP, can choose how much percentage goes to which wallet (with a maximum of 50%). So I did, it’s on the blockchain, clear as day. Anyone could see the application, including everyone who voted to approve the DAO proposal, and people still approved it, but Threefold decided otherwise.

In the call, about this issue, the main focus was on “Sales Channels”. If you want a high rate, you also have to be a sales channel. So I asked what that was, and it’s basically “a person/company/entity who brings in new people to the grid”. Okay, so how do I become a Sales Channel? How do apply for it? How many new people do you need to bring to the grid to get a certain rate? How are you going to measure the amount of people? How do you know these are new people? The reply: There is no application proccess atm, there is no way of measuring anything, it’s still a concept and we have to think on how we’re going to do this. So I can’t get my SP approved under the originally promised conditions because I’m not a sales channel, and I can’t apply for a sales channel because it’s not a defined thing yet. Great.
I don’t even know where to begin in criticizing the comparison made by Kristof between Zonaris and Foldit, especially when pouring it into this format of “roles”. I think it’s misleading and completely misses the point, but I’ll let everyone make up their own mind about this.

When Kristof says that I’ve been contacted to redo the DAO vote with 25%, that is not true. The person from the call asked to have another call, but since I have a full time job, I haven’t had the time to accept this during working hours, so you could say it’s my fault that his proposal hasn’t reached me yet. But to say that they have offered me this compromise and I didn’t agree, is misleading at best. During the first call there have been several ideas, nothing concrete, and everything cushioned in “we can talk about this, we can discuss this, we’ll get your feedback to Kristof and we’ll see how it goes from there”. At no point has there been a concrete proposal “Foldit can get 25% with a DAO vote”.
One of the issues I struggle with, and I mentioned this during the call, is that this is all happening in private. For all the talk about openness and community involvement, it felt very backroomy to make these kind of decisions and deals between me and Threefold, without anyone in the community, especially those who voted, to be involved. I’m glad to see this is improving as of now, at least about this situation.

Foldit is broken

It’s true, Foldit is broken now, because of the API changes. I started on implementing these changes, but since there’s no technical developer documentation about the changes AFAIK, it was again a matter of studying existing code and figuring out what changed and where. This is again something that annoys me. I got a clear message when I applied: “get this guy everything he needs, we need to get Foldit prepared for 3.9”. Wow, great. Didn’t happen. Which is fine, I can figure it out by myself given enough time. I never asked any Threefold person for any help before I applied, but it’s another example how it’s become very hard for me to trust anything that Threefold tells me. I got completely demotivated and just stopped working on it. Why would I bother, if the next day the rules can just change. Maybe next week the rates drop to 10%, without a DAO vote. Who knows. Because this stuff keeps happening.

When people in the community started complaining about this situation (I tried to keep myself out of it, because I thought I was too involved to try and steer it), the reply was very disappointing. I won’t address every litte (wrong) thing that was communicated but eventually the consensus was: Let’s make a forum post and discuss it together what we should do. This post didn’t come (one did, from a community member but there was no dicusssion), for quite a while, until people started complaining again. Starting to sense a pattern?

Yesterday I was contacted by a staff member who basically said: “Sorry for how this process went, we understand you’re probably disappointed, but we reached an internal consensus that we’re moving on with the original motion as it stands on chain.”
Okay… I was incredibly surprised (I had basically given up at this point), very skeptical, but cautiously optimistic.
Today I wake up to this forum post, which although not stating outright that Foldit is not getting the promised deal, is heavily implying that it won’t, or at least shouldn’t.

I’m not sure what to think anymore at this point. My position is quite simple: Honour you deal. Even if it’s a shitty one. And I agree it’s a shitty one, and it needs to be altered. But you alter it through a DAO vote and GEPs, and let the community decide. You don’t override the process and nullify my work and the votes of the community because you made shitty design choices. If you really believe in these lofty words of community-based decisions and openness and building a new internet together, you honour your word and if it turns out to be wrong, you change it through the community. Out in the open, from day one. Right now, I suspect there will be weeks of either discussion or silence, at the end of which no progress will have been made. My SP will still not have been activated, and any changes to the procedure or rates or whatever won’t have been decided or implemented. Call me a pessimist, but I’m done holding out hope. The decision making process is volatile and clearly flawed.

This is not just about me or Foldit. I haven’t spoken a word about this publicly, for several reasons. I didn’t want to cause drama, I didn’t want to call people out, I didn’t want to be labeled “negative” as seems to happen so often when someone offers criticism, valid or not. But I’ve had enough. In my opinion, one of the most crucial things Threefold needs right now is utilisation, which means it needs an application layer. If you’re wanting to attract developers and create an eco-system where hobbyists or companies want to create stuff on your infrastructure, this is not the way to go about it. It really isn’t. It’s counter-productive, demoralising and seriously unprofessional.

Several people have asked to buy my code base. Again, if you don’t understand why I don’t make this open source, you probably have never been a professional developer. Time and effort like this is worth money to people. Threefold staff gets a salary from their work on TF, I don’t. I hold almost zero TFT, so this was my only path to actually invest in Threefold. So maybe I’ll do that, just sell it. I hope there’s still a way out of this, but I can’t see it evolving very positively, at least not for me. I hope the application process changes as soon as possible, so other people won’t get screwed over like this anymore, and everything is clear to everyone from the start. I still love this project, still love the community and I’d still love to help make it grow using Foldit, but I’m done waiting and trusting.

I want to thank everyone who have shown me and Foldit support, complimented my work or was just plain nice to me. Your kind words mean a lot, and hopefully we can work together in the future to make Threefold the success it should be.


Dear all,

I understand we are all very passionate which is a good sign but please let’s keep on working with the facts and put things in perspective.

We are all trying to do our best and protect everyone’s interest involved.

Its obvious mistakes in e.g. communication have been made which can be expected from any project.

I do not believe that anyone has bad intentions.

The only thing we are trying to do here is to get the voting process to work and we understand what does it take to be a solution provider, make sure the missing pieces of information are available, we find agreement about on how the process for voting is supposed to work and vote again.

If we realise that we were doing something wrong, e.g. not enough info in how the process works, wouldn’t you expect that it needs to be fixed? How else can we figure it out then to see a mistake being made?

So please lets stay with the process as suggested

  • we get the information clear e.g. will there be support?
  • will there be terms and conditions?
  • if not opensource, are the terms and conditions good enough to cover this? ThreeFold does not want to be liable for it.
  • how much percentage is asked for the work which will be done and has been done?

then it will be on the community to vote for it,

I believe this is all reasonable and I hope everyone sees it as is

I didn’t expect the response as given above, we are very happy that someone took the time to make this user interface and we want to do all what is needed but its also our job to protect threefold and try to be as fair as we can.

For the record it’s not about the 50% and none of the TFT are used to pay back anyone, they go to the foundation wallet and 0 of them have been used. Those funds are there to fund projects benefiting the project and DAO votes will be done for that, we would appreciate we are treated fairly too and no unfair accusations are done. ThreeFold Dubai has nothing to do with the investments in ThreeFold tech, please let’s stay with the facts.



I would appreciate if we could address what decisions were made by who specifically as saying “some people” decided very much seems like avoidance of taking responsibility.

I have a pretty simple outlook here, this is wrong.

I think we should all take a very hard look at the fact that we have a incident where threefoldtech vetoed a grid dao vote and then expected the people who had already dedicated months of time for free, to do more.

There was a time that the grid was claimed not to be beholden to the will of investors, clearly that has changed.

When the “investors” ask how Threefold lost its only community made deployment interface and the person that was the most prominent leader of the community over the last year, I suggest you direct them to this thread.

For anyone that is curious, in the past year I have recieved one grant of approximately 200$ in tft. That covered less than half of a single months farm expense. I put in probably over 40 hours a week for a year.

It’s incredible that the project can have 70+ employees yet one young person can outdo them on ui so much so that it’s demanded to make the code open source and hand it over in order to participate. I really think we’ve lost sight of the purpose here.


Long i decided not to get involved. But I’m responding to just let y’all know I care. But for all of you. And as in any organisation and project there will be a time that humans will make mistakes and stand up against each other. I personally believe the decentralised technology of Threefold is an awesome solution that takes on many issues with the current internet. And to be honest, i hate democracy. Because I think it’s not in most cases. I prefer sociocracy . It ain’t going to happen because people are too stubborn.
I think it’s very hard to start a massive project as this, and be 100% prepared. Even after a DAO vote, conclusion later on may differ, based on new experiences.
I think next to Nelson and Drew I’m also a very active member, but more outside these days and less online. I threw my keyboard away several times due to lack of response, broken TF services like the App (currently still going on for 3 days now, apparently 75 peeps can’t fix this) , the playground, the farmbot and so on. I have had countless checks with the team about the node and farm specifications to become a gold farmer, and when i finally ticked all the boxes i found that NONE of the current gold farmers meet all the requirements. And for sure my own met more than at least one of them and still it took TF more than 6weeks to approve. Why? They wanted me to sign a contract that still needed to be drafted. It’s only when I told them I’d sign if i see the signatures of the other gold farms i eventually got approved 'under conditions '. One of many frustrated times where you wonder why they’d make it so hard for their most supporting and trustworthy community members.

I can go on too.

I could write forum posts, complaint harder then i do now and even sell all (like nelson i invested a lot of money too), but i decided to focus forward and chase the positive.

What i do agree with above; you do not change the rules halfway without first approving current ongoing requests under the old (incomplete?) rules and only then decide on new rules as DAO and discuss the previous approvals together. Also whether it should be open source or not. (Which i believe it should be as much as possible)

But still; the positive vibes i get after my presentations, the awesome support from Mik, Scott, Sam, Jan and Weynand for instance will keep me going, next to TF offering an awesome product.

Let’s remain calm, involved and stick together. We need as much support as we can, from all the above and more. It’s easier to create a negative vibe and the entire world of enemies of this project to abuse that, then to remain the best thing since sliced bread.

PS. Another order came in, nodes to build. Love y’all cheers.


Hey everyone,

It’s time for me to share my own perspective on this situation and propose a way we can move forward. So far I’ve mostly approached this with a singular goal: to uphold the vote we took and get Foldit the 50% split that’s generating so much controversy. Instead, I’d now like to offer a compromise that I hope we can all agree to.

This project has many stakeholders of different kinds and with different amounts at stake. One thing I love about ThreeFold is that anyone can find a way to contribute and we operate largely as a meritocracy. The solution provider program is one manifestation of that. So of course, I want to see a contribution with merit, like Foldit, be recongized in a way that builds confidence that the system is working as intended.

Where we stand

Our current situation is that the proposal to approve Foldit was passed by the vote and then suspended by veto. The reasons for this have been explained above, but the biggest one is the question of liability for ThreeFold’s legal entities and the people behind them. This had not come up before because our first solution provider, Zonaris, acts as a legal counterparty to their users with their own terms of service.

My initial reaction to the idea of voting again for Foldit is that we should then also vote again for Zonaris, since both votes were conducted in the same way with ambiguity around the percentage split. If the community feels this is necessary, we could indeed do it for sake of absolute fairness. But upon further reflection I feel there is no need for this because there is no question among the team or community that Zonaris deserves the 50%.

Open source

As for open source, I recognize that it doesn’t eliminate every security risk and also that apps like Foldit run in the users browser in a way that’s already fairly open. I think it’s a very reasonable stance that any closed source solution providers must take full responsibility for the outcomes of their code, by becoming the counterparty in legal terms agreed to by their users.

I should also say here that as a community, we have a simple way to protect solution providers who release their code as open source. We do this by rejecting any solution provider proposals from someone who simply copies the code of an existing open source solution. Actually, open source solution developers could gain an extra opportunity to earn by receiving a split of revenues from solutions that use their code as a base. Nobody wants to see devs lose out because they released their code, and considerations around this should be part of how we clarify the larger process.


With all that said, here’s what I’d like to propose:

  1. @kiluminati agrees either to take on all legal liability for the use of Foldit or to release the source code

  2. Establish how Foldit users will get support, so we know how to direct any queries that end up with our support team

  3. Vote again with the 50% share clearly stated, and with the understanding that this will not be the future norm for all solutions


I hope that we can come together and move ahead. If anything doesn’t seem fair or reasonable in what I’ve written, please let’s discuss it.


I think Scott has proposed an excellent solution.

having a terms of service on the application is pretty important for @kiluminati to protect himself as-well.

I imagine there is a possibility where with some advisement a Basic TOS that absolves both parties of liabilities could be used.


I must say, this is type of response I would of expected to begin with in this situation. There was never a need for there to be separate teams here, we’re all moving towards the same goal. Talking openly about what happened and how we can make it right and prepare for the future will always prevail over closing doors and giving notice of what can’t be done.


Hear, hear, @scott. I appreciate the thought behind this and personally I am in agreement with this proposal.

@ParkerS Agreed. There were too many side conversations and misunderstandings. Big lessons. A lot to learn from this one. I am proud to see the community voicing honest opinions, putting it all out there, and working through it … and believe it will make us stronger in the long run. One team one dream. :pray:

@kiluminati I know this has been a painful process for you. I am sorry for that, truly. It was tough to read your reply but I appreciate you sharing. There is still a lot of support for what you have started from so many people involved in this project. I hope you can see and feel that. And I hope that we can all put this behind us.

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By the way @RobertL you are awesome. :heart:

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A complex situation that was dealt with suboptimal communication.

Clearly, we are in the early process of solution providers and it wasn’t handled properly. Thanks for the pioneers for going through this. The FAQ has been updated with the new information and clarifications and it will be updated when new information comes along.

I think what @kiluminati wrote in this thread is very important and must be taken into account.

What @scott proposed above seems fair and logical.

It seems clear to me that we shouldn’t go back on what was voted: 50% for Foldit shouldn’t be renegotiated as it was voted on in the blockchain.

But as we discussed here, we need to have further notions on this whole solution provider subject and we need to set a clear template for future solution providers and make sure that the vote and conditions are clear for anyone voting.

As @kristof said: “we would not be able to execute on the DAO request because we don’t even know what to execute on.”

This is clearly a good point. So let’s make sure the DAO request needs are as clear as possible.

What has been brough here is that we need to know, for any solution provider, the following:

  • What are the Terms and conditions

    • This also implies the liability conditions
  • The support provided for the solution

  • If the solution is open or closed source *

    • Also if the solution is client-based or not can have an impact here
  • What will be the marketing provided with the solution

  • What is the percentage (up to 50%) wanted for the solution

* @kiluminati pointed out that Foldit is completely client-based. That is indeed very good for the users as it ensures great security.

If @kiluminati agrees to provide information on the terms and conditions as well as the support for Foldit, we could have a new vote and then have the project move forward.

I think one thing is clear: the whole community really appreciates and thinks highly of Foldit and @kiluminati’s work. Foldit definitely has the merit to be a solution on the TFGrid.

TF should also provide, when possible, the help necessary for Foldit to be up to date with the new TFGrid release.

As @ParkerS said, “we’re all moving towards the same goal”. Let’s thus communicate clearly and work together to make TF as good as can be.

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Let’s not lose momentum here, what is the next step we need to take in order to get the id issued and foldit brought up to speed on the 3.9 changes


We haven’t heard from @kiluminati either in this thread or by Telegram message since I made the proposal. Without his input and agreement, we can’t move ahead.

Since it’s so silent around this problem I would like to share my take on it. Not for the sake of sharing but in the hope this can be resolved and rectified so we can lift the worrisome situation around the Foldit DAO vote.

I helped creating Foldit by making the flists, some features and testing. All credits definitely go to @kiluminati since I cannot write code, but just to state my stake in the project.

For me personally there is only one issue at hand, that is the blockage of the Foldit DAO vote on the Mainnet TFchain. In this DAO vote farmers had to choose if the Foldit UI has the right to get a working solution provider ID or not, a threshold of at least 25 votes was set. All the requirements to have the right to a DAO vote have been met, since the vote itself was created on the TFchain. The end result was that Foldit was approved by the farmers for a working solution provider ID. All the active DAO rules at that time were respected before and during the DAO vote. After the vote, the approved ID is until now never provided to the requester, Foldit.

After this incident, almost all public conversations around this where about many different subjects, except for the fact that a DAO vote has not been executed.
All these different subjects like legal liability, open source, support … all make very much sense. The lack of these requirements around a solution provider need to be resolved as quickly as possible. It makes no sense not to have these issues resolved and written down in detail. So to be clear, I’m all pro and even want to help develop them.

But, for me personally, we can not continue discussing if the original community approved DAO vote is not honored and executed. This is a serious matter since its all about trust. For me the value of a DAO vote becomes questionable if the outcome is not guaranteed. If it’s not guaranteed, it’s not how a DAO was intended to be. But rather a survey system about what the community would prefer happening around a particular question.

In general, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) has incredible potential to create trust less economics. Since I as a participant know the other side has no choice then to respect what has come out of a vote. So respecting the result that comes out of a DAO vote is essential for it’s own existence, if not the result has no value so why participate in the first place.
The same goes for blockchains. Once something is on a chain, it’s there forever … unless the operators fork or even revert a chain. If that can happen, most of the real (none technical) values of a blockchain are gone (Remember ETH and ETH Classic).

Everything that is proposed and talked about how the solution provider should look like can still be implemented even if you respect a previous DAO vote which lacks these conditions. Why not respect the Foldit DAO vote result to then launch a new one the next week/month to re-work the conditions. If the community passes it, then what harm has been done? Even less harm then now, since then the DAO would have been respected and a very different atmosphere would arise around this problem.

Currently, all the momentum around Foldit is below 0. The current version of foldit.tf is the result of many hours spend in free time. It was fun, learned many things and there are many more ideas to add and improve. I shared the knowledge gained when making flists in this community guide.
Unfortunately, I can not find the logic or motivation to continue on Foldit in this situation for reasons above. Everything around the solution provider has been very disappointing until now.

I sincerely hope the situation can be resolved in the proper way. I care deeply for this project and the values it brings because there are not many like it, maybe even none.
There is so much utilization to be brought to the current grid and especially at this time I think it would benefit the project greatly. That goes for any project that would bring more utilization.


It would also be a big morale boost if this finally happened. It did damage community trust and enthusiasm to some degree.


I know for me it was a lot more then a little bit. This really put an continues to put a sour taste in my mouth.

I hold myself to an extremely high standard when it comes to taking ownership of problems and finding solutions. For me this organization has to do the same at all points for this project to be sucessful.

I really think this break down has nothing to do with 50% rewards, terms of service or any of the other things it was attributed to.

Cut and dry, something was presented that threatened the stability of the status quo and was unexpected. In a hasty reaction to that, the organization let fears about the down side of what could happen completely obscure the possibilities of what was in front of us.

At the core of this issue is whether or not the DAO votes actually mean anything or are they just a way to take a community opinion poll.

I think there’s is only one clear roadmap to putting a bandaid on the bullet hole in organizational trust we have left and that is to issue the solution provider I’d exactly as it was voted on. At the end of the day if that doesn’t happen it invalidates everything about the grid being decentralized or not subject to big money investments.

It doesn’t matter if it’s HPE, Google, trusted caretakers or kristof himself. No one should be able to arbitrarily veto what the community decides by vote.

If something passes that may be damaging the answer is not to bin all the rules and everything we stand for, the answer is to present the problem to the community, open a second dao vote to make changes to the first and explain why it’s important it’s improved.

This entire situation became a failure the second we decided we could not trust the community to fix a problem in a way to support the life of the grid and decided that big brother (kristof) needed to step in and issue directives from the throne with a ceo stamp next to it.

Their were multiple victims of bad decisions here the individuals that created foldit and brought it to you out of nothing but good intent, and your entire community who lost a significant amount of momentum and trust.

I encourage everyone involved in this situation to watch this ten minute video and ask yourself are we making decisions to play an infinite or finite game here?


So the story continues:

Apparently this discussion could not continue without me giving my opinion, which saddens me. I don’t think this problem is about me or Foldit but about Solution Providers in general. Why all debate here has ceased, until I give my personal opinion about this “compromise”, is beyond me. But fine, here goes:

  1. I have to take on all legal liability for the use of Foldit or to release the source code: Several issues with this:
  • It continues the line of thinking that releasing the source code provides any security guarantees or legal “safeguarding”, and it does not. It just doesn’t. I have explained this already. It is a logical fallacy and it’d be nice if someone would address this argument instead of ignoring it.
  • Foldit is dependent on lots of services coming from Threefold. These services have their issues, I’ve had lots of instances where these went down. It’s also perfectly possible that nodes go down, without any HA functionality or backups. I will not take full legal responsibility for things that are beyond my control.
    Even if we ignore the previous two points, I wouldn’t know where to start in writing Terms of Service to account for all these things. Would Threefold help me with this? Do I have to hire a lawyer? Do I need a legal entity or would I have to start a company? I have no clue.
  1. Establish how Foldit users will get support, so we know how to direct any queries that end up with our support team: Come on guys… there’s a Foldit Telegram channel that is linked on the website, several Threefold people have already joined there, I have answered questions there before, I have answered every problem any user has asked me in private as well. But if you need me to explicitly state it: Foldit support can be found in the #Foldit telegram channel…

  2. Vote again with the 50% share clearly stated, and with the understanding that this will not be the future norm for all solutions: I’ve tried making my position about this topic clear, it seems we’re just not seeing eye to eye. No, I don’t want an exception for Foldit and do a revote. I want everyone to be treated equally and for the rules and the community to be respected, it’s really really simple: Either approve the original DAO vote that you vetoed, or repeal the SP for everyone, including your own Playground and Zonaris. You can immediately do another vote where you cut Foldit’s share to 0.01% if you like. I don’t care anymore, it’s not about the money, it’s about the principles that Threefold supposedly cares about. I know none of these things will happen anyway, and if it did, it could easily be overridden if management throws another tantrum. DAO votes have become suggestions rather than enforced rules.

I haven’t responded for a while because I’ve been busy in my personal life (Foldit is a hobby project) and I’ve completely lost all motivation. From broken promises, to bad or no communication, to outright skewing of the truth and sophistry, Threefold has given me absolutely no reason to ever put trust in them again. Even if I agree to all of this, are we going to debate these issues for another few months? Is this thread going to dry up again and get ignored unless I take the lead or make more concessions? Even if I agreed to it all, and ignore the loss of income during all these months, and draft up a Terms of Service taking FULL legal responsibility, even for things beyond my control, and we do another pointless revote – what is stopping Threefold from just changing their minds again? Nothing. Without the DAO votes being respected, this is just another typical corporation where the community holds no power. I’m completely disappointed and demotivated and I’m not going to put more effort into a project that is cleary unprofessionally managed and doesn’t adhere to the very principles it claims to hold dear: Community driven development. It’s a facade. A shame, as it’s clear that there is a hugely talented group of developers and general staff behind Threefold.

I’m sure there are people who think I’m being dramatic now, or that I’m the one blocking progress here, because I haven’t responded for a while or because I’m not enthusiastic about this compromise, or because I’m giving off “negative vibes”… That’s fine, I’m not here to convince you that I’m not the problem in all of this. Please don’t let my cynicism block progress on developing the concept of Solution Providers. Continue to debate it and define it, nobody needs Foldit for that. I was still considering picking this project up again, maybe, after I processed some of my frustrations. But then today, another punch in the face:

So it seems that while Threefold has been blocking my (community approved!) application to become a SP, they have instructed their developers to upgrade Playground in a very specific way – Playground does have an approved SP ID by the way, and got it without any of the procedural bullshit they’ve thrown my way. What are the upgrades you ask? Some of them are clearly lifted from Foldit, like tooltips, showing deployment cost, showing locked tokens, and a better login procedure. They even explicitly state this:

“We simplified the login/connecting the wallet flow with almost the same experience the foldit project provided, it seems like everyone liked how it was done”

This is where I draw the line. Threefold vetoes my approval, comes up with new demands, and meanwhile is lifting features from the very project they’re blocking and using them in their own project, which they did grant an SP ID. And some people wonder why I wasn’t willing to share my code. I’m not going to compete with the company that clearly holds all the power in this relationship and is willing to continue to stoop lower and lower to get their way. I’m done. The only way I would even consider continuing on this project is if they drop the veto, but they won’t. They just don’t care. I say “they”, but I mean “he”. I’ve tried refraining from ad hominem and pointing fingers but I’m fed up.

To all the people who have shown support and appreciation, thank you very much, it’s been a fun ride. To all the lovely Threefold staff, who have all been friendly, courteous, and at times even apologetic to me: Thank you too, I appreciate all your effort in making this work, I know this is beyond your control.

@Kristof: I hope you find a way inside your head to listen to the community and the people who want nothing but the best for Threefold. A good leader listens to their subordinates, he doesn’t think he knows best on all things. Humility is key. I wish you luck in making this project successful, as it seems it’s mostly in your hands.


I want to first address a few points, and then propose a way to address what seems to be the core concern.

Our position is simply that we are willing to be more flexible in how we handle the question of ToS and liability when working with an open source project. Open source is only more secure to the extent that anyone reads the code and verifies that they are actually running the code they read, yes. While it actually can be a legal safeguard, that’s not the point here. We’re just saying that any solution provider who wants to stay closed source should take responsibility for what happens when people use their solution.

You don’t have to use any of the services we provide. These are all open source and you can run your own instances. We offer publicly accessible instances both to serve the solutions we offer like the Playground and Terraform provider, and also for the benefit of the community.

As for nodes going down, that’s the sort of thing you would handle in terms of service. The main liability that needs to be addressed for an interface is what happens if someone loses funds after entering their private keys into the software.

This is all your responsibility as long as the code is closed source. That’s our basic stance here—release the source and we’re willing to help.

If this were really, true, we wouldn’t still be here having this discussion. The voting process hasn’t gone according to the “code is law” expectations that are maybe fair when the term “DAO” is in use, for sure. Everything that we’re trying to do with community involvement and governance is still more or less untested. Mistakes and messy situations are going to happen.

One way I see the tension here is between community driven and commercial forms of decision making. We are essentially inventing a new way of organizing a project that can balance these inputs. A “typical corporation” wouldn’t be inviting a discussion here or trying to find a compromise.

Something that hasn’t been discussed so far is that solution providers can also be removed with a DAO vote. One of the concerns that’s been somewhat lost in the mix here is that the voting window for Foldit was perhaps too short and some farmers didn’t get a chance to vote. When we talk about rules, this is something that’s been ambiguous and can definitely have an impact on the outcome.

So while I didn’t want to suggest this before since I think it’s a step backwards rather than forwards, here’s an idea that could settle some of the process based concerns and restore a sense of integrity in the DAO:

Create a motion to remove Foldit as a solution provider. Then we will know whether a well mobilized and informed vote supports the original motion. If the motion to remove is rejected, it can be seen as equivalent as taking a second vote to approve the 50%. If the motion passes, then the veto will have been upheld via the established process and we have a chance for a fresh start.

Your right we can actually probably open any DAO vote we want.

Where exactly can I find the WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED guidelines for a farmer to open a DAO vote, that will be presented to the community regardless of if the foundation likes the topic or not?

You can check the specs of the DAO implementation here. Notably, only members of the “council” can create proposals to vote on.

Is the membership list of the council public information?

This document also requires 3 council members in order to veto a vote, do we have documentation that has occurred in this situation?