LikeCoin 3.0 Green Paper: Part Three – The Seven-Step Upgrade

The UBR “Universal Basic Reader” Project‘s partner bookstore for May was the recently closed Mellow Out, with manager Sharon selecting 11 books worth keeping for Hong Kong. I apologize for the oversight this time around that prevented participation; I ended up buying all the books myself and have temporarily stored them. 

Now, on to the main topic, straight into the Green Paper.

After discussing the background of the LikeCoin 3.0 upgrade and reviewing infrastructure options, we move to part three of the Green Paper, which discusses the design of the upgrade process.

Care for Both Validators and Users

In the earlier chapters, I outlined the benefits of the LikeCoin upgrade. However, with LIKE 3.0 transitioning to an ERC-20 token, validators will no longer need to maintain the ledger, and even if their role is retained, it will be more about representing public opinion in governance without mining rewards. Even if validators acknowledge that the upgrade benefits the ecosystem as a whole, their own interests must be considered to ensure the proposal passes by properly addressing their economic incentives.

Validators have always been actively involved in the operation of the LikeCoin chain, collaborating on upgrades and helping newcomers. Some have been committed since the genesis block over four years ago, making them invaluable assets to the community. The upgrade process should find ways to reward these dedicated validators, not just to sway votes but as a rightful recognition of their contributions.

Then there’s the user side. Unlike typical updates for mobile operating systems or apps, where a prompt on the server nudges users to update willingly—or they could enforce it by blocking old versions—the blockchain protocol operates differently. For instance, with LikeCoin, users may continue using an outdated version due to various reasons: reluctance, lack of understanding, unawareness, indifference, lost private keys, etc.

Consider the transition from 2.0 to 3.0, or even from 1.0 to 2.0, which happened over four and a half years ago—there are still 15,263 users holding LIKE 1.0. Most of these holdings are too small to cover the gas fees required for an upgrade. Of course, users are free not to upgrade and it doesn’t affect others, but as a co-founder of LikeCoin, I hope to include every user, encouraging more to upgrade. Moreover, related applications like Liker Land will also update, enhancing the user experience with an upgraded LIKE.

Promoting the advantages of LikeCoin 3.0 is necessary, but not sufficient. To encourage user upgrades, a mix of incentives and subtle pressure may be necessary. Even if users recognize the benefits of the new version, the inertia of staying on 2.0 could cause them to delay upgrading for years.

In summary, the arrangements for upgrading LIKE tokens must consider the validators’ sentiments and contributions, while also providing a smooth upgrade process for users and employing various methods to motivate them to take action.

The Seven-Step Upgrade

Taking into account various considerations, I propose deploying the LIKE 3.0 token upgrade as a seven-part series:

1. Formal Approval of LikeCoin 3.0 Upgrade

It’s important to reiterate that, no matter how detailed the Green Paper is, it only represents my perspective as a stakeholder. Community consensus is needed to legitimize and implement the upgrade. Therefore, the first step is to formally propose the LikeCoin 3.0 upgrade and authorize specific members to execute it.

The proposal should ideally include the following elements:

  • Choice of Ethereum L2 or sidechain: Optimism, Base, Arbitrum, and Polygon all meet the basic requirements, as detailed in Like Coin 3.0 Green Paper: Part Two, Where Does the Coin Fall?
  • The minting quantity for LIKE 3.0: The current total for LIKE 2.0 is 1.4 billion, with new tokens minted every 6 seconds with each new block. The quantity of LIKE 3.0 should be sufficient for all LIKE 2.0 tokens to upgrade.
  • Denomination: LIKE 1.0 supported up to 18 decimal places, reduced to 9 in LIKE 2.0, with the smallest unit being nano (10^-9). It’s suggested that LIKE 3.0 maintain 9 decimal places, or consider reducing further to 6 or even 3 places, as past experience has shown that such precision is rarely required.
  • Multisig wallet: Authorize three well-known community members to open a ⅔ multisig wallet with Gnosis Safe(managed by three, effective with two signatures), to securely manage the LIKE 3.0 community pool and other reserves.

2. Negotiating Upgrade Deadline

After confirming the upgrade intent, a sufficient deadline should be set to allow users to upgrade their tokens and developers to migrate data, such as 6 months or 1 year. From there, count backwards to finalize the upgrade schedule. The community needs to assume that after the deadline, users will no longer be able to exchange LIKE 2.0 for 3.0. This isn’t to force users with a hard deadline, but because once the upgrade is approved, validators may not continue to maintain servers online indefinitely, waiting for the last user to upgrade. Over time, if validators start shutting down, it might become impossible to transact or redeem LIKE 2.0.

It’s worth noting that LIKE 1.0 does not involve the LikeCoin chain. As long as the Ethereum mainnet exists, the ownership records for LIKE 1.0 will be preserved, unaffected by the presence or absence of validators.

3. Designing a Transition Plan for Validators

A compensation scheme should be designed by stakeholders familiar with validator operations, such as the community delegation committee. This plan would not only remunerate validators for past contributions but also support them during the transition period by providing economic incentives to encourage continued operation. 

For instance, the community could allocate a certain amount of LIKE from the community pool, distributing it monthly in proportion to validators who continue to provide services from the month the upgrade proposal is effective, ensuring that the LikeCoin chain operates at least until the upgrade deadline.

4. Halting the Issuance of LIKE 2.0

After implementing the transitional arrangements for validators, the community should pass a parameter-change proposal to adjust the inflation rate of the LikeCoin chain to zero, stopping the issuance of new LIKE 2.0. This locks the number of tokens pending upgrade and avoids complications from the continuous increase in token numbers with each new block. 

Freezing the supply of LIKE 2.0 also eliminates the economic incentive to earn staking rewards, preventing users from preferring to stay on 2.0 and delaying the upgrade to 3.0.

5. Minting LIKE 3.0 Tokens

After testing on the testnet and choosing an auspicious day (just kidding), officially mint LIKE 3.0. Most of these will be stored in a multisig wallet managed by three guardians appointed by the community, with a small portion coupled with stablecoins from the community pool to provide initial liquidity on Uniswap. At this stage, users eager to upgrade can already purchase LIKE 3.0 on Uniswap ahead of others. 

On the operational side, the Marketing Subdao needs to coordinate upgrade arrangements with centralized exchanges like Digifinex and notify information platforms such as CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap to update LikeCoin data. 

While the progress of this part is beyond our control and can be fast or slow, trading can rely on decentralized exchanges, and although information platforms influence public perception of LikeCoin, at least they do not hinder the upgrade to 3.0 and its deployment.

6. Establishing Governance Principles for LikeCoin 3.0

Before opening up for user upgrades, select a platform for processing LikeCoin 3.0 proposals, typically Snapshot, and discuss the core principles of governance, such as the typical one-coin-one-vote, or delegating voting rights to representatives of public opinion, encouraging existing validators and senior community members to serve as public opinion representatives for LikeCoin 3.0.

Propose formally on the LikeCoin chain, with the community voting to approve the above plan and the start date, maintaining governance continuity while also addressing concerns about losing voting rights after upgrading tokens to 3.0, thus encouraging users to upgrade promptly and participate in governance.

7. Enabling the User Upgrade Page

Once the preparations are complete, enable the user upgrade page to encourage users to promptly exchange their old LIKE for LIKE 3.0. Alongside upgrading LIKE 2.0, provide an upgrade path for LIKE 1.0 either on the same page or a separate one.

Simultaneously, remind and encourage community members to drain the liquidity pools of LIKE 2.0 and instead provide liquidity for LIKE 3.0 on Uniswap. Keep pace with updates on services like CoinGecko and CoinMarketCap to ensure the public can access accurate information about LikeCoin 3.0 as soon as possible.

The Cost of Decentralization

In the familiar world of Web 2.0, updating a mobile app is as simple as submitting it to the App Store or Google Play. Website updates are even more straightforward, needing only deployment to the cloud, all led by the developers for high efficiency.

However, iterating blockchain protocols is considerably more complex, especially when it comes to “changing engines in mid-air.” Just listing the procedures can be exasperating enough to frustrate anyone—many might give up reading halfway through this article, or even hesitate to open it after seeing the title—thank you for making it this far. Perhaps leave a comment or a show of hands?

The need for high community involvement in changes is a cost of decentralized operations, but it also highlights its value. After all, not being able to take arbitrary actions is a blessing for the community, making LikeCoin more resilient and sustainable.

P.S. At my desk, I usually have to shift my body slightly to see the screen because what I really want to face directly is the scenery outside the window.


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