Founder Fireside Chat with Ryan Garner of Tracer

Chaz Schmidt
Jul 20, 2021
|6 minutes read
fireside chat tracer

The Founder Fireside Chat series hosted by DeFi Pulse interviews DeFi founders in the hopes of offering readers an opportunity to better understand their perspective and what drives them to build their vision.

Welcome back! This week we had the opportunity to chat with Ryan Garner, Ex-Augur architect, whose dev team Lion’s Mane is partnering with Tracer DAO to build innovative financial tools for the future of finance.

We are building a protocol for creating financial protocols. We refer to this financial protocol generator as the Tracer Factory. While a few existing platforms allow holders of their governance token to vote on what the developers do next including creating new financial protocols, Tracer is fundamentally different. The Tracer Factory allows anyone to create their own financial protocol with the rules they desire and install it into the Factory.

Additionally, the deployment of new financial contracts does not require any developer skills, and is free except for the unavoidable transaction fee. Because Tracer’s Factory is a metaprotocol that is free to use, it is a gift to the world granting broad access to financial tools of equal and better quality than all existing platforms, with reduced overhead cost. This decimates the ability of existing platforms to rent seek. Additionally, we are different in our commitment to decentralisation.

For Tracer, governance is not an afterthought that comes years after launch like most products, nor is it simply a way for stakers to signal what they request the core developers to do. Tracer is fully autonomous and decentralised from genesis, and control over governance was claimed by random community members. This governance has the power to start or stop paying any development team and those teams have no control over the Tracer project any more than these pseudonymous governors allow.

Governance will vote to expand the capability of the Factory and fund the development of user interfaces and growth of the ecosystem. Because Tracer has not received funding, there are no angel investors pressuring Tracer to rent-seek or to have any part of the system be proprietary.

If it were only possible to have a single peer-to-peer protocol, that protocol would ideally have security equal to the value it secures while being as decentralised as possible while being barely affordable for the average user due to limited scalability.

However, this question is based on a false trilemma by implying that such a choice is up to peer-to-peer protocol developers. This choice belongs to users, and their varied preferences will eventually result in many protocols each tailored to the users needs with all protocols efficiently bridged together.

We hope that one day such a question will be irrelevant to ask a developer of a protocol. To that end we are developing a protocol factory; one that allows community members to create custom financial protocols without approval, effort, or funding that can each handle this trilemma in their own way.

Additionally, each of these financial protocols will be compatible with an array of distributed ledgers that likewise handle this trilemma in ways the users prefer.

Insurance. The ability for users of DeFi to lose a small percent of their holdings per year in exchange for being guaranteed they will not lose their locked funds to protocol failure or system exploits will allow a lot more capital to flow into the fringes of DeFi where there are more experimental and dangerous ideas, that have a greater chance of creating fundamental and powerful innovation.

When you look closely, many DeFi projects are a jumble of copied assumptions, code, and methodologies that were never looked at closely from first principles. When a project is first to market but makes inefficient code, unoptimised formulas, overly cautious design decisions and has system, accounting and operating procedures that are not intuitive…. but seems to be functioning, its surprising how virtually all other DeFi projects will just copy these things with a “if it works, don’t fix it” mentality.

As a development team, Lion’s Mane has been tempted by this way of thinking, but in each case, have been better off changing our mind, backtracking and spending more time. While the creators of existing projects may be experts in their field, we believe in the words of Richard Feynman: “I define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts”.

The more innovative something is, the more it strikes at the fundamentals and questions first principles. These are especially important when you are trying to generalise a protocol that others have managed to rig together for a specific use case.

This meme sent DOGE up more than 5x and is now causing the SEC to investigate if it is illegal to tweet a picture of a dog LOL.

Thank you to Ryan for taking the time to speak with us. You can find Ryan on Twitter at @imkharn. You can learn more about Lion’s Mane and Tracer by following their respective Twitters at @lionsmane_eth and @tracer_finance. There’s also Tracer’s Discord for those looking to jump in the action.

And… Thank you for reading. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the series like, for example, which DeFi founders you’d like to see highlighted in the future.