Here’s something like another side to this:
I don’t think Serum expected to change to a DAO when the initial tokenomics were drafted. It should be so obvious to someone as smart as SBF (and other Serum founders) that a DAO where the public owns less than 1% while the vast majority of the tokens are locked for insiders is in no way a legitimate DAO, and that the community would audibly confused if the Serum team started calling this thing a DAO. They also couldn’t have predicted the recent rise of DAOs (actually “fair” DAOs, Sushi, Mango, etc…), so they probably thought having sort of centralized tokenomics are fine. This “DAO” was probably created for legal reasons rather than to actually decentralize Serum, because I don’t think even the current Serum team is dull enough to think they are actually decentralizing anything here.
But Serum’s FDV is probably another thing completely. This low circulating market cap and large locked/FDV was intentionally chosen so Serum could have a theoretically huge treasury (in fact, largest in crypto), in dollar value terms, so that they could give grants to build the ecosystem or possibly raise future fundraising rounds at huge valuations. This is great for the insiders that got in early, since they’re worths many millions or even billions on paper, but is absolutely horrible for retail investors getting in later.
Serum’s FDV is currently almost equal to Solana’s market cap. Even the Serum team themselves couldn’t say with a straight face that this is reflective of Serum’s true current value (check out Serum’s volume compared to UniSwap), but they sure will claim the token price is real when they give token grants.
Anyhow, for Serum to 10x in the next 3 years, with a FDV of $50 billion, its FDV would be $500 billion. That’s bigger than Ethereum’s valuation right now. Compare to Mango, with an FDV of $3 billion, a 10x would be only a $30 billion FDV. Or Raydium, a 10x would be a $50 billion FDV. Even UniSwap, a 10x would be less than $200 billion. This isn’t even considering the billions of the team’s SRM that will be unlocked in the next few years, surpressing the price. With fees being lowered even more, burns will be negligible too. Serum is an awful investment for retail, who are looking for outperforming gains in crypto.
But many of the current team members might have not been around when the initial tokenomics were drafted, and they’re probably just employees working for a paycheck, not the founders of this project. Even though they might have many millions of SRM locked up, we can’t blame them for this situation. @JiangNotYang is probably a Serum contributor who can’t say much else, like the rest of the team. Funnily enough, even though SBF was active on the Sushi forum about a Raydium proposal earlier this year, it seems like he doesn’t care about his own project’s DAO forum for the thread that he probably caused.
I want to say that Serum’s position is actually notably weak in a crucial aspect: having a truly loyal community. Check out Sushi or Mango’s governance discord, and compare it to Serum’s. Check out the replies to Serum’s tweets where most tweets are express displeasure about price, and compare them to Raydium’s tweets replies. No amount of swag or grand presentations at conferences can fix this issue. Serum’s only saving grace is @armaniferrante’s open source projects, like the Anchor programming repository, which is fortunately under the Serum name.
Serum’s product is very valuable for the Solana ecosystem, but their tokenomics and team have forced them in a peculiar position. I hope other developers in the space see this opportunity to build an authentic community with much better tokenomics and radical transparency that give upside to the community. @AlphaRay @daffy @mschneider and any other developers that have a focus on community, consider this on your roadmap, the opportunity is huge.
(I’ve spent too much time being annoyed on this forum )