The Value of Values

Imagine a world in which Ethereum is simple to use, social in nature and global in adoption. Imagine the first billion people experiencing Ethereum as borderless social interactions powered by permissionless innovation.

The Value of Values

Imagine a world in which Ethereum is simple to use, social in nature and global in adoption. Imagine the first billion people experiencing Ethereum as borderless social interactions powered by permissionless innovation.

This world doesn’t have to remain in your imagination.
Let’s make it a reality. Together.

-- The Ethereum World Manifesto

Something foundational to the establishment of communities, companies, and nations alike is the establishment of values. Mission statements, constitutions, and other similar documents put in place the rules by which we play, and allow people who are not affiliated with a community or cause to get a quick, easy view of the principles which a grouping of individuals have in common.

These guiding principles are quite often what we look for when we want to find our people; if we don’t know a lot about the different nodes in the network, we fall back on looking at where they’re going and what they believe in order to make a call on if we want to travel alongside them.

We realized when commencing the process of ideation around Ethereum World that this was not something which the Ethereum community had necessarily spent a lot of time on, understandably expending more energy on looking at development, applications, bringing in more people etc. so we thought that alongside features, integrations, and languages we had a good opportunity now to try and engage people in this discussion.

Just over a month after the announcement at Devcon 5, here’s a look at what has been suggested on the subject of values…


Transparency promotes trust within the community and fosters growth.

Too many of the systems that influence our lives exist inside black boxes which we are not permitted to see from the inside. Too many of the decisions which affect our lives happen behind closed doors; these kinds of undertakings do little to engender people’s faith in those who make decisions that affect us. Trust and growth are the valuable positive externalities of radical transparency; a community full of informed citizens is one where we can make progress, freed from the warping effects of asymmetrical information.

People first

It's all about people and the community around us. We work for others, not ourselves.

The old world has shown to us a multiplicity of examples where the actions of humans, governments, and corporations have not been undertaken for the greater good, or even small positives, but rather for the benefit of a small quantity of people. These systems that we are working on and within, which are able to decentralize value distribution and democratize previously undemocratic processes of decision-making, have heretofore unseen potential to redesign society in a human-centric fashion. Rather than rent-seeking and zero-sum games, let’s strive for a new fortune of the commons and activities which create value for all.


We value pragmatism over dogmatism.

Messages without evidence are mere propaganda. The people and groups who are working to maintain the status quo have a large quantity of power and bountiful resources behind them; to this end, it is essential that we look to evaluate things based upon how successful they are at fulfilling their aims. Dogmatic communities waste their valuable time and resources on red herrings and dead ends.

Community resilience

A group of people structured and organized to change quickly, overcome trauma, while maintaining its cohesion and open relationships with the rest of the world.

Ethereum allows us to engage in new modes of organization, creating more amorphous structures around which community members can come together. These new ways of working and creating value together are inherently better at acclimatizing to change, but being mindful of the need to be resilient potentiates this ability a lot. We don’t know what’s round the corner, preparing and growing in a way that is keeps this in mind can only be a positive.

Support the BUIDLers

Developers who are building for the commons should be supported with market-rate salaries

In the research that we undertook this year, we found that people in the space often find it difficult to find reliable streams of funding for their work. One of our questions was "how do you make your activities sustainable?" to which one interviewee responded that sustainability wasn’t what we should be striving for, we don’t want to sustain ourselves, we want to thrive. Projecting into the future, this is a very key thing for the community to consider and solve. We have the people, how do we ensure that they have the environmental factors needed to keep BUIDLing?

So the conversation about values continues, but it needs you! This list is by no means exhaustive or final, whatever that would mean in the context of this exercise.

If you feel it is missing something, we encourage you to come and add to the discussion by proposing the values that you’d like to see in the new world!