By Adeola
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Darwin, Evolutionary Apps Framework Launches To Solve Issues With Governance In Web3

Darwin, the first evolutionary app framework built on Arweave has launched with the aim to bring incentivised forking, permissionless innovation and perpetual rights to users to the Web3 space. This goal is directed at solving some inefficiencies in decentralised autonomous organisations’ (DAOs) operations.

Forks and DAOs are governance mechanisms in Web3. An app is evolutionary when it goes through the process of incentivised forking and the default app is selected through a market-based governance mechanism. Evolutionary is believed by proponents to improve governance.

Evolutionary apps are believed to remove obstacles in the efficient functioning of DAOs, including power dynamics that favours protocol owners who own more tokens and have more voting rights, leaving other members with little motivation to participate.

Through Darwin’s structure, a developer discover evolutionary apps and go through the process of forking an existing app to create a new version that would contain the entire infrastructure of the existing app including source codes, data and tokens, in addition to the newly created upgrades and newly minted tokens that will serve as incentive for the contribution.

Which version becomes the default could be determined either by picking the most used, or the one with more stamps if Stamp Protocol was implemented. An app wrapper, which tallies the stamps each app versions have acquired, redirects users to the version with the most stamps, making it the default app. Like a family tree, Darwin keeps details of different versions the default app evolved from.

Greg Ogun, the founder of Darwin, which was launched on Tuesday, told Permaweb News that the evolutionary app framework is not a winner take all. He said a core tenet of evolutionary apps is that for a fork to be deemed an acceptable evolution of its predecessor, every version must fork the data and the tokens from the previous version.

“This means that for all future versions, the initial developer still has their share of tokens in the system, although proportion is diluted over time,” Ogun said, adding that another aspect of the framework, the user-centric selection mechanism, creates long-term incentive alignment between developers and users while enabling initial developer(s) to continue earning dividends long term, even with dilution.

The evolutionary apps system is beneficial to end users, developers and the ecosystem. Users cannot be forced to upgrade to another version as app versions and the app wrapper cannot be updated once deployed on the Permaweb. Developers can get incentives determined by the market factors, such as usage, when they contribute to the improvement of an app. In situations where developers find it hard to continue maintaining an app, the evolutionary app structure takes away the burden by allowing anyone to build on the app - a win for the ecosystem.

Darwin is already drawing attention from the Arweave ecosystem hours after its launch. Forward Research, Arweave’s research and design incubator described Darwin as a groundbreaking way to approach decentralised governance.

Ogun told Permaweb News that the excitement from the Arweave community and the general crypto space, particularly Ethereum, has been inspiring.

“I think there’s a collective sentiment about many of the issues that DAOs faced in the last cycle, so there’s been a lot of people responding that really understand the position of Darwin and the problems we aim to solve with this framework,” he said.

“It would be very cool to see most, if not all Permaweb apps operating within the framework.”


Adeola is a journalist at Arweave News. As a former freelance journalist, his works were published by Newlines Magazine, The Continent and the Mail and Guardian. He has interest in the intersection of technology and human lives.

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