Squads: infrastructure for teams
Large and complex organizations are built from small and simple ones. Projects, protocols, DAOs companies and movements all originate from a team of individuals on a mission to build, create or effect change. Judging by the current web3 tooling landscape, you can either be an individual or you can be a DAO, but there is no web3 native organizational structure that allows to manage groups at team level. Web3 native teams need the right infrastructure to flourish and achieve their goals.
Introducing Squads, collaborative infrastructure for web3 native teams that allows to organize, make decisions and manage digital assets together. Whether you are building a startup, contributing to a protocol or just looking to switch to multiplayer mode and invest together, Squads are here to provide the right tools to make this experience frictionless and intuitive.
1. What we do
With Squads you can create web3 native organizations on Solana to not only make decisions but manage value as a collective.
Just like you would register a new company in web2 when starting a new venture, your journey in web3 does not begin until you spin up a Squad. So you might be asking what a Squad does to make life easier for your team?
- your place in a Squad is codified on-chain, no one can take that away from you (well, unless the Squad votes to kick you out, or you lose access to your wallet)
- a Squad is the ultimate framework for collective ownership of digital assets, which opens up possibilities for trustless joint ventures, collective pursuits and joint asset management (no more group funds in individual wallets)
- important decision points can now be managed on-chain allowing you to vote on them together with your team (solving record keeping, transparency, and validating the legitimacy of a team’s decision-making, all at once).
Important to note that there is a high chance that you are already in a Squad and don’t know it yet. Whether it’s a group chat among friends or a private discord server with your co-founders, we at Squads have created a native framework to streamline these collaborative interactions.
2. How it works
Squads are multisigs controlled by governance which allows for flexible allocation of voting power. There are two types of Squads that can be created:
- Teams (codified on-chain membership, tokenless, member-weighted on-chain voting)
- Multisig (simple multi-signature wallet to manage team assets by requiring multiple signatures to confirm a transaction).
Each Squad has a built-in Vault which allows to deposit / send fungible tokens and NFTs as well as to diversify them (at the moment you can initiate a swap directly from our interface with more integrations just around the corner).
Remember: Squads are illiquid, there are no tokens airdropped to any wallets upon creation. The Squad identifies members solely by their public keys.
3. Squads and DAOs
As more DAOs move towards decentralization and transfer program updates and treasuries under direct on-chain control of token holders, it is becoming apparent that token voting creates misalignment of incentives and prevents DAO scaling in the long run since it requires high level of token holder participation in order to operate.
Squads to the rescue — small groups of contributors, with clear responsibilities and focus, help bring structure and foster a sense of ownership for stakeholders that can position a DAO for healthy growth. DAOs can leverage the Squads framework to create working groups that each focus on a specific area of DAO development and can act as departments, therefore allowing governance processes to become agile and efficient by delegating budgets and ownership over workstreams to contributors with the right skillset and incentives to actively participate in decision making.
Solana DAOs can rely on Squads to implement committee structures, working groups and subDAOs as part of their organizational design in order to make their governance processes more robust and efficient.
4. Here to stay
Squads are resilient vehicles since they are capable of supporting teams at various stages of project development. Let’s see how Squads can stay relevant in the life of your organization whether you are a team or a DAO. Please note that some of the features described below are not yet implemented.
Jumping off point
Imagine your team is joining a hackathon, you spin up a Squad (Squad Teams type for example) and vote on discussion proposals regarding project direction, you work hard, then manage to secure VC funding. VCs fund directly into the Vault where you can securely store digital assets and distribute them to employees, contributors and contractors. The team needs SOL for testing and you swap it directly from the Vault by passing a proposal. The team decides to allocate some of it to staking (to secure the Solana network of course), another few clicks in the Vault, proposal is passed, and your SOL is staked (cue the rewards).
You are doing well, the protocol is live, you mint your token and hold it in the Vault until the IDO. Public sale occurs and it’s time to decentralize. You set up a DAO with Realms and transfer your treasury under control of the token holders. Now you have a few thousand DAO members managing all of your assets, while you still need to pay contributors, cover infrastructure costs and business development expenses. Asking the DAO to vote on every disbursement is never going to work. So, you guessed it, Squads are back!
The DAO votes to create and fund a payroll Squad to deal with expenses for contributor incentives (funded quarterly) and a BD Squad for marketing expenses (funded monthly). Wow, your DAO has subDAOs now and all the DAO members do not need to participate as much, yet they can still oversee and supervise by voting to dissolve a Squad or manage membership.
5. What’s next?
We are going to launch on mainnet this month with a core set of features:
- Squad deployment framework for Teams and Multisigs
- secure Vault for storage of digital assets including NFT support
- built-in swaps integration
- on-chain proposal framework for Teams
Onboarding is permissionless — just connect your wallet and create your Squad.
In the near term the following will be introduced:
- built-in chat integration
- staking and structured products
- legal wrappers for those looking to create an LLC and have legal agreements with contributors
- a way to purchase listed NFTs directly from the UI
Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming days as we reveal more details about Squad features, plans and integrations.