With sidestream-cu we are building a dedicated business unit inside of our company that forms part of the MakerDAO - the most ahead of the curve decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO).

MakerDAO and Sidestream

sidestream-cu's Motivation


To form part of a DAO goes beyond the scope of our usual software agency work. However, we believe that a dedicated business unit of a private company acting publicly as a core unit inside a DAO can become a mutually beneficial form of collaboration for the future. As the core value proposition of a DAO is to aggregate, organise and reward talent, we may well experience the frontier of new work with this collaboration. As sidestream-cu we want to leverage our experiences and practices as a service company and ultimately contribute to MakerDAO's future success.

sidestream-cu's Mission

Improve security, transparency and accessibility of the Maker Protocol by providing and maintaining auction services through open-source development.

sidestream-cu's Vision

We want to provide and maintain systems on top of the auction mechanisms that contribute to growth and security of the Maker Protocol.
These systems cover the following three areas:
Visualize auction data to increase transparency and generate insights.
Provide intuitive UIs and well-maintained APIs for interaction with the auction mechanism
Ensure that there is always sufficient auction participation, even in critical circumstances

Anticipated Challenges

Fail Safety

  • Understanding consequences of not fail-safe auction mechanisms
  • Ensuring that our solutions work in emergency situations
  • Creating trust that our solutions are fail-safe

Informed Decision Making

  • Is participation healthy?
  • How many people are using the UIs/ How is usage changing over time?
  • How healthy is the keeper ecosystem?


  • Building the right things in the right order
  • Balancing our long-term roadmap vs. new requirements in a fast-changing environment

Intricacies Of Emergency Infrastructure

  • Maximize the likelihood that fire escapes work in case of a real fire
  • Consistently keeping the quality high
  • Ensuring that the auctions infrastructure scales with the rest of the protocol

Building For A Heterogeneous User Base

  • Ensuring that the auction mechanism is is accessible for new users
  • Ensuring that the auction mechanism stays relevant for existing users
  • Measuring the accessibility of the auctions mechanism

Challenges and solutions

MakerDAO and Sidestream

Our Solutions

Understanding Failure Modes

  • Modeling the risks
  • Conducting regular fire drills
  • Providing transparency on emergency prevention

Product Management

  • Leverage our learning curve
  • Requirements gathering
  • Agile practices

Development Process

  • Functional reviews
  • Code reviews
  • Quality metrics

Automation & Standardization

  • Development Automation - CI / CD
  • Modularity - Re-usability
  • Standard Operating Procedures, Guides & Checklists

Transparency & Reporting

  • Open-source software → More trust, easier contribution & better accessibility
  • Monitoring systems → Derive conclusion on the system's performance and health
  • Technical Reporting → Web presence, Core Unit Twitter account, Public Notion space, and our GitHub repositories