Retro: TrueFi Documentation Error

On February 2nd, 2021, TrueFi community member rambo1stbld raised a question on the TrueFi Discord regarding the fact that a recent version of the TrueFi docs said that staking rewards would be multiplied by 50x, whereas in reality, they were only multiplied 1x. As a result, he received less TRU rewards for voting on a loan than he initially expected.

Between November 25th, 2020 and January 9th, 2021, the TrueFi Gitbook documentation incorrectly suggested a multiplier of 50x, compared to the 1-2x multiplier that was actually delivered to TRU stakers. The accurate multiplier (1x) was represented in TrueFi’s smart contracts and the public TrueFi spec during this time. Currently the multiplier has been updated to 2x per a community vote, and our latest version of the FAQs reflects this change.

I take 100% responsibility for this mistake, and I recognize that it has caused issues for users that saw the Gitbook documentation, and not the spec or the smart contracts, and therefore got less TRU rewards than they may have been expecting.

Now (1) a brief timeline on what happened, and (2) how we will aim to avoid mistakes like this in the future.

Timeline: What Happened

The team was considering a potential increase in TRU rewards for staking on loans, and unfortunately edited the Gitbook docs to reflect an increase we were considering, but hadn’t put to community vote or put into effect yet. This did not reflect a change to the smart contracts or to the specification in Github.

Around November 25th, 2020, the team made a change to the emissions multiplier on the TrueFi Gitbook, adjusting “1x” to “50x” as part of a change we were planning. In retrospect, increasing the staking rewards was likely a good call but not quite so much- a later community discussion and vote resulted in the community opting for a smaller increase (2x) with the possibility of larger increases as staking V2 ships in Feb.

On January 9th, 2021, the multiplier error was caught and quickly fixed, returning the variable to 1x, finally accurately reflecting the TrueFi smart contracts.

Our timeline points to a few key moments of communication breakdowns, largely in swapping between multiple platforms (forums, Slack, Gitbooks).

We have two proposals for avoiding human errors like this in the future.

1: Reduce hard-coded information from the FAQs

The first initiative we are planning to take is to update the FAQs and documentation to direct to the smart contracts and reduce or remove hard coded information. Variables in the protocol (such as rewards multipliers) are designed to be easy to change and so it’s easy for external documentation to fail to match what’s on-chain. Thus pointing users to the smart contracts and showing them where to see variables directly is a much safer approach for our documentation. A future alternative could be to pull variables in directly such that docs are updated automatically, but building this is not a top priority right now.

2: Clearer company organization to prevent miscommunications

Second, TrustToken has just finished transitioning to a new organizational structure that has helped us to be crystal clear who’s in charge of what and who needs to sign off. We’ve seen this already improve our execution and make mistakes less likely.

When it comes to publishing documentation, TrustToken has transitioned to Asana for monitoring changes. These alterations are overseen by four key team members. We’ll continue to optimize this process for the right balance of care versus speed.

Finally, we believe that the upcoming move to full on-chain governance will reduce issues of this kind because it’ll provide a single unarguable source of truth for all protocol & parameter changes. Additionally it’ll make any pending changes difficult to miss.

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We hope that this post adequately explains what happened and how we’re aiming to reduce the likelihood of similar issues in the future. Please let us know if you have any thoughts or questions.

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