This post introduces a new funding mechanism for Guilds. As chronear posted, we’re all hoping to help the Guilds program thrive on its own and without any NF direct support. There are really 2 major categories necessary to do so -
- Funding - how do Guilds get paid for doing good work?
- Operations - how do Guilds get onboarded and supported through their journey via technology, legal support, payments support, etc?
DAOs often get pretty bogged down in reactive decision-making and, tbh, it’s often just too much work to participate effectively. I’d like to roll out a simple structure, called the “House of Guilds”, designed to start lightweight and gradually grow to help address the full spectrum of problems with both funding and operations. We’ll focus on how to get Guilds funded but also use it to trial a new kind of ecosystem funding.
The goal of this is quite simple:
- The Guilds ecosystem is self-sufficient and valuable by end-Q2: This means Guilds overall are entirely financially and operationally self-sufficient (no NF direct involvement), and that individual Guilds who produce the most value for the ecosystem are best funded.
That’s it. Everything else is “how”.
The “House of Guilds” proposal operates with these simple principles:
- Minimum Viable Governance: We’ll start with the “benevolent dictator” format for non-funding decisions to begin with and gradually layer in more participatory governance as things get stronger. We’ll also focus on minimizing the necessary participation from voting members and Guilds so they don’t have to be on call all the time to vote.
- Maximum Velocity of Funding: do whatever we can to streamline payments such that Guilds get paid regularly and rapidly. This is a key innovation with this proposal.
The Proposal Basics
Rather than lay out an entire in-depth proposal here, inline with principle #1, I’ll just lay out the very basics:
- Funded by a $NEAR endowment: There is an NF-provided endowment of tokens which earn staking rewards and, each month, those rewards are unstaked.
- Guilds are funded, not task proposals: This provides funding for Guilds themselves, not any individual proposals for what those Guilds do. A Guild makes a single funding ask per month.
- One monthly funding vote: There is only ONE monthly vote for funding. During that period, voting members just make one decision: what % of this month’s staking rewards should go to which of the eligible Guilds? Guilds just need to convince them they’re worth funding.
- Governed by Guilds: The voting members are themselves representatives of Guilds.
There are lots of details, but these are the important parts.
How is this being implemented technologically? Doesn’t matter. We’ll solve those problems. We’ll probably do as much as possible manually at first and move to using Astro-based tools.
- End-March: Have initial Alpha voting members and eligible Guilds in place and run the first vote with a nominal amount of tokens. Manual.
- End-April: Have the Endowment funded and earning staking rewards. This month’s vote is funded by staking rewards. Expand to slightly more eligible Guilds.
- End-May: Continue to expand the set of eligible Guilds. Build out the more operational roles needed to support this. Start layering in DAO tech like Astro.
- End-June: The full set of Guilds is onboarded, layer in basic governance roles too
- End-Q3: Phase out 90% of the Benevolent Dictator responsibilities. Fully tech-driven (not manual anymore)
- End-Q4: Phase out all Benevolent Dictator responsibilities so the structure is fully community-driven. This timeline may be optimistic.
- Check in with a handful of early Alpha guild participants and key ecosystem members, both as voting members and recipients. This post is the start of that!
- Publish the governance wiki with more details for this proposal, but remember that the principles above are the guiding ones and everything else is implementation detail.
Feel free to ask questions, but I do want to note that the intent here is to be deliberately light on details right now and to focus instead on the spirit and principles of the proposal so we can “ship and iterate”.
I hope this will allow the Guilds ecosystem to be self-sustaining, self-sufficient and stronger by the end of the year. Plus we get to test-drive some cool new stuff, which, if successful, provides a template that we can use for significantly larger funding initiatives