NEAR Ecosystem Treasury DAO

200M are all the funds that were allocated for community funds at initial distribution. 500M were the total that Foundation received and there are allocations to other places from those funds (see below picture posted by @jack).

As explained in the proposal, it’s only delegation of staked tokens.

It’s pretty much “Community grants, Programs…” + 30M of the Early Ecosystem that was mentioned as: One of these unannounced programs contains 30M tokens on a 6-month linear lockup. in the article. That program didn’t actually happened, and in result these funds got reallocated in to “Community” bucket.

Obviously part of this whole proposal is to increase transparency of the funds vs the current status quo.

As suggested, initially funding will be only fraction of this amount in the spirit of the running an experiment.

Correct, and these funds have came from Foundation and me. Foundation doesn’t have a clear framework to fund DAOs and have been very conservative with funding them. The goal of this proposal is to have a large enough DAO fund that can fund other DAOs for them to subsequently fund various activities in the ecosystem.

Exactly. The proposed sub-DAOs in the list are literally “suggestions” that I see clearly needed now. I expect a large number of applications to Treasury DAO with different positioning around the same topic. E.g. Grant DAOs to fund projects in India or students in universities – there can be 10s of grant DAOs like this.

I think one question that only starts to exist is cross-DAO accounting and accountability. E.g. if project / team have received funding from one of the DAOs but have applied at the same time in a few places. And then later when they are successful or not, how accountability is considered. This is part of the rules that must be established for this framework to work. One of the tools we need is a registry of the projects / teams funded that others can refer to.

Given there is no optimal design, the idea was to use rough consensus around this proposal. If by end of month there are no clear reason to not go with the proposed design - that design will be go live. Over time it can that morph as we will have elected members who can listen to their delegates and propose changes to the design.

If I was selected to be the member of this DAO, I want to make sure there is some permanence to this job. Not that it will disappear in tomorrow because someone undelegated. I’m going to be putting work in figuring out part of strategy, thinking through various DAOs and keeping them accountable. All this is non 0 time that is required from members. This is different from what you are describing, because members are not committing their own funds, they are elected to manage common funds.

I wouldn’t expect it to be super detailed initially, funding it’s a people business. I would expect that subDAOs should present what they want to achieve (goals) and methods of achieving this to the Treasury members. The presentation, background of subDAO members/founder and their governance approach all should be then considered for initial funding.

In subsequent funding, the performance and history of subDAO should be considered. How did fund allocation go, how did governance work, did members make decisions together, where there a lot of churn in the members, etc.

Subsequent funding is pretty much one of the main ways to manage accountability and do retrospective on the initial funding decision.

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Great point, we have been using a monthly reporting system for the guilds/daos that have received funding: [Guide] How to submit monthly reports to the Creatives DAO.

This allows us to not only have accountability for funds, but also transparency wrt what the funds were used for (after the fact). We allow each report to be in whatever method the group chooses (forum post required, but info can be in written, video, or even NFT format).

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for people working closely on ecosystem DAO setup, might be worth compiling research from existing projects in blockchain space and their attempts to do something like this prior. E.g. worthwhile listening to this recording for learnings: https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1yoKMAADBNwKQ

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Thank you for this timely proposal. I agree with many others in this thread that for greater efficiency and transparency in funding community initatives, something like a Treasury DAO to allocate funds to sub-DAOs would be necessary.

Most of my initial questions have been discussed previously, but I’m still confused on how delegation of staked tokens work. If there are some resources or literature I could use to read up on this, please let me know.

Am I correcting in understanding that

  • delegated tokens will not be removed from their staking pool (if staked)
  • and they only function to determine the “weight” of each candidate, and do not carry economic value in this context?
  • Are the tokens un-delegated after the election or locked up for the duration of the period in which the elected DAO member serves?
  • Can I still use my delegated tokens to make transactions?
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It’s July 7th now. how is the NEAR EcoTreasury DAO now?

I owe here a finalization post and next steps earlier. Sorry for delay.

One of the main questions in the discussion was how to have functioning membership of the DAO, while having representation.

Generally, talking with other operational DAOs and other organizations, the number 7 have came up as a number where people are actively participate. Above this number of people in the DAO, it will require to have enforcement function for people to actually participate, as there will be always some people who are not active. It still important to have some rules around members relieving their seats due to inactivity (there are various reasons why this can happen).

Members who are representing some type of stakeholder have been suggested. I think it’s important part going forward, but will not be useful at the current moment. I would like to capture the need to revisit the structure in the Constitution of the Treasury DAO / NEAR’s governance in general. This revisit should include collecting opinion from various stakeholder to understand if the v1 structure represents them well or changes are rquired.

In short next steps will be:

  • Setting up the the voting structure. Next implementation is required:
    • Snapshot of the delegations from July 1st.
    • Smart contract that has a merkle root of this snapshot
    • Frontend that will look up given user’s account in the snapshot and send the merkle path.
    • CLI tool that generates commands for near CLI for users who are using custom key management or offline signing.
  • Constitution of the DAO: constitution will define the rules of the engagement of the DAO, what are roles and how long can single person be in the member/chair seat and how the changes to the constitution (and through it in governance) will be accepted. Pretty much this will cover things that will be hard or impossible to cover in the smart contract.
  • Code of conduct: it’s important that members and chair of Treasury DAO (and through this DAO - of other DAOs) follow Code of Conduct of NEAR ecosystem. Defining it will define the culture and maintain high level of the conversation. Again, this is something that hard to define in the code but is critically important for functioning ecosystem.
  • Use the election process to solicit ideas for developing next quarter strategy direction for the Treasury DAO. I’ll create a separate topic for people to self nominate/nominate others to as candidates.

I’ll follow up with github repos for these items in coming days.

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Correct. A snapshot will be used.

Correct, the “weight” will not be transferrable. Though one can assign value to the governance vote and potentially auction their vote off.

The real tokens are not touched at all in the current specification.

Delegated tokens for staking can not be used unless you are unstake them. The snapshotted “weight” for voting can only be used for voting.

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I believe that this kind of money should not just be handed out to everyone.
Projects that work with near and for near and do not have permanent funding must have their own network validators. And this money should be distributed as stakes to these validators.

  1. It is protected from scam
  2. Projects will be confident on a monthly basis that they have a budget to live and develop
    I will add this from a project that does not have permanent funding and is not yet developed enough to support itself on its own. Specifically for us, it would be a kind of salvation and good help in development.
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Please keep the community posted on how to apply to become members of the Treasury DAO. We will be referring back to this post and Github repo links as they become available. Thanks!

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How will the snapshot work with multiple lockups contracts? Maybe a mechanism to report lockup contracts to form a single identity?

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Could you clarify what you mean by this? Why would a project need to run its own validator to build on the network? There is no mechanism that requires bidding in or running validators just to deploy a dapp so I’m trying to understand the use case you’re highlighting.

Semi-related, there will be a network upgrade in the next few months which greatly increases the number of validator seats.

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In my country there about 500 council representatives and thousands of different civil servants. It is one of the most corrupt and inefficient country in the world. Bigger council does not mean less corruption. To be honest, the whole idea seems disgusting to me. You are trying to play politics when we all know how disgusting it works around us.

in this case, GalaxyOnline needs to be able to attract users for its game, and wants to be able to use staking rewards from running validator as marketing budget

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I would also assume that the idea is to have the funds being disseminated from the treasury DAO towards projects that are supporting the network long term by running their own validator?

This would ensure that treasury DAO funds are going towards projects that are vetted in the sense that the projects are supporting the security of the network before getting a payout. Also, this would support the projects receiving the funds by ensuring that they have a long-term outlook on earnings as well (at least from staking rewards).

Personally, I think that this (using the treasury DAO to support more ecosystem projects running their own validators) could be a reasonable outlook to have, at least for some of the treasury DAO funds. As seat price comes down for running a validator at NEAR, it may be more reasonable for an ecosystem project to consider running a validator as a reasonable medium/long-term plan to ensure there is revenue coming in as they build on NEAR.

This is personally my plan when thinking about building within the NEAR ecosystem. May be interesting as well if the treasury DAO managed the contracts to support these validators getting started. For example, instead of just handing the funds directly to another (potentially untrusted / new to the ecosystem address), the treasury DAO could delegate to a new project as a validator to get them above the minimum seat price (for a certain amount of time). This type of bounty would require capital allocation, but over the time period of the bounty (min seat price support) the project could acquire enough delegation from their own community to no longer need that capital allocated to them and the funds could then be allocated to another project looking to get started.

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Interesting perspective. Thinking out loud here. For quick reference, the NF does run a validator support program to help bootstrap new validators but the intent is meaningfully different because the goal there is to help validator a who are expected to attract their own capital get into the active set to help with overall decentralization before scaling down NF delegations to them. See Stake Wars is Over, but We're Just Getting Started - NEAR Protocol

What you’re describing is more like an ongoing grant created with staking rewards. If those rewards are due to delegation which is provided non custodially (so the project doesn’t have title to the original tokens, just the rewards from them being delegated to the project’s validator), it’s effectively the same as if the eco treasury just stakes its own tokens and promises a certain grant Ofer time (but better because the ecosystem treasury should really never be staking its own tokens or it will have too much market power).

If it’s custodial (a full grant to the project) then it’s more similar to startup investment where they invest their treasury to generate yield to support their operations.

Either way, the key consideration is of course how many tokens to provide to the project. The validator route has higher technical overhead for the project but does allow them to attract additional stake by being meaningfully present in the staking ecosystem and winning hearts and minds, which is a nice alignment of incentive.

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And this is the beauty, I think, of having the treasury DAO managing some aspects of a program that hopefully has already shown some promise. It wouldn’t be starting something completely new, but hopefully making the process more transparent (maybe even more efficient).

I would hope/assume that as the capital requirements lower, so too will the technical requirements to run a validator. Having a number of grant recipients also running validator nodes allows for a larger set of participants who are incentivized to go through the learning curve of settings up and securing a node well.

To make this program more like a grant, it could probably be reasonable to reward projects that continued running their validator well by allowing them to keep a portion of their grant amount (missing epochs could lower their final reward amount)?

Im mostly thinking about how to have some sort of reputation tied to the total payout amount and how to also have that NEAR be as efficient as possible. For example, If the project/grant period lasted 3 months, the 3 month period could include validator workshops, general NEAR education, and be organized like a cohort to make the experience more community oriented. If that isn’t desired the grant recipient could choose to use a 3rd party service for the 3 months as their try and gain delegates (chorus one or bison trails etc).

At the end of the 3 months (end of the project period), if being a validator isn’t the right choice for the grant recipient, they could choose to go below the min seat price (let’s assume they didn’t gain enough delegates from the community), and still have supported the NEAR ecosystem in a number of ways. If they have gained enough delegate support, they could withdraw their NEAR reward from the grant program and still keep running a validator.

It would be cool to see an eventual implementation of a system like this from the treasury DAO (or similar vertical with the NEAR ecosystem) as seat price gets to a manageable level :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:.

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I mean, for projects like ours, that would be very good support. Especially at the stages when the project is still developing and third-party funds are needed while there is no self-sufficiency. I’m just saying that the network needs validators and without them anywhere. And why not rewards from the stakes that the fund gives to develop projects, and not feed the validators who, apart from the fact that they are validators, do nothing for the network.
There are pluses for everyone here:
For projects:
They strive to develop well and take a responsible approach to their work (since a stake from the validator can be taken at any time)
They can plan their development as there is an understanding of how much funds will be available every month (you can plan the amount of funds for development, marketing, to stimulate users)
For the fund:
Protected from projects that do not fulfill obligations or promises (a kind of fight against a scam, because the project only receives rewards and does not get access to the main account)
With greater confidence, you can manage money and simplify the receipt of grants, since the principal amount will not be distributed, but saved for the further development of the network and the amount will grow due to the fact that it lies in staking
When the project has reached self-sufficiency, then you can take the stake and invest in another project, or finance projects directly with the same funds.
In general, my opinion is that this would greatly help in the development of many projects not tied to finance. This would contribute to the development of many art projects that do not need huge amounts at once, but which cannot survive on their own at the initial stages, since they either did not collect enough users, or did not fully build their business model to make a profit. It would also contribute to the development of many charitable projects and volunteer organizations that need funds constantly, and not once.

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Currently it’s not practical because of technical reasons (the way seats are allocated to validators leads to very high entry barrier for new validators). You can keep track of progress of extending number of validators: Increase the number of block producers and subsequent NEP.

At the current moment, Grants program and various DAOs is the best way to kick start the project development and marketing. You can receive a reasonable grant in NEAR which will be comparable to rewards from the validator. Ecosystem Treasury will be allocating funds into the DAOs then will be distributing funds to projects.

For example, it make sense to have a Game Dev DAO that supports game developers both in terms of initial funding, marketing programs, initial users onboarding and more.

I also suggest having streaming payments framework attached to a DAO, which would economically have the same effect as having a validators and receiving reward from inflation.

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I believe we must determine common goals, not just financial guidelines, but clear and solid goals in common for all sub-DAO and for the ecosystem.

These common goals cannot be as easily changeable as future guidelines, similar to what happens in a Constitution.

One problem I see about minimum capital allocations to perform tasks for the Treasury, which is also a problem of current DAOs in all blockchains is Plutocracy, it would be interesting to develop and study Proof of Humanity, which allows us not only to see balances, but individuals and institutions with their own id.

About the number of members, I believe that we can define a quorum according to the participants so that there is not little representation or centralization. Initially we could do a study on the number of initial participants and project an ideal number.

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Hey everyone,

Wanted to mention that because progress of this effort has been slow on project management (due to me doing a bunch of other activities as well), I’m looking for help with coordinating this project.

More info is available here: [Hiring] Looking for help with Governance

I’ll update as we start making progress again.

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