Last week marked an end of an era with our community’s Coordinape circle concluding after 60 successful epochs together. Every end should be the start of something new — so it’s time to start having fun again with a new experiment.
First, let’s have a look at the status quo of getting funded.
Currently, contributors have the ability to apply for funding in two major ways:
Grants usually have an achievable goal and end date. The Grants program at PoolTogether is stewarded by the Grants Team. The team has a fixed budget as well as a full mandate over how this budget is distributed in terms of grants. A grants program leaves the door open for anyone to realize ideas that help to grow PoolTogether.
PoolTogether Budget Requests are meant to fund teams and entities. They usually require the requesting party to already have built trust from within the community. However, anyone can create a PTBR. To bring it onchain one needs to hold or have delegations amounting to 10,000 POOL. The process is loosely stewarded by the Council (PoolTogether’s team of teams), but happens fully decentralized onchain.
Both options offer entryways into the PoolTogether community but are also limited in the way they are able to reward more diverse contributions.
Under the narrative of PoolTogether as a hyperstructure that runs for generations to come, we should start to re-imagine how we collaborate on extending the protocol’s lifespan and help others to get excited about that, too. Let’s work together on creating a sustainable system that makes people excited to contribute to PoolTogether!
What follows is the immediate question:
The PoolTogether protocol is designed to take no fees and make no revenue. This is a good thing.
But what if we had a contributor fund that was completely separate from the protocol treasury? This way, the community could clearly differentiate between protocol and culture. It could be the seed for something new - a treasury meant to be filled only to reward PoolTogether’s contributors.
Now we have an empty treasury. What can we do with it?
In theory, anyone can help to add capital to this new contributor fund. This can be achieved in many ways:
- Creating Zora mints that earn protocol fees
- Writing Mirror articles that capture mint fees
- Creating prize vaults that redirect a portion of the yield
- Delegating to the fund so it can accumulate POOL
- Directly sponsoring the treasury, by sending tokens to the fund
The design space is huge. It’s open and constantly growing with new protocols that allow anyone to derive value by using them. There are lots of creative ways to contribute towards growing the fund. For scale: The 3-part Hyperstructure NFT series generated >0.25 ETH with about 600 mints (still counting).
Once this fund fills up, we can think about how to distribute it back to the people who create immediate value for PoolTogether.
If we manage to accumulate a contributor fund worth distributing, the question that follows is how do we distribute it back to those who are providing value.
This is not a question of if we want to pursue this experiment - but one of adoption. The contributor fund is live on
0x7Be92A3ff9E0c9a2FA2144C1a34E9f65b821978a (Ethereum - Optimism - Base). The impact and success of this experiment depend on how creative we get in terms of co-creation.
What if it fails? In case we aren’t able to come up with a thorough plan for distributing the funds this treasury accumulates, all collected funds will be sent to the PoolTogether treasury.
There are two ways of funding that seem most compelling, each having its unique pros and cons:
- Proactive Funding aka Mandated Funding Rounds
- Retroactive Rewards
How does it work: During mandated funding rounds builders are encouraged to propose ideas that abide by a specific ask from the community. For example, the community may host a “Prize Hook” round where builders are expected to propose ideas to build prize hooks for PoolTogether V5.
- Grants rounds allow setting a direct focus by theming and categorizing each round to the protocol’s current needs.
- Capital could provided up front, per stream, or milestone-based
- Allows to promote a current opportunity
- Doesn’t support providing continuous value
Optimism has revolutionized the approach of retroactive rewards. Every 6-12 months eligible projects or community members could be nominated to receive retroactive funding.
How does it work: Anyone holding x can propose their own project or someone else’s to be considered for a retroactive reward. To be eligible for these rounds, recipients must have performed work prior to the start date of the proposal.
All projects and contributions can be eligible for retroactive funding including software, implementation work, art, community, media, writing, marketing, etc.
- Adds emphasis to providing value first
- Impact = Profit principle
- Provides an opportunity to celebrate past work
- Fosters a greater sense of community through nominations
- Potentially more overhead than other methods
- Doesn’t guarantee any reward even if work was done
- How would you like to contribute to PoolTogether in the future?
- What approach excites you more?
- Do you have an even better idea?
This post is just a first in a series and I hope it can already transport the idea. There is still work to do and lots of space to get involved. A question I’d like to figure out in a future post is: How do we “steward(or govern)” this thing: POOL token voting, Poolers NFTs, something different?
I invite you to join the conversation under this post and help to lay the groundwork for the future of community collaboration at PoolTogether.