Pilot Prize Team

Create a pilot for a “prizes team” with authority to adjust prize distributions within a narrow band of parameters until September 30th. Goal of the team is to improve performance against stated metrics outlined below.

Use data from this pilot team to inform the creation of a fully governance mandated team.

The ability to win prizes without needing to risk your deposit is what makes PoolTogether unique. Yet historically, little attention has been paid to creating, measuring, and optimizing how prizes are distributed. The TWG noticed this deficiency and has stepped up to greatly improve things but I believe there is still a need for a focused team.

On top of that, the process of adjusting prize distributions has been complicated requiring a full multi-day vote. This has encouraged many last minute opinions and made it hard to form consensus and implement changes.

Optimizing the prize distribution is more urgent than ever for a few reasons:

1). On Tuesday, OP rewards will kick off. This offers the protocol a huge growth opportunity and we want to make sure depositors have the best experience

2). Since the launch of the most recent changes to prize distribution & the Optimism network we are currently seeing a large drop-off in deposits on Polygon. TVL on Polygon is now lower than it has ever been in 2022. This is expected to same degree given Optimism launch and

  1. Prizes continue to be the #1 source of treasury distribution

I believe we urgently need a “prizes team” focused solely on optimizing prizes. Furthermore, this team needs to be empowered to make fast changes (within guard rails established by governance).

In the short term, I anticipate this team would undertake the following activities:

  • Build analytics dashboard analyzing how any changes to prize distribution impacts protocol usage
  • Conduct interviewers with depositors understanding their desires
  • Conduct surveys informing satisfaction with prize distribution
  • Gather outside research and experts on ideal prize distributions
  • Monitor prize subsidy and seek prize sustainability

In the long term, I anticipate this team would:

  • Codify a prize distribution thesis balancing large prizes which attract new savers & small prizes which provide economic rewards to all depositors
  • Codify success metrics and measurement tools to manage prize distribution
  • Codify a growth framework for increasing total prizes while reducing prize subsidy to zero over time.

Next Steps:
I ultimately think the “prizes team” will be one of the most important. Therefore, I would like to see a robust discussion on who should be on the prize team and how it should operate.

However, for the reasons outlined in “background”, I believe we need to move faster. The first step towards this goal is starting a small team immediately that can both 1) begin addressing the goals listed in “short term” and 2) provide more information to inform how the permanent team should be formed.

This small team would be authorized by POOL governance to make adjustments to the prize distribution between now and September 30th provided those changes:

Do not change prize frequency to be greater than 1 week
Target an overall prize subsidy equal to $xxx daily (this is the current subsidy)

The prize team will work within those parameters to achieve progress against the following metrics:

Growth in network TVL
Decrease in Network churn
Increase in unique depositors

Additional to these metrics, the team will be expected to build the needed infrastructure and processes to measure the above effectively.

The Team:
I suggest a maximum of 5 participants and minimum of 3. I would suggest myself, Underthesea, Bronder, Cookie and Dylan as the initial 5. I choose these people because it represents a cross-functional group (between PoolTogether Inc and TWG and other community members) that has already been working significantly on this problem.

This prize team will be delegated control of the prize tier history contracts from the executive team in order to make changes.

I will post a snapshot vote shortly, for now I have inserted a poll

  • Support creation of a pilot prize team as outlined
  • Oppose creation of a pilot prize team as outlined
  • Support with changes suggested

0 voters




I like where this is headed.

Would this be a gnosis safe? If so, what would be the signer req? 3 of 5?

I am a supporter of compensating contributors. I would push for compensation for this team. With that said what does the budget look like?

To ensure we create the most the impact with the OP rewards and adjust prizes to ensure depositors have a positive user experience, a prize team that has the discretion from POOL holders to adjust prizes based on data and user feedback more regularly can work for the betterment of the protocol and depositors. This team will also allow our community to take action to optimize prizes based on user feedback, TVL, and yield, so every new prize tier doesn’t require 1 month, from time posted to time voted and implemented.

While giving POOL holders a voice in the process is important, the key players are the ones who have been nominated to be in this pilot group. It’s a 2-month trial, and this group will balance user experience with the cost to treasury. The longer we have to wait to adjust, the more often we spend tens of thousands more than necessary in subsidy.

POOL holders have the power to grant this team of long-time contributors with the discretion to act in the interest of the protocol and the community.

With greater growth, comes less need for the subsidy and larger prizes for depositors.

This pilot prize team has my support :ballot_box:


With the upcoming Optimism rewards there’s great potential to try out different prize tiers in a more dynamic way than before and therefore I believe the proposed team makes sense. Like the composition a lot, all community members with very high commitment and proven competence in various fields.

Thanks for putting this together, Leighton. I had a few comments/questions:

  1. Did you consider asking the TWG to take on these rolls? It would appear that the work the TWG put into designing the current and former prize distribution did not amount to enough by this post. So requesting the TWG to
  • Build analytics dashboard analyzing how any changes to prize distribution impacts protocol usage
  • Conduct interviewers with depositors understanding their desires
  • Conduct surveys informing satisfaction with prize distribution
  • Gather outside research and experts on ideal prize distributions
  • Monitor prize subsidy and seek prize sustainability

would have seemed like the next step. It looks like two of the TWG who were most involved in designing the tiers is on the team, so that’s great, but I fear that this is the beginning of a splintering of the DOA. Too many specific groups to handle things may divide us and make it more difficult to keep up with our changes. This is why the TWG took the roll on, one because the treasury was being drained and our mission aimed to reduce subsidy WHILST optimizing apr, but also because it was an established group that, I felt, had the ability to achieve the task.

With that being said, I fully support reducing friction by allowing a group like this to manage changes to distribution, but would propose a larger group to be added to the multi-sig (just for signing non-malicious txns, not receiving compensation or participating in the prize tier discussion other than however this team decides to involved the community) or just use the exec team to push these changes through on this teams recommendation.

Thanks again for getting this in motion.


I did talk to UnderTheSea and Bronder about it but it wasn’t something I personally thought was best.

I become convicted of the idea that we eventually would want a stand-alone prize team a few weeks ago. The main reasons are outlined in my post above. I think prizes are what define the protocol and it should be treated as a top level item of utmost importance. They also impact every part of the protocol and ecosystem around the protocol. Changing the prize distribution radically can change what needs to happen on the front-end website, it changes how the API functions, it changes the protocol itself.

The urgency around it really came secondary for me more recently. I was having extension conversations with Bronder and UndertheSea and realizing with the OP rewards coming we really needed to have some higher degree of flexibility.

I think TWG did an amazing job stepping up and taking it on but I felt that happened more out of need and not thoughtful design. The original TWG proposal did not contain anything about prize distribution optimizations (although I believe the Q3 renewal did). I think TWG absolutely has a very important voice in prize distribution design but so do many other facets of the community around the protocol.

This could hypothetically get folded back into TWG if that is the design that makes the most sense. I do still think we need the higher level organizational design figured out but I was balancing that against also feeling we are in a unique window where this specific thing needs dedicated attention and autonomy.

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to clarify, “thoughtful design” is in reference to organizational design – not the design of the prize distribution itself.

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Thank you for the response and clarification. While I agree with you that the delay in implementing new prize tiers is critical, I don’t agree that the TWG couldn’t (if we weren’t already) have taken this on successfully. I don’t agree that the prize tiers are correlated with the drop in TVL on polygon and I don’t think TWG had anything to do with the delay in implementation and giving TWG the autonomy to manage the contract is just as good.

I actually think the Prize Tiers are working as intended and the incentives are going to be a nice cushion for the gap in prizes on OP (as intended). The prize tiers weren’t just about OP, but OP and it’s incentives were taken into account.

I voted no, not because I think the 5 people proposed would not do a great job, but because I fully believe the TWG is capable of getting this done and doing a group with any kind of autonomous power needs more than a day discussion before sending it to a vote.


I support this because I think prizes need to be tweaked on a fluid basis and subjecting it too much to democratic intertia, good as the intentions may be, puts us at a disadvantage. We need to give powers to a group to really focus on tweaking this best it can be, especially since we’re now still small.

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I appreciate you voicing your opinion @DaBoom! It’s helpful to hear your perspective; not just for the outcome of the vote but to hear your sentiment.

I voted yes because I believe we need a dedicated team for such an important job. This team’s sole focus will be improving the prize distributions, using actionable data from analytics dashboards.

A dedicated team will focus its energies on this task alone, and can be held accountable if there are problems.

Update, a 3-5 multi-sig has been created. They are at the following addresses:

Polygon Gnosis Safe Optimism Gnosis Safe AVAX Gnosis Safe
ETH Gnosis Safe

Signers are:

  • Leighton
  • Underthesea
  • Dylan
  • NCookie
  • Bronder