PoolTogether

PTIP-34 Grants Program Q2 Funding

PTIP-34 Grants Committee Q2 Funding
The PoolGrants program was created through PTIP-14 – PTIP-14: PoolTogether Grants Committee - #3 by Torgin

We are now nearing the end of the first quarter of PoolGrants, which was a roaring success! We have received a total of 55 applications and funded 19 of them. We strongly encourage you to check out the grants we funded in the first and second month. We’ve also already got a couple more in the pipe. PTIP-14 laid out the creation of the PoolGrants program with a two quarter pilot program, but only included the funding for the first quarter. We will soon create a PTIP to fund the second.

First quarter review:

As stated in the original PTIP-14 , one of our main goals was to fund ideas submitted by the PoolTogether protocol’s community, or other Web 3.0 community members looking to collaborate with PoolTogether. The focus was to empower a wider network of community developers and contributors and to increase adoption of the PoolTogether protocol.
We feel we have accomplished this well and hope to continue expanding PoolTogether awareness and utility to the community.

PoolGrants has also proven useful as a more nimble arm of governance, for example when things go wrong with PTIPs. The pPOOL drip to the Sushi pool was supposed to happen through PTIP-27, but due to a technicality, it didn’t. PoolGrants was able to move quickly and fill the gap without a 10 day governance delay. Later, the long-term fix could be bundled in with other PTIPs, avoiding any additional voting overhead. The “Coordinape for community contributors ” initiative is another good example of PoolGrants acting as an extension of governance to keep overheads low.

Quarter 1 of PoolGrants is running from 5/19/2021 to 8/18/2021 and Quarter 2 will be from 8/19/2021 to 11/18/2021.

Quarter 1 started out with a budget of 27k POOL worth $500k USD at the time. However, the spot price for POOL dropped significantly after the original budget allocation and we worked with a smaller overall budget. Moving forward, we want to split our budget 50/50 between POOL and USDC.

This 50/50 allocation will allow for more flexibility when funding applications. Those that would sell their POOL immediately to cover expenses will receive USDC, while those that want to hodl will receive POOL. This should mean that there is no sell pressure on POOL from grants. One example of where this will come in handy is the Llama DAO Tokenomics research grant - PTIP-26: Llama 🤝 PoolTogether: Tokenomics Research and Exploring Alternative Capital Structures

So far, in quarter 1 we have funded grants to the amount of $202.7k and have spent $34.2k on committee wages and admin costs. Any funds left over from the first quarter will roll over to the second.

The multisig wallet (Proxy | 0xd605bB8A3DA1f7f777276D3c97c828aAc3Dd4252) currently holds about $204k with the spot of POOL @ $16.57. We have $65k committed to open grant milestones that have not been paid out and expect wages and admin costs to be about $16k at the end of this month, leaving us with $91.5k in POOL that will roll over. So for the second quarter we are applying for $123k in POOL and $250k in USDC in additional funding, to bring us back to a total of $500k as outlined in PTIP-14. Any amount left over at the end of the second quarter will again be rolled over to the third quarter’s funding, or returned to the treasury if the program is not continued.

Transparency

As we are funded by Pooltogether governance, it is important to us that we are transparent about what we are doing. You can find our transparency resources ranging from funded projects and updates to RFPs and member timesheets below. If there is anything you would like to see improved in this area, please let us know.

Medium Articles & Updates - PoolGrants
Request for Proposals - Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.
Funded Projects - Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.
Committee Time Tracking - Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.

Committee Members

The current PoolGrants committee members are:

Co-Lead: @Torgin
Co-Lead: @blakeburrito

Reviewers:
@McOso
@gabor
@Praneeth
@AndyKaufman

PoolTogether Inc. Technical Lead:
@Brendan

We are happy with our current team. However, Praneeth is often occupied with other obligations. Whenever he does chime in, his feedback is very valuable, so we would like to keep him on.
Still, we would like to have four reviewers that have the time to be active. As such, we want to add an additional reviewer role to the committee for the coming quarter. We think it is reasonable to add a fifth reviewer without removing Praneeth, as Praneeth has only logged a total of 7 hours over the last 3 months.

For the extra reviewer role, we would like to suggest @Taliskye. He has shown fantastic engagement in the PT discord over the last months and was one of the original drafters of what turned into the PoolGrants program. We think he would be a great fit. Please vote in the poll at the end of the post to let us know if you approve of @Taliskye as an additional reviewer.

Should the PoolGrants program be continued at the end of the pilot program, all committee positions will be up for open applications from anyone in the community at that time, as they were when the committee was formed.

Aside from adding an additional reviewer, the committee members will stay the same.

Budget:

The budget will remain the same as outlined in PTIP-14 .

The budget for the quarter is capped at $500k with a maximum of $100k of that accounting for the operating budget.

The compensation will continue to be $100/hr for all roles.
Hours will be capped at 30 hrs/week split among the two leads and 6hrs/week per reviewer.

Transfer $123,000 worth of POOL from treasury to PoolGrants multisig.
Transfer 250’000 USDC from treasury to PoolGrants multisig.

Forum post - Pooltogether grants program renewal

Fund grant committee’s budget for upcoming quarter?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

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Based on community feedback we sought to finalise the PTIP for grants renewal, also in light of timing (end of first term). For transparency we have taken the following points into consideration and arrived at the below outcome:

  • Adjusting hours: The lead hour cap shall be reduced from 20h to 15h per week. This is the middle between the current two leads. The rationale for this reduction is to find ways of better utilisation and increased efficiency. In case a lead exceeds this amount due to extraordinary workload that is justifiable, the cap and compensation should be reviewed and determined in light of such.

  • Changing team members: as presented previously, the grants team would welcome Taliskye as new reviewer member in addition to the existing base. The rationale is to have another pair of eyes from a highly engaged community member and to balance lower availability of other reviewers that nevertheless bring highly appreciated input. Based on the experience from reviewers’ workload this far we do not assume that this will lead to cost inflation for the overall reviewer base and is value adding.

  • Changing roles for members: there has been criticism with regards to hour logging and efficiency and the majority of grants members proposed swapping the lead role from blakeburrito to gabor for the upcoming term. The reasoning was to keep blake as appreciated reviewer in the committee whilst applying a more review-focused role and shift administrative tasks away that appeared questionable in the time logs. The grants committee did not resolve this point with unanimous consent from all persons involved and blake turned down the offer to swap and shall be taken into consideration for renewal of the lead role.

We would like to ask for any comments community members may have on how the points have been addressed and whether there are any strong objections in bringing this to a governance vote.

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had to edit the originally posted poll and a new one is now on the post.

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If the majority of the grants team (presumably 4/6) members are not ok with the current setup then I am not either. If the pushing forward of this PTIP is a timeliness issue in funding outstanding grants or those that are in the works I would think we could consider the use of the leftover budget from the 1st quarter. I personally don’t think it would be in the interest of the DAO to fund an entire new quarter with the team on shaky ground.

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the convo has been largely between Torgin, gabor, Andy and myself.
i know the first choice among these 3 members is to exchange the positions. i can’t speak for other members but i do understand the preference of some members was to have gabor and Torgin as the shared leads for the committee from the start.

when we first discussed this next quarter i brought up the roles and if we should consider anyone’s place. it was agreed then that unless they chose otherwise, all members should retain their roles. it wasn’t brought to my attention until several weeks later that these 3 members were proposing this change and seem to have agreed on it. (i only mention that to share context of my viewpoint and how this process has gone with everyone.)

since the issue was first brought up in June, i’ve done my best to comply with the tracking requests. despite some members pointing that out to the cmte as far back as July, the issue remains.
on our call today it seemed like there was basic agreement that the reduction of leads’ hours would address the problem so it was decided as a cmte to move forward with this PTIP in that way.

i’ve proposed other solutions to this issue though, set office hours for leads being other seemingly practical solution. i’m not opposed to change at all. when it comes to the co-lead role, i turned down another position in May to take this one on for the next 6 months, realizing it would only last that long too. i had that expectation of holding the role that long only because of the language in PTIP and prior discussions within cmte.

i enjoy the role and think i’ve done pretty well at it. idk if my fellow members would even point to my work as an issue either.
if i’m logging too many hours then i’m willing to share my workload, reduce the number of hours available to work, hold office hours, or any other workable solution to that issue.

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We tried to be very fair with you and it seems our efforts have fallen on deaf ears.

I’d like it to be clear that 4/6 members do not support you to continue on as lead. The PTIP here was posted a bit quicker than anticipated as these points were going to be brought up in the previous discussions here

To me the issue is still in the efficiency of work in regards to hours logged. Reducing the hours will not make them more efficient.

Logging the community call as billable hours from last week was the final straw for me to be honest…

Hence Gabors post above. I have voted no on this PTIP temperature check.

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I voted no on the PTIP. To me this feels very forced and it is clear that not all the issues have been fully resolved. Until they are, the funding for the grants committee should not pass, in my opinion.

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Question for grants team members: - will you continue to be able to function properly and objectively manage the grants process considering there still seems to be this unresolved issue around workload and quality / quantity of work produced in the team?

If there is disagreement, im happy for members in the team to continue to deal with that internally as long as the process still works as intended.

Are you still functional?

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Disclosures:

  • With Pooltogether grants program renewal vote to bring me into the fold, the Grants Committee has brought me into their discord and weekly meeting for this week
  • In early July Blake and I discussed a few things about the grants committee that I felt should be targeted as the committee continued - in this discussion Blake informed me of these time recording issues, etc. but played it political and did not disclose anything other than he was the one causing the issue (from what I recall anyways)
  • The call I attended this week was my first, I arrived just over 20 minutes late as I had the wrong time zone on the meeting when I made it in my calendar, I arrived near the end of the committee’s discussion around this drama
  • I abstain from this vote as it directly effects me, as I’ve tried to do with prior PTIPs which would result in some form of payment to me. Should this go to a governance vote, I will vote with majority on this PTIP and Snapshot should my votes be needed

My Observations:

  • Everyone is civil in the meeting, and operations do not appear to be affected in a significant way this week. There weren’t a large number of applications to review this week, however, 1/3 or so of the meeting was burned discussing this, and the meeting did exceed an hour in time (barely).
  • From what I briefly heard (due to my tardiness) it sounds like some members are unwilling to budge on their stance to find a middle and the hours reduction was the closest thing to a middle ground - even that wasn’t formal voted internally.
  • As Andy has stated 4/6 members have taken a position on this matter, as Blake stated Torgin, Gabor, and Andy have made their views known. McOso and Praneeth were not in attendance of the meeting yesterday so I do not know their views.
  • The PTIP appeared to be an active draft for the committee but posting became rushed for one reason or another. It wasn’t clear if it was this issue alone or other additional items that got in the way of posting timely. But it was decided to post at meeting close.

My Stance:

  • As the new guy in the committee, I will not make a formal position on individuals; Blake continuing as lead until I see more, Gabor assuming a lead role, thoughts on Andy, Torgin, MsOso, Praneeth in their roles. If absolutely necessary, I will make a formal stance on individuals but feel I do not have enough to go off of other than time sheet records.
  • My informal position, if 4/6 within the committee determine a role of an individual should be changed, this actually means 4/5. The individual in question should have an opinion and can have discussions, but to vote on their own position is inherently biased. So, if 4/5 are in favor of a move, this move should happen.
  • I do have a concern that the 4/5 is missing a member due to being less active in the day-to-day operations than others so their opinion may not be recorded.
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I’ve been waiting to discuss 1:1 with Blake before commenting. However, I reached out to him early on Friday and I haven’t heard anything back yet so I’ll just post my current thoughts.

It does not make sense to me for the grants committee to continue with leadership that the majority (all active) committee members have voiced opposition to. Additionally, every day this situation progresses more time and energy is wasted. I don’t like thinking about how much time and energy has already been wasted before this was brought up ~2 weeks ago.

I understand no one wants conflict and I there are two sides to every story. I also know for a fact Blake has been a great community participant. But it’s clear now that this is not a situation everyone will come to perfect agreement on. Given we are not reaching perfect agreement. The course of action recommended by the majority of committee members is the one that should be implemented.

At the end of the day the interest of the protocol trump any individual desires people might have. It is quite clear that right now the best way for the grant’s committee to succeed is to move Blake to a reviewer role or if he is unwilling to serve in that role, to step down.

My hope is he will take the role of reviewer which is a better fit given what we’ve learned thus far in the pilot program.

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My apologies for the delayed reply here.
I had the last few days off because my dad and brothers were all in town this weekend.

i did reply to @leighton and we blocked off some time to chat soon.

This grants committee has been something I’m absolutely proud to be a part of. Every chance I get to tell someone new about it I’m reminded just how freakin cool it’s really been. Always puts a smile on my face! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
PoolGrants has my primary concern since at least May when we got the proposal passed. I don’t hold other positions outside PG so my full-time dedication was the assumption. Torgin and I discussed this throughout the governance process, and I knew his outlook also–to work few hours, shooting for 10-15/wk.
This clear-cut difference between us has worked out in a lot of ways too! Torgin focusing on the technical/practical while I bend to the more imaginative/unconventional on calls with our grantees & applicants has served cmte well during first quarter.

So to speak to @mkkoll question (which I’d ask too) I’d say… Working with all of them on the various proposals brought our way gives me confidence in all involved, :100:! This question around hours and tracking has been on the minds of a couple members though and not something we’ve been able to reach common ground on, not for a lack of trying.
I will mention that it seems pretty clear to me that when the leads are able to coordinate goals, communicate regularly, and work together well the # of proposals we receive correlates. When this issue caused disagreement it was often difficult for me to gain that cooperation, especially in this last month.

This issue and the stress it’s caused me over last few weeks has honestly been challenging.
I’ve done my best to resolve in a positive and productive way as a small committee. But really any solution is preferable to how it’s all played out. I don’t mind a challenge or debating something out, but there has to be common ground sought. On this issue, I have not received that.

Being that this is a question of 1) the grants committee and 2) myself, I’m going to follow @Taliskye’s lead here and say whatever the community decides on committee composition I’ll whole heartedly support and always give input where asked.
The 4/5 committee vote suggested by talis makes sense, but I’d add that his vote would be coming from a pretty non-biased perspective, but that’s just my input.
(btw, I setup a thread on PG Discord last week for this discussion after Andy’s post, if anyone would like to review discussions there let me know and I’ll make an invite for you. should give you a fair perspective of all sides.)

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To address this directly: Yes we are still functional. All of our grant committee tasks have been running normally the whole time. Everyone has been professional about the situation.

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quick update… spoke to @leighton yesterday and had our grants committee call today.

This position was only ever meant to be temporary for all of us. During that time I’ve approached the role as a job (albeit part time) rather than a secondary side-gig which is how most other members approach it, and rightly so.
So instead of me making the change from this role to another position in 3 months from now, the committee has jointly decided that me making that transition over the next quarter instead is acceptable to all.
I had suggested reducing my availability a bit more steadily (same 20hr/wk for upcoming month, reduce to 15 month 2, end at 10/wk month 3) and instead the request is for a quicker transition, being reduce to 15hr/wk for upcoming month, 10/wk month 2, down to reviewer weekly hours of 6/wk month 3.
During this time @gabor will be increasing his hours with the goal to take on more and more co-lead duties over quarter.

We’ve had much of this convo here so wanted to fill everyone in on that and get feedback.
Does this transition over the upcoming quarter make sense to y’all?

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Either option would be acceptable, just want to see a resolution asap so Pooltogether can focus on growing. Let’s fund grants.

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Glad the committee was able to come to a strong resolution.

I would be more in favor of the quicker transition 15 hours, 10 hours, 6 hours. The reduction in overall time from 20 to 15 was something that already seemed to be a wise decision. So starting there and going down after one month makes sense to me.

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