FGP: FORTH Community Grants Program

I love these transparency initiatives! That’s one of my biggest concerns and I think it is a concern of other grants programs as well, especially regarding the reasoning behind denials and how they are presented.

For this particular initiative, would the cadence be per quarter?

Another great idea, and the synchronous communication medium can establish a bit more trust between the community members.

Also curious about your thoughts on adding another reviewer similar to the UNI grants program? It could be another team member as it would accurately reflect the initial forth distribution as well (33% went to the early backers of the project). I agree with the UNI proposal that reviewers do not need to be a paid role and will simplify the system if not so. They should be responsible for ensuring the program lead is responsible with the funds and evaluates potential grants fairly as mentioned. If there are some more details about the reviewer role that you had in mind that warrants direct compensation, maybe that should be elaborated on, however, I think requiring less time from the reviewers and properly compensating the program lead sounds like a effective structure. Definitely looking for some feedback from the community here.

Adding another team member goes along with the progressive decentralization ethos that is set forth by the team. By adding another team member as the reviewer and giving all reviewers the power on the 4/5 multisig, this gives veto access to the team as a safety net for the first round. Unless the team thinks that this is not necessary? These are ideas I’m putting out there to mitigate centralization risk while gradually moving towards a more decentralized structure. They are not trying to question the trust of proposed reviewers. I’m especially curious how the team feels about this idea.

I also think it would be good (similar to the UNI proposal) to have a little bit of background info on each of the proposed reviewers. I see you wrote a blurb for yourself Jeremy Guzmán which I appreciate, but it would be good for those looking at the proposal to have a little bit of background on the other community members.

Again thanks for the initiative here and all the work and thought you are putting into this @Guz_MassAdoption :slight_smile:

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I’m writing to voice my strong support for this proposal.

As an active, long-time member of the Ampleforth community and ecosystem, it’s been a pleasure to witness the growth and evolution of the AMPL-powered ecosystem of applications.

Ever since our earliest conversations about the potential of AMPL, we’ve always focused on the need for strong utilities for the asset. Fortunately, we have come a long way on the utilities front. AMPL holders can not just participate in the Geysers, trade or hold AMPL, but engage in lending/borrowing activities, earn yield on AMPL during all phases of the rebase and more.

However, a major challenge the community faces is driving utilization of the utilities that are currently on the market, and that will be developed in the future. If we look at the total outstanding supply of AMPL, currently 83 million, and wallets ~30,000, an estimated 2% of the AMPL supply and 1% of wallets (not counting the Geyser programs) are deployed in ecosystem applications.

In my opinion, this is a dangerous situation for the AMPL community because without strong utilization of applications builders will be disincentivized to develop for AMPL, or maintain the applications they have already developed.

I see the grants program as essential for ecosystem adoption and acceleration. As the most well-resourced actor in the nascent AMPL ecosystem, the FORTH DAO can play a big role in incentivizing application adoption, driving utilization (TVL) of these applications, help to market the ecosystem and more. The grants program will allow the DAO to rapidly inject much-needed capital and attention into the AMPL ecosystem, which will encourage its growth and development.

Regarding the proposal, I would recommend these additions:

Areas of Focus

  • Adding an additional item: Application Adoption and Utilization

Key Performance Indicators

  • TVL (AMPL) in existing and new applications utilizing AMPL
  • Awareness (can be measured via social media metrics, or other data) of AMPL ecosystem projects

Project Deliverables

The project evaluation criteria currently presented is very good for new projects, or those in development. However, some applications are already deployed or nearing deployment, so grants might be delivered to these projects immediately given that they are already on-market. Evaluation criteria for these projects might have to be developed in tandem with the project requesting a grant. (I recommend this be mentioned in the proposal.)

Thanks @Guz_MassAdoption for spearheading this effort. I look forward its swift approval by the community.

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i support what @davoice321 say and the vision where the forth dao go . :+1:

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Fantastic initiative. I concur.

For KPIs, I’d suggest also: # of chains for cross-chain adoption.

In addition to Ethereum L2s (Arbitrum, Optimism, and I believe Polygon is currently in progress), there are several other L1s worth exploring. E.g., Secret Network (and the IBC/Cosmos hub) or Zilliqa. These networks do not have rebasing assets, so cross-chain deployment would serve several purposes (education, community engagement, etc.).

Regarding number of committee members, would it be prudent to increase from 5 to 7? Various meatspace governance systems employ the use of 7 entities so there may be some merit to that approach.

Edit: just read through @davoice321 post - agree with this as well

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This would definitely be a step in the right direction. We should join as a community and support developers that build around AMPL. Without them we will never have a broader adoption and awareness. Let´s put our money where our mouth is: building and improving AMPL´s ecosystem. One dApp at a time

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Hi Folks -

Big fan of this initiative, I think it’s a great way to:
A) Increase community involvement
B) Incentivize more building related to AMPL + FORTH

I think there’s a lot of potential other DAO or adjacent partnerships that will open up with this.
My largest hope is this galvanizes the community and also allows the community to experiment and start steering initiatives more pro-actively.

If helpful, also happy to share a quick bio on myself since I’ve been nominated for the FGC. However in the future I will try to utilize my 0x handle a bit more.

Cheers

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Hey everyone, exciting times and proposals indeed! For the sake of balance I’m going to play the part of the incorrigible grump.

1. Are we yet at a stage where we need this structure?

The rationale (which seems to have slipped from the “FGP Rationale” section down into the “Committee Members” section) seems like it can be summarised as being able to assess and accept or reject grant requests faster. But how rapid do we need grants to be reviewed? And does the current pace of regular voting not keep up with that for now?

As DAOs mature, they typically form a plan of action, outlining their goals in specific, detailed ways (in contrast to their typically abstract start). They want this piece of the ecosystem building to these specifications, such a such a partnership with that third party project, etc. There’s a number of people contributing bits of work from dev to marketing to whatever that require regular remuneration. With such a glut of activity it becomes necessary to put together a custodial group that represents the wishes of the DAO, but which have ability to manage a portion of DAO funds however they see fit in order to keep momentum and execute decisions and payments in a timely fashion.

I don’t believe the FORTH DAO is at that point yet, and I don’t believe that grants program needs to be as agile as regular operations anyway. Instead I think it would make more sense at this stage to make FORTH holders aware that they’re now capable of passing verdict on grant proposals too, and seeing whether we get any bright eyed and eager people stepping up to engage with this.

2. Compensation

The compensation is based around an hourly rate and the number of hours worked, which in turn are capped per week based on role. Is self-reporting hours the best model for this? To save people the hassle of trying to justify one number or another would it make more sense to just assign flat rates independent of workload? Or maybe make it a rate, but based on how many proposals reviewed instead of time spent?

I’m also curious about any reasoning behind the specific numbers chosen. It’s apparently double the average rate for a software engineer in the US, for example.

3. Initial FGP members

Firstly, I’d like to ask: what is the rationale behind not electing the initial members?

Secondly, would I be correct in assuming that the members listed have been approached and given confirmation that they would be willing to serve in this role in private ahead of this proposal being posted?

Thirdly (and let me preface this by saying that I’m personally familiar everyone and find them reasonable choices) - could we get a salespitch for everyone please? I’d like to think everyone is familiar with Brandon, but perhaps some of the other names are less familiar to people who don’t live in the AMPL social media channels as much as I do.

Addendum

That about sums up what I have to say, though I think @kbambridge raises some great points too. Just a couple more things before I wrap up:

  1. Might I enquire who the other co-author is?
  1. I’d like to nominate @ducc as a reviewer. He’s been an attentive member of the AMPL community since the early days, and I consider him to be a source of exceptional judgement and wisdom with a keen focus on AMPL’s goals. I think he would do a brilliant job assessing whether grant requests serve to meet those goals or not.

EDIT:

Forgot to add:

4. Security protocol

A DAO with a bunch of cash is a good target for a scam. I think it would be good trying to brainstorm the various ways a bad actor could attempt to extract funds via a grant, and devise a set of guidelines that guard against them.

eg1. someone submits a grant, claiming to be a famous name in the industry. Their reputation is good, so we grant them the money expecting great things. Turns out it was someone pretending to be them instead. This could be mitigated by requiring that famous people prove their identity via taking action with accounts or addresses that have long been recognised as owned by them.

eg2. a group request a grant, which is granted. The funds are sent to an address one of them controls, they vanish with it, leaving the rest of the group as dumbfounded as the rest of us. This could be mitigated by requiring groups to have a multisig account set up to receive funds to.

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Thanks for putting this together, Jeremy. I like the idea of creating working groups to accomplish specific DAO goals more efficiently. DeFi moves fast and we could definitely use the flexibility and speed of smaller committees. I also agree with Fiddlekins that all reviewers should be elected by a Forth vote, from the start.

I’d certainly appreciate the opportunity be a reviewer. I tend to be a voice of caution and criticism (as many are probably aware by now). I’d also prefer no compensation if Forth members chose me for the position.

My main outstanding concern with this committee is avoiding a common pitfall we have seen other DAOs like Sushi fall into: a select group of early members or devs with connections start performing actions without the broader DAO’s awareness. To remedy this, I propose that all communications between FGC members be published on a regular basis to the forum. One option is to publish meeting minutes. Another option is to simply host the FGC discussions on a dedicated section of the forum where only FGC members can post, but anyone can view. I think it would go a long way to avoid issues that other DAOs have run into with these types of working groups.

Edit: used wrong acronym

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Love this comment and I appreciate you being the incorrigible grump haha. In this space, opposing views/arguments should be encouraged & applauded as they offer a range of much needed perspective and consideration!

Are we yet at a stage where we need this structure?

This is a fair question. I agree that we are not in the opportune position to initiate/form a custodial group, nor is there a proper framework in place that we could adhere to if such a cohort were to emerge. We continue to remain likeminded as you state “that [the] grants program [does not] need to be as agile as regular operations anyway.” To this end, I agree. However, I would expand on this by saying that the Grants Program, in its beginning stages, aims to stimulate, provoke, and further support community engagement & participation - of which we can agree has lacked thereof for quite some time. The formation of this Program is to serve as the catalyst for the aforementioned reason(s).

In terms of how rapid do we need grants to be reviewed, I believe I mentioned that we’ll operate under a 10 day review period post-application submission. This will allow the committee enough time to (1) peruse and diligently assess the application, (2) schedule a meeting with the applicant, (3) determine the state of the application (approve, deny, (if the requested funding surpasses Swift Grant criteria) escalating the application for a Community review.

Compensation

The numbers outlined were used based on the standard exhibited by the Uniswap (UniGrants), Aave, and Compound Grants Programs. The suggestion of assigning flat rates independent of workload is a rational point. However, the argument will remain the same - likewise if a rate is applied per proposal reviewed (which still correlates to time spent).

Initial FGP Members

Implementing an election process did come to mind and I am still very much open to the idea. But it is worth noting that at least 1 Core Team member will sit on the Committee (hence why Brandon was nominated).

Secondly, would I be correct in assuming that the members listed have been approached and given confirmation that they would be willing to serve in this role in private ahead of this proposal being posted?

Yes, you would be 100% correct with this assumption. All members mentioned have been approached, briefed, and confirmed of their roles & responsibilities.

could we get a salespitch for everyone please? I’d like to think everyone is familiar with Brandon, but perhaps some of the other names are less familiar to people who don’t live in the AMPL social media channels as much as I do.

another fair request. I think the committee members should take the time to introduce themselves as well as mentioning their experience within the DeFi space (with an emphasis on anything related to Ampleforth Protocol).

  1. Might I enquire who the other co-author is?

Yes, the other co-authors are: Me, Myself, and I

Serious answer: That was a typo, actually. I will edit the proposal and make the appropriate change. Sorry about that.

I’d like to nominate @ducc as a reviewer.

I too am a huge fan of @ducc and truly believe that he would serve as a great fit on the committee.

Security Protocol

The two examples provided stem from 1 major mistake: Lack of due diligence and prudence. With the criteria laid out in the proposal, I find these to be edge cases and highly unlikely to occur.

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Hi Folks -

Also want to weigh in on some of the good points brought up during this discussion.

FWIW, I think the structure is good because it can be talked about publicly (social media or website etc), sometimes folks who want to engage want some sort defined structure so hopefully this can provide that.

Also there is the “chicken and the egg” problem, but I believe if the committee’s objective is aligned to the communities (which it should be), then we can help stimulate more community action and project development, that should be a north-star for this program.

BTW I too think it’s a good idea to open this up to nominations/voting for the initial council members. I am also open to forgoing my salary / whatever the community decides is fair.

Lastly, I think the concern around funding fraud/rugs is fair. The committee should propose + enact general policies & procedures (which should be made public, and maybe even have the larger community do a snapshot labs vote on), to ensure there’s proper governance/hygiene in place. I don’t think we need to solution this to the n-th level of detail right now, but we can agree that these risks/policies+procedures will be addressed. (For example in the future we can lay out general diligence practices etc).

In the spirit of keeping things moving forward, what are next steps? Should we have folks nominate/self-nominate for the committee (maybe a nomination should include three things: (a) nominees name + (b) quick bio/background + (c) why they would make a good candidate / what area of focus or value he/she brings).

Should the nominations be made in this thread or on snapshot and voted on?

edit: P.S. agree with ducc on making things MORE vs LESS transparent

Don’t sell the FORTH unclaimed anyway.

Thanks @Guz_MassAdoption for the thoughtful and well-research grants proposal. I’m also incredibly impressed at the time and energy put into this discussion by everyone so far. I think this DAO has a bright future with all the minds around here :sunny: A lot of excellent points have been brought up and I’d like contribute my perspective as well.

First on the composition of the committee members. I’ve gone back and forth myself on whether it’s a good idea to elect members for the first iteration. I absolutely think that electing committee members is where we want the process to get to. However, I think the first implementation of this system is incredibly important because it sets a pattern for future iterations to follow. While I suggested to Jeremy privately about electing members while this was still in draft phase, I think I’m now falling on the side of the fence of going with Jeremy’s suggestions, but with the plan to elect in the cycles and going forward.

I also support @Fiddlekins idea of adding @ducc as a reviewer. I think he would be a great addition, and it would help balance out the committee makeup. I don’t think we need any more members from core dev. I like that the committee can be primarily community driven.

@kbambridge :

Update 2: I noticed this post is similar to Uniswap Grants 0.1 post with some notable changes:

  1. Reviewers don’t get paid in the UNI grants program, as their time involvement is limited
  2. There are 5 reviewers and 1 program lead. The 4/5 multisig is controlled by the reviewers and it is the program lead’s job to convince the reviewers the grants he/she thinks are good to be voted for and therefore the program lead does not have a vote himself.

This seems like a very reasonable approach, and I would support this. I assume the multisig would be responsible for allocating the payment to the lead as well. I would forgo any payment from the DAO in any case.

Regarding @Fiddlekins ’ concerns on whether we’re at the stage where we need it… perhaps, perhaps not. Another way to view this is that it’s an investment in the future of the ecosystem. If we invest enough in creating opportunities for the ecosystem to grow, we may find more than we think we will. I’m in support of finding out.

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I’ve been wondering about including a “panic button” veto ability by a Forth vote with a substantial quorum to revoke the committee multi-sig and return the funds to the Forth DAO treasury if the wider community feels that the committee is using community funds improperly. That would allow a vote of no confidence in the committee and a hard reset if people think they’re doing a bad job. I think it strikes a nice balance between the flexibility and speed of smaller working groups while retaining accountability to the whole DAO.

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I like the idea of the lead committee member being ex officio, but It would be nice to compose the committee with folks who each have a different perspective or skill set. Perhaps defining the reviewer roles by a certain skill set or need as opposed to an individual so there’s rubric and we can continue to fill the roles in a clear measurable way.

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This is a very well thought out and well written proposal. The structure of the FGP proposed seems sound and professional.

This has my support!

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Based on the extremely healthy deliberations held here, we think it’s time to escalate this proposal to a Snapshot vote to gauge community sentiment.

Below I have provided the link to the Signal (Snapshot):
https://signal.ampleforth.org/#/ampleforthorg.eth/proposal/0x68bec26956fd0b8dac85de9f6602ba173d4b856bc198ad328234aebdcbb9acfb

We are steps away from a monumental moment for the FORTH DAO.

$FORTH

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I think starting the vote is a bit premature - we seem like we’ve yet to resolve a few points of concern:

  • the question around whether there should be 4 or 5 reviewers
  • whether Ducc should join the ranks of reviewers (I’ve only seen support for this, but there’s a question as to whether Ducc would swap out for someone else or be added as a 5th reviewer)
  • whether a “per hour” model is really the most sensible for compensation. I suggested “per proposal” since that’s something community members can verify, whereas “per hour” is purely self-reported

And unless I’ve missed them I think we’re still waiting on self-introductions from a couple of the proposed reviewers too.

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@Guz_MassAdoption

In addition to what Fiddy stated, I think it might be best to eventually take all of the names that have been suggested and then do a Signal with Approval Voting before the signal for the formation of the commitee itself. Perhaps the top 5 reviewers are selected?

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I’m a little confused why this has been moved to a snapshot already before incorporating feedback. As it stands, I’m going to have to vote “no” without revisions.

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@Fiddlekins
I believe @Brandon addressed your first point by stating “I also support @Fiddlekins idea of adding @ducc as a reviewer.” There could be one of two things that occur here: (1) we add a 6th reviewer, being Ducc; (2) We hold an election to see who is voted as being part of the FGC.

To your third point, I believe the per hour model still applies here. Why? Because the committee will be reviewing numerous applications at a time while also scheduling calls with applicants to scrutinize, assist, and further decide upon the feasibility of the application in question. Operating on a per proposal model could potentially incur higher costs (assuming there is a high volume of submitted applications). Another question that’s to be posed is: How would this “per proposal” model be valued?

@G-Yes95
I do agree with a Signal vote for Committee nominations after the first term is complete. I was under the impression that there was an understanding/agreement after @Brandon’s reply. However, if the community agrees that an election process should be initiated prior to the launch of the Grants program then I support this as well.

@ducc As mentioned in my response above to G-Yes95, I was with the understanding that we could proceed with escalating the proposal to a signal vote.

All things considered, I do agree that a more formal introductory process should be given to the community - especially for those who don’t know of the nominated committee members or of myself.