This is a signaling proposal for a Fundraising Gauge which will direct funding to the Protocol Guild, a group of Ethereum core protocol contributors represented onchain through a vested split contract. If passed, the next step is an on-chain DAO Ownership vote round for the gauge to receive CRV emissions.
As credibly neutral, maximally uncapturable infrastructure with no block reward, Ethereum doesn’t offer the same token incentives as applications or L2s. However, the protocol still needs to attract and retain talent to continue to evolve the protocol. As the broader ecosystem continues to grow, competition for talented individuals will only increase. This isn’t to fault individuals for rationally weighting financial incentives, or protocols for leveraging the power of tokens - this is just the reality of the current context. We also acknowledge that financial motivations aren’t the only or best motivator for people, it’s just one tool in our toolset that is currently underleveraged.
If we believe what we are building is important, then we should structure the incentives to attract more smart people to work on it. We believe that “Ethereum is an unprecedented arena for playing cooperative games,” and want to manifest the novel possibilities afforded by this arena. (Griffith, 2019)
The Protocol Guild aims to address this challenge with an autonomous value routing mechanism: a weighted split contract that includes vesting. This mechanism will grant Ethereum Core Contributors with upside exposure to projects and protocols that depend on this trustless infrastructure.
- current contributors are rewarded for past work through the weighting mechanism
- current contributors contribute for longer periods, and there should be less contributor churn
- new contributors are incentivized to join core protocol work
Proposal to add a new fundraising gauge for funding the Protocol Guild. Maximum emissions directed to this gauge would be 2,000,000 CRV, to be claimed by the Protocol Guild Multisig address.
Over 100 Ethereum core protocol contributors, including researchers, client maintainers, upgrade coordinators, and more. Read the docs here, or see the entire current set of members here. The membership and its internal characteristics will be represented onchain as a vested split contract, likely using 0xSplits). Weights are set according to how long each member has been contributing.
The Guild will act as an autonomous value routing mechanism, independent of any existing institution, purpose-built for incentivizing long-term core protocol work. Here are a few more reasons why we’ve worked together to bootstrap this new mechanism:
- Core protocol contributors forfeit the upside exposure that many of their peers gain by working on DeFi / L2s projects that have a token
- Existing solutions tend to be either too narrow or broad in scope, fail to exclusively target core protocol contributors, or depend on an intermediating institution
- the Protocol benefits from contributor continuity, which is incentivized by a vesting period on assets that are sent to the contract
Here’s a longer exploration of the project rationale.
Typically, we would have any assets sent directly to the vesting module. However, because CRV Gauges require an entity to claim the allocations, we are using the PG Multisig as a temporary stopgap: a 6/10 Gnosis Safe, deployed here. Once claimed, it will be immediately transferred to the vested split contract. We do not plan to use the Multisig to accept funds except in special cases like this, if you are a sponsor from another project, please do not send funds to the multisig. The 10 signing addresses are held by Guild members, and listed here:
We’ve spent the last 5 months refining the mechanism, onboarding members, and articulating how the smart contracts should be constructed. At this point, we’re ready to test the mechanism’s efficacy with a 1 year / $10mm Pilot. These are intentionally modest parameters to make sure the mechanism operates smoothly before graduating to a full scale fundraising round.
We are currently outreaching to prominent DeFi protocols / L2s to get commitments for this important first milestone. If this pilot is successful, the Guild will proceed with a second round of outreach for a larger amount of funds, vested over several years.
- CRV on Ethereum secures $20b of TVL and daily volume exceeding $278mm - a secure and scalable Ethereum benefits CRV as a founding DeFi institution
- Funding the Protocol Guild Pilot continues to build CRV’s reputation as a funder of Ethereum public goods
- CRV’s participation helps to build positive collective norms around contributing to public goods
- Fundraising gauges have a proven track record of success (Vyper set to receive 10k $CRV each week: this helps their security budget enormously)
- Inflation-sourced funding is inherently frictionless over treasury-sourced funding (this is how world economies and successful capitalist ventures fund growth and development)
- Synergistic mechanics with Votium and bribe.crv, allowing other protocols to frictionlessly participate by incentivising the Protocol Guild Gauge
A DAO vote to do the following actions:
Add a new gauge (Protocol Guild Gauge) to fund the PG Pilot, which will positively impact the continued maintenance and evolution of the Ethereum protocol. Maximum emissions directed to this gauge would be 2,000,000 $CRV, awarded to the Protocol Guild Multisig mentioned above
An emissions cap of 2,000,000 $CRV is less than 1% of the inflation budget for the current inflation epoch (inflation budget for this inflation epoch is approximately 233 million $CRV). Directing 1% towards a Pilot explicitly centered on Ethereum Protocol maintenance seems reasonable.This is equivalent to USD 5.8 million at the current market value of approximately USD 2.9 per CRV (31st March 2022).
If the curation of the Guild curation is found to be corrupted or biased, emissions can be turned off at any time.
- Fund the Protocol Guild via a Fundraising Gauge
- Do not fund the Protocol Guild via a Fundraising Gauge