Lightpaper: Turning Gas DAO Into a Super DAO Flywheel
January 10th, 2022

After much consultation with Gas DAO members and other stakeholders in the Ethereum community, Gas DAO is proud to announce the next phase of our evolution to becoming a Super DAO: Gas DAO Insights, the first DAO product aimed to bring the DAOs as a service (DaaS) model on-chain by end of Q1 2022.

Gas DAO Insights

What Is This. A Protocol to Protocol (Pr2Pr) business and data analytics extension of Gas DAO, creating User Extractable Value (UEV) from our extremely wide and diverse membership at first, eventually spreading to the entire Ethereum (and more) community as we gain traction and legitimacy. Gas DAO Insights is the first data driven business development arm of an on-chain DAO and uniquely fulfills our mission of giving Ethereum’s most active users a voice by allowing them to influence the direction of important protocols, DAOs, L2s and other on-chain organizations through paid, scientifically valid surveys and custom analytics offerings derived from those surveys, allowing them to conduct proper market research. While this suite of services will initially be offered to protocols given the nature of our current user base and the speed at which we can onboard crypto-native new partners, this could revolutionize the Web2 survey and alternative data industry for traditional enterprises due to the concept of cryptographically verifiable demographics (CVD). Let’s break down this term. We can now survey users for demographic data (statistical data related to populations) that is cryptographically verifiable; if a survey reveals a statistic about a group of users, we can link that to hard data about their financial state, present and past.

The Problem. Protocols today know how to build but often don’t know what to build. They rely on noisy, biased sources of information: voluntary Discord chats, small-sample directed feedback collection efforts or plain intuition to chart product roadmaps and deploy development resources. Although many of these web3 protocols have multi-billion dollar market caps, they rely on primitive survey methodology, with no means to extract actionable insights from their user data or verify the authenticity of the insights extracted from that data. 

Value Prop to Protocols and Partners. Protocols can generate actionable insights from the most active users on the Ethereum network or any targeted sub-group of users with cryptographically verifiable demographics that lead to tailored solutions for their biggest challenges. For example, protocols searching for new features to capture market share can test demand ahead of time or can more accurately predict and diagnose why users have switched to competitors.

Sizing the Market.

  • The Global Market Research industry in 2019 was $79B. 
  • As web3 protocols mature, if their budget allocation were to turn into even half that of web2 firms, we would be the sole player in a potentially multi-billion TAM. 
  • Our closest web2 analogues are Qualtrics ($16bnn Market Cap), Nielsen ($7.5bn) and Survey Monkey ($3bn). The emphasis on predictive, bespoke analytics and verifiable sample data would differentiate us from these companies and is similar to services offered by IBM, Oracle and Salesforce.

Value Prop to Gas DAO. Partnerships with other protocols evolve past simple co-marketing and sharing of unsustainable reward emissions, and become circular economic linkages. Protocols extract value from our wide user base (eventually the entire network based on targeted demographics) to improve their product offerings, marketability and brand while Gas DAO receives either hard assets (sent to the treasury) or continual demand for GAS tokens (if protocols choose to pay in ΞGAS). Protocols purchase GAS tokens for analytics campaigns and members stake GAS tokens to participate in these surveys and gain rewards from analytics purchases, creating a positive feedback loop and Super DAO Flywheel.

How This Works. Gas DAO will collaborate with partners to construct scientifically valid surveys, which will help gauge the developments that Ethereum users actually want, allowing partners to allocate resources more efficiently. The core Gas DAO team will create infrastructure to customize and serve the surveys, which we’ll host on a partner branded sub-domain (e.g. Survey takers will log in on our site using their Ethereum account; users will then sign a transaction to cryptographically verify their identity after taking the survey (cryptographically verifying their responses). The Gas DAO core team will then process the raw survey data into actionable insights and analytics for protocols, as well as deliver row-level data to the protocols for further analytics. In the future, Gas DAO Insights will build additional infrastructure for survey construction, viewing and creating insights and general analytics, automating as much of the process as possible to encourage further decentralization. 

Proposed Tokenomics

GAS tokens are already the governance token for the Gas DAO. However, the perpetual utility to GAS tokens is currently limited. The treasury cannot sustainably continue to reward users for governance and for network usage, and the social governance value of the token depends on external factors such as securing an amendment to the EIP process. 

Gas DAO Insights transforms GAS tokens into utility tokens for the Insights ecosystem and gives power to all Gas Dao holders to create value for each other through maximizing UEV. 

The value created for other protocols is directly proportional to the insights generated from Gas DAO, which in turn is proportional to the amount of holders and participation rate. Therefore, the optimal strategy for the success of Gas DAO is to have a large, diverse membership of Ethereum users that stake Gas tokens to participate in surveys to maximize the value to protocols and the value driven back to the DAO. Members who stake tokens are rewarded with a share of the token revenue that is collected from our partners.

  1. To create circular economic linkages, Gas DAO will pursue contracts for analytics services denominated in Gas. Protocols can pay for these services in Gas Tokens, or pay a premium in their native token/ETH. We will initially offer a single tier of Gas DAO Insights at 500M Gas per analytics campaign, which is roughly in line with Web2 market research pricing at our current cap. 
  2. As the Gas Token increases in price relative to other protocols/ETH, it will become more and more expensive for protocols to acquire Gas DAO Insights, encouraging protocols to sign up for analytics campaigns early. 
  3. This constant stream of sticky revenue, a unique angle that many traditional DAOs and Defi protocols are not pursuing,  will allow the DAO to grow the harder assets in the treasury and continue the rewards program for Gas DAO “stakers” sustainably. 
  4. Depending on the mix of in-bound revenue, it will both increase the value of the Gas DAO protocol through allowing rewards to exist in perpetuity and increase the potential Operating Budget of the DAO for other value enhancing community-led initiatives such as developer bounties, an expansion of the Gas DAO insights offerings or further revenue generating opportunities incubated by the community. 

Technical Design

Insights Product Lifecycle

Initial Partnership

When a protocol partners with Gas DAO Insights, the Gas DAO core team begins by working with the partner to configure the Gas DAO Insights product. The initial configuration steps are

  1. Gas DAO Insights creates a subdomain at {INSERT_NAME}, so that each partner has a customized domain to access their data and insights, as well as a co-branded domain for their users to take surveys.
  2. Partners optionally send Gas DAO Insights a whitelist of addresses eligible to take the survey. Gas DAO Insights can design an open survey that is not gated by addresses and instead process all survey data after the survey is complete, however some partners may prefer to run gated surveys based on token holdings.
  3. Gas DAO Insights and the partner iterate on survey design so that questions are high-impact and relevant and will produce data that drives key business and/or research outcomes.

Survey design

Gas DAO Insights collaborates with partner protocols to design scientifically valid surveys that measure key user metrics (e.g. user sentiment on future products, why users switched from protocol A to protocol B or which L2 a users would prefer).

Surveys support the following question types

  • Single choice questions, for example “Your protocol is usable for small players and whales alike”, answerable on a Likert scale
  • Multiple choice questions, for example “Which L2s would you like to see your protocol on? Select all that apply.”
  • Free-text questions, for example “Is there any way we could improve the staking experience on your protocol? Please let us know what we could do. Be explicit!”

Data collection

To launch the survey, partners provide Gas DAO Insights with the following information

  • Survey start date: when should the survey open? 
  • Survey end date: when should the survey close?
  • Population: if the survey is gated, a list of addresses that we can use to gate the survey
  • Logo: Gas DAO Insights surveys are co-branded with partner logo

To survey respondents, we use a custom survey frontend that leverages decentralized Ethereum wallet logins and centralized data storage. This hybrid approach allows us to generate cryptographically verifiable demographic data at scale and works as follows: the survey respondent first logs in to our survey frontend by connecting their wallet to our page. Then, they take the survey, as configured by the partner. Finally, the respondent signs a message containing their responses with their wallet (no funds are transferred, this is a signature so it requires no gas) that verifies they own the private key for the public key responding. Much like a Snapshot vote, these signed messages can be verified by anyone and contain sentiment metadata that is stored off-chain*.* This is important - the demographic data delivered to partners is cryptographically verifiable. That means, anyone with the public key of the respondent can verify that said public key signed the responses and that the Gas DAO Insights team cannot tamper with any responses.

Data storage

Survey data is stored in a centralized database owned by the Gas DAO Insights team and shared with partners. Eventually this data could be stored using a decentralized filestore solution like Arweave or IPFS (optionally, the data could be stored in a way that is both decentralized and private by using encryption keys).


After survey close, the Gas DAO Insights team cleans and processes the collected data. The cleaned data is available to protocols as a CSV for further analysis. The data processing completed by the Gas DAO Insights team can range from a simple deck with basic insights to in-depth Jupyter notebooks that use statistical methods such as regressions, cluster analysis, factor analysis and more to extract actionable analytics. 


Survey creation

Surveys are drafted and created in Google Sheets. Note, the final survey schema is stored in a database, but for rapid iteration and collaboration with partner protocols we leverage Google Sheet templates with limited data validation.

Survey ingestion

The survey ingestion system processes, validates and stores surveys. The ingestion system works by reading the survey into memory as a csv, then iterating the rows and running validation logic on each row. Each validated row is stored in our Surveys database as a survey question, which is sent to the client when users take our surveys.

Data collection

To survey respondents, we use a custom frontend that leverages decentralized Ethereum account logins and centralized data storage. Note, in the diagram below, “Backend Datastore” could eventually be swapped out for IPFS to further decentralize the project (optionally using encryption keys so that the data is private). This allows us to generate cryptographically verifiable demographic data at scale and works as follows: users log in to our custom survey frontend by connecting their wallet to our page. As users take the survey, we build up a `responses` JSON, which we update on the client and store in IntermediateSurveyResponse after each question. These survey responses are not signed, however they are useful to store state, in case a user exits and retakes the survey later. We also use this object to build the signed message object at the end of the flow.

Upon survey completion, users sign a message with their wallet (no funds are transferred) that verifies they own the private key for the public key responding. The survey response data is stored in the metadata of this message.

In our system design below, we optimize for latency, data availability, cost and trustlessness. This is accomplished leveraging a combination of web2 and web3 technology, which allows us to make minimal tradeoffs. Specifically,

  • Latency: we optimize for latency by storing responses in a centralized, highly available, low-latency NoSQL database
  • Data availability: we optimize for data availability by creating multiple read replicas of survey data as well as daily backups
  • Cost: we optimize for cost by surveying users off-chain: signing messages is gasless and data storage is centralized
  • Trustlessness: each survey response is a signed message, meaning once responses are delivered to partners the validity of those responses can be independently verified

Insight Engine

The following are just a few of the use cases we expect to make available to partner protocols, using Gas DAO survey data, protocol user attributes and wallet history:

  • Protocols can cluster and segment user base by wallet history, allowing them to identify core user groups and tailor their dApps accordingly. 
    • A/B test features deployed to your protocol, broken down by user group
    • Identify user groups who have high levels of engagement with competitors 
  • Protocols can deploy recommender systems based on user profile and behavior
    • Dynamically offer incentives to potentially high-value users (by wallet history)
      • E.g. AMMs can incentivize liquidity to pools likely to see higher volume
    • Increase retention by suggesting services the user is likely to engage with
    • Identify and re-engage discouraged users by serving support/tutorials on demand
  • Forecast high traffic user paths through your dApp; deploy resources accordingly (e.g. path based web traffic routing)
  • Protocols can forecast user value and risk (e.g. lending protocols and insurers can assess and forecast default risk based on similar users’ credit history)
  • DAOs can slice and dice member data to foster stronger community, drive membership growth and turbo-charge partnerships.
    • Turbo-charge outreach and partnership initiatives by finding members already connected with the target protocol  
    • Tailor the onboarding experience/quests to members’ prior experience 
    • Identify “star” engaged members’ on-chain usage patterns of to tailor recruiting
    • Suggest guild membership based on on-chain history to assign specialized roles to members

Data delivery

Gas DAO Insights delivers survey data to partner protocols in two formats: row-level and processed. Row-level data is stored in CSV files which are gated and downloadable from the partner’s custom subdomain. The available CSVs for download are

  1. Survey: this is the schema and questions asked of the survey itself
  2. SurveyResponses: this is a log of all of the survey responses in a semi-processed format
  3. SurveyResponsesSigned: this is a dataset that mirrors SurveyResponses, but is unprocessed and contains the signed message data

Data storage

Our main datasets are

  • SurveyResponseSigned: This is the primary write dataset that contains the signed, user-generated messages with survey response data.
  • SurveyResponse: This is the primary read dataset for data analysis, it contains normalized and cleaned data from SurveyResponseSigned. While it doesn’t contain message signatures, the data (verifiably) mirrors SurveyResponseSigned.
  • IntermediateSurveyResponse: This dataset contains unsigned survey responses, which are stored before a survey is completed. This is useful to users from a UX perspective, because they can exit the survey and resume taking it later. This dataset is also used to construct the final signed response message.
  • AccountAttributes: This dataset contains a mapping from Ethereum accounts to metadata attributes. Some example attributes are described below, however the Gas DAO Insights team has the flexibility to expand this attribute set significantly.


Gas DAO Insights collects attributes based on historical wallet activity, which are mapped to each address and made available to partners. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Net assets
  • All-time usage of protocol (number of interactions & dollar value)
  • All-time usage of competitor (number of interactions & dollar value)
  • Location based on time activity & exchange usage
  • Interests (NFTs, Defi, Dapps)
  • Risk tolerance
  • DAO involvement
  • Credit score
  • On-chain age

Note: these are all on-chain attributes that we either measure directly or estimate using statistical methods.

Build Milestones

Some of these milestones are parallelizable. The milestones serve as goalposts for internal product development purposes. The core contributing team values transparency and community, so we’re sharing them here. Each milestone represents a significant portion of overall product development.

  1. Survey Frontend
  2. Backend Database Configuration
  3. Backend Survey Validation and Storage Services
  4. Survey Ingestion System
  5. Partner Domain Frontend
  6. Data Processing Pipeline

In just two weeks, we have completed most of the core initiatives on our initial Roadmap. While we still have some things to clean up, we are moving from the initial digging of the foundation to building the core foundation of Gas DAO. This will allow the core mission at Gas DAO of providing a voice for Ethereum users and encouraging sound network resource consumption to exist in perpetuity. In a weekend, we built the fourth largest DAO on Ethereum; what will we be able to build together in 6 months?

Don’t lie - you thought this was just another meme token…

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