RetroPGF To Infinity And Beyond!

As different ideas and mechanisms pass through the Ethereum ecosystem, 🔥_🔥 is constantly trying to guide key projects towards their implementation. In this piece, we’ll make the case for why all DAOs and tokens should adopt a new (and not new!) mechanism: Retroactive public goods funding.

In 2020 we posted an article titled ‘DAO shares are tokens & tokens are DAO shares’ outlining how all tokens would transition to a DAO type model. Over the past 3 and a half years we’ve seen this come to reality. Now, we hope to make a similar argument for why all tokens will conduct retroPGF rounds for their given ecosystems.

This post aims to outline the impact of retroPGF and highlight tokens 🔥_🔥 has worked alongside that we think would benefit from rolling out a similar model to Optimism retroPGF.

RetroPGF Eats The Universe

RetroPGF has delivered an outstanding meme at scale, perfectly illustrating how retroactive rewards can be distributed on a continuous basis to foster a thriving and diverse ecosystem. So far only Optimism has leveraged this mechanism, but we believe that over the next months and years, it will become as popular as airdrops and other token distribution strategies.

Experimenting with different token distribution mechanisms has been a primary driver for both technical and community progression, as well as creating some element of financial speculation for almost every token in the space.

ICOs, retroactive airdrops, token grants, protocol rewards, and now retroPGF. All of these are used to bring contributions to a project or ecosystem, all having varying levels of success. So how do we continue to grow this experimentation, and as we’ve seen the explosion of many token distribution models throughout the years, how can we see an explosion of retroPGF mechanisms across the ecosystem?

Growing the Optimism RetroPGF flower!
Growing the Optimism RetroPGF flower!

The first step of this is to create a clear roadmap and initial list of potential protocols to conduct this type of experiment.

These are the projects we think are best positioned to roll out their own retroPGF round:

ENS: The Ethereum Name Service is one of the most globally recognized and integrated projects within our ecosystem. Creating retroactive incentives for builders and community contributions will help increase impact and visibility of the protocol and encourage many different types of builders to BUIDL!

AAVE: Aave has the clearest product market fit out of any DeFi project while simultaneously creating one of the most impactful cultures within Ethereum, rolling out a RetroPGF round within the Aave ecosystem continues to cement and amplify this.

Rocket Pool: Rocket Pool created the first decentralized and consistently Ethereum-aligned staking solution, propagating its use, integrations, and growth will benefit the entire Ethereum network.

Gitcoin: Gitcoin has brought the world of public goods to the forefront of Ethereum, with almost 20 grant rounds and thousands of projects funded, creating a RetroPGF token distribution for Gitcoin builders and contributors continues the development of Ethereum Public Goods - Gitcoin has also just launched its RPGF stack.

Pocket Network: Pokt has built the infrastructure to decentralize access to Ethereum and many other blockchains through a distributed RPC network, allowing decentralization and censorship resistance to scale effectively behind the scenes should be rewarded.

Each one of these projects has had hundreds or thousands of unique contributors. By setting up a retroactive token reward round, we capture the mindshare of not only a project’s past, present, and future contributors, but also many other contributors who participated in or saw value in the Optimism RPGF round.

Creating a precedent that contributing to this ecosystem could continue to net more incentives sets a project up for continuous growth.

Practical next steps for setting up these project specific retroPGF rounds:

This article hopes to spark discussion amongst each community around the idea of running their own retro round.

  • As a part of this post, 🔥_🔥 have posted on each forum, highlighting this idea and igniting community discussion;

  • Each community will discuss & give feedback on the idea and mechanism in a broad sense.

  • Community discussion & proposals will be created specifying the amount of funding (Optimism are currently distributing $60m, but did $1m and $10m in the past - let's aim for something closer to those earlier rounds, which are more aligned with given token marketcaps).

  • Proposal specification built out, discussion/feedback.

This takes us to the point where an onchain proposal is submitted, and a decision is made. If community sentiment is positive and the proposal passes, the next steps are:

  • Next for those projects that want to deploy this strategy, we need a UI for the retroPGF round:

    • RFP for $xx,xxx to craft this UI and structure.

    • Ideally community members will also just want to create this UI for the impact and shoutout they get! (and maybe tokens!)

  • Each project or human contributing to the given token ecosystem submits an application.

    • Then these applications are reviewed by the teams internally (as well as 🔥_🔥 and other core contributors to the protocol).
  • Voting then occurs on these accepted applications;

The final consideration here is the voting architecture of these rounds. Each project should likely produce its own system, but lets briefly break down the different ways different projects could distribute these rewards:

  • Badge Like system: Similar to Optimism, based on an initial list of chosen (or applied) community members, some of the above projects have already implemented an early version of this (e.g. ENS small grants badges).

  • Network contribution: Different protocol systems allow this, with a protocol like RocketPool or Pokt where each node provider could be a vote within the network - you must be participating in the protocol very tangibly to receive a vote.

  • Sliding Sybil Scale: Products like Gitcoin Passport provide a minimum level of Sybil resistance in order to vote (or give more vote weight as thresholds are hit).

  • Simple Token Voting: A slightly less interesting way to distribute these tokens is through a traditional tokenholder vote. Although less glamorous, it still achieves the goal of setting a precedent for retroPGF rounds.

  • Hopefully others?!: Of course, we’re very open to any/all suggestions to how this voting/distribution could work - and outlining these ideas during the community discussion within each protocol would be amazing 🦄

🔥_🔥 Wants RetroPGF!

🔥_🔥 is fully committed to making these rounds happen for all (or at least 1!) of these projects, whether this be coordination, forum post, feedback, etc. One of the primary drivers behind this initiative is that Optimism has created an incredible narrative with retroPGF, and we want to see this be leveraged by high impact projects first, as mentioned above I’d assume just by virtue of this article being posted we’ll see much worse projects rush to deploy a similar round, just to leverage the narrative of being ‘the second project after Optimism’ to do so.

🔥_🔥 is an organization focused on furthering the Ethereum and web3 ecosystem by creating token, governance, and human experimentation on a continuous basis!

Many thanks to the many humans who gave feedback & encouragement to this idea and article!

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