September 22nd, 2022

DAO forums are like town squares where lots of ideas are discussed and debated every day. At Karma, we give DAOs the ability to recognize contributors who are helping them realize their mission.

Karma's reputation system aggregates DAO contributor data from various sources such as Snapshot, on-chain voting contracts, Discord and Discourse forums, and POAPs. DAOs we work with value these metrics for various reasons. For some, voting is all that matters, but others want to better understand contributor activity on Discourse or Discord and assign appropriate weight to those metrics. 

One of the features that differentiates Karma from other systems is our Discourse forum integration, which DAOs and contributors use to understand someone's contribution to the forum. Since contributions can be in the form of proposals created and discussed or just total threads and replies, the first question DAOs rightfully ask us is, “How do we prevent someone from accruing forum reputation by just spamming the forum with inconsequential posts?” 

Over the last six months, we’ve made several enhancements to address this issue of contributors gaming the system. Here’s an explanation of some of our updates and the reasoning behind them:

August 18th, 2022

Distinguishing signal from noise in DAO governance forums can be difficult for even the most active contributors. A useful data point when considering a post in a governance forum is the delegated voting power a particular poster holds.

It is accepted that the top (~30) Delegates have limited time and attention to direct towards building the necessary context to be able to follow threads on proposal discussions. In the ENS forum for example, posts can have in excess of 50 comments. Adding more data/information about forum participants, such as delegated voting weight can help Delegates distinguish sentiment based on token weight, as well as taking forum posts at face value.

Thanks to the grant from ENS DAO, we have built a Discourse forum plugin that will provide the reader additional context about the user who is posting/replying in the threads. This plugin can be installed by any DAO that uses Discourse for their governance forum.

  • Total votes delegated to them (One signal to indicate their incentives in the DAO)
  • Their snapshot and on-chain voting stats (Shows how active are they really in governance)
  • Their Karma reputation score
July 25th, 2022

Idle Finance is looking for ways to reward members who participate the most in its governance activities. To accomplish this, they recently kicked off a governance mining initiative to encourage contributors to participate in the governance. As per this initiative, Idle will compensate the most active contributors every month. Idle will be using Karma’s reputation system to identify the most active contributors and compensate them. We are excited to partner with Idle and help them make the initiative a success.

One of the challenges Idle encountered with this initiative is tracking contributor activity across their various tools (Snapshot, Forum, Discord) so the most active contributors are compensated. Karma is well positioned to solve this problem for Idle because our reputation engine aggregates contributor activity across all the tools and calculates the reputation score. We aggregate user activity on a daily basis, so rolling up the activity by different time frames is trivial.

Idle will be using our data on a monthly basis to reward the most active contributors. You can find more details about the initiative on the idle forum here.

Idle finance governance mining using Karma's reputation system
Idle finance governance mining using Karma's reputation system
June 8th, 2022

Karma and Secureum are excited to collaborate on issuing NFT badges as credentials to all eligible bootcamp participants of Secureum and help them build an on-chain transparent reputation in the Ethereum security ecosystem. At Karma, we believe for a use case like this, NFTs work better than say Verifiable Credentials. We also decided to keep these NFTs transferable (default behavior) because there are more benefits to keeping it transferable than preventing user from transferring these NFTs.

Secureum’s mission is to further improve Ethereum security by catalyzing a community-focused effort on education & evaluation. Secureum organizes an always-running free online Ethereum security bootcamp where participants learn about smart contract security pitfalls & best-practices. They assess themselves in RACEs which are smart contract security quizzes. Top RACE participants are invited to participate in CAREs — Comprehensive Audit Readiness Evaluation — which are smart contract security reviews of security-minded protocols & CARE-Xs — CARE Extra — which are customized CAREs with collaborating Ethereum security partners.

Secureum has issued over 1000 badges so far using Karma’s NFT badge minting infrastructure for RACE, CARE & CARE-X participants. All the NFT badges were issued on Polygon Mainnet. Participants can view all their badges issued by Secureum in their Karma profile. Here is an example profile of a user showing all their badges. We are working on building a reputation leaderboard of all the participants based on the badges they have earned. Secureum will continue to issue more badges using our infrastructure.

Profile of Secureum bootcamp participant
Profile of Secureum bootcamp participant
April 28th, 2022

We are excited to formally announce our collaboration with the GitcoinDAO. Gitcoin has started using Karma’s reputation system to power their Steward health cards - a tool that provides valuable metrics for their stewards and improve the transparency and accountability of the steward’s work.

We made some major enhancements to our reputation system to aggregate and curate contributor activity at a more granular level. Some of the data points we curate include

  • Snapshot voting stats
  • On-chain voting stats
  • Proposals created and discussed by Stewards on the forum
  • Posts created and discussed by Stewards on the forum

Stewards and other token holders can now look at the recent 30 day activity and the lifetime activity. Some of the benefits of these stats include helping token holders (re)delegate their tokens to most active stewards and stewards stay more engaged and maintain a good reputation.

April 27th, 2022

We are building Karma - a reputation system for DAO contributors. The DAO ecosystem is growing exponentially with hundreds of DAOs being formed and thousands of contributors participating in this ecosystem. This brings with it a number of opportunities and challenges. DAOs struggle to understand who their most active contributors are and contributors don’t have a way to showcase their work, get rewarded for their work and get discovered by other DAOs.

Our goal is to build a reputation system to solve these problems. We do this by aggregating all the contributor activity and quantifying it to generate a Karma (reputation) score that can be used by DAOs and contributors. Also, when you put this activity and score on-chain for anyone to consume, we believe it will open up a number of use cases we haven’t even considered.

We are already working with a number of DAOs to help them design a customized reputation system taking into consideration their unique needs and nuances of how they operate. The DAO contributors can trust their reputation scores knowing that the DAOs themselves were involved in it and not an unknown third party organization. We believe reputation is a basic primitive that is sorely needed in the web3 ecosystem. It is a hard problem and there are a number of challenges. With the DAO community support, we believe we can solve this problem and this can become an important lego block in the web3 ecosystem.

To realize this vision, we have raised $1.2M from a very supportive group of investors and angels who believe in our vision and understand the importance of reputation - a core primitive in the web3 ecosystem. We would like to thank Seed Club Ventures, DXdao, Boost VC, Defi Dad (4RC), Evan Van Ness (Starbloom Ventures), Coingecko, IOSG Ventures, Dean Thomas (StealthCap) and a number of angels including Balaji Srinivasan, Ryan Sean Adams (Bankless), Ben Lakoff (SCV and Charged Particles), Rajeev (Secureum), Harsh (EPNS), Andrew Beal (Forta), Dave Rodman, Shawn Dimantha, Christopher Kong, Biao Boey, Guled Yousuf and others for their support.