RFC-000-025: Incentives for Community participation

Name: Incentives for Community participation
Category: Governance, Treasury
Status: Draft
Scope: To gauge community’s sentiment on the incentives idea as a whole and, if sentiment is positive, define incentivized categories and other relevant details

Overview

There is one common problem that a lot of crypto projects and DAO’s share and that is low governance (and overall) participation by the community.

This RFC aims to see what the community thinks about the idea of incentivizing this activity and what areas exactly should be incentivized. And what these incentives should be.

Details

The discussed incentives will be allocated from the Community Fund and this RFC intentionally avoids any definitive opinions and numbers, because this should be discussed by the community as a whole and formed into a RIP that will be voted on at a later stage.

I think it’s important to show active community members a token of appreciation and two areas that I think can be incentivized in the beginning are graphics and quality governance proposals.

“Graphics” is a pretty vague definition and should be discussed, but I think anything ranging from Discord/TG stickers to serious infographics with eye-catching imagery (and accurate content!) fits this category.

As for incentivized proposals, that is self-explanatory, but with a couple of considerations. The process that I suggest is this:

  1. We require all RIPs to go through the RFC process first, if they want to be eligible for the full incentive (more on this below)
  2. If the majority of active REN community decides that the RFC is worthwhile (informal forum voting) - it gets approved for the RIP stage
  3. Once the RIP is written and submitted, author gets a small part of the incentive for the effort he put in and for the time spent
  4. RIP gets voted on and if it gets accepted - author gets a bigger part of the incentive

This process ensures that:

  • Low-quality proposals get rejected during the RFC stage
  • Quality authors are guaranteed, that their time spent writing a RIP will be compensated with a first part of the incentive. And if the RIP is deemed important enough to get approved, he gets a second, bigger part of the incentive for his contribution

The exact way that these payouts will be handled can be discussed now and finalized once the Community Fund is setup.

Next Steps / Discussion Guideline

First we should decide if we like the idea of community incentives in general. Then we should discuss the above mentioned details and discuss the size of possible incentives, as well as any other relevant thoughts that you might have.

After all this is talked through (and the community is in favor), I’ll write up a RIP that will be submitted for voting.

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sounds good in general.

Generally like the idea - just need to think through the mechanics.

A 3rd category I would consider adding:

Incentive proposal for other forums, pitching the adoption of RenJS and RenAssets at other projects. Same rules apply - if they get to a formal proposal/governance vote then they get something, and a bonus for adoption.

I’d definitely lobby to pay [for example $500] for every time one of our community members gets another project to seriously consider adoption of RenJS/RENassets. Heck, I’d pay out of my own pocket for every legit community-driven integration.

(Max doesn’t count, sorry Max :pray::sweat_smile:)

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I think another strategy I have seen in other DAOs allows community members to stake their voting power onto vocal community members that align with their philosophies, people that have a track record on voting and are clear in their interests and goals. These delegated voters can be incentivized based on staked voting power in some manner that seems acceptable if this concept is favored by everyone.

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An example of this is BarnBridge, where stakers of the $BOND token can delegate their vBOND to more active members of the community. Recently however their team has been dissuading people from doing this as they believe it’s generally not good for their DAO structure. In general I think there are many REN holders and DNOs that are sitting on the sidelines and maybe read through the Telegram group from time to time. We need to get these people more involved. This might have the opposite effect.

Agreed. Proposals on other forums can play a vital role in the overall adoption of ren assets and the future success of the project. Can think of one in particular, $renBTC on Aave would be massive. For a comparison, wBTC deposits are $3.55B between Ethereum, Polygon, and Avalanche. Thats more than 2x our current TVL.

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I like this idea, but think a reward just for posting could get out of hand. I think a “Pass
Bounty” for RIPs makes sense, since it would likely involve having to form a coalition and lobby the group. That’s a lot of work. To fail is still work, but I don’t want to be financing participation awards.

However, my big concern is that such a system could be abused if 51% of voting power belonged to any one entity, which could then continually pass RIPs to siphon off the CF.

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Great write up Arviee!

Seconding this. Paying for forum posts that do not lead to increased adoption would be suboptimal.

I do not see any value in paying for the creation of Discord/TG stickers. This makes sense for doggy coins that rely on hype and memery, but I view Ren as a more serious project that does not need these gimmicks. Infographics showing the value prop of integrating with RenVM or running a DN would be worth paying for IMO.

Is this a common pattern in other DAOs? It seems to me that the author should be rewarded for bringing additional volume to Ren, and not just for writing good proposals. Drawing a parallel with RFC procedures in business, the RFC submitter is not rewarded for completing the RFC, rather for completing the associated work items. I would propose that we pay out rewards when work has been completed according to the proposal. If this is too restrictive and nobody submits proposals we could look at rewarding good proposals directly.

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I’ll just go ahead and address this right away (will comment on the rest after).

People are not going to get paid for forum posts!

Steps 1 and 2 are made exactly for that reason, to filter out low quality / not meaningful proposals. If community thinks something isn’t needed or is bad for one reason or another, the proposal will not advance to the RIP stage (and that’s the only stage that gets incentives).

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In principle it sounds like a good idea but I am skeptical to be honest. I think that even though low-quality proposals get rejected, we may actually be incentivising a high volume of content to read and go through for no actual gain. It could create actually the opposite effect of wanting to propose or read proposals.

On the other hand, I think that every RIP that gets approved it’s actually changes to the protocol, time from the devs, etc so we may want to put a limit on the number of possible RIPs per month or period of time? This proposal may actually incentivise a huge amount of changes.

Lastly i like the idea of incentivising people with successful RIPs with more voting power for future RFCs (not sure if this is possible) than money. So for example you could accumulate badges every time your RIP gets implemented and that give you more power to vote in others RFC. This way those accumulating the badges can be recognised by the community as active and valued members and you start having a reputation. If it gets too big, badges could be reset every agreed time.

I hope all this make sense :wink:

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Pretty sure that any number of community content is a lot better than close to zero volume of content and activity.

I don’t think there will be a lot of RFCs going around and I certainly don’t expect a lot of RIPs. I would be genuinely surprised if it’ll average to more than 1-3 a month.

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I see people are mostly in favor of this idea, generally speaking. But one thing that people didn’t mention yet is what numbers can we propose for each category? We’re likely going to vote for it at the RIP stage, but what options do you think can be included?

@Mr_Noland I really love the idea of incentivizing RenJS integrations that were made possible by the community outreach! I think this can have huuuuge potential and can be rewarded handsomely. But how are we going to evaluate person’s contribution? Should any integration be equal, ex. a protocol with 0 volume and 0 clients and a protocol with, let’s say $300 million TVL and a nice social following? Would there be any extra requirements to be eligible for this incentive, ex, not being part of the project’s team, being in Ren’s channels at least for some time? Something else? Will also think more on this later, but these were the questions that popped up right away.

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Ofc haha I abstain from any community rewards as I’m already compensated as part of the team, and in general we can include a stipulation that anyone formally hired by Ren Labs abstain from any such proposal incentive.

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Delegation is definitely something we have to look into.

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Fair enough. Out of curiosity what do you think is the reason for low engagement? Maybe we could start off by creating a small survey about what people find more cumbersome with doing RFC etc. I am happy to create something on this.

I personally find that a template may help to organise the ideas and hopefully make them more succinct. Metre long RFC puts me off immediately

Just some thoughts

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Very interesting proposal. We could also add incentives to DNOs who vote or give them some additional voting power or badge of recognition.

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I like the idea of there being incentives. I think that there could be some gem ideas and concepts just waiting to be pop into existence. And these ideas could be implemented through writers, graphic designers, influencers, musicians, video makers and so on …

These are just a few examples of the benefits from the top of my head.

If more content would to increase traffic or awareness of the REN project with a tsunami of whales or mum and pops wanting to invest in a few of our tokens or mint some for a host pool then that is good for the whole community.

However I do agree with Ariveee, that there would not be too much of a gain if we are posting just for posting sake by creating a frenzy of spam. Telegram is okay for a quick post with the odd comment or question but if there are too many post flooding the platform, anything worth while would get lost in all the noise and fragmented out of context. Although sharing genuine ideas should always be welcome.

I think the ideal platform(s) is here on the REN Forum or Discord where individual threads and topics are conveniently segregated into easily found parcels.

I love the idea mentioned earlier about AAve by “emoauro3” that would certainly be massive.
I would hope that Catalog Finance would become as important too in the future also. So I think it is very positive move to offer incentives.

This is my penny spent now its your turn. But please wipe the seat ready for the next patron. :wink:

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I agree with Maggie. Incentivizing RFCs could pollute the forum with lower-quality content. But community incentives are generally a great idea. h/t @Arviee

What if we compiled a list of active community members and voted on which are deserving of the funds?

I’m unsure how flexible Snapshot is, but ideally DNOs would have equal voting power to prevent high-power operators from centralizing payouts to themselves, and community members could nominate a wallet address to receive their funds so identities aren’t linked to operator addresses.

Participation is inherently subjective, so I’d recommend against any hard rules (which will themselves be debatable).

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I think this approach could lead to spam.

I’ve am FOR bounties.

That said, I think the bounties need to be set up in a way to benefit Ren directly at this point. Such as, there is discussion around some problem, and we want a dev to work on it, it would be nice to have a policy like: $15k bounty for building UI + backend apps including ren, or whatever is fair in the world of devs, which would be an easy vote – “pay xyz the bounty or no?”. So I like that we are discussing specifically what actions deserve bounties, which for me, creating RFC/RIP doesn’t qualify.

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I think the most important thing to incentivize would be voting and the steps leading up to a vote. As far as amounts I think something like $25-$50 USD would be fair to get people to vote since it may take them about an hour.

I don’t think people should be compensated for generating content like RFCs.

I agree with doing something like a bounty. For example people compete to create an infographic for a bounty, etc.

Thanks

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