Financial Proposal: DAOstar One

Summary

DAOstar One requests funding from Aragon Network DAO of 20,000 USDC (or equivalent in ANT) towards the shared funding of an 200k USD ecosystem collaboration to establish DAO standards designed to:

  • make development easier for DAO creators and contributors, thus growing the Aragon network and the broader DAO ecosystem

  • lower the cost and risk of building and investing for companies and investors in Aragon and the broader DAO ecosystem, and

  • support industry collaboration and coordination in other contexts such as education, regulatory compliance, and research.

Team members

  • Joshua Tan

  • Isaac Patka

  • Ido Gershtein

  • Michael Zargham

  • Eyal Eithcowich

  • Sam Furter

  • Auryn Macmillan

  • Ivan Fartunov

  • Kei Kreutler

  • Nathan Schneider

What project are you building

DAOstar One is a roundtable of key organizations in the DAO ecosystem working to build interoperable standards for DAOs and DAO tooling.

Its forty-six current member organizations include every major DAO framework, a large number of DAO tooling developers, and many major DAOs. Individuals participating include over 20 CEOs/founders and many well-known leaders and researchers in the field.

Why did you decide to build it

A group of DAO folks from Aragon, Moloch, Gnosis, Abridged, Tally, and Metagov were chatting at MCON 2021 and someone asked, “wait, hasn’t someone already built a standard for DAOs?” When we realized that the answer was “no”, we decided to start building it. The roundtable emerged out of the effort to build the standard.

There are lots of reasons for a DAO standard. The current EIP working paper outlines a DAO URI and JSON schema, similar to tokenURI, with several immediate use-cases, including DAO discoverability, legibility, and proposal simulation. Additional working groups within DAOstar One focus on multi-chain standards and on identity within DAOs.

DAOstar One, as an organization, is committed to producing, governing, and supporting interoperable standards for the DAO ecosystem. As a neutral industry body, it also supports education and research around DAO use-cases, the development of DAO reference implementations, and other public goods within the DAO ecosystem as called for by its member organizations. We built it to house the first DAO standard, but we believe it has an important role in coordinating the fast-growing DAO ecosystem. From the first meeting of the roundtable: “Let’s challenge each other not to build empires.”

How long will it take

We released the draft DAO standard for EVM on Feb. 12, 2022, and will officially launch the EIP and the new website at ETHDenver this month. We will host a series of community calls and public workshops to obtain feedback on the EIP through Q2 2022, after which we hope to finalize the EIP as an ERC standard. To support the standard, we also plan on releasing tools to make compliance easier, including reference implementations, prebuilt endpoints, templates, and documentation for all the URIs recommended in the standard.

In terms of future standards, we plan on drafting a multi-chain DAO standard immediately after ETHDenver (the EVM standard is written with multi-chain in mind), and have brought in representatives from the Interchain Foundation (Cosmos), DAODAO (Cosmos), AstroDAO (NEAR), ADAO (Cardano), and others to begin this conversation. We also plan to convene a working group including Spruce, Sismo, Lit Protocol, Superdao, kycDAO, and the DID Foundation to explore identity and verifiable credentials in DAOs, which we decided was too controversial to go into the first DAO standard.

The roundtable itself is administered and fiscally-sponsored by Metagov, a nonprofit research collective. We plan to convert it to some form of DAO-based governance by the end of Q2 2022, and then progressively decentralize over the course of 2022 and 2023.

Timeline, Milestones and Deliverables

Success metrics and reporting

We measure success by the number of DAOs, the number active users in all DAOs, and the amount of investment into the entire DAO ecosystem (whether or not they are members of the roundtable). We also measure success by the adoption of our standards across the DAO ecosystem. DAOstar One will issue regular public updates on progress to all members of the roundtable, including the Aragon Network.

How much funding are you requesting

$20,000. This is part of a co-funding round supported by organizations across the DAO ecosystem, including the Ethereum Foundation, Aragon, Gnosis, NEAR, MolochDAO, Metacartel, Radicle, and others.

If we raise funding beyond the identified budget, we will prioritize additional funding to the endpoint service, implementation bounties, research support, and the DAO contract. In the event of a budget shortfall, we will prioritize finishing the EVM standard, multichain standard, initial reference implementations, and website.

Funding release

DAOStar One requests the release of proposed funding upon securing a projected budget of at least $80,000 USD from other funders.

Address for funds: 0x24c492413fCfd5a8370F43f69205563C3D39Cc5d

Why fund this?

Standards are an important public good for the DAO ecosystem because they:

  • make development easier for DAO creators and contributors, thus growing the Aragon network and the broader DAO ecosystem,

  • lower the cost and risk of building and investing in the Aragon network and the broader DAO ecosystem for companies and investors, and

  • support industry collaboration and coordination in other contexts such as education, regulatory compliance, and research.

However, standards require wrangling to bring key organizations to the table, technical leadership that can shepherd working groups on a timely basis, marketing and advocacy to promote adoption, and organizational support to produce docs and other educational materials.

Further, we believe that a neutral industry body such as DAOstar One brings important benefits for the emerging ecosystem even apart from the standards that we produce and govern. DAOs are still relatively immature, and there are many potential failure modes for the entire industry: getting out-competed on usability by Web2, getting co-opted by big tech or government, losing the narrative and mainstream appeal after too many scams, bad actors, and shoddy projects. We believe that the DAO ecosystem as a whole can navigate these risks better if its members and builders can coordinate and work together. DAOstar One is an expression of that belief and a mechanism to realize it in action.

Risks and potential delays

As technical research projects, standards take a long time to create and adopt; in the time that it takes to ship a standard, industry practices and needs may have already moved on. However, DAOstar One has a track record of moving fast: the most recent EVM standard took only 4 months from conception to public draft. And our wide member base helps us identify standards that will be widely used.

Standards also have a tendency to proliferate. As the first mover in the DAO standards space and as a neutral body without a profit motive, DAOstar One is in an excellent position to produce and curate canonical standards that can be adopted across the DAO ecosystem.

Team description

Joshua Tan is a mathematician and computer scientist at Stanford, Oxford, and Metagov whose research focuses on applications of higher mathematics to the design of intelligent systems. He is founder and executive director of Metagov, a nonprofit research collective that builds standards and infrastructure for digital self-governance. He is also an executive editor of Compositionality, a peer-reviewed journal, and editor of Applied Category Theory, a book series published by Cambridge University Press. He was formerly an entrepreneurial fellow in the MIT math department and a consultant at NIST.

Isaac Patka is a developer and founder in the DAO space. He is a core developer in the Moloch Mystics building Moloch v3, and a member of DAOHaus where he built DAO composability tooling to enable Moloch v2 DAOs to directly control Gnosis Safes through Zodiac modules. He is the co-founder of Minty, a framework-agnostic DAO furthering the adoption of Web3 governance in IRL communities. He was formerly a developer in the Decentralized Identity space developing taxonomies and tooling for Verifiable Credentials.

Ido Gershtein is a researcher at DAOstack and a developer in the DAO space, focusing on the design of DAO frameworks and tooling.

Michael Zargham is a control systems engineer (PhD ‘14 UPenn) and mechanism designer at BlockScience, WU Vienna and Metagov whose research focus is dynamic resource allocation policies, with an emphasis on the interplay between algorithmic policies and human behavior in internet native institutions. He is the founder of BlockScience, an engineering firm focused on design, development, monitoring and governance of digital infrastructure. He is the architect for the open source project cadCAD, and a member of the NumFOCUS advisory council. He has contributed materially to a range of DAOs, most notably Commons Stack, SourceCred, Token Engineering Commons and 1Hive.

Eyal Eithcowich is founder and CEO of DeepDAO. Eyal is an experienced product and software leader both in the U.S. and Israel, and in a previous lives a journalist, a filmmaker, and an activist. He fell in love with DAOs in early 2018 and, realizing the potential to democratize the way people coordinate, jumped in and never looked back.

Sam Furter is an engineer participating in the Web3 space since day one. He created a governance framework called Harbour Project with his friend and later contributed to the JavaScript team at the Ethereum Foundation, where he led the development of web3.js. Currently, he works on Aragon’s next generation DAO framework and sees a lot of potential to change commonly-known social paradigms with DAOs.

Auryn Macmillan is a DAO-obsessed self-taught Solidity developer and mechanism designer, bent on enabling better tooling for collective ownership and decision making, with lower barriers to access. In 2021 he co-founded Gnosis Guild, creators of the Zodiac standard for composable DAO tooling. In his spare time, Auryn contributes to a permissionless quadratic funding protocol, CLR.fund, and in a past life he earned an MSc in Psychology and Research methods while playing professional basketball.

Ivan Fartunov is a former physicist and financier pushing for more collaboration in the creation of coordination tooling, and is currently Head of Ecosystem at Aragon. Previously, he professionalized CeFi, built ecosystems in the Middle East, and worked in sustainability in Europe. He is excited by pragmatic solutions to complex problems.

Kei Kreutler is a writer, artist, and developer interested in how cultural narratives of technologies shape their use. Since 2017, she has led strategy and communications at Gnosis, and in 2021, she co-founded Gnosis Guild, creators of the Zodiac open standard for DAO tools. She contributes to Other Internet research group and sits on the Board of Regen Foundation.

Nathan Schneider is an assistant professor of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he leads the Media Enterprise Design Lab. He has written several articles on crypto, including “Decentralization: An Incomplete Ambition” and “Cryptoeconomics as a Limitation on Governance.” His most recent book is Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition that Is Shaping the Next Economy.

Additional comments

12 Likes

Thanks to the proposers for adding this request, it has my full support. Anything that works towards making DAO creation easier should be encouraged! Look forward to seeing it progress.

1 Like

as a librarian standards are definitely the kind of thing i get excited about = best of luck to the team & +1 for any efforts to bake greater internationalization & accessibility standards in…

under Obama the federal government released a series of API standards (GitHub - 18F/api-standards: API Standards for 18F) for data exchange that have been critical for advancing our otherwise fairly stagnant national inter-departmental process.

adding best practices for security and transparency are critical, and perhaps standards for reporting that seems like the type of product that should be approachable…

all that said, having 9 guys and 1 woman on a team is not particularly inspiring… we can do better and should hold ourselves to higher standards

4 Likes

It’s great to see the quality of the team formed around this work and I strongly believe Aragon should fund it as part of our ongoing commitment to ecosystem coordination, collaboration and open standards

2 Likes

Full support for this proposal to develop standards upon which to grow an increasingly cohesive ecosystem of DAO.

I look forward to learning from this project and being able to share the standards developed with people - projects, businesses and communities, cities and nations - working towards a more equitable future.

Thank you for undertaking this type of work on behalf of current and future DAO’s. +1 on @alibama comment and also stoked to see Kei representing.

Given the collaborative scope and scale of this proposal the funding request is imo an excellent investment.

2 Likes

Great project and team! Standard is always a yes yes for me!

2 Likes

I am convinced that Aragon should be part of such ambitious project. Setting standards is of paramount important to for the growth of the ecosystem. Moreover, it is beautiful seeing projects - which theoretically could be competitors - join efforts for a very noble cause. This is the true DAO spirit which to me will be of paramount importance for the future of the industry.

2 Likes

I definitely agree to funding this. I think that a DAO standard must be flexible, understanding that it will probably change in the future as the legal framework around DAOs progresses and technology continues to innovate. Please dont set in stone today limiattions we will have to deal with tomorrow. Think 7 generations, sustainability over short term success

1 Like

Very excited about this proposal and Aragon’s participation in it.

Has there been any consideration/ would you further consider the gender balance in the team? As it will be setting standards for the entire space, it seems especially important.

3 Likes

Hi everyone, thank you for all the kind comments!

A quick update from ETH Denver: we just published the standard as part of a panel at ETH Denver/ Schelling Point! :tada: You can see the panel recording here. We also released the website at daostar.org.

Re: gender balance: the team indicated here is just a smaller portion of the larger participant pool which you can see at daostar.one, which is more balanced but could obviously still be better. We will encourage our member organizations to send more diverse representatives.

Thanks,
Josh

3 Likes

Thank you everyone for the thoughtful discussions surrounding this important proposal! As we are closing day 14 of public deliberations I have scheduled the vote to go live in ~14 hours:
https://voice.aragon.org/processes/#/0xe8235044fa5129c3814057b85c4ce18d141d5ffc96fdec1e4a2adc813e3f1381

Disclaimer: I will be voting in support of the proposal. Despite being a listed team member I receive no compensation of any sort for my involvement (up to my knowledge same holds for all other contributors listed in the proposal) and thus see no conflict.

2 Likes

Thanks for posting the vote, look forward to voting in favour!

1 Like

100% glad to have voted in favor of this resolution and looking forward to the outcomes

2 Likes

100% glad to vote in favor of this as well. Looking forward to the results!

Congratulations to the DAOstar team, (cc @fartunov @thelastjosh) for the proposal being approved.
https://voice.aragon.org/processes/#/0xe8235044fa5129c3814057b85c4ce18d141d5ffc96fdec1e4a2adc813e3f1381

Please let the DAO know when the condition has been met and we will organise the transfer from the main DAO.

Thanks,

Alex

2 Likes

Yay! :heart: Thank you Alex and to everyone who supported us. I’ll be in touch here soon once I get confirmations from the other co-funders. And thanks again @fartunov and @lee0007 for your help in shepherding this through!

3 Likes

A financial proposal is a written report that details the future of a business’s economy by addressing its monetary needs and budget ...

The title of this proposal is an established requirement of the Aragon Network Charter