TEC Talks - DAO Rewards System Assemblage Summary

Summary of the TEC talks on Reward Systems

Source: DAO Rewards Systems Assemblage - YouTube

Transcending the Individualist and Collectivist Divide (2:21:40)
Presented by Kevin Owocki

The internet of jobs is going to be happening and Whatever mechanisms we create in DAOs will be transposed to society:

  • Web3 can go mainstream when we build a web3 of job
  • We need to make it better than the gig economy
  • Making the existing model obsolete

To do this we need:

  • Tools that help build onboarding and retaining individuals
  • High ROI tools
  • Want to lower the time and value working with people
  • Need to explore the design space before creating standards and schelling tools
  • Create a healthy balance between autonomy and interdependence within these systems

Gitcoin has a collection of builders working on prototyping the following tools:


  • Rewarding people who come to calls
  • Collect a bunch of addresses with the secret word
  • Anyone who knows the name of the room can drop tokens
  • Used this during MCon in Denver to do token drops


  • Collect votes about who each contributor you think is valuable
  • Can drop tokens to that list weighted by the number of votes
  • Who creates the most value and drop tokens to that list


  • Have an easy quadratic tool so that anyone can use to reward their contributors


  • Grants stable income to contributors via token streams
  • If they stop showing up they don’t get the tokens anymore

Commitment valuing relationships (3:41:42)
Presented by Daniel Ospina (organization designer, Aragon DAO)

So far the way most DAO work is rewarded is via grants and bounties for a piece of work that has been clearly defined, but we also have to consider how cultural components play into reward systems

For example, many DAOs situated in North American and European contexts have a lot of funding available (and generally have wealthy contributors) and because of this, are able to take the risks that come with working in the DAO space. However, there are other cultures (for instance, China) that place more emphasis on relationships and having a positive experience. This creates a rift between task oriented DAOs and relationship driven contributors.

By catering to more to relationship-based culture in DAOs, we can increase diversity and inclusivity and build more robust products this way

How do we approach these cultural polarities?

  • Creating more safety for contributors via minimum viable salary once a contributor is committed to a role
  • Minimum viable salary** : the part of a rewards package that values commitment, context, and trust
  • This will allow contributors to experiment, fail, figure out things without worrying about safety
  • Having that safety means adding more flexibility to the structure and ensuring that people from lower-income backgrounds can stay more committed to their roles
  • Minimum viable salary demonstrates that the organization values the commitment and trust
  • The idea is to combine it with other reward mechanisms so that the two work together

Fairness: Conditional vs. Unconditional Systems (4:22:10)
Panel Discussion: Jessica Zartler, Sparrow Read, Beatrizramos, Sarath Davala

Why do we feel we need to dangle carrots for people?

If you’re trying to foster creativity and expression, you cannot have have competition

  • Can’t isolate someone’s contribution over others
  • When rewarding, they need to reward as a group

We can create a caring and nurturing economy

  • Not by tearing a system but erecting a new system that breaks the old system
  • When you are doing as significant and historical you have burden to ensure that what you are doing is for the good of humanity to get rid of the toxicity

Intrinsic motivation has been a privilege in the past

  • can we have a hybrid of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation?

As soon as you begin to introduce extrinsic rewards you diminish to completely erase intrinsic motivation

  • the only way to protect intrinsic motivation is the absence of extrinsic rewards

All of our culture is based on extrinsic rewards (which can kill creativity) and people lose touch with what their intrinsic motivation is and you need to rediscover them again

But extrinsic and intrinsic is still binary (and you need to disrupt it)

  • There are specific moments where they interchange

Can we separate them?

  • There is a part that fulfill the intrinsic and extrinsic

Intrinsic is a privilege

  • Some people decide to do this rather than anything else
    Insecurity has become a characteristic feature of our lives

We can mitigate that insecurity and allow the mind to flourish

Security should not be exclusive to just money, it is also relationships and safety
-It’s a myth that extrinsic rewards are the answer to productive and successful reward systems

How do we move it so that people living in precarious lives have more money?

How can engineers start to move in this direction?

  • Ditch all the practices and everything you think makes good mechanisms and start from scratch
  • How are we going to build something if we don’t even have the words?
  • At the moment we are re-creating the same systems but we need to forget everything we know and start from nothing

Tools: Coordinape (5:54:00)
Presented by Zach

Plans for evolving and building up the coordinape stack

Coordinape - born at Yearn

  • leans into that subjectivity (peers decide what is valuable)
  • whenever you give GIVe you’re getting an overall budget of some kind of token
  • we want to make sure ppl feel seen and appreciated
  • Map feature allows to make sense of what people are working on
  • A way for the DAO to self-reflect on what is valuable
  • People notice that the allocation are not valuable as the conversations that can come out of it

additional feature being built: map is visible only at the end of allocation

  • the default is that every contributor gets 100 GIVE

V2 Coordinape coming soon

  • expanding beyond individual to individual
  • going to raise investment to where they can just hold all the native tokens people contribute and have a hyper treasury of all kinds of native tokens and use that as a DAO index product
  • GIVE itself is a crucial reputational marker and metric
  • carrying that data will be hyper valuable - going to make sure you can carry that reputation with you
  • working on sense-making from the graft so that people can get better at allocating
  • how coordinape can create around giving and rewarding and thanking rather than zero-sum mindset

question: if someone gives you GIVE, how can you rate the work (qualitative speaking)

  • the number of GIVE relieved is an indicator of GIVE quality
  • working actively on a bounty system, can give GIVE to tasks that people are working out
  • GIVE is a proxy for perception and quality
  • There are issues with leaning into subjectivity but also advantages as well
  • The more nuance and functionality you add to the tool, the more it starts to feel homework but the way it is know it is simple and is better than a small group doing it in a black box way

Tools: SourceCred (7:25:57)
Presented by Seth (from SourceCred)

SouceCred is a tool for communities to reward value creation

SourceCred’s Origins:

  • started by Juan Benet (CEO of protocolLabs) and Dandelion (from google)
  • The underlying ideology here is fundamentally anti-corporate

Worked at “decred” and sometimes they didn’t pay the invoice

  • wanted more agency over what was paid

SourceCred’s approach is intersubjective

  • objective metrics are too gamable
  • Subjective approaches tend to be too biased and don’t scale too well

The solution that Dandelion came up with to use PageRank (the algorithms that google uses to rank their webpages)

  • but instead of pages voting for each other you have contributors voting on each other based on interactions (like on GitHub)

Platform supported:

  • GitHub
  • Discord
  • Discourse


  • Can people according to Cred scores


  • MakerDAO (first major user)
  • FWB
  • TEC
  • Stacks (bitcoin blockchain)
  • MetaGame
  • 1Hive (longtime user)

Tithing has been the way they have supported themselves

  • suggested 5% of tokens distributed
  • cover 8% of their costs


  • It works!
  • increases community engagement
  • promotes decentralization
  • new use cases
    • minting NFTs/badget
    • Token allocation (Gitcoin)
    • New plugin ideas; Roam, MetaCred, Coordinape
    • Coordinating plastic recycling worldwide
    • New Hollywood (Netflix exec trying to overthrow Hollywood)
    • Exit to community platform


  • people encounter it and they think isn’t it a black mirror episode - everyone goes around rating each other
  • Not rewarding “real” work
  • Rewards extroversion
  • Invisible labor that isn’t captured by algorithm (leadership, emotional labor, design)
  • Income volatility (some people need stability)
    • solutions: adding salaries, coordinape used in conjunction, algorithmic solutions
  • Algorithm complexity (difficult to understand)
  • working on new algorithm - which trades off security to gaining an easier to understand more legible algorithm that communities can tweak themselves
  • Labor intensive which comes at the cost of decentralization

Currently looking at Indigenous Modes of governance

  • Stacks Advocates Governance Lab
  • Tyson Yunkaporta (Sand Talk author)

Sociocracy - exploring DISCOs

Blockchain Governance Observatory by Metagovernance Project (Dr. Michael Zargham and Dr. Ellie Rennie) - ethnographic paper coming on SourceCred