Thursday Community Call Recap 10.13.22

Hello everyone! Welcome to the weekly Thursday Community Call Thread. We really want to engage our community to think and learn about new topics in these calls. Unfortunately not everyone gets a chance to attend the call and those that do don’t always get a chance to speak due to time constraints.
There is value in continuing the types of conversation we start in these calls. We don’t want the call to be the last time people engage with the topics addressed. We want to enrich your days with inspiration and open eyes to new concepts. These topics might be applicable to some of your works or spark a personal interest. It is our goal to facilitate new ideas and creative thinking through this thread.

Community Call Link: Public Goods Funding - SCRF Community Call

10/13 Community Call Recap:

This week’s community call was a discussion about the funding of public goods… particularly how this can help improve the SCRF process. We are thinking about what models of funding public goods and web3 research can be investigated and applied here - particularly as we are transitioning to a multi-organization funded environment.

This being said, we are happy to announce that Protocol Labs will be coming on board as a funder! We are also actively working on more grant submissions as we start becoming a 501(c)(3)

The call began with an exploration of the questions found later in the post, but overall the idea is: How do we find a sustainable model for funding for a public good? There are many examples that could be drawn from, but one in particular that was discussed by Chris Bates was the Ethereum Foundation. Much of this is from the reading group and The Infinite Machine, but I will discuss some points here. They have established legal protection around Ethereum and ensured a foundation in the realm of building a framework into a public good. They did make mistakes, but they were rectified - this being necessary for the security of the project and its funders. If the developers were dealing with issues of working for free… so this begs the question Does a public good need to monetize? Are there other options?

Should a public good just be done by a person doing it for the sake of the project only or should people working for the goal be protected so that they can keep working Capital is necessary to continue work, so what is the best way to facilitate its flow?

Jonathan Starr goes on to think about Blockchains as separate from public goods, saying blockchain developers in fact do not work for free. Contribution to the network is done with the expectation that you will have a stake and the network will evolve to host more products. This creates value for everyone.
In SCRF we can think about networks we partner with - but do we need tokenization to reap the benefits of developing networks?
How do we keep values aligned with SCRF while achieving funding this way? Does this create a conflict of interest?
We need to look at networks as goods, that when we help then, we help ourselves as well.

So does this push us on a path of mining/staking? Do we need to partner with other groups to use their tokens? Tokenization is pretty controversial, so what are your thoughts on this?

Does an open source network offer any benefits over a specific group of project?

We must be sure that any funders do not received biased content from SCRF, but it becomes more complex as we acquire more. What do we do at the point where we get paid in a token instead of a stable? How do we make it seem as if we are not biased towards these tokens? Is it a good idea to hold tokens of the networks we support?

This is a lot to think about, but I leave you with…

A few more questions to consider

  • Should public goods be revenue generating?
  • Are there any opinions on our intersection of activity and the above view?
  • What are some places that are doing a good job involving funding public goods? Are there any sustainable models?
  • Do we think our potential future model will be longer term commitment or grant based? Which is more sustainable?
  • How do we use technology to make something that doesn’t need trust but can be sustainable
  • If we show our funders, do we show who they are? Does this make it seem like advertising?
  • How do we assess potential funders?

If any of these spark your interest or you have other questions / thoughts, please discuss below!

7 Likes

Congratulations to SCRF, the future is bullish!

As an organization, SCRF should, perhaps, have its official/ reserve stable coin. I think that’s what it is doing with DAI already. We all understand how volatile these markets can be. If SCRF gets paid in tokens, it should immediately be converted to the reserve/official stable coin to avoid volatility issues.

To what end? Actually it depends on SCRF’s intent for trying to do that. If it aligns with its overall long term goals, then that’s definitely okay.

Public goods always generate revenue maybe in the form of taxes. If this will ensure sustainability then it should be considered.

In my view, this should be the last resort if fundings in the “reserve stablecoins” are not forth coming. There are so many risks associated with tokens just you highlighted.

I believe that grants are more sustainable and will draw in diverse people with diverse talents and views. In all, this will help make SCRF a better place as people will always find what interests them on the Forum due to the diversity infused in SCRF.

PS: @Angle concise and succinct recap as always.

2 Likes

The thought behind this is that funders might be under the impression that upon giving funds, we are obligated to represent them in some way. While it would absolutely be the correct decision to hold our funds in stables, how do we balance this potential issue with our own safety and values?

This furthers the previous thought… Is it within our values? Probably not. Additionally we need to avoid biases and anything close to financial advice. Even if we support the networks we work with, its probably not correct to do it in this way.

This is an interesting point. I assume you mean revenue generating for government entities in this case? What about for the organization itself though? If we generate revenue for ourselves, then are we more likely to survive and thrive? It would be able to ensure payments for the people here doing the work.

Agreed. Not much else to say here haha

The question I have here is: is this not less efficient? If we continuously apply for grants, that means we need to have people actively searching for and applying for these grants. A point brought up by Proposal Inverter was that this draws away from the ability to do more valuable work. It may be sustainable given our likelihood of achieving these grants, but would a constant investor be a lot easier to manage?

2 Likes

I think that every contract comes with an agreement—a terms and conditions.

Upon entering such contracts, SCRF should state the boundaries of the contracts to protect its interests. There will always be an organisation or VC who would understsnd this.

Very wonderful point of view.

Very much right, but it might cost SCRF its neutrality assuming it launches a token. People might tend to see its works as promotions.

Oops. I answered from the perspective of financing employees and contributors salaries and grants respectively.

Your point will be more sustainable.

Where can i get all the info regarding the meetings including the time?
Just so i don’t miss out

If you are not on the discord come join! Smart Contract Research Forum

These calls are always Thursday at 4PM UTC, but there are plenty others.
You can always see what’s on the schedule in the events sections

1 Like

On the discord server, you’d see event section at the top , just tap interested on the event you want to attend, then the sesh bot would dm you, it’s going to remind you before the event so that you don’t miss any call. Let me know if you’ve got any more questions.

2 Likes

Hi all! Enjoying the discussion so far. Just dropping some thoughts on what I think about this topic.

  • Yes it’s okay for public goods to generate revenue. I feel like what matters is if the public good has a net-positive externalities.

  • Before SCRF decides to partner with others for token incentives do we have a sustainable funding source? (Recurring and longterm).

Lastly,

  • Gitcoin grants (quadratic funding)
  • OptimismPBC (retroactive funding)
  • Clr.fund (quadratic funding)
    and Giveth are projects I would recommend as worth checking out, they are excelling at funding public goods.

Excited to join the call on Thursday and chat more about public goods!