Round 12 - GMC Community Discussion of Submitted Applications

In order to keep the application threads clear of discussions (to make it easier for committee members to read and score them), please use this thread for any and all questions and discussions of round 12 period of grant, bounty, and retrospective award applications.

Hi @GeorgiaOpenUX

Do you have any support for this claim?

we requested a budget of $50,000 to conduct the work, but agreed to deliver it at a reduced rate in order to prove the value to the GMC and wider community, with the option to request retrospective funding later.

https://dao.rocketpool.net/t/sep-1-9-2023-grants-bounties-retrospective-awards-round-results/2226 says

If the project is successful, the GMC has expressed a strong inclination towards providing additional funding for future research projects initiated by the applicant.

I read this as “if the work is strong we’ll be excited to work together again”.

A quick search didn’t turn up anything else. My feelings on this retro depend considerably on what expectations were set, so documentation of something stronger would be relevant to me.

@GeorgiaOpenUX you say the work is open source. Under what license? Where can I see the license name/text?

OpenUX

Original Commentary:

The GMC and the applicant have collaboratively negotiated the project with a revised budget of $33,300. This budget adjustment aims to facilitate the GMC’s assessment of whether the research outcomes can be effectively leveraged to enhance the protocol. Furthermore, the GMC has expressed a keen interest in doubling the number of node operators within a six-month timeframe. To achieve this goal, they have closely collaborated with the applicant to develop a project designed to enhance various metrics, including node operator growth. If the project is successful, the GMC has expressed a strong inclination towards providing additional funding for future research projects initiated by the applicant.

Souce: Sep 1-9 2023 Grants/Bounties/Retrospective Awards Round Results

The survey was intended to complement the primary metric of achieving a 2x node operator growth within six months. It’s purpose, was in the event of a scenario where the GMC received valuable actionable items but faced constraints such as negligence or time limitations, hindering prompt action on the proposed ideas.

(Disclaimer: The following views are solely my own and do not reflect those of the grants and management committee.)

I believe the primary consensus was that the GMC didn’t receive anything groundbreaking that they hadn’t already discussed or was not already working on.

Here are the five major suggestions they outlined in their report (page 65 - 70). These are mainly discussed in the context of the GMC. Valdorff had a more detailed write-up for each of these:

  • NO Intro Course
    Shortly before the publishing of the report, the GMC had recently funded Rocket School, and Rocket Pool University. It didn’t make sense to put more funding into education when there were already multiple projects funded and underway.

  • Decentralization Scoreboard
    The GMC funded a bounty for (BA062304) RP Scorecard which is still actively being worked on.

  • Conference Countdown Collaborations
    Rocket Pool’s primary conference footprint is at ETH Denver. We made a huge step forward hosting and funding an entire side-event, Rocket Lift-Off, this year.

  • Personalized Learning Journey
    Shortly before the publishing of the report, the GMC had recently funded Rocket School, and Rocket Pool University.

  • ROI Calculator, incl. Investment ROI & Tax Guide
    We have some calculators here. IMO a tax guide would be extremely difficult due to the various tax jurisdictions and probably a liability to try and give clear advice.

  • Email Newsletter Extended Onboarding
    I don’t think we ever got past how to handle the privacy roadblock with this? Maybe the recent smartnode notifications feature and how communication will be handled will give us a better idea?

The GMC did convene with OpenUX to discuss actionable items. However, it appeared that the primary emphasis was on educational resources, which felt adequately addressed by the recent funding of Rocket School and Rocket University.

It’s important to note the amount of funding delivered over time in USD value. $50,000 was requested originally, and $33,300 was granted in RPL when RPL was $21. The grant was paid out as OpenUX hit milestones, and due to the way GMC handles price-locking, $21/RPL price was used moving forward.

Here was the USD value of payments at the time of payment:

Date RPL RPL Price Payment in USD Notes
November 17, 2023 396.5 $28 $11,102 milestone 1
December 16, 2023 396.50 $27 $10,706 milestone 2
January 15, 2024 793 $34 $26,962 milestone 3

The total USD paid (at time of payment) was $48,770.

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I don’t think this should be considered one way or the other. They took on some risk that it would go the other way too. If we aren’t comfortable with how we lock price, we should change it.

Fwiw, I generically agree with the rest. The document was valuable, and provided some impetus here and there. I don’t think it was earth shattering to justify adding 50% to the agreed price based on results. As I said, if t there were expectations set, that could definitely change my mind.

I should have been more accurate. It’s not under a specific open source licence because it is not a technical development, this is ethnographic research. However, all the methods and results of our research are published freely.

You can also license your work under Creative Commons licenses: About CC Licenses - Creative Commons

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this is an interesting avenue, will look into it. thanks!

Regarding support retros, I’m gonna be against any recent time (at least for folks that have already gotten one retro).

I am currently seeing:

  • folks asking for pay every month or two (heavy on gmc and community discussion
  • pretty darn high pay ($90/hr at 25 hours per week is $117k - quite a decent salary and with part-time hours to boot)
  • no mechanism to avoid farming
  • no incentive for support folks to move towards a more balanced system.

I’m currently most convinced by something like epi’s suggestion in
Funding Support Moving Forward - #13 by epineph. The core bit is that we essentially determine total value and split the pie based on metrics. This means when pay is high (not a lot of help around), more help is incentivized. And when many are helping, we spend less per help-hour. I do still have a concern in that hours may not be created equal among all support folks. Anyhow - I’m not advocating for a particular solution atm, but I am advocating against disincentivizing coming up with a solution (which I believe is now the status quo).

[5/7: doing a full post with comments on everything below, which includes a bit of a revise on this take to be contingent on the bounty proposal]

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Hey Val! I don’t disagree with your comments and wanted to make clear 2 points.

  1. I only submitted for the month of April because I worked quite hard in support for that month and was under the assumption we would be moving to Epineph’s suggestion in the near future and going forward, we would no longer be submitting individually.

  2. I know its is nearly impossible to stop or verify that farming is happening or not in the support channel, but spending a lot of time in there, I can confidently say the majority of us regulars are only there to help and support our community the best that we can.

Moving forward, I am 100% in favor of moving to a new payment method like Epineph has mentioned. Not only does it limit farming somewhat, but I agree having a set payment amount makes budgeting much easier and the correct path forward.

In saying that, I don’t think retro’s should be denied until a new method is in place, but I do agree a new, more formal system should be implemented.

Thanks!

-Leigh

Grants

Marketing Incentives to create awareness about rETH on Base

I don’t know.

We don’t have an rETH demand problem, we have a lack of node operators. On the other hand, it’d be nice to be a leading LST on an L2 and Base seems like a promising L2 for that.

It sounds like their plan is to post some tweets and casts for $30k. Flat Money has 1,379 followers on Twitter while the marketing guy has 1,861 followers so I doubt their reach. Almost seems like a grift.

On the other hand if we reject this then Rocket Pool will be criticized for not spending any money on marketing.

I doubt these guys can deliver so I’d say let’s skip this one.

beaconcha.in Advertising Renewal

I supported the last one and I’m also supporting the non-exclusive 3 months option now.

Number of impressions is decent but the number of clicks is sad so I doubt this is very effective. So this is also kind of like public goods funding.

Retros

Retrospective grant funding for Node Operator User Research study

Do not fund this.

I originally supported this grant. I don’t regret that we spent money giving a chance to doing such research however the results were underwhelming. They didn’t uncover anything that we didn’t already know. We have a pretty report but it’s useless tbh. I was also not impressed that they had a million pretty slides and a long boring presentation about it. I understand that it’s the most obvious way to show that they put in a lot of work but honestly what everyone would prefer is a couple of slides with actionable discoveries that are not obvious stuff like email newsletters.

Plus ShfRyn showed they actually almost got the $50k they wanted due to price fluctuations.

Support Hours

$3k for less than a 4 day work week in one month is quite nice.

Idk. It’s support which is one of the nice things about Rocket Pool so we should reward people who provide it. But also it seems quite a lot and something doesn’t feel right about this anymore.

Amsterdam RP Meetup Reimbursement of Cost

Reimburse it. It was advertised beforehand and I have no doubts it actually took place.

Bounties

Rocket Pool Support Payments

Try it.

If it doesn’t work everyone can get paid retroactively the old way.

Smart Node UI Wireframes

I like the idea. It’d be great if someone talented like Sleety could come up with a nice design with a soul.

I personally think designing the UX is like 90% of the work and I could spend days thinking and tweaking each component so $2k for all of that seems very low.

I know the GMC is allergic to duplicate work but I think multiple UIs/implementations/designs would be good to have. For redundancy and friendly competition/innovation. Like it was done for Non-Custodial Staking As A Service.

Smart Node v2 HTTP API OpenApi 3 spec and codegen

I’ve never heard of OpenAPI. Seems like nice to have. Suggested price tag is relatively not that much so why not.

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You have, you just didn’t realize it:

https://ethereum.github.io/beacon-APIs/

Grants

:yellow_circle: Marketing Incentives to create awareness about rETH on Base

So mixed feels here…

  • :green_circle: Flat Money have been fantastic partners with very significant base incentives and building their protocol entirely around rETH
  • :white_circle: Currently Base has $69M in cbETH, $51M in wstETH, and $8.2M in rETH. That’s 6:1 with wstETH or 14:1 counting both cbETH and wstETH. For context wstETH:rETH on Arbitrum/Optimism are a bit over 7. I do like the idea of it being a cbETH (for obvious reasons) and rETH (as the decentralized crypto native alternative) kinda place… but I don’t know if it’s realistic.
  • :yellow_circle: Timing: we aren’t currently at low rETH demand
  • :yellow_circle: It looks like users have caught on a bit – LPs used to earn 20% on balancer and it’s slowly but steadily been dropping; now ~10% (similar to Optimism, which has recently gone up; still more than double Arbitrum).

I think I might talk and see if there’s a way we can decrease the budget here a bit. Phase 3 is potentially the most long-term value for us (which, given current rETH demand, is the core goal), and has the lowest spend.

:green_circle: beaconcha.in Advertising Renewal

The cost is moderate. I agree with peteris about click throughs being low, but I think that’s ok. I still think it’s a good way to get solo validator exposure to RP. If we want to try to do it more leanly, I might ask cost to do 3 non-consecutive months – since the goal is to get in front of folks, but not necessarily immediate action (see clickthroughs), then this might present more bang per buck.

Bounties

:green_circle: :yellow_circle: Rocket Pool Support Payments

I strongly support this.

That said, I have some reservations:

  • Does this money lead to behavior we want?
    • People did this work for literally no pay (in fact, some have been surprised to learn such a thing was possible).
    • This is triple the target being used for the MCs – that one is explicitly a lowball to make it a thank-you/honorarium and keep a volunteer vibe.
    • $90/hr is a worthwhile fulltime job amount. Do we wish to incentivize non-community members to professionally field questions?
  • I worry that “time” is the only metric (ie quantity). Not only does quality matter, but (if anything) this rewards lower quality as it takes longer to solve problems. I will leave it to supportfolks to determine if this issue really matters enough to add complexity (and the answer can be “not for now”).
    • relatedly, there’s no mechanism to avoid farming

My overall suggestion is to approve at half the value ($18k, or mapping to a $45 target). Obviously, we can review over time if we see issues (not enough interest). I think this is still a pretty darn nice “thank you” for community volunteers. If I have to choose between approve at full value or don’t approve, I would easily take the former.

:white_circle: :red_circle: Smart Node UI Wireframes

Maybe I’m missing something here… is this… something people want/need? I’m not sure I see much benefit tbh. If I’m already running smart node is the point just to save me SSHing in? Is the point that I don’t need to type in a terminal? More importantly, will it be 100% complete so that people never need to use CLI? Cuz if folks do need to be able to use CLI sometimes (eg, bug in a client gets a hotpatch), this just seems like a good way to ensure that people that use terminal less often get rusty by the time they need it.

So, I guess I need to be convinced this has positive value.

:white_circle: :green_circle: Smart Node v2 HTTP API OpenApi 3 spec and codegen

Honestly… I have a very hard time assessing the value of this kind of code quality improvement. That said, the price tag is moderate and I generically trust Patches to prioritize sanely.

Retrospective Awards

:red_circle: Requesting retrospective grant funding for Node Operator User Research study

The basis of this seems to be a claim that this was done at a reduced rate with an option to request the rest of the funding later. I asked for documentation showing this above, but none was provided.

I do want to note:

  • The price of RPL at receipt time is not a good argument here. Folks that choose to get paid RPL take on both upside opportunity and downside price risk. That should not be considered. If anything, it slightly helps the protocol to have folks get paid in RPL vs selling the RPL ourselves and then paying out LUSD.
  • I quite liked the work’s output. It wasn’t earth-shaking, but it did lead to some small actions. It met my expectations for what we would realistically learn from this genre of work.

:green_circle: :red_circle: Support Work (leighm, haloooloolo; Mig, steely)

  • If the support bounty proposal is accepted, I’d like to see all of these go through. I’d even like to see any loose end Support hours get tallied and paid out using the same metric so that we’re done.
  • If the bounty proposal is not accepted yet, I don’t think we should pay out ongoing support. This could look like not paying any support requests, or only paying through March.
    • In this case, once a support bounty is accepted, I think we should pay using the old method through March (or maybe April?), and the new method going forward.

Mostly, I don’t want there to be a weird thing where support folks want to avoid getting a system in place :stuck_out_tongue:. Irrelevant if we like the proposed bounty. Also – I’ve never gotten to put in red-green as my feedback, so that’s fun.

:green_circle: Amsterdam RP Meetup Reimbursement of Cost

Reimburse – seems simple enough.

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Regarding: Marketing Incentives to create awareness about rETH on Base

Some IMC context which may be useful.
While adjusting our incentive spend for the Balancer WETH/rETH pool on Base we observed a delayed and lower liquidity gain per incentive amount compared to similar pools on Optimism & Arbitrum, this has since improved but is still not proportional.

Whether this is due to a lower awareness of Rocket Pool/rETH for users of Base or a lower familiarity and comfort with Base for existing rETH holders is unclear.

While I have no opinion on approach, it is possible that improvements in one or both of these areas may increase the cost effectiveness of existing incentives.

Along with providing co-incentives for the Balancer WETH/rETH pool, the Flat money team launched and incentivised the Aerodrome WETH/rETH pool - unprompted, without condition and using their own funds. This currently has a $1.37M TVL, a significant portion of the total rETH liquidity.

Their integration of rETH has demonstrably been a positive contributor to rETH activity on Base and they have a clear interest in further growth.

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Hey @Valdorff,

Thank you for taking the time to review my proposal and providing feedback. I’m happy to modify the grant scope if you believe certain phases should be eliminated or trimmed down and I’m happy to talk about reducing the request.

Can you or others share their thoughts on what phases would potentially be the most beneficial for the DAO?

For example: if the GMC and others believe Phase 1 isn’t a good use of time and resources, I can eliminate that from the proposal. The easiest way for me to trim down the request is to focus on what provides the greatest potential impact to the DAO and remove the aspects that don’t provide material value.

With the current proposal, I’m planning a two-month long campaign that I would spend 50-60% of my time on to grow the rETH ecosystem on Base. Ahead of writing the proposal, I read through the RocketPool Discord and the forum to see what discussions have taken place about using rETH in DeFi and earning on rETH. I also reviewed the available integrations on Base, Optimism, and Arbitrum. I do believe there’s an outsized opportunity to grow the rETH ecosystem on Base.

More than happy to tailor any aspects and work with the GMC on this grant proposal. Just let me know what direction for this grant would provide the most value and feel three to suggest what cuts you’d like to see for this proposal.

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Since there seems to be little discussion around it, I just want to voice my support for @epineph’s #support bounty. Having a fixed pot seems like a much better system and makes both incentive management and budgeting easier for the protocol. I ran some backtests with the proposed rules (Discord) and the suggested budget seems to roughly match the existing $90/h structure in total spend.

As for RocketScrape parameters, I’d be comfortable keeping the 15 minute timeout, but would probably recommend reducing the base session time from 5 to 3 minutes.

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