The Community Pool Working Group Concept

As of 5/6/2021 the community pool has officially passed over 1,000,000 SCRT current valued at approximately $3,500,000 worth of assets. The last time a spend proposal was made was nearly 5 months ago - heading in the direction of nearly half a year. I think it can be readily recognized that things have changed in the last months largely for the following reason: price.

Proposals were inherently more contentious when SCRT was clearly underpriced. As we near the halfway point of 2021, I believe as a community it’s time we sit down and think hard about the fact that there is over $3,500,000 in assets that could be used for network growth & initiatives, that are simply sitting stale due to how controversial proposals were in the past.

It is time for a change.

I think it’s time that we as a community come together and begin to deploy this capital more aggressively. Currently, there is an ecosystem fund that is well resourced, but appears to be moving slower than the community pool can move with proper coalition support. In addition, the Secret Foundation during this expansionary phase has growing pains with funding certain initiatives as well (that is not to say the foundation is not willing, moreso as a commentary on the speed that is required to go to market with certain ideas).

So what is currently missing? Aggressive spending of funds for developer related initiatives and tools with fair and excellent compensation - with a perspective focused on long term human capital investment as opposed to extremely transactional pay-for-product as the end of the story. We should be welcoming developers with open arms, and honestly the community pool is best positioned to handle this and any other initiatives that are facing a significant amount of friction from other avenues of resourcing.

Given the fact the community pool now has $3,500,000+ worth of secret in it, I think it’s time that we come together as a community and deploy this capital more aggressively.

We currently have a structure where EnigmaMPC, the ecosystem fund, and the foundation have a large number of resources to fund projects but in practice, we see basic things like SNACs can take 20+ days to fund due to bureaucracy and red tape. These same entities have no issue using the pool though, it appears to be one thing we could all easily deploy if enough simply come to the table and do it.

Now that the value of $SCRT is at a healthy level for deployment capital, we should use it.

Here is how it could be done. Via a community pool working group, network participants would come together and identify parties that the community could pay to focus their efforts on adding additional value to Secret Network, and collectively we would fund them as a community from the pool.

Potential issues

  1. A lot of entities that are positioned to build new tools or enhance existing ones have already gotten funding from one place or another, so the messaging has been that they should not receive further funding from the pool. I think this should mostly be ignored in favor of optimizing for growth of the network over complaints about the source of funding. If we keep fighting over those issues then we will simply continue to miss out on the additional value add that further funding these teams would bring. The pool is faster and more effective than them, we just start using it again.

  2. Secret foundation is funded for growth and marketing, so should the pool be used for those things as well? No, not in an ideal world. Though the world we find ourselves in seems to call for overlap if we want to get more shit built. We can continue to play this game of chicken over who will fund what, and continue to see people under-resourced and stuck in processes that are opaque and take weeks, or we can just agree to use the pool for whatever we need that is not getting taken care of.

Ideas for who could be funded if they put together well-thought-out plans to build new things and improve existing tools that position us to grow as a network.

Citadel one @_iamVlad

Secure secrets @mohammedpatla

Chain of secrets @dbriggsie

Secretnodes

Keplr @josh-chainapsis

Whispernode @Brendan

Stake or die @the-dusky

Mr robot @baedrik

@laura

Secretsauce @pmuecke

SG-1 @SG-1

Why did I list these entities?

Because from my perspective they have all proven to the community a willingness to build, and deliver on value add. Additionally, many of these entities are best positioned to deliver the things they want to build.

Who else should be included?

Anyone who is willing to build and deliver on value adds that benefits us all. I think any sort of “pool working group” should work to vet ideas and pursue teams to fund to build. I merely listed the entities I am aware of that are either adding value they are not being compensated for or want to add more value and need more incentives to do so.

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Agreed. There is no point in having that money sitting there doing nothing when it can be put to good use.

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I think this merits discussion. I’d like to see more aggressive spending to stimulate growth on the network. There are a lot of people who want to build things or who are building things and are being met with indifference and beauracracy. Steamrolling tactics need to slow their roll and a rational discussion must prevail.

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I would like to add my support to this post. As someone who passed a proposal in the earlier days, I can say the experience was a nerve racking one. But it was also extremely rewarding. I would like to see many more people go through the rewarding part for sure.

From a high level POV, I am of the opinion that when making funding decisions we need to balance the risk of rubberstamping and/or overspending vs the risk underinvesting due to “paralysis by analysis”. I think that we are overvaluing the first risk and undervaluing the second. As this post alludes, one big risk of the latter is reducing the appetite of people to go to the pool. That really isn’t the place we want to be at this stage of the network.

In terms of price, I think we also need to be willing to take the ideas and initiative of the proposer into account, not just the price of resources needed to execute that idea.

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I think forming a group of organizations to vet spend proposals from the pool is a great idea. We’ve seen great growth in the price of SCRT and in new products being launched on the network, and smaller amounts of SCRT will go much further toward building new products and improving existing ones now than they did even a few months ago. We can also help new players in the ecosystem choose appropriate amounts to maximize the likelihood that they’ll get funded and to follow the best practices for submitting spend proposals that we’ve been working to establish over the last year. I do still think we should be somewhat defensive with the pool, but I think the danger of depleting it very quickly is much lower now that the foundation is well funded and Enigma has the Ecosystem Fund for larger products that require more extensive vetting and higher amounts of capital.

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+1

I am all for using the community pool fund on value add proposals across the board - apps, ecosystem and analytics tools, marketing ideas, graphics and branding content.

Throwing @bullish_link into the mix. We have a large pool, let’s use it!

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+1 @Xiphiar for building SecretSwap Liquidity

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Leonard here. This idea seems valid; the community pool seems like an underutilized resource that would go far to promote adoption. To me, adoption takes two paths: brand awareness (which translates to more holders and stakers) and viable use case development (that looks like more applications that utilize the Secret Network and drive actual use through gas expenditure). There is a synergy between the two. Increased awareness drives adoption (projects want to develop on popular chains so the project gets maximum exposure and utilization). The inverse is also true. The right project with mass appeal (think CryptoKitties) can increase awareness dramatically overnight.

I see a focus on the latter which is good; the easiest way to build value into a coin is by providing utility. We are always only one killer app away from mainstream (crypto) awareness and finding and nurturing that project is a great idea. But I feel we often fail on the former. I’m not sure which committee/agency is responsible for marketing spends (basically, if this would be the job of the Foundation) but if some of these funds (community pool) could be earmarked for ad spends, we might be able to increase awareness to grow the token holder base. This hypothetical marketing campaign can either be a community effort or the work of an agency, and will look like a monthly budget of 5k-25k for the procurement of banner ads, creative design, participation in events (both virtual and eventually, physical) and the possible implementation of bounty campaigns/airdrops (not my favorite, but a tried and true method). Some one(s) will also need to be paid for the time it takes to organize these efforts.

Our viral marketing efforts have done alot to increase awareness. And are essentially free, courtesy of the community. But I have seen a recurring theme in the community chats expressing a lack of marketing effort; perhaps these funds can be used, at least experimentally for a trial period, to bring Secret the attention such a mature and viable product deserves.

:+1:

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Again I will state this, The community pool is the most effective way to fund initiatives. This has already been proven. It doesn’t matter what the initiative is as long as it benefits us all, we should use it for growth and marketing, we should use it for building applications that use the secret Network, we should use it for things that overlap other peoples projects, we should use it for everything we need. It is our best resource even though it is not our highest resourced source of funding.

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+2

Dear Pizza,

As always, I stand for community-driven governance, development, and growth.

I am ready to contribute my time and skills I have accumulated, while enriching everyone, especially stakers and voters.

Love,
Bullish Guy

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+5

Bullish on Bullish Guy approval. Upwards and onwards🚀

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Great initiative, optimally utilizing all the different pathways available to fund projects should speed up development and growth of the network.

Now that we have a community warchest, lets strategically deploy it.

Talking specifics though, I assume this working group would fall under the governance committee? Ideally we would want to have a sizeable portion of the community represented, so we can ensure rapid processing with minimal bureaucracy while retaining a high successrate.

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I’ll keep the response short and sweet. I’ve never been against using the pool and will support those initiatives that make sense to fund from the pool. There does seem to be a sentiment here that there are people lining up to build that are being held back by bureaucracy. I haven’t seen a TON of evidence of, but letting them know the community pool is an option may bring this to light and maybe it’s a blind spot or naive belief.

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This idea is for a working group. Not for it to be part of a governance committee. It should be sufficiently and maximally representive of the community and be effective at moving proposals forward. That happens from having buy in from community + voting power and committees admittedly have a lot of baggage and connotations. Additionally the red tape is being put up as we speak around the committee concept.

Personally I am uninterested in going down a path that leads us to more friction. Working groups work, and are more inclusive because they can be structured as a round table vs 1-2 have leadership or “ownership” of.

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The evidence a simple. Anybody who brings a proposal to the chain is guaranteed a pass or fail state within two weeks. Neither enigma, the ecosystem fund, or the foundation can make such guarantees on yes or no. The pool is the most effective because this is programmed in, not because it has the most resources or anything like that. The only way that something could be held up for weeks with the pool, is if a proposer decides not to propose it or it fails on chain and they have to adjust and try again (which would be absolutely fine). These suggestions are all more out in the open and less bureaucratic than the alternatives.

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I have a few responses to this thread, but I’ll try to keep them concise.

  1. Most importantly, I fully and enthusiastically support the use of the on-chain pool and the development of processes around its use. I hope it is deployed effectively and rapidly. This is a critical moment for the network, and it’s all hands on deck.

  2. The Foundation should not be a bottleneck. Alongside committees, we are working to create sustainable systems by which anyone can contribute to the network and receive support. So far the bottleneck has been limited human capital and commitment, not a lack of funding or will, and certainly not the existence of too many bureaucratic systems - in fact, up until recently, committees have not had enough processes to function effectively. If the Community Pool Working Group will also be drafting Requests for Proposals or similar things, perhaps it can help attract the right human capital to the ecosystem - at which point we will have many avenues for funding this human capital (on-chain resources, foundation resources, Enigma resources, ecosystem pool resources, grant programs, Fellows, etc.)

  3. We should be very cautious about some of the language being used here which I personally find to be misleading (or potentially manipulative). For example:

" The community pool is the most effective way to fund initiatives. This has already been proven ."

Saying something has been proven without providing the proof is not constructive and does not help create actionable systems. A fair statement would be: “the community pool has previously been used to fund effective initiatives.” There are many paths to funding in our ecosystem, none of which have been shown here (or elsewhere) to be ineffective or less effective than on-chain pool spending - especially since there has not been any measurement of the success of on-chain pool spending. One might argue that going for multiple months without a single successful on-chain spend proposal would imply that on-chain methods have not been proven to be efficient or effective vs off-chain governance of funds. “Number of projects completed” or “number of human resources retained or acquired” would be good metrics here.

  1. There’s no reason we couldn’t have a single global process by which individuals or groups could submit proposals they wish to be funded, and then these proposals are reviewed by many different working groups / committees / organizations. The issue has been that there is no process by which any proposals could be publicly made and reviewed (the purpose of the SNAC process being established). SNACs that are rejected for Foundation funding could always be submitted to the on-chain pool. I’m not sure there is any efficiency to creating yet another new avenue for proposals to be made - but I certainly support the creation of any process for on-chain proposals that leads to more funding being deployed and more work being done.
  1. Lastly, I do not support the implication that governance processes = “red tape” and “bureaucracy” instead of “a way to get things done.” There are some assumptions baked into this statement, for example:

Personally I am uninterested in going down a path that leads us to more friction. Working groups work, and are more inclusive because they can be structured as a round table vs 1-2 have leadership or “ownership” of.

Committees and calls are already inclusive, and there have always been open calls for participation and project proposals. Without leadership or ownership, however, this did not lead to any action. Only with clear leadership have we begun to see the development of processes and the completion of multiple complex projects. The burden of proof is on working groups to show they can be as productive as the committee structure currently is.

This post is a proposal for improvements, and I wholeheartedly support improvement. What I do not support is sweeping statements that we have existing “simple evidence” for (and have “already proven”) a community pool working group being the most efficient and effective approach. THIS NEEDS TO BE PROVEN - and it can only be proven by results.

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help ensure this initiative leads to clear results (such as an increase in the number of funded on-chain proposals and completed projects resulting from on-chain proposals, or success in achieving the metrics improvements associated with these projects).

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Thanks for your response Tor. I do understand that sometimes you do not like my language, but i thought I explained myself well.

I laid out why the pool has proven to be the most effective source of funding but I am happy to do so more concisely.

Here are a few straight points

  • The Secret Foundation has a real human capital problem.
  • Committees have leaders that decide how things are done which is different than a working group which is more like a round table where leadership consists of all people already here doing things.
  • Enigma, ecosystem fund, nor Foundation has successfully given enough feedback for all applications for funding to move forward within a 2 week time span of being alerted of the idea.

How is this different than the pool?

Well especially with all the needed processes for the other sources of funding, the pool Is inherently less bureaucratic though admittedly as I’ve stated it has been more dramatic. It is also without all the processes and red tape, people have the flexibility to submit a proposal however they might want to approach doing it. There are also specific more narrow uses for foundation and ecosystem funding than using the pool, a great example is that the only place Citadel could be funded from to get their product funded was the pool, after being turned away by ecosystem fund and foundation not being a good source for funding of the work. The pool doesn’t have these limitations, and using the pool effectively going forward can move us towards the growth we need to see. Growth being the most important thing here.

Past what i have already said, I will leave this off by listing things that have resulted from the pool and let people decide if the value produced is proof enough.

  • Burn ENG for SCRT! Which allowed 114 million eng coins to “migrate” to scrt. This includes the burns for the ecosystem fund. None of which would happened without community spend.
  • secretnodes.com explorer which is the most feature rich explorer in cosmos.
  • Holodeck testnet, which has been vital for various product launches on the network.
  • The foundation tax module which allowed the Secret Foundation to Implement a self sustainable funding model.
  • Keplr. Which was instrumental in onboarding users to a better experience during a crucial time.
  • The secret network website. Which has been vital to creating a solid looking destination for those learning about secret network.

I will stop the list there, but I’m sure people could add to it, there have been other successful spends.

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I fully agree that the pool was used effectively in 2020 to fund critical initiatives, especially prior to the establishment of the Foundation and the structure of committees. I would like to see it return to that level of utility and usage.

There have been multiple accomplishments resulting from ecosystem pool funding and foundation funding as well, so rather than use this thread to compare the efficacy of these different sources of funding, I’d prefer to just keep the focus on maximizing the utility of the on-chain pool.

How do we get from where we are now to getting the next spend proposal passed and shipping results?

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All that is required is people start putting spends out again. It is really that simple.:eyes:

There is no need to suggest it is more complex than that. The pool is why the foundation and ecosystem fund exists today. It is why enigma was positioned to do the recent sale of 11.5 million worth of secret. The pool is even better positioned today due to price appreciation than previously. Literally we just need to use it, and if we do things that benefit everyone, it will go back to providing the max value creation in our ecosystem.

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