Dear Polkadot community,
There have been a lot of discussions on how to move forward regarding protecting the treasury and ensuring accountability in proposals. This post gives a summary of the suggestions, how I suggest we move forward, and a couple of things I think we need to iron out
Utilising the bounty mechanism for treasury proposals
Bounties allow for curators to review the work done by proponents/beneficiaries before issuing out rewards. Incorporating it into treasury proposals will work like this:
- A bounty is opened for the purpose of curating and awarding milestones of treasury proposal. This bounty is pre-funded with some amounts which is meant to be as a buffer to account for possible volatility of funds entrusted to it.
- Proponents discuss on their proposals and open a referendum for it as usual. Except that this time, the beneficiary will be the bounty account. Curators are expected to keep track of proposals whose funds are in the bounty account (as well as individual milestones)
- When a project/individual has completed a particular milestone, he posts the details of that milestone on the bounty’s discussion board for the curators/community to review and provide feedback if necessary
- If the milestone is satisfactory, the curators open a child bounty to pay out the reward/funds to the project/individual.
- Curators should keep up with the bounty’s funds, keep track of spends for easy audits, and request for top-ups whenever there’s a deficit due to volatility.
Using bounties for treasury payouts can be quite heterogenous. ie, the bounties don’t have to be limited to specific domains (the events bounty for example). Instead, one bounty can serve multiple domains, with multiple of these bounties running in parallel eventually.
Treasury track reputation.
This was suggested by Kukabi. The idea is to only allow proponents/beneficiaries access to larger tracks once they’ve previously managed funds of smaller tracks successfully.
For example, a proponent with no track history of handling treasury funds can start with
small spender, and only have access to larger tracks after some history of meticulous treasury spends. This will reduce the risk of dishing out large funds that are not guaranteed to have an impact in the ecosystem. With this model, more impact will be seen with less funds, because newer proponents will want to deliver quality work so they can gradually gain access to larger tracks.
Introducing Proposal curators
This was suggested by coinstudio. Proposal curators will be responsible for ensuring that proposals are high-quality and meet required guidelines. You can follow the post regarding this here. It’s good if these curators are able to make independent audits.
If we bring these three together, I think we’ll come up with a treasury management system that ensures accountability for treasury funds, while still giving everyone the chance to provide quality deliverables and get funded for them.
But there’re a couple of things that I think the community will need to reach some consensus on:
- Ideally, a curator that’s in charge of bounties like this shouldn’t be in charge of reviewing and paying out his/her own rewards. So what happens if one of the curators puts forward a spending proposal? Which bounty account will such funds be forwarded to?
- How do we ensure that we decentralise the proposal auditing process, such that one auditor’s feedback isn’t influenced by the others’?
- How will rewards be defined for these bounty curators?
- How will treasury track reputation be quantified? When can we assume that a proponent is qualified to access larger tracks?
Here is my suggestions:
- A proponent that has no previous history of managing treasury funds and has no ecosystem reputation should start out with the tipping tracks only after being successfully tipped on multiple occasions for quality work can the proponent progress to the
spenderstracks (in which case the proponent starts from the
small_spendertrack and make progress from there)
- A proponent that has previous history of managing treasury funds can use a track whose maximum possible spend is closest to the maximum funding requested and managed by the proponent in the past
- Regardless of track record, treasury proposals shouldn’t have an up-front request of more than
70% - 80%is paid into the bounty account and payments of those are done only after hitting pre-determined milestones.
Mr. Z wants to build a platform for the ecosystem but has no treasury track reputation. Mr. Z can start out by creating a small working MVP, which he can submit a tip for. He can keep submitting tips as he/she makes changes to this MVP. After a couple of tips and proven use-case of the platform, Mr.Z can request for funds via
small_spender to further fund the development of the app. If this app proves helpful, Mr. Z can progress through the tracks and get to a point were he can request large sums to fund a team working on the App.
Mr X has been submitting treasury proposals in
small_spender track and now wants to use the
big_spender track to fund his team. He requires $10,000 per month for this, and requests for 12 months’ funding (120,000). Because Mr. X can make a 30% upfront request, he’s able to fund his team for 3 months, after which the curators can review completed milestones and pay out more funds.
What are your thoughts on these?