DAO Request for Feedback: THX - API for gamified rewards and simple DAOs

Project summary :clipboard:
THX allows you to pool funds and create rules to reward people. It is designed to give incentives to members of online communities, for example for organizing an event or contributing code. A fair distribution of rewards is governed by communal voting, effectively turning apps into simple DAOs.

Our aim is to integrate with established software, adding value to an existing user base. One could say it is an enhancing business model, instead of a disruptive one. Current integrations;

The THX token is both an utility and governance token. It allows you to setup reward pools and in the future will earn reward fees. End users of communities do not have to hold the token to participate in reward pools, we expect most people to transact in ERC-20 stablecoins like DAI and USDC or in future versions with community specific or even non-fungible tokens.

You can schedule a demo with me and read more about the latest version here.

Team :people_holding_hands:
We have a distributed five person team working from The Netherlands and Germany. We share a passion for open source, UX and blockchain technology. For more background on our team members check out our intro and pitch deck; https://thx.page.link/intro (PDF)

EU Horizon 2020 grant :eu:
Our project has been awarded funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme as part of the sub-grant agreement no. 828888 (Blockpool.eu, see assessment)

Roadmap and funding goals :world_map:
Up till now we have been bootstrapping with our own time and money, next to jobs that pay the bills. The full eight month roadmap includes privacy assessments (GDPR) and security audits leading to release on mainnet. We have to add fulltime engineering resources to accomplish this. The total funding needed is €235k. Approximately €30k is covered by the Blockpool grant, most of which will be paid upon completion of the planned milestones at the end of 2020.

DAO and other models :adult:‍:balance_scale:
Back in 2018 we programmed a DAICO to launch the THX token. We liked the idea of a project tap instead of a lump sum ICO and also that the contract could be resolved with funds remaining being distributed back to contributors. The code is still available on our github. In the end we abandoned these efforts due to regulatory issues and difficulties establishing a banking relationship in The Netherlands.

Now, we’re considering multiple options for issuance with a preference for a DAO on Aragon, but also an airdrop or direct sales to launching customers.

Our main consideration for a DAO would be to govern things like the reward fee and development funds and perhaps, in time, decentralize the protocol further by moving from a centralized administrative key towards a time enforced community managed address. This would likely also involve setting up a foundation next to the commercial entity that is maintaining the API which however centralized, eases integration immensely.

Questions to MetaCartel community :hot_pepper:
On behalf of our team I would love to have your feedback on the following;

  1. do you think THX is well suited for a DAO?
  2. which DAOs should we research (Aragon, Moloch, some other variations)?
  3. any experiences or things to keep in mind when setting up a foundation for our project.
  4. any other feedback on or suggestions for our product and general plan.

This post turned out longer than expected. I hope all of this makes sense :stuck_out_tongue: looking forward to hearing from you all!

The idea of pooling funds and rewarding people who do awesome things is solid. If I understand correctly, and please correct me if I’m wrong, it sounds like your app allows people to pool together funds and then vote on how to distribute those funds to people who do cool stuff?

If so, then have you considered using some of the available tools off the shelf such as Abridged contract wallets, a simple Aragon or Moloch DAO, and a custom front-end? Not exactly sure what’s on your development roadmap for €235k, but if building and auditing contracts is on that list you would save a lot of time/money by using already available tools off the shelf.

Also, regarding fundraising, you could totally use a DAICO (Aragon has one that’s built and audited). Technically it’s possible, whether or not you’d actually want to do it is another question entirely lol. Obviously, consult with legal council on this. Alternatively, Fairmint might be an easier (and more expensive!) option if you just want a fundraising solution that works out of the box with contracts and legal wrappers and whatnot.

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Yes. And the API allows for automated rules too. For example this forum ‘earns’ you a ‘Autobiographer’ badge for completing your profile. THX could reward you with any ERC-20 token for such an action. A side-chain offers fast and free transactions so you can do these micro awards more easily.

We’ve made our own wallet that integrates Ethereum and the side-chain and allows you claim funds through QR-codes in existing apps (code). I will look into Abridged, concept seems similar to ours! I don’t expect Aragon or Moloch contracts to be a good fit for the main app because of our specific use cases involving the side-chain and two-way bridge, but we will look deeper into it!

€235k sounds like a lot, but it adds up quickly when you want to pay fulltime people + taxes in the EU :stuck_out_tongue: We’re also bringing it to market, so the code needs to be well documented, compliant and secure. I posted a more detailed budget in the MetaCartel Venture typeform. But basically we’re looking at;

  • 15% GDPR assessment and Drupal integration to launch it for Open Social communities mostly in nonprofit sector (getopensocial.com)
  • 15% further privacy R&D (based on DIN SPEC 4997) and possibly zero-knowledge-proof or other rollup tech implementation plus external security audit
  • 55% six months with four people of pilots and feedback plus mainnet release including basic reputation system
  • 15% marketing and misc. operations and legal

The idea about a DAO for the governance token would indeed be to raise funds, but more importantly to allow governance on things like the reward fee and protocol development. We’re definitely considering Aragon, that was our first choice.

Many thanks for your feedback!