[SC] - Commissioning Research through the Messari Hub

In an effort to scale the amount of quality, long-form research available, we are proposing API3 to utilize their existing membership on the Messari Hub - a community-driven marketplace that allocates funds to top independent analysts, to commission various value-add research reports. This would serve to better inform the crypto ecosystem on major developments and ongoing fundamental changes, effectively attracting more builders, investors, and users to provide value to API3.


Currently, there is a high barrier for those within existing project communities and the broader crypto ecosystem to stay informed and up to date with all of the major fundamental and protocol-level changes. While there are various analytics dashboards, blog posts, and messaging channels to stay informed, it is still cumbersome to have a strong understanding of all the important happenings going on. This leads to a misallocation of resources, both time and money, since the community is not acting with the full breadth of knowledge at their disposal.

To alleviate this problem, many of the largest DAOs are expending additional resources to better surface a lot of this core information (Example: Yearn quarterly reports). These initiatives are serving to increasingly professionalize this industry and soon will be necessary for a project to be viewed as legitimate. However, what is still missing is the proper contextualization of this data from an independent third party that would allow an outsider to gain better insight into what’s going on.


You can think about the Hub like a research specific Grant program. Projects can determine a set budget to go towards better informing existing and prospective stakeholders through quality research. Messari is then able to effectively allocate that budget through our network of top performing analysts. Examples include:

  • Rasheed Saleuddin PhD, CFA
    • Research Associate at Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance
    • Example reports: Mirror v2, yAxis
  • Francois-Xavier Lord
  • Tesa Ho
    • Head of Trading, Uphold, Inc.
    • Example Report: Understanding MEV (paywalled, available on request)
  • Karim Halabi
    • Business Development, Chainalysis
    • Example Report: Ocean protocol (paywalled, available on request)

Messari works closely with Hub analysts to ensure reports are comprehensive and objectively written. Commissioned reports live as free reports on our site and are also sent out through our newsletter (120k subscribers) and various social channels to a wide audience of active crypto participants.


We are proposing a $100k grant to fund the following reports:

  • Initiation of coverage report that takes a deep dive into API3, its background, the problem it’s looking to solve, token mechanics and various design tradeoffs compared to other oracle providers out there.

  • 4 quarterly reports that present and analyze major KPIs and fundamental metrics (projects using API3, number of calls), governance developments, upgrades, and key roadmap initiatives. [We recently received a grant from the Compound Grants program for a set of these over the next year with the first to be released shortly that we can share as an example.]

  • An additional report on a topic of the community’s choosing that could cover any topic such as the implications of a major upgrade or highlighting major partnerships and how it impacts the project more broadly

We are very open to any and all feedback and are excited to work more closely with the API3 community!


Thanks for the post @jpurd17!
I’d be heavily in favour of this and think you guys are doing an incredible job at messari in regards to educational material! We talked about a lot of this stuff back at ETHcc in Paris so I’m glad to see some of it come to fruition!

Questions I had were:

  • Would the reports be market as e.g. API3 commissioned similar to the Mirror report that is commissioned by Terra?
  • How would you determine the community chosen topic of deep dive?
  • if I understand correctly, we’re looking at 6 total reports? One deep dive, quarterly reports for a year highlighting how the project evolved and a final topic of our choosing?

100% needed.

A lot of serious industry insiders and projects read Messari reports as their go-to-source.

Honestly, i think this will be one of the most effective marketing/educational spend $ we’ve seen to date (targeted for retail audience). Given that API3 is mainly a B2B project, we need to do more to educate the general public with API3.


I am in favour of this. I’d be most interested in a report that looks at how the tokenomics are (theoretically) outlined in the whitepaper, and how they’ve practically been playing out so far.


Also, very much in favour. Objective real-time analytics showing network utility / eco-system activity is paramout.


Thanks for the support and feedback! To answer your questions @UgurMersin

  • Yes, the report would have similar language mentioning it was commissioned by API3 likely with a note that it was done through decentralized governance
  • I was thinking once a quarter soliciting feedback from the community via discord on if the timing is right and if there is a specific topic in mind. If so, Messari will then put together a report scope on how we see the outline looking that we can propose and through a simple yes/no poll can move forward with a majority
  • Correct!

Thanks for the answers! Like i mentioned before, i am deeply in favor of this.
We’d possibly have to see how we deal with the voting part, since everybody can join the forum and vote on a poll, but it wouldnt be a representation of the actual voting power.


Assuming that some of the projects that had this done have some budget transparency, how much did they pay?


Sorry for the delay! Was waiting for a similar structure to get announced through Uniswap Grants Program! They made the announcement which can be seen here

The $60k is going towards

  • 2 quarterly reports,

  • 1 report on L2 Dex’s

  • 1 similar TBD by community report


My main concern with KPIs is that I’ve seen oracle projects gaming them, I’m talking about things like maintaining a data feed that nobody uses and present the requests they have done for that as usage, or having a web client get asset price data from their contracts and claim that they are users. This may be the industry standard but there is no point in playing that game when you have greater plans than keeping up appearances.

Another issue I expect is that to be successful, this research will require time of the people whose time is by definition valuable for the DAO because they have insight that others don’t. But if they don’t allocate that time, the research will be a waste of funds.

A potential solution is that one of the existing teams could undertake the funding of this report (if they want to, of course) and the responsibility of the end product, deciding on the scope (how many reports, etc.) and helping the people working on it in whatever way necessary to produce a good report.


any follow-ups?


The marketing budget is already pretty large and adding this would blow it completely out of proportion IMO.
Would it be fine to have a specific person decicated/responsible to deliver this together with Messari and @jpurd17?
If so, i can offer to be that middlemen and take responsibility for the outcome. (<- would mean i make the proposal and work together with Messari)

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Although this looks like something we have never done, it’s actually a sort of a non-technical audit and we have funded audits. Giving a naked grant for a research report is like giving a grant to an audit company to audit our contracts. Yes, having your contracts audited is good and we will have our contracts audited, but everyone would agree that the best way of doing so would be the team that has developed the contracts receiving this as a service (most importantly, to be able to provide scope), and this doesn’t degrade the neutrality of the report if the audit company is any good.

Regarding the budget, 30% of the core technical team’s last proposal budget is dedicated to audits, and it does bloat our budget and make it appear like we cost more than we do. However, having the audit budget be controlled by the core technical team multisig seemed like a good idea and at that point may as well include it in the team proposal.

In this case, the amount doesn’t really warrant a multisig and @UgurMersin is more than capable of managing the process and the funds, so I think this is a good idea.


Just to give an update here.
We’re most likely going to incorporate this in the marketing proposal.
We’re currently figuring out final details together with @jpurd17 and we’ll go from there.
@ryan can then decide if i or somebody is going manage/oversee this like @bbenligiray mentioned.


Pleased to see this is going ahead!
Thanks @UgurMersin for the update

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After much discussion we feel this should be a separate proposal so it has not been included in the Marketing Cycle 5 proposal. It’s explained more below. The marketing team can still manage and support it but the investment should be a DAO decision.

I’ll write out the proposal this coming week and inform @jpurd17 about everything.

We also checked the possibility of potentially paying with API3, which unfortunately is not possible with the current supported custodians (Messari uses something else than currently available).

Hope i can get this up by Friday.
Sounds good @ryan?


Proposer: Ugur Mersinlioglu
Period: December 1, 2021 - January 31, 2022
Amount Requested: 101,000 USDC
Destination: api3m.eth


Most of the scope has been laid out by @jpurd17 above. The proposal for the creation of six report through the Messari Hub will be created and managed by me. I will be the primary contact for Messari in coordinating a) the initial report about API3 b) four quarterly reports starting Q1 2022 and c) a community chosen topic for the sixth report (including the coordination of choosing the topic and timing etc.).


Amount (USDC)
Grants* 0.00
Expenses 101,000.00
Total 101,000.00

Grants & Expenses

As the proposal creator i will not be taking a grant for this proposal as I am already a grant recipiant. The stated expenses are the 100,000 USDC asked for by @jpurd17 and an additional 1,000 USDC to cover gas expenses for the payments. The destination for these funds will be the api3m.eth 2/4 multisig that currently has @ryan, @ManuAlzuru, @Erich and me as signers.

Can i receive feedback from @bbenligiray, @ryan and obviously others if this is fine?


Looks good to me.

Look forward to reading the reports. They should give us good additional visibility to API3