[Secondary Proposal] Mission 1B20N24

Mission 1B20N24 Proposal #1, September 2023 - November 2023
Team(s): Consolidation of Ecosystem, dAPI, CoreTech and BD
Period: September 2023 - November 2023 (3-months)
Amount: 973,093 USDC
Destination: Gnosis Safe (Multi-sig wallet)
Address: 0xa742e1d181c59c9c4dd5687172efc119e3868d09

API3 Today

For any business to succeed, it must balance exploration and exploitation. Exploration involves innovating and developing new ideas, while exploitation involves efficiently utilising existing resources. Both are essential for success, as companies that only explore without exploiting will fail to generate value, while those that only exploit without exploring will eventually be outcompeted by newer innovations.

At API3, our focus has been on exploration as we’ve had to develop everything from scratch. In our continuous drive towards innovation, we were unable to grasp that we have the opportunity to utilise what we’ve created. In the past, we didn’t have a marketable product. However, times have changed, and it’s crucial for us to find a balance between innovation and capitalising on our progress.

For us, this means focusing on managed dAPIs as our main product, with OEV Share as an add-on. For OEV Share to succeed, managed dAPIs need to be successful and widely used. Our product is exceptional and in high demand, as we’re getting daily requests from chains and dApps alike. To make the most of it, we will be streamlining our approach, introducing some small enhancements, and marketing it widely. Concurrently, we will continue to innovate towards OEV Share with a smaller segment of API3. This is our exploratory arm, which keeps us ahead of the competition and prevents us from becoming just another oracle project that offers basic data feeds. Striking this balance is key to our success and will allow us to reward ourselves for the continuous exploratory drive we have maintained over the past three years.

Where are we going?

DAOs provide a dynamic platform where people with different ideas can collaborate and appeal to a shared audience for funding and support. This approach encourages the exploration of diverse paths, creating an environment of rich innovation. The very essence of DAOs lies in the plurality of perspectives, and multiple teams can work together to pursue ideas that benefit the organisation as a whole.

At the same time, projects like MakerDAO have demonstrated that over time, these autonomous teams may drift towards different strategic directions based on their individual visions for the DAO. While some argue that this diversity of thought and action is a fundamental aspect of DAOs, it can also present challenges. For example, when there’s a promising initiative that requires intensified efforts, the varied interests and visions within the DAO may lead to diffused focus and energy.

However, it’s crucial to note that DAOs can achieve alignment. They can create an environment where, despite the multiplicity of teams and ideas, there can be unity in pursuing common objectives when needed. Therefore, while celebrating diversity, DAOs can also come together for a shared purpose when it’s advantageous.

Decentralisation isn’t necessarily something that is constant, it ebbs and flows. There are times where multiple different paths should be explored at the same time, but there are also those times where consolidation and unity under a common banner are needed.

Historically, the common banner for API3 has been ‘First-Party Oracles’ and after we’ve made them a thing, we’ve begun exploring various different ways of what to do with them. One of such outcomes are managed dAPIs, and I believe that, with unity towards a common vision we can quite easily become the defacto go-to oracle solution on many chains. Our design choices for managed dAPIs give us many competitive advantages compared to other solutions that are out there that we need to utilise immediately.

  1. We’re one of the very few oracle projects that can actually prove that they serve decentralised data.
  2. Due to our first-party architecture, we’re more cost efficient than the competition (No nodes to subsidise, no $ asks in the millions)
  3. We can expand to chains quicker than the other push-oracle competition
  4. Consumers (dApps and Chains alike) prefer push solutions over pull solutions that require them to run infrastructure

While we have numerous great ideas of where to take API3, I want to use this opportunity of a launched product that people are interested in, to double down on a path. I want the entire weight of API3 behind managed dAPIs and combine the powers of all subteams to reach a grand vision in the next 12 months, with this 3 month proposal being the first step towards it:

Reach over 1 Billion TVS and spread managed dAPIs across over 20 networks.

For this, we’re creating a “grand proposal” under the mission statement “1B20N24”, where (nearly) all current sub teams are consolidated under one big banner.

The Details

The responsibilities within this consolidation will be split between two major pillars, namely non-technical and technical. The technical side of things will be spearheaded by Burak, where he defines the vision and implementation details. The non-technical side of this proposal will be overseen by myself and Ashar.

The technical pillar is summarised quite easily - it’s going to focus on managed dAPIs and work towards OEV Share. For the duration of this cycles proposal the technical side will focus on the following deliverables:

  • Expanding managed dAPIs onto 4 additional chains

  • Introducing newly requested asset pairs

The non-technical side of API3 will have two focus areas, namely “DeFi” and “Marketing”. DeFi will encompass ecosystem activities as well as business development efforts, whereas marketing will encompass, well, “marketing activities”.

The ecosystem side will focus on maintaining and expanding on current chain relationships. One key point here will be creating visibility for API3 on the respectively available chain formats, such as Twitter spaces, documentations as well as Discord presentations. Another key focus will be the creation of creative content that utilises API3 technologies and brings them closer to developers, which can be written guides, video guides or even ready-to-use github repositories. We also want to show our presence at some hackathon with focusing our efforts more specifically on Istanbul. The ecosystem part of the DeFi pillar will be measured on the following deliverables:

  • Maintain and expand on current chain relationships (e.g. visibility, grants, chain specific partnerships)

  • Build up relationships and create visibility for API3 Products on upcoming chain launches that the technical team will perform

  • Continued showcasing of API3 Products, such as managed dAPIs, in developer communities of respective chains and/or dApps (similar to the GnosisChain workshop performed last week)

  • Creative content that utilises API3 technologies and makes it easier for developers to interact with API3 (e.g. utilising managed dAPIs)

  • Preparing a Hackathon challenge for ETHChicago and driving developers to use API3 Products

  • Showing presence at ETHLondon and encouraging the usage of API3 products in the hackathon through well defined challenges and bounties

  • Organization of events at Devconnect week in Istanbul

    • Merchandise for ETHIstanbul
    • Hackathon challenges for ETHIstanbul
    • Collaboration on Side Events throughout Devconnect Week with our Partners
  • Support developers in our communication channels and on hackathon challanges (e.g. #dev-support on Discord)

Our business development efforts are going to be changed quite significantly. We’ve been anticipating the launch of managed dAPIs quite heavily to ramp up. Now that they’re finally there, we’ll need to show more presence than we have. May it be in governance forums, in twitter spaces, on conferences or project Discords. Any oracle related discussion needs and will have #api3 involved in it going forward. An upcoming proposal will also aim to allocate some funds from our treasury towards these efforts. The business development efforts will be measured through the following metrics:

  • API3 Integrations according to DeFiLlama/Oracles
  • API3 TVS according to DeFiLlama/Oracles
  • Participation in and the creation of governance discussions involving the use of API3 as an oracle solution

The marketing side will most likely undergo the most significant changes. In the past with been associated as ‘the Chainlink Killer’ and this is a stigma that we’re still dealing with that we want to disassociate away from. We deliver verifiable and decentralised data feeds straight from the source. Hearing API3 needs to be associated with those core features. By being in constant association with other oracle projects in our marketing efforts we’re trying to create engagement through “confrontation” instead of letting our core strengths speak, which we should be defining as:

  • Verifiable Data Feeds - No more Black Boxes and Paper Promises

  • Decentralised Data Feeds maintained and vetted by API3 and high quality Data Providers

  • No Middlemen - Data Feeds straight from the Source

  • Intuitive Data feed access through the API3 Market

This is what differentiates us from our competition and highlighting these will achieve more than the creation of constant comparisons against other products. We need to showcase our strengths and let those speak for ourselves. To support this initiative there are several aspects that are going to be prepared and re-adjusted by marketing in this cycle:

  • Creation of a Brand Identity and Vision (What do we want people to think when they hear API3?)
  • Medium Audit to support the Brand Identity and Vision
  • Creation of Brand Guidelines that push our Brand Identity and Vision on various formats
    • Tweet Templates (including visual support) for:
      • Managed dAPI - dApp Integrations
      • Managed dAPI - Chain deployments
      • Managed dAPI - Data Provider Partnerships
      • Managed dAPI - New Asset / Category
      • QRNG - Integrations
      • QRNG - Chain deployments
      • Hackathons
    • Blog Article Templates for:
      • Managed dAPI - Chain deployments
      • Managed dAPI - Data Provider Partnerships
      • QRNG - Chain deployments
    • Partner guidelines for shared announcements
      • What core API3 features need to be mentioned?
      • How can you talk about API3?
      • What graphics are to be used?
    • Graphical Material to support API3 presence
      • Merchandise
      • Presentation Templates
      • Banners and visual support for conferences
    • Homepage adjustment to reflect the Brand Identity (e.g. Partner sections and messaging tailored towards managed dAPIs)

A lot of the work that will be done in marketing can be seen as a reset and creation of a brand identity that will reflect and concentrate on managed dAPIs. This cycle is going to be used to brush up on the essentials while also actively hiring for a marketing manager that can support us next cycle to take things to the next level.

There are teams that won’t be united under this common banner as they are independent and need to stay that way, such as the Operations team which includes API3 Foundation’s directors, the recently passed independent monitoring proposal from Warren or Nodary. There are other proposals that recently passed, like the UX/UI and BD proposals, who’s authors have agreed to forgo their proposals and align under this newly formed structure.

The Numbers

The total headcount for this proposal (including BD and UX/UI) is 33. With the addition of a marketing manager we expect this number to grow to 34, which we deem sufficient to reach our set out goals due to trimming down our aspirations to managed dAPIs (and OEV Share). The overall grants for this headcount comes to a total of 153,710 USD monthly, or 461,130 throughout this proposal. In addition to this number we have Entrecasa as creative support as well as multiple people from Vacuumlabs that help out on the technical front, which brings our overall headcount closer to 38.

On the DeFi and Marketing side of this proposal we expect to be present at numerous events to represent API3, which will incur expenses in the form of travel costs as well as sponsorship and bounties. Throughout the following 3 months, API3 will be present at:

  • dAppCon in Berlin (Networking/BD)
  • Permissionless (Networking/BD)
  • Token2049 (Networking/BD)
  • Messari Mainnet (Networking/BD)
  • ETHMilan (Speaking/Panel discussion)
  • ETHChicago (Hackathon with Bounties)
  • ETHLondon (Hackathon with Bounties)
  • Ethereum Block Summit (Speaking)
  • Devconnect Istanbul
    • Numerous Side Events (Networking/BD & Speaking Opportunities)
    • ETHIstanbul (Hackathon & Networking/BD)

On the technical front, this proposal will inherit most of the former dAPIs team financials, which means that Vacuumlabs, API providers as well as dAPI operations costs (e.g. on-call duties) are incorporated aside from grants (150,000 for API Providers, 135,000 for VL as well as 30,000 for on-call & rotational duties).

As usual we’re incorporating an overhead of roughly 10% to account for any unexpected costs arising. Most teams that are being consolidated here also still have USDC holdings, which will be returned to the secondary agent of the DAO after the passing of this proposal.

Additionally we’re requesting a total 975,000 API3 tokens from the hot wallet that will be allocated to new hires in recent months that have proven themselves, in accordance with the established 4 year vest standard. These are namely:

  • Benjamin
  • Ali
  • Billy
  • Burooj
  • Aamir
  • Christina
  • Greg
  • Hayrettin

Summary

Decentralisation ebbs and flows. While having multiple different ideas and multiple different teams pursuing these ideas is something to aspire to, especially in times where things are generally going well, it is very inefficient in times where results have to be achieved. So far, API3 has been exploring into many different directions considering all possibilities that could be achieved under the umbrella of ‘First-Party Oracles’. The recent release of managed dAPIs gives us something to focus on and throw our entire weight behind. Tremendous amount of work was put into managed dAPIs and we believe that now is the time to make them a success.

What comes next?

This proposal will be followed up by multiple other (primary) proposals over the course of the next months as there are quite a few topics that need to be addressed. Among those are going to be proposals to tackle the current inflation rate as well as a treasury diversification proposal. I consider these upcoming proposals equally as important for API3 as this unification, which is why it is crucial for me to pass these. If you agree with the general direction that is proposed here and trust the things that have been accomplished thus far (more specifically by Ashar, Burak and I), I’d ask you to 1) vote yes on this proposal and to 2) delegate your voting power to us (the multisig address mentioned above).

Explanation of Proposal Parameters:

The destination will be a multi-signature wallet address managed by Burak, Andre, Ashar and Ugur.

Target contract address is the USDC token contract address, which is 0xa0b86991c6218b36c1d19d4a2e9eb0ce3606eb48

Target contract signature: transfer (address, uint256). This is the function to call on the target contract, which triggers a transfer of USDC tokens.

The parameters stated include the address these USDC are to be sent to, which should match the proposal address, followed by the number of USDC. USDC has 6 decimal places, and solidity is unable to deal with decimal places - hence we add 6 zeros after the proposed USDC number. The number of decimal places can be verified on the USDC contract page of Etherscan - $1.00 | USD Coin (USDC) Token Tracker | Etherscan

7 Likes

I’ve received a few side messages about this sentence and I think it might need more details. Specifically which aspects of overlapping/conflicting proposals are to be overridden by this subsequent proposal (for the time period in which they overlap).

If they are to be superseded in their entirety from this proposal’s hypothetical passage date, it should be expressly understood how aspects such as BD’s Cycle 12 Bounty (which I understand to be only partially completed) are to be treated. In my opinion, metrics/deliverables accomplished before the date of this proposal’s hypothetical passage should be honored and expressly carved out of this sentence for clarity.

These structures don’t have to fall under the leadership of this new structure. The UX/UI team confirmed that they are willing to follow leadership and be included in any future proposals from Burak, Ashar and I as a result of following and working together towards the stated goals.

The BD team was given a similar option and they were offered USDC grants and continued inclusion in future proposals if they are willing to adhere to the same terms.

In terms of any past obligations:
The BD team passed a proposal to the DAO where they asked for funds from the “Hot wallet” if certain conditions are met. We (Burak, Ashar and I) have no sole control over those tokens and can’t (even if we wanted to) fulfill those obligations. With the passing of the proposal the BD team created an obligation to the proposal creators of the “Hot wallet” and as such any claims they have, have to be made towards the signers of that wallet. If these signers adhere to that claim is something that has to be taken on with them. This proposal is not going to take on past obligations as we 1) lack the tokens to meet any such obligations and b) are heavily opposed to a commission structure (which is why BD was offered a grant under our proposed structure).

We can’t render past proposals moot, but we also can’t be forced to adhere to them, as the claim was made to another “entity” and not us. We’re only willing to work together with the stated teams under the conditions that we presented to them.

Ok there’s a nuance here that I think is causing the confusion. When a DAO proposal passes, the terms that are not directly affected by the code of the governance contract (i.e. that require some human involvement, such as multisig signatures) are directives to the API3 Foundation. The API3 Foundation agreed to this delegation via its Bylaws. The API3 Foundation enters into Grant Agreements with contractors to undertake many of these human involvements on its behalf. Otherwise, if a proposal passes that directs a third party entity or person to do something that’s outside the terms of their Grant Agreement (or if they don’t have one), it would not be enforceable on that person or entity if they didn’t expressly agree to it.

So, the terms of this proposal, if it passes, are binding on the API3 Foundation and the Hot Wallet signers, via that proposal, must adhere to the API3 Foundation’s directives. The tokens in the hot wallet, and in the multisig target address of this proposal, remain the property of the API3 Foundation until they’re granted in accordance with a proposal-- more on that in the second paragraph under “Proposal Proceeds and Multisigs” here. The alternative is forming a separate legal entity that receives and owns the tokens transferred if the proposal passes.

So tl;dr, proposals can override the terms of other proposals (i.e. this can affect the obligation to the proposal creators of the hot wallet) because, unless separately specified, they are directives to the API3 Foundation and applicable grantees of the API3 Foundation have to follow them. I suggested expressly honoring metrics/deliverables accomplished before this proposal (or otherwise being clear how that’s being affected, if at all) because otherwise it’s not clear for the hot wallet or the potential BD recipients whether the intent was to revoke that in exchange for USDC grants and inclusion in proposals.

1 Like

Added the following:

  • More details about goals and deliverables for the technical side, ecosystem, bd as well as marketing
  • adjusted numbers
  • added event presence
  • added API3 ask from hot wallet for vesting including recipients

Additionally i want to mention that an agreement has been reached with all parties that are consolidated under this proposal to forgo their previous proposals, if there were some. The BD team in particular has agreed to forgo any claim to their passed 200k API3 payment upon reaching of 100M TVL or 12 integrations for a payment of 75k API3 tokens from the hot wallet. As such, the entire commision structure will be replaced by USDC grants with the passing of this proposal.

With the passing of this proposal, all parties also agree to follow leadership and decisions set out by the individuals mentioned in this proposal.

Proposal will be posted on Thursday if there are no further comments.

I believe this is a smart consolidation focus for managed dAPI and OEV optimisation. While I think many are excited for OEV and the benefits to dApps and API3, it is understandable that there cannot be very much OEV until there is a higher TVL.

One quick note, is DeFi actually too narrow of a definition for that branch, as it seems more akin to DevRel (developer relations) or industry relations? Just nomenclature so it is not as important, but DeFi to me is a mere subset (that may not always use oracles) of the industry and potential users of API3 managed feeds.

2 Likes

Agree with a big push needed, TVS on llama is where the eyes are and we should be much higher on there

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I agree with the proposal and “breaking DAO walled gardens” in general. However, the proof is in the pudding and like @R5550, I too will be treating the DefiLlama oracle TVS leaderboard as the sole definitive metric of whether this proposal was successful or not.

As a minor note (and one not related to this proposal specifically), my understanding is that since there will be no continuation to any of the existing proposal teams, said teams should return any overage USDC back directly to the secondary treasury.

2 Likes

Yeah. We’re currently in the process of reshuffling everything and the September was mostly spend on streamlining the new org structure and setting expectations within.
We’ll be able to go full steam pretty soon to work towards our defined goal.

As for returning USDC holding, yes this is expected from people in the respective multisigs.

@KenKarv & @Ashar2shahid for the ecosystem one
@GioAPI3, @dave & @kcorstor for the BD one
@UgurMersin, @aquarat and @sacenolaza for the dAPI one

and CTT will be refunding soon, we’re waiting for an invoice

Edit: This is now done, there will be a closing report