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Aragon Nest Proposal: Wetonomy - Open source human-centric DAO toolkit #61

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zh-m opened this Issue Jul 19, 2018 · 14 comments

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zh-m commented Jul 19, 2018

Aragon Nest Proposal: Wetonomy - Open source human-centric DAO toolkit

Abstract

Let's create a new world, a world of DAOs, where people work cooperatively, WITH each other, not FOR one another.

How? With Wetonomy - an opinionated set of applications and templates built on top of AragonOS that streamlines the creation of DAOs, allowing teams, companies, and organizations to collaborate, share profits, finance ideas and award contributions.

The first and most important question, when you are building an organization is: How you incentivize the people, contributing to the organization, with its future success and earnings?

Wetonomy implements an innovative solution called High-Risk Automated Debt, that allows all the contributors to a DAO to benefit from its future success. All contributors receive debt tokens for their contribution, which are then automatically bought back with the earnings of the DAO.

Complex debt classes and buyback pipeline

Having the buyback mechanism implemented as programmatic smart contracts, we have the freedom to define a rich and expressive set of rules for different pools and classes of debt. Each of them can be bought back with different cash stream, including dynamic allocations based on certain rules. Thus, the buyback mechanism can be presented as Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) of pools and their buy-back rules.

Debt issuance and distribution

Debt issuance should follow predefined rules to ensure that all participants are fairly rewarded. Different debt classes might follow different procedures for issuing and distributing the debt, but also a default schema needs to allow fair remuneration of the contributors. We are suggesting such a mechanism based on peer-to-peer rewards and task bounties.

Here is how it works. An automatic inflation mechanism issues new token reward allowance based on the produced Units of Work (e.g. hours) within the DAO. This amount is then distributed among the team members based on their reputation. These are not tokens yet, but allowance to reward tokens.

The members of the DAO can use their reward allowance to crowdfund bounties within the network or reward peers for their achievements. To incentivize active participation, in case the reward allowance is not used actively, it starts burning, thus lowering the power of inactive members. Certain constraints also apply to prevent edge cases like someone rewarding only one person and no one else.

Fundraising

Investors can give standard loans to the DAOs which can be accounted on the blockchain using debt tokens. This means that each token will be automatically bought back on a fixed price of let’s say 1 euro. This is automatically triggered when the DAO receives income and certain percentage from it goes through the buy-back pipeline.

Implementation in cooperatives

If you are wondering how a DAO translates to a legal entity, it’s a cooperative. The cooperative entities are literally decentralized autonomous organizations in legal terms. Thus, the Wetonomy toolkit is most naturally applied in cooperatives which seek to be even more decentralized and autonomous, by applying a blockchain governance model.

We are a cooperative too and we need Wetonomy for our own governance and incentivization backbone. We have already adopted the model using spreadsheets and we will continue to utilize any new piece of the software we implement, thus serving as early adopters of the system.

Implementation in companies

Wetonomy can be also applied as an add-on to already established and running classical companies, even without going through any major refactorings of their structure. In practice, Wetonomy can be used as a blockchain based employee engagement and bonus system for SMEs. It can also streamline the fundraising for a business by serving as a loan investment tracking tool.

Deliverables

  1. A toolkit built on top of aragonOS that enables a team, company, group of friends to collaborate, award each other and contribute together for their project. Implemented as aragon apps for:
    • Members management - view all participants in an organization, include/exclude a member, see her/his seniority level, reputation, etc.
    • organizing tasks in a DAO and allocating bounty and achievement rewards:
      • Newsfeed screen - the place to follow all activities (tasks assignments, proposals, etc.) and act on them (get a task, reward it, etc.)
      • Task Board screen - visualization of the status of all tasks in the organization
    • Time Tracking - an implementation of the “units of work” remuneration model.
    • Metaparameters management UI
  2. Debt buyback pipeline smart contracts and UI for configuration
  3. Setup wizard and templates with several presets for Wetonomy configurations based on different use cases

Grant size

Funding:
Up to 150k Euro in ETH, split into chunks paid out over achieved deliverables.

Success reward:
Up to 50k Euro in ANT, given out when the final public release is ready.

Proof of concept:

Legal structure

A project within the Comrade Cooperative.

Team

Todor Kolev - Project Lead, Vision

Commitment: Part time
Links: LinkedIn | GitHub | Video

Maya Zhecheva - Lead Developer

Commitment: Full time
Links: LinkedIn | GitHub

Ivan-Asen Chakarov - Full-stack Developer

Commitment: Half time (student)
Links: GitHub

Ioan Stoianov - Full-stack Developer

Commitment: Half time (student)
Links: GitHub

Development timeline

  • Oct 2018
    • Member management app
    • Metaparameter management app
    • Tasks management app
    • Time tracking app
  • Jan 2019
    • Debt buyback pipeline and configuration UI
    • Setup wizard and use case templates
  • Mar 2019
    • Refactor the whole system, based on the lessons learned, to better decouple the apps and achieve higher modularity
@luisivan

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luisivan commented Jul 23, 2018

Thanks! I have been checking your repo from time to time, so nice seeing this application! I'd love for @lkngtn to check it out too, as well as @mariapao of course

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lkngtn commented Jul 24, 2018

Just poked around the github, it looks interesting! I'm wondering if there is any more information on "High-Risk Automated Debt" as it is not a concept I'm familiar with.

@todorkolev

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todorkolev commented Jul 24, 2018

This is something we invented :)
Here is an article, that gives more context: https://comradecoop.com/wetonomy-the-road-to-a-working-dao/

@mariapao

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mariapao commented Jul 26, 2018

Hi @todorkolev and @zh-m Thanks for submitting the proposal. It's definitively very interesting.

I read the article and it doesn't give additional info on the High-Risk Automated Debt solution, but I imagine this is something you will elaborate more in the next stage of the application process if we approve the proposal. Also, I would like to know a bit more about the reputation system you are referring to.

Do you think these projects complement/help in any way the solution you are trying to build: #24 and #44?

@todorkolev

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todorkolev commented Jul 26, 2018

Yes, the article was just to give you more context of who we are and how we ended up doing a DAO. The High Risk Automated Debt is just a fancy term we invented. The idea is that the DAO issues some kind of a debt that will be automatically bought back by the income of the DAO. This can be applied as a bonus system in a company or as a tool to account an actual debt that is conducted in legal terms between parties. We are adding high-risk in the name to emphasize that that it's not an actual debt, but more a measure of how much you are going to a receive as a payment from a DAO, in an automated manner.

The Planning Tab's tasks app has many similarities with ours and their Financial app might be also extended to support debt I suppose. In an ideal world we could use their system and just customize few parts, but in reality this means that we need to move few time slower as both projects are under heavy development. On the other hand we are already an operational cooperative and we have a team of about 30 people - we need to implement quickly our model of governance. I suppose that after both projects stabilize and after enough experimentation from the both sides we can reuse some components from each other, but right now I believe it's worth betting on two horses. I would like to emphasize that event though it's easy to see there are similarities between the projects, we are approaching it from different angles and each of the teams will bring valuable insight. I'm working on the Wetonomy model for the last 4 years and it's used already as a framework for other projects and operational businesses.

@stellarmagnet

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stellarmagnet commented Jul 26, 2018

I think this proposal is very interesting, and while there is cross-over with some of our Planning Tab features, I think of it as more synergetic than competitive as Wetonomy is focusing on a lot of much needed features (such as time tracking, member management) which we don't have the time too.

Time tracking does involve more trust and is probably more suited to DAOs where everyone knows each other like a cooperative type DAO indeed. But in my coop (Space Cooperative) we do this trust based time tracking using Asana now, where worker-owners populate hours they worked using custom fields. I think if you developed a browser extension that integrated with the Aragon app for time tracking that would be ideal too. (While it may be privacy intrusive, the screenshot thing Upwork does may be useful for 'proof-of-work' until trust is gained from new DAO member... Not sure. This is something that has always bugged me when thinking about how to trust new/anon ppl with time tracking).

I really like the member management w/ the hourly rates too.

With the features described here, an even more comprehensive Planning Suite can be developed. I think that if you tied this app to the work Pando (@osarrouy) is doing in these early stages (since their issue system is independent from Github), it can then lead toward the proper migration plan of the Planning Suite eventually becoming more decoupled from Github. I'd say middle or end of 2019 would be a good target for the ultimate transition for a fully unified and fully decentralized DAO-Enterprise Suite of Pando + Planning Tab + Wetonomy + of course the rest of the Aragon Apps.

The "debt issuance" aspect of things is something that our app should take care of, as bounties can be assigned to tasks using custom ERC-20s that don't necessarily have any value in the secondary market (and ideally also non-transferable tokens). We are just calling this dividends/reward engine (now knowns as the Rewards App), as opposed to debt. It's more akin to Patronage as far as cooperative economic models go. We haven't built this Rewards App or fully designed it yet so maybe we can talk about it further and not reinvent the wheel either. But it was going to be pretty basic: enter a time cycle when people earned these work tokens, the amount of total rewards to be distributed, and the contract address of this work token, then it sums up the total tokens distributed in that time cycle compared to an individual address, and divvies up the specified reward amount proportionally. Whether these tokens were collected from a time tracking tool or a bounty tool wouldn't matter for the Rewards App we are building, as long as there is some kind of contract address & public balance system for time tokens.

[Note: these are just my 2 cents, views here are my own, and not of the Nest program generally as I am only a contributor toward it]

@zh-m

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zh-m commented Jul 27, 2018

Dear Yalda,

Your two cents are really valuable both for the development of wetonomy and the future cooperation between us. Thanks a lot for your feedback.
And although I think it will be a bit difficult to mix the ideas/projects for the time being as we follow slightly different ways, I do believe that at the end of 2019 we might gather together to 'assemble Voltron' - get the best of both projects and do something even more amazing.

@mariapao

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mariapao commented Jul 28, 2018

Hi @zh-m @todorkolev. Comrade Cooperative has a partnership with AEternity. Can you let us know what is the partnership about? Thanks :)

@todorkolev

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todorkolev commented Jul 28, 2018

We were in touch with Aeternity for more than a year as we share a common ecosystem here in Bulgaria. We got our initial funding for the cooperative from them and we are generally interested to utilize their platform for all the projects in the cooperative that will benefit from it. Wetonomy is just one of our projects and we also have others planned and in development.

We value out partnership with Aeternity and we are also looking forward to partner with Aragon. I think that the blockchain space is too young for anyone to know what synergies are going to emerge and I believe we all share similar visions.

@todorkolev

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todorkolev commented Jul 30, 2018

To clarify - the Comrade cooperative is currently funded with 120k eur from which 100k come from Aeternity, 10k from me and 10k from another private investor. This is a debt funding that we are going to return times multiplier as a High Risk Automated Debt.

The funding for the cooperative will be used basically to keep it running as an organization. Inside this organization we bootstrap different projects, which later have their own path and each project needs to become sustainable somehow. Some of the projects have a token model which allows for a token sale, while Wetonomy will need a grant funding to be able to release the product. We are using Aragon as a framework and that's why we consider the Nest program as a natural fit for us.

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mariapao commented Aug 1, 2018

@todorkolev thanks for sharing the information :)

So the way I understand it is: the Comrade Cooperative is going to be a kind of project accelerator which main aim will be to fund different types of projects? You say the funds will be used to keep the cooperative running, what exactly does this mean?

@todorkolev

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todorkolev commented Aug 1, 2018

It's hard to compare Comrade Cooperative to any of the currently widespread types of organizations. It's not a company, NGO, investment fund or accelerator program. It's a decentralized, autonomous organization, literally and also in legal terms.

We are a member-owned cooperative. We pull resources together (both labor and capital) to build infrastructure that will enable different ecosystems, mainly around blockchain and AI applications. These ecosystems are supposed to be highly automatable, exactly because of their technological nature. This allows each one to be expressed in the form of code that gamifies and facilitates the transactions in the ecosystem.

Wetonomy is one of these projects. Another one in development is ScyNet - an autonomous decentralized network for training AI agents with applications in crypto-asset trading, self-driving cars and anything that can be defined as a game. Few others are currently being discussed within the cooperative, including a personal data locker allowing AI training on private data, remote gigs markatplace, bounties network, AI based personal tutor and a network of autonomous co-working spaces. These projects and the corresponding ecosystems they produce are highly synergetic.

The Comrade Cooperative is the root, maintainer and governance body of this network of ecosystems. It's incubating ideas, building prototypes and conducting experiments to increase the number of nodes and edges in the network, while each of the projects is expected to achieve independence and self-sustainability as soon as possible. The cooperative resources are not endless and it can not afford to build several cutting-edge projects in the same time. It can only ignite the spark and then let them be autonomous :)

Here is one more article that gives wider context on who we are, how we ended up here and what we are trying to achieve: http://www.obecto.com/the-older-brother-of-information-technologies/

@mariapao

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mariapao commented Aug 9, 2018

Hi @todorkolev thanks for the info. I understand a bit more what the Comrade Cooperative is.

We have decided to approve the proposal. It is an idea worth exploring. This means that we move to the second part of the application which is the request for funding. Here is a guide to submit such request. In the second part of the application we review the PoC, roadmap, deliverables ant the team, and its commitment, in detail. We also determine if the funds requested make sense and make the final decision on whether to move forward and fund the project.

We look forward to reviewing the second part of the application :)

@todorkolev

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todorkolev commented Aug 9, 2018

Thanks, @mariapao!

I just realized that we can also contribute to proposal #48. We have done our incorporation and funding contracts as a reusable template that can be used for establishing and funding Wetonomy DAOs. We still need to polish the contributor contracts but once we are ready, we will be glad to also share these documents. They will be written for the Bulgarian law, but since we are using universal concepts like debt to solve most of the tricky parts, I suppose the contracts will be easily transferable to other jurisdictions.

@zh-m zh-m referenced this issue Aug 20, 2018

Merged

Wetonomy App #70

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