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EthSignals request for funding #66

merged 12 commits into from Nov 20, 2018


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arrose commented Jul 31, 2018

EthSignals request for funding (#47)

Team name: EthSignals

Proof of concept / research whitepaper: N/A

Burn rate: $20k/month

Financial projection: $20k/month (Burn rate) x 4months = $80 K total + $10 K initial UX research = $90K for 4 month period of the grant.

Legal structure: Giveth Social Coding Project (No legal entity, but currently exploring available options)

Team and roadmap


Our project aims to track and aggregate information and signals from around the ethereum ecosystem and present this in a way that allows the community to get a clearer picture of the reality of the space.
As the Ethereum blockchain grows, so does its community. In turn, the governance of its decision-making process becomes more complicated. And yet the ability to successfully make decisions becomes ever more critical for the success of the project. Decisions can only be taken with access to high quality objective information.

Therefore the goal of this project is to provide an additional tool and source of high-quality information to help the Ethereum community self govern.

We will be focused on mapping three key areas:

  • The general state of Ethereum
  • Signals of support for or against individual EIPs
  • On-chain and credible third party information about individual Ethereum Based Projects

This project will be built by a small dev/product team in collaboration with the ethereum core devs and members of the larger community.

Target Audience

We aim to focus first on the needs of Ethereum core devs in order to provide them with relevant info. However the extensive list of audience stakeholders are as follows: Core devs, Miners, Full nodes, Ethereum working groups (Rings), DApp devs, DApp users, Researchers, Educators, Investors, Ecosystem orgs, and Gov/Regulators. As part of the research for the project, we will be looking into how each group gathers information, how they use this, and what they are missing through a series of interviews.


The primary deliverable of this project will be a website that brings together various signals from the community. Given that some of the signals will require additional research and development before they can be properly incorporated, we will break the delivery of the site into 5 parts based on the different signals.

Signals that we aim to include are Gas Voting, Coin Staking, Node Voting, Hashrate Voting and Community Statements. For this project, we will be combining our own research and new data aggregation tools with existing tools and platforms.

Brief description of the 5 signals:

Gas Voting: A new concept being built by the team in which voters favor/reject a proposal by attributing an address to it, and the gas spent by each address is added up to produce an amount favoring/rejecting a proposal. Individual users can say they favor a proposal with an address they own. Developers vote can be deduced by the gas used by their account’s deployed contracts. Thus the more active (more gas used) the account or contract/dapp deployed is, the more influence one would have in this signaling mechanism.

Coin Staking: Also know as a coin vote, in this setup individual addresses containing tokens are able to signal in one way or another that they favor one side of an issue. In tallying up the vote, the number of tokens placed towards each option are calculated and compared. This can be recorded for ETH or other tokens.

Node Voting: In this setup, each node is able to vote. Every node operator can declare which proposal they favor/reject and set up all of their nodes to signal appropriately. Some node operators may have more nodes than others. The number of nodes on each side of the vote is tallied up at a particular time, or over a span of time they are online.

Hashrate Voting: When a miner or mining pool is mining, they will be able to tag the hashrate of their miners to a vote. In tallying up the vote, the total hashrates for each option is calculated and compared.

Community Stances: a collection of the positions and feedback about specific EIPs from the top contributors in the space. [Note: The exact methods that will be used in determining who is included and which sources are to be used is something that we will be determined during the research and testing period of the project. This will be done together with the community and the stakeholders who will be using this site.]

The aim here is to aggregate multiple signals and offer a platform to sort and view this data. Each of the signals is known to have pros and cons - as explored in this presentation at Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians in Berlin, July 2018 - and as such, no individual signal should be taken as the sole source of truth. However, we do believe that in combining these signals and providing a meta view of how decisions are being viewed in different circles, we will be able to better paint the picture of the sentiments of the larger ecosystem.

As the project develops, we will also remain open to additional signals. As they are identified, we will also look to incorporate these into our site. To quote one of our team members James, “We want to provide many 2D views of a 3D object, to get us closer to the real picture”

Prototype Design

Below is a first idea board / design of what we envision building:

skarfvpuqf_nfqrescks5ow 1

This is a prototype design and not final. Versions will add signals incrementally as we implement them.
Google Drawing Link
Image LInk

POC / Tech Design

Below is the Core Feature Map including 3 modules that make up the larger build


Google Drawing Link
Image Link


The site will initially focus on Module 1 (m1) for EIP community stance and will include:

A home page with EIPs and their current stance:

  • A single space on the Webpage that communicates the current stances and voting on an EIP

Three signals for each EIP:

  • Gas Voting
  • Coin Voting
  • Influencer Stances viewable in 3 different groupings. An influencer can be in multiple views.
    • Core devs organized into Magicians Rings
    • Ethereum Influencers integrating the work of Maciek Laskus who is creating a list inspired by but for Ethereum using many signals from the development community.
    • Other, which will include remaining stakeholders as well as functionality to custom sort based on user preference.

Maintaining the site will be managed in a Github Repo that the community is encouraged to pull request any updates on current Influencer Stances.

Subsequent to the delivery of this first version of the site, we will begin implementing modules 2 & 3 (m2, m3), including additional signals.


In order to remain accountable and transparent we commit to:

  • Publishing core calls weekly (Tuesdays)
  • Hosting open invitational community feedback calls (Bi-weekly)

Team Communication and Updates

We communicate our updates through the following channels:
EthSignaling Riot
Signaling Ring on Ethereum Magicians

arrose added some commits Jul 31, 2018


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CLAassistant commented Jul 31, 2018

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andytudhope commented Aug 4, 2018

Hey @arrose! This is an interesting proposal, and I hope I'm not stepping on toes, but just wanted to swing by and say that we have something pretty similar (though not as extensive) in mind for and

Not sure exactly how we can help, but it definitely seems like this is something we could certainly help contribute to. cc @mratsim


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MadeofTin commented Aug 7, 2018

@andytudhope That is great news! We want to partner with existing projects wherever we can and collect as many signals as possible. Would love to schedule a call to learn more about what you guys are up to and where we overlap. Pop in at, send me a message @madeof_tin on twitter or, let me know where is good for you.


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arrose commented Aug 7, 2018

Hey @andytudhope looks like we should definitely sync with you! We are doing some interviews as well on our side focused on governance, information gathering, signals topics. If you have some material about this, would be great to include this and avoid duplication of work!

Lets connect on another platform and coordinate a call :) in the meantime, we will be exploring the site you shared in more detail.


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arrose commented Aug 13, 2018

Hey @mariapao - any update from the folks at Aragon. Would be great to hear your feedback!


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mariapao commented Aug 14, 2018

Hi @arrose. We are in the process of reviewing the application and will provide feedback this week


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mariapao commented Aug 15, 2018

Hi @arrose thanks a for submitting your application. We have reviewed it and have the following comments/questions:

  1. The tool that you guys are going to be working on is a website for the aggregation of the different signals, right? You are not going to be working on the specific signals? What we are trying to see here is the exact scope of work that justifies the burn rate per month ($30k per 3 months)

  2. The research of the project you refer to is the series of interviews you will be doing to different stakeholders of the community, right?

  3. We are not going to have the 5 signals included in the website at the end of the project. Only 3 of them? I imagine this is because some of them are still under development.

  4. You say you will be using existing tools and platforms for this project. Can you give us some examples?

  5. Regarding the Ethereum influencers list, I understand the list is 100% algorithmically generated, is this algorithm open?

  6. Regarding the EIPs explorer, can you describe a bit more in detail what are we going to see here, how detailed is this going to be?

  7. Is somehow a bit difficult to match the deliverable mention here and the ones mentioned in the roadmap can you unify them so we have one list of deliverables?


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arrose commented Aug 16, 2018

@mariapao Thank you for this feedback - The team and I are discussing your points and will come back to you shortly with more info. Cheers

arrose added some commits Aug 24, 2018


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arrose commented Aug 24, 2018

Hi @mariapao - thanks for the questions. We added our answers here as it was a bit too long for the comment section

Let us know what you think and if you have any additional followup questions

MadeofTin and others added some commits Aug 24, 2018


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andytudhope commented Aug 25, 2018

Regarding the rich filtering required in the last question, you might find some interesting ideas in here at the end, esp. w.r.t. filtering by "flavour" and "quality":

Interested to see this evolve.

@mariapao mariapao requested a review from luisivan Aug 29, 2018


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mariapao commented Sep 4, 2018

Hi @arrose thank you so much for all the answers and additional info. This helps a lot.

We believe there is need for clear aggregate signals. Currently, It's a bit difficult to gauge the sentiment of the different stakeholders of the Ethereum community and have organized and clear signaling info. This is why we would like to support this project somehow. It is something that is worth experimenting with. However, there are two points that we would like to discuss a bit further:

  1. Funding requested. We think $90k is too much for the website. We know that you want to do research and we understand that the UX of the site is important. But having people interact with the tool itself first could be more efficient. We propose a budget of $25k in ETH and a reward of $25k in ANT.

  2. Media influence score signaling. This is something a bit controversial but we totally trust your criteria on this. However, having the relevant algorithm closed can be a huge barrier to legitimacy


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MadeofTin commented Sep 4, 2018

hi mariapao,

We are more then happy to make those accommodations. Thank you for getting back to us.

  1. Relating to the new budget. Pushing back the research we will get something into people's hands earlier. However, it will also not give us a lot of breathing room as we would also need to reduce the timeline to 3 months and would still like to do the research after an initial phase of development. I would ask your thoughts about applying for a second round of funding as we reach the end. This way we have the time to prove ourselves and the project before further research is done. I apologize if this is not typical, but is it something you would consider?

  2. I completely understand. I have talked with Maciek on this and they intend to open it. If for any reason it appears they would change their mind, or it is clear it is harmful to include in the project I am more than willing to remove this portion. I think it will be more clear as the site develops the role of the list. I would like to give it a chance before we pull the plug. We will keep you in the loop as we develop and am always available to discuss any concerns you have.

We are currently experimenting with a few different UIs. This one is ordered by date and stance.


We hope that by including the list as a subgroup of a subgroup of one portion of the site it is a clear signal from us how we feel about the rankings themselves. Where the value of the list comes from is that we get the same window of 300 people's views on each individual EIP at a glance. This consistent window I hope gives some insight that would be difficult to gauge otherwise. When there is a better way to create this list I am happy to pursue it, for now this is the best we have to experiment with.

Would it be all right to continue on this basis?

Thank you for your flexibility.


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mariapao commented Sep 6, 2018

Hi @MadeofTin

  1. " I would ask your thoughts about applying for a second round of funding as we reach the end" This could work too. We will see as we reach the end.

  2. Ok. Let's experiment and see what happens.

  3. Another question that I forgot to ask: what are your thoughts around the governance of this project?


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MadeofTin commented Sep 6, 2018

hi @mariapao ,

Thank you! We are very excited for the opportunity to continue our work. Your personal support and feedback have been really helpful in this process.

  1. Can you help me see what you mean here by "thoughts around the governance of this project"? Currently we exist as a Giveth Social Coding project under Griff Green. I am certainly open to more open governance as we progress in the project. I know you all at Aragon are doing great work in this area. Is there someone who would be good to connect with on your end to have a conversation about this? I asked Max to ping you about connecting with whomever would be appropriate.



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MadeofTin commented Sep 6, 2018

We are still a small team and research in effective signalling is still in development. The information in the site is managed in a Github repo where which we will manage pull requests. We encourage community involvement in updating the site in this fashion as well as in the development and integration of the signals themselves. I hope that helps clear up where we plan on starting.


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MadeofTin commented Sep 15, 2018

Griff returned from burning man and we had a chance to connect on this. We would love for this to progress into an Aragon DAO. It would take some additional time and resources and with support from the foundation we would be happy to make the transition. I personally see myself as the guy rolling the initial boulder up the hill and once it gets enough momentum stepping aside and letting it govern itself.


Hi @MadeofTin and team, thank you so much for answering all our questions and comments.

We understand the project is just starting and it will be evolving so you can't have all the answers now, specially regarding the governance of the project. However, we are happy to see that this is a community driven project and that its governance is in the roadmap. The community support and involvement is key for the success of the project!

In view of all the above, we are pleased to let you know that your request for funding is approved. Ethsignals can be very beneficial to Ethereum and we want to support this effort.

Next steps: Let's schedule a call this week to go over some minor details to close this process and discuss the onboarding process of the program.

Welcome to nest! :)


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MadeofTin commented Sep 18, 2018

Such Great News!! Thank you for the warm welcome! We are pleased to be part of the Nest family. 😃
I am flying to the UK on Thursday but am free before or after that. What channel is best to reach out to you? @mariapao


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mariapao commented Sep 18, 2018

@MadeofTin are you in the Arachat? That's the best channel for me

@mariapao mariapao merged commit 179ab57 into aragon:master Nov 20, 2018

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