Retro Retro-active funding

Our retro-active funding experiment is 6 months old. It is time to do a little “retro” to think about next steps and how we can improve it!

By Julien Genestoux on

Let’s start with the basics… Unlock’s retro-active funding is a mechanism through which Unlock Labs (the core team) allocates tokens to the community to share ownership of the DAO. These tokens are allocated by Unlock Labs, but we do not choose who receives them. The existing community of token holders decides who receives them.

Retroactive funding

What is Unlock’s Retro-active funding?

  • On the first of every month, anyone is invited to submit candidates. These candidates are expected to have contributed something (anything!) that the community would deem valuable in the previous month.
  • One week later, applications are closed and each existing token holder is now prompted to vote for the candidates that they think contributed the most in the previous month. Votes are quadratic, which means that each voter’s balance counts, but the number of voters also matters: if a candidates gets 1 vote weighed with 100 tokens, they’re not going to earn as much as a candidate with 2 voters, each weighing 50 tokens.
  • Voting is closed after 1 week. At that point, the Unlock Labs team will allocate tokens based on the vote’s results. Any candidate that received at least 1% of the quadratic votes will receive their share of votes in UDT tokens.

For now, Unlock Labs allocates 100 UDT every month.

Results after 6 months

We went thru 6 rounds of retro-active funding: november, december, january, february, march, april (may will start today!).

We have allocated a total of 600 UDT to the community. A total of 10 of our community members have received UDT through our retro-active funding:

  • David received a total of 394.98 UDT. These were mostly allocated for his payment of a YouTube video to promote the UDT tokens. He was a candidate every month and received 65% of all tokens allocated!
  • Muhammad received 88.17 UDT and was a candidate for the last 5 rounds! The community appreciated his promotion work on Twitter
  • Carlo received 35.14 UDT for his design work and memes that were promoted on Twitter!
  • Ramit received 30.97 UDT in November and December
  • Caroline received 22.12 UDT in January and February

The last 5 addresses received less than 10 UDT.

You can find all of the results in that spreadsheet.

The voting turnout has been fairly low, given that there are currently nearly 4,478 token holders and each of these could vote without spending gas! Each month, there are between 20 and 40 voters. Given that the votes are quadratic, if a candidate was to get even 10 more voters for them, they would earn a significant amount of the tokens!

Next Steps

Unlock Labs will continue funding the community and distributing ownership of the protocol to its contributors! However, we would love to see more turnout and of course more applications. Of course, we will want to reward community members who are consistently voting as well…

In the meantime, here are a few ideas worth exploring if you are interested in earning some of the governance tokens:

  • Moderation/help on the Discord server…
  • Meme, retweets, reshares on social media: Twitter, Reddit, Medium, LinkedIn… etc
  • Bug fixes
  • Documentation
  • Translation
  • Tutorials
  • Promotional videos
  • Outreach and business development
  • … and of course, anything that the community would deem valuable!

We are considering increasing the number of tokens allocated, especially with increased engagement. For example, if we could get 100 voters on each of the next 3 rounds, Unlock labs could increase the number of allocated tokens to be 200 per round!

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