graph protocol

Introducing Graph AdvocatesDAO — a Decentralized Body Overseeing Community Grants & the Advocates Program

author
The Graph Foundation
April 05, 2022

Decentralized web3 protocols are constantly evolving, scaling to suit the needs of their ecosystems. A critical part of The Graph’s evolution is continued decentralization of core ecosystem initiatives — like those surrounding community, education, and growth. Today, The Graph community is taking an exciting step in decentralizing ecosystem efforts and grants with the launch of a community DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) — the Graph AdvocatesDAO.

The Graph AdvocatesDAO is the community governing body that oversees membership and contributions of the Graph Advocates Program and community grants. The DAO launched with 20 members who were part of the initial cohort of the Advocates Program and received a grant from The Graph Council for $250,000 worth of GRT to seed the treasury. In addition to community grants, the DAO treasury is expected to be used to compensate DAO members who contribute to the DAO itself and to fund reimbursements for Advocates activities.

Operations and scaling of the Advocates Program will be governed by the DAO, including reviewing Advocates applications and supporting efforts like coordinating events and translations. Active Advocates who successfully contribute in the Advocates Program can also apply to join the DAO. Since launching the initial cohort of the Advocates Program, more than 2,500 individuals have applied from over 70 countries, including Argentina, Nigeria, Germany, China, Canada and India. Apply now to become an Advocate and get involved with the DAO!

The DAO will also be The Graph ecosystem’s first step in expanding decentralized oversight of grants programs. Since the launch of the network, community grants have been overseen by The Graph Foundation and Council with over $1M in community grants distributed in 2021. Community grants will now be shepherded by the Graph AdvocatesDAO.

Below is a list of resources to get engaged with the Graph AdvocatesDAO:

The Graph AdvocatesDAO marks just the beginning of many waves of expanded decentralized governance to come! Community members are already beginning work on more DAOs and initiatives to deliver The Graph’s vision for a decentralized web3.

"The mission of the Graph AdvocatesDAO is to drive greater participation in building a decentralized web3 and grow The Graph ecosystem by supporting community-based initiatives and through contributions of Graph Advocates."

- excerpted from the Graph AdvocatesDAO Charter

Launching the Graph AdvocatesDAO

The DAO was deployed on xDAI/Gnosis Chain using MolochDAO v2 contracts on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 with the support of DAOhaus. The 20 initial members created a governing Charter with principles for the DAO’s operations, including Advocates and grants processes, guidelines about proposals, membership, engagement with the DAO, and funding structure.

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The DAO will oversee the Advocates Program and Community Grants, and will have three committees that DAO members can partake in: Advocate Committee, Grant Committee and Operations Committee. Everyone should feel empowered to become an Advocate, apply to the DAO and then contribute to committees and earn from the DAO. At launch, DAO members have opted to use Coordinape as the compensation distribution model for the committees.

The three committees each have a defined set of responsibilities to make their own decisions on proposals that are minor in scope, such as approving small grants for Advocates reimbursements or introducing new processes and systems for committees.

Graph Advocates Program

In February 2022, the Graph Advocates Program was launched to empower individuals to learn and contribute to web3 while growing The Graph ecosystem. Advocates can contribute to the community by translating content, hosting events and workshops, educating about subgraphs and web3 technologies, onboarding new users, and more. As Advocates advance their contributions, they are encouraged to submit on-chain proposals to become members of the DAO and subsequently join DAO committees.

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Advocate Committee

The Advocate Committee consists of DAO members who oversee the Graph Advocates program end-to-end. This includes the application and onboarding processes, supporting Advocates efforts and approving reimbursements and grants for activities such as Advocate events. Committee members should feel empowered to support Advocates grants and initiatives to shape Advocates into DAO members.

The Advocate Committee will also support member proposals for Advocates applying to join the DAO. The committee will help conduct due diligence and support Advocates who have proven themselves in the community to graduate to the DAO. The committee will also support with guild kick proposals as needed, which are submitted to remove members from the DAO in the case of harmful or misaligned behavior.

Currently, the first wave of Advocates Program applications are being reviewed by DAO members who have chosen to engage in the Advocate Committee. Applicants who are accepted into the Advocates Program by the DAO will then equally have a path to join the DAO by making valuable contributions as an Advocate and developing a positive reputation in the broader Graph ecosystem. The Docs will be updated continuously with guidelines on supporting the Advocates Program and DAO membership proposals. Individuals who are excited about people management and growing communities should consider joining the Advocate Committee.

The Graph Community Grants

Community grants from the last four waves of grants have encompassed tutorials and guides for subgraph development, sponsoring events and educational programs, and unique Graph NFTs! The Graph community is abundant with creativity and drive to grow the community globally, and now community members can participate by becoming an Advocate and joining the DAO.

The DAO has received a grant worth $250,000 of GRT from The Graph Council and it is anticipated that the DAO will reapply to the Council for additional grants on a quarterly basis. The DAO’s treasury is held in GRT and GRT grants are paid out to contributors to utilize in the network.

To start, DAO members set a maximum threshold of $20,000 worth of GRT or less per grant. Larger value community grants will continue to be funded by The Graph Council and The Graph Foundation until the DAO is at a level of maturity to update the charter and support larger grants. Grant proposals can be submitted and voted on via the DAOhaus UI.

Grant Committee

The Grant Committee is primarily tasked with assessing new applications for community grants. The committee supports DAO members and Advocates in formulating and submitting high-quality proposals, and conducting due diligence on behalf of the DAO. The committee will establish more public-facing processes in an effort to invite broader community engagement with enhanced transparency.

Grant proposals will conclude with on-chain voting by all DAO members, after the assessment by the committee is completed. The Docs will be updated continuously with guidelines on submitting community grant proposals. Individuals who are passionate about bootstrapping new projects and helping initiatives come to fruition would enjoy being part of the Grant Committee.

“I’m very excited for the future of The Graph and the community advancement that the Graph AdvocatesDAO will bring. While the core dev teams for The Graph work on improving the protocol and its systems, adrove of advocates will be there to enhance the experience of web3 developers and new protocol participants. I look forward to working with our massively intelligent and endlessly caring community to ensure web3’s success!” Derek Meyer, member of the initial cohort of Graph Advocates and Graph AdvocatesDAO.

DAO Operations

A decentralized autonomous organization is owned and operated by its members with no central authority or hierarchy. In the AdvocatesDAO there are three main types of proposals the members can vote on:

  • new membership proposals - Advocates that want to become DAO members
  • funding proposals - community grants and reimbursements for Advocates Program and DAO expenses
  • signal proposals - charter updates, non-financial votes

Two proposals have already passed: one proposal to appoint Derek Meyer from DataNexus as Director of the AdvocatesDAO legal entity for operations, and one membership proposal for The Graph Council in the DAO. Derek has been a long-standing contributor in The Graph through community support, his work in Curation Station and as an initial Advocate.

Users can toggle the proposal type in the UI and enter proposal details as required. Members are expected to follow the Charter and Docs to receive feedback and gain support prior to submitting a proposal. To improve chances of the proposal passing, it is recommended to have off-chain discussions first, in The Graph Forum, Discord, or community calls, prior to submitting proposals on-chain.

On-chain Governance

Each member of the DAO joins with 1 voting share. Over time, members can also submit on-chain proposals to expand their voting power to a maximum of 3 shares. This is designed to provide active contributors in the DAO with the ability to exercise more weight on governance decisions as their commitment and contributions to the DAO increase.

The governance period lasts two weeks - a 10-day voting period, followed by 4-day grace period - after which proposals get executed on-chain. During the grace period, members who donated funds to the treasury are able to ragequit funds if they disagree with the vote’s outcome. This acts as a forcing function to ensure proposals submitted are high-quality, as members want to avoid the risk of donors removing their funds from the DAO. Members who donate to the treasury receive loot, which represents a fraction of the treasury funds, that can be ragequit if needed.

Shortly after the DAO’s launch, the DAO members submitted a proposal for The Graph Council to donate $250,000 worth of GRT to the DAO treasury. As part of the proposal, 10,000,000 loot and 0 voting shares were minted in return. To ensure the integrity of the DAO’s treasury, neither the Council nor the Foundation will have voting powers in the DAO. The DAO will also be able to request additional funding from The Graph Council or other third-party sources.

Operations Committee

The Operations Committee is the third committee in the DAO and is responsible for ensuring DAO operations are running efficiently across platforms and committees. The DAO is its own entity and requires establishing its own processes, systems and platforms. Organizational community management is therefore the core mandate of this committee, which includes providing legal, accounting, marketing and operational support to the DAO.

People with spreadsheet competence, project management expertise, community moderation skills or passion for process development will find a wealth of opportunity to engage in this committee. This is a place for everyone looking to shape how the DAO successfully operates, and possibly establish best practices that can be adopted across the broader web3 ecosystem.

Committee Funding

DAO members who join the Advocate, Grant or Operations Committees have the opportunity to be compensated for their time and contributions to the DAO. Coordinape is the platform being used to determine impact of past contributions and compensation levels, which are driven by input from fellow committee members. Each committee member is given an equal share in determining payout levels of other committee members from the defined monthly compensation pool per committee.

Committee members are provided the tools and opportunity to report both their time spent as well as the value of contributions they made to the committee each month. That in turn is aimed to be a strong signal for fellow committee members to determine how much of their share they allocate to various committee members. The overall approach is targeted to incentivize the strongest contributors in the committee who are demonstrating ongoing commitment to the mission of the DAO, regardless of the specific role they engage in.

More DAOfication in The Graph

Advocates are shaping the future of The Graph ecosystem, and the Graph AdvocatesDAO creates many new opportunities for people to get involved in building web3. Anyone motivated to make a contribution and participate should apply to be an Advocate and subsequently a DAO member or apply for a grant to build in the ecosystem!

The Graph AdvocatesDAO is the first of many DAOs that will likely emerge from The Graph ecosystem, as the community gets more involved in maintaining the protocol and driving growth. DAOs will help drive The Graph’s sustainability by enabling anyone to contribute in the community!

You can learn more about the Graph AdvocatesDAO and keep up to date with future DAO related announcements by attending events posted in The Graph community calendar.

About The Graph

The Graph is the indexing and query layer of web3. Developers build and publish open APIs, called subgraphs, that applications can query using GraphQL. The Graph currently supports indexing data from 32 different networks including Ethereum, NEAR, Arbitrum, Optimism, Polygon, Avalanche, Celo, Fantom, Moonbeam, IPFS, and PoA with more networks coming soon. To date, over 38,000+ subgraphs have been deployed on the hosted service and now subgraphs can be deployed directly on the network. Over 28,000 developers have built subgraphs for applications such as Uniswap, Synthetix, Zora, KnownOrigin, Art Blocks, Gnosis, Balancer, Livepeer, DAOstack, Audius, Decentraland, and many others.

author
The Graph Foundation
April 05, 2022