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Budget Proposal : Promotion / Reimbursement / Core Team

Discussion in 'Official Announcements' started by eduffield, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. eduffield

    eduffield Core Developer

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    Hello Everyone,

    I’m really happy to announce that the launch of v12 was a great success. As a result, we now have the capability of decentralized budgeting of expenses of the project! We’ve been planning a comprehensive strategy for utilizing these budget capabilities and have identified what we feel is the best plan possible for getting Dash to the next level.

    As previously announced when launching v12, the next step is testing of the new system. During this testing phase only core team members will be able to submit proposals. Once the system is polished and tested enough to be opened to the public, we will do so. Below you can find the first three projects that we would like to discuss and introduce into the system for their approval by the masternodes. When we have the proposal website ready - probably near the release of v12.1 - we will conduct budget discussions there. In the meantime, as a temporary measure, we can simply debate these proposals in this thread.

    Even more exciting is showing off what the budget system is capable of.

    Off Exchange Trading - OTC

    For some budget expenses, it will be required that we exchange Dash for fiat, because of pre-existing requirements for how we pay certain expenses. To protect the markets from excessive volatility we would like to create an OTC market for Dash. If we were to use an exchange like cryptsy to sell the Dash, we would create excessive volatility, from both of the buyers and sellers. To avoid this, we would like to start managing a list of buyers then arrange direct trades. This helps us by lowering the downward pressure on the coin and it will help buyers that would like large amounts of Dash without having to buy it from the ask side of the order book where there is often little available to purchase.

    In many cases, core team members will front the USD to pay for specific services that Dash requires. We will refer to these transactions as “trusted buyers”, in this case no escrow is needed and they can pay for whatever is needed up front, then be paid back from the next budget.

    In other cases we will be dealing with untrusted buyers. To be completely transparent and fair, we will publish the date and time of when we do trades and the price at which they were done. All trades will be done within 2% of the current market price (averaged between all exchanges) utilizing a fiat to crypto service called CryptoCapital that we have partnered with.

    Core Team

    While v12 enabled budgeting and removed the reference node, our donation system was rendered inoperable by the latest version. The donation feature was supporting many of our developers, so we would like to replace that income stream with a more permanent solution that does not rely on altruism.

    Working on Dash should come with some incentive, like receiving some money from the blockchain every month. However, we don’t want to micromanage an open source project and we feel we have a highly trustworthy team. The way we plan on using the core team budget is to simply split it between all team members.

    To be a paid team member, one simply needs to agree to our pledge. The pledge is “To work on Dash each and every day to expand and improve the ecosystem to the best of my ability”. Whatever someone feels they can contribute to the project is fine, as long as they meet that minimum amount of work. This includes anyone, with any skillset (software, q&a, automation, admin, marketing, legal, etc). Beyond this obligation, it’s up to the person how much they work on Dash and how much they are able to earn from the project.

    We will be 100% transparent about who on our team is paid and how much they are paid. As defined, a core team member is someone that has made the above pledge to work on Dash everyday. That person then has the freedom to work on Dash as much as they wish to expand their earning potential. We believe in transparency when it comes to the administration of a decentralized product such as Dash, so we will make this data available on one of the websites for the community.

    I’d like to stress that this compensation is by no means meant to provide a “full-time salary” for contributors. Compensation will be modest. At current market prices, the compensation would fall in the category of “token appreciation”.

    It should also be known that our team structure is highly organized. We have professional project managers onboard which are helping monitor and optimize our process. These project managers have pledged to act as objective observers, hold each team member accountable for what they say they will do, and will recommend if some team members are underperforming or for other reasons need to be removed from a paid spot on the team.

    Some of us will work really hard on Dash (often for 10+ hours a day), because we believe in it and we’re willing to put in the time to make Dash a critical part of the future economy. We believe it’s worth the time to do this.

    Others have full time jobs, but they like to contribute during mornings, nights, and weekends. This is all great, the more people we can get putting effort into the project the better off we’ll be in the long run.

    We intend to have 2 kinds of slots for paid team members depending on the amount of time they are willing to commit - part-time and full-time. Full-time slots will offer payment of 2-4x (TBD by the project management team, maybe even a monthly contest?) that of a part-time slot. Team members can switch between the two depending on how much they feel they can offer to the project. This should give us flexibility to provide incentive for development and show appreciation for the work that is being done.

    We will also encourage team members to hold their Dash they are paid long term. We believe in this project and want all those getting compensated to benefit when we finally succeed, this will help spread the benefit out to those that contribute the most to make it happen.

    Having lots of people involved with Dash is what makes this successful! If you want to contribute, feel free to ping any of us to join the team.
     
    #1 eduffield, Aug 27, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2015
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  2. eduffield

    eduffield Core Developer

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    Reimbursement

    Electrum Client/Server Implementation

    The community originally was working on the electrum client, but eventually we realized that the project had stalled out. I offered to put up a bounty for $750 for the completion of this project.

    https://dashtalk.org/threads/volunt...ectrum-dash-bounty-available.5745/#post-60820

    The Mazacoin developers who work on the encompass client are helping out with this and we should have a fully functional client within 3 weeks. We’ve already paid the first instalment for this work of $375. The full project will cost $750.

    Foundation Creation - $3500 (of $7000)

    The Foundation has an important role in setting up Dash for long term success. Currently the Foundation is the advising board that directs the project and protects it’s long term interests. We’re in the process of moving much of the burden of the foundation to the masternode network and creating a much more decentralized framework for the success of the project. We want to focus on decentralized teams that are tasked with specific projects to further dash, combined with a decentralized budgeting / governance directed by the masternode network.

    When we had originally setup the foundation we had hoped at some point we could be paid back for the incorporation and legal fees. Originally when it was set up, Ed Moncada of the foundation funded it from his own pocket, which was paid to our lawyer Harold. A few months later, I agreed to pay Ed back out of my own pocket, which was $7000.

    We don’t have enough room in the budget to cover this expense in one single payment, instead I’m going to ask the masternode network to approve a payment for $3500 for the next two months (which is supported by the budget system).

    Conference - Netherlands - Oct 7, 2015 - $2200

    How are people to find out about what we’re doing if none of us are getting out there and telling them? We need to sway the public opinion about our project and convince the world that we’re serious about this and that we have found the solutions to making a successful cryptographic currency capable of mass adoption.

    However, this isn’t going to happen if we’re just associating with each other within the Dash ecosystem. This is why I’ve scheduled to speak at a conference in the Netherlands. It’s called Bitcoin Wednesday and is a once a month event. Recently Andreas Antonopoulos spoke there, so this is a highly regarded event with typically more than 100 cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investors in attendance. They also publish the videos of the talks, which garner a high volume of viewers. The Netherlands is a great place to get exposure due to the way the payment systems are there and the default bias against using things like credit cards in favor of cash.


    I’ve already planned the trip and bought the tickets and made arrangements, so I was hoping the community would be willing to pay me back for these travel expenses. I think it will be highly advantageous if I did this for Dash a few times a year (and maybe a couple other core Dash team members could do the same as well). If we obtain significant exposure at 6-10 conferences this next year, we’ll definitely make a big impact on the cryptocurrency community at large. I also believe that interaction with other leaders in the cryptocurrency community can help the core team identify and test ideas that might work their way into Dash.

    A few core-team members will be giving 15-20 minutes presentations on different parts of the Dash project. It should be quite interesting to see Dash from a different perspectives and show how we manage the project differently than anything else out there.

    Feel free to come out to the Netherlands in October if you can. So far we’ve got confirmation that Kot, Balu, Otoh, Flare and many more are going to join us there. I’ll be in the netherlands for a few more days after the conference so feel free to hit me up for coffee.

    I also want to be 100% clear and transparent about what expenses are being paid for and that I’m not wasting money from the budget system.

    Expenses:
    Plane Ticket: $1300
    AirBnB: $110/night (5 days, I’m staying 10 days though)
    Food and other necessities: $350


    My wife and I are personally covering about 50% of the expenses for this trip beyond what’s needed for me to get there and give the presentation.

    Public Awareness Campaign - $5500

    How are your average daily users to find out about Dash and get into it without us reaching out to them? There’s a reason why big and successful projects educate the general public about their solutions, and it's important for us to get our message across in a coordinated fashion as well. Focusing on promotion, education and public awareness is crucial so that the added value features of Dash can be understood and better appreciated by the public. In the long term, we should be able to scale up our efforts and use our team’s unique management skills to achieve great results.

    Of course, we will need to be somewhat discreet about what level of detail we promote. In some cases, publishing the full details of our strategy could hinder its effectiveness. Also, in such a highly competitive environment as crypto, some initiatives must be private at least until they go live (or it could cost us “first-mover” advantages). For both reasons, some parts of the promotion initiatives will necessitate confidentiality.

    However, in the full spirit of an open-sourced project, we desire to be as transparent as possible within those constraints. So we’ve thought a lot about how to implement our strategy while remaining accountable and simultaneously ensuring our “secret sauce” won’t get out prematurely. We could designate one or two trusted “community auditors” that agreed to audit the strategy and ensure expenditures were appropriate, thus balancing the needs for privacy and accountability. Auditors would need to agree to not publish or discuss details of what we’re doing, but will have complete access to everything we’ve done with the money and our plans for the future so they can give faith that nothing inappropriate is happening behind the curtain. For obvious reasons the auditors can’t be team members and will need to be people trusted by the community.

    In the future, as the project grows and becomes bigger, we could hire proper external auditors from an accounting firm for example.

    September Budget Suggestions
    If this proposal has a favorable reception among the community, I’ll create the proposal and provide the commands for voting on it later today or tomorrow. Thanks, looking forward to using this system to it’s full potential!
     
    #2 eduffield, Aug 27, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2015
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  3. David

    David Well-known Member
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    This is very exciting! I will gladly support this proposal!
     
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  4. bertlebbert

    bertlebbert Active Member

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    Public Awareness Campaign... is that 4500 or 5500?
    Edit: probably 4500 for campaign, 1000 for other = total budget 5500... yes?
     
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  5. Minotaur

    Minotaur Well-known Member
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    I think the key here is just for the project managers of each initiative to secure OTC exchange of the coins when FIAT or BTC is needed. Any initiative that accomplishes this is perfect as it has zero impact in the market prices, but helps with the development of the ecosystem. As long as we can secure OTC trades when needed we can tackle bigger projects.

    We should not be afraid of taking risks and getting out there to inform people about Dash, looking forward to the next few months. This is exciting.
     
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  6. Solarminer

    Solarminer Well-known Member

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    Regarding the OTC, how about working this automatically.
    You can setup a standing conversion from Dash to BTC with Shapeshift. (typically can do up to 5BTC at a time)
    Then use https://www.billpayforcoins.com/ to directly pay for the service. Or circle/coinbase it.

    I have reservations with the DASH team working directly with fiat due to regulations, licensing, and fines. I suggest payments always be made in DASH and a dedicated project manager convert to fiat as needed without a "DASH coordinated" exchange.

    As for public awareness, are there other members that can bring in ideas for this? I could see a few marketing gurus come up with really good proposals to get the DASH out. Videos, Facebook black posts, google ads, web design, events, etc. Maybe split this off and have specific proposals come in.
     
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  7. qwizzie

    qwizzie Well-known Member

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    I will gladly support this budget proposal, exciting times ahead.
     
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  8. Minotaur

    Minotaur Well-known Member
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    Those conversion services that you mention, like Shapeshift or billpayforcoins, ultimately sell the Dash on exchanges which is precisely what we are trying to avoid. Private OTC trades are preferable, if FIAT is involved we would use a compliance service to deal with KYC, but not really a paying service that would ultimately sell the coins.
     
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  9. r-ando

    r-ando Well-known Member
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    Very cool and exciting, great news all around!
     
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  10. Minotaur

    Minotaur Well-known Member
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    Another way to deal with OTC and avoid any compliance requirements, is for a backer to pay directly to the outside service not to the team. For example, for the animated video I paid the company 2500 USD on behalf of the community, those coins still remain on escrow until the video is finally released, which should be soon, when that happens and everyone is satisfied I will finally get refunded with the coins.

    So that is another good strategy we can use.
     
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  11. Solarminer

    Solarminer Well-known Member

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    I am A OK with private OTC trades. As soon as "DASH core team members" are associated with exchanging funds we could be in trouble. I suggest this moves to a project owner managed OTC without any specific relation to the DASH core team. Maybe use the term "community volunteers" or something to help with the OTC.
     
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  12. TaoOfSatoshi

    TaoOfSatoshi Grizzled Member
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    Awesome! :D

    eduffield I pledge "To work on Dash each and every day to expand and improve the ecosystem to the best of my ability" through the Dash Twitter PR Initiative, reaching out to people every day and helping them set up nodes if need be.

    This is going to be exciting times for Dash, I can't wait to see what this team can accomplish with a bit of funding...

    Go Team Dash!
     
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  13. moli

    moli Grizzled Member

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    How about... Would you be willing to help with the teams in the area you're interested in and good with it? And it seems you are very good at many things. :)
     
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  14. Solarminer

    Solarminer Well-known Member

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    Can I suggest a change to the DASH structure? Are we not now a three-tier network?
    1. Miners
    2. Masternodes
    3. Blockchain Paid Development
     
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  15. LucD88

    LucD88 Member

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    Very exciting times ahead indeed, I'm 100% supporting this proposal! :)

    Just like qwizzie it's in my home country as well, and I even might be able to attend!

    For those of you that are wondering about the venue:
    De Balie
    Leidseplein, Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    - Google Maps link


    EDIT:
    My bad, the location data was for the 2nd of September. Thanks qwizzie for pointing this out!

    Correct location data for the 7th of October:

    Pakhuis de Zwijger
    Piet Heinkade 179, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
     
    #15 LucD88, Aug 27, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2015
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  16. qwizzie

    qwizzie Well-known Member

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    I rather see the blockchain paid development / decentralised budgetting system as an extra service running on top of the masternode network. Remove the masternode network and you will not be able to have the blockchain paid development / decentralised budgetting system.
     
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  17. qwizzie

    qwizzie Well-known Member

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    pls verify, because i joined Bitcoin Wedneysday earlier with the sole purpose of finding out the location and i got the following location with date 7th of october :

    Bitcoin Wednesday Amsterdam #28

    Pakhuis de Zwijger
    Piet Heinkade 179, Amsterdam
     
    #17 qwizzie, Aug 27, 2015
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  18. Solarminer

    Solarminer Well-known Member

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    Of course, I will help as I can. :D

    What I meant by my statement is that if we are budgeting $4500 or $5500 we should vote on how that funding is decided based on deliverables. If this portion of the proposal said after the funds are spent Dash promoters will have been to 2 conferences attended by 2 people, an ad in a major magazine, and some pictures and graphics used for promotion, that would be a much better proposal. If we don't know what we are spending the money on then, we should change it to a public awareness campaign plan for $500 or something until specific deliverables can be ascertained.
     
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  19. MangledBlue

    MangledBlue Well-known Member
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    Go for it....
     
  20. LucD88

    LucD88 Member

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    Take a look at http://www.bitcoinwednesday.com/events/, none of the future events show a location yet. So I think the location varies as they have to rent the venue in advance.

    Best practise would be to check a few weeks before the event takes place to make sure what the location is.

    EDIT:
    You were right about the location data I mentioned, it was for the 2nd of September. I corrected the previous data, thanks qwizzie for double checking! :)
     
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  21. Sub-Ether

    Sub-Ether Well-known Member

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    I have some ideas about modeling software, using packages like matlab to simulate blockchain speed/efficiencies, stress testing and market dynamics.
    Also willing to be a part time tester,testnet miner, answer forum questions, can writeup wikipedia articles if needed.

    I should be able to go to Amsterdam in October which is very exciting to meet the team..
     
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  22. Minotaur

    Minotaur Well-known Member
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    What we are proposing for this budget on the public awareness section is already destined to specific initiatives that are on the works, that includes formal press releases, promotion on some mainstream media publications, promotion in China, among other things. Like the announcement said this part is a pickle because you cant reveal everything up-front as then the campaigns lose impact. That is why we need a couple of community auditors maybe you could consider that position?

    Eventually other budget proposals will come from different volunteers for every area e.g. development, promotion, etc, but there will always be official initiatives looking for community support through the system. For now, at the very beginning we are starting only with an official team proposal, just so there is more control and the system can be confirmed to be working correctly. Later there will be both official initiatives and volunteer projects in the system.
     
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  23. tungfa

    tungfa Administrator
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    I really want to emphasise the importance of our volunteers !

    This is an Open Source Project, and everybody is encouraged as always to do their part.
    We need you (volunteers) as much as always and probably even more in the future as the project is
    growing and more work will come our way !

    We can NOT do it without you !
     
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  24. Solarminer

    Solarminer Well-known Member

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    Sub-Ether, This is fantastic. You would be perfectly qualified for a project I have in mind. Kind of related to this documentary Ghostplayer posted here:
    Algorithmic Forex Trading!

    The project would involve only one customer so it shouldn't need too much for database structure. The main code would work with masternodes and how they interact with each other. Specifically, high frequency manipulating of masternode inputs for hijacking payments to a specific address.
    LOL! :D
     
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  25. Solarminer

    Solarminer Well-known Member

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    Minotaur, we usually have two ways to get jobs quoted with my business. Per job where every deliverable is spelled out, or time and materials.

    Can you phrase the proposal with total man-hours, or months expected to complete and how many people are involved? Include expenses or the major costs involved in the project. Even categories of expenses would help; travel, advertising, writing etc.

    Can you see where I am coming from? If this is a 2 week deal and then we need more funding to keep going it doesn't sound reasonable. We are setting an example for future proposals. This should be proposed in a way that masternode owners will see the value and vote accordingly.

    If you wanted a round of auditors, I would suggest Camosoul, Thelonecrouton, and myself since I believe we were the hardest on letting any pork barrel politics get through on the initial budgeting proposal vote.
     
    #25 Solarminer, Aug 28, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2015
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  26. Minotaur

    Minotaur Well-known Member
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    We are not compensating people per hour or anything like that, our marketing expenses are going to be very specific. Press releases, content marketing, video creation, guest blogging, different things like that. Each initiative has a specific cost with a vendor, the vendors are well established services that perform this type of work in the US mainly. We are not really looking for an auditor about the initiatives, it has taken a lot of work from many people to put these together, like Tungfa, Fernando, Evan, kot, raico and alexy from China, myself, many have contributed in the process of sourcing and putting the pieces together.

    We will just look for a couple of trusted community members who can act as accounting auditors, verify the values of the invoices and that things are paid appropriately when we do. Is a hard situation because you can't reveal the specific details about the campaigns before things are released, specially in public forums your competition will read too.

    Volunteering on this is no privilege, is actually very hard work. I am currently working around 6 hours a day for Dash from my own office, I have constant meetings with potential vendors, partners or influencers, I am meeting with people from China as we speak. We often pay for things ourselves as there has not been any funds to work with. Evan, Fernando, Udjin, Flare, Tungfa can all give faith of the work we are doing. Volunteering for Dash happens every day, so when there are announcements and you start saying things like "pork barrel politics" it is a little offensive to those working hard on this for a long time.

    The governance system already has a way to determine whether a proposal has support or not which is the voting system so hopefully there will be enough support for the project.
     
    #26 Minotaur, Aug 28, 2015
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  27. moli

    moli Grizzled Member

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    I don't think Solarminer meant to be offensive in what he said. Since you use big words like "accounting auditors", i think he's trying to tell you know that he's going to be "impartial and neutral" in his auditing of your books, because that's the general requirement for a public accounting auditor in the real world. This seems to be more like clerical work for someone to check and make sure that the expenses did happen, someone did pay for these expenses and now they need to be reimbursed... It's hard for someone looking from outside in to understand what's been going on. Unless you've been helping with the project and understanding what's going on, you will not know what to do, and in my opinion you should discuss with him in details in private or on slack.
     
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  28. bertlebbert

    bertlebbert Active Member

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    Well when you put it like that, there's really no need for auditors, I would think we can count on you guys to do the right thing. And hey, you working 6 hours a day on Dash from your own office - my hat is off to you sir.
     
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  29. moli

    moli Grizzled Member

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    Evan wants to be transparent so that's why we need "auditors" to present their "findings" and "opinions" to voters.

    But it's not going to be like a real world company that its auditors have to comply with "general accepted accounting principles" (GAAP) and "general accepted auditing standards" (GAAS) ... :tongue:
     
    #29 moli, Aug 28, 2015
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  30. Solarminer

    Solarminer Well-known Member

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    Minotaur, you have put a lot into Dash. I know you were donating your masternode earnings to the foundation too, so I am not trying to pick on you or the team or insinuate you won't work hard. As for saying pork barrel politics, I hope you understand that my intent is to be fair. Not trying to label anyone here.

    Can you give us an idea how long the budget will last? Is it 3mo/6mo/12mo?

    Moli, I am not the only one making a decision on this proposal. So, although, I would appreciate knowing more details, I actually only am asking for public information for an educated decision.
     
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