Core Team Decision Proposal: Merging Budget Accounts

glennaustin

Member
Dash Core Team
Oct 10, 2017
70
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This proposal is cross-posted at https://www.dashcentral.org/p/coreteammerge0918

Proposal

This is a decision proposal to allow Dash Core Group to be more flexible with our budget by 1) merging certain Dash Core Group balance sheet accounts and 2) reallocating funds from one budget to certain (network approved) partners in the Dash ecosystem.

With the current contraction of the Dash DAO’s budget, we believe our own operations and the Dash network as a whole would benefit from increased flexibility in deploying Dash Core Group funds. An example illustrates the potential benefits of this action. We have outstanding liabilities for a conference, which we would typically fund this from our “conferences and travel” account. However, due to the price drops from the time we submitted the proposal to the time we received the funds and exchanged for fiat, our conferences and travel account can no longer cover the planned expense. To cover the costs, we would normally need to submit a second funding proposal to the Dash network for the expense. However, there is an alternative. We do have unassigned funds in our “marketing and communications” budget that could be deployed to pay for the booths. Since the “conferences and travel” and the “marketing and communications” budgets typically cover very similar types of expenses and is managed by the same department within DCG, we believe it makes sense to merge the two accounts. This would provide the added benefit of reducing the total amount of buffer we have to hold in each account, which would lead to DCG being more flexible and efficient in how we allocate funds.

In addition to cases like the hypothetical example above, we want to help pay for conference expenses of certain partners who gain network approval with the unused funds in the marketing budget. However, according to the terms under which we requested those funds, those expenses can only be paid from our conferences and travel budget. By merging accounts we would have the capability to use the funds in a more flexible way.

We don’t want to merge accounts without the network’s explicit permission. Again, we are only asking permission to merge accounts that are very similar in nature. The reason we are putting forth a decision proposal is to receive explicit approval from the network for this change.

Further Background
We currently have 12 different budgets that have been assigned for spend related to specific purposes. These budgets can (and do) hold Dash and/or USD. The 12 budgets exclude separately created escrow accounts that may hold additional Dash for projects that decided to escrow their funds with DCG. The following is a list of all Dash Core Group accounts:
  1. Marketing & Communication
  2. Conferences & Travel
  3. Core Team Salaries
  4. Research
  5. Infrastructure Applications
  6. Infrastructure Datacenter
  7. Business Development - General
  8. Evolution - External Contracts
  9. HR Outsourcing
  10. Legal
  11. Property Lease
  12. Public Relations
This proposal to merge our budget accounts serves several purposes:

1) We will be able to keep smaller buffers. We have been holding buffers in each account separately to weather normal market volatility - but we have no ability to share these buffers between accounts. This results in us having to hold extra reserves in each account in case there is spend that is required for that specific category.

2) The budgets we are looking to merge are very similar in nature and fulfill similar objectives. As a result, and because of the initial approval provided by the community, we hope the community will support the same.

3) Increased efficiency as it will take less time and be less complex for finance to process transactions, plan and forecast expenses and calculate estimated taxes. Additionally, it would allow us to reduce our future tax liability as we would be able to hold a lower aggregate buffer going forward.

So what specific accounts are we requesting approval to combine?
  1. Marketing/communications with conferences/travel
  2. Core team salaries with research
  3. Infrastructure applications with infrastructure datacenter
Combining marketing with conferences/travel makes sense given the similarity in spend (described above).

Both core team salaries and research have historically been dedicated to advancing the development of the Dash network. The research budget was funded in December 2017 to provide funding for the blockchain laboratory at ASU, student scholarships, open source research projects and the creation of a blockchain course. Due to the increase in the price of Dash during December 2017, after funding the research initiatives as well as funding the Blockchain lab for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, ~$45,000 is still left over in the research account. We don’t have any additional research commitments for the near or medium term future so DCG believes combining this account with core team salaries (which is sorely in need of additional buffer) is the appropriate course of action.

Finally infrastructure applications and infrastructure datacenter relate to the our hardware and software needs and it only makes sense to combine these two accounts as well. The run-rates in each account is approximately $3,000/month and we have enough funds in each account to carry us through at least another 4 months without needing to request the network for additional funding.

We are keeping business development, evolution outsourcing, HR outsourcing, legal, property lease, and public relations as separate accounts.

To minimize the risk that this decision proposal (if passed) defunds another proposal in the budget cycle, we are requesting the reimbursement of the minimum amount of Dash (1 Dash). The treasury system does not allow us to set the reimbursement number to 0 Dash.

If you have any questions, please direct them to @glennaustin in this Dash Forum post to ensure we are notified of your request.

Requested funding is as follows for the September 1st budget cycle:
· 1.00 Minimum Dash proposal reimbursement
Total: 1.00 Dash

Manually vote YES on this proposal:
dash-cli gobject vote-many 260acc5802ec961e73b0bd10dd30222ea9ea16fd66fce31d6f2b5f39dabf7409 funding yes

OR from the qt console:

gobject vote-many 260acc5802ec961e73b0bd10dd30222ea9ea16fd66fce31d6f2b5f39dabf7409 funding yes

Manually vote NO on this proposal:
dash-cli gobject vote-many 260acc5802ec961e73b0bd10dd30222ea9ea16fd66fce31d6f2b5f39dabf7409 funding no

OR from the qt console:

gobject vote-many 260acc5802ec961e73b0bd10dd30222ea9ea16fd66fce31d6f2b5f39dabf7409 funding no
 

Unstoppable

Member
Jan 25, 2018
145
64
78
I vote No.
Had DCG been more transparent and responsive with the MNOs in the past, I would consider voting yes. But, as it stands, they cut the Q2 presentation short at the Q&A and still have not provided responses.

This proposal will further reduce the very little transparency we get from DCG. We need more granularity, more transparency, and more accountability. Not less. Strong no from me.

DCG has still not gotten the message from concerned MNOs. No votes is the only tool we have to steer them in the direction we need them to go.
 

GrandMasterDash

Well-known Member
Masternode Owner/Operator
Jul 12, 2015
2,739
977
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I will vote yes because at the moment we do not have the luxury of being political with our votes. Our ratio to bitcoin has dropped from 10% to a mere 2%. To put that in perspective, we would need to grow 5x just to get back to where we were before. If the ratio had gone the other way, from 10% to 50%, we'd be congratulating ourselves. In short, at this moment, we need to be more pragmatic and support such collaboration. I would love to see a more transparent and decentralized answer but, again, imo we simply don't have this luxury.
 
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glennaustin

Member
Dash Core Team
Oct 10, 2017
70
97
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120
I vote No.
Had DCG been more transparent and responsive with the MNOs in the past, I would consider voting yes. But, as it stands, they cut the Q2 presentation short at the Q&A and still have not provided responses.

This proposal will further reduce the very little transparency we get from DCG. We need more granularity, more transparency, and more accountability. Not less. Strong no from me.

DCG has still not gotten the message from concerned MNOs. No votes is the only tool we have to steer them in the direction we need them to go.
Hi Unstoppable.

We replied to most of the questions from the Q2 call earlier today. It takes us some time to collect all the information and provide thoughtful feedback. What are your particular objections to this proposal? I am interested in hearing your feedback on how this will result in less transparency. Thanks!
 

Unstoppable

Member
Jan 25, 2018
145
64
78
Hi @glennaustin, thank you for your reply. You have been more responsive here and on dashcentral recently. I appreciate that, and I think the other MNOs do as well.

For the record, the Q2 Q&A answers were finally provided to the forums today, only after I noted the continued lack of response here and on dashcentral. The quality of the responses certainly doesn't reflect time taken to provide thoughtful answers, rather, the entire post seems rushed, and @kot states that not all answers have been collected yet. That doesn't look good on DCG's part. Here is the response to which you refer:

https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/...-call-10-august-2018.39895/page-3#post-195441

It's beginning to appear as though DCG did not prepare to answer the questions, did not intend to answer the questions, and only finally did when the lack thereof threatened today's new DCG proposal.

This is being handled very poorly, to be frank. It feels like a politician giving lip service to their base.


It does show, however, that MNO no votes do carry some power, so my fellow MNOs, please do not be afraid to cast your NO votes if you are not getting the answers you need. Once you get your answers, you can always change it to yes before the clock runs out.


To answer your question Glenn, combining proposals results in less transparency. Since you provide very little in the way of budget line items in your proposals, we have nothing with which to gauge how you spend money other than the proposals themselves. Since that is how you choose to do it, we then need more proposals, not less, to gain more insight.

A relevant example is you intend to combine core team salaries with research. Once that happens, MNOs will have no idea whatsoever how much of a future proposal is going to salaries, and how much is going to research. At least with separate proposals, we know.

Were you to provide clear, accurate data in the form of line items in your proposals, as is expected of other proposal owners, this wouldn't be a problem. But since you don't, the MNOs must ask a long series of questions in attempts to understand how the money is being spent. Those answers are typically unanswered until they are irate and howling, and people start using foul language and labeling each other trolls. Is that a healthy community?

This situation is of DCG's doing, not the MNOs. There are many proposal owners out there who provide us great transparency in their budget, and we happily approve them month after month.

Another concern I have is the ability for DCG to move money between accounts essentially turns DCGs accounts into one big slush account, with money sloshing back and forth into whichever items they choose, rather than that being voted on by the MNOs. It sets a very bad precedent which could be abused in the future.


Lastly, as I suggested previously, and someone else mentioned today, it would be another step in the right direction if you were to put these proposals up as pre-proposals here on the forums before posting them on dashcentral, as does nearly every other proposal owner. I know you're a smart man, and I know you know what I'm talking about, and that it is not unreasonable.

We as a community could have hashed it out here a little before posting it on dashcentral. That is why it is the typical series of events.

Glenn, continue as you have been recently, increasing your engagement with us here. Post your proposals here FIRST. Allow us to comment and ask questions. Give us timely, relevant answers. Post budget items if requested, then post on dashcentral.

I maintain that combining proposals and granting the ability to move money between accounts is the wrong thing to do.