Proposal Details

Dash Incubator 2022 Q2

Dash Incubator 2022 Q2

3-month proposal to the Dash Network

1 Summary

This proposal continues Dash Incubator's ongoing quarterly funding request as outlined in our proposal owner specification document.  We are requesting 600 DASH/month this quarter, as planned in our previous 2022 Q1 proposal

Our top priority from Q1 was to modify our internal organization (roles, responsibilities, rewards, infrastructure, etc) to improve our processes, increase the quality of our output, and better communicate what we’re working on.  These changes still need to be finalized through an official Incubator rule change, but I’d like to communicate the overall approach to you MNOs now to get your feedback through your voting and your comments/questions here.  The general idea is for the Incubator to move to a system where admins can opt into being personally responsible for specified sub-budgets from our general fund.  They would then report quarterly on how their budget was used, which would provide more detail than the Bounties section has provided in our past proposals.  More importantly, this distributed, yet still personal responsibility should increase the value and quality of our output as we scale.  I will expound on this in later sections.

2 Updates

2.1 General

Dash Platform is reaching a level of maturity where we should start actively recruiting more developers into the Incubator to have them try it out and provide feedback about documentation, features, bugs, etc.  We have taken a relatively passive approach to this in the past; interested developers got their hands on Platform, but we refrained from active recruitment while significant bugs were still being worked out.  It’s now time to start battle testing, so expect to see the Incubator grow more than usual this quarter.  The documentation is still confusing in places, but we can and should help with that as we go.

As mentioned, we are also at a point where the Incubator plans to move forward with two long-awaited improvements to our internal organization.  First, a small but significant change to the roles, responsibilities, and rewards in the Incubator.  Second, a migration from Trello to GitHub for our project management (or at least an expansion from Trello exclusively to GitHub in addition).  We’ve been mostly ready for the migration since last quarter, but some final aspects were dependent on whether and how we might modify the roles and responsibilities within the Incubator.  I consider both of these changes prerequisite for the Incubator to scale efficiently.  Now is the time.

As shown in Figure 1 below, we started to increase our spending on rewards this past quarter.  This was partly due to the lower purchasing power of DASH compared to recent quarters, but also due to scaling.  In addition to monthly rewards paid since the Incubator inception, Figure 1 also shows monthly averages for 2021 Q4 (260 DASH/month) and 2022 Q1 (405 DASH/month), as well as our current funding request (600 DASH/month).
Figure 1 - Incubator Rewards and Request

2.2 Bounties

In Q1 the incubator spent 1216 DASH in rewards (up ~56% from Q4) to 31 different bounties.  Figure 2 below shows the top 10 rewarded bounties. 

Our priorities from Q1 were:

1. Incubator internal improvements (GitHub migration, potential restructuring, etc)
2. Platform QA and Dash Core Contributions
3. DashPay program (DashPay wallet/extension, DashPayJS library, etc)
4. Finishing already-started projects
5. New bounties with high value proposition

Our #1 Q1 priority was discussed briefly above and will be expounded upon below in the Roadmap.

Our #2 Q1 priority was to help Dash Core Group with whatever they need to keep making progress so that our dependent projects can get unblocked.  This included three separate bounties (Dash Core Contributions, Platform QA, and Platform Issues Bounty).  In 2021 Q4 our highest rewarded bounty was Dash Core Contributions, which fell off the top 10 list to 11th in 2022 Q1.  Platform Issues Bounty rose to be our highest outlay with Platform QA taking 8th.  A lot of work has been done and we’re much closer to having stable infrastructure to work with, having v0.18 of Dash Core and v0.22 of Platform on testnet now.

Our #3 Q1 priority was the DashPay browser extension.  This was our 2nd highest rewarded bounty this past quarter.  As stated in past proposals, this is dependent on Platform which has been somewhat unstable in the past, but now that these issues are winding down we expect to be able to demonstrate this product in the coming quarter.

Our #4 Q1 priority includes THORChain (4th highest rewarded), Dash Patreon Alternative (9th), and Private Messenger dApp (10th).  We had a few unexpected updates on THORChain that were required by their team, such as moving dependencies from personal repos to DCG-controlled repos.  This is now done and we are mostly waiting on the THORChain team to prioritize our integration.  Once again, we could use everyone's help with this.  I am aiming to have demos for Dash Patreon Alternative and Private Messenger dApp this quarter, in time to report on in the next proposal.

Our #5 Q1 priority consisted of the Dash Payments Integration Video series (5th highest rewarded) and the StrawPoll dApp (7th highest rewarded).  The payments integration series is good documentation for any developer who wants to learn more about how Dash payments work a fundamental level.  The StrawPoll dApp is currently used for the Dash Trust Protector election, but we plan to expand this tool for more general MNO polling.  It will eventually store polling data on Dash Platform, and will have an improved UX.
Figure 2 - Rewards Paid for Bounties - 2021 Q4

The full set of bounties can be viewed on our public Dash Incubator App Trello board.  Our Dash Incubator Accounting Google spreadsheet shows all funds received as well as a detailed list of rewards paid with their corresponding deliverables.

3 Roadmap

3.1 Priorities

Our priorities for this coming quarter (Q2) are:

1. Incubator internal improvements (GitHub migration, Incubator restructuring, etc)
2. Platform QA and Dash Core Contributions
3. Demos for Incubator’s DashPay browser tooling (our all-time highest rewarded project)
4. Demos for additional Incubator projects (including those noted above)
5. Onboarding new developers and starting new, high value proposition bounties

Priority #1 consists of the following high-level proposed changes:

- Create a formal committee consisting of current admins to govern major decision making in the Incubator through explicit, public voting.  For example, the committee would vote on rule changes, appointment and removal of admins, network proposal content, admin budget requests, etc).
- Give admins the choice to move into a role with increased responsibility and reward potential.  This would involve some admins taking personal ownership over a specific monthly budget and reporting on how the budget was used each quarter.  Budget requests come from the incubator general fund and need approval from the committee (e.g. by a simple majority of the voting committee).  Admin reports and budget requests are then collected and used to form the main Incubator proposal to the network.
- In exchange for taking on extra responsibility, which should increase the quality of output, these admins are awarded with a commission of up to 20% of their budget.  This reward is paid with the tasks they approve, just like the existing 10-15% commission that this would replace.  These admins may choose to employ a ‘normal’ admin (who isn’t personally responsible for a budget) for day-to-day tasks, which they would pay from their 20%.
- With details regarding the restructuring done, we can then migrate to GitHub, either fully or potentially only partially to accommodate admins who wish to keep using Trello.  This still needs to be decided.
- We ultimately plan to distribute many of the responsibilities currently exclusive to the proposal owner to more people in the Incubator, which will enable us to scale more efficiently.  As admins take ownership and responsibility for budgets, the role of the proposal owner diminishes, at which point it makes sense submit these proposals under a dedicated "Dash Incubator" account.
This may have technological prerequisites such as superblock payouts to multiple addresses, user-friendly multi-signature tools, etc.

Admins will move forward in refining and implementing these high-level changes upon passing of this proposal.  This way we have both MNO and Incubator admin buy in.

Priorities #2-5 are similar to last quarter, with #3 and #4 emphasizing the demonstration of products rather than just building them, and #5 emphasizing the onboarding of new developers in addition to starting new projects.

3.2 Schedule

This proposal continues our typical 3-month cadence.  By next quarter our internal restructuring should be complete and this section will be used to communicate projected release dates for the products Incubator is building.  

Table 1 in the next section shows the Incubator’s historical, current, and planned proposal submissions.

4 Request

We are requesting 600 DASH/month for 3 months.

In previous proposals we've stated our intention to target 10-20% of Dash’s budget.  Our 2022 Q1 proposal requested 10.1%, as shown in Figure 3 below.  We are increasing our request to 600 DASH/month this quarter due to the lower purchasing power of DASH and to accommodate increased scaling, as I’ve discussed above (Platform is more ready to use and it’s time to bring on more developers).  As noted in the past a healthy buffer makes it easier to attract top-talent developers, which we need, so we’d like to not only maintain that, but continue to build it.  This is another reason for the request increase.
Figure 3 - Incubator Schedule and Budget Requests (source)

At 600 DASH/month our share of the budget increases from 10.1% to 12.1%.  Next quarter Dash’s overall budget will decrease from 4,945 DASH/month to 4,592 DASH/month, due to the annual reduction by 1/14 (~7.1%).  This will cause our share of the budget to increase to 13.1% next quarter even if we keep our request at 600 DASH/month.  Unless some unforeseen need or opportunity arises, we plan to keep our request at 600 DASH/month next quarter (2022 Q3).

5 Terms

All operations of the Incubator funded by this proposal are subject to our current Rules. This proposal forms a part of our Network Contract with Dash.

6 Closing

Links needed to access all Incubator information, including past proposals, can be found in the Resources section of our Rules.

Thank you, masternode voters, for your support!  And a personal thanks also to our Incubator admins and developers for their support and understanding as I try to fulfill Andy Freer's vision for the Dash Incubator.  As always, I'm very excited about this quarter and what we will accomplish.