Proposal “dash-incubator-2021-q1“ (Completed)Back

Title:Dash Incubator 2021-Q1
Monthly amount: 422 DASH (12232 USD)
Completed payments: 3 totaling in 1266 DASH (0 month remaining)
Payment start/end: 2021-02-12 / 2021-05-12 (added on 2021-02-10)
Votes: 954 Yes / 11 No / 0 Abstain

Proposal description

Dash Proposal: Dash Incubator 2021-Q1

1. Summary

This proposal requests to provide funding to Dash Incubator for Q1 2021, following on from the Dash Platform Incubator Phase 4 proposal.

The previous Phase 4 proposal was successful in continuing dApp development and scaling the amount of developers and output, as well as widening the scope of Incubator projects outside of Platform to include DeFi work and Core development.

Work on existing dApps continued as well as adding new dApps and developers to the Incubator covering areas like NFT, Data-orientated tokens, Identity security, Private messaging and Dash-denominated kickstarter funding for Dash projects.

The new decentralized structure with 6 admins incentivized to decide how funds will be allocated with minimal oversight has also worked out really well with work/productivity scaling up effectively.

This new proposal marks the 1st birthday of the Incubator and as we start our second year and to reflect the wider scope of development we’re funding we’ve dropped the ‘Platform’ term from the proposal name, although Platform development is still our priority.  The proposals will also be named on a quarterly instead of phase basis, starting each February.

Due to completing our first year successfully and with an increased capacity enabled by our new structure, an increased scope we’re handling and a large backlog of new ideas / concepts we’d like to bring new developers into Dash to work on, the proposal ask has been increased by 35% for the quarter.  Also due to the belief that Dash should be prioritizing developer funding more than it has been doing, we should aim to spend 10%-20% of the treasury on ecosystem (i.e. non-DCG) development projects.. with the Incubator being the only current vehicle for this, the ask has been targeted at 8% of the current treasury budget to help achieve this goal but leave room for other organizations to emerge.

2. Phase 4 Review

2.1 dApp Development

In the previous Phase 4 there was a lot of progress on community dApp development, with existing dApps maturing and new dApps being added.  I’m constantly impressed how the usecases and ideas are improving as we progress and new devs learn and get comfortable with this new tech,  and i’m excited to see these release on mainnet and what other usecases for Dash people will create after it's launched that haven’t been thought of yet.. big credit to all the devs/teams involved with this both in DCG and the community.  

We created a highlights doc detailing some of the latest dApps being created, plus there was a nice roundup from DCG’s CTO Bob Carroll during their last quarterly call.

Some other notable dApps created were the Springboard dApp which is a decentralized Kickstarter and the start of a Password Manager dApp and completion of a Private Messaging dApp.
Work on existing dApp’s started in prior phases is ongoing and can be tracked on our Trello board, with a more curated list available on our website, and all related discussions occurring in the Dash Devs Discord.

2.2 Incentivizing Core Development

We also expanded our scope to include incentivizing Core (L1) development at the request of DCG devs, with 3 new devs claiming rewards for PRs to DashCore.

If this strategy does well and brings a lot more devs / work to Dash’s L1 protocol development, I'd want to think about splitting this off into another organization more targeted for that goal with its own proposal stream.  But for now, I think that the Incubator is the only PO positioned to do this and the opportunity is there, so we’re happy to explore this and help bolster protocol development and attract new devs for that.  

To that end I also think we can expand this strategy to kickstart expediting L2 protocol development too if possible, which is discussed in the next section.

2.3 Improved Incubator Structure

The new formalized structure for the Incubator implemented in the prior phase has also worked really well, operating as a rules-based App where funding decisions are made by a group of Admins following a mutually agreed / comprehensive protocol.  The only change to the rules made as a result was the introduction of Secondary Admins, that allow Admins to do certain work within their own projects, in a way that implements the appropriate checks and balances.

The result is we’ve been able to scale a lot because the Incubator is a lot more decentralized than relying on administration by a single person to do everything, and the new project management and full-incentive structure is really driving up our throughput on all sides.

2.4 DeFi on Dash

We also made continued progress on DeFi development for Dash and Ethereum integration, with work to build a renDash bridge and a Dash Oracle for the ETH network.

As part of the work, Felix Mago from Dash Next wrote some blog articles explaining the rationale behind how wrapped Dash on Ethereum and a Dash-Ethereum Oracle bridge can add value to Dash.

As the work continues, we’ve identified an opportunity to provide a wrapped Dash asset that can be traded on DeFi DEXes, and are working with Dash Next on a project for them to raise a proposal to manage the implementation of the first wrapped Dash asset.  The funding for this implementation is beyond the scope / strategy of the Incubator so instead we created a project to define and fund this on a separate proposal, the first of its kind within the Incubator.

2.5 DashPay Integration

One area I have been working on myself and we’ve made progress towards is enabling Ecosystem dApps, that is non-wallet, 3rd dApps (i.e. not DashPay Wallet) developed by the community to be used easily and within the Testnet / Alpha programme happening right now and on mainnet when it comes.

The key to this is dApp Signing, which is the ability to sign / authenticate dApp actions in a Platform Wallet.  For example, logging into a website, tweeting on Jembe, trading an NFT on DashCraft or anything where an untrusted dApp needs signing by an account’s private key (which should only be held in a trusted Platform Wallet).  Right now the community has created its own Platform wallets, but i’d really like to integrate this into a single official wallet (DashPay) that we can all get behind and promote, making the process much more accessible and easier for end-users.

Whilst this work isn’t complete yet, and actually with the new Testnet launch there are some bugs that we’re waiting for DCG to complete enabling 3rd party dApp usage (and enable us tap into the growing number of DashPay testers to also test the community dApps at the same time), we’ve made good progress and hopefully iron out the issues in the next quarter.

2.6 Incubator App

Development work on the Incubator app itself has continued, to provide a fully automated solution (replacing Trello with our own public backend, encapsulated by an easy-to-use website that automates all our functions in an easy to use way), although this work will continue through this quarter and isn’t demoable right now (but can be tracked / tested via the related bounty card)

3. Q1 2021 Funding and Strategy

Throughout the past year I've consistently received feedback / pressure to increase the proposal ask from various angles, which I've pushed back on because I wanted to grow the Incubator organically by having to really earn its value to the network and only increase funding inline with how much we could realistically scale our capacity to.

I also wanted to validate my assumptions that it was possible to build an efficient and productive Proposal organization in a decentralized way built on full-transparency and full-incentivization instead of legacy hierarchically controlled / opaque corporate-style structures, which I also feel that we've now demonstrated.

As we celebrate our first birthday at the Incubator, it should also be known that even though each phase we've scaled our ask, we're constantly working at capacity; people are offering to bring more devs in or asking why we have such a large backlog of concepts / ideas not being worked on, the answer is that we're not short of devs and we can easily scale now operationally, but that our budget doesn't allow that (which in terms of scaling an organization is actually a good problem to have).

With this in mind and at this time I feel that we are ready to scale up and start to clear the backlog of new concepts in our pipeline, as well as the scope of work the Incubator is taking on and the amount of developers entering and working on Incubator funded projects.

I also believe that as a network we should be prioritizing and spending more on development and that we cannot rely on DCG for this (because their structure is tuned for protocol and official client development which is very different to building out an ecosystem on top of that).

Therefore i'm proposing here that as a Network we should be spending at least IRO 10%-20% of treasury on Ecosystem (i.e. non-DCG) development, focused on building compelling usecases on Platform that provide new reasons for mainstream users to use Dash, and incentivizing people to grow that.

In terms of this proposal, really the only vehicle in a position to deliver ROI on Ecosystem development spend today is the Incubator, which is why i've increased the ask for this quarter to just under 8% of the total budget, increasing our own budget by 35% but leaving room for other development orgs to emerge, which we'd be happy to help kickstart in that process too.  My hope is obviously that the network agrees with me and that we can work towards the situation where Incubator is one of many developer funding orgs competing for a share of the Ecosystem development budget (and with the relative value of the % actually increasing a lot due to the value that development brings to Dash itself).

With the increased ask, if awarded, the Incubator's strategy will expand to encompass:

 - Attracting more developers to build on Dash Platform
 - Providing more incentives for Protocol development, both Core and Platform related, e.g. helping DCG to speed up development of features that are low on their priorities but high priority for community projects
 - Start clearing the backlog of new ideas for apps on Platform that we currently don’t have budget for
 - Funding a wider scope of Ecosystem development such as implementing current Ethereum integration and DeFi projects
 - Funding a wider scope of activities e.g. resources / projects helping to bring mainstream users into signing up / onboarding / engaging on Dash with Evo upgrade on mainnet.
 - Promoting the Incubator itself and improving the resources for onboarding / tools / educating new developers

If not awarded, my plan would be to just reraise the proposal next month at the previous funding level, and we’d continue at the current scale ex 1 month's funding (which is our current buffer).

4. Terms

All operations of the Incubator funded by this proposal are subject to the latest Rules published here:

Specifically, in terms of the custody and use of these proposal funds if awarded, the terms are:

5. Auditing

All resources required to publicly audit all operations, accounting and output of the Incubator are linked in the resources section here:


Andy Freer
Dash Developer

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Discussion: Should we fund this proposal?

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-2 points,3 years ago
When Andy Freer came back to the project after leaving us to do God know's what, I was excited. I thought that he was here to help developers build on top of Dash Evo. He actually said that was his goal. I see now that is not the case. Andy is here to destroy Dash Core Group and personally take control of the project.

After years of sacrifice and hard work, DCG has succeeded in creating the first release of Dash Evo. And now Andy, helped by several other traitors and envious mediocrities that mainly inhabit the DashTalk Discord, wants to simply waltz in and take control.

Andy Freer has created a kind of curious machine that dispenses Dash like "Scooby Snacks" to get his minions to do what he wants. He's already screwing up IMHO by prioritizing trustless masternode shares, which is a "nice to have" and not a necessity. He should be working with Bob Carrol if he wants to help out with level one, but his ego is won't let him.

Looking at the current slate of trust protectors, I see we are in for a big fight over this soon. To any of you who are hoping to unseat DCG or to interfere with DCG's leadership, I say the following...

"Go ahead. Make my day."
-1 point,3 years ago
Can you proivide us with a rollover budget in light of Dash valuation change?
2 points,3 years ago
Hey Agnew. can you explain more about what you mean there.
0 points,3 years ago
Your original ask came in at a lower Dash valuation, are you rolling over extra Dash to the next cycles?
2 points,3 years ago
OK thanks... Yes of course

All Dash received from all ourt proposals goes into a single address where all Incubator funds are held:

How it works then is Admins issue rewards for Bounty Tasks on Trello cards:

...and they list those here which I pay as PO and the change is always returned to the main address:

Therefore all funds go into the same pot that is the budget available to Admins across all Incubator proposals and it's all publicly tracable, each Dash in can be tracked to each Dash out down to user/task level and everything is public, we're not like a traditional/private company where we allocate budgets or can spend funds arbitrarily.

Also as a pure-Dash fund we don't handle or price anything in fiat.. so when the fiat price goes up/down, Admins will factor in the new prices when defining Task rewards, but existing Tasks reserved to users aren't changed, although there's a time limit on claims on those set at Task level.

For reference here are the Rules that define all this and me and the other Admins are responsible for implementing:

Hope this answers it.
2 points,3 years ago
In other words, Admins scale the Incubator's workload to the budget available which is rolled over across all Incubator proposals. Changes in fiat price only affect pricing on new work when it's defined / reserved for the users doing it.
2 points,3 years ago
After discussion via DM with Ash, I see now that Incubator is advancing on items already presented on the roadmap, which I am OK with, sorry to be such a stickler on budgets, but this is what I get paid to do as a delegate, I am fine with advancing on roadmap items.
-1 point,3 years ago
That does not answer my question, are you spending the extra Dash above and beyond your original ask, I would like to know if your scope has been expanded without getting apporval from voters.
0 points,3 years ago
Yes for sure :) thanks for all the amazing work thus far.
0 points,3 years ago
Yes from me.
6 points,3 years ago
I usually refrain from making public endorsements of proposals. However, I feel compelled to say I'm so impressed with the community dev projects and the calibre of developer talent the Dash Incubator has attracted to date and continues to onboard. I'm very encouraged to see DCG dev work posted as project bounties. I do hope this trend continues. Needless to say I'm a big supporter of the Dash Incubator and its mission objective.

This is what keeps me motivated and energized to keep push forwarding. Andy's vision to propel Dash Platform forward by onboarding developer talent to create a vibrant DApp ecosystem will soon become the beating heart and life blood of Dash.

I had a very constructive meeting with Andy yesterday to sync up and discuss Dash Platform mainnet launch ideas with regard to Dash Incubator, future goals and target objectives. Andy understands Dash Platform inside out, but more importantly why it's essential to create a frictionless user experience and stay true to Evan's original ideals of cryptocurrency your grandmother can use. It always comes back to usability to provide the best user experience possible.

There are still Dash Platform developer tools that need to be created outside the scope of DCG in order to achieve the creation and DApp functionality that the network desires so we can have the DApp marketplace ecosystem of our dreams. I can't begin to stress the importance of this enough and this is why its vital in my opinion to not only support but to scale Dash Incubator operations. Beyond a DApp marketplace the Dash Incubators exploration to establish bridges to DeFi will also exponentially increase Dash's use-case and open new doors unlocking accessibility to new markets for Dash.

I know many of you will already know what I've written above, but I want to make sure that the network fully understands what is truly at stake here. Dash Incubator is essentially the future of Dash.

Mark Mason
0 points,3 years ago
"I want to make sure that the network fully understands what is truly at stake here. Dash Incubator is essentially the future of Dash."

You don't get to decide the future of Dash; that is the prerogative of the masternode owners. The Incubator needs to work WITH DCG and not attempt to replace DCG. We are not going back to the chaos we had before RT hired a competent CTO.

The only thing at stake is your reputation if you don't act wisely.
1 point,3 years ago
Hey Mark

Thanks... yep, aI agree ll of this work comes back to ease of use. Evan's vision was that the best payments crypto tech in Dash still wasn't fit for mainstream because every-day users still couldn't understand how to use it or all the crypto concepts (and he tried this out on his family at the time and we all know what it's like trying to onboard your friends/crypto to wallets, private keys, blockexplorers).

Dash needs to be as easy to use as any other internet service both in terms of making the frontend super easy to use, usable on any device, and only present concepts users can already understand without needing to learn something new - becoming the "Apple of crypto" in this regard.

This is the vision we need to stick too because it's well thought out and builds long term value - not trying to hop on some latest crypto craze or trying to market to 'investors' which are all short-term / low value kinda mindset - we want to take Dash mainstream and it needs to be usable to do that and once it is our leading tech will shine....Platform is really the culmination of lot of work towards that, it just enables super simple frontends users can intuit and signup to & use without friction. The hard part was doing that in a trustless, decentralized and extensible way but a lot of smart devs have solved that now plus whole new group of new devs joining the community who want to build usecases on top, very exciting.

Incubator is just one vehicle to help with this process - anyone can create an org for these same goals thanks to the governance system, and its the devs behind it bringing the value. Happy to be a part of this though.

2 points,3 years ago
Cryptographically verify the Proposal Description with the sig submitted within the proposal object:

(Instructions: Deserialize the txtsig qstring param in the GObject's URL field and use as the sig to verify the raw text against the receive address via DashCore)
0 points,3 years ago

Is there any accounting (or Dash watch) report for previous incubator proposals? For example how much reward was assigned to projects vs. how much budget the proposal received?
3 points,3 years ago
Everything in the Incubator is open-source, including the accounting. Read section #5 above.
1 point,3 years ago
Perfect. Thanks!
2 points,3 years ago
"For example how much reward was assigned to projects vs. how much budget the proposal received?"

To answer this specifically, this amount is equivalent to the balance of the proposal wallet, because all funds in the Incubator are received and paid from a single address:

So you can see as of today the total received (from Proposals aka the 'mined' label):

Received: 2,142.6

Balance: 415.23006266

Total spent therefore: 1727.36993734

This total can be validated by tallying the rewards listed on the Awarded Claims Sheet (both user and admin columns) minus the fees on the related transactions:

So all funds from proposals go into a single address, and the only payments out of that address are for Tasks listed on the Trello board that each track the user claiming the task, the admin who approved the claim, the link to the work done MIT licensed source code, plus the history and discussion around tasks that make up projects are all included on the Trello cards involved.

Therefore it's pretty easy for anyone to audit Incubator accounts down to user/task level just by checking the spreadsheet, trello board and the Dash blockchain.

All of this is explained in the rules which are the terms everyone including the PO agree to adhere to: