Proposal “dash-incubator-2021-q2“ (Completed)Back

Title:Dash Incubator 2021-Q2
Monthly amount: 494 DASH (12002 USD)
Completed payments: 3 totaling in 1482 DASH (0 month remaining)
Payment start/end: 2021-05-14 / 2021-08-11 (added on 2021-05-16)
Votes: 1009 Yes / 30 No / 1 Abstain

Proposal description

Dash Proposal: Dash Incubator 2021-Q2

1 Summary

Since the last proposal (Q1) the Incubator has scaled considerably, with a total of 104 members signed up to our Trello, 64 of which have attained Contributor status, meaning they have earned rewards from completed Bounty Tasks. In the past month, 37 of those users earned just under 400 Dash, which is our current run-rate (full details available in our open-source accounting). 

We have also increased our Admin group to 11 users, with some highly active new Admins helping our scaling a lot.  All in all, I feel that the Incubator is growing a diverse community of people who are bringing a lot of dedication, creativity and value, and I'd like to thank everyone involved and the Dash Network for enabling that. 

This quarter we are introducing a Roadmap for the Incubator that will be included as a section in all proposals going forward (first one is below) to enable better targeting of funding in terms of decisions as to which community Concepts get funded, and allocation of funding between the Bounties created from them within our available resources.  This has become more important as the Incubator has scaled in the last quarter and we are pivoting somewhat to support DCG to expedite work on which the Incubator’s projects depend, which is covered more in the Bounty Updates and Roadmap sections below.

We have introduced new incentive structures for Admins (Commission Bonuses) enabling the most active Admins to earn more rewards, as well as a new Bounty Type called Programmes, to enable the Incubator to take on larger projects that involve multiple bounties to be coordinated through to production.

We are also introducing a standardized format to our quarterly proposals to enable better decentralized governance in terms of allowing Proposal content including our new Roadmap to be sourced using Bounties that can be approved by a Quorum of Admins to improve decentralization and to enable our proposals to be submitted earlier in the cycle.

In terms of Governance, this quarter our Admins approved a major V2 update to our Rules, to introduce new features / business processes that we are building into our forthcoming Incubator App that migrates us away from Trello and XLS and is currently entering beta.  The new rules also pave the way for more decentralization in Incubator governance, whilst retaining our ability to retain a strong vision, which will be implemented in the coming quarter.

The V2 Rules also introduce the concept of the Incubator’s Network Contract, being the transparent implementation of our Rules offered in our Proposals that the network may agree to fund, which we we believe is the optimal way to minimize trust in any DFO and maximize performance, before a fully decentralized implementation is possible as and when that becomes available in the Dash protocol.

In terms of the REN-Dash proposal that was raised from an Incubator Bounty last quarter, the Incubator’s Dash budget was received from Dash Next, and they are currently waiting on REN before we can start our implementation.

Finally, I was recently elected as a Dash Trust Protector, and in the quarterly call last week I was able to convey a lot of feedback from the dev community to the DCG board, and we solidified our joint commitment to synergy in terms of Incubator’s focus on dApp development whilst also allocating significant resources to support DCG’s work leading up to Mainnet launch for Dash Platform at the direction of several key DCG dev’s who are also Admins at the Incubator, and while DCG has been resource constrained in that area.  I’d like to thank DCG’s CEO/CTO Ryan and Bob for their partnership and shared vision there.

2 Bounty Updates

Here we review the top priority bounties in the Incubator. The full set of Bounties can be viewed on our Trello board.

2.1 DashPay Programme

DashPay Programme is the set of Project Bounties to provide a port of DCG’s DashPay Wallet and client SDKs to JavaScript to enable the usage of community created dApps on Dash Platform within a browser and an easy-onboarding route for new users to signup and use dApps via an integrated invite and earnings system.  The work is broad and ranges from frontend UX through to work on Platform wallet and client libraries and porting multiple DIPs to JavaScript for use by dApp developers.

As all community dApps are currently created in JavaScript (to target the Web 3 market), our DashPay Wallet port is a JS based version that will work in a similar way to MetaMask, allowing both signup to Dash from an onboarding site, usage of DashPay Wallet itself within the browser extension, and then a Connection function to the extension from Web 3 dApps for SSO and signing functions, similar to the typical DeFi browser experience, but using Dash dApps that provide a much wider range of functions. The UX also includes routes to invite and earn Dash required for the account signup and basic usage.

Recently some JS support on Platform has been limited by Platform upgrades that introduced  bugs, presenting some challenges for dApp development by community devs.  Therefore the DashPay Programme is including work across all JS areas and close collaboration with DCG devs to expedite full support.  

As such DashPay Programme is now a key dependency of our dApp-development focused mission at the Incubator.

2.2 Supporting DCG Development

We are increasingly involved in supporting DCG’s development, with a focus on expediting dependencies related to dApp development, but also other areas like Core development, research and recruitment, at the request of DCG devs who are also Admins at the Incubator.  

We are funding various projects ranging from incentivizing Core contributions, helping with developer recruitment, conducting research on improving existing Platform features such as indexing, research into new features such as our own Smart Contract implementation, Platform features such as HTTPS, IPFS integration and additional DashPay features, bug bounties for both Core and Platform code, an official Block Explorer for DCG to host, implementing new DIPs, various Layer 1 features such as MN multi-party payouts and Trustless Masternode Shares.  

Whilst this kind of support work or the DashPay programme itself were not initially envisaged for the Incubator, we believe that it’s in-scope to our strategy right now because it's mostly unblocking or expediting dependencies that community dApp devs need, and/or sharing resources we have available to boost Dash development in general as we head towards Mainnet release, at which point we can refocus on our core mission of incubating killer dApps built on Dash.

2.3 Core dApp Programme

The Core dApp Programme is the Programme Bounty that manages the subset of dApp development bounties that will be featured on the onboarding site for the DashPay browser extension.

Core dApps will be presented as a curated list within a ‘dApp Store’ style page that users can connect with, sign-in to and use via the wallet created by the Incubator.

Currently the bounty is essentially a placeholder, until DashPay Extension and the supporting DCG work is at the stage where we can connect our dApps, at which point the existing dApp bounties many of which have already been developed will be added into the Programme.

3. Roadmap

Here we give our current priorities to the areas of funding in Incubator, to enable better management and allocation of resources between Bounties.  These priorities will be updated at least in each Quarterly proposal, and are referenced in our Rules.

  1. Top Priority
    1. Development of a port of DashPay Wallet to JS in a Browser extension and dependent resources that includes built in dApp connectivity, to enable easy onboarding and use of community created dApps.
    2. Supporting existing DCG Platform protocol and JS client-side development, to ensure community dApps are supported on the latest Testnet versions
    3. Development of the curated list of community dApps (“Core dApps”) for use with DashPay Wallet, to provide the best and most compelling usecases of Platform to DashPay users
    4. Meta bounties critical to the basic operation of the Incubator itself
  2. High Priority
    1. Supporting future Platform feature research and development, outlined as priorities between DCG and Incubator devs, primarily being Smart Contract implementation, followed by ACL, Indices and Advanced Queries.
    2. Developing the new Incubator App to enable migration away from Trello / XLS / Static frontend to our own integrated open-source open-data web-app
  3. Medium Priority
    1. Existing Bounties focused on ongoing dApp development non-related to the above
    2. All promotion and non-critical Meta Bounties
    3. Bounties supporting Dash Core development upon which Platform is non-dependant
  4. Low Priority
    1. Any bounties not focused on or a dependency of the above 

4. Ask

This quarter the monthly funding ask has been increased to 494 Dash or 10% of the current total Governance budget.  This represents the lower-bound of the 10%-20% that we feel the Dash Network would benefit from allocating to community development-related projects mentioned in the previous proposal.  And whilst we would like to have Incubator alternatives sharing this budget, these have not emerged as of yet (although this will become easier with our forthcoming Incubator App that anyone can fork to setup an Incubator-style DFO). 

The new ask level, raised from 422 Dash in the previous quarter, represents around a 20% increase in scale, which would be less than the previous quarter, and we feel is achievable given this quarter's scaling performance and the increased capacity we’re targeting to expedite delivery of the new DashPay, DCG Support and Core dApp bounties.

5. Terms

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

Specific details of the Network Contract that this proposal forms a part of can be found in the rules here:

6. Resources

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


Andy Freer
Dash Developer

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Discussion: Should we fund this proposal?

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5 points,2 years ago
Hi All,

I'm transferring the PO role of Incubator to Rion Gull and going on a sabbatical and just going to explain why here.

As some of you might know, I have been contributing in Dash for a while and co-founded the Incubator as a means to both grow and kickstart a market for Platform and help DCG to explore, tune and mature the features our market actually wanted, as well as kickstarting a first wave of in-browser dApps to help Dash grow in the Web3 market.

We're having serious issues in the community right now because for a long time Platform hasn't been working for developers. Whilst DCG's Platform Team are aware and frustrated with the situation and reaching out in lot of ways to try to offload / help us solve, they are being told by their managers effectively that Platform's developers are not the priority, and the basic DashPay Wallet is, i.e. existing Dash mobile users can pay each other by name instead of an address, which was the basic feature Evan and I mapped out and designed the current logical Platform architecture for in 2017 already (it's the foundation not the endgame). And even if allowing devs to build on Platform was the priority, with just 3 people working on Platform (which is less than the mobile team that are just upgrading a legacy wallet) they don't have the bandwidth to deliver this, and it could still take years frankly.

I've complained a lot privately to DCG management for a while, saying look this is a missed opportunity and isn't good enough that only the basic features are being developed so slowly, and now they should be able to see the demand from the dev community Incubator has been growing. But it's always just excuses, that they didn't have resources (even though lot of Dash was spent from the treasury on many other things in recent years), hiring is difficult, or the programming language of choice or even some of the devs are the issue... never responsibility of the actual leadership, which in DCG means the CEO, who seems to have no problem raising $100k's of $ worth of Dash for hiring in biz dev, marketing, creating 'investment' funds whilst Platform team is left behind and even other top talent has left DCG.

And now we've had devs leaving Incubator recently because they can't build or use Platform, onboarding devs who spend 2 weeks trying to setup local solutions that don't work either, and recently one of our founders left after frustration that he couldn't even run the groundbreaking dApps he already created anymore, and with no sign of when those features would be available.

Amanda J contacted me for a call last month, to help on a new round of Platform videos, after I helped on the last ones. I just told her no I thought at this point we need to stop advertising these dApps, because DCG doesn't even have on their roadmap and they're likely years away, and there's many other teams in the space that could take these ideas and build and deliver them in a fraction of the time DCG can.

The general attitude from speaking with DCG people is either people who want to support the community but don't have the authority or control of resources to enable that, some people who offer help which is kinda inconsistent because it's out-of-band of their actual work, or others who are just indifferent as if it doesn't really matter what devs in our market want, what matters is the DCG strategy. These aren't normal conversations in this (or any software) industry because usually we're dealing with teams/entities that survive on revenue or some other measured performance... The issue is DCG is acting more like an academic institution totally disconnected from needing to perform, listen to or deliver to an actual market it seems like to me.

There has been some progress. DCG leadership has finally reacted to a lot of pressure (especially from myself privately this year and via TPs recently) to releases developer 'hiring freeze' and start looking for more devs (right before mainnet is supposed to be released...) although no one in Platform team has been hired yet (no doubt that team itself will be blamed and not the leadership who's responsibility hiring in fact is...). In Incubator as you can see from my proposal above (or looking at the work yourself) almost everything we are doing is trying to fill the gaps in what DCG isn't doing - caring about the market its product is aimed at and the users (right now, developers, who will create Dash-based apps for their users) who are using it.

I've put a lot of work in to try to kickstart a community on Platform and nearly 2 years since we started it's just not getting the support it needs and the dev market that earlier was exploding is now stalling, nearly all dApp work has stopped as each new Platform version is more and more broken (it is only being built to service DCG's own mobile wallet) and instead we're funding a myriad of projects trying to help DCG to build the Platform features their managers won't fund, even ****QA**** on Platform itself, which apparently isn't DCG's job. When you have this behemoth centralized org with the arrogance to just assume it can suck up nearly all the treasury funding, put that in a black box, use that on many things except the actual strategy that's delivering the market product (the Platform Team), and ignore the users in that market who we've already brought in and funded via Incubator that demonstrate how that is the most viable and highest potential market for us, i'm tired of working under these conditions, because I/we can do a lot better.

There needs to be dramatic change in Dash to turn things around because no software project can survive in the long-run without delivering what its market wants.

The truth is Core team (DashCore) and Mobile have always worked well, having the resources and moral support they need to do a great job of maintaining our core network nodes and mobile clients. But even though some of their innovations like LLMQ and Chainlocks are groundbreaking and essential for a scalable and performant Dash, and they are 'backend' features and obviously on their own won't / didn't deliver growth in our market which is driven by end-users - right now on the Platform team, providing the 'frontend' usecases to drive users (and their economic activity) into the other team's products. And the Platform team evidently just don't have the support needed to act anything like a viable high-cap crypto delivery team either morally, financially, or even control of their own strategy.

This needs to change.

Maybe the Platform team could be split out into its own entity with leadership that values both delivering that innovation, is capable of it, and capable of keeping and satisfying its market, which right now, DCG management structure clearly isn't.

Maybe our Network, which is an instance of our Dash protocol, should have a **direct** relationship with all our core developers who are the people who create that protocol, in terms of determining their own % ask of the superblock and being accountable back to the network, without middlemen deciding what % of the treasury they can access, what features they should be developing, and speaking on their behalf. Either way, we have top-talent such as Shumkov, Anton, Quantum, Pasta, UdjinM6, HashEngineering (among others) who are the backbone of our project, whether they know it / are willing to speak out, they need empowering and they need direct control of their asks/resources and they need to work together to deliver the full Platform that can help us grow and focus on what our end-users want and what features work and are in demand, which they can do by interacting more with our new dev community. And soon they will have the additional incentives top-talent should have in our space via the Protocol Dev Incentives fund which passed recently.

And it's a shame right now because technologically we are the coin with the highest potential to be *the* mainstream crypto, especially with the Evolution features that remove current barriers to adoption and creates the kind of new social/monetization/online-economy usecases that when coupled with the usability and cloud-based access could be the first crypto to deliver some kind of FANG scale digital-cash usecases and then deliver the levels of liquidity and stability to make competing with fiat on payments actually viable. Yet we are constantly failing to make sound business and commercial decisions on a strategic level and the people making the decisions keep repeating the same mistakes while ignoring the features we know the market actually wants.

We allow Evolution to be the constant side-show of DCG leadership as evidenced by the team of just 3 developing it which simply is ***not*** acceptable to have allowed to happen after all this time, at no point since the governance system launched could this not have been resourced better, whilst leadership focuses on so many payment usecases which have not delivered the growth - which as memory served were supposed to be deprioritized until Evolution was launched, to help those usecases, what's happened is the reverse, and there's zero responsibility or accountability and we've been losing opportunities, people and wasting funds constantly as a result.
3 points,2 years ago
...We have a governance system that provides so much potential and freedom to create and innovate, yet we have a single MNO now effectively controlling nearly all of it (80%+) who is focused almost entirely on attracting and pandering (and increasing the rewards of...) other MNOs and constructing corporate, legal and investment entities, instead of protocol upgrades that improve our software offering to end-users in a space where that's essential, giving end-users new features they want, which right now is enabling devs to build DeFi, Web3, staking, tokens, smart contracts, dApps - everything Evolution can and should be doing on mainnet right now if we had a structure that had the will to fund that appropriately and the industry expertise.

And all of this is on trust, we have **no** way to verify what is really happening with nearly all of our blockchain funds, what decisions are being made, what is happening behind this web of interrelated people, entities and money, and no choice but to fund it unless we want to sack our core developers. In a decentralized FOSS project, how did we allow this to happen?

At this point I'm spending more of my day frustrated and angry with DCG not delivering what I need than on Incubator management and I've been here before, and kinda burning out over it, and I know the solution.. These problems are structural and fundamental to Dash as a whole right now and they need to be recognized and solved not placated and excused. Plus, Incubator deserves more right now than I'm delivering. Incubator is a model that has one form of solutions baked in already and that's been working well and it's now spreading around the network which is great - blockchain funding should be transparent, decentralized, accountable, measurable and market focused to be effective. If that's development, funding should be controlled by developers with experience in their industry, and the results (despite the recent external setbacks) speak for themselves. In Incubator it needs new blood to solve the current external issues and tackle the DCG problem and I'm not the right person for that right now which has become obvious to me hence this move.

So I'm handing over the PO role (and therefore fund management) to Rion Gull as specified in the Rules and the Incubator PO Bounty. We worked well together to grow Incubator and he values decentralization, transparency and cares about growing and delivering what our market wants. And with the new Incubator App coming it will help Incubator and replicants/forks around the network to scale and I trust him to help that and to automate and decentralize things more via that app so we are less reliant on a single PO as I was already working on. I will take a sabbatical and see what happens, hopefully these problems will be fixed, Dash, and our market, needs it.

Andy Freer
2 points,2 years ago
hey @Rion - please can you confirm for receipt of Incubator funds for PO role transfer from me to you.
2 points,2 years ago
Confirmed. Here's the address that the incubator funds can be sent to. This will be the new address for accounting purposes until further notice:

2 points,2 years ago

^ I've sent all funds (1216.22268874 Dash) to your address above.

This includes 2x PDIF proposal reward, and the DashNEXT Ren integration funds (details in our open source accounts sheet).

There should be one more proposal payout to the old address, I will forward that to you when it arrives.

1 point,2 years ago

This is all very enlightening. I guess I just don't see how we can't sidestep Dash Core bureaucracy. I know there would still maybe be concerns about how Dash Core is using current funding. But I know as someone that sees the platform as the most important thing going forward. If there was a proposal that was 200dash monthly or something, that said for Platform Developers only. I would vote yes on it. Now the logistics of making sure that went to that is a little more in-depth I know. But I don't think anyone on the Core team would go against the community's wishes on how those funds are to be used.
0 points,2 years ago
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)