Proposal “dash-incubator-2022-q4“ (Completed)Back

Title:Dash Incubator 2022 Q4
Monthly amount: 900 DASH (26097 USD)
Completed payments: 3 totaling in 2700 DASH (0 month remaining)
Payment start/end: 2022-10-11 / 2023-01-09 (added on 2022-10-10)
Votes: 815 Yes / 27 No / 48 Abstain

Proposal description

Dash Incubator 2022 Q4

3-month funding proposal to the Dash Network.

0 Summary

This proposal continues Dash Incubator's ongoing quarterly report and request.  We are requesting 900 DASH/month this quarter.  See section 3 for budgeting details.

Our previous 2022 Q3 proposal gave some background and goals related to ongoing internal restructuring efforts.  This was a big challenge this quarter but we are happy to report that it's done.  We look forward to improved development productivity with these changes now in place.

1 Incubator Updates

Figure 1a below shows Incubator's high-level funding rates.  The blue series is our superblock requests, all of which have been funded so far.  The red series shows rewards paid to incubator contributors, averaged into monthly rates for each quarter.
Figure 1a - Reward and request rates over time

This quarter we adopted v3 of our rules.  This includes the restructuring referenced above.  I expect these changes to increase the value Incubator delivers to Dash over time.  The main change is the introduction of a "strategist" role that increases personal responsibility within the Incubator.  The "proposal owner" role has been retired.  Responsibilities associated with that role are now covered by strategists individually, a "strategic committee" composed of all strategists, and a "lead strategist".

Three admins have taken on the strategist responsibility:

  • Rion Gull (@riongull) - lead strategist
  • Ash Francis (@ashfrancis) - strategist
  • Tim Munsell (@spectaprod) - strategist

Figure 1b below shows a breakdown of rewards approved under each strategist.  The "other" category is for awards that were approved by admins other than the current strategists.  About half of Q3 operated under our old v2 rules so Q3 includes the "other" category.  Starting this quarter (Q4) there will be no "other" category, as current strategists will take responsibility for all Incubator spending.
Figure 1b - Rewards approved by strategist over time

2 Project Updates and Outlook

The incubator distributed 2,156 DASH in rewards to 29 different projects in Q3.  Figures 2a and 2b below show the breakdown of all rewarded projects.  Note that the proposal submission fee is included in order to fully account for all Dash spent.
Figure 2a - Reward allocation by project - 2022 Q3
Figure 2b - Reward list by project - 2022 Q3

Each project is owned by a strategist, as shown in the figures below.
Figure 2c - Reward allocation by strategist - 2022 Q3
Figure 2d - Reward list by strategist - 2022 Q3

A brief update and outlook on awarded projects is given in the following subsections.  This text is taken largely from internal proposals now written quarterly by all Incubator strategists to show a sample of what we're working on.  I expect these subsections to include more detail in upcoming proposals, now that strategists are personally responsible for reporting on progress each quarter. 

2.1 Rion Gull

In Q3 I approved 470.6 DASH in awards (see Figure 2d above).  

Crowdnode Tools and Payment Tools are making good progress. We have video playlists showing their development, as well as a demo of the Crowdnode CLI (which, under the hood, uses the JavaScript SDK we built as well).  We've gone a lot further on the tooling since that video, but that's the latest demo.

The "Strategy Oversight" (name subject to change) replaces the old "Proposal Owner" bounty.  This quarter both bounties exist, but next quarter will only have strategist oversight.

The TLS project has been handed back to DCG, who requested to finish it themselves.  That project is complete as far as Incubator is concerned.

Incubator restructuring and its associated rule change is complete for now.  

Doeke produced a nice Dash architecture video that animates the infographic developed earlier.

The distributed thumbnail image service is used in DashPay.  This is mostly complete but we need to maintain and retest it as new versions of platform come out.

After all the requests for Electrum from the community I decided to get a project up for that in the Incubator.  We got a basic specification done for a first iteration of supporting that and we have a great developer in mind for it, but we still need to confirm that.

The Summoners game is a project that Ash proposed, and per our rules a strategist that proposes a new concept needs to have another strategist accept it into Incubator. I did that, but transferred it immediately to Ash.

In this quarter I plan to use Incubator funds for the following:
  • Delegate budgets to other strategists.
  • Continue to fund the Crowdnode and payment tooling projects.
  • Finish the thumbnail image project.
  • Pick up the GitHub migration project again, either Incubator-wide, or just for my own projects.
  • Refine our Accounting sheet to better incorporate and track individual strategist budgets/reserves.
  • Continue cleaning up our Trello board.
  • Possibly make a rule change to further simplify our rules and remove having a strict Trello dependency.
  • Propose new concepts to bring more developers into the Incubator.
I'm very excited about that last item, but haven't yet had time to make the concepts yet.  Overall I'm really looking forward to Q4.  I think it's going to be our best quarter yet.

2.2 Ash Francis

In Q3 Ash funded 836.6 DASH, mostly for the following:
  • Jembe Dapp - A decentralized twitter analog built on Dash Platform. There was an outstanding amount of Design work that has now been finalized.  This project is paused pending a more stable platform environment.
  • Rust Dash RPC Client - Porting a Go based RPC client for L1 to Rust. This work is on-going.

Other projects Ash worked on in Q3 include the following bounties:
  • THORChain - This work is completed from a development side outside of maintenance.
  • Governance Portal - Work hasn't yet resumed on this project
  • THORChain Lite Swapping Interface - This work has been postponed until after the Summoners Game

During the upcoming quarter Ash plans to focus on the RUST RPC Client, Governance Portal, THORChain PR maintenance and the following bounties:
  • DashPay Extension - An extension that acts as the gateway to DAPP usage and includes chat and other novel features.
  • Summoners Dash Platform Game - A turn based strategy game that allows bets by players on outcome with data stored on platform and use of L1 for transactions.
  • A DCG Originated Dash Extension (no project card yet) - Taking an extension for L1 originally created by DCG and finishing off various features to make it production ready.

2.3 Tim Munsell

In Q3 Tim funded 184.8 DASH, mostly for the following:
  • Dash Ecosystem Infographic - This is a graphical representation of the entire Dash ecosystem for quick reference. Link to the current state is in below.
  • Interactive Dash Ecosystem Webpage - This is closely related to the infographic (above). It is the "presentation layer" presenting the infographic for easy display and navigation in a web browser across multiple languages.
  • Automations for platform-test-suite - This project is complete.  It automated manual operations required to work with the platform test suite. 
  • Read Investments Data from Blockchain - This will create a public facing place users can quickly search and reference the history of proposals to MNOs. This will include light data manipulation capabilities and include csv download of project and funding data for further local analysis.
  • Dashmate Bug Fixes, Improvements & Innovations - This is an ongoing bounty to support ongoing development, improvements, fixes, etc. for dashmate.
During the upcoming quarter Tim plans to focus on the above Bounties and additionally (depending on the status of Platform):
3 Schedule and Budgeting

This proposal continues our typical 3-month funding proposal cadence.  

Figure 3a shows the Incubator’s historical and current proposal submissions.  We are requesting 900 DASH/month for 3 months, same as Q3.
Figure 3a - Incubator budget requests

Our recent v3 rule update (restructuring) changed the way we budget and approve spending in the Incubator.  Instead of all admins having unlimited access to spend any amount of Incubator funds, each strategist now submits an internal proposal requesting a budget to work with.  Instead of one large reserve, unused funds accumulate into each strategist's reserve.  This helps train several strategists in budget management, value creation, project management, stakeholder communication, and personal accountability in general, which was formerly held by only one person (the former proposal owner, now lead strategist).

Figure 3b below breaks down this budget planning for the following quarter (3 months shown in the table).  I'm including this table and a detailed explanation of it to help everyone understand our new budgeting and award system.  This table can always be accessed in our Accounting spreadsheet (it may be omitted from future proposals for brevity).
Figure 3b - Strategist reserve planning

Some notes from the figure:

  • Columns A and B indicate the source and destination of external and internal budget requests.
  • Column E shows the current reserves in each account. along with the current (as of this writing) total of 3,188 DASH in cell E3.
  • Column F shows the Incubator request of 900 DASH/month along with each strategist's internal quarterly budget request.
  • Column G shows proposal delegations (i.e. 1,000 DASH from the Incubator general to riongull, 600 DASH from riongull to other strategists).
  • Column H shows each strategist's expected output (rewards paid to Incubator contributors).
  • Column I shows delegation/oversight commissions (10%, and currently applicable only to the lead strategist, but potential for other strategists in the future).
  • Column J shows strategist admin commissions (20%, applicable to all strategists and shared with admins if used for certain projects).
  • Column K is the sum of I and J.
  • Column L is the surplus or deficit of each account/fund, based on requests, delegations, and outputs.
  • Column M is the sum of E and L, representing the projected end-of-month balance.
  • Column N is the projected buffer for each account/fund (including overall total in rows 3, 13, and 23).

According to the above assumptions and calculations, by the end of the quarter we expect to have a 2.7 month buffer overall ( and less than 2 month buffers in each strategist reserve).  We would like to raise that to 6 months over time.

We refrained from requesting more than 900 DASH/month this quarter in order to give DCG more room to request additional funds, as their operations are more critical than ours, especially until evolution/platform is released.  However, next quarter we may request up to 1,000 DASH/month to build our reserves.  Incubator will never request more than 1,000 DASH/month under my leadership.  Ideally no organization would request more than that, as doing so poses centralization risks to the whole Dash project.

4 Terms and Closing

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.  Our rules are always subject to and defer to MNO voting. 

Thank you, masternode voters, for your support!  As always, I'm very excited about this quarter and what we will accomplish.



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Discussion: Should we fund this proposal?

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2 points,1 year ago
Dash See and Dash patreon (and other things) sound cool. How come there's no twitter activity since 2021 though?
2 points,1 year ago
I was the admin on that bounty and can answer this one, I paused the Twitter bounty for both financial and administrative reasons to focus more on product development.
2 points,1 year ago
What is the metric used when deciding to fund a particular operation within the incubator? How do you determine what is in scope?
2 points,1 year ago
The most official guide is section 1 (1.1 - 1.7) of our rules document here:
Each strategist uses their own discretion within those guidelines.

Personally, I tend to limit funding to projects that use or improve Dash technologies (Dash payments, Dash platform for data storage, auth, etc). Dash Incubator used to be "Dash Platform Incubator", so it was focused initially on creating dapps, but we've since expanded scope to serve Dash in general, not just dash platform apps and tooling.

Does that answer your question?
0 points,1 year ago
How do I downvote all work to be done for Dash Platform?
2 points,1 year ago
Commenting here is the best way to signal to strategists what projects you like and don't like. We take that feedback into consideration. I've seen your comments on the forum about your concerns with Dash Platform if end up implementing some kind of high performance masternodes for platform. Is that the concern, or is there something else that I can help address?
1 point,1 year ago
HPMNs is my current concern but tbh it feels more like an accumulation of disappointment with DCG. I feel like we've been strung along for too long, where resources should of focused more on Dash the Payment Network.

Platform having no robust Proof of Service and the introduction of HPMNs tells me corners were cut to get MVP out. Which is fine except, if we're happy to be cutting corners now, why couldn't we cut corners earlier and implemented a semi-decentralized username system, or pay-to-phone-number system? - and then migrate to Platform later.

Sorry, wasn't intending to sound off-topic. Thinking about it, I suppose if Incubator can eventually supplant DCG and keep to Dash the Payment Network, then yes, I would happily give my votes.
2 points,1 year ago
Fully agree that we should never lose focus of Dash as money (payment network, as you say). That's my top focus - always has been, always will be.

I see Dash Platform as a means to an end - it's a user acquisition tool to help onboard normies (people not into crypto yet) and get them familiar and comfortable with using Dash as money.
1 point,1 year ago
the only way dash platform will accomplish that task is when we can build defi on it that reduces price fluctuations. Otherwise normies will never want to do business in Dash.
2 points,1 year ago
Can you explain to me what project out there has a robust Proof of Service? Expecting DCG to do more than any other project with much less devs is a recipe for disappointment.

We are only cutting the corners that should be cut. Which is how you release software. Security is paramount though, we even added sum trees to make sure inflationary bugs can't happen. Something that NO OTHER PROJECT HAS.

I think there is sometimes a disconnect. I would say our team is doing better with the resources we have than any other one in the industry. But 80% of our devs have been around for only a year and were hired around the time I became CTO. I'm not a magician and things take time to be built.
1 point,1 year ago
Well I'm hoping the payment side of things is considered a robust Proof of Service? But yes, as previously pointed out on the forum, the Nym project uses a simplified version of VerLoc: Verifiable Localization in Decentralized Systems
2 points,1 year ago
Thank you, we will review this paper and get back to you.