Proposal “dash-incubator-rion-2024-q1“ (Completed)Back

Title:Dash Incubator Rion 2024 Q1
Monthly amount: 900 DASH (25165 USD)
Completed payments: 3 totaling in 2700 DASH (0 month remaining)
Payment start/end: 2024-01-10 / 2024-04-08 (added on 2024-01-09)
Votes: 535 Yes / 74 No / 31 Abstain

Proposal description

Dash Incubator Rion 2024 Q1

Proposal to fund the Dash Incubator reserve administered by Rion Gull, Dash Incubator Lead Strategist.


Dash Incubator is submitting two proposals this quarter:

  1.  This proposal requesting 900 DASH/month (up 400 DASH/month from my 2023 Q4 proposal)
  2.  Mikhail's proposal requesting 600 DASH/month (up 400 DASH/month from Mikhail's 2023 Q4 proposal)
This quarter our funding requests are just enough to pull us out of deficit and bring some contributors back to a sustainable level.  It does not significantly grow our reserves ("war chest").  See Section 3 for details.

Incubator proposals are split up to allow more granular voting.  Each strategist (or prospective strategist) submits their own proposals for funding.  All payout addresses, and hence Incubator funds are controlled by the lead strategist, tasked to ensure all transactions follow Incubator rules.

1 Incubator Updates

Figure 1 below shows Incubator's high-level funding rates.  The blue series shows funds received from Incubator treasury proposals, such as this proposal and those of other Incubator strategists.  The red series shows rewards paid to incubator contributors from all strategist budgets, averaged into monthly rates for each quarter.
Figure 1 - Incubator funds received and paid

As seen from the chart, we lowered our requests for each of the last two quarters, despite the decrease in Dash's purchasing power during that time.  We've been in deficit for the past three quarters (red bars are higher than blue bars), drawing our reserves down to roughly a 1-month buffer at present.  See Section 3 for details.

Incubator wide, during 2023 Q4 we distributed 2,831 DASH in rewards to 15 different projects. This is down by 20 DASH and 11 projects from 2023 Q3 as we've tried to focus on the most important projects during that relatively low budget period.

Our Incubator WEEKLY video series continues to air every Monday.  The show highlights projects we're working on in the Incubator, and as of this writing includes 47 shows.  Our 2023 Q4 Quarterly Report aired Jan 8th and is a good supplement to this proposal's text. 

Mikhail and I summarized our Q4 work as well as our plans for the upcoming Q1, should our respective proposals get funded.

(My personal report begins just before the 38 minute mark)

2 Project Updates and Outlook

Now that we are submitting separate proposals for each strategist, this section will highlight only my own (Rion's) projects.
Figure 2 - Reward allocation

A brief update on each project I funded this quarter:

  • Modern Vanilla Web Wallet - This was work done by jojobyte through the quarter.  It's a web/mobile/desktop-compatible wallet UI which uses our payment tool libraries under the hood.  We plan for this wallet to integrate all of the features the Dash community wants, for example CrowdNode deposits and withdrawals, Maya savers & liquidity provision, CoinJoin mixing in web/mobile, gift card integrations, as well as a simplified contact list feature that we've been working on which can be updated to support DashPay usernames once platform is complete.  Once we've reached MVP it should be relatively easy to add requested features, but getting to MVP has been a long road since we built all the dependencies in-house for security and overall UX/DX (user/developer experience) reasons.  We will demo the wallet showing the main base features including contacts later this month.
  • Dash Platform Contributions - This is a project worked on by Mikhail (pshenmic), but was administered and funded by me.  Mikhail's extensive work on Dashmate, Dash Platform, Electrum, and several other projects prompted me to invite him to become an Incubator strategist.  His proposal passed last quarter, so I've handed several projects that he was working on over to him.  However, I will keep this one because I plan to work on it this quarter, and that way he can direct his smaller budget to other projects while I continue to fund this.
  • Incubator Updates - This is our ongoing weekly show that features updates from Incubator projects, as well as other important Dash-related topics.  This quarter we covered testing Dash Platform, our web wallet, Bitcoin backports, DCG's Trust proposal, the Dash Growth proposal, Maya plans, hosting frontends (websites) on Dash masternodes, the DIF funding proposal, and a new concept for merchant loyalty credits build on Dash Platform.  These are all available in the Incubator Weekly YouTube playlist.
  • Incubator Social - This was partial funding to support the Utah Dash Retreat beyond what donations could cover.
  • Strategy - This is for overall strategic research and planning.  It covers everything not explicitly itemized otherwise, such as recruiting, task documentation, payment transactions, communications with devs and community, engagement and research of the wider crypto space and the macro-economic environment that makes a market for crypto in the first place.
  • Electrum Dash - This project is our effort to resurrect the Electrum project that was abandoned last year.  I started the project and recruited the devs to work on it.  The first developer to help was Bertrand, and he's still doing some work on it, but the main developer is now Mikhail, who I've handed the project off to.  This is on my list because the handoff occurred mid quarter. It will be on Mikhail's list next quarter.
  • Incubator Infrastructure - This is for general Incubator-wide infrastructure reimbursement.  This quarter it primarily compensated several years of back pay for services Andy had operated, which are now operated by AJ. 
  • Dash Economics Research and Development - This is a project spearheaded by AgnewPickens and worked on mostly by me up until this point. Initial work has focussed around data compilation (bountied) and economic research (a lot of work, but not bountied).  Several Incubator Weekly shows covered this topic.  This project is paused now. 
  • Anypay Assistance - This is a project that I started, but handed off mid quarter to Mikhail, since he was the primary developer.  Anypay is an Important tool for crypto/Dash acceptance, and they have needed help with bug fixes and new features for their product.  Without Anypay many merchants would no longer be able to accept Dash.  I consider them an important strategic partner.
  • Merchant Loyalty Credit System - This is an interesting new concept that we covered on Incubator Weekly recently.  It would allow merchants to issue credits (i.e. digital gift cards) to customers in exchange for money (traditional or crypto/Dash).  This project would be a very good candidate for a real-world app that leverages Dash Platform.  

In the coming quarter I plan to focus on the following:

  • Dash Platform testing (checking documentation, developer experience, performance, etc). 
  • Continue work on our web Wallet SDK and UI.
  • Start a new project to add Dash Platform support in our Incubator tool set. 
  • Resume work on our JavaScript CoinJoin SDK to bring mixing to the browser/NodeJS.
  • Start the new 88i project, discussed on Incubator Weekly on Jan 15. 
  • Host Dash- and Maya-related meetups in my role as the new Blockchain Utah meetup organizer.
  • Additional projects as time and budget allows.

I discussed these items at greater length in our recent quarterly report starting at 49:26 (link is timestamped to start there).

3 Schedule and Budgeting

This proposal continues our typical 3-month funding proposal cadence, now with separate proposals for each Incubator strategist seeking funding.

This quarter our funding request is 900 DASH/month, which is just enough to pull us out of deficit.  It does not build reserves in any significant way.  

Figure 3 below breaks down this budget planning for the following quarter (3 months shown in the table).  

According to the assumptions and calculations, by the end of the quarter the following buffers are expected:

  • 1.2 month buffer for my strategic reserve (up from 1.1 months at present)
  • 1.9 month buffer for the Incubator overall (up from 1.6 months at present)
Figure 3 - Strategist reserve planning (last updated Jan 10th) 

This table can always be accessed in our Accounting spreadsheet.

Detailed explanation of each value:

  • Column A indicates the strategist and month for the upcoming three months of budget requests.
  • Column B shows the current reserves in each strategist reserve, along with the total as of the screenshot in cell B5.
  • Column C shows each strategist's budget request, along with the total in rows 5, 11, and 17.
  • Column D shows each strategist's projected output (rewards paid to Incubator contributors).
  • Column E shows the maximum base commission that strategists can claim (10% of the MNO-approved budget).
  • Column F shows the maximum output commission that strategists can claim (20% of strategist-approved tasks, shared with admins).
  • Column G is the sum of E and F, representing the total commission strategists can earn (up to 25% of MNO-approved budget over time).
  • Column H is column C less columns D and G, representing the surplus or deficit of each reserve.
  • Column I is the sum of B and H, representing the projected end-of-month balance.
  • Column J is the projected buffer for each reserve assuming subsequent funding continues.
  • Column K is the projected buffer for each reserve assuming no continued funding.

I'd like to raise my buffer next quarter if Dash appreciates in purchasing power.

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.



Show full description ...

Discussion: Should we fund this proposal?

Submit comment
2 points,6 months ago
Ok ladies and gentlemen, with two hours left till the voting deadline, Rion's prop is a skimpy 10 votes shy of paydirt. The incubator system adds a healthy element of decentralization and Rion has a long history of being above board and very transparent about how the funds are used.

This prop still fits and won't bump anybody out. I don't see a down side. Get after it, we got stuff to do.

OG Solarguy
1 point,6 months ago
According Dash Core wallet : +7 votes --> passing
According DMT : +25 votes --> passing
According Dash Central : needs -28 votes
1 point,6 months ago
Seems to me both the Dash Core wallet and Dash Central are lagging behind with regards to fetching the vote results.
1 point,6 months ago
I appreciate that comment, Solarguy. We indeed do have a lot of stuff to do. Hoping to keep going on it.
2 points,6 months ago
You have my support.
2 points,6 months ago
Thanks for the continued support.
2 points,6 months ago
I think Dash Incubator is an independent project that can have very interesting developments. For me it's YES.
2 points,6 months ago
Thank you for the support! I think it’s important to have at least one organization outside of DCG where devs can work on Core, Platform, or other independent projects as part of a stable team.
-1 point,6 months ago
Rion's role these days appears to be around creating hype and the social aspect, eg the weekly podcast. I don't see much development going on under him, considering he is asking for 900 Dash a month, this is a very hefty proposal and will likely attract some no votes from me.
1 point,6 months ago
You didn't look very hard. Rion does a lot. Get the lead out and push the prop over the line.

Thanks, solarguy
1 point,6 months ago
I have many roles, including reporting on new and existing projects. The Incubator Weekly show is important, but not our main source of spending.

There wasn't as much development last quarter, because we trimmed our request to help accommodate DCG's dire funding situation. We're bringing it back to a level that we feel we can be productive at now that wasted mining resources have been redirected to development - a critical improvement which I helped accomplish.
1 point,6 months ago
Where is the code of Modern Vanilla Web Wallet ?

Is it open source or not?
2 points,6 months ago

All code written by Incubator is open source.
-1 point,6 months ago
There wasn't as much development last quarter, indeed.
2 points,6 months ago
There was a fair amount on this wallet though, you just need to look at the non-master branches.
2 points,6 months ago
As always, a very thorough proposal description. Thanks for that.

I have a couple questions related to this statement: " All payout addresses, and hence Incubator funds are controlled by the lead strategist, tasked to ensure all transactions follow Incubator rules."

What if the lead strategists' proposal doesn't net enough votes to pass (whether now or in a future iteration)?

Why not have each funded strategist receive their funds directly, thus putting the responsibility on them to be accountable to MNOs and freeing up some of the lead strategists' bandwidth?
1 point,6 months ago
I can say for myself, that it is easier for me to delegate this to Lead Strategist, so I can focus on other important things. Beside doing payout transactions, LS also ensures that all claims follows the rules and have all tasks / claims correctly registered in the Accounting spreadsheet. Double checking is always good.
I don't really find the necessity of having an access to the funding address inside the Incubator
2 points,6 months ago
It's more or less a holdover from how we used to do things. I'm not against having strategists use their own payout addresses, but I don't know if anyone wants that.

It takes the burden of payments off of other strategists, and let's MNOs not have to account for trusting strategists to handle funds and payments securely, among other benefits.

There are pros and cons of either approach. If people had a strong opinion to have each strategist hold funds and do their own payments then we could talk about it internally to make and propose a rule change.
2 points,6 months ago
Easy yes here.
0 points,6 months ago
Not so easy for me, he asks for much, but delivers less.
2 points,6 months ago
Thanks for your support, pmbf. Much appreciated.
1 point,6 months ago
1. What are the top 5 projects to come out of incubator under Rion's supervision?
2. How much was spent on each of those projects and who completed them?
3. How much total has been paid out to incubator since Rion took over? Funds sent to his proposal address for distribution.
4. How much Dash has Rion personally received each month for the last 3 months of work.
5. What are the top 3 biggest accomplishments from that work?
6. How much Dash does Rion's part of incubator have in reserves right now and what are the plans for those reserves?
1 point,6 months ago
1. Incubator's 5 highest rewarded/paid projects are [Payment Tools, Web Wallet, Maya Integration, Crowdnode Tooling, Incubator Weekly]. These have all been funded/completed during my tenure as Lead Strategist. Maya was managed by Ash, who I recruited into the Incubator.

2. In total the above 5 projects have cost the network just under 7,396 DASH. For a rough comparison, DCG received 92% (5112+1694) of that amount just last month. The primary contributors (by rewards paid) for these are [coolaj86, jojobyte, ashfrancis+alexdcox, coolaj86+jojobyte, amandab_johnson], respectively.

3. I took over as Lead Strategist in 2021 Q3. Incubator as a whole has received 22,200 DASH during that time span. We changed our rules in 2023 Q3 to have each strategist submit their own proposals. From then until now I have received 800*3+500*3 = 3,900 DASH for reward distribution (not paid to me personally).

4. Over the past 3 months I have personally received an average of just under 181 DASH/month.

5. My role in the Incubator is not necessary to accomplish specific tasks. I wear many hats here, including, but certainly not limited to keeping contributors happy and productive (commensurate with their rewards) and keeping MNOs happy. If you or anyone else reading this are not happy, I'd like to know specifically why so I can try to address that directly, otherwise I'm just guessing.

6. Please see sections 2 and 3 of the proposal body (you asked before it was there).
0 points,6 months ago
Boy, to this date you yourself refused to confess what you´ve done to Flare to make him leave!
So you are not the only one waiting for long overdue answers and perhaps an apology if you are guilty of foul play.
1 point,6 months ago
Who made this accusation? How were you made aware of this allegation? It sounds kooky without any bit of details.
-1 point,6 months ago
youtube 258 subscribers and 129 views
You greatly overestimate your work!
Your work does not bring profit to existing investors and does not attract new investors.
The price of DASH is not rising, investors are suffering, but you don't want to feel destitute.
You regularly demand a lot of money.
Not fair!
2 points,6 months ago
I'm sorry you feel that way, and I'm sure your votes will reflect that, though I hope you reconsider. I hope Amanda's reply was helpful (thanks Amanda). I don't have much to add.
3 points,6 months ago
Hi, User777. Please first let me say that if the Incubator were billing itself as a kind of marketing arm of Dash, you would be quite right: it would be failing *miserably.*

However, there are no marketing projects within the Incubator. The YouTube channel you reference has a dual purpose: first to keep all Dash voters/investors informed of how precisely their funds are being used, and second to keep both strategists and contributors on their toes, knowing that they're expected to give regular public reports of their work.

Whether or not this weekly reporting effort is worth what is spent on it is another question.

But I just want to be sure you're not using the metrics for oranges when you are in fact judging an apple. If you are concerned about YouTube views, the Dash Growth proposal seems a far more appropriate place to focus your efforts. Thank you for your attention.