On February 14, 2022, the Polygon Ecosystem DAO (EcoDAO) will move into Season 1 and officially begin to express its potential with a newly formed team, which connects people with different backgrounds and skills. Before entering this next phase, it seems important to look back and review what has been achieved so far, during the EcoDAO’s first months of life, the so-called “Season 0”.
In the words of its founders, Polygon is an “innovation facility” for every project aiming to enter the blockchain space at scale.
Polygon is not only a Layer 2 solution, but a “solution suite” made up of different technological components, developed by tireless international teams. Polygon is not only infrastructure, it is a growing community of people with shared aims and vision. Every day, teams with different purposes create new tools on Polygon. Polygon chains have quickly become the most efficient solution to bring innovation to the industry. The future of Ethereum is therefore strongly connected to the future of Polygon.
This said, in the present recap we will first summarize the goals of the EcoDAO and its overall mission. Then we will describe the initial steps for the establishment of a Genesis team. Finally, we will explore the first achievements of the grants program and the governance/tokenomics research.
Innovative communities are the essence of blockchain. They should therefore have a say in Polygon’s future. Polygon believes that “decentralization is non-optional, but rather a hallmark of blockchain technology.”
The EcoDAO should make use of the most advanced technologies and tooling to give voice to its community and to coordinate its efforts. There is a need to implement a bottom-up and decentralized approach, starting from the expectations and aims of the main characters of the blockchain industry: the developers and the communities.
This is why the Polygon team decided to launch the EcoDAO. Its core mission is to grow the Polygon ecosystem : more applications, more transactions, and more efficiency in the blockchain industry. This means incentivising and granting advantages to every person willing to build something on Polygon.
In sum, the EcoDAO’s mission can be explained through four concepts: decentralization, growth, innovation and transparency
Polygon believes in decentralization. The EcoDAO aims to leverage the entire ecosystem and allow projects, developers and the wider community to participate in the governance of Polygon.
People in the Polygon community should feel more involved thanks to organized onboarding procedures and dynamic governance which will turn the community from stakeholders to shareholders. Such empowerment should raise awareness and attract new projects.
The EcoDAO will be the place for new ideas. Together with ecosystem participants, it will develop innovative governance tooling for DAOs, DeFi, NFTs and Metaverses.
The EcoDAO will assure transparency and knowledge of operations to the community. Methods to grant financial support to projects will be clearly outlined, as will the governance processes.
Achieving such ambitious results is not easy. The EcoDAO decided to start small, to organize its activity, and then to grow!
At the beginning of October 2021, a diverse team began to set up a program in order to kick-off the Polygon Ecosystem DAO. It was the beginning of “Season 0”.
Under the lead of Hamzah, Grendel, Mateusz and Aishwary, a core team initially consisting of tommy olofsson, Charles Nweke, Viking sovereignhealth.crypto, Poapster, Bpetes, Anil, Maxx and Eagle identified precise growth steps and ambitious milestones to build the Polygon Ecosystem DAO:
- Create increasingly decentralized procedures for the analysis, approval and issuing of grants
- Progressively open up to projects and communities
- Create the dynamics of value creation within the DAO, building meeting points between creators and projects
- Progressively evolve the concept of governance, decentralizing it more and more and using new support tools
- Become one of the most important poles for the organic development of the crypto ecosystem
With this program in mind, since the start of Season 0, the core team has worked on two main activities: (a) the grants program; (b) the set-up of a disruptive governance system for the Polygon Ecosystem DAO. At the same time, the team started the daily DAO activity of onboarding new contributors and members and organizing a wide array of initiatives, such as Twitter Spaces and AMAs.
From its inception, the Polygon Ecosystem DAO has been committed to prompt and serious analysis of all the grants requests presented by the community. The team set up sub-committees of 2-3 persons with different skill sets (e.g. dev, marketing, legal) to fairly assess the merits of projects and give suggestions on how to present a proposal to the Polygon community. Where more technical skills were needed, special advisors supported the work of the sub-committees.
An evaluation procedure was established, and the evaluation criteria were transparently presented to the community. Thus, the sub-committees began to carefully audit the different grant proposals and to enter in contact with the proponents.
The EcoDAO expressed from the beginning the capacity to support the development of the projects and to advise about possible partners for growth, IT development, branding, marketing and other members of the community with which Polygon has been collaborating for some time.
The program is a great success. More than 70 grants have been awarded to project teams willing to build on Polygon. The range of the activities performed by the grantees is very broad:
- DeFi and NFT projects on Polygon PoS, SDK and Hermez chains; tools for DeFi protocols on Polygon
- Tools for data analysis on Polygon; educational projects relating to the range of DeFi opportunities present on Polygon
- Decentralized editorial projects that have an informative and educational function and which relate to DeFi on Polygon
- Frameworks and development and support tools for DAOs on Polygon; tools for managing and reporting treasury funds from projects and DAOs on Polygon
In order to provide the first funding to the DAO, the Polygon Foundation has deployed 1MN USD.
The involvement of EcoDAO does not finish with the recognition of a grant. The EcoDAO has offered support in accounting and project tracking. The EcoDAO uses the Sobol platform to provide a constant overview of the projects and a direct link to a representative of each funded project. At completion of milestones or projects, the EcoDAO organizes AMAs, where grantees explain how the project is evolving.
The grant recipients were also invited to contribute to the Polygon ecosystem and community through support for newer projects or, for the more successful projects, a donation of their own to fund future grants in the DAO.
Grantees quickly understood the importance of the team and became active members of the community in the daily forum discussions!
Governance and Tokenomics
The team’s efforts are also directed at creating a modern and inclusive governance structure for the EcoDAO. The ambitious project of shaping a DAO capable of representing an entire ecosystem must be achieved with the best DAO tooling and a clear strategy which involves input from every DAO member.
The team therefore organized strategic meetings with stakeholders in order to explore all the possibilities currently offered by the industry.
The research on governance explored:
- systems to evaluate the member engagement
- reputational recognition in the form of NFTs
- fair and proportional remuneration systems
- governance based on ownership of tokens and NFTs
The discussions also involved tokenomics, as the EcoDAO operations will rely on a new token, which will grant utility to its holder in terms of staking and governance. Moreover, the idea is to strengthen the governance procedures with reputational NFTs. For instance, the fulfillment of bounties will enhance the reputation of the member and create a signaling effect.
Finally, EcoDAO worked to set up a Council of blue chip DeFi projects, which will represent a fundamental component of the governance structure. The Council will:
- formalize the governance processes through proposals and via forum discussions
- induce snapshot signaling votes from the community
- actively contribute through funding and grants to the growth of the ecosystem
The journey is still at the beginning. Polygon Ecosystem DAO warmly welcomes every person willing to build on Polygon’s chains or simply to be part of its growing community. The onboarding procedures are available in the Discord channels, where people can step-in, present their skills and ask to be involved. To learn more about the grants program and read the ongoing discussions on governance, please consult the forum. Soon a dedicated bounty board will enable more involvement in projects.
Polygon is a key part of the future of blockchain. A bright future requires a strong and coordinated community. The Polygon Ecosystem DAO is here to support and incentivize the achievement of virtuous common goals!