Fund Balancer Community Group [BCG]

Service Provider Name & Overview: Balancer Community Group [BCG]

Leader(s): Andrea, ReptilePresidente, CryptoComical, JoeyWong, Danko8383, CosmeFulanito

Pledge to abide by the DAO’s Code of Conduct: yes

Pledge to abide by the Accountability Guidelines: yes

Domains of Operation: Marketing, Growth

Length of Engagement & Budget: Quarterly Basis renewable, (118,500$)

ETH Address to Receive Funds: If this proposal is accepted by the Balancer Community, the newly formed BCG will communicate, in due time, a Multisig wallet to where the requested funds should be transferred. This shall happen before the commencement of Q3 2022.

Balancer Community Group Proposal (Q3)

The Balancer’s governance system has undergone a sudden paradigm shift moving from an organization that included different subDAOs loosely coordinated by a central entity (Ops subDAO) to an ecosystem of independent groups with clear and defined objectives and associated budgets.

The new structure presents an opportunity for all those individuals who care about the future of Balancer to rally again and form close-knit teams with the focus on the Balancer development through specific areas of expertise.

With the following, we propose to establish a “Balancer Community Group” [BCG] managed by members of the Balancer Community to explore the development of partnerships, alliances and related marketing activities.

The BCG wants to focus on the following strategic areas:

1 – First time responders: being the front door officer for all those third-party projects that intend to interface with BalancerDAO;

2 – Leverage Areas Of Strength: actively search for potential synergies between Balancer Protocol and Tier2 DeFi ecosystem players who could consider Balancer products as the best vehicle to maximise their position in the market;

3 – Community Growth and visibility: support Balancer DAO through marketing activities that include but may not be limited to social media campaigns, AMAs, promotions and events;

TL;DR

  • [BCG] represents the DAO’s relationships, networking and strategic partnerships, helping the growth of the ecosystem through qualified members of the Balancer community.
  • Balancer DAO will be represented through its community members in events and media, as well as collaborating with third-party projects on how to engage with Balancer, building a dedicated SP team.
  • [BCG] will also actively work to attract TVL to Balancer through veBAL tokenomics (incentives and bribes).
  • Team compensation on a monthly stablecoin (or equivalent) payments.

Research

  • Partnership subDAO

In Q1 2022, BalancerDAO voted to build a dedicated Partnership team for Q2, in order to respond to prospects and seek synergic usage of the Balancer ecosystem, in a community oriented and decentralized path forward, especially BoB (built on balancer) initiatives and veBAL partnerships.

Providing KPIs for the Partnership SubDAO proved to be a difficult task due to the nature of the position itself. However, the data that can be disclosed shows a constant effort to support projects that are close or want to work within the Balancer ecosystem.

In the first six months of its inception, the Partnership subDAO interacted with over 150 teams and projects, opened +300 tickets, participated in leads, intros, follow-ups and redirections for a total of +500 virtual meetings.

The majority of this work goes mainly unnoticed and may not be objectively measured, but regardless of its intangibility, it is a fundamental piece of the service Balancer has offered to the DeFi community. [BCG] not only intends to continue the work carried out over the past six months, but wants to bet on it, expanding the team with members who have demonstrated dedication and willingness to support the work done so far.

Although it is evident that Balancer Labs has done an excellent job in developing a network of relationships and interactions with major players (Element; Gyroscope; Fei just to name a few), we also strongly believe in the need to target the second and third tier markets. A market landscape full of talent and potential great partners.

This market, which is irregular and jagged, needs meticulous attention and a dedicated team that knows the Balancer ecosystem well but is lighter, more agile and financially “viable”.

  • Marketing subDAO

The Marketing subDAO was also established in Q1/2022 and carried several tasks including growing the online community, community awareness, bounty programs, and AMAs. This work has been an important part of the Balancer DAO success.

Furthermore, the first six months of operation demonstrated the importance of having representatives of the BalancerDAO community at events organized in person to demonstrate that Balancer is not only an excellent product, but also has an innovative community that has developed a self-management system, still considered at the forefront of the DeFi ecosystem today.

While our marketing effort presents an active engagement on the current market meta, the [BCG] team will also aim at the expansion and growth of both Chinese and Latam communities. These markets stand out for their rapidly growing adoption of cryptocurrency and huge unexplored potential for DeFi.

[BCG] will continue the delivery of services, providing operational consistency under a restructured and more robust organization.

Growth Blueprint

Team Composition:

  • Andrea (Coordination);
  • Cryptocomical (Marketing, Graphic designer)
  • Reptile Presidente (Marketing, @Balancer twitter, AMA events)
  • Joey Wong (Chinese community, @Balancer_China twitter, Medium articles, and selected docs)
  • Cosme Fulanito (Latam Community, @Balancer_Esp twitter, @BalancerBrasil twitter, Medium articles and selected docs)
  • Danko8383: (Team Support)

Advisors:

  • Eagle (Legal attorney, Risk Assessment, LexDAO, BanklessDAO)

Workflow: [BCG] commits to build updated Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to reduce subjective opinions and with the intent to streamline processes, built based on previous learnings and experiences on Partnership subDAO workflow. The workflow will be adapted to the new working environment and will be completed once there will be more clarity regarding all the working groups the BCG will have to interact with. This proposal may serve as a written commitment for the creation of a new workflow that integrates multiple service providers in a complementary manner.

Areas of Responsibility:

  • First-responders in the community to projects seeking interactions Balancer;
  • Promote Balancer products to third-party teams;
  • Active participation in media coverage (AMAs, podcasts, interviews, articles etc.);
  • Engage with Tier2 protocols and communities that can potentially be integrated into the Balancer ecosystem, especially FF (friendly forks) and BoB;
  • Research on newborn blockchain projects and connected tokens (use-cases, liquidity, tokenomics);
  • Attract and retain liquidity (TVL) through veBAL tokenomics: boosting incentives for staking, revenue distribution, liquidity incentives allocation (gauge voting system) and external incentives or cross project incentivization (bribes and related byproducts)
  • Risk assessment (first-responder shielding) through an analysis of the potential partnerships from a legal perspective;
  • Risk mitigation for the [BCG] based on contractual agreements able to limit BalancerDAO’s responsibilities;
  • Maintain media presence for increased awareness around the BalancerDAO ecosystem;
  • Improve ease of recruitment of projects and users by facilitating increased opportunities for education of the Balancer Model outside of our current ecosystem partners.
  • Growth for foreign language communities (Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese)

Other deliverables:

  • Educational pieces (articles, tweets, videos) on engaging with BalancerDAO relations;
  • Updates (tracker) and meeting notes for transparent follow-up and offboarding;
  • Event tracker and report (attendance, achievements, leads etc.);
  • Marketing teams support (support to Grants for Marketing focussed Grants);
  • Chinese Community marketing (social media and articles), in Chinese;
  • Latam Community marketing (social media and articles), in Spanish and Portuguese.

The Fork Factory Program:

[BCG] claims leadership on vetting new Friendly Forks proposals, given the experience of the team and the intention to leverage learnings and the valuable feedback received from the Community in the past.

The Fork Factory Program aims to become a state-of-the-art project, not only limited to support leading to forum proposals, but expanding the scope to any team seeking help and providing guidance navigating the Balancer ecosystem, from initial contact to full protocol deployment. Teams seeking the [CGU] can expect assistance on tokenomics, risk assessment, legal assistance, design, and community engagement.

Community will be invited to follow-up with Friendly Forks engagements and evaluation through presentations, RFC, proposals, AMAs etc.

Key Objectives:

  • To continue current service of assisting projects approaching the BalancerDAO in a timely manner;
  • Partner outcomes: leads, follow-ups, introductions to relevant Balancer ecosystem partners; (more engagement of the different communities), veBAL participants (more TVL), DAO relationships (public announcement of monthly new relationships);
  • Identify Balancer AOS and actively promote the Balancer technology;
  • Ongoing partnership follow-ups;
  • Friendly Forks follow-ups (evaluation and presentation of the teams to the BAL community).
  • Events attendance with proactive participation at events and meet-spaces (in every important event connected to crypto, the [CGU] team will provide a personal presence

Success Metrics

Partnerships:

  • All third-party projects are assisted in a timely manner
  • 30+ ongoing partnership and FF follow-ups. Outcomes are objectively measured through: bribes, veBAL participants and DAO relationships.

Goals for Q3:

  • Engaging 3 (1/mo.) DAOs to partner with Balancer, migrating treasury to 80/20 pools and benefiting from LM incentives (pref. bribes)
  • Following up 5 BoB projects and reporting their merits and struggles

Marketing:

  • Community attendance, following Balancer’s bigger presence in major events
  • Proactive participation in online events

Goals for Q3:

  • Grow the Balancer DAO Twitter account to 7k followers by end of Q3
  • Hold 9 AMAs (3/mo.) on Balancer Discord
  • Sponsor 2 relevant media opportunities (irl events, newsletter, youtube, etc).

Growth

  • For Chinese community:

  • Grow @Balancer_China twitter account to 800 followers by the end of Q3

  • Grow Balancer DAO YouTube account Chinese videos views to 500 in total by the end of Q3

  • Complete translation of https://docs.balancer.fi/ to Chinese

  • For the LATAM community:

  • Grow @Balancer_Esp twitter account to 300 followers by the end of Q3.

  • Grow @BalancerBrasil twitter account to 300 followers by the end of Q3.

  • Complete translation of https://docs.balancer.fi/ to Spanish

  • Complete translation of https://docs.balancer.fi/ to Portuguese

  • Sponsor 1 relevant media opportunity (irl events, newsletter, youtube, etc).

  • Active participation in 3 AMAs during Q3 (1/mo.) about Balancer tokenomics

  • Provide support to users in the Spanish channel on Discord.

Budget allocation per Quarter:

The [BCG] recognises the difficult market conditions and intends to have a responsible approach that could give confidence to veBAL tokenholders and serve as an example towards all the stakeholders who intend to contribute to the development of the ecosystem.

For this reason, all members of the [BCG] self-limit their compensation to a maximum of 15,000USD per quarter (or 5,000USD per month) regardless of their role, quantity or quality of the service provided.

[BCG] seeks a total (cap) allocation of $118.500 USD. This will cover Ballers compensation, advisors, digital resources (domains, digital storage etc), conference attendance (capped refunds), media sponsorship and marketing initiatives.

Team:

Ballers: $82.500 USDC or BAL equivalent

Advisors: $6K USDC or BAL equivalent

Partnership budget: 30k USDC (cap)

[BCG] will hold a budget to cover marketing opportunities and partnerships to further develop Balancer’s ecosystem and growth, as well as content creation and sponsored media coverage. Unspent budget rolls over to the next quarter. If BCG dissolves, remaining funds will be sent back to the Treasury.

Breakdown (for internal reference only)

Ballers: $82.500 USD or BAL equivalent

  • Andrea: 15K USDC
  • Reptile Presidente 15k USDC
  • Crypto Comical 15k USDC
  • Joey Wong 15k USDC
  • Cosme Fulanito 15k USDC
  • Danko8383 7,5k USDC

Advisors: $6K USDC

  • Eagle: 6k USDC
1 Like

Unfortunately I have to be against this. All the following is my personal opinion, not intended to be a personal attack in any way.

As lead at the Partnerships subDAO it is commendable that you held 500 virtual meetings - but what you neglected to discuss is the success metrics of those 500 meetings. I believe the vast majority of these to be a complete waste of time and lead to nothing of tangible value. I’d love to hear about any successful partnerships delivered over the last 6 months. From my experience and interactions in the various chats/meetings I don’t view you as a capable ambassador for Balancer in the DeFi ecosystem.

You mention the Fork Factory - what Partnerships subDAO delivered over the last 6 months is two FF proposals - one passed but has since delayed the launch (and engaged in some very shilly marketing), one failed by a large margin. A key deliverable of a friendly fork framework has still not been completed. I think the track record here strongly indicates this is NOT the team that should lead FF discussions.

As for the marketing side, nowhere is it discussed how you’ll coordinate efforts with the marketing team at Orb Collective. I don’t think it makes any sense to pay for TWO marketing teams for the protocol - and I would argue the track record established by the marketing subDAO over the last 6 months is not a good one. The DAO twitter sits at ~4.2k followers, is full of low effort tweets, and largely aimless with no clear plan for how to strategically grow followers and benefit Balancer. RP works as CMO at Dexpools - does it make sense for the chief marketing officer of another exchange to run Balancer’s twitter? We desperately need new blood on the marketing side of the DAO. If we approve this proposal we are guaranteeing more of the same mediocrity (or worse) we’ve experienced over the last six months.

Joey & Cosme’s efforts can be supported through the Grants program where they can be better supported to achieve success in the non-English communities. I like a lot of what they’ve done lately.

Again, this is all just my opinion. I will be voting against this as I believe Orb should take lead on Partnership/Marketing efforts for the ecosystem. Any budget allocated elsewhere for these activities is a dangerous waste of money in my view unless there is a very compelling case for value add on top of Orb’s activities. The track record of the members of this SP combined with this proposal which is basically “more of the same” of the last six months does not make that case to me.

I am new in the Balancer community and I am deeply surprised by the tone and the spirit of your comment. It is perhaps not a personal attack, but your comment denigrates a group of people without providing any sort of constructive feedback.

My experience:
I entered in contact with the Balancer partnership team in my capacity of legal advisor at BanklessDAO and PolygonDAO. I both occations I remained astonished about the level of engagement ant the seriousness of the Ballers. With Bankless we have created two pools and 3-4 articles, provided onboarding guidance to newbies and a series of tweets. Moreover BalancerDAO has been the main sponsor of the BanklessDAO newsletter for several months. With Polygon the Ballers offered a great support and also good ideas concerning the direction of the partnerships. In the same period we had to do with several other Defi projects and Balancer was by far the most professional.

I want to write something also about the merits of your comments.
As to the FF: launching a DeFi project on secondary chains without the best possible market conditions is a titanic effort. I think that I don’t need to explain you why. Just consider that the FF has to launch a token, build partnerships from scratch and find a way of incentivizing LP providers in order to get liquidity and create trading fees. This is obviously not achievable at the beginning of a bear market where Defi is getting nuked. I think that a cautious approach is the best thing in such market conditions. Nobody would be happy to have 4-5 FF with a token of 0 value and negligible TVL.

As to the twitter account: the number of followers is not enormous, but I experienced the same situation at PolygonDAO where, even with professional marketing persons, the PolygonDAO account sits at less then 8k followers (note that the main Polygon account has more then 1M followers).

It is difficult to be succesful on twitter with a kind of duplication of the main account and without paying to acquire more followers (as many project in the industry do). Moreover, the twitter account is of special importance to inform veBAL holders about imminent votes/bribes. These guys are of course interested in the information posted by the BalancerDAO twitter and move accordingly. Also note that in posting information, the twitter account can of course not overcome certain limits dictated by the law. It is just an information tool of the Balancer community, not an account made to induce people to invest or to use BAL technology.

I don’t know you @solarcurve and please don’t take this as a kind of personal attack, but my impression is that - tone a part - in writing your comment you omitted to consider the context of the industry and of the market.

4 Likes

Dear @solarcurve ,

First let me tell you I appreciate your honesty. And I’m not saying this out of circumstance but because I prefer people who say what they think, however harsh it may be, than being stabbed in the back by supposed friends. In a way, you and I are similar. However, I would advise you to be more gentle on future occasions. I’m telling you this based on some past personal experiences.

I think what you say certainly makes sense and it is true, there are few tangible results that can support my case, but this is not a problem directly related to me or to an alleged group, it is the very nature of the environment in which we operate that make it so. To support my thesis please have a look at the apparent similar situation in which our “older brother” finds himself.

And that is why teams should not be judged simply on their results.

Think about it, if I had to judge you on the results well it would be easy for me to accuse you of being part of the cause of the TVL plummeting, the reduction in volume and consequent collapse of trading fees which all occurred in conjunction with the introduction of the new veTokenomics. And since you were the main proponent of this change one could argue that you have damaged us more than any failed partnership I had. I could also blame you for the collapse in the value of the BAL token as the theory of removing tokens from circulation was supposed to help support the price. All theories that clearly have no real impact on the price since the price is dictated by new participants and not by holders/lockers.

Based on what has been said, I should blame you for all this, but clearly I don’t do it for very simple reasons: 1) we are all going through a great experiment and 2) I know that whatever you do, you do it for the sake of the protocol and this is enough for me to push you further!

In any case, numbers are staggering:

Balancer 1/4/22:1.75$ → to 500M$ today (71.4% decrease in TVL)

Uniswap 1/4/22 5.20b$ → to 3.33b$ today (36% decline in TVL)

In a normal company this would probably lead to a serious change in leadership. Do you think this would be fair to you? After all you’ve done?

I see you wrote this post shortly after participating in a twitter space organized by RC. Let me remind you that RC was approached by me, I have conversations with them that date back to January which is when I glimpsed enormous potential and a fruitful partnership between Balancer and them.

FF and various initiatives:

I have always wanted to clarify something very important to me: the DAO Partnership had access to zero resources, both financial (except during the LMC period) and technical. Partnership never had access to an integration team (Overnight.fi docet) which made it virtually impossible to develop and bring interesting projects with great potential to Balancer. I just had my hands tight.

This was the reason why the focus shifted towards the development of the “Balancer Ecosystem” and trying to create value literally out of thin air through the potential proliferation of the franchise model.

If this model has not worked up until now, it is for reasons that have been totally out of my control (unless you want to accuse me of having made Luna collapse as well …) But if Hexagon will one day succeed and will allocate 5 or 6 % of their token supply to us, wouldn’t this have repaid the effort?

I still strongly believe in the model and in the idea of ​​creating independent dexes, of creating a DAO of DAOs. I haven’t succeeded yet but I don’t intend to stop and I want to continue pursuing the idea.

As for the chats in which we both participate: you have “covered all the holes” and it would seem that by now the only thing we need to dedicate ourselves to are bribes or trying to support a bribing system I personally don’t believe in. But Balancer is much more than bribes. Its strengths are others.

Regarding Marketing: we tried hard to interact with Orb and bring the proposal to their attention but the response has been slow. In fact only bLabs Marketing has shown full support so I believed this was the right time to pull the trigger given the time constraints.

Finally, the SP system has created an environment that is not serene and a free-for-all. A sense of community and serenity must be restored. We were on the right track as far as I’m concerned but it’s too late now and it’s also a whole other story.

1 Like

Disclaimer: I will abstain from voting on this proposal based on my role in the DAO. I am giving my personal input here from my experience with these individuals.

I have been working with all of the individuals for quite some time as a Baller. There is no question that they are super motivated and only have the best intentions for the advancement of the Balancer protocol.

I put following observations out there as some food of thought - you all be the judge:

We currently know of following entities that are or plan on working on marketing and partnership efforts:

  • Balancer labs marketing
  • Balancer labs BizDev
  • Orb collective with a marketing squad?
  • BCG

My biggest issues are:

  • how will those entities transition into one effective squad / SP achieving all these goals? Have you guys talked to each other?
  • if we have redundancy, then in our marketing and partnership efforts - this proposal doesn’t address how it will fit with the other SPs
  • BEETs has been the only successful friendly fork created without the framework. I question the future of this endeavor. I would rather want Blabs to handle all deployments (or a SP)

I am trying to protect our treasury from a huge budget overhead and marketing / partnerships efforts need to be streamlined.

So let’s see what Orb has in store and how Blabs intends to transition marketing. As it stands now I have no idea why we need so many marketing and partnership entities

5 Likes

I’m not involved in DAO work, so I can’t evaluate each DAO’s eligibility. From a macro point of view, I am very sure of the value of Marketing, but the current confusion is that we have multiple teams doing the same thing, which will greatly increase our costs and expenses in a bear market.

So my suggestion is:

  1. We should keep the marketing team;
  2. We need to streamline the marketing team and reduce expenses, as @Xeonus said, we have 4 teams: Balancer labs marketing, Balancer labs BizDev, Orb, BCG. Maybe some work can be combined to reduce redundancy, and set a clear goal and direction.
5 Likes

To throw my point straight:

  1. I think the work of BCG is necessary, and the maintenance of the community and partners are very important. Although I don’t know the members in depth, I have witnessed their hard work.
    Regarding the point pointed out by @solarcurve , although sharp, the starting point is also for more productive results. I think the specific way of working can be discussed and improved, we can give more patience and longer observation.

  2. Regarding Balancer labs marketing and BizDev, it depends on their work focus and how to cooperate with BCG. I hope to give more information to facilitate discussion.

  3. I think Orb entity is not necessary, the cost we need to bear is too high, and too much work overlaps with BCG. In a bear market, making larger investment in the market is often ineffective. We should not expand investment at the current time point.

5 Likes

Someone please correct me if I’m wrong but my understanding is this →

BLabs BizDev/Marketing = Orb Collective BizDev/Marketing
BCG = Dao Marketing/Partnerships

So yes cuts have to be made based on current market conditions, I think it’s just up to us to determine what those cuts should be.

4 Likes

@solarcurve you put a like on my post but did not reply. I have read your additional comments to other posts and I confirm what I wrote yesterday. Your comments are mostly aimed at denigrating people, without giving any sort of context or argument.

My impression is that you are conflicted given your collaboration with BeethovenX and Optimism. In any case, the next time it would be nicer to be more transparent, also in the light of the topic of this proposal. I took your comment very seriously, but apparently it was a mistake because there is a gigantic conflict of interest.

I can’t evaluate what was written on vetokenomics, but I think that a self-assessment would be needed before talking about the achievements of other contributors within the last six months (which seems the standard argument that you adopt to attack people). Perhaps some of your ideas, as your attitude on the forum, are detrimental to community. We learn from mistakes…

As to the points of @Xeonus and @Absolute_Unit. Thank you for your comments. You are definitely more friendly than @solarcurve :rofl: I understand that you try to support orbit as much as possible, but tbh I don’t see the situation as dramatic. Groups of people can coordinate efforts. DAOs are made for coordinating decisions and work through technology. The risk of creating a kind of exclusivity is frustrating decentralization and go back to the initial situation. With the only difference that you misled the community with formal stratagems and name changes…

2 Likes

It is interesting you view me bringing up achievements of contributors over the last six months as an attack on people. I liked your post because why not? Seemed like a genuine response to me.

Asking people to own their track records while they collected maximum salaries should not be construed as a personal attack. They are free to highlight their achievements as I invited them to do. Otherwise, I stand by my opinion that this is not a responsible use of funds.

1 Like

Thanks @Andrea81 for the super well prepared and thought-through proposal!

A few clarifications/comments from my side on the discussion so far:

I agree 100%. These individuals are super passionate about Balancer, as are the other Ballers. It’s fine if other community members have disagreements on how things should be done and also bring up constructive/objective critique like is happening on the threads of the SP proposals.

Let’s though please avoid irony and sarcasm as they just deteriorate the communication. Let’s be as respectful and objective as possible with our language here and on other threads :pray:

BLabs will no longer have any bizdev or Marketing. We are focusing entirely on the purely technical side of the protocol.

I agree with this and don’t see overlap / duplicity as necessarily a bad thing. The important though is that teams communicate and make sure they are additive not competitive within the Balancer ecosystem. This is all very experimental and I’m sure there will be tons of learnings along the process :clap:

I also fully agree with this. Andrea put a lot of effort in this and if it didn’t succeed it’s not his fault.

An important comment though is that the two things that have mainly limited Balancer from being deployed without the need of FF on other chains are/will soon not be blockers anymore:

  • Having to decide how to spreading LM across new chains: veBAL solved this as now anyone who gets veBAL should be able to point LM to their preferred chain. This removes the arbitrariness that we previously had in deciding what percentage goes to what chain (before the veBAL gauge model)
  • Front-end resource limitations: now that the frontend team hired more people and will prepare the UI for Gnosis chain, they are going to do so in a way that’s very simple/streamlined to add other new chains (as long as EVM compatible) to the UI. What the process for deciding on which new chains will be added though is still up for discussion, I’m in favor of having this be voted by veBAL holders.

This is not to say that, even if the FF effort may not be so relevant going forward, the team of this proposal doesn’t have great ways to contribute to Balancer.

Note about BFFs: I’m very bullish with Beethoven, their team is incredible and the collaboration with Optimism is very promising, so I’m not saying BFFs were a flop mainly thanks to Beethoven.

4 Likes

It’s sad to see the criticism here. When the sushi drama happened, @tongnk and I prayed it wouldn’t happen to Balancer, but today…

I have elected to take only a part-time salary for a long time because I want to have a little time to study other protocols in DeFi. Since I had recently got fundings from the Marketing subDAO for promotion in the Chinese Community (sponsored article and making Chinese video voice over), I was able to do more and had started getting a full-time salary in the recent months. I’m not good at talking in front of people, and I’m not an aggressive person, I just want to contribute to the protocol that I like and believe in. Balancer’s stunning technology is obvious to all. Although sometimes there were some occasional technical issues which might have caused some confusion among the users, we alway work through the problems as they come up.

When proposing the establishment of the Balancer Foundation and the restructuring of the DAO, formation of SP, some Ballers and I dreaded that we will end up with a situation like today. We have opposed it, questioned it, and like in the past, it was eventually put to Snapshot for the holders to vote. Then, like the other proposals, it passed. My communication skill is not good, and I dare not question it again, otherwise I may be accused of being hostile, violating the code of conduct, and the maximum penalty is deprivation of vested token salary.

When I first joined Balancer DAO, I was told that this is a horizontal hierarchy organization, everyone is equal, but over time…. At that time, I was told that Balancer Labs will have little involvement and that we need to bring in more people into the DAO to do more. Now, when the DAO has more power, it is proposed to restructure and it seems that the Balancer Labs team members are joining the DAO while some of the original DAO members get squeezed out. It’s all weird to me.

I want to make it clear that I respect the founding team, Balancer Labs, very much. I’ve never understood the logic of building a protocol and then handing it over to a bunch of strangers to manage.

As always, I’m not fond of politics. I just want to do my best for the DeFi community.

I know that the Chinese community sees my efforts, and I also have unseen efforts. There were articles and materials that I have spent a lot of time translating but never got published because I needed the help of others to publish, and the others were always busy. You can understand my frustration when this had happened not once, but twice, with different counterparties.

I have also tried to apply for Chinese Community Marketing funding, but had been told that there was no budget, and had been asked to find a way to promote without funding. I asked if any merch can be given to the community, but there was no reply. I feel that I am not doing well enough, but I have tried my best. Recently, I often think of a Chinese proverb: A clever housewife cannot cook a meal without rice. 巧婦難為無米炊

When I see the Orbs marketing team budget, I understand that marketing is different from governance. It requires a lot of external expenses, and even more expensive to organise physical events, such as beach/cruise parties or other Hackers Marathon. I’m not good at organising physical events. I can only use low-cost methods to communicate with the community. So I was excited when I was told that I would be partnering with Blabs marketing team to promote Balancer a few months ago. Unfortunately, we seem to be competitors today.

I just try my best to be a bridge between Balancer, the Chinese community, and all other friends who know me to increase transparency and help them understand Balancer, whether it’s good or bad.

I didn’t know that there is so much dissatisfaction amongst the Ballers. I wish we could have brought it up to light and talk about it openly.

Regarding the topic of SPs serving multiple organizations, it seems to be a common occurrence in this crypto space. Perhaps due to the fact that DAO talents are hard to find.

Disclosure: I am not currently being paid by any other organizations.

14 Likes

To be clear, I will not apply grants.

If this BCG SP proposal does not pass, it implies I m leaving Balancer.

Thanks all the teammates who work along the journey.

4 Likes

Hey all.

I’ll start off with myself being against the majority of the proposal.
Unfortunately I see a lot of overlap, especially within the marketing and business development objectives with the Orb SP and BCG while also observing the lack of any tangible progress for about the last 6 months.

I wholly agree with Solar’s sentiments in regards to the twitter.

In regards to interaction with the teams and projects, quantity, is not an indicator of quality. While there may be a monumental amount of teams, tickets and follow ups - I see this as mainly as a failure to filter out low quality interactions, largely as a waste of time.

And that is why teams should not be judged simply on their results.

Teams should definitely be measured on their results. This is how the majority of the world works, at the end of the day, there needs to be some sort of measurable, tangible metric of success.

Bringing up TVL and trading volume during a bear market is a very fallacious way of arguing success, also given the fact the nature of how liquidity is provided on both protocols, while Uniswap and Balancer are both providers of liquidity - it is not an apples to apples comparison - there is a lot more nuance to why liquidity is less sticky.

In regards to FF’s, the only reason FF’s are considered a success is due to the quality of the BEET’s team. Every subsequent FF proposal has been of sub-par quality IMO and I think they will fail to provide as much value as the BEET’s team does already.

Disclosure: I contribute to BEET’s as well.

The only parts of this proposal that, personally I see fit to fund are the growth of our international communities, Joey and Cosme do good work and it shows and I agree that they can be better supported as part of a Grant but that is up to them.

1 Like

The orb entity is comprised of Labs members with a proven track record and such the cost is justifiable as there is simply a transfer of cost from Labs. The BCG entity I would say is the one overlapping with Orb.

1 Like

Dear @saf ,

Thank you for your message.
Let me tell you what I’ve been working on during the past six months. Please note, this is only Partnership and not Marketing.
Hopefully this will give you a better understanding of what happened and where the blockers were.

January:

  • Overnight and integration. Overnight contributed heavily to the development of the ERC4626Linearpool. You can ask Rab about their contribution; Overnight is one of those “waste of time projects” that helped with the development and received nothing in return [disgraceful];
  • Partnership with BanklessDAO LM incentives in exchange of visibility and Marketing activities.
  • Lido Balancer partnership and agreement of exclusivity to bring stMATIC only to Balancer
  • Agreement with Shardlabs (one of the best labs in web3) to build a fork of Balancer (Mistral) on Avalanche with consequent deal Avalabs<>Mistral for a LM program of 1M$ in AVAX tokens for a period of 6 months. The initial plan failed because shardlabs decided not to pursue the project due to some internal and external conflicts.
  • The story with Redacted Cartel starts here (another small project/waste of time according to some) as veBAL started to take shape internally (this is a cooperation that continues today as you might know).

February:

  • Initially the work has been around the development of Managed pools and the approach to Index Coop. This was done under the lead of BLabs with Alan and Jared;
  • Support to Koil finance (another fork) that suffered an internal hack
  • Started the initial talks with APY.vision (partnership that continues today);
  • Interacted with llama.xyz for Dao treasury management;
  • Supported blackcoffee for a potential fork on BSC (team from Ukraine which unfortunately did not continue due to war)
  • Partnership with Huobi wallet
  • Held several conversations with boringdao for the bridging of BAL tokens crosschain.

All this while working with Avalabs to find a quality team able to perform a successful fork. So we held conversations with BenQi; Midas and others until the DeFrost team was found and Terralabs willing to collaborate in the project.

March:

  • Approached Aztec Network and looked for an integration team able to help there. Rab is in the convo but this is another dead end given the fact I didn’t have access to an integration team that would do all the work. BTW, this is a huge opportunity overlooked by many. This may serve as a public record when that day will come.
  • Held various conversations with Cowswap before and after veBAL (initially for simple LM allocations, later for bribing. They are one of the few projects that are going to bribe)
  • Held several conversations with MakerDAO ecosystem teams, the most impactful today is Stablenode, actively participating in governance discussions.
  • Initiated discussions with socket for BPT crosschain swaps following the idea of having multiple independent teams working in parallel and having and easy swapping solution across chains for BPTs.
  • Engaged with Staderlabs (Balancer) which today is one of the few project actually participating in the BALwars or whatever you want to call it;
  • Engaged with Pickle Finance: their proposal is here: ([Proposal] Allowlist Pickle Finance in veBAL’s VotingEscrow)
  • Held a panel at the Avalanche Summit in Barcelona

April:

  • Engaged with Connext. Connext is a infrastructure player. Again involved in crosschain swaps. The conversation is still ongoing and Beethoven is part of the conversation. At the moment is however all in standby given the general uncertainty regarding the continuation or not of my role within Balancer.
  • Continued the support for the development of Hexagon;
  • Engaged with Kava Network to bring Balancer there;
  • Engaged with OKC, same reason.
  • Held several meetings with Neon Labs for the possible development of another Friendly Fork on their chain;
  • Supported Symmetric in their FF proposal (things went wrong for reasons outside of my control)
  • Attended Devconnect AMS, held a panel at the DAOist;
  • Engaged with the Maker-growth to explore the possibility to use Balancer pools as collateral on Maker;
  • Held initial conversations with Darkness, a Fork of Balancer on Chronos;
  • Attended Spaghett.eth in Milan and connected with Idle Finance (the blocker here is again outside of my control – integration team and bLabs priorities)

All this while providing support to smaller teams that approached Balancer via different channels, given several interviews while exponentially growing the network. I’ll save you from that. All I can say is that every few projects, there is one that is worthwhile following.

Since mid-May however, the new SP proposal and talks have honestly slowed things down and halted most of the work.

I believe many are suffering from recency bias when judging the Partnership work.

lack of any tangible progress for about the last 6 months.

Probably you’ve been living under a rock my friend. Would have been enough asking around (internally and externally). However, I admit I’ve failed to properly communicate the progress.
We have a notion page (not sure you are aware the DAO has one) accessible here: https://www.notion.so/balancergrants/Tracker-bf691d684ef94969bba067f7708ed806
I used to keep it up to date, but the amount of work was so overwhelming that I literally collapsed on it.
Moreover, my team was terrible and provided zero support. In fact, most of the times conspired against me. Ops knows, everyone knows, no-one speaks so to have a nice and easy cruise.
Since Danko joined, he brought back so much fresh air and things started to pick up again. This is the cold, hard truth unfortunately.

Bringing up TVL and trading volume during a bear market is a very fallacious way of arguing success

I disagree here. veBAL had a huge impact on TVL. And please prove me otherwise utilizing data from our competitors (Uniswap and Sushi or whoever you think makes sense) and please don’t cherry pick numbers. Numbers don’t lie. A whopping >70% drop in TVL is just not “bear market”. A good chunk of my assets were invested in Balancer pools, now its all gone and sitting somewhere else.
Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the model but accepted the general consensus because I thought “well, I might be missing something here”. But locking a CRV shitcoin with the promise of getting more CRV shitcoins the longer I lock, to me doesn’t change the dynamic that much.

BAL inflation is still high with the difference now whales can play the system and allocate those tokens to their shitcoin pools.

the only reason FF’s are considered a success is due to the quality of the BEET’s team.

While I admire the Beets team, they are not The Avengers. There is a general consensus again that only Beets can be successful, and I would say that smoking your own crack doesn’t help you making a rational analysis. To me my wife is the hottest woman in the world, some might disagree and find their wife the best. Same thing here.
I own beets and never sold. But this doesn’t make me a beets maxi or anything maxi for that matter. I’ve interacted with amazing teams during this time, it blows my mind seeing such a sense of superiority among some of our team members.

7 Likes

I’m not sure about living under a rock but if I am a core contributor to the protocol, as well as a frequent user and I am unable to know about these developments, think of the general public perception, they probably see even less!

Now, these are purely MY opinions based on my own experiences.

That being said, what you’ve written here does give me a better understanding of the situation here, but still hasn’t helped me understand the value of those partnerships, from what I can understand, half of them seem to be failed fork proposals.

Which let’s me segue into the topic of forks.
Mate, let’s go through the list of forks as from the list above without the one due to the Ukraine situation.

  1. Koil Finance, hacked. No value here, I see a dead project trying to open their App.
  2. Embr finance, looks like they forked the BEET’s frontend here, albeit terribly. There’s a whopping amount of liquidity there. The team there have also managed to create a web experience that looks like using dreamweaver for a 2002 school assignment. (Not a good thing)
  3. Hexagon finance, during our veBAL launch - they were encouraging users to lock BAL on AVAX, seems like a pretty shit deal for us. Testnet is broken.
  4. Kava network, to be seen.
  5. Neon labs, to be seen.
  6. Symmetric, not looking good brev.
  7. Darkness, looks decent but have they provided any value back to us, or do they intend to?

While I admire the Beets team, they are not The Avengers. There is a general consensus again that only Beets can be successful, and I would say that smoking your own crack doesn’t help you making a rational analysis. To me my wife is the hottest woman in the world, some might disagree and find their wife the best. Same thing here.

Please have some tact, there are better ways to phrase what you said but if you’d like I can speak in a way that puts your words to shame too.
I would like you to read what I said again, I didn’t say that only Beethoven can be successful, but from what I have seen, when everything else has been, subjectively shit I can only make that statement due to the success of Beethoven, right? Would love to be proven wrong here.

I’ve never had a sense of superiority, I interact with engineers who are much smarter than I am, on a daily basis and I have no hesitation in admitting that.
What I do know, is what is shit and what isn’t. Now I speak from the perspective of an engineer who used to be full time on the front-end team, but I have only really noticed a give and take relationship in regards to actual engineering effort from the Beethoven team, I don’t think I can say the same for any other fork - this is before the time I started contributing there too.

Now let’s dive into some metrics shall we. I’m not going to cherry pick anything but you look at it incorrectly I believe. I think a better way of analysing TVL is by market share as a percentage, not as a flat number. Uniswap is the largest dex and liquidity provider in the space, as a result most projects will decide to build on uniswap for that matter. As a result, protocols with their own vaults, especially popular ones like Perpetual only continue to ensure that Uniswap is large by both volume and TVL.

But, let’s zoom out a little bit and look at market share.

As a percentage, I don’t think Balancer liquidity is doing that badly, yes we have suffered a 1-2% drop but all in all, in these market conditions where both TVL and volume are wiped, it’s not that bad.
You can probably see that Uniswap greatly ate up market share in comparison to everyone else but I believe that to be due to their sheer size.

Personally, regardless of how staking pools are voted on, there needed to be a sink for BAL tokens, and veBAL was one mechanism for introducing that. At least there is some sort of incentive to lock now and reduce the sell pressure of BAL tokens. With pure LM, it’s just inflation to the tits.

6 Likes

I think some may have overstated the redundancy of this proposal and Orb’s and understated the responsibilities that this team is currently covering for the DAO.

The Balancer Labs partnerships and marketing teams (soon to be Orb) have been coexisting with the partnerships and marketing subDAOs. There has been a clear division of responsibilities (the types of partnerships we each handle, the types of marketing we each do) and mostly healthy communication between the two sides without duplication of efforts.

I’m not of the belief that the Balancer ecosystem should only have one partnerships team or one marketing team. A thriving decentralized ecosystem can’t work that way long-term and it’s not inherently redundant to have different teams working within the same high level areas.

Community AMA’s, community-sourced partnership opportunities (ie inbound requests from smaller/early stage teams), friendly forks, and the management of DAO twitter account are some areas that stand out to me as being uniquely under the responsibility of the subDAOs.

At the same time I recognize that in these bear market conditions, sacrifices must be made. Voters need to weigh the cost/benefit of continuing to fund these services or stopping and not having anyone to work on them. Perhaps there’s also a more customized approach available.

I think some of these services could be standalone grant projects— the community development and translation work stand out as being a good fit for that approach if you guys don’t think they need to be tightly integrated with the work of the other team members.

8 Likes

@Andrea81 and company,

I honestly do think there is a way for BCG and Orb to co-exist although I am not sure the scope of work for all participants is worth what was previously a maximum compensation bracket. I am all for keeping people onboard, granted they want to do their best work for the DAO and put forward more value than they ask for.

I do think certain aspects of the proposal can be changed to better fit the needs of the DAO considering work that may slightly overlap but does not entirely. Everything you noted is important to have in a DAO, execution of course is number one which was raised as a possible gray area for some other commenters. Another way to look at this is, why do you need to be flexible to fit around what Orb is offering, but the nature of this is they have a great track record and most likely synergies and boundaries will need to exist to keep us lean and efficient.

What it boils down to for me is the ask for some roles seem too high. I respect the idea of all work is equal in theory, but typically this is not the best way to proceed. Best feedback I can give if you have any doubts on this being approved is to reevaluate your hours spent and results, then come back with a lower ask per month. To be clear I have not made my mind up on this proposal yet but I am expressing what would make me feel a lot better about saying yes to it.

8 Likes

Hi @saf I appreciate your transparency in telling about your conflict of interests and of the fact that you are close to @solarcurve.

I think that your words are not well calibrated and they also go against what @Fernando correctly pointed out about collaborations and experiments. Balancer was trying to undergo a process of decentralization and I think that - as one of the best projects in DeFi - it still needs to pursue this path.

Nobody is telling that Beets is not a good project, but its temporary success was of course driven by the success of the Fantom chain. Now that the magic moment is gone and Fantom TVL is under 1B it seems to me that Beets is struggling as anyone else. The rebound of Beets depends more on the future of Fantom and Optimism than on the team.

What I am trying to say is that the success of a FF depends not only on the team, but also on the market conditions and on external factors related to the specific chain. Some projects were simply not lucky because of the timing or external conditions. Hexagon for instance tried to launch the day in which Terra collapsed and was based on the idea of using UST on Avalanche. Also the most talented team of the world would have suffered in such an event.

I admire the fact that in your words and in the ones of @solarcurve one can really read the deep affection and the love that you have for your ecosystem (Balancer, Beethoven and Optimism). What I don’t understand is why you want absolutely to exclude others from being part of this ecosystem and grow it as much as possible. I don’t know the relationships, but it seems to me that there are some personal issues here, which I think should remain outside of the scope of these discussions.

1 Like