- 2023-Nov-25: Posted initial draft
- 2023-Nov-27: Added external links including the 2023 AADAO Impact Report
- 2023-Nov-27: Added Calendly pages to book calls with AADAO members
- 2023-Dec-03 Updated Oversight Committee and Legal Structure parts of the current proposal + added links to full docs of the 2 mentioned sections.
2023-Dec-10 Removal of Growth SubDAO and modification of the Strategy Committee
2023-Dec-11 Update to Budget from 1,021,000 to 975,811 ATOM and revised bonus allocation from 125,000 to 100,000 following removal of Growth subDAO.
2023-Dec-12 Added compensation brackets by category of contributor.
2023-Dec-16 Added links to internal protocols + bonus doc
- AADAO contributions to the Cosmos Hub
- 2023 Achievements
- Looking ahead: AADAO’s vision for 2024
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Migration to DAO DAO
- Legal Structure and Trustee
- Grant subDAO
Budget and Compensation
- Operational Budget
- Performance and Retention
Appendix A - Mitigation Plan
As the ATOM Accelerator DAO (AADAO) approaches a significant milestone, having matured over the past nine months, we are poised to enter a new phase of growth. This proposal is seeking 975,811 ATOM (valued at $9.75M at a spot price of $10) funding for the next chapter. Our wish is to establish AADAO as a long lasting DAO playing an integral part in the future of the Cosmos Hub. Our aim is not just to sustain our operations for the next year but to lay the groundwork for AADAO’s enduring presence and contribution to the ATOM community.
Alignment and Dedication to the Hub: AADAO stands as the only 100% community-funded organization, fully aligned with and owned by the ATOM community, dedicated to serving the Hub’s interests.
Supporting the Developer Ecosystem: By bootstrapping a grant program, AADAO prevents developer migration to other Layer 1s by providing funding, support, and resources.
Cultural Shift in the ATOM Community: AADAO has been instrumental in shifting the focus from passive staking to active building, fostering entrepreneurship and unlocking the collective intelligence of the Cosmos Hub.
Alternative Funding Source: Most funding proposals requests from the Cosmos Hub public governance are better off channeled through a grant-administration organization that is equipped to assess the validity of a spend proposal and follow-up on the deliverables, creating a system of accountability.
For more details on AADAO 2023, please view the 2023 ATOM Accelerator Impact Report
Throughout 2023, AADAO has been at the forefront of driving growth and innovation within the ATOM Economic Zone, achieving notable milestones across diverse areas:
- ATOM Economic Zone Build Out
- Neutron airdrop was redirected to the ATOM community pool: AADAO identified in Neutron’s proposal that the unclaimed airdrop of 42M of $NTRN was destined to go back to the Neutron DAO. AADAO successfully negotiated to redirect this amount to the ATOM community pool, worth $22M as of November 14th, 2023;
- Bootstrapping and custody of the ATOM -stATOM pool (value of 450K ATOM) on Astroport on behalf of the Cosmos Hub in the first ever Protocol Owned Liquidity deployed by the Cosmos Hub.
- Leading the charge on ATOM Tokenomics: Funding Blockworks Research, Binary Builders and RMIT to research and propose improvements to ATOM’s tokenomics;
- Shared Security
- Funded core development of Mesh Security with Osmosis, Axelar and Akash with a core contributor from Informal Systems as part of the working group in charge of developing Mesh;
- Funded the establishment of a new core team with regard to onboarding new consumer chains into Replicated Security. Cryptocrew Validators will be the main point of contact for all testnet matters.
- Promoting ATOM as gas in the Interchain: Grants were awarded to Leap Wallet and Mystic Labs to maximize ATOM’s visibility within their respective wallets, strategically positioning ATOM as the primary interchain money within the Cosmos ecosystem and increasing use cases where ATOM is used as default gas.
- Funding dapps (Amulet, Shogun, Astrovault, CALC Finance) to build on Neutron with ATOM at the center as gas and preferred collateral asset.
- Cofunding Metamask Snaps integration for all Cosmos chains: The hub will benefit from 33% of wallet IBC swap fees once that feature is live.
- Doubling down on DAOs by deploying on Neutron and opening the door for future DAOs to be more transparent and use best-in-class tooling.
- Media & Events: supporting events ranging from small community meetups and developer recruitment through speaking at Messari Mainnet and sponsorship of Cosmoverse.
Based on the return of capital of $22M to Cosmos community pool during the past eight months, AADAO has already achieved a 2.75x cash on cash return to Cosmos community pool relative to the initial $8M cost of funding the phase I program.
Leveling up our Grant Program: We plan to refine the AADAO grant program to improve the return on investment from our grants. This will involve a strategic shift towards more Request-for-Proposals (RFPs) and high added-value grants, targeting specific needs and opportunities within the ecosystem. While adopting this more targeted approach, we remain committed to supporting open grant submissions, balancing AADAO strategic priorities with grassroots, community-driven projects.
Financial Sustainability and Growth: A pivotal goal for AADAO in 2024 is to progress towards financial self-sustainability. This involves crafting value-generating partnerships while advancing the Hub’s interests. It also implies sound treasury management which is critical in crypto where prices are volatile. This move towards financial independence is designed to alleviate the funding burden on the ATOM community pool while ensuring AADAO’s long-term stability and effectiveness in supporting the community. AADAO will remain fully owned by the ATOM community, preserving its alignment with the community’s interests and objectives, and all assets held by AADAO ultimately will stay as community owned resources.
Transition to a Full-Time Team Model: To enhance our operational effectiveness, AADAO will transition to a predominantly full-time team structure. Moving from 25% of the workforce being full-time to over 60%, this shift is informed by our experiences in 2023 and is a strategic move to bolster our internal capabilities and reach.
To accommodate our roadmap and transition towards becoming a fully fledged DAO, AADAO is implementing changes to our internal governance structure, aligning our organizational design with our long-term vision and objectives.
Strategy Committee: Serves as the custodian of AADAO funds and responsible for budget allocations . Following the pause of the Growth SubDAO, the number of members will decrease from up to 7 in the initial proposal to 3 in the revised proposal with the goal of reaching 5 members in the future. The Strategy Committee is responsible for strategy prioritization, including the creation or dissolution of subDAOs in collaboration with the community. The Strategy Committee, led by the Program Manager, also handles treasury management and liaises with both the Oversight Committee and ATOM public governance.
Oversight Committee: The Oversight Committee has significant powers such as the VETO on new grants, the ability to discontinue an existing grant, the sign-off on contributor’s performance assessments, and the ability to terminate contributors for serious misconduct. The Oversight Committee’s ultimate goal is to ensure AADAO always acts in the best interests of the $ATOM community. In year one, the entirety of our oversight was self-appointed due to logistics constraints.
Under the Renewal Mandate, our desire is to build on the work done while opening up the committee to a community-elected member for a total of 3 members. The process to designate a community member to join our oversight would start shortly after our funding proposal ends. It will likely follow the same process Osmosis used to designate their canonical Ethereum Bridge: multiple candidates putting up an on-chain proposal following a discussion period and the best elected of them wins. Eventually, the process could transition to support with the DAO DAO tooling as it becomes ready and available for service to the Hub community. Please consult our full write up on the Oversight going into Year 2
Grant DAO: This subDAO is tasked with issuing open grants and conducting strategic research for RFPs to prioritize grants. It comprises a team adept in grant management and technical product development. It is led by the Grant Lead.
Program Manager : As the leader of the Strategy Committee, the Program Manager represents AADAO publicly, advises on budgetary matters, and collaborates in setting roadmaps and KPIs for sub-DAOs. The GM’s role extends to supervising subDAOs, coordinating recruitment efforts, and developing internal controls and policies in conjunction with the Oversight Committee.
As a fully funded Hub organization, AADAO wants to be as accountable and transparent as possible to the Hub’s governance. As such, we have taken the decision to migrate our operations onto DAO DAO. The migration is in progress with expected completion by January 2024.
This year, AADAO has funded the DAO DAO team to deploy their infrastructure on Neutron. We believe that in order to flourish, specialized DAOs like AADAO need the right set of tooling. A simple multisig is just not enough. A full suite of features is needed for DAOs to truly express their full potential, achieve internal controls and good governance, and create network effects. This includes treasury management capabilities and asynchronous transaction signing at the very minimum. DAO DAO can also dramatically lower the cost to entry for new teams that are looking to create their very first DAOs but are prevented from doing so because of the excessive complexity.
For AADAO to be an effective HUB aligned organization and mitigate risks, we would like to pursue two parallel tracks under the Renewal Mandate:
The first is a Guernsey Purpose Trust structure. The goal of the Purpose Trust is to mitigate risks of legacy nation state jurisdictional attacks upon Cosmos Hub community pool resources administered by AADAO in areas of regulatory, tax, liability, and AML and to prevent harm to $ATOM community and its contributors of such attacks.
The second is to continue to evolve AADAO’s internal protocols, building upon the initial prop 95 mandate, reflecting organic processes that have formed thru Contributor collaboration within the DAO over the past 9 months, and adding a Strategy Committee and multi-subDAO structure to support specialized teams forming within the DAO.
For architecture of the Guernsey Trust, legal advisor Collas Crill worked with AADAO Contributors to dovetail their host country rules with AADAO’s mandate, internal protocols, DAO DAO migration path, and desire to be 100% ATOM community owned. The status today is that the conceptual architecture has been designed with key terms defined, and with this on-chain proposal we are asking for the community to sign-off on this conceptual architecture and roadmap so that we can implement it via long-form docs.
A useful feature of the Guernsey Purpose Trust structure is that it is a limited legal wrapper leaving internal protocols of AADAO outside of the structure, thus preserving flexibility for the community to operate AADAO via its own decentralized governance. Moreover, the Purpose Trust does not have any shareholders, thus reinforcing the community-purpose of AADAO.
The structure requires a professional trustee to sign AADAO payments, and to perform KYC/AML checks to ensure compliance with sanctioned persons lists prior to such payments. After considering three options of professional trustees, we are recommending a 100+ year old firm, Saffrey Trust. After one-time setup costs, the annual cost to have Saffrey Trust as final signer on transactions from AADAO multisigs is expected ~ £50k English pounds.
You can also check the Legal structure-specific FAQ @Better_Future prepared
As the ATOM Accelerator DAO continues to evolve and refine its grant distribution strategy, we are committed to enhancing the impact of our funding initiatives. To achieve this, we are introducing a balanced approach to our grant program, dividing our total grant budget between two distinct but complementary parts: open grants and RFP/high priority grants.
a. Open Grants (Inbound): By maintaining our commitment to open grants, we ensure that fresh, diverse, and spontaneous projects have the opportunity to receive support, keeping the ecosystem open and dynamic. During our first term, we accepted open applications for a total duration of 6 months, in which we received 211 applications. Assuming a growth in the number of applications of 50-100% in year 2, we expect AADAO to process a total of 600-800 applications for the 2024 year.
b. RFP and High Priority Grants (Outbound): In contrast, our RFP (Request for Proposals) and high added-value grants will take a more targeted and strategic approach. This outbound segment will focus on addressing specific challenges and opportunities identified by AADAO as we work in collaboration with the ATOM community. To ensure a successful planning and execution, AADAO is enhancing its research & technical capabilities. We will be recruiting a Technical Product Manager and a full-time Developer to our team.
Below are a few example of targeted, high value RFPs that could benefit the entire AEZ:
- In collaboration with Stride, initiate a partnership between the Hub-Stride and MakerDAO to include stATOMs into DAI collaterals. This would add ATOM staking rewards to the MakerDAO and broaden their asset diversification.
- In collaboration with Noble, expand into Real World Assets (RWA) tokenization that could have value correlated to Cosmos’ & ATOM success
- Expand ATOM liquidity outside of Cosmos by:
- Creating partnerships with money markets in ETH L1&L2s to include ATOM as collateral;
- Creating partnerships with ETH and SOL foundations to create a long term agreement to exchange token reserves (treasury swap).
Hub Value Deals
As representatives of the Hub, AADAO sees an opportunity to bring value share or airdrops back to the Hub community pool. As we generate value streams for the Hub community pool, we propose to reserve 20% of those value streams for AADAO’s own treasury. With this model, the interests will be fully aligned and AADAO will drive value for the Hub community pool while reducing its reliance on funding from the Hub community pool.
Two common deal structure scenarios include:
- Value Sharing: The Hub community pool receives a share of the grantee’s value flows for a specified time period. Eg. in 2023, AADAO negotiated for a 33% share of Metamask IBC swap flows back to the Hub community pool as part of the Mystic Labs grant.
- Equity and/or Token Awards: A partner or grant project may provide a portion of its equity or token distribution to the Hub community pool, allowing the Hub community to participate in the organization’s long-term success. Eg. in 2023, AADAO negotiated for 42M NTRN of the unclaimed Neutron token airdrop to flow back to the Hub community pool (now worth $22M) to solidify the relationship between the Hub and Neutron.
Youssef Amrani 100% FTE. (Program Manager and Strategy Committee Lead). Co-founder of AADAO and also serves on the Economic Committee of the IST stablecoin. McGill University graduate in International Business and Finance.
Dilan Asatekin 50%FTE (Grant Sub-DAO). Founder of Imperator.
Damien Bonello 35% FTE. (Oversight Committee). Protocol Specialist and Governance Lead for Simply Staking. He holds a background in Finance and Economics.
Riley Edmunds 15% FTE (Strategy Committee). Co-founder Stride Labs and ex-Bridgewater associate. He was the head of machine learning research at Berkeley.
Better Future 100% FTE (Grant subDAO, Strategy Committee member). Co-founder of AADAO with a background in finance, BD, marketing, engineering management, R&D, seed investing, grants, and strategy. Doctorate from Stanford University.
Delisse Gamboa 50% FTE (AADAO assistant). Formerly assistant at Delphi Digital.
Facundo Medica 35% FTE. (Developer, Grant subDAO). Core Dev at Binary Builders.
Xavier Meegan 50% FTE(Grant subDAO). Chief Investment Officer at Chorus One.
Patricia Mizuki 35% FTE (Oversight Committee). Former PwC auditor with 10+ years in audit, risk management and process improvements.
Reena Shtedle 100% FTE. (Grant subDAO). Web3 native with an academic background in Math, CS, and Social theory. Held key roles at Paradigm Research and Citadel.one where she co-founded and served as CBDO and DevRel.
Joni Z 100% FTE (Grant subDAO). Co-founder of educational Blockchain Insight Group.
As AADAO continues to evolve and expand its impact, strategic financial management remains a cornerstone of our operations. The budget for the upcoming period is designed to ensure effective allocation of resources, with a keen focus on sustainability. A key aspect of this is our commitment to managing our treasury with the utmost diligence, particularly in the face of market volatility. This approach not only safeguards our assets but also ensures that we can honor our financial commitments to grantees and partners in a timely and reliable manner.
We are also mindful of the dynamic nature of our operations and the crypto market at large. Therefore, any amount in excess of the requested dollar funding will be judiciously rolled over to the subsequent year.
Finally, in keeping with our commitment to adaptability and efficient use of resources, the timing of our next funding proposal is not set in stone. We will base the decision to seek additional funding on the actual financial needs of AADAO, rather than adhering to a rigid 12-month cycle.
Operational Budget (note 1)
|Treasury Summary as of Nov 25, 2023
|63,422 stATOM valued at
|70,457 ATOM valued at
|1,269,000 USDC valued at
|(minus) Existing grant commitments
|Opening Balance for January 2024
|2024 Budget in USD
|Open Grants allocation
|RFP grant allocation
|AADAO Salaries (note 2)
|Oversight Committee salaries
|Professional trustee annual fee
|Events - Travel and lodging
|Total budgeted costs
|(minus) opening balance
|Total amount requested
|At current ATOM price of $10
|(plus) ATOM Alignment Allocation
|Total ATOM requested
Note 1: While AADAO’s pilot mandate ended in early November 2023, much of the team has continued to work through the month of November and December on milestone monitoring, multisig payments, and grantee administration in order to sustain the professional presence of the DAO. While team members realize they are doing this work at their own risk in the event this renewal proposal is unsuccessful, if it is successful, the DAO will retroactively compensate team members who were engaged in the period of work between the two proposals.
Note 2: Compensation brackets
- Program Manager and Strategy Committee member $75 to $95 per hour
- Technical/developer member $45 to $65 per hour
- Reviewer committee member $35 to $55 per hour
- Administrative member $15 to $20 per hour
Note 3: The funding from the on-chain proposal will go to AADAO’s original multisig made of 7 members (which has different constituents than the Strategy Committee) until we complete our migration to DAO DAO. The funds will be transferred to the Strategy Committee as soon as AADAO has fully onboarded on DAO DAO. The Strategy Committee must have at least 5 members before it can receive the funds.
AADAO plans to distribute up to 100,000 ATOMs across its team as part of an ATOM Alignment Allocation. This allocation plan is multi-dimensional, focusing on performance and retention of key talent and is described here. The bonuses are neither automatatic nor guaranteed, and are subject to review of Strategy Committee and Oversight.
- Forum Discussion: from November 25th to December 15th, 2023
- On-chain governance voting: From December 15th to December 29th, 2023
Come talk to us between November 28th, 2023 and December 7th, 2023
Mitigation Plans in the Event of a Non-Funding Voting Result
In the event that the ATOM community rejects our proposal to fund our next chapter, grant milestone payments and grant due diligence will need resolving. There is currently an outstanding $2M in grant milestone payments to be made. These options could be considered:
- Option A - The Hub via governance instructs the multisig to issue all grant milestones immediately.
- Option B - The Hub via governance notifies all grantees that no milestones will be paid.
- Option C - Grantees individually apply to the Hub for the release of their milestones payments.
- Option D - A minimum-viable skeleton team from AADAO distributes the grant milestone payments on a monthly basis. Multisig signers would meet once per month to distribute. Member(s) of the review or oversight committee would conduct the necessary grant due diligence and provide updates to the ATOM community with support from a technical adviser.
Option D ensures that:
a) the Hub only makes payments that hit the milestones;
b) funded grant projects receive the support to complete their work;
c) does not lead to a number of on-chain funding proposals from grantees that public governance will need to evaluate to ensure the milestones are met.
The Hub governance would also decide what to do with the 450k ATOM/stATOM that AADAO has custody of on Astroport. The multisig is willing to perform these tasks at no cost until such time as a trustless solution is available or instructed otherwise by the Hub’s governance.
In the event that funding is discontinued, then AADAO will submit an initial proposal on the forum (based on option D) and put the proposal on chain in the new year to ensure that payments for grant milestones can be made in January 2024. If the subsequent proposal is also rejected, AADAO will return the entirety of its assets to the community pool and discharge itself from further obligations.
The following items summarize the voting options and what it means for this proposal:
By voting YES, you indicate support for funding AADAO and the release of 975,811 ATOM.
By voting NO, you do not support this proposal in its current form and refuse to fund the AADAO.
By voting NOWITHVETO, you express that you consider this proposal malicious or harmful and would like to see depositors penalized by revocation of the deposit, which contributes towards an automatic ⅓ veto threshold.
By voting ABSTAIN, you formally decline to vote either for or against the proposal but want to contribute to the quorum.