Feedback on EIP4844 contributors Collection

Hello, I was recently directed to the following page Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases. with a list of EIP4844 contributors which presumably will get a reward in OP for their work on EIP4844.

I am very pleased that successful projects like Optimism are funding public goods and in particular core development. Not only with monetary funding but also with their own time and man-hours in research and implementation. I am also glad to be personally considered for this funding even if my participation in EIP4844 has been infinitesimal at most. I wish other projects, in particular those with their own tokens, do allocate a percentage of their token to fund core development and public goods in general.

However, I believe that in this particular instance the approach taken by Optimism is not right for several reasons. Most, if not all of the people in that list, are core developers that already belong to a collective that is self curated and that distributes funding towards them, this is the Protocol Guild. I believe this is the right place to allocate funding for core development.

Although it is understandable that Optimism may want to have a finer decision on how their funds are allocated among members, in this particular instance of a feature that has not even been shipped to Ethereum mainnet and whose date hasn’t even been set on public testnets, I believe that this hurts Ethereum governance credibility of neutrality.

It also may have impact among core dev teams themselves: should I be careful in the future deciding in which subprojects do I work within Prysm to expect a higher payout if I work on projects that are of interest to Optimism? (noting that this project in particular is of high interest to Prysm’s mother company). Should I neglect forkchoice and allocate more of my time to EIP4844?

On the other side of the same coin, the list itself fails to recognize participation of many people that do contribute under the hood. How about the devops on each team that helped setup and run special CI flows for the respective EIP4844 branches? How about project managers that are involved in facilitating some of these coredevs to take time from other resources to work on EIP4844? I don’t want to claim that I have any right to decide how Optimism allocates their funds, just noticing that the protocol guild has already gone through these questions in detail, in an ample forum of coredevs and has instructed guides on who and how much should be distributed from the funds it obtains, and often times, in order to see a feature live on mainnet, there are many more working directly and indirectly (even facilitating those that work directly) than those that receive credit for it. I also don’t want to take credit off the people in that list: I have personally seen the work and the countless hours that some of my colleagues are putting into this, they are true champions.

Having said so, and again repeating that I am very glad and honoured to be considered and quite happy to see such an influential project donating funds towards core development, I kindly request my name to be taken off that list.


I agree completely. To be frank I see some people from Nethermind missing from that list. While they weren’t particularly involved in 4844 community calls they were involved in Nethermind networking and tx pool 4844 integrations and very detailed code review of whole 4844 changes. Not sure how the list was compiled, but it is not complete even on it’s own terms.

That being said, core devs focusing on withdrawals or other general improvements are not less aligned with 4844 and making it happen on mainnet and excluding them is an unfair treatment. And we have already a mechanism to include them through Protocol Guild.


I’ll echo the sentiment. I think doing RPGF in this granular of a form incentivizes doing more visible and “popular” work in a degenerate way. Everyone on the Prysm team is working on keeping the lights on, and if Prysm doesn’t keep the lights on, no upgrades happen.

Similarly, some work is very high-profile by the nature of the role. Such work can certainly be instrumental in shipping an upgrade, but so is lower-profile work. For example, timelines would easily slip by 6 months if devops folks weren’t around.

Trying to capture the granularity of who and how an upgrade was shipped will create view-biased asymmetries and create perverse incentives around how people choose to structure their work in the future.


Thanks for the Feedback @potuz!

This nomination for EIP-4844 contributors is for Retroactive Public Goods Funding Round 2, where Badgeholders will decide how much funding to allocate to it. Protocol Guild and a lot of client teams are also nominated.

We only stepped in here because no one else nominated EIP-4844 contributions and we felt like it was important work that should be on the ballot.
Initially we thought about nominating all the contributors on the list as individuals, but were afraid that asking Badgeholders (voters in RetroPGF2) to understand the granularity of each contribution would be a lot to ask. This is why we decided to put it out as a collection.

While this collection was created by Protolambda, Liam and others from the OP Labs team, who were deeply involved in EIP-4844 work, I don’t think anyone is claiming this collection is a perfect reflection of contributions.
But I personally think it’s better to have a decent collection of contributors that is nominated rather than no nomination at all.

One possible solution for the future could be that anyone can create such a collection and different collections can reflect different views of understanding of the contributions.
E.g. if you don’t agree with this collection you could come along and create your own EIP-4844 collection that reflects your best understanding of the contributions.

Curious to hear your thoughts on how we might solve this in the future!
I think we can’t ask Badgeholders to have the best understanding of how 100+ different people contributed to particular work. There needs to be some way for Badgeholders to outsource this curation to others. This could be self-curation (e.g. Protocol Guild) or curation by third parties (what we tried to do here). Open to any ideas on this!


In regard to your concerns about allocating all or most of the funds to a certain group of developers, I might say that you are quite right. It has to be fair. I am definitely a new account here, but I think your argument is logical and your concern has to be taken into consideration. Of course, the fund does not solely belong to the Optimism Collective, and all the Delegates have to decide on it that how to spend the fund.
However, the project itself might be highly beneficial for the whole system and help all of the members in Delegation. Thanks for your post.

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OP RPGF is an incredibly important experiment, one worth pursuing. I applaud the efforts to build this norm, and hope other L2s will start to follow the OP community’s lead! Funding our commons is a challenge we’ll have as long as we have an ecosystem worth stewarding.

I also appreciate the intentions behind the OP Labs EIP-4844 curated list. However, feature-specific funding in the RPGF context has challenges which may not be immediately apparent. Other commenters have touched on them above, which I will try to constructively summarize and respond to below.

1. Curation is hard

  • Effectively surfacing the people who’ve done the work requires intimate domain knowledge. Even though OP Labs was deeply involved with 4844, the final list still missed some people who should have been included.
  • Even in the case of a perfect curation, snapshots quickly lose their accuracy as people join/leave the project. Is OP Labs committing to updating this in perpetuity for each successive round? This entails a fair bit of overhead in curating, filtering, and weighting contributors.
  • At a certain point, the implementation work will stop and 4844 will go live on mainnet. Will this list or some future list receive ongoing retro funding?
  • Of course, better curation is possible. Ultimately, taking on the curatorial role puts the onus of inclusion/omission/eligibility/weighting on OP Labs. This is a weighty responsibility with parallels to VB’s idea of “control as liability” - let’s call it “curation as liability”.

2. Implementation is not stewardship

  • The part is not the whole, the feature is not the protocol.
  • Those involved in researching/implementing a particular feature may not be the people stewarding the client code in 5-10 years. And yet, these future stewards will still be responsible for any introduced complexity or inadvertent tech debt. Long-term maintenance should be a core consideration in commons funding, which is not necessarily covered by this curated list.

3. Funding features skews incentives

  • Funding features incentivizes such work at the expense of other equally important features or long-term maintenance of existing features. There is no one piece of the protocol that is more important than another. This pluralist frame has deep cultural roots, seen in our shared obsession with a robust multi-client ecosystem.
  • Core protocol credible neutrality is one of Ethereum’s most important characteristics. This includes both the protocol’s current state (eg. producing blockspace, settling transactions) and the processes by which it evolves. Feature funding adds a thumb to the scale.
  • While the OP Labs decision to fund 4844 contributors may appear directionally reasonable (ie. scaling the chain benefits all users, 4844 benefits all L2s not just Optimism), the Ethereum community should firmly avoid establishing this as a norm. Best case, it introduces strange dynamics into client teams through perks to working on certain parts of the codebase. Worst case, it devolves long-term into “pay to play” funding where client teams name their price for feature inclusion.

Potuz and Jonas mentioned the Protocol Guild above as a potential alternative. And, while it’s still very early days, and there is a lot to improve on, I think the Guild has demonstrated compelling potential. Here’s how its design addresses the challenges listed above.

1. Self curation is neutral consensus

  • Protocol Guild maintains its own membership. As a result, any funder sidesteps the “control as liability” incurred when creating their own list. The successes and failures of curation are assumed by the peer group which maintains the beneficiary set.
  • Bonus: The Guild also handles weighting, abdicating the responsibility to a sufficiently fair time-weighting.

2. Stewardship happens over time

  • The Protocol Guild collective attests to the accuracy of the current membership, and develops stronger guarantees over time to potential funders: curation will continue as long as the mechanism is useful.
  • Vesting of allocated funding adds to this future guarantee.

3. Fund the protocol, not its features

  • Guild eligibility aims to be sufficiently broad, but not more.
  • There is no membership distinction between new features added to and ongoing maintenance of the core protocol. Both of these are crucial for the next decade of Ethereum.
  • This includes client teams, researchers, coordination, security, devops, testnets, and testing: everything needed to continue evolving the core protocol.

A combination of the challenges listed above and my strong conviction that Protocol Guild is the best-fit tool, I will be forwarding any possible RPGF allocation I receive from the 4844 Collection to the Protocol Guild.

As an addendum: here’s a list of similar curation efforts I was part of in the past which have had a strong influence on the design of the Guild.

Open Grants (2019-ongoing)

  • Open Grants was conceived and funded by James Fickel, and seeded by a 4k ETH vesting stream intended to go to “eth 2”. I was involved with curation and diligence for each update.
  • Pros: Focuses on a broader category instead of a narrow feature
  • Cons: Funder which can claw back funding at any time, an unclear weighting and curation methodology, and infrequent updates. “eth2” is not really a meaningful category today - what about the other 120 people stewarding the chain?

Beacon Book (2021)

  • I created the Beacon Book, which fed ETH generated by a physical book & NFT project to a set of Beacon Chain contributors.
  • Pros: Immutable ETH distribution
  • Cons: Concerned with a specific feature, not its ongoing maintenance. Immutable contract can’t update beneficiary list

1559 NFTs (2021)

  • Tim Beiko, Kitteh and myself worked on the 1559 NFT Series, which recognized the work of EIP-1559 contributors
  • Pros: Immutable ETH distribution
  • Cons: Concerned with a specific feature, not its ongoing maintenance. Immutable contract can’t update beneficiary list

These experiences ultimately culminated with the Protocol Guild, launched on mainnet in May 2022. To date, the entire $10mm Pilot has been directed to this list of members, in addition to ETH raised by projects like the When Merge NFTs and New Home of the Heart Merge benefit exhibition.


Was anybody in teams consulted on those collections?

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I suppose some where since at least in my case I found out early enough to post here. I’m a little sad that this proposal was approved and I couldn’t get my name off the list, I thought at least that request would have been taken into account.


Echo other’s points, in summary

  • I highly appreciate OP interest in funding public goods, would love to see it becoming a norm
  • An arbitrary curation can be counter-productive tho, even a net detriment of the protocol
  • This specific curation seems to reward contributors that did the most public or visible actions
  • For the record, Gajinder from Lodestar has probably contributed more than I towards EIP4844, but due to visa friction he could not come to the interop. I guess that’s the main reason to allocate less funds to the latter, which is not ideal.

OP should just allocate the bulk to Protocol Guild and avoid the most of this granularity induced issues. And if applicable reward independent contributors that are not part of the Protocol Guild (teams Worldcoin, Aztec, Starkware, Blobscan, or independent)


Hey folks, I curated most of this list, and I’d like to share my thoughts on it.

First and foremost, this list is not perfect, nor does it claim to be. Largely, it was created in haste to ensure that individuals who dedicated their personal time and energy to spearheading the EIP-4844 initiative were recognized by Optimism for this RPGF round.

Over the last year, several people have gone above and beyond due to their commitment to Ethereum’s future and Optimism as a project to help realize its vision—they deserve recognition.

For example:

  • Remco at Worldcoin, understanding the significance of EIP-4844 for rollups in general and any potential deployment onto an L2, directed his team at Worldcoin to tackle some challenging problems around the KZG ceremony. He didn’t have to do that, but he did!

  • Terence at Prysmatic has dedicated significant time and energy over the past year to advance the EIP while also juggling numerous other tasks. He recognized the importance of this work for rollups, Optimism, etc., and chose to prioritize it—that’s the exact behavior we want to reward.

Ensuring good contributions don’t go unnoticed.
Did we overlook people who should have been on this list? Absolutely.

Could any of those people have been nominated by anyone? Also, yes.

From my perspective, we can approach this situation in one of two ways:

  1. Be more restrictive with nomination criteria.
  2. Work harder to track, index, and organize contributions.

I strongly favor option (2) before considering (1).

In response to Trent’s concern: yes, curation is difficult, but that’s the point. The challenge here is establishing a social norm around nominating deserving individuals for retroactive funding, which requires detailed, rigorous tracking of contributions.

If we lean into the problem, we can achieve great things. I strongly encourage moving in this direction. Currently, it’s challenging to review who did what work without extensive digging on GitHub, Zoom meeting notes, HackMD documents, and other hard-to-index resources.

Ensuring nominations get made.
To address @potuz’s concern directly, note that the entire nomination process was open for anyone on the internet to participate. Using the framework mentioned above, my take is that we need to invest more in outreach to ensure people are aware of this process and to invest more in tools and infrastructure to simplify nominations.

There are numerous possibilities here. Imagine:

  • A Chrome extension that allows users to nominate any arbitrary commit on GitHub directly from the GitHub UI.
  • A Zoom plugin that nominates the meeting lead and all participants of a Contributor’s Call.
  • Automatically nominating every POAP, Mirror blog post, or other on-chain artifacts (e.g., 1559 NFTs).

We could even mint new NFTs for each of these instances: “Contribution NFTs.” If we do this, I strongly recommend doing it on a work basis, not a person basis. I don’t want to nominate, for example, Tim Beiko generally; I want to nominate Tim specifically for hosting various calls, managing the website, coordinating teams, writing meeting notes, tweeting for public communications, etc.

We need to showcase the valuable work, not just the valuable people.

Ensuring nominations don’t degenerate.
Danny raises a valid concern that this process could devolve in degenerate ways, but that’s precisely what reputation systems are designed to prevent. I’d love to see a world where someone like Danny himself or a highly respected researcher like Carl, Dankrad, or Ansgar could attest to the importance of the work.

We can build our way into this future:

  • A social norm of high-signal, high-reputation individuals or groups endorsing certain nominations.
    • For example, vitalik.eth could attest that protolambda.eth’s code advanced EIP-4844.
  • A social norm of that same group downvoting certain degenerate, spammy nominations.
  • Leveraging Optimism’s Citizen House concept to ensure proof-of-personhood for a nomination.

Let the voters decide which attestations carry weight when determining how to evaluate the contribution from Optimism’s perspective.

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worth restating that my comments only concern core Ethereum contributors (eg. client teams, researchers) because that’s the domain i’m familiar with - they may not apply to other 4844 contributors.

Terence at Prysmatic has dedicated significant time and energy over the past year to advance the EIP while also juggling numerous other tasks. He recognized the importance of this work for rollups, Optimism, etc., and chose to prioritize it—that’s the exact behavior we want to reward.

The point being made throughout this thread is that researchers / client devs are never operating as lone individuals - just as the Ethereum network itself is not stewarded by a single team/project. Terence’s work is only possible because the rest of his team is taking on the less visible yet crucial non-4844 protocol work to maintain the client, test implementations, devops, etc. Ignoring this discounts their work. When protocol work is highly collaborative by default, does it really make sense to elevate one person in isolation?

Ensuring good contributions don’t go unnoticed.

yes, of course external curation can be better - acknowledged in my original comment. A solution premised on better/broader curation core contributors doing this supplemental work approaches what Protocol Guild already is: inclusive of all protocol stewardship today and in the future.

  • A Chrome extension that allows users to nominate any arbitrary commit on GitHub directly from the GitHub UI.
  • A Zoom plugin that nominates the meeting lead and all participants of a Contributor’s Call.
  • Automatically nominating every POAP, Mirror blog post, or other on-chain artifacts (e.g., 1559 NFTs).

Again - this approach falls into the trap that more granularity / better external curation is an appropriate solution for core contributors. The scope to recording/weighting contributions at this level quickly balloons to an unimaginable level, while also pushing people to make their work legible to your curation method. eg. 1. devs pushing to be on 4844 related work that at the expense of other work (eg. maintenance) 2. which will be properly recognized by whatever recording method OP Labs decides is eligible (eg. hosting a highly visible public zoom call vs hosting an equally important small call)

Ensuring nominations don’t degenerate.

Danny’s point is not that the low-level curation process will degenerate, but that this 4844 curation has already subtly degenerated to reward specific feature work at the expense of long-term protocol stewardship.

Further, this isn’t even to mention the precedent this sets for other projects who want to get their feature included in the protocol. It just so happens that this time the broader community, L2s & core contributors are aligned around the 4844 Ethereum vision - this alignment on features/timing may not always be present.


Jumping in here since I saw my name was mentioned a few times :slight_smile:

Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude for the consideration given to me, and I feel honored to see my name brought up. It is true that I dedicated significant time and effort outside of my usual responsibilities to implement EIP4844 on Prysm between February 2022 and November 2022. However, I was fortunate to work alongside an exceptional team at Prysm who ensured the smooth running of our operations. Without my teammates’ support, I would not have been able to undertake EIP4844 as a side project and would have had to divide my attention elsewhere. While I completed the initial versions of EIP4844 on Prysm, it should be noted that my colleagues are also engaged in valuable work. I believe this proposal has the potential to create an impression of asymmetry and unfairness towards others and could undermine our credibility as a neutral party. I would like to clarify that I have sent a response to the Retroactive Public Goods Funding via email, which outlines my thoughts on this matter.


You can always claim and send it to PG yourself. In some sense it could be a bigger statement.

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I am echoing sentiments expressed by @terence in the above post. There are several people (including myself) who are willing to donate OP tokens received as a part of the EIP-4844 collection. Therefore, I am wondering if there is a way to directly send their shares to the Protocol Guild account considering that PG is also a part of RPGF funds distribution.


Most ppl I talked to are also worried about tax implication of such action

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I appreciate the recognition and all the effort put into funding public goods. I have similar feelings to those expressed here already. The work and support of my teammates is as important as any of my work and that is overlooked in this distribution. I’d like to forward tokens sent to me to the Protocol Guild as @mkalinin describes if this is possible.


Apologies in advance for the wall of text :sweat_smile:

This thread has been at the top of my mind for the past few weeks. Full disclosure, I’ve got a foot in almost every part of this: I am one of the larger recipients in the collection (appreciate the recognition!), as well as a member/recipient of Protocol Guild (thank you for that too!!), and I also shared some data with Liam when he was putting this collection together (e.g. list of Zoom attendees). That said, I didn’t see the “final collection” before it was posted on the forum.

To avoid rehashing all the points made here, I’d like to emphasize what I see as the gap between what the OP Collective tried to reward and why it seems “wrong” to claim this as an individual when many others are involved in protocol maintenance.

What I believe the OP Collective wanted to fund with this collection is the proactive/“going above and beyond” work that was required to bring momentum to EIP-4844. Even in a world where this didn’t distort incentives, it’s very hard to quantify what that “extra” effort should represent. @terrence’s comment highlights this tension very well.

Looking at RPGF2 broadly, the OP collective has rewarded protocol development in three ways: client teams, Protocol Guild, and the 4844 collection. These respectively received 57%, 31% and 11% of the ~1.8m $OP (~18% of the total round!) that went to protocol development.

My 2 gwei is that while there is value in the OP collective signalling (and rewarding) work it thinks should happen, it’s incredibly hard for a set of badgeholders who have little context to properly evaluate the relative contributions in an effort like 4844. How much of that “extra” work should get absorbed by the overall client teams? How much by something like Protocol Guild? And this doesn’t even get into non-client/PG contributors that are also part of the collection.

On the other hand, looking at the actual results, a ~60/30/10 split across the client/PG/4844 buckets is surprisingly good? 90% of the funds were sent to the “base” protocol work, with a healthy split between individuals and organizations.

Zooming in a bit more, though, it’s not clear how well the collection itself maps to the true contributions to 4844. This gets harder to do the farther away from the main contributors you get.

Assuming the OP Collective wants to keep doing these Collections, I think it’d be much better to send the funds to a subset of “Collection MVPs” who can then make a decision about more granular allocation. In this case, I think the Instrumental contributors (esp. if including the CB/OP ones removed from the final list) would be better positioned to then send the funds to teams/individuals/protocol guild than an external observer.

That said, there are many failure modes for this as well: what if the recipients end up taking all the funds? Or none at all, because they feel some social pressure to send it to client teams/Protocol Guild? I’m not sure if these complexities, along with the other issues highlighted, make Collections a net negative or not, but I think it’s reasonable to experiment with them more!

On this note, here are some thoughts about the details of the collection:

  • People in the Instrumental/Important buckets are likely those who did the most “4844 above and beyond” work, and those in others are more likely to have done this “as part of their job” (with several caveats, ofc!). The Instrumental/Important recipients have an aggregate of 4*10+11*5=95 points, out of 190 (50%). If you added back in the removed contributors, that would be 90+60=150 points out of 247 (60%).
    • That seems low to me if the idea is to emphasize extremely proactive. If not, and this is more “funding all of 4844”, then potentially having something like 60% of funds going to PG, 30% to client teams and 10% split amongst “top contributors” is reasonable.
  • While the work done so far has been very valuable, and arguably created most of the momentum behind 4844, the EIP is not live yet. It has been officially included in Cancun, and IMO it might have been good to frame the grant as linked to this milestone.
  • Similarly, while “generating momentum” is important to go from EIP → Inclusion, to go from Inclusion → Depoloyment, a larger share of the work necessarily ends up being absorbed as part of the “day to day” protocol development work.

With this said, and in the spirit of my earlier point re: the social pressure of giving vs. keeping the tokens, I’d like to send 40% of my reward to Protocol Guild. If everyone in the collection did this, it would make the split between PG & 4844 contributors 85%|15%. That seems reasonable given the high proportion of Supported and Involved members in the list.

Finally, in the spirit of RPGF, I’d like my PG funds to be sent to the Split rather than Vesting contract. Note that I’m less convinced this is the right approach for the PG RPGF grant itself, but for something like this collection, it seems important to highlight the backwards-looking nature of the work.