[FINAL] Pairwise: Tinder UX for web3 community signaling

S4 Intent: Collective Intent #4: Governance Accessibility

Proposed Mission: The implementation of a hierarchical pairwise voting system, the addition of attestations to Snapshot voting, and the development of a flexible vote allocation feature to improve governance accessibility.

Proposal Tier: Fledgling (Pairwise received 7.8k OP in the latest round of Retro PGF)

Baseline grant amount: 95k OP

% of total available Intent Budget: 3.16%

Please check here if access to upfront capital is a barrier to completing your Mission and you would like to be considered for a small upfront cash grant: Yes

Alliance name: Pairwise

Alliance Lead: Freshelle

Contact info: Telegram @freshelle

L2 recipient address: 0xc8D65E1Bd67f16522e3117B980E1c9D2CaeB9dC3 (generalmagic.eth)

Please list the members of your Alliance and link to any previous work:

Pairwise is a project built by General Magic with a lot of support from rockstar DAO OGs.

  • @FreshelleT - Alliance lead. Treasury and contract engagement
  • @markoprljic - Design lead. Head of Design and Business Developer at General Magic. “Magic Marko” is a top notch designer and has been practicing his art on web2 and web3 projects for over a decade.
  • @moe_nick - Project Manager. Products & Fintech Enthusiast. http://Giveth.io Product Manager, ex-MyDigipay, ex-Tadbirpardaz, ex- Finnotech
  • @pourcheriki - Developer. More info: Github Lead Front-End Developer. Cherik has been leading the front-end design on a variety of products and features in the Giveth Galaxy for the last 2 years.
  • @amin__dev - Developer. More info: Github Software Engineer/Developer/Architecture Lead Developer at Giveth
  • @VitorMarthendal - Magically supports cadCAD and general full-stack development for consumer-facing blockchain-based products: Github
  • @thegrifft - Advisor. Co-founder of Giveth, Commons Stack, General Magic, Dappnode
  • @mathsguy - Maths PhD (Category Theory, String Topology / CUNY), then worked on Ethereum, EthSwarm & Colony. Now playing around with math animations using Manim and learning theoretical CS. Wrote the original paper Pairwise is based on.
  • @kronosapiens - Programmer-at-arms @joinColony, prev. ML @Foursquare Pilgrim. Closet anti-positivist. Arts & sciences. More info: Github Created the initial implementation of Pairwise
  • @gichiba - Technical Writer at the Ethereum Foundation More info: Linkedin
  • @ZeptimusQ - Transparency and accountability advocate. A passionate representative focused on decentralized governance.


In response to feedback and insights gathered from previous rounds of RetroPGF, we propose a comprehensive solution to improve and refine the system. The goal of this proposal is the implementation of Pairwise to be used for the next round of RetroPGF. With Pairwise, participants are presented with pairs of options and must choose one option from each pair or abstain. If the voter wants more information about one of the projects, they can click “View Details” and do further research. This approach turns one big complex decision into many small easy decisions and therefore can accommodate a large number of options without overwhelming participants. The final out put would be a ordered list with percentage weights for fund distribution. For more context read here.

Note: These are screenshots from our prototype, and the final product make for this grant will change drastically.

Key aspects of this proposal include:

1. Hierarchical Pairwise Assessment: We will implement a hierarchical pairwise voting system for RetroPGF. This system will have multiple levels of granularity, facilitating comparisons at the level of general categories (e.g., Education vs Technical Development) and within subcategories or individual projects. This will create a much easier user experience for the 100’s of projects applying for RetroPGF.
2. Attestations Added to Snapshot Voting: To extend voting rights to all citizens, we will make a snapshot strategy that uses attestations. We will attempt to merge upstream so it can be used by all snapshot users.
3. Flexible Allocation of Votes: In order to give more granular control of the user’s voting output, we will enable participants to manually adjust their results as they wish.

Please explain how this Mission will help accomplish the above Intent:

The plan to implement Pairwise hits at the core of intent #4:

The Collective must prioritize accessibility in order to create governance structures that welcome a broad range of Optimists to participate. Pairwise will greatly reduce the cognitive overhead for making challenging complex decisions, which will clearly make Optimism governance understandable, open, usable, flexible, and legible to all.

Lowering the cognitive overhead enables more perspectives to participate in governance, lowering barriers to participation for busy people and OP Maxis alike to be involved in the governance process.

Pairwise will give a much more user-friendly voting interface than the spreadsheet and DeForm that was used in the last RetroPGF round. Last round every citizen had to figure out how to give nearly 200 projects a percentage. This was reported to be very difficult and frustrating as many projects had to receive less than 1% each and managing it all in a spreadsheet was very overwhelming.

If this proposal passes, for the next round, the citizens will have a very beautiful UI and this process will be broken up into lots of simple micro decisions contextualized in several categories and it will be much more fun to participate, likely increasing the participation of the community.

What makes your Alliance well-suited to execute this Mission?

We have worked together on various projects, including Giveth, Commons Stack, and others, and have produced this initial prototype already which all OP holders can access and play with here:

Our team is full of DAO OGs, like Griff Green, that are fed up with using antiquated voting methods to make decisions in web3. We know we can do better and are committed to embarking on that mission with Optimism as the first beneficiary.

We are advised by the original writers of the Budget Box paper that Pairwise is based on.

Please list a critical milestone. The critical milestone should be a measure of whether you’ve made best efforts to execute what is outlined in this proposal or not. If you fail to achieve your critical milestone, your grant may be clawed back.

Optimism Pairwise Assessment Program Proposal - Milestone Roadmap

Milestone #1: Development and Implementation of Pairwise Core System

  • Overview: Develop and implement the basic functionality of the Pairwise system, including improvement of the Pairwise algorithm and interfaces for viewing spaces, votes, and projects.
  • Deliverable: Interfaces for viewing spaces, votes, and projects; voting abstain or choosing a project; viewing personal Pairwise rankings.
  • Expected Completion Date: Aug 15

Milestone #2: Hierarchical Pairwise Voting

  • Overview: Develop and implement a hierarchical Pairwise voting system, facilitating comparisons at various levels (e.g., general categories, subcategories, and individual projects).
  • Deliverable: Hierarchical Pairwise voting system, including interfaces for different levels of assessment.
  • Expected Completion Date: August 29

Milestone #3: Attestations Added to Snapshot

  • Overview: Create an attestation Snapshot strategy, extending voting rights to all citizens of the Optimism ecosystem.
  • Deliverable: Attestation feature in Pairwise and hopefully the Snapshot main application as well.
  • Expected Completion Date: September 14

Milestone #4: Flexible Allocation of Votes

  • Overview: Develop and implement a feature where participants can see and adjust the percentage allocation of their votes as per their preference.
  • Deliverable: Feature allowing participants to see and adjust their vote allocation.
  • Expected Completion Date: September 20

How should Token House delegate measure progress towards this Mission: These should focus on progress towards completion. Including expected completion dates for each is recommended.

Token House delegate can measure progress towards the completion of this mission by monitoring the completion of the specified critical milestones. Each milestone corresponds to a specific component of the project and has an expected completion date. The milestones are as follows:

1. Milestone #1: Development and Implementation of Pairwise Core System

  • Expected Completion Date: Aug 15
  • Progress can be measured by the successful development and implementation of interfaces for viewing spaces, votes, and projects; voting through snapshot strategies; and viewing personal Pairwise rankings.

2. Milestone #2: Hierarchical Pairwise Voting

  • Expected Completion Date: August 29
  • Progress can be measured by the successful development and implementation of a hierarchical Pairwise voting system, including interfaces for different levels of assessment.

3. Milestone #3: Attestations Added to Snapshot

  • Expected Completion Date: September 14
  • Progress can be measured by the successful addition of an attestation feature to Snapshot, extending voting rights to all citizens of the Optimism ecosystem.
  • Will need to be reviewed and merged upstream to Snapshot’s repo, not something we can guarantee, but we will make it work for Pairwise.

4. Milestone #4: Flexible Allocation of Votes

  • Expected Completion Date: September 20
  • Progress can be measured by the successful development and implementation of a feature that allows participants to see and adjust the percentage allocation of their votes as per their preference.

Note: With a 2.5-month timeframe, we’ll deliver an MVP that will work for RetroPGF’s next round. Our developers will manually set up the RetroPGF vote, as a fully configurable Pairwise application for general use cases isn’t feasible before the deadline. We hope to continue development post MVP to make Pairwise customizable for other use cases outside of RetroPGF.

How should badgeholders measure impact upon completion of this Mission? These should be focused on performance and may be used by badgeholders to assess your Mission’s impact in the next round of RetroPGF.

Badgeholders can measure the impact upon completion of this mission using several performance indicators:

1. User Experience: Evaluate the overall experience of badgeholder while interacting with the new voting process compared to the previous rounds. This could be accomplished through user surveys or feedback forms focused on the system’s usability, design, and intuitiveness.
2. Number of Users: The percentage of users that use Pairwise as opposed to other methods for the next round of RetroPGF.
3. Number of Pairwise votes: The more assessments a voter makes, the more they love voting with this tool.

Breakdown of Mission budget request:

Here’s a breakdown of the budget request for this mission, as per the milestone allocation:

1. Milestone #1: Development and Implementation of Pairwise Core System - 35k OP Tokens
2. Milestone #2: Hierarchical Pairwise Assessment Program - 25k OP Tokens
3. Milestone #3: Attestations Added to Snapshot Voting - 10k OP Tokens
4. Milestone #4: Flexible Allocation of Votes - 25k OP Tokens

Total Budget Request: 95k Optimism Tokens

This budget will cover the design and development costs associated with each milestone, including but not limited to labor, testing, and any infrastructure costs.

I confirm that my grant will be subject to clawback for failure to execute on critical milestones: Yes

I confirm that I have read and understand the grant policies: Yes

I understand that I will be required to provide additional KYC information to the Optimism Foundation to receive this grant: Yes

I understand that I will be expected to following the public grant reporting requirements outlined here: Yes


Wow, voting just got its glow-up!


Hi @freshelle, I believe this was part of an earlier submission to this Foundation Mission (RFP). If that’s the case, you should submit this as a response to that issue rather than a Mission proposal under Intent #4 :slight_smile: If you believe this proposal is better suited as a Mission proposal under Intent #4, then you can submit under Intent #4 instead of the Foundation Mission but you should not submit under both.


@lavande I understood teams could be members of up to three alliance proposals? The Foundation RFP which included only a specific use case demo of Pairwise tooling has been formally withdrawn


Yes, Alliances may submit up to 3 proposals, but they should not submit the same proposal multiple times in a Cycle (for example, as an RFP submission and a Mission proposal, or as a Mission proposal and Grants Council application.)

As stated above, if @freshelle believes this proposal is best suited as a Mission proposal under Intent #4, that’s totally fine and the proposer’s decision, I was just attempting to clarify confusion I had seen with some other proposals.


Hi @lavande, I will be supporting @freshelle with comms.

First of all, thank you for your insights and guidance. We believe our proposal aligns well with Intent #4 due to its focus on enhancing governance accessibility. Therefore, we feel it’s better suited as a Mission proposal under Intent #4. We understand the implications, and as @lee0007 mentioned, the RFP is formally withdrawn to avoid any potential confusion or overlap. We appreciate your vigilance in keeping the process clear.


This grant proposal is game-changing. Its mission aligns with the goal of prioritizing accessibility and creating a governance structure that welcomes diverse participation. Let’s make RetroPGF easier, more enjoyable, and boost community involvement! :rocket::muscle:


this could be super interesting


Hi @Zeptimus please include the last four questions in this template in your proposal to confirm you understand important policies


Thanks for pointing this out @lavande. I updated the proposal to include the last four questions.


Played with this in RPGF2, really nice way to vote and definitely reduces the cognitive load when compared to trying to consider the relative values of dozens and dozens of projects simultaneously!

I am an Optimism delegate with sufficient voting power and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.


Hi team,

Thank you for submitting this proposal! Exciting to see other teams dive into the space of impact evaluation.

RetroPGF will not yet have an open voting protocol at the time of RetroPGF 3 voting this fall. This means that the Pairwise product will not be able to integrate directly into the RetroPGF voting system and automatically submit votes for the badgeholders who use it.

That said, we’re excited about this design approach and are enthusiastic about it playing a role in RetroPGF 3 as another dimension of the ongoing experiments around voting, and as a valuable source of voter feedback.

The Foundation will also be posting an RFP later this summer for a voting UI that includes some specific design experiments to address feedback from RetroPGF Round 2.

If this Mission is approved, we suggest Pairwise be presented to badgeholders as a voting tool to help assist in decisionmaking. We can make a best effort attempt to include an easy import functionality in the canonical voting tool so that ballots created in Pairwise can be easily ported in to the primary voting product.

Going forward past Round 3, we hope to make the voting protocol open so that alternate design approaches like this one can integrate directly into the RetroPGF voting process. Thank you for your patience :pray:


Hey Jonas,

Thank you for your supportive and comprehensive feedback. Reflecting on the last round, we noticed that badgeholders faced significant challenges in assigning percentages, revealing a vital need for improved voting methods. Throughout the process of crafting this proposal, we’ve kept them at the forefront of our minds. If this proposal passes, we look forward to presenting Pairwise to them, with the aim of transforming their experience into a much more enjoyable one.

Your openness to the idea of integrating Pairwise into the primary voting platform is truly appreciated. We understand Pairwise cannot be directly incorporated into the RetroPGF voting system this next round. Nevertheless, we’re in complete agreement about the potential value it can add, even if it serves as a decision-making aid initially.

We’re keenly awaiting the RFP for a voting UI, and we’re eager to infuse the lessons learned from future RPGF into our design processes. As we continue to improve and iterate, we share your aspiration of an open voting protocol that nurtures more innovative designs in the future rounds.


For a deep dive into pairwise, check out this interview: with me and a whole bunch of people much smarter than me:

I am an Optimism delegate with sufficient voting power, and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote. (but I am also involved with this proposal)


No worries about the direct integration. Honestly after just 2.5 months of dev work, I wouldn’t want to see Pairwise be connected directly either. but i’m sure it can produce an output that makes it very easy to basically export a result and submit it.

Do you imagine it will be Deform again?


Hi @freshelle! Wanted to make sure you were aware of the Optimism Season 4 Pitching Sessions to help find the 4 delegate approvals you’ll need by this Wednesday at 19:00 GMT for your proposal to move to a vote.

These sessions are happening in Discord on Monday, 26.06 2pm ET / 6pm GMT / 8pm CET and Tuesday, 27.06 11am ET / 3pm GMT / 5pm CET.

You can sign-up here!


I am one of the Synthetix Ambassadors, and a Optimism Badgeholder. I am an Optimism delegate [Delegate Commitments - #65 by mastermojo ] with sufficient voting power, & I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote


If wanna know more about Pairwise and explore potential ways on how Pairwise could transform Optimism’s governance. Watch this Green Pill Episode where Griff and Owocki chat about Pairwise.


Even though the amount may be more on the high side, the work that needs to be done seems like it could need it.

The proposal also is quite interesting. A Tinder like UX for voting in retropgf and other such systems. I would like to see this exist.

That said I am an Optimism delegate with sufficient voting power and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.


Thank you so much for your support! We do acknowledge the budget is significant. It reflects our commitment to deliver a seamless experience for badgeholders in the initial 2.5 months. The idea is to use the budget towards continuously refining the product beyond this period, enabling its use by anyone in the community. We truly appreciate your belief in our mission and readiness to move it to a vote.

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