Introducing Otterspace, a Soulbound Badge solution for DAOs

TL;DR

Otterspace is building a flexible and easy-to-use infrastructure for DAOs to use non-transferable NFTs, which we call Badges. Badges can enable DAOs to perform non-financialized governance, automate permissions (access rights etc.), manage community-specific reputation/credentials and create better incentive systems. The Otterspace product is currently live on the Goerli Testnet and is accepting DAOs to its private Beta.

Otterspace wants to get more active in the Optimism ecosystem and collaborate for the following reasons:

  • We are building Otterspace as an Optimism-first protocol
  • We have a strong mission & values alignment for furthering public goods
  • Optimism is already utilizing SBTs within governance, making Otterspace an ideal partner

:otter: Who we are

Team

Emily Furlong (Twitter: emthemaker)

  • Leading product and community at Otterspace
  • Former Product Lead for creator to fan engagement and support at SoundCloud, Community Lead at Shark DAO, and contributor to Cabin DAO

Ben Dobbrick (Twitter: 0xbendo)

  • Leading all things commercial, including partnerships, ecosystem growth and marketing
  • Former early-stage investor and operator in the Future of Work and Web3 space and contributor with PieDAO and SharkDAO

Rahul Rumalla (Twitter: rahulrumalla)

  • Leading all technical efforts
  • Former Director of Integrations at SoundCloud – leading developer community, partnerships and integrations. Previously also Co-Founder/CTO of music Web3 startup Paperchain

:hammer_and_wrench: What are we building?

We are realizing our mission by building three components – a token standard, an open source protocol, and an application. Our goal is to provide any community with the tools they need to bring badges to life, whether it is just the token, the protocol or the application.

:beginner: How do Badges work?

In the Otterspace app, DAO operators can set up their DAO, create badges and distribute them to addresses. To avoid non-consensual minting, the Otterspace Protocol requires the recipient to claim and mint the badge themselves. Airdrops are not possible. As the protocol is on Optimism, the transaction costs incurred are marginal.

Some of the common use cases we’ve seen in DAOs

  • Different levels of membership (think lurker vs. core-contributor)
  • Different teams or guilds (media guild, dev guild…)
  • Achievements/rewards like contributor of the month
  • Different roles with a badge expiry date (for example the 90-day community lead role)
  • Guest pass with a 7-day expiry
  • Skills (for example Solidity level 10)

Badges have utility

  • Badges are especially powerful because they can have utility attached to them – Otterspace is collaborating with multiple DAO tooling providers to integrate the badges across the DAO tooling landscape.
  • Badges can be used for governance (e.g., Snapshot), access permissions (e.g., Clarity, Discord), payments (e.g. Radicle drips) and more. Additionally, badges are useful simply as a way of showing off reputation, history and experience.
  • The Otterspace Protocol is being developed as an open set of smart contracts, so DAOs can compose and integrate pieces into their own tech stack and other app developers can construct custom front-ends.

What problems do Badges solve?

The current method of distributing influence in DAOs, oftentimes based on fungible token ownership, is problematic because influence disproportionately goes to whales, which runs counter to the philosophy of many DAOs. Contributors earning their ‘salaries’ in tokens end up selling their influence to cover expenses. Distribution of permissions is also problematic, as it requires manual management. The frequent turnover in DAOs creates overhead for adding and removing permissions from individuals.

DAOs struggle to effectively incentivize participation and engagement from community members with ERC-20 tokens. By incentivizing community participation with fungible token rewards, the DAO financializes engagement and reduces participation to labor. Not every community member, however, is or should be a DAO contributor. Guiding community members in how they can participate is challenging because it is highly manual for community managers and very confusing for DAO joiners. There is a lack of clear paths for deeper engagement with the community.

:red_circle: Why is this relevant to Optimism

  • We are building on Optimism-first. We will be introducing Optimism on-ramps into our product and are designing a Web2-user-friendly interface that will onboard more users into the Optimism ecosystem.
  • In addition to onboarding Web2 users, we are also working with many DAOs who are not yet on Optimism and could become long-term Optimism users.
  • We have noticed that Optimism is skewing toward collaborating with DeFi projects, but we believe that Web3 infrastructure needs to stretch a lot further than financial infrastructure. Basic coordination primitives like badges are necessary for us to be able to work together to build things in Web3. We think working with Otterspace is an opportunity for Optimism to diversify the partnership network and publicly acknowledge the importance of human/social infrastructure alongside financial infrastructure.

:pray:t3: What’s our ask

We would like the Optimism community to engage with us to explore collaboration opportunities. We have a few ideas about how a collaboration could look and would like to hear suggestions from the Optimism team.

We believe we can help construct a long-term solution for Optimism’s governance SBTs. There are a lot of specific problems to be solved around revocation, wallet reassignment, community recovery, token standard design and permissionless attestation. By collaborating, we can avoid duplicate work and come up with better solutions.

We think that this ask could be met through:

  • Community input/feedback based on this proposal
  • A call to exchange ideas

:link: Important links

Technical documentation: Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.
Twitter: @otterspace_xyz
Mirror: https://otterspace.mirror.xyz

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From a UI perspective, it would be interesting to discuss/explore patterns to best educate and encourage new users to switch to L2s like Optimism. Connect with me here or on twitter to discuss: @austinkeeble

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