RetroPGF Round 3 Feedback Thread

Hi, I’m Stalim from South Korea :star_struck:
(Right, as you know, it’s the nationality of BTS)

Let me briefly explain why I became interested in Optimism

By chance, I was rewarded by RetroPGF 2 when I translated the official article into my native language. (OPTIMISM TRANSLATOR)

Actually, I didn’t know how it worked, and I didn’t know why it was compensated
But it felt good to be rewarded, because it was a reward that I contributed even a little to Optimism.

After that, I found a way to contribute to more optimism, but I’m working for a company, and I’ve found myself much lacking blockchain technology…

So whenever I have time after work, I wanted to contribute to Optimism by writing a translation, and I did so.

As I contributed more and more and more, and as I participated in the community, I learned how retro projects work.

So I ended up participating in this thread. Nice to meet you again,

Let me tell you what I think about Retro3
(Please know that this includes an appeal to support the project I am involved in)

1. Badge holders, please pay attention to small and precious projects.

Many people don’t know as much about blockchain technology as they think.
So have to start with the small one.
have to learn something as part of that, but it’s a little hard to read in English.
So translation is small but important
If you look at the number of votes now, the big projects have already exceeded 17 votes, because they have great funding, marketing, and technology.
But other small projects or underfunded projects seem very difficult to get a vote on
Increasingly the so-called ants (like me) will have less participation, and then the community will not be activated and again it will be their own league.

2. Please look at the power of the community.

If you look at our Discord, I think it’s much more active than other projects
I think it was possible because the OP Community Contributor Project (NERDs, translators, ambassadors, TechNerd) did a great job in that role.
And there’s also an article on Optimism’s official doc explaining them.

3. Badge holders who haven’t already voted, please vote. The participation rate is too low.

Voting is both a right and an obligation.
Please take a look at 600 projects.

4. still trust the badge holders.

I’m sorry for writing in a rambling way.

> I am a proud Optimist translator. :saluting_face:

Optimism Translators

OP Community Contributors

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I also thought this was a great idea, but now it seems to be having a negative effect. It’s allowing low quality projects to get into ballots. The volume of applicants also prevents voters from digging into the details. For example, I noticed that two members of Ethereum Honduras are reporting the same work (sounds like double reporting), and one of them even reported onboarding himself as an artist as “impact”.

Their work consist of deploying NFT contracts with one holder. Mis microrelatos (MICRR) Token Tracker | Optimism, minting POAPS (not on Optimism), and transactions between each other’s wallets which I’m not sure if I can share here despite it being reported on their application - don’t want it to be interpreted as doxxing :woozy_face:

This impact is being claimed on both applications here:

Randomness Ceremony

FilosofiaCodigo

Both of these applications are already appearing on ballots and lists by @ccerv1 and @brichis - no shade to them, just pointing out how easy it is to slip into lists, then ballots based on name recognition and titles like “Randomness Ceremony” which I initially related to the KZG Ceremony.

Both of these applicants are core of Ethereum San Pedro Sula and Ethereum Honduras, Which is a part of EthLatAm, which has overlap with EthKipu and SEEDLatAm.

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I find it pretty reassuring that others are struggling a bit with the number of projects, was worried that I was missing a trick somewhere!

I do like the lists feature, at least in terms of getting collections of valid projects from people who’s expertise in an area you trust. It doesn’t really work in terms of the OP amounts when you’re adding different lists to your ballot, but I think this can be improved for next time with a simple addition: when you import a ballot there could be an option to assign a certain amount of OP to that list, then when the projects are pulled into the list, the ratio of OP per project set by the list builder is maintained, but the actual values are based on dividing up the total you assign by that ratio.

Another feature I’d appreciate for next time is a set of filters based on the project’s characteristics, in particular the amount of funding already received would be useful… I don’t need to waste time looking through DeFi dApps that have already received millions and millions of OP/$, so a way to just remove those from the set to evaluate would be really useful.

Finally, I wonder if nest time we need to rethink the 4 categories, as some of the shoehorning of projects’ impact into these seem… shall we say ‘tenuous’ at best!

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As I mentioned a month ago, before the start of the voting period, I have some concerns around the high quorum required for this RetroPGF Round. While it helps prevent collusion among badgeholders, it might be doing more harm than good by making it very challenging for projects with small to medium-sized contributions to the Optimism Collective to get retroactive funding. The large number of applications complicates this even further.

Jonas previously mentioned here in the Forum that “the goal should be for all applications to meet the quorum”, but that seems pretty hard to achieve with one week left until the end of the voting period.

To illustrate this point, I spent some time today making a visual overview of how many RetroPGF 2 recipients already reached the quorum in RetroPGF 3:

While the top recipients of RetroPGF 2 have no issues getting above or near the quorum, it gets progressively more difficult as we approach the average recipient of the last Round.

But ensuring that RetroPGF remains accessible for smaller projects that have a positive impact on the Optimism Collective is extremely important for this experiment to succeed. At the end of the day RetroPGF is not just altruism, it’s also a critical growth strategy and key differentiator to other blockchains.

Right, we want developers and others to start building projects that benefit the Collective knowing that they’ll get retroactively funded for the positive impact they have had. Without a high degree of certainty that RetroPGF Rounds take place regularly and that past impact is fairly rewarded (be it 5K OP for a small contribution or 100K OP for a large contribution), we can’t expect talented individuals to commit tens or hundreds of hours on working for the benefit of the Optimism Collective.


I also want to point out that I had been hoping to see someone creating a List of completed Ecosystem Project Ideas, as the OP Labs and Optimism Foundation team earlier this year published a number of project ideas in the Ecosystem Contributions board they believe would be “strong candidates for RetroPGF”.

Out of the 55 Ecosystem Project Ideas and Draft Project Ideas, I was able to identify 10 which were completed and also applied for this RetroPGF Round. I put together a Google Sheet here with some more information and would greatly appreciate if a badgeholder was to create an official List out of it.

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We would be baffled :hushed: if the efforts we put in since the last round were not rewarded in round 3 due to the fact that as soon as round 2 ended we amplified our focus :person_in_lotus_position: on the Optimism collective ten fold.

The amount of work that we were able to achieve between rounds was strenuous at times and honestly we could have used more support from round 2. Our project is mainly funded by RPGF and Gitcoin grants.

We are also happy to say that our senior developer was able to get surgery for an emergency appendix operation thanks :pray: to RetroPGF we received. So it literally kept the project alive.

It will be very interesting to observe these final days and see exactly :+1: what badge holders decide for round 3.

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Full article here nanobro.eth | RetroPGF3 design can be improved

shorter version below.

Ballots - The major problem

In order to be eligible, projects need 17 ballots from badgeholders. This is likely the major flaw here.

Origin of the number 17 has no explaination. Many badgeholders and contributors have raise concern in Round3 design forum since before start.

Many projects trying to get their voice heard. Here is some notable one.

Numbers aren’t looking good.

While 11% of badgeholders doesn’t sound big. Reality is not all of them interested in your category.

This becomes a problem when projects have confidence in our work but aren’t certain whether they will receive reviews from 20 people.

At the end of the day, all badgeholders are working really hard and should earn respect.
But some undiscovered projects likely not get enough review. And it will ruin OP.

Some improvement options?

Some screenshots above are also good options.

And here another one. Learned from retroPGF3.
We can’t be so sure how many badgeholders are tech orient. How many are education orient.
We can set proper criteria (e.g. 25% threshold) and let badgeholders select their expertise.

For example

  • 50 badgeholders wanna review 165 OP Stacks.
  • 40 badgeholders wanna review 472 End user UX.

We get this.

We can see that End user UX need more badgeholders to review.

Badgeholders in each category might divide their work and cross-check with other badgeholders in the same categories.

  • Considering the reviewer-to-project ratio, we can take prompt action and plan ahead before any issues arise.
  • This approach ensures that all projects receive reviews.
  • We can adjust the number of badgeholders in proportion to the number of project applications.
  • Projects eligible for multiple categories should submit work for each part separately.
    • RetroPGF should allocate OP for each category before commencement.
      • Possibly allowing badgeholders to vote for percentage allocations.

And, as always, Stay Optimistic! :red_circle:

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@nanobro I’m glad that you posted this screenshot by alpacasRule, it explains very well how many of us feel!

Retropgf2 data: 195 projects, most badgeholders tended to distribute their votes among 20-40 projects, with the median badgeholder allocating their votes among 30 projects.

Why did we decide the arbitrary threshold of 17 votes minimum while knowing this data from the previous round?

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I’m still seeking the input of reviewers on the appeal process here:

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Dear Optimism Community,

We hope this message finds you well. Today, we feel compelled to address certain online allegations from an individual named Carlos Melgar (aka Web3Beach), who at one time belonged to our community and was banned for violating the code of conduct. Regardless, this is not the first time he has accused and defamed us, but this time we want to come out in our defense.

Background: Carlos has made claims, such as accusing us of grifting and providing misleading information, that we find necessary to clarify.

Fact-Checking: We find these allegations baseless and lacking evidence. Ethereum Honduras remains committed to helping the whole Ethereum ecosystem (which includes Optimism) and the RPGF to improve and be a fair place to retroactively reward contributors.

Addressing Specific Allegations:
“[…] Ethereum San Pedro Sula is funded by the EF and Ethereum Honduras[…]”: As with many Ethereum communities, each community manages and seeks funding independently through known mechanisms.

“[…] They double report the work regarding Randomness Ceremonies[…]”: Filosofía Código is a YouTube channel and web3 dev community. The Randomness Ceremony is a Dapp and a fun in-person meetup that onboards users and artists to web3. Very different projects, in this case, Filosofía Código created open source contracts and the Randomness Ceremony uses the contracts to host events. While the Randomness Ceremony was organized by collaborators of Ethereum SPS, the organizer is aiming to spin off this activity as a sub-community and applying as individual. Ethereum SPS is not part of RetroPGF.

“[…] They operate on a conflict of interest […]”: Ethereum Honduras is a grassroots community composed of the collaboration of independent node communities. La Randomness Ceremonies, Filosofía Código, and Ethereum Honduras are friend organizations. We collaborate with any community that aligns with our ethos.

Additionally, Ethereum Honduras or their city communities aren’t part of this RetroPGF and badgeholders need to disclosure any potential conflict of interest Badgeholder Conflict of Interest Disclosures

“[…] They don’t have the best interest of the region[…]”: We let our actions speak for us check our quarterly reports here: Ethereum Honduras.

Open Communication: Feel free to reach out with any questions or worries regarding Carlos’s claims. We value your input.

Moving Forward: Despite challenges, we’re devoted to organizing meaningful events. Thank you for your continued support.

Conclusion: The overall ecosystem is built by collaborating and not by tying up people or projects on a daily basis. From our side, we respect the values of Optimism as well as Ethereum.

Stay Optimistic!

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Hey Katie,

Just wanted to drop in and say that we’ve definitely leveled up with Pairwise - it’s a great tool for creating lists right now! Check it out at pairwise.vote. Our approach for Retropgf3 was going to be different; lists weren’t even a thing when we started developing it, but I’m so proud of how the team adapted to the evolving needs of Retropgf. Now, we have a product that we can use in different ways for RetroPGF 4.

We’ve been actively sharing its potential at various platforms. We had some exciting showcases at the Optimism events in Turkey, and Griff has been energetically promoting it in badgeholder spaces. I’m curious to hear from you - what are the most effective channels where you think Pairwise could make a significant impact?

On top of that, Griff has been promoting spaces for badgeholders to come and hang out 1-on-1 with himself, Kris Jones, and myself. These calls were open for at least 10 hours a day; everyone could drop in. We stopped doing it since only a few badgeholders dropped in. I’d love to hold more spaces if people plan to show up, or have a 1-on-1 with you or any Badgeholder that’s interested.

Looking forward to your thoughts and thanks for mentioning it!

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I’m going to stop you guys there and have you move this conversation to a different thread. This post is specifically about feedback for the RPGF experience, not to attack or defend another project.

CC @Carlosjmelgar

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Hi Zeptimus and thank you for the information. As a delegate that voted for Pairwise I was expecting it to be part of the voting UI or more accessible to voters. How many voters have actually used this tool?

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As a new badgeholder, but someone who has been very active in reviewing projects and observing the process, I’d like to offer a few spicy takes :hot_pepper:

This is a repeated game

We need to zoom out and remember this is a repeated game. If five cycles from now we are still rewarding the same projects with the same proportions of funding, then what’s the point of all this governance overhead?

These rounds should be reflexive to there being different forms of impact that get rewarded in different proportions over the life of this game.

  • Do we want to reward protocols that attract lots of new users to the superchain?
  • Do we want to reward efforts that deter scammers and make it easier for people to bring more assets onchain?
  • Do we want to reward projects that promote decentralization and network resilience?

These proportions might change over time because the relative impact of these efforts may change over time for a fixed value set. These proportions might also change as our value systems become more well-defined and thought out.

The impact categories and the majority of lists give very little signal to what forms of impact are most valuable. That has to change if we want to win a repeated game.

No one ever got fired for putting geth at the top of their list

There’s a risk that we are too conformist and lose the benefits of having 150 people with different perspectives and values sets.

It’s good to have a culture of going outside our comfort zone and advocating for projects that have had an outsized impact in less obvious areas. Props to the badgeholders who have done that work. Even more props to those who have dug up dirt on projects that aren’t a good fit for RetroPGF.

I’m NOT saying that geth shouldn’t be on people’s ballots or that it should be low in the final allocation. I’m only saying that there’s a huge benefit to people having different values sets and they should vote assertively.

If the impact you think is most valuable to Optimism follows a power law distribution, express it that way.

Impact is not pornography

Finally, there’s a certain mindset that is prevalent in the public goods space that I want to push back against. It’s the belief that measuring impact is like defining pornography.

If you don’t get the reference, there’s a famous court case where the judge said (about pornography):

I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced… but I know it when I see it.

If we believe it’s impossible to get better at quantifying impact, then we should go back to a much simpler form of governance, where you have a council of experts who decide what’s a public good and what isn’t, what’s impactful and what isn’t, what’s good funding and what’s bad funding, etc. In that world, you have a lot of ring-kissing and lobbying efforts directed at the inner circle, asking for their blessing, etc.

Wait! That’s how public spending works in traditional governments. We don’t want to go there…

Not going there means that we have to accept that our priors about what is impact and what is profit will always need updating after every round.

Not going there means accepting that there will be some questionable projects that slip through the review process BUT it’s worth it because hidden gems will come in this way too.

Not going there requires the experienced people with battle scars and strong views on impact to do the meta-level thing and help turn that into a framework that can be applied more consistently. Stop criticizing the process on social media and draft an improvement proposal.

Not going there means giving constructive feedback to the various efforts such as the RetroPGF 3: Impact Evaluation Framework, Pairwise, and some of my technical lists that are trying to bring rigor to the process.

I genuinely believe this is the most interesting economic experiment in the world and would hate to see the outcome of it being that we reinvent effective altruism.

The correct things are easy to write about but very hard to actually do. The collective needs to empower people who are going to do that hard work and get behind them.

/end rant

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Totally, and we would have loved be part of the voting UI too, we tried. In regards to the voters that actually used it, voting is still ongoing. We will report the numbers when we have them.

We are listed in the badgeholder handbook as a list creation tool, and Griff was promoting it on badgeholder channels. Every badgeholder I had the chance to speak to was aware of it.

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I’d like to narrow in on Badeholders (BH):

There should be accountability standards on BH, what and why they are voting for.

Currently, only a handful of BHs have made public posts on their rationale for voting (I applaud such folks). The vast majority of BH though have remained silent. Having little to no accountability for BH decisions leads and will continue to lead to many unwanted results (what’s currently happening- BH voting for orgs/individuals that drive little OP impact)

If BH do not post their rationale and/or vote for memes/ideas that drive little impact to OP then they should be stripped of their badge since they are not in good faith helping build and support Optimism.

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Current overview of ballot

You can see that Ethereum Development & Maintenance, Dev Tooling are leading the RPGF3 trend. Mostly are well-known projects related to ETH

View live at https://retrolist.app/

Please add RetroList to your ballot if you like this

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I believe the raised question is valid, but we should also explore ways in which bounty hunters (BHs) can justify investigating 600+ projects.

For most people, the obvious choices are what they have heard of and experienced. Therefore, a first-time participant’s project may have a high impact, but the challenge of discovery should be reduced beyond just lists. :+1:

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this round we have too less time for report period(also too late to know the exist of report period),cause cannot filter too much spam projects

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Retroactive Public Goods Funding is the engine that drives the growth of the Optimism ecosystem.

RetroPGF aims to effectively allocate capital to the builders whose efforts have provided public good to the Collective.

Our Optimism translators voluntarily translated the official articles and official help docs(on CrowdIn) of the Optimism Foundation into each country’s native language. (74 voluntary participants)

Below is the docs of Optimism’s official foundation

At Optimism, we know that we can never truly decentralise if we do not embrace the diversity of our community. As such, we take translations seriously.

Who can say this isn’t for Optimism?

Super-nerd Mark is collecting and organizing our translated articles as data.

But the Optimism Translators project doesn’t have a leader…

That’s why it’s difficult to notify the badgeholders.

Breaking the boundaries of the language in Optimism and embracing it,

We’re Optimism translators.

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Reflection on RetroPGF2 and RetroPGF3: Balancing Rights and Convenience

In the execution of RetroPGF3, we face a question: should convenience always take precedence? I believe that every project should have fundamental rights, including the right to equal application and the right to fair scrutiny. These rights form the foundation of fairness and should not be deprived. However, in RetroPGF3, we observe a substantial deprivation of the second fundamental right.

Basic Project Rights:
a. Right to Equal Application

b. Right to Impartial Assessment

Concerns Regarding Badgeholders:
a. Relevance of Professional Background:

Opposing the restriction of badgeholders to professionals in specific fields.
No evidence suggests that individuals with technical expertise necessarily make more just judgments. The jury system is a good example.

b. Alternatives to Individual Expertise:

Proposing the establishment of professional advisory teams for wiser decision-making.
Balancing the need for expertise with the potential limitations of individual judgments.

Selection of Badgeholders:
Internal recommendations are highly efficient in increasing the number of participants. I believe that in the future, we should avoid this method.

Critical Focus on Reflection Period:
a. Sampling Unfunded Projects:

Evaluating the impact of information asymmetry on decision-making.

Personal Reflection:
Looking back at the comparison between RetroPGF2 and RetroPGF3, it reveals distinctly different approaches. While RetroPGF2 suggested a need to ease the workload for badgeholders, RetroPGF3 calls for a return to respecting the fundamental rights of projects. There should be no compromise between convenience and upholding project rights because project fundamental rights are non-negotiable.

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