Project Name: Agora
Author name and contact info: Charlie Feng (https://twitter.com/charliecfeng; firstname.lastname@example.org)
I understand that I will be required to provide additional KYC information to the Optimism Foundation to receive this grant: Yes
L2 recipient address: 0x4F8f9f9469C4ecE49EaEfB9b0CDe35a652d9C1d6
Which Voting Cycle are you applying for?: Phase 1
Grant category: Tooling
Is this proposal applicable to a specific committee? Yes. This proposal falls under the Tooling/Infrastructure committee.
Agora is a new set of features natively deployed to further enhance the Optimism governance infrastructure. We’re building a tool to extend governance functionality specifically for the Optimism ecosystem to enable a new set of features for delegates that weren’t possible before – liquid delegation.
Our goal is to unlock and better empower the most important segment of stakeholders: highly engaged delegates, large token holders, and funds. Furthermore, our code base will be open-sourced to allow future builders in the Optimism community further build on top of these capabilities.
Agora aims to make governance participation a frictionless and transparent process. We believe a robust governance process is key to attracting higher quality contributors, better ROI proposals, and ultimately what enables an ecosystem to grow and thrive. We’ve seen success in terms of increase in participation rate and new delegates from our experience helping Nouns DAO. However, each DAO is unique in its own ecosystem. As a result, we plan to implement a feature-rich experience that’s tailored towards what Optimism’s ecosystem needs.
- Enabling liquid delegation features: proxy contract that unlocks features like partial delegation, re-delegation, time-bound delegation, override & voting permissions to unblock funds and whales who are unable or unwilling to delegate today. [detailed scope below]
- Governance activity feed: highlights of delegation, ownership change, voting, and other governance related activities. Goal is to increase the transparency of proposals and governance processes for various stakeholders in the community. [detailed scope below]
- Enable KPI tracking: research and implement MVP of project tracking. Surface real-time and historical metrics publicly via Google Sheets or API. We believe this will enable other stakeholders to run analysis (e.g. run pivots) and better understand outcomes and ROI by tracking goals vs. actuals. [research & investigation process outlined below]
Detailed roadmap & specs:
Workstream 1: Liquid delegation
- Partial delegation – where instead of delegating all your tokens, you can choose how much to delegate, and how many people to delegate to. (currently researching the best implementation here)
- Re-delegation: allows your delegate to delegate to another person, up to x times. (this will enable delegates to step down, or others to step up)
- Time-bound assignment: empower a voter for limited duration, votes are automatically revoked at the end of the period.
- Tokenholder override (co-delegation): allows token holder to temporarily use the votes without un-delegating (enable token holder to step in on issues they really care about without undelegating, thereby reducing the risk of delegation)
- Learning touch points: Provide update on feedback from delegate/users research of most desired features and their use cases
Workstream 2: Governance activity feed
- Detailed activity feed: highlights of delegation, ownership change, voting, and other governance-related activities
- Real-time API access: surface this data feed real-time via Google Sheets or API - this will enable anyone (delegates, stakeholders, or other builders) to access this information, make visualizations and run pivot tables on top of it.
- Easily accessible delegation and voting data (including historical)
Workstream 3: Research process around KPI tracking
- Week 1: research and interview key stakeholders (delegates, builders, Labs team)
- Week 2-3: design 2-3 methods of tracking and measuring key metrics
- Week 4-6: build MVP of top voted method of tracking
- Week 7-11: deploy, implement and operate the MVP (ideas are only as good as the level of execution)
- Week 12: measure and submit public post on retroactive, learnings and results.
We believe that composable advanced features will open up a whole set of new opportunities. Where engaged delegates can run their own, quick, pivot analysis and builders can create visualizations and toolings.
Ultimately the goal is to reduce the amount of coordination and trust it requires to delegate, therefore increase delegation, and ultimately empower OP delegates.
Website: TBD (We will be creating an Optimism specific website upon approval)
Please include all other relevant links below: Examples of community links for Nouns (https://nounsagora.com/, Twitter: @nounsagora)
Additional team member info:
Argo brings forth a team of builders and operators with deep operational, product and development experience. Our team has led large and complex organizations as an executive, while also having half a decade of experience in crypto contributing to over 30 projects.
- Yitong – Product lead & design: co-founder of Vector DAO, and previously design + product at Coinbase.
- 0xcaff – Engineer: Built the v1 of Agora, previously engineer at Coinbase.
- Tom Taubkin – Protocol Engineer: Contributor to several defi projects, previously engineer at Coinbase.
- Charlie – Operations and community: prev. co-founder of Clearco ($2.5B fintech startup backed by Softbank, scaled from 0-600+ people in six years).
Please link to any previous projects the team has meaningfully contributed to:
Previously, Agora was customized and deployed for the Nouns community. Over just under 1 month, the platform has become the default platform for delegates with 19 statements from delegates representing 127 nouns (>25% of all votes!) and 25 statement submissions from builders who are seeking delegation.
On an individual level, Yitong and Vector DAO have done over 30+ projects in web3 (protocols, NFTs, DeFi).
Relevant usage metrics:
- Default app used by Nouns for delegation (representing >25% of all votes)
- 25 statements from Nouns builders who are seeking delegation, later completed successful delegation race with 952 votes cast for 21 new delegates in under 4 weeks of progress
Competitors, peers, or similar projects:
Sybil.org, Optimism Gateway, Boardroom, Karma can be broadly classified as similar “governance tooling”. However, we see toolings like Boardroom, Karma and Optimism Gateway as not competitive in any way, but complementary to Agora and will further enhance the ecosystem experience together.
Agora is less focused on analytics and more on enabling new on-chain capabilities in order to unlock specific delegate use cases to open up a new segment of participants.
Our goal is to continue building on top of the governance ecosystem and make the stakeholder and delegation process a frictionless, first-class experience.
Is/will this project be open sourced? Yes.
Optimism native? Yes. Similar to our project with Nouns, what we build for Optimism will be deployed, hosted, and implemented specifically for the Optimism ecosystem’s specific use cases. We will also have dedicated engineering and product resources for continuous development.
Date of deployment/expected deployment on Optimism: 4-6 weeks post approval
Ecosystem Value Proposition:
What is the problem statement this proposal hopes to solve for the Optimism ecosystem?
- We’ve been fans of the innovations Optimism has made in its initial delegation flow at the time of OP token claim. However critical to the functioning of the DAO, this project has only been a one time effort to respond to the token event, versus an ongoing effort to invest in delegate tooling. As a result, we’ve heard feedback that the current structure of delegates sometimes feel like it’s frozen in place, with no way to highlight inactive voters, and no way for new qualified delegates.
How does your proposal offer a value proposition solving the above problem?
- We view Agora as extending the project of delegation, specifically focused on reducing friction and increasing transparency to drive participation. Our vision is to create liquidity around vote delegation such that over time, token holders can learn who the best delegates are, and funnel more votes to them so that decision making power is always held in the hands of highly engaged and qualified participants.
Why will this solution be a source of growth for the Optimism ecosystem?
- We believe that high-quality delegates is critical to the future of a vibrant ecosystem. “Show me the delegates, and I will show you the outcomes.”
- However, in order to foster an ecosystem of high quality delegates, supporting infrastructure is required to help enable and empower these delegates to act independently, yet in a controlled manner such that it’s trusted by the broader voter base.
- Success to us means that Optimism DAO has a vibrant and high quality contributor ecosystem. We believe reducing friction and improving the governance and stakeholder experiences is where we can help support that vision.
Has your project previously applied for an OP grant? No.
Number of OP tokens requested: 50,000
Did the project apply for or receive OP tokens through the Foundation Partner Fund? No
If OP tokens were requested from the Foundation Partner Fund, what was the amount? N/A
How much will your project match in co-incentives? We will not be able to provide co-incentives as Agora does not have a token.
Proposal for token distribution:
How will the OP tokens be distributed?
- We are requesting a grant to support the build, implementation and servicing of this project and do not plan to distribute the tokens. Tokens will be used towards engineering and product implementation build a native solution to Optimism. This also includes the cost of dedicated product operations to maintain and engage the Optimism voter ecosystem.
Over what period of time will the tokens be distributed for each initiative? N/A
Please list the milestones/KPIs you expect to achieve for each initiative:
- Voter participation marginal increase: 20% (We measure this by isolating the marginal voter participation via the proxy contracts we deploy to show the impact of Agora rather than other reasons)
- Number of Votes gained
- Marginal votes gained as percentage of total votes
- Number of Delegates participating
- Number of New Votes delegated using these features
- Percentage of New Voting power delegated to these features
- Number of Net New Voters on Optimism
- Net New Voter participation as percentage of total voter base
In order to isolate the impact, we will track all of these via our contract (tracked on-chain, we will publish a Dune Dashboard) and client-side usage. This will help measure the marginal impact Agora is bringing to the table.
Why will incentivized users and liquidity on Optimism remain after incentives dry up? N/A
Please provide any additional information that will facilitate accountability:
As a governance platform, transparency and decentralization is key to our belief. We will take measures to maintain transparency and avoid centralization of power by taking the following measures:
- Make Github repo public within 1 month (with proper documentation to come over time)
- Publish all data monthly to public google sheets, or equivalent (such as API or on-chain mirror)
- Long-term commitment towards being a neutral party: current Agora team members added together will commit to not represent more than 2% of voting power.