Announcing the first community-run Arweave ecosystem fund DAO

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TL;DR: The core Arweave team is experimenting with decentralising allocation of resources for ecosystem development to the Arweave community. You can play your part in deciding how resources for ecosystem development should be allocated by applying to join the DAO here!

The Arweave project has always been about community ownership and decentralisation: decentralising web hosting, content moderation, and encouraging community owned, open source web apps. However, much of the ecosystem adoption efforts for Arweave have, until this point, been centrally controlled by the organisations and individuals that founded the Arweave project. Today we are happy to announce an experiment in decentralising this function to the community with the launch of the first Arweave Community Fund DAO.

This DAO will empower community members to allocate resources to Arweave ecosystem development through a decentralised and transparent process: funding grants, bounties and other ecosystem work without limitation.

What is a DAO?

In their simplest form, Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) are ownerless power structures that can (optionally) hold assets, and whose governance is mediated through smart contracts. They represent a new, more open and transparent mechanism of building and running organisations. The governance structures used in DAOs can be arbitrarily defined however the creators desire. One way to think about DAOs is as ‘programmable organisations’, in the same way that Ethereum represents ‘programmable money’.

What is the Arweave Community Fund A?

The ‘Arweave Community Fund A’ (ARCA) DAO will be a simple membership DAO. The DAO will be seeded with $25,000 in DAI and a crew of veteran members and contributors from the Arweave community. Members will be able to vote on how to allocate resources, in order to best improve the Arweave ecosystem — however they see fit. If the DAO makes valuable contributions to the ecosystem, then the core Arweave team will transfer further DAI to its control. We will also experiment with follow-on ‘B’, ‘C’, etc. Arweave community funds with differing governing structures and bodies, iterating towards more optimal setups over time. Ideally, these follow-on funds will also create friendly competition between the DAOs to maximise the efficiency of resource allocation and help make the Arweave network even better, even faster.

We expect that the ‘Community Fund A’ is just the beginning. If our initial experiments with community-run DAOs prove successful, we envisage eventually shifting a significant amount of the assets and work involved in Arweave ecosystem development and adoption to these decentralised power structures. For example, we eventually hope to design DAOs that commission and pay developers for new features and maintenance of the primary Arweave implementation, as well as incentivising the running of Arweave gateways — amongst many other functions.

Community Fund DAO Membership is Open For All!

DAOs are all about decentralising previously centralised systems of power and control. In this case, the power is over resource allocation to further the Arweave ecosystem. A central question posed by DAOs is as follows: to whom should this power should be given? There are numerous potential answers to this question, many of which we plan to test in future experiments (from community nomination and open voting, to directly ‘earned’ membership through community contributions, etc.). As the core Arweave team, we like to keep things simple when possible, then iterate to improve them over time — this experiment will be no different. Subsequently, the theme of membership selection for the first community fund DAO will be: ‘Arweave community veterans and contributors’ — those that have been with the project as it has grown, and contributed to the ecosystem through their work already.

You can apply to the first community fund here. You will be asked to give your Arweave developer Discord username (for coordination purposes), your Ethereum address (for invitation to the DAO, if you are selected), and to state any prior contributions to the Arweave ecosystem. Finally you will be asked to write a brief outline of how you think the first community funds should be distributed. Applications will be open until Friday the 10th of January 2020. The core Arweave team will then deliberate, and invite selected members to join the DAO to begin the on-chain governance process. If the initial community fund does well, we will iterate and implement more decentralised systems for fund membership participation in future funds.

Let the experiment begin!


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