Grant Ships Game
This proposal is submitted by DAO Masons, a new service DAO committed to “Helping DAOs Win”. We are a small team of governance enthusiasts who design and implement DAO governance systems. Learn more about us at daomasons.com
Grant Ships is an ‘evolutionary grants game’ where Grant Ships (grant-giving subDAOs) compete to best deploy capital in the Arbitrum ecosystem.
The goal is to continually improve how we allocate capital by learning which Ship models are most effective, who the talented actors are, and which allocations resonate with Arbitrum voters.
How it works
The game begins with the election and funding of 6 Grant Ships and a small Referee Team.
At the beginning of each funding season, the Grant Ships are given capital from a common funding pool. For the bulk of each season, Grant Ships are busy screening applications, distributing funds, and reporting results. At the end of each season, each ship produces a Portfolio Report to communicate its progress.
The Arbitrum community then ranks the Grant Ships through a weighted token vote. In the following season, high-performing Ships receive a larger portion of the funding pool, and lower-performing ships receive less.
Inactive Ships or Ships that fail to meet minimum criteria can be replaced by new teams looking to enter the game.
The Referee Team facilitates the game and monitors the Ships’ compliance with reporting requirements by flagging rule violations.
Pluralism is our primary design consideration. Nearly all of the coordination, creativity, and decision-making is left up to the individual Grant Ships.
This game decomposes the traditional, centralized grants-giving committee pattern and distributes power and responsibility among Grant Ships, Referees, and the voting community - each serving as a check and balance on the others.
Each Grant Ship is incentivized to monitor, document, and report on progress made by grant recipients. Grant recipients are incentivized to produce results and disclose progress to receive more funding in the following season.
This game is a spectator sport, designed to be fun to play and watch. This is necessary to ensure the ecosystem stays involved and provides the right incentives and signals.
Through token-weighted voting, Arbitrum DAO creates the selective pressure that forces Grant Ships to evolve. As Arbitrum evolves, so will its grants program.
- Weighted Token Voting Module (could be used in the temp-check phase with Snapshot)
- Hats Protocol for building the game’s decentralized permission structure (more details here)
- EAS or similar attestation model for ‘Flags’
- Gnosis Safe for referee operations multisig
This is a new system that we designed from scratch – which is hard to get across in a two-minute read. For more reasoning and specifics, please read more in our FAQ.