DAO Endowment Submission Summary

During the submission period, the Meta-Gov WG received 8 submissions for EP 2.2.4. A summary of the submissions is in the table below, with links to the public proposals where they have been posted.

Applicant Submission Initial Size Target Size Performance Fee Admin Fee Projected Return Breakeven Return Projected Net Return
Metix Unpublished $35,000,000 $900,000,000 5.00% 0.75% 12.68% 0.79% 11.30%
$35,000,000 $900,000,000 8.00% 0.50% 12.68% 0.54% 11.17%
Avantgarde Endaoment Proposal: Avantgarde $33,625,000 $100,000,000 12.50% 0.50% 4.10% 0.57% 3.09%
Karpatkey Endaoment Proposal: Karpatkey & Steakhouse Financial $50,000,000 $58,000,000 10.00% 0.50% 0.56% -0.50%
Llama & Alastor Endaoment Proposal: Llama x Alastor $40,000,000 $80,000,000 0.00% 3.00% 6.00% 3.00% 3.00%
Fyde Endaoment Proposal: Fyde Treasury Protocol $20,000,000 $50,000,000 0% 1.5% Not specified Not specified 0.00%
Mimic Endoament Proposal: Mimic $20,000,000 $75,000,000 4% 0% 5.5% 0.00% 5.28%
MAICap / Adam Endoament Proposal: ADAM Vault $50,000,000 $50,000,000 10.00% 1.50% 15.00% 1.67% 12.00%
AntAlpha / Adam Endoament Proposal: ADAM Vault $50,000,000 $70,000,000 10.00% 2.00% 5.00% 2.22% 2.50%

The meta-gov stewards intend to meet and decide on a shortlist of finalists, who will be presented to the DAO for a vote to select the final fund manager. The vote will begin no later than November 7, the end of the RFP selection period.

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Hi! Bruno from Mimic here! I would like to add that Mimic’s proposal was mostly focused on onchain mechanisms for the DAO to allow its funds to be managed while keeping custody of them and how to react from external/internal conditions.
Our infra can be used for the automated fund that we propose, or by another manager that you select.

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I am generally against looking for what to do with treasury funds before having a revenue and expense report on hand.

I will have to research but I am not hot on any of these and would rather prefer to see ENS build ENS/ETH and/or ENS/stable liquidity on Uniswap v2 or v3 and simply earn fee revenues over time. v2 has the benefit of automatically re-compounding fee earnings into liquidity. v3 has the benefit of focusing liquidity into price bands but fees need to be collected periodically.

I think a lot of DAOs should really think about how to automate a strategy via smart contracts and providing incentives to keepers of the investment strategy vs. handing this off to centralized managers.

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Hey, just to be clear Fyde Treasury intends to be a completely decentralized treasury manager. One of the goals we want to achive is to have our community be a place where we can focus on creating these types of investment infrastructure items for the general web3 ecosystem. This way individual DAO’s and protocols can avoid having to recreate these everytime and lose focus on their core objectives.

The meta-gov stewards have decided to extend the deadline for selecting a winner to the 18th of November, in order to give us more time to consult and negotiate with the authors of submissions. By the 18th we will select finalists and propose a DAO social vote on the shortlisted proposals for approval by the whole DAO.

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After speaking to references and existing customers, and following internal discussion, the stewards have eliminated the following proposals from consideration as finalists:

  • Metix
  • Llama
  • Fyde
  • Mimic

We are still considering the following proposals as potential finalists, and are in discussions with their teams:

  • Avantgarde
  • Karpatkey
  • AdamDAO

I’ll continue to post progress updates here for any further developments.

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I am trying to review the remaining proposals in the light of the ENS Treasury RFP.

Please explain which of the above proposals is AdamDAO in your post.

MAICap/Adam or AntAlpha/Adam or both?

Thank you.

ADAM Vault is run by ADAM DAO. Refers to both AntAlpha or MaiBlocks.

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Thank you - so that means both submissions by ADAM are active.

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Another update from the MG stewards: AdamDAO’s proposals have both been eliminated as finalists, leaving Enzyme/Avantgarde and Karpatkey.

I also wanted to provide some background as to our reasoning for the various eliminations:

Metix: Metix’s projected returns were very high, with little clarity over how they would be achieved. We felt this was a high-risk proposal not in line with the endowment’s goals of long-term sustainability.

Llama: We received some negative feedback regarding Llama’s performance with a current/past client. We also have concerns about the magnitude of their fee in comparison to other proposals, and the manual nature of their proposed management strategy. Despite tentatively eliminating them as finalists, we are still in discussion with Llama and some of the references they have provided.

Fyde: Fyde’s proposal focused on their automated management system, but neglected to include any kind of fund management; it would leave the DAO still manually managing its own endowment.

Mimic: Mimic’s proposal also focused on their product and neglected a fund manager.

AdamDAO: Adam proposed joint ventures with two fund managers. While MAICap’s proposal was too high risk for the endowment’s goals, they could have formed a minor part of the endowment. AntAlpha’s were more in line with our expectations for the endowment’s fund management. However, AdamDAO’s newness to the space and the untested nature of their codebase (which is audited but brand new) means we felt that caution suggested we should err in favor of better established protocols and managers.

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Thank you for the incredible due diligence and communication around the process.

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I wrote this a week ago, but between EthSF and other fun things this week :scream:, I didn’t get a chance to post until now.

tldr: Especially in light of recent events, I think the DAO would be well-advised to go as decentralized as possible with as little risk and fees as possible.


I’ve spent a decent time going through the proposals today as I was as to where Mimic came up short to not advance (my fund led Mimic’s last fundraising round).

Let me start by saying that the proposals that advanced were well-thought out and congrats to them. The common thread to me was that these were arguably the most experienced managers and generally offering the most active management, so it makes sense that they were commensurately the highest fee proposals as well. Again, let me emphasize: I thought they were all solid proposals for full time active management from capable people (and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them choose to
use Mimic on the backend, whether now or in the future)

At the risk of ruffling some feathers, I would categorize the goal in the RFP of making $4m USDC per year without any loss of principal as very aggressive even if ENS were to risk using the entire treasury at the start. I realize the goal is to eventually get there, but I think the RFP anchors perceptions. Using the entire current capital of ~$55m, that’s almost an 8% return and the elephant in the room is that with any ETH exposure, your return will be extremely correlated with ETH and the general macroeconomic environment.

Speaking solely for myself and I realize I’m a bit late in the process, my view is that ENS should consider taking a different path rather than choosing an active investment manager. That view is
literally the reason I invested through Starbloom in Mimic.

Given that the price of ETH is likely to determine returns and given that I don’t think ENS should try to find managers who can time the ETH market, what if we could choose a fee-minimized option that relies on code and which the DAO can update when it wants to change its investment options? That’s basically Mimic.

(None of what I’m about to say is financial advice, and while I have done the CFA/CAIA exams, I’m not your financial advisor, nor your lawyer. I’m not even your doctor) I’d argue that ENS should broadly
do a few things:

  1. Start funding operations through domain sales by converting domain name sales into USDC immediately. I’m not entirely sure I understand the justification for keeping unearned in ETH and earned in USDC, but it seems obvious to me that the best place to start funding operations is through operations, rather than prematurely asking investment managers to aggressively manage the treasury to meet a specific goal.

  2. Begin LPing on Uniswap v3 on the ENS/ETH as @makerman suggested. I realize this is outside of the scope of the RFP, but I think it’s a good idea. You can provide a little bit of stability to ENS price while using capital efficiently to earn fees. Yes, there will be exposure to the ratio of ENS/ETH, but I think this is a reasonable risk to take if you’re ENS and bullish on both ETH and ENS.

They may tell me I’m wrong, but I believe Mimic could help here by doing an automated strategy that updates once a fortnight (or whatever) to a selected % using the Uni v3 oracle. This does have non-zero risk and I’m not sure I’ve completely thought it through, but seems relatively minimal.

  1. Put USDC in basic stuff. Compound, Aave, some of the balancer aave boosted pool, maybe some 3pool and tricypto

Let’s just be honest: the yield won’t be great, and the predictions of what they’ll be are worth the price you pay for them. We’re talking a few %.

  1. Put the ETH into rETH, steth, and then LP them. You can get the yield and then use Mimic to automatically sell the yield into USDC at a regular interval. We’re talking generally 5%

The investment returns won’t be $4m. They’ll be more like $2m, even using the whole treasury. That’s a big downside.

There are some other downsides to this approach of course: changing investment strategies will take some dev work on Mimic side. There may be some DAO bikeshedding about what are good strategies or whether ENS should take more risk to LP on L2s and hunt for airdrops, etc etc.

My view is that ENS shouldn’t be trying to maximize investment returns; ENS should be maximizing for the probability of sufficient funding far into the future and in a way that is as decentralized and minimizes custodial and regulatory risk as much as possible.

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The intention is certainly not that it would return $4M p.a. with the current size - only that it would eventually grow to a size where that is practical. Many proposals have pegged that around the $100MM mark.

The DAO is definitely not intending to time trades, or hire anyone who does! The goal is to average out of ETH exposure as much as possible, modulo our unearned income.

There’s a good discussion to be had about whether unearned income should be denominated in USDC or ETH. We could definitely change our accounting basis to USDC, though it runs the risk that we end taking paper losses if the rate changes between a registration happening and the ETH being converted.

That is definitely the goal of the endowment, agreed.

Hey Nick, MG stewards and ENS community.

I’m a fan and community member of ENS, and someone who’s been tracking the Endowment RFP and submissions with a lot of interest.

I’m also a contributor at another DAO, and someone who has looked at some DAO treasury-related things in the past (some examples).

Wanted to chime in here to say:

  1. From the shortlisted proposals, I think Karpatkey & Stakehouse’s takes the clear lead.
    First, a track record is imo crucial to see before giving such an important function to an external team. Karpatkey has arguably the best. (plus: fees, targets, projections are all reasonable. But I think the track record is even more important than how good each proposal is, in this case.)
    Secondly, I’ve had the chance to interact and work with members of the Stakehouse team at Lido and have always been impressed with the financial/accounting/reporting rigor they bring to our space.

  2. Congrats on the initiative to create the endowment, and on the process so far. Also congrats to all the submissions, super impressed!

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@EvanVanNess Great post. I am replying to you but this is to those pushing this Endaoment agenda.

I spent a number of hours reviewing the remaining proposals. If I was one of the ones rejected I would be disappointed that NO reasons were given for the rejection. (I now see there was something posted on these by @nick.eth - thank you!). Hence even doing the review of the remaining myself I didn’t have clear reasons for the rejections.

Here is what I want to say on the remaining 3.

First when it comes to ADAM, these players while dealing with a large amount of assets are very new, and they intend to make the returns via leveraged trading etc. I don’t really believe their Chinese firewall will hold and don’t see how given their limited manpower that kinds of front running or collaborated trading won’t occur. I also don’t like the proximity to China here with its negative stance on crypto. My biggest concern is the huge reliance on BitMain and it is clear a number of the players have close relations with BitMain, which means when push comes to shove BitMain portfolio is going to get lions share of the attention. There are just too many negatives with both proposals and the team.

Karpatkey. Frankly Karpatkey didn’t even bother to answer some of the prime requirements of the proposal (like how they think they are going to get $4M/yr returns) and the fact that Gnosis portfolio has lost over 60% of its value in the past 12 months is a big negative for me. Ok they can claim Gnosis directed them to not diversify. I just don’t like that this team in their proposal didn’t really address the key issues laid out in the proposal and I am not convinced they are great managers. I used to think they did well but when I looked at the real results I just couldn’t justify this as great management.

The last one that actually addressed key issues of ENS in the same way that @EvanVanNess and myself that actually impressed me was Enzyme/Avantgarde. But they seem just too new, with not so much of a track record to rely on and very new contracts management. Even so they focused on the same issues regarding a need for ENS to focus on using ETH income to build cash (USDC…) as @EvanVanNess and myself are.

In conclusion I don’t think ENS should go with any of the offered Treasury Management proposals and I will be voting my delegated ENS against any such proposal.

My take on ENS financial and business status aligns quite a bit with @EvanVanNess etc.

Completely agree with the above.

Maybe but you should realize that to earn that $4M annually will mean putting what $100M at risk in some way. I think the focus should be on the next 3 years, not generating return for what has repeatedly been stated is a ‘public good’. I am going to leave this public good topic for another post when I can digest my own thoughts against the ENS constitution etc.

Right now ENS product while priced in $$ actually is being paid in ETH. This brings me to next key point(s).

I can’t stress the point above enough.

ENS RIGHT NOW needs to start converting earned ETH income into USDC and/or other stables to create a treasury of diversified stables. Goal here is to get to $12M stables in the bank to fund operations for next 3 years.

Get your operational funding and costs stabilized and under control for the next 3 years, then think about ‘investing for return’.

Because ENS is being paid in ETH for something priced in $$ this means it will always be earning ETH. ENS doesn’t have to worry about having assets pegged to ETH because unless it converts them it is always going to have ETH coming in. So forget about investing in ETH, your product purchasers paying for your product in ETH are already doing that for you. In fact your unearned income is going to be sitting in ETH anyway…

I know ETH price is $1250 but right now ENS should be considering taking ALL of their ETH revenue DAILY IF NEED BE and CONVERTING IT TO USDC/DAI/STABLES to get to the target of $12M of stables on hand. Now how much to have ‘on hand’ or to invest. Frankly I wouldn’t want to start investing anything until ENS had that $12M stables on hand today.

Now lets say we have that $12M or MORE than $12M Stables on hand.

What do I think ENS should invest in?

  1. ETH-USDC v2 LP - I personally invest in this and using this LP with almost 40% of my portfolio saved me from a 75% drop in ETH price. This particular LP earns - consistently (over months) - at least 8% APR fees automatically compounded into the liquidity pool. This return is declining (but so far has been pretty consistent at 8-10% APR) even in the face of v3 and trading volumes and liquidity being diluted in the entire space. Whole point here is if you put $4M into this LP and the ETH price drops by 75% you only are down 50% in your portfolio. In fact during the drop from $4K to 1.2K here I earned easily 15-20% in fees making my LP only down about 30-35% which is still chunking away earning that 8-10%. IF ETH goes back to $4K I will more than double my current portfolio. This is one key way to earn compounding return, provide liquidity to markets and buffer ETH price volatility. I can’t stress the value of this enough. BTW: Even at 5% return on this LP if ENS ends up with 80M in there the $4M return is satisfied and I am shooting my own LP investment in the foot by even suggesting this to DAOs lately.

  2. ENS-ETH or ENS-USDC v2 or v3 LP - I personally think it is important to every community to build up significant LP in their tokens. This is important in case they need to sell to raise cash but also to build up trading liquidity and earn fees. I have had a v3 ENS-ETH LP between like 10 and 200 ENS/ETH that earns easily > 10% APR - consistently. Now I don’t have $20M in liquidity in there but I do trade ENS and believe that more liquidity would enable larger trades, more liquidity, and better price discovery. I believe this is good for ENSDAO and good for the greater community for ENS to be highly and deeply liquid for anyone to enter or exit with large liquidity without significant slippage.

The above 2 single investments if funded with the amounts being suggested in the RFP would be more than sufficient to earn $4M/yr. It is highly likely the above 2 with only $50M in them could earn this return with very little ‘management’ required.

ENS doesn’t have to pay fees it just needs to figure out how to mechanically make the pretty simple investments suggested above.

I want to be clear here.

  1. Raise 3 years worth of cash in stables (USDC whatever)
  2. Once (1) is accomplished I would invest in ETH-USDC v2 LP to earn 8-10% return and provide liquidity to Uniswap markets. THis market is currently ~100M so it is easy to put 10-50M in there and still earn significant return.
  3. Once (2) is accomplished or in tandem start putting up ENS-ETH or ENS-USDC v2 or v3 LP to earn return and build trading liquidity on uniswap for ENS.
  4. Once returns hit $4M/yr (which should be do-able in that 3 year window provided by (1)) then think about expanding funding and growing public goods.

Sincerely,
MakerMan.eth
ENS Delegate #54

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Hi MakerMan,

We have added the details on how Karpatkey intends to obtain the target $4M under the Endowment Specification section of our updated proposal and slideshow.
As we mentioned in our reply to your comment in our proposal, the main reason behind GnosisDAO’s treasury reduction was a significant investment explained in GIP-38 involving several years of funding for high-profile teams and creating a venture fund to invest in Gnosis Chain projects. Still, Karpatkey accumulated stablecoins by selling non-strategic farming rewards in 2022.
All our reports are available in our Twitter account, where you can find the details of our strategy week after week.

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