Discussion: Subgroup request for a 'Development' subgroup within the Ecosystem WG

Continuing discussion on the Development subgroup request put to the Ecosystem WG by @inplco. A link to the original request is below:


A lot of the work set out in the Development subgroup request is handled by TNL or other Working Groups or subgroups in the DAO:

Task Team
Making sure that ENS is present at global Ethereum conferences. TNL
Ensuring ENS’s sponsorship in hackathons, panels, workshops, and speaker lists. TNL
Foster DAO2DAO relations where the principle of public goods is a common theme. Public Goods WG


TNL will be submitting a proposal for funding in the coming weeks. If approved, this would include a budget that would allow TNL to participate in events through sponsorships and allow TNL team members to attend events.

I agree that ENS should be represented at the many industry events that take place IRL and online. My position is that participation and representation of ‘ENS’ at events should be carried out by TNL team members, unless delegated to the DAO by TNL.

To the extent that an event relates specifically to the ENS DAO, it makes sense for the DAO to fund the participation and manage representatives (and associated costs).


For the reasons above, I do not think the request for a ‘Development’ subgroup should be approved by the @Ecosystem_Stewards.

Why? Is there a reason why TNL should have exclusive rights to be funded for Conference/Hackathon participation, or sign up to be speakers or panelists on behalf of ENS DAO? Every DAO I know encourages their members to participate, but your suggestion is gate-keeping. Not sure about this. 0xNimi was a DAO-funded team of members by the way. The only person who I have seen go to conferences from TNL is yourself; I know Makoto is going to EthCC5. This is not ENS DAO representation; this is TNL representation, that too very thin and barely useful. Much smaller DAOs had bigger teams of contributors at ETHAmsterdam compared to one sole member from ENS DAO.

Anecdote: I was a member of LIGO & Virgo Collaboration for 6 years during which we made a Nobel Prize winning discovery. Even in an academically strict environment where every line you speak or write is scrutinised by 1000 fellow members, we still had the freedom to represent LIGO, although we had to detail our participation plan. Unless you have a very good reason, keeping significant part of development work for TNL only and gate-keeping DAO members out of it is not the way.

There’s a huge difference between this story and representing ENS & ENS DAO.

It’s super clear what a “member of LIGO & Virgo” is - there’s a contract or some other thing. It’s unclear who’s a member of ENS or of ENS DAO. Are you a member because you write many messages here? Am I a member because I’m a leader a Subgroup? Who knows, there’s no formality.

However, it is super clear that TNL people are members of ENS, since they develop the thing itself.

In the same way, you may say that Stewards are members of ENS DAO and can represent it (since they were elected). And I’d say the same for SG leaders, but I’m not objective here, so I won’t and I also accept the view that I can’t represent ENS DAO. :smiley:

I would love to see the ENS DAO represented at conferences to encourage ENS ecosystem growth and supporting public goods as outlined in the constitution.

However, if the DAO wants to fund DAO contributors to attend events or conferences, those participants should do so as representatives of the ‘ENS DAO’, not ‘ENS’.

You are proposing that the DAO funds DAO contributors to attend events as representatives of ‘ENS’ — this is not something I support.

Why would a member of the DAO need to represent themselves as being from ‘ENS’ when they are in fact from the ENS DAO?

If Coltron.eth was participating on a panel at a conference, he would be ‘Coltron.eth from ENS DAO’.

I don’t see this as being controversial — participants of the Uniswap Grants Program attend conferences as being from ‘Uniswap Grants’, not as being from ‘Uniswap’. Team members of Uniswap Labs, the maintainer of the Uniswap protocol are referred to as being from ‘Uniswap’. This is similar to how I imagine referencing would work for ENS.

I currently pay for the majority of the costs associated with conference attendance out of my own money. When you criticize ENS for not having enough representation at conferences or not spending enough on marketing, you are literally proving my point. TNL simply doesn’t have the budget for it.

I request to be a speaker on panels to minimize costs associated with attending events. Beyond the fact that TNL doesn’t have a budget for events, I go out of my way to save dollars (and I mean literally 1 to 9 dollars at a time) to minimize costs for TNL.

TNL doesn’t gatekeep DAO members from contributing to the development of ENS. Anyone can submit a PR and contribute. There is no gatekeeping on that front (see Raffy’s ongoing contribution to name normalization).

All revenue from the protocol, which Nick started and TNL develops and maintains, goes to the DAO. That is why TNL is going to request funding, and that is why TNL should represent ENS at conferences and events.


There was no contract. It was a collaboration reliant on MOU only.

I meant to say ENS DAO of course, not ENS. I may have skipped ‘DAO’ in couple of places; my bad. I mean the DAO; I always meant the DAO.

You should be asking ENS DAO to help with the funding. You do good work for the DAO at conferences; ask for retroactive funds.

PS. ENS is a protocol. No one represents a code. It is always the DAO.

Fine, dunno what was there. But I also dunno what makes someone eligible to represent ENS DAO?

You make yourself eligible by contributing to it daily. It is about taking ownership of your work for the DAO. It is about initiative; there are no certificates in the distributed world or eligibility criteria.

I agree this is not the right time to create this sub group.

Once TNL submits a proposal for their funding it will be clearer what additional sub-groups should be created.

From my perspective you DO represent the ENS DAO as a sub group lead, contributor, and delegate.

@inplco represents the ENS DAO as contributor and ENS Governance Token holder. Ditto for myself.

100% agree.



This is fair assessment. If TNL wants to ask for funds for conferences, then it makes sense for everyone to wait and judge at that moment.

Represent: be entitled or appointed to act or speak for (someone), especially in an official capacity.

What gives someone the right to speak for ENS DAO? Your question makes it seem that anyone can just decide for themselves that they represent the DAO, because in their eyes they contribute, yes?

How does this interpretation go along with SG you propose? The SG will just make sure there are enough people who decide for themselves they represent ENS DAO in every event? they will reimburse anyone who self-declared themselves?

Yes, they can. But they also have to defend their representation. If someone wants to give a talk on behalf of ENS DAO, they can if they are sure of their stature in the community. But that comes with the responsibility of standing up to the scrutiny of a such a brave act. It is easier said than done. In any case, no one can stop someone from claiming they are ENS DAOists, if said person as much as votes on a proposal.

This SG could appoint few contributors among many who submit their request for conference participation. For instance, for Devcon 6, DAO can open calls for speakers. Everyone submits their talk proposal and a summary. SG can choose top 3 or such. Repeat for Hackathons; invite teams to submit their ideas on ENS and get funded. Repeat for everything else.

It is easier done than said. I never saw anyone question someone who said they represent an organization.

Yes… that’s why it’s easier done than said…

There’s a difference between representing ENS DAO and between giving talks about ENS DAO. If I get it right, you propose to pay/reimburse for their expanses people who give talks about ENS DAO?

Yes, but only if they go through this SG. No retroactive funds for randomly giving a talk somewhere without any notice to the DAO.

The ENS DAO has a few official positions, which are spelled out in the constitution.

The ENS DAO also has a few defined roles, like contributor, delegate, steward, and sub-group lead.

DAO = decentralized autonomous organization

Maybe, I’m naive or misinformed, but this means anyone can say anything. Though at this point this is bit pedantic and unclear how productive it is to continue down this thread.


If someone does something amazing, I’d be happy to retro-actively support them. There is no guarantee though.

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Covering Alisha’s costs for ETHAmsterdam would be a great start. She is also a heavily contributing member of the DAO. She should be covered for her work on ENS or ENS DAO.

Appreciate the sentiment. All of my contributions to the ENS DAO are carried out in my capacity as a contractor of TNL. The issue, in my opinion, is adequate funding of TNL… which should be resolved in the coming weeks/months.


It is not coming from a place of sentiment alone. If DAO has the funding and a person has done meaningful work continuously in an aspect, it is the responsibility of the DAO to compensate that effort, if other funding channels are temporarily shut. This is precisely the thing I am trying to fine tune in the end. You did development work for the DAO to the extent that you were our sole representative. This is similar to any other work people will get funds for. I guess I am coming from a system where our conference costs are systematically covered and people are encouraged to participate. It seems like this is not common in DAOverse so far.

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It’s an interesting discussion for me really. What do you mean by “anyone can say anything”? Like, in the name of the DAO?

In practise, yes. If someone voted on-chain, they can surely convince a group of people somewhere in third world (where ENS in unknown) that they represent ENS DAO. They have the proof as on-chain votes. They also have free access to all DAO material and discussions, so they can (or pretend to) represent the DAO. The hope is that more people will choose to say the right thing, if at all. It is mutual trust with no centralised authority on eligibility. Anyone can be a member and represent it. Theoretically. :wink: