ENS Public Goods meeting (may 10): should we use part of the unclaimed airdrops to incentivize core ethereum developers?

We were joined this week by Protocol Guild which has a project to raise protocol tokens from multiple projects and donate them, with a long vesting period, to contributors of core ethereum infrastructure. While they are paid a good salary rate, most of these developers could double their salary by joining a competitor blockchain or a company like google. More importantly, unless they’ve joined the foundation very early, most are not exposed to any protocol upside which increases risks of poaching. While there is some social pressure in the past years on the Ethereum Foundation (and others) to increase their base salary and prevent poaching, Protocol Guild has come up with an alternative idea:

We all hire them instead.

Meaning that they are collecting a large amount of tokens from second layer and apps, like uniswap, ENS, polygon etc and created a vesting contract that would reward those core developers to sticking to their work. An initial proposal was made to take 10% of the unclaimed airdrop tokens that were recently sweeped back into the DAO and to “airdrop” them to core developers.

While we had a positive reaction to the suggestion, no final decision has been made and this would require a DAO wide vote to implement.


ricmoo.eth, avsa.eth, sumedha.eth, anthonyware.eth, cerrestation.eth, matoken.eth, alisha.eth, trent.eth, Tim Beiko.


  • Welcome and ENS updates
    • The ENS airdrop claim closed on May 5th. All unclaimed tokens were swept back to the DAO treasury (~5m $ENS).
  1. Protocol Guild temp check
  • trent.eth and Tim Beiko, from the EF. Note: The Protocol Guild (TPG) is completely separate.
  • TPG context: Protocol Guild — protocol-guild documentation
  • Distribution of tokens, like $ENS, to Ethereum devs based on how long they have been contributing plus a vesting component looking to the future - a split contract + a vesting contract.
  • Tokens from prominent projects and L2s to transfer some upside from projects to devs; Lido has already committed. Looking for ENS, Uniswap, Maker, DYDX to contribute to a 12 month pilot program.

Q. Can devs leave and come back?
A. Would be put to the TPG community to decide.

Q. List is has a heavy client focus. What about the Remix team and web3js?
A. There is a second layer. For now, it will focus on the protocol layer. There can be several guilds in the future. Level of granularity is preferred.

Q. Target for first year pilot?
A. Approx $25m from 4 or 5 projects

Steward Debrief

Q. Are the PGs stewards broadly supportive of The Protocol Guild submitting a DAO-wide proposal to use a portion of unclaimed $ENS from the airdrop towards a 12 month pilot of their program?
A. No objections. To the extent that this request is for $ENS to distribute governance rights and a stake in projects built on the infrastructure created by these contributors, the PGs WG is supportive. Need to discuss more details and think more broadly about how the DAO is thinking about using, if at all, the unclaimed $ENS.

Q. Any other ecosystem projects that might benefit from a similar grant?
A. Yes. Nomic, plus other ENS integration projects as well as infrastructure/tools that ENS uses/relies on to function. Nomic came up with a similar number that was to fund their own process and our answer was mostly “too much too soon” while we figured out how Public Goods funding should work. We feel that we would need to figure out what it would mean to other potential grantees.

Next Steps

Stewards to suggest projects over the next week. Reach out to Delegates and TNL for suggestions. Projects that feel like they are due an allocation from ENS can self-nominate by replying in the comments below. Community members can also nominate projects.

Reach out to other DAO working group stewards to temp check on how they are thinking about the unclaimed $ENS, if at all.


This is a fantastic setup. I had a quick read through the docs of Protocol Guild and the proposed governance mechanism for the Guild is definitely a one-up on traditional developer organisations like Nomic Foundation, who in return for donations have no clear outlined value-transfer mechanism back to the wider community of developers. Could we have someone from TPG here to answer some questions?

Looking forward to this process! Dare I suggest that ENS reserves some percentage of the ENS Airdrop unclaimed tokens to fund its own DevOps Guild independently of their presence or absence on the TPG roster? By this, I do not mean third-party organisations such as TNL but DAO-governed DevOps. I have been clamouring about Research, Analytics and Development initiatives and I am first-hand aware of 3-4 major projects – currently under the wraps and squandering due to lack of funds – that could be massively beneficial to the ENS Ecosystem.


Strongly in favor of this. I would be happy with 10% of unclaimed airdrop tokens (537,492 tokens), but with a stipulation that they can’t make up more than 25% of the total raised - so we don’t end up with a situation where the PG grants are a majority of one protocol’s token.


Maybe I’m way off, but I thought public goods would be something like funding food banks, or housing homeless people, or something like that. Not devs coming up with ways to give each other monetary incentives. Did I read that right?

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I believe the definition of Public Good in our verse is more like ‘free USB sticks and Raspberry Pi giveaways’ than funding food banks or housing homeless people. Having said that, most devs are severely underpaid.

ENS is a public good, as is Optimism. Those are the primary public goods that the Public Goods WG targets.


100% on-board with the idea of contributing to the Protocol Guild pool, core devs are tablestakes and we need that properly funded for any public goods to work!

On board with this approach as well!