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?


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!


i frequently get confused as well. So if ENS itself is a public good does that make Public Goods an over all WG?

hey @daylon.eth and @accessor.eth

I wrote about Public Goods in web3 last year, as I was processing what the term “Public Goods” means in web3. You can find the post here. There are also links at the bottom of the post which might help build context about how Public Goods are framed in web3, and more specifically, the Ethereum ecosystem.


How many people within ENS DAO are connected, have worked with or could verify who these individuals are?
I am referring to the 111 people on their members list.

Also I went through the first 30 addresses of their members list ony 77 of the 11 returned results and 36 of them were blank addresses.

Any address that did have a balance; the activity as far as transactions showed patterns of:
No development related transactions,
Very spread out and old,
Buy and hold,
A few wallets consistently have a income from onn chain ventures, i.e, gitcoin or other protocol payouts.

There is a reason why they are doing the dev work–because of the on chain benefits. If Ethereum devs aren’t making money on chain outside of what they are normally getting paid to develop, which are protocols, that are more than likely open source in the first place–then there is something going on that doesn’t seem right.

If you are an ethereum developer and you aren’t making money from the products you are developing-- I kinda start to wonder how valuable of an ethereum developer are you to deserve a $50k per year for four years?

I took it upon myself to take a look at the wallets listed. Most of them are blank and the top 20 or so wallets have $60k-$600k+

There is no shortage of money…anyone else probably provided a blank wallet/hiding funds (which anyone has the right to do).

Just thoughts…

I really don’t understand this reasoning. Why do you expect core devs to also be degens?

Thinking of ENS as Web3 infrastructure I was always under the impression that the ‘Public Good’-aspect would be to further the Web3 ecosystem around ENS and increase Web3 adoption in general.

That would be beneficial to Web3 as a whole and also indirectly to ENS as it means more people will have a use for and thus want ENS names :slight_smile:


With all do respect @nick.eth, I don’t really think that there is a standard definition for what a “degen” or “degenerate” is, regarding the world of cryptocurrency.

I’m actually really surprised that you put that inference into the context of my reply. If anything, I would have expected at least something that was somewhat appreciative towards my intention for it was to investigate the the due need of requested funds by said parties for the security of the DAO funds. Ethereum is a complex world and with that come complex adversarial attacks with intention to phish funds from one entity to another. The security of the DAOs funds was the only thought on my mind. Why would I suggest such a insulting predicate out there in the very community that I interact with daily?

It just seems a little off. Solidity developers are not underpaid. And it’s not that easy to just go get a solidity job anywhere else in the corporate world like OP was hinting towards. I’m saying as a Ethereum developer you literally have the ability to sniff out where and what is making money.

Not to mention the more important parts like nearly half of those addresses have absolutely zero activity or maybe one deposit from a year ago and the the top wallet holding well over $500,000. "

I investigated this for the security of DAO funds as something like this would be a great example of a social engineering exploit that we should look out for. Looks and sounds great but should definitely be explored and looked into before we vote to just send money to entities that already have a one up over everyone else to make money and take into consideration that this may or may not be social engineering. DAOs are very vulnerable and it’s members must stay vigilant to protect from instrusions.

My point is that I don’t think how actively a core dev participates in DeFi or other onchain activities should impact how deserving they are of better compensation. I just don’t see a meaningful link between the two things.

I don’t understand what this means.

Having worked as a core developer on Geth myself, this is absolutely not true. And we shouldn’t be telling people “you can go get rich elsewhere” as an excuse to avoid paying them for their (incredibly valuable) work.


I would caution this kind of thinking. This is exactly what SushiDAO was thinking when they refused to increase the salaries of their core dev team, and then their CTO (who was killing it with execution) went ahead and left and started his own protocol.

The market for Solidity devs is crazy hot right now. These people field offers in their inbox paying double what they are making today on a daily basis, no question. We need a sustainable funding model to make sure these critical human resources are well compensated for the long term.

Otherwise, we see what happens when core open-source infra is taken for granted with what happened with projects like OpenSSL and Log4J.

There’s also this weird concept of “they make enough” I hear sometimes. That’s not actually a thing. Hiring is a market, and prices are set by how much someone else is willing to pay to hire people. Ethereum core devs are without question a vulnerable area in this respect right now.

If it wasn’t for the fact they care so much about the mission, many would have jumped ship by now. Life would be easier if they did. I think ENS public goods is very aligned with what Protocol Guild is trying to do. None of the other public goods we will fund matter if Ethereum itself isn’t well taken care of!

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I didn’t say anything about getting rich or about using excuses.

It means: I don’t understand why you would think i’m calling people degenerates when there was nothing of context hinting towards that.

Do you disagree that looking into where money will be going is reasonable ?

I think that’s super important.

I think my intention and main focus was overlooked.

I was using it as slang for “engages in DeFi”.

I think it’s important to know that it’s going to the people who are developing core infrastructure, which is the purpose of this idea. I don’t think it’s necessary - or advisable - to examine their finances to establish if they “deserve” it. The only thing that determines if they deserve it is the work they’re doing.


I believe that sending $7 million dollars worth of a token sent to 111 people or 111 addresses; with approx 30 of them being blank, as in little too zero activity definitely raises a see a flag.

I don’t see why looking into the security of dao funds is not advisable. If nobody looks into it— then that just makes the DAO vulnerable to social engineering.

My mentions aren’t far off from the very quotes on the members list page.

I’m for this. ENS has a symbiotic relationship with Ethereum, so it’s in ENS self-interest to see Ethereum thrive. Having Ethereum core developers receive a bundle of tokens from various DAO’s is also a great way to spread votes around, which was the intention of the airdrop.

Some people choose to create new Ethereum wallets regularly for a variety of non-nefarious reasons, to name a few:

  • To simplify taxes by having a separation between funds earned from different projects.
  • Privacy, not everyone is comfortable showing their entire wallet to the world.
  • To not keep too much in one single wallet in case one is compromised.

I’m sure that prior to sending the transactions, that the people will be contacted to make sure the wallet address is correct. Does that alleviate your concerns? :slight_smile:


Everything said is valid @cthulu.eth and @nick.eth.

I believe that the responses by myself and @nick.eth are established by the context in which the length of time or how long ago it was when we first became aware of Protocol Guild.

I would say it’s safe to assume that @nick.eth has known about this and/or have been aware of Protocol Guild well prior before this post.

This forum is the most direct source of information for me so reading the post a few days ago—was the first time I had been made aware of it.

But i’m curious as to why you deem it inappropriate to look into the activity of any addresses that would be associated in receiving grants, donations etc, before the DAO sends funds from the treasury.

I mean i’m not disagreeing about supporting this but from my perspective this is as if the topic is new to the entire DAO. From my perspective this is as if this wasn’t created months ago.

Also the temp check post here has a different context than the post over in Unis DAO.
After reading the post in Uni it was very apparent that the tokens to be donated from
each project are intended to retain protocol core contributors to incentivize participation in the projects of which they received tokens from.

The temp post here has a different context as to me it reads that tokens are donated as a supplemental income to offset received wages from the protocols of which they are hired from.

I’m all for the expansion and participation in the Ethereum ecosystem. Employment is also a personal choice. One who accepts employment for a lesser wage over a higher wage is a sacrifice and also reflects a dedication to the mission of which they decide to become employed.

That being said, I think that ENS DAO should require:

Be active in the protocol guild for at least 02 years IAW PG Requirements.

that recipients shall be required to hold 100% of tokens for the first 12 months of membership in the Protocol Guild

After 12 months and participation in 50% of executable voting, members are allowed to sell 50% of tokens received if they so desire.

If 50% of tokens are sold then 50% of participation of executable voting shall
remain in affect.

If no tokens are sold then participation in any 12 month period of membership in a 4 year vesting term is not required but encouraged to do so.

If recipients do not participate in 50% executable voting in first 12 month vesting period, 75% of tokens shall be revoked from PG member but does not affect PG membership status and are free to do as the please with remaining 75%.

After pilot period participation is encouraged but not required.

This would incentivize engagement in cross protocol participation and growth outside of their primary DAO, organization, application, protocol, etc.