Yam Protocol Foundation

Definition

The Yam Foundation is a non profit association comprised of participants in the yam protocol, includes: developers, investors, security researchers and token holders. The principles of decentralization that underlie any community require significant, coherent efforts to implement and support them. Through collaboration and cooperation, our primary goal is to facilitate the fastest and most effective expansion of yam as a decentralized system.

Role and Mission

The primary mission of the yam foundation is to work on supporting the protocol alongside the token holders, making the best suggestions while initiating action calls for the community to create improvements and maintain stability.

The role of the foundation is to support and work towards the initial mission of yam best interest, and to do so the foundation members will perform different actions based on votes for decision making, listing general focuses below:

  • Hiring specific individuals to perform specific tasks for yam.
  • Analysing submitted small grants based projects, suggesting it to the token holders.
  • Fund submitted small grants based projects.
  • Treasury rebalancing suggestions for the token holders to vote on.
  • Suggesting a prepared project for the token holders to vote on.
  • Preparing and holding yam special events.
  • Security related decision making for the stability and the support of the protocol.
  • Any other activity is not covered by the role of the foundation, but are specific to individual hires.

Foundation Fund

The foundation will operate a fund through a multisig which will be used in the interest of the yam protocol, for hires, grants and events. Main usage will be focused on funding smaller projects of valuable ideas through foundation grants and events held occasionally. The fund value will be voted on at a later stage through governance.

Foundation Members

  • E (Operations, Development and Security)
  • Further signaled on below

Initialization

  • Commence preparing grants form and other docs.
  • Snapshot the fund value for voting.
  • Create and fund the foundation multisig.
  • Formalizing a first prepared project.
  • Working with contributors toward specified goals.
  • Exploring potential roadmaps for yam to move into.

To be made effective: this post will be included in a proposal to be voted on through snapshot.

Inviting the following members to the foundation, which from whoever is interested in joining would signal their interest in a comment with an approximate time commitment and general availability expectation to include their name before moving it to snapshot. The goal is working together on pushing yams value for it to evolve in the space exactly how we did previously.

Note: Commitment to the foundation can be anywhere from 1h/month to a daily focus, its up to the individual himself to what they can offer and their time availability, it is very flexible.

  • Brock (Development and Security)
  • Nate (Development and Security)
  • Trent (Operations and Strategy)
  • Dan (Strategy)
  • Clinton (Development)
  • Willprice (Development and Strategy)
  • Designer (Strategy)
  • Ross (Operations)
  • Chilly (Strategy)
  • Feddas (Operations)
  • HodlDwon (Strategy)
  • Kris (Strategy)

Below alongside signaling, i would like us to explore together the value of the fund token holders thinks we should add to the foundation which will be used as mentioned in the fund section above. What should it be, 50k 100k 300k, i see it anywhere in these ranges with more being on the higher end for a more stable growth in the coming year.

How is the role of the foundation different than before when Yam had a core team?

What is the problem with the current system?

Previously there was a mis-management contributors, how will this be any different?

Previously there was a mis-management in projects leading to currently where Yam has no income/revenue generating projects, how will this be different?

What is the governance structure and outline that will ensure that these are different?

@ross and et al have been working on a “minimal Yam” governance restructure to address some of the issues and is similar to your post. Is this proposal mutually exclusive to @ross proposal?

Feddas

I have to agree with @feddas on this one. I don’t see how this proposal is any different from how the DAO was organized before, just with a new name. If you replace “Foundation” with “core team” in your original post, the whole things reads like what the core team is already expected to do, and I would argue, has failed at.

When you say non-profit, does that mean that the people who are members of this foundation don’t get paid? If they do get paid, how is that decided?

How does this improve accountability and assure better outcomes? This all sounds good, but is it really anything more than platitudes? It provides no specifics as to how to achieve this mission.

  • What Specific tasks are we hiring individuals for? Or is this just saying that this foundation is allowed to hire people? If so, how are you going to assure that the people hired don’t turn out just like the other prior hires (Sybil, Jason, Snake, Nushi, etc)?
  • What defines a “small grant” vs a not small grant? Who can apply for these grants? Are they the same as the grants that I have been working to design?
  • Who is responsible for each of these tasks? What kind of time commitment will they require?
  • What special events?

We already have a multi-sig with 50k in which signers can “use” in the best interest of the DAO. How is this different?

The majority of the people in this list have not been interested in participating in YAM for a long time now. if they wanted to participate they have had every opportunity and have chosen not to. Why are we inviting these people who don’t seem to care anymore instead of trying to get new people to participate? The few of us who still are participating are already doing so and trying to do so in an accountable way.

If you want to create a non-profit foundation (I don’t really even know what this means in this context) that you are the founding member of and want to get people to join, that is fine. If you then want funding from the DAO to work on YAM projects via that non-profit foundation, that is also fine. What is really great is that I have been working on a framework to do exactly that via the grants process. It requires clear documentation of the work that is going to be done with goals and milestones, and payment is executed on successful completion.

If what you are suggesting we do is create a structure that has free reign to perform all the tasks you list above with limited oversight and an opaque funding model that is executed by the members of that structure then I don’t support that. I do support a much more limited role for some contributors to perform essential tasks like on-chain proposals and infrastructure upkeep, which I describe here and admit that there needs to be some more detail added. But as it is it has far more detail than this post.

Given the comments by Feddas and Ross, are you proposing that the Yam Protocol Foundation is a counter proposal to Grant process currently being worked out by the Yam Re-Org Silo?

Or is to meant work in harmony with the Grant process and other elements of the Yam Re-Org? If so please explain how as it currently does not appear to do so.

Hey E - just so I understand, are you proposing setting up a foundation as an official legal entity for Yam?

This is tough for me because I am generally a big proponent of using a foundation to spearhead decentralized development efforts at the protocol level. However, I don’t think this implementation of it will work for the following reasons:

  1. Under what jurisdiction would the foundation be registered as a non-profit? I have a hard time seeing most jurisdictions sanctioning the idea that Yam (in its current iteration) is a non-profit. And the fact that the word “investors” even appears once in the proposal above makes it even more unlikely.

  2. The above point leads into the question of what exactly the Yam protocol is? When Yam first launched, the token had algorithmic functions that served a specific purpose. It was essentially a capital coordination protocol attempting to algorithmically generate a treasury that would be controlled on-chain by a decentralized community of tokenholders. I don’t think we or anyone quite knew how to put that into words yet at the time, but that’s what it was, functionally. At least on the protocol level. In this way, we were similar to other capital coordination protocols that eventually came down the line (think Olympus, etc), but just too early. At least, that’s how I’ve come to view it now. That said, having eliminated the algorithmic element, what is left is a treasury controlled by on-chain by tokenholders, and as far as I’m concerned, that isn’t a Protocol with a capital P. It’s functionally acting like a VC or Hedge Fund just utilizing a Web3 stack to facilitate operations. And that’s not the direction I think Yam should go, both from a cultural perspective and a regulatory one.

  3. I am in favor of having the protocol itself built out and supported by a non-profit foundation. I think it’s smart to separate the protocol from any profit-making initiatives, not unlike the Ethereum Foundation vs the ecosystem of dapps and businesses built on top of the protocol. But for this to work, we absolutely have to draw a line between any foundation’s non-profit interests and the community’s own financial interests in comparison. Otherwise, you’re just registering a corporation. There has always been confusion among tokenholders about the obligations and responsibilities of community members, not to mention their relationship to and claim on the Treasury. I think this will only exacerbate that confusion.

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I agree with all of this wholeheartedly. Although I’m not sure that @ethe is actually proposing creating a real non-profit. Need to hear more on that front.

I’m definitely not against the idea of “building out YAM” with a non-profit organization, but it also feel like it adds a lot of complexity and overhead to things when we could instead build it out via a grants process that can hire non-profits, for profits, independent contractors, etc. The goal for the new grants process in the YAM Re-Org that I am working on is to essentially allow something like this, but very generally and flexibly. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on the distinction and advantages/disadvantages that you see.

As far as what YAM is, I think you hit the nail on the head pretty well. Without the rebasing mechanism we lost the “there there” of YAM. The Protocol is gone, replaced by protocols to spend the treasury. We would have had the same problems in determining what to do even if the rebase was still around, but there would always have been the core mechanism to maintain.

Now we have a treasury with some money and need to determine how to spend it. I have come to realize that the Re-Org cannot answer this question, but what it can do is provide the framework for which we can accountably spend it when token holders do figure out what it is that YAM is and what it should do.

Personally, I want YAM to be radically simple. An organization that funds open source projects and public goods that we think are valuable. In doing so build out our own open source organization that enables this and spends the treasury (and YAM tokens) to support what has typically been an underfunded space. If in doing that we can use those products and grow the treasury and maybe even get people to buy YAM tokens then even better.

As an organization, since brock and trent left, it feels like we have all been focused on trying to find other people to do the work that we want done, instead of just rolling up our sleeves and doing it ourselves. We don’t need some foundation or core team. Just people who want to build things that will help YAM and help the crypto (and broader tech) space. That is what I want to do. I have the ideas but haven’t felt like I have the dev skills. Well, instead of expecting someone else to come build what I propose, I need to get to the point where I can build it. And in doing so, everyone else can join in and build with me.

As a non profit foundation which ill detail on more below, the idea is completely different from what we had before and its main purpose is to collaborate towards better outcomes. With just being a member of the foundation wont have you getting any monthly pay, its solely for the intention of getting yam on back its foot, advancements and good will. @feddas

By votes, members will be able to support and accomplish the mentioned points above and other, accurately.

Meetings planned/quarterly, will be held to discuss critical points for yam success with potential ways to get there.

This incorporates many things including to some of what we have been discussing just differently, so all talks about “Council/Operations” and further as i mentioned will be within, excluding any scope of work that isnt covered in the listed points, anything else will be up for hires to be voted on by the foundation members.

for any decision to be made, a vote will be ongoing between the foundation members, to then come up with a decision on initiating an activity, funding an initiative, holding an event or hiring someone for work on a specific focus that the foundation members have seen the need for

correct no monthly pay, to be eligible for payment it needs to go through a decision for hiring a resource for a specific focus to work on, goes through hires and gets decided on through voting (ill give a general example on that below)

some people have been busy with their projects but i still trust that they do believe in yam, specially token holders, now related to new people on board yes thats important and will be focused on post formation as everything progresses

sure the opposite, everything is to be transparent and open as thats the key rule i push for

yes, it is to work in harmony with what you mentioned, please read the above answers and the below informational content as it will clarify that more, now there are still few points where i want to work with you guys on finalizing to make it clear for the reader and what we want to push for

no, now the plan isnt to register this anywhere

@chilly for now the main goal out of forming the foundation is mostly focused on a mission which i laid out here, adding more informational text below

100% yes the foundation will act as a group of supporters that has the same interest for yam to succeed and are likely going to push further to get it there, and yes i agree about the line of separation, also as i mentioned: now the plan isnt to register this anywhere

also 100%! and i hear you on the overhead which is one of the points that i am exactly addressing here, the whole idea is to substantially reduce that and push us one step further, from grants to events or any other “yam” things, applicants will always need support and no one can expect anyone to understand everything by themselves, the purpose of us here is to be welcoming, help and support users and new comers


Example of how one part of this would work:

Inside the foundation, we have “Yam Foundation Grants”, thats where members of the foundation (or other chosen) will work directly with individuals to fund their ideas, now not every foundation members will work on that, but since its an ongoing project there will be a small group that operates it:
the foundation members comes to a decision (proposed, voted on and successfully passed) where they will want to hire specific people to work on the specified below within this group (lets call this group “grants operators”, their job will be (to be more documented):

  1. preparing the application forms, posts and documents (to be ready for people to submit their applications)
  2. review and study incoming grants applications
  3. follow through with the applicants
    • check if the proposed application is of any values and what potential benefits will it give yam
    • work with the individual to adjust or update the plan accordingly
    • approve or deny the grant based of the above
    • check in with the individual every now and then
    • plan any release or public post (if applicable)

in this example: the objective of this strategy was essential to progress on things in an good model, everything was defined prior decision making for what was proposed (group creation for specific focus) and voted on by the foundation members to creation, which then was put there to help facilitate things for applicants from people that are well involved on the “grants operators” group

Currently the core idea consists of the following:

  1. help and make flexible communications with more directed actions, within formed groups and trusted members (also inviting through elected voting: still working on this piece)
  2. foundation members: to be surrounding ourselves with skilled, useful yet trustworthy individuals, individuals that have contributed on other well standing projects or have made greater impact through efforts of their own in the defi space, might as well be project owners, it will only help yam with further advancements from partnerships to collaborations which i see a lot of value coming from

Next steps id like to discuss:

  1. how the foundation will interact with token holders and governance
  2. what funding value should be allocated towards the foundation
  3. long term plans bringing value to yam

This seems to mean to circumvent current Yam token governance.

In our previous discussions about your monthly transparency report, some of your work and responses are very vague and difficult to follow. You say that it is all public, but you do not provide the link or resources so that they are easily found or you say that they are in the private repo. Your idea of transparency does not match with mine.

I don’t know if this can be considered a non-profit foundation then.

All of this example is from what I understand what @ross and @designer are currently working on building, but without the “foundation”.

I am still struggling to understand how this foundation is:

  1. Going to be an actual foundation without registration
  2. How this is of any benefit. It seems to be you want a superuser group to control Yam without $YAM tokenholder governance.

the very opposite, its to work alongside and in support

everything was specified and i did mention “if anything wasnt clear enough from the above please ask me about it”, which then i expanded on and clarified by replies that followed, i think it matches

the purpose from this is to work in full support towards token holders / governance, with reporting publicly and transparently, it is to facilitate and push things further, everything will remain the same and yam token holders will always have control over everything; think of the foundation as an assistant

Can you explain? In your example it sounds like the foundation member makes the decision. When you say “(proposed, voted on and successfully passed)”. Who’s doing which parts of proposing / voting / passing?