YIP: Yam Contributor Manifesto and Compensation

Updated to a new thread 12/1/2020
Everyone, thank you for your comments, they have been heard and here’s an updated proposal:

YIP: Yam Contributor Manifesto and Compensation
Chinese Version will be posted after @roninchow gets a chance to translate.

Basic Summary
Yam is a dynamic community innovating at the intersection of decentralized governance and programmable finance. The foundation of Yam was laid by Trent, Brock and founding members, now it’s our turn to build on top. Our goal is to provide economic benefit for Yam token holders. By the community, for the community is our rallying call. As Yam’s ecosystem moves forward, it requires a core group of contributors to build infrastructure and guide projects into products.

This proposal is to ensure long term prospects of Yam by compensating the contributors that will drive these goals forward.

If this proposal is approved, individual snapshots will be done for each full-time contributor and a single snapshot will be done for all part-time contributors.

We have assembled a team of contributors who are committed to dedicating their time and efforts to building up the Yam ecosystem and community. In order to support these contributors in their continued efforts and provide them the security they need to go all-in on Yam’s success, we propose to begin monthly compensation payments and Yam vesting. The individuals will be guided by Yam’s mission and brand pillars below, will draft monthly transparency reports on their contributions, and ultimately help Yam succeed to the best of their ability.

Yam’s Mission

Yam is a community run Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) innovating at the intersection of decentralized governance and programmable finance, bound by shared financial incentives with the goal of empowering people with greater economic benefits and financial well being within the emerging world of Decentralized Finance (DeFi). Yam mission and vision is supported via three guiding pillars:

Fair and Ethical Distribution

By the community, for the community. We are a committed community of doers embracing an open, fair and ethical philosophy. The Yam community fosters an inclusive, energetic and collaborative culture committed to building valuable products and infrastructure that benefit the Yam community.

Decentralized On-Chain Governance and Treasury

Yam is committed to decentralized protocol ownership, leveraging its powerful and forward-looking community to both build and guide the protocol forward. The community decides together how best to invest the treasury and grow the protocol which can only be performed with approval from YAM holders’ on-chain votes.

Innovation: Unique economics with cutting edge experimentation

Yam seeks to enable the very promise of what DeFi can become for the world: a global, permissionless financial ecosystem. Think of Yam as an idea factory dedicated to creating new innovations and launching experiments. Yam is therefore in uncharted waters, full of unknowns and possibilities, and we like it here. In the midst of these unknowns and possibilities, Yam’s mission serves as its north star.

To build consistent and sustainable value to token holders we must focus on creating value added services and products in the DeFi space. The Yam treasury allows us to build the necessary infrastructure for Yam to explore, create, and market our services and products which will add value to Yam token holders.

Trent, Brock, founding team and contributors have laid the groundwork necessary to build the Yam protocol. The next phase in Yam’s progression is to utilize the treasury to build products and services that will generate returns. We’ve assembled a full team of contributors that will cover every aspect of what we need to do to accomplish this goal.


A short intro from each of our team members:

Brock has been coding financial applications from trading algorithms leveraging machine learning to consumer facing applications like Topo’s yield optimizer for the last 4 years. He is notably proficient in Rust and Solidity, while also having experience developing front-end interfaces. His knowledge of the DeFi landscape, financial expertise, and skill as an engineer make him an ideal fit for Yam’s Lead Dev.

E | 0xE has 15yrs+ of vast knowledge in tech and design, starting from a very young age up to this day. Built and managed over 12 projects and communities varying sizes, from general tech to blockchain reaching 2mil~ users combined. Works with a variety of stacks including Ruby Vue Docker Go Node Python APIs ML Unix to other things. Focused on yam from its launch. Worked on web development, interface design, community management, backend infrastructure, and contributor coordination. Eventually would want to see yam succeed on greater levels in the ecosystem. For E’s wide familiarity on tech and the recent accomplishments, the Engineering Manager role on Yam will be fitting.

nate | flygoing.eth has been in crypto for ~4 years and writing Solidity smart contracts full time for more than half of that. In the past I co founded a DeFi company doing call/put options on erc20 tokens, later joined a DEX aggregator leading dex integrations on both the Solidity and backend, and have worked on several smaller side projects. For Yam so far, among other things, I’ve voluntarily written the smart contracts for YAM contributor vesting and monthly allowance, stood up our ContributorGovernance system, written a few proposals, as well as being an active mod and member of the community since early in Yam’s life. I’m hoping to continue writing smart contracts and being a community member in order to push Yam forward.

Trent has been working in DeFi since early 2019 alongside his brother Brock. Their initial efforts were on a yield optimization product in 2019, before switching to liquidation and arbitrage strategies in 2020. These experiences led to deep dives into many of the leading DeFi protocols, as well as the formation of strong industry relationships across those protocols. Over the course of this experience, Trent has gained a wide range of knowledge regarding tokenomics, protocol design, and degen mindsets. As one of the original launchers of Yam, he also has deep knowledge of the protocol, its community, and its vision, and has shown great commitment to each of these, seeking to foster their growth.

Feddas | Stephen has a background in a very diverse set of industries. Systems engineer by education, worked in wealth management w/ Securities License for 10 years, then built, owned and ran multiple restaurants. Managed teams of people from 3 to 60 people. Involved in crypto since 2015. Created multiple crypto related products and services, from a hedge fund to physical secure crypto gift cards. Been searching for an opportunity to join a project/team like Yam. This is where my passion lies.

Bruce | Chilly is a filmmaker, designer, and creative director with 15+ years experience in the world of design, film, and commercials. He has an interdisciplinary heart - having worked as an architect in HK and NYC before moving into the world of film and media. As a director and cinematographer, his commercial clients include Samsung, Starbucks, and Gucci. His narrative feature film projects have premiered at the Sundance, Tribeca, and Venice Film Festivals.

Krugman is a full stack software developer by profession. I have spent the last decade as a retail trader and have experience with Forex, futures, options, options on futures, equities and crypto. I entered the crypto space in 2019 and joined TokenSets as a premiere trader. I quickly rose to the top of the leaderboards in total buyers, AUM and performance. I regularly participate in governance and strategy across multiple DeFi protocols.

KW710 | Kristopher is the founder and owner of a commercial production and animation studio based in Los Angeles with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 brands. He has worked in the Film and Television industry for 10+ years and straddles the line between the creative and business side of the entertainment and advertising industries. His latest entertainment project is a feature documentary distributed in North America by Gravitas Ventures and in the UK by Alarm Pictures. Kristopher is fascinated by what can happen when you cross-pollinate ideas and business models between different industries and product verticals. What is one industry’s old idea has the potential to become another industry’s brilliant new innovation. What he loves about crypto is the sandbox environment it provides for innovators and entrepreneurs to experiment with different business models and revenue structures.

Jim | designer is the founder/owner of a Seattle based agency with over 30+ years of branding, marketing and design experience. His firm was an early adopter of digital technologies and online design. Starting in the early 90’s as a Platinum Provider to Microsoft Jim helping design Microsoft’s first internet service – a project called the MSN web platform. Other agency experience includes brand strategy and full service marketing for clients such as Microsoft, IBM, Eddie Bauer, and many others. For the past 10 years the agency has been a key partner for DHL – the global shipping company – running an extensive online customer life-cycle management program for their U.S. division. Jim received his BFA in Graphic Design from the world renown Art Center College of Design in Pasadena CA.

Ross has been interested in the Ethereum ecosystem since 2017, but really fell down the rabbithole in 2018. Since then I have become a DeFi junky and find myself pondering different crypto-economic systems whenever I have spare time. I was involved in early governance conversations during the launch of YFI and have helped vet and brainstorm ideas for another upcoming defi product that will be released soon. In my day job I am an architect, where I have overseen the design and construction of numerous complex and high end projects. I started farming YAM on day 1, have my delegator POAP, and see boundless potential in what we are all building here.

RoninChow is a crypto enthusiast, holding a BE in Computer Science, and good at collecting and organising information. I have been following, researching and occasionally writing Chinese articles relevant to crypto since 2014. Delivering and promoting high-quality contents into the Chinese community is my objective.

MVC - Most Valued Contributors - Contributors that aren’t included in current compensation, but are highly valued and are part of the team.

HodlDwon Ethereum presale investor and perma-bull. I’m a 35 year old dad who’s an economics, finance, and political junkie. Interested in supporting and stewarding community governance in YAM DAO with a focus on incentives, process, and mechanism design.


Mick | GenesisBlock.com






Poll to Measure Sentiment
If this proposal is approved, individual snapshots will be done for each full-time contributor and a single snapshot will be done for all part-time contributors.
There will be monthly transparency reports.
Every quarter contributor compensation will reviewed and voted on.
Any changes can be done at anytime via governance vote.

  • Pay the team, there’s a lot of work to do!
  • Don’t pay the team :frowning:
  • Other - Must leave suggestion below.

0 voters

At the beginning, it was to avoid damaging the national treasury that we chose to issue additional yam. Now, we have to pay extra from the treasury every month. This…

To clarify the above. The YAM included in the compensation above comes from the prior YAM issuance that was awarded to the core team. There is no new YAM minting in this proposal.

I understand that is not necessarily what you are implying in your post, but it bears noting.

is this the detailed payment of the team compensation proposal? I think it is ok to go with it.

One thing I didn’t get is, some of the Yam BoU/yr does not equal to USD/mo * 12.

i changed to other, we may need a more detailed voting, may be for each person and the payment amount…

I believe the vested yearly Yam BoU is in addition to the monthly USD amount, but @feddas can clarify. The idea being that the Yam BoU aligns the team with the long term interests of the protocol while the USD value rewards and reimburses the work put in over the previous month.

Yes, one is for paying your daily expenses the other is for long term investment in Yams. Full time commitment means that Yam is our Primary income source.

If there is more support for this, please let us know.

I have one more comment. i think the compensation may need to go with base payment and performance payment. Base payment is a fixed value each month, but there are curtain percentage of performance payment lead to some general goals like treasury increment, delivery of product following the road map (can be some delays, but in a reasonable range) and management done etc…

for instance, 0xE and Nate both have 25k BoU/yr, but they have different USD/mo. I guess they may have different contribution time, we may need to clarify that.

I understand what you are asking but those performance metrics are hard to quantify, and it doesn’t work for everyone, maybe one person do really good job and someone didn’t meet the goal, then they all suffer.
Every quarter there will be a full review, at that time you can reduce or raise compensation.

I actually meant for goals for each category/roles. ofc product delivery has no relationship with marketing. It can be an interesting process, team can setup some goals and ask people using their YAM to vote.

I agree it may be difficult to manage. There is another way to do it. we can keep some goals for each quarter. then during the quarter review, there is some bullet points to go for reducing or raising compensation.

I’m actually a big proponent of establishing realistic accountability standards and measurable performance metrics. To Feddas’ point, those metrics are going to be different for each category of work, so what makes sense for the dev team is very likely not going to make sense for the marketing team and so on. But I think accountability and clear communication is going to be really important here. The community needs to know that the team is doing the work that the community has entrusted to them and is making verifiable progress towards reasonable goals. The team needs to be able to trust that the community isn’t going to unfairly deny them compensation for work performed during any given month and maintain realistic expectations for what progress should look like so that the goal posts don’t shift unreasonably. But I do think these are things we can figure out.

Long story short, I agree with you but acknowledge Feddas’ point that we’ll have to figure out how to quantify performance in a realistic and measurable way.

The trust is a very good point. I think each role can bring some goals to let the community to vote at the very beginning of each quarter. The workload should be reasonable with some buffer/padding time for unexpected things. Then team and community should reach an agreement. After 3 months, if the outcome marches the expectation, the compensation should be bullet proof.

1 Like

Definitely supportive of some form of this. @feddas do you think there’s a way to codify this in writing? The hope would be to eliminate potential surprises in advance so that all parties are aware of the procedures and everything can stay above board.

I also think the price shouldn’t be USD based, it should be just number of YAMs. Yam price may change, if team do good, team get yam with more value. If YAM price dumped, team get less valued YAM. This also part of the performance compensation.


Where is the USD coming from, selling minted YAM? This can be super sensitive. I think the way to get USD may hurt the last remaining trust between the community and the team. I think directly paying YAM can be a solution. Team members can decide to sell for daily cost or to keep YAM as a long term investment. Also as I mentioned in the last post, it can be a part of the performance based compensation (I even think it can be the only performance based factor).

By paying YAM, it addresses a long time problem that team values treasury more than the token price. The lowest price of YAM is 0.7 recently, it wont be too low to maintain daily expenses. So the worst case scenario team will get 70% of USD worth compensation. The best case scenario is to get 150%+ USD worth compensation.

By doing this, it will finally put the team on the same boat with token holders instead of taking some value from them. Team can still focus on building products from the treasury, but also may create some proposals to help maintaining the token price.

I’m pretty confident the USD would come from our yUSD reserves, not selling Yam. If the treasury compensates the team with Yam for cost of living while working on the project then that forces the team to sell Yam into the LP to pull out a more liquid asset that can eventually get converted to fiat (depending on what the team members choose to do with their compensation - I’m assuming living expenses in this scenario). To me, that puts the team in a lose-lose situation because if they don’t sell, they can’t afford to dedicate the time they’ve been dedicating and need to dedicate, which will harm their standing with the community. But if they do sell, and the token price wavers at all then I think it’s highly probable that parts of the community will grow resentful of the team for selling their Yam, cast aspersions that they could be responsible for the price fluctuations, and make it sound like the act of selling Yam means they don’t believe in the project. That’s why, to me, the hybrid incentivization like we see here makes the most sense. Living costs get covered by an asset that can’t negatively impact the price of Yam while the yearly vesting incentives are paid in Yam to give the team an incentive to grow the value of Yam over the year.

We will consider this. I will talk to team.

Thank you for your comments, we are taking them seriously, today is thanksgivings, nothing will be passed until we’ve had a longer time to get all the contributors to discuss.