A Call to Action: Using the NNS for Growth

As pointed out subsequently, an NNS Foundation would be a centralizing force that would also be difficult to police. It would also be expensive to operate. In short, an NNS Foundation sounds extremely problematic for an organization whose ideal is decentralization, and fortunately it won’t be necessary with the advent of Civol IC projects.

Instead, the same (or similarly qualified) people who would speak behind closed doors to make decisions on behalf of the Community can speak publicly on Civol and allow the Community to vote on what they say to thereby make its own decisions. And instead of one small group making all the project funding decisions the entire Community will be able to speak if and whenever it wants to, with all such speakers rewarded for their contributions on a piecemeal basis.

The way to safeguard the Treasury and ensure the best projects are funded from it is to put the Community in charge, and with Civol IC Projects this becomes possible. Decentralized, transparent, and trustless are the system attributes we seek. Why not give Civol a chance?


I really like everything you said in this post. Reading through your proposal on IC projects I think it could be a really useful tool.

My problem with moving forward is that we, as a community, haven’t identified the scope of the problem. For example, your description of IC Projects lists options ranging from infrastructure to video games. Is the purpose of the treasury to fund any project we find interesting, or is the purpose to fund open source contributions to the network?

Identifying an NNS Treasury as the solution before we’ve even agreed on the problem is wrong.

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Hi @LightningLad91, thanks so much!

Regarding scope… To me if the Treasury will be receiving millions per month, as suggested, or even a fraction of that, the Community should be able to fund whatever it wants to fund on an ongoing basis, which is why I laid out the entire spectrum of possible verticals. If the budget is there why limit the Community in any way?

The dream is for the Community to be able to make decisions in a totally decentralized way, and we can start with decisions on funding new projects. This is the way to grow the IC, to attract new developers and dapps from these other competing chains. DFINITY can’t do it all, and they too dream of decentralized governance solutions that take some of the heat off themselves.

In short, I don’t think the purpose of the Treasury needs to be limited to tooling or infrastructure projects that don’t have a revenue model. With a Treasury of many millions the Community can easily fund any and all worthy projects, whether they make money or not. If there’s a compelling case for a project it should be funded. Civol IC Projects coupled to a Community Treasury appears to be an amazing opportunity to make this dream come true, and I bet it will attract new builders to the IC in droves! :zap:

What we need on the IC is something truly new, something that rocks the Cryptoverse, something that gets everyone in the industry talking, a true breakthrough that is built on the IC and that changes the game. I think Civol IC Projects is capable of delivering that… The IC Community will get Civol and its decentralized governance capabilities, but they will also get this amazing new decentralized project funding mechanism that offers all projects a clear path to life! All a project has to be is worthy, and Civol enables the Community to determine that in a completely decentralized trustless way.

Please let me know if this makes sense, and thanks again!

I fully respect your position on this. My point is that it’s not enough for any of us to opine about this on the forums and then decide that an NNS treasury is required.

If we believe there is a problem that requires the NNS to take action then we should clearly state what that problem is and submit a motion to the NNS asking for approval to explore solutions.

Until then, the NNS Treasury / NNS Foundation is a solution looking for a problem.

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Not to belabor the point, but @dfisher and @wpb describe the problem pretty well. It’s basically a lack of growth, which is allowing other arguably inferior chains to attract devs who should be migrating to the IC. To their problem statement I would add Dom’s recent revelation that IC Awareness stands at 0.5% in the industry. I could hardly believe that, and I think we have to acknowledge it as a very serious problem.

However, a lack of awareness of the IC is not really a problem the NNS can do anything about, except perhaps to authorize the Community Treasury to be created along the lines suggested. However, that will take time, and I think the only way it can possibly be justified would be if there were a powerful decentralized project evaluation system that the Community is convinced to be capable of reliably managing such a Treasury.

So we have our problem, and it is huge, and I’m proposing a solution, this Civol IC Projects system, and we will need to evaluate it to determine how solid a solution it actually is. And if we agree it is solid, then I think that motion proposal to create the Treasury might at that point be drafted and submitted to NNS for a vote.

That’s what I’m seeing, I hope it seems reasonable.


Isn’t bootstrapping / funding new projects what DFINITY GRANTS is doing currently ?

Is the treasury funding more money to already funded projects from DFINITY GRANTS? It make most sense to me that funded projects that needed more money to progress can get the additional push from treasury.

Or is it that the treasury is funding money to projects that has failed to get DFINITY GRANTS but the community really like the project idea so much that it can fund it ?

What I don’t want to see is developers requesting fund from the treasury to get funded instead of DFINITY GRANTS because it is EASIER to get or MORE FUNDING to get

BTW these are the 2 ideas that I strongly will agree to if ever a NNS treasury would be created.

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I fully support your solution on NNS discussion including NNS treasury and many other topics.

The question is when can we have a try on Civol :grinning: People will to adopt your solution after they used to it. :blush:


I will stick to my previous statement.

While I voted in favor of creating an NNS Treasury, I wanted to reiterate here that I do not believe it should ever be directly supported by minting coins (for example, by diverting rewards from non-voting neurons). A treasury is a fine idea, but it should remain decoupled from the money printer that it also manages. This could take the form of funding from the Foundations, applying grants, receiving donations, etc.


The “problem” (as I see it) is that for a number of projects:

  • The grants program is not a good fit
    • no money up front
    • limited funding tiers
    • less confidence for recipients about runway
  • Traditional investors (angels, VCs) are not a good fit
    • See Jordan’s comments from above:

More generally, these also have processes that are decided by centralized entities and depend on a smaller number of people when compared to the broader community.

As for why people haven’t heard that more projects are in need of funding;

My experience is that asking people for money is already quite a humbling experience. I can only speculate that people who have tried and have not yet been successful are concerned with how that looks to other potential investors.

Recently I became aware of some projects that are in this situation and other people have independently had similar conversations with different teams.


Thank you Paul. I understand, and at a personal level I want to support projects like yours and others. I am not against the idea of us coming together to find ways to fund these groups.

The issue (as I see it) is that we have not stated who the intended recipients of these grants are. I have heard everything from public goods, to any project the community approves, all the way up to 4-5 brand new foundations.

Right now I fear that everyone sees an opportunity for money and the community (outside the forums) has no idea what problem is actually being addressed.

To put it simply, I think we skipped at least one big step in this process and that was getting NNS concurrence on the scope of the problem.

I’m confused by this statement and would appreciate if you will clarify. There is no such thing as diverting rewards from non voting neurons. Rewards are only offered for voting, so rewards don’t belong to a neuron if they don’t vote. Hence, they cannot be diverted.

If there is an inflation schedule we all know about since genesis that is designed to incentivize governance participation for the long term best interest of the IC, and it is not all allocated, then why wouldn’t it be good to use those funds to benefit the ecosystem?

I think you should have a voice in answering this question. I would be interested in knowing what you think.

I had a chance to meet Roald from Aviate Labs at the Code and State event in LA this week. @lastmjs and I thought he provided the most succinct answer we’ve heard yet. If DFINITY were gone, would the internet computer survive? If the answer is no, then the treasury should fund people and organizations that can contribute to the IC so the answer becomes yes. The treasury should fund decentralization and growth of the internet computer.


This reply is to let you know I’ve seen your question and I’m considering my response. It’s a good question and I have lots of thoughts that come to mind.


Since DFINITY has voted YES on this proposal (-> Internet Computer Network Status) when can we expect to know the motivations/reasoning behind that vote?


I believe this was meant to be their official statement. I also found the comments in this post to be enlightening on how we arrived here.


Thanks for linking that forum topic here @LightningLad91 . It’s easy for it to be forgotten since it had a lot fewer responses, but they were high quality discussion points. I agree they help explain the history of the treasury discussion.

After thinking on this for a while, my position is that we shouldn’t use the scenario you described as our problem statement unless we are prepared to address the problem holistically.

@weedpatch2 proposed a similar hypothetical scenario back in August and I think it’s worth talking about in a working group.

I still think it’s way too early for us to say that an NNS Treasury is the only solution we should consider.


That’s fair.

Interesting Tweet. @weedpatch2 is brilliant.