Yearn Finance reveals ‘Coordinape’ decentralized grant distribution platform

A new system that functions primarily at the social layer will soon be managing Yearn’s grant program

Yield vault protocol Yearn Finance has revealed today the details of “Coordinape,” a new platform for distributing the $40,000-per-month Yearn DAO community grants budget — just one initiative in a wider effort to further decentralize Yearn’s governance. 

Yearn founder Andre Cronje — who said in an interview with Cointelegraph that he no longer takes part in Yearn’s “day to day” development — revealed the program in a blog post this morning.

Each Coordinape member will have a set quantity of “allocation points” which they can distribute to other members who they worked with during a given month. Members with the most interactions and allocations will receive weighted portions of the grants budget.

While there are other tools for programmatically distributing rewards, such as Colony, a recently re-released DAO platform, core Yearn operations member Tracheopteryx said that a in-house solution was necessary for Yearn’s unique needs.

“We have a monthly grants budget of $40,000 and dozens of active contributors. How do you decide how much to give each person? You could use a DAO to decide on the allocation for each person one by one, but that doesn’t scale,” he said. “Coordinape let’s each contributor allocate tokens to everyone they think brings value, then when you look at the total allocation across all contributors it’s a pretty accurate and efficient way to assign asymmetric rewards. Nothing else out there does this.”

As first discussed in Cointelegraph Magazine, Tracheopteryx and others have been working on Coordinape since February. The platform is inspired by Teal, a school of organizational theory that advocates for worker self-management, as well as recent developments in computational social choice.

Trusted trustlessness

According to Tracheopteryx, the ultimate goal of Yearn’s governance structure is to “move more decision-making powers off of the multisig’s shoulders and onto a network of autonomous and self-managed teams.”

At first blush, however, Coordinape’s joint-reporting reward structure seems at odds with the wider cryptocurrency space. Users reporting one another’s contributions could quickly and easily be gamed through mild coordination, running contrary to the elegant economic incentives and security undergirding so many smart contract systems.

However, Tracheopteryx says this trust at the social layer is key to Yearn’s success.

“When you work in crytpo sometimes you get so used to thinking about trustless systems, attack vectors, and adversarial environments that you can’t see anything else. But the reality of most creative teams is that they are highly collaborative environments. We needed a consensus mechanism that enhances that kind of energy. This can only work on top of a trustless blockchain, just like an orchid can only bloom from the physics of matter.”

He noted that the “incentives are pretty low” to game the platform, and that by design it can’t be manipulated “catastrophically.” 

As Cronje wrote in his blog post, much like Yearn itself Coordinape is a tool that “originate(s) out of a personal need, but can be generalized to help any other organizations / DAO’s struggling with a similar problem.” The team will be releasing an open-source version of Coordinape as soon as possible, and are “excited to see how people add value and innovation.”

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