[Informal Poll] - Increasing the SourceCred payments

Voted yes because I think having expanded SC helps generally.

I take mine to do various things but one of them is to buy ETH to cover gas costs on voting. So I get to pay taxes on income just to drop kick it back to miners to vote. SC rewards not really enough to buy MKR and then pay fees to stuff it into governance.

One thing I would like to see be done is to perhaps make these SC and other DAI payments on a sidechain like xDAI or at least an opt in to payments on X side chain choice. Not entirely sure what SC costs/month in ETH to distribute and whether that would compare to bridging and distributing but as L1 costs continue to increase something to think about. This would also allow for a lower barrier to distribution and possibly higher participation.


Question: Does this approval eventually require an on-chain poll? Given that we on the forum are the ones receiving most of the SourceCred, there is also clearly going to be bias in this off-chain poll.

I still don’t quite find this spending justified to be honest because the “control” experiment of how good the community would be without SourceCred doesn’t exist. I also have not seen this level of spending to increase community engagement in any other mainstream crypto project. Admittedly, it’s not easy to figure out what is appropriate here but the conflict of interest here is very hard to ignore.

I would imagine it’s a lot better to explicitly reimburse you for such protocol-related actions because those are clearly for the benefit of the protocol. That should of course be unrelated to SourceCred rewards.


Yes, true. In fact I was almost tempted to not vote. Then I saw some other posts and I decided to join and express my vote.

It definitely should, since we are talking about money coming from the Maker protocol fees.

Yeah I don’t know either. Just as an example, I link below 3 threads were I recently posted. I didn’t post in order to get a reward. But the reward probably helped me decide between “yes, lets’ invest some time to post” and “meh… let’s wait for somebody else to do that”.

  1. A signal request “A16z petition” that is currently being voted onchain
  2. An informal poll, like this one, to see if the community wanted Discord.
  3. Just answering to a random user who was asking for help.

I don’t know if these were particularly useful. I personally consider them very marginally useful: nothing really important but still better than nothing/apathy.


  1. everybody could have done the same, it’s just an investment of some forum-time, No skills needed. No responsibilities taken.
  2. I definitely write a lot of 100% useless stuff in the forum too.

I think examples like the above are recurrent among all people in the forum who got some Cred over time.


And here we’re discussing the even more subtle issue of whether a larger/smaller reward would have changed your behavior.

So yeah, this is hard. And I dislike conflicts of interest as big as this! Just wanted to get that off my chest!


I mean, we could also just ask CUs if there are any tasks they’ll grant a bounty on, if we’re looking for value beyond a minimum level of engagement. Not everyone wants a day job with a CU, but still be willing to get involved in marketing/growth/outreach/minor coding/whatever.

Obviously not every CU has one-off tasks to do that for, but would allow for more gradation of involvement for those who want to get their hands dirty but not try to get employed by the DAO. Anyway, just a reminder that SC doesn’t have to be the only way to get involvement


I agree with this. For example we could also vote to cease SC rewards altogether for the next 1-3 months and see if it changes community engagement at all. I have limited my own engagement here for a number of reasons. Upping SC rewards won’t get more, and decreasing them may only get marginally less. I am here because I have vested interests, both owning MKR, and also having a vault with significant capital, and DAI. I also am convinced the way Maker goes (if there is some bad event) it will take the whole DeFI ecosystem for what could be a terrible ride. So I am not just here for my own vested interests but to help support the entire crypto ecosystem.

Honestly come to think that while discussion and input (particularly from people with significant experience) have value, over time it looks like implementation has a much higher value than input with experience. It is very easy to see people like @hexonaut or @Primoz who take ideas and put them into code are 10x more valuable than anyone else imo.

SC rewards probably are not going to get us more implementations, and likely only gets Maker more ideas that it can’t easily implement. Which is a reason ‘not’ to increase SC rewards, and to take that money to hire more smart contract coders, debuggers, auditors, etc. 20K DAI/month more than sufficient to hire 1 very experienced smart contract writer, or experienced auditor and I honestly think we need that more than 20x voices in forums bantering ideas around.

Fortunately or unfortunately governance is a plurality of voices vs. a few so these choices are made as a collective.

As to:

One thing that I think is interesting with respect to increasing SC rewards is an idea that people posting here should also have some minimum MKR stake, and governance participation as a kind of multiplier regarding rewards in general (SC, governance, etc.).


Sir, the “A16Z petition” letter is priceless.

I disagree here sir. You have to have PASSION in order to eat, sleep, and dream all-things MakerDAO. And you got it.


Nearly everything you say has me nodding in agreement.

For those who have voted yes, I know where you are coming from and it is with the right intentions to grow our community and produce ideas for MakerDAO but please consider if doubling source cred payments is indeed the best way to do that.


Is it true that we are currently underrewarding the type of work that happens in the forums? There is certainly some very important work that happens in the forums (like risk analysis and new MIPS) but I am not sure those are proportionately rewarded by SourceCred. Unilaterally increasing SC rewards will mean we get more of what we already get, which is mostly opinionated discussion. If that is what we want then so be it, but more opinionated discussion on its own does not result in consensus.

Honestly your comments and my own thinking make me wonder if this poll should also include reducing or eliminate rewards as I think that is just as valid a test as doubling them. One thing we already doubled rewards and it is my own impression that there wasn’t too much change. We do have some new posters here like yourself @AstronautThis with new views and input which is appreciated, but I think a general poll as to why people post here might be in order. I mean honestly rather than just increase rewards hoping for more participation (what does that mean really in terms of community growth - support - actual change) perhaps a view towards what the real community goals are?

Do we want more participation by people who own and vote MKR in governance? Do we just want more forum posts? Perhaps we just want more people around who might be able to do work or to be hired? Or maybe we just want to focus on the tasks at hand that still need to be done?

These all seem to be valid topics of discussion. What I am wondering is if we got a report on whether the last doubling of SC rewards really made a measurable change in ‘participation’ and what that means for the goals of the community?

I think I am going to have to switch my vote to abstain because of the questions above.


I’m happy to be involved in how to frame that discussion. However, if that discussion takes place on the forum or mostly involves people from the forum, then many participants in that discussion (myself included) will have a conflict of interest.

At the moment, I think SourceCred is set up such that this is rewarded. If we use forum post count as a metric of participation, it will indeed look like a success but I don’t know if that is the right metric to chase.

Voted no despite being on the top10 sourcecred payouts in the last months.

Reason: I don’t feel I have been contributing that much to the forum, mostly doing chores like taking care of DCs, signaling and working in the Rates Group / MakerDao Open Market Committee.

I always feel a bit dirty when I receive my payouts.

Imho we should rather do more with grants or put people on the payroll of CUs (like Risk and Governance is already doing it) than just using an algorithm to pay people. This can (and will be!) easily gamed and having more SourceCred payments is just increasing this risk.

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in my eyes, sourcecred can and should be continually “tweaked” to incentivize different behavior and types of posts… e.g. we could consider to compensate Signal Requests from community members that have “cred”. etc…

we are just starting the exponential phase of maker… we need the community to grow …


I’m voting ‘Abstain’.

As a word of context, I believe the aim of SourceCred is to incentivize quality governance participation that is ‘unbacked’ by MKR in one’s wallet. It’s supposed to encourage new/potential members of the community to go through oftentimes-tiring process of familiarizing oneself with the forum. The DAO is only as strong as our off-chain & on-chain governance communities, and so with the barrier of entry so steep, a person’s effort to participate should be rewarded.

It is my long-term view that SourceCred should serve off-chain governance in a similar way that Staking Rewards serve on-chain governance. Practically-speaking, it should seek to incentivize and reward an expertise-driven culture, where quality input is appreciated.

I’ve been running ‘SourceCred Outreach’ for over a month now. Its aim is to identify promising community members and point them towards SourceCred. Now, whether they see the resulting DAI as a small gesture of appreciation (most likely) or it actually improves their financial situation, I believe it might have played a role in encouraging several of our outstanding new contributors, e.g., @Aes, @PaperImperium or @aburban90.

From my experience, I believe the community-building aspect of SourceCred is just as important in the long run as any financial payouts. For this reason, I’m not stressed about increasing the payouts as the outcomes are positive regardless of that.

One important factor speaking against an increase is the rising incentive to game the system. As much as we’re prepared to handle additional moderation duties, the relatively-lower payouts are a natural defense against manipulations of the system and/or damage to merit-driven discussion culture.


I voted ‘Abstain’ as well. I think sourcecred is a fine program, but maybe it should be limited to a year or so per participant?

EDIT: I have changed my mind (and vote) after reading other people’ s comments.

I don’t think you should discredit yourself. It’s because of people like you and the other Community Members that I wake up every morning and the first thing I check is this Forum and the Maker Rocket Chat. Every bit of your participating helps shape & build this DAO. So, I believe you deserve every DAI and Conti that you have earned via SourceCred. You should check out other Community Forums that don’t incentivize their communities. Pretty much ghost towns…


Huge :+1: here.

I might be as bold as to add that you may not be considering how valuable your input is here @ultraschuppi ! Even if you discount the (extremely) valid points Frank brings up, the “chores” you do for governance are part of what keep this efficient machine running. How much unpaid labor do you think you were doing before SourceCred? As much as we rely on MKR holders being incentivized to set good governance, without real people putting in tangible work the rocketship never takes off.

For some prospective we currently spend less than 350,000 DAI on SourceCred per year. Without pointing to any Core Units, it’s fair to say that would be a minimal personnel expense (would be right around 3 facilitators in the GovAlpha budget). For that small expense we not only bring in new voices and opinions to the DAO, but also get the chance to say thank you and give back to dedicated community members that would be out here giving their time anyway.


100% THIS!


It is what large organizations spend on their office supplies. Bang for the buck, I personally believe it help bring new ideas. With what is coming in 2022, we will want to attract the next round of community members!


Right now, it feels like there’s a pool to be distributed about the participants. (Am I right on this one?)
If the participants grow in a given month, the Dai received by each will diminish.

Why are we aligning rewards in this zero-sum game? We want people to tell their friends to come, not the opposite.

Should we not try to find a Cred baseline and assign it a certain amount of Dai, and if more people are participating, we give out more Dai (and vice-versa)?

Exempli Gratia: in a “quiet” month, we might give out a total of 3k Dai; if the next month we triple the activity, we might give away a total of 9k Dai (we should cap it at some number to avoid Governance Alpha going bankrupt).

I’m not sure if it’s possible to tweak the algorithm to do this.

Unless my premise was wrong, in which case I’ll see myself out.