MIP40c3-SP8: Modify Core Unit Budget, COM-001

MIP40c3-SP8: Modify Core Unit Budget, COM-001


MIP40c3-SP#: 8
Author(s): David Utrobin
Tags: core-unit, cu-com-001, budget
Status: Formal Submission
Date Applied: 2021-03-12
Date Ratified:

Sentence Summary

MIP40c3-SP8 adds the budget for Core Unit COM-001: Governance Communications.

Paragraph Summary

This initial budget, for 163,200 Dai, provides five months of runway, August 2021 - Dec 2021. In the next year, we intend to submit bi-annual budgets, covering 6 months at a time unless otherwise prefered by MakerDAO. The annual budget figure is $486,000.

A vote to ratify this MIP means MKR holders make a commitment to:

  • An initial five month (Q3-Q4) budget.
  • A continuous monthly funding model.
  • A 3-month runway reserve, held in a protocol-owned multi-sig.
  • An MKR vesting package for COM-001, with details being determined in the near future.



Remuneration for the Governance Communications Core Unit

Core Unit Name

Name: Governance Communications
ID: COM-001

Budget Implementation

Smart Contract Implementation

Governance Communications Operational multi-sig:

  • Implementation: Initial distribution to the Core Unit multi-sig will be manual until an automated solution is in place.
  • Ownership: This multi-sig will be 1 of 1 initially, with additional signers being added as needed.
  • Frequency: Protocol distributions to the multi-sig will occur during the last week of the month with all the other budget disbursements.

Governance Communications Continuous Operation multi-sig: 0x99E1696A680c0D9f426Be20400E468089E7FDB0f

  • Implementation: This multi-sig will be funded in full upon successful onboarding of the Governance Communications Core Unit.
  • Access: In order for funds to be accessed from this multi-sig, the Maker protocol must be in a state where it is unable to pay team salaries due to protocol error, shutdown and/or under governance attack.
  • Ownership: The Continuous Operation multi-sig will require 3 of 6 signatures from the following keyholders. This may be expanded to other critical Core Units as they are formed:

DavidUtro (COM-001): 0xE91f4F5834bB9312A45B2bd75804b32CC3DA8fd3

LongForWisdom (GOV-001) : 0x66f40F044E0e2F77bB746e3275E82e88dCBA2D69

Primoz (RISK-001): 0x5d67d5B1fC7EF4bfF31967bE2D2d7b9323c1521c

SebVentures (RWF-001): 0x0D61C8b6CA9669A36F351De3AE335e9689dd9C5b

Brian McMichael (PE-001): 0xC0dE1AB51082442f821bA273273B4F7d32521D8b

Nik Kunkel (ORA-001): 0xB4CFf22c0d5a015460Fd503a9328Bf00a24f686c

Continuous Operation

To ensure 3 months of continuous operation in the event of emergency shutdown or protocol issues, we will be requesting an upfront lump-sum of 3 months of runway to sit in a protocol owned multi-sig.


Use initial annual budget figure divided by 4 to determine the 3-month runway sum: 121,500 DAI


  • The lump-sum will be held outside of the surplus buffer in a protocol owned multi-sig.
  • If normal protocol operation is not possible due to emergency shutdown or other protocol failure, these funds will be used to ensure continuous operation as the system gets back up and running.
  • At the conclusion of the year, the lump sum will remain in the multi-sig for the following year and may be increased or decreased at that point in time due to changes in the projected budget.

Monthly Budget Statement

Within the first 7 days of each month, COM-001 will submit Monthly Budget Statements with the following sections:

  1. The Budget Forecast, based on the latest available information, of the budget (in DAI) that is required to maintain a 3-month runway for the team.
  2. The Last Month Actuals, i.e. the actual expenses (DAI and MKR) of the month that just ended, this includes reporting any surplus or deficit.
  3. The MKR Vesting Overview, this is a schedule that has the expected MKR vesting amounts for the current team configuration, grouped by the pay-out month.
  4. Transaction Amounts, The required DAI amount to replenish the 3-month runway.

The Monthly Budget Statements will be added to the team drive. They will also be posted in this git repository on Github.

Budget Breakdown

Please Note, Q3 2021 only covers the month of August, and includes some upfront costs. This budget assumes a July 2021 Governance Cycle ratification with August being our first month officially operating.

Description Annual Q3 2021 Q4 2021
Salaries (3 positions) $ 280,000.00 $ 23,333.33 $ 70,000.00
Hourly Compensation $ 40,000.00 $ 3,333.33 $ 10,000.00
Healthcare $ 43,200.00 $ 3,600.00 $ 10,800.00
Sign-on Expenses $ 1,800.00 $ 1,800.00 $ -
Travel & Events $ 10,000.00 $ 833.33 $ 2,500.00
Operating Expenses $ 11,000.00 $ 916.67 $ 2,750.00
Professional Services $ 50,000.00 $ 4,166.67 $ 12,500.00
Contingency Buffer $ 50,000.00 $ 4,166.67 $ 12,500.00
Total $ 486,000.00 $ 42,150.00 $ 121,050.00
Approximate Per month $ 40,500.00


Providing additional detail with regards to the above line items;

Salaries: The current team has 1 full-time Facilitator and 1 full-time Project Manager, with the intention of hiring a second full time Project Manager within the first two months of operating.

Hourly Compensation: The team also consists of multiple part-time contributors, who will be compensated on an hourly basis. These are roles that require less than 25hrs per week.

Healthcare: In order to align with traditional company offerings, this proposal includes a healthcare supplement averaging $1250 p/month for full-time employees.

Sign-on Expenses: Provided at the discretion of the Facilitator to attract top talent to the team. This will cover Opolis setup costs for full-time team members.

Travel & Events: Team members may travel to present at industry events, participate in team or larger MakerDAO offsites.

Operating Expenses: Coverage for managing general operational overhead; includes transaction gas costs, software subscriptions, and other miscellaneous costs.

Professional Services: Payroll and accounting costs, as well as potential legal services if needed.

Contingency Buffer: Approximately 10% of budgeted costs in the event that we underestimated our current budget. Unincluded items that may end up being an expense are covered by the Contingency Buffer and will be added to an updated budget in the future, if such items exist.

MKR Vesting

The Governance Communications Team will add some version of MKR vesting for its team members, retroactively dated to the first day of their employment. Instead of offering our own unique proposal now, we will wait for the community to come to consensus around how Core Units should set this up. We support the formation of an overarching MKR Vesting framework that all Core Units can follow.


@Davidutro you have been a community member from the very beginning, you have passion, continuity and did a good job. However…

I hate to be always be that guy… It’s painful for me, it would be much easier to say “YEAHHH let’s goooo”.

But I think, just MY OPINION, that the requested salaries are too high. The reasons imho are:

  1. The salary level you ask is, outside of NY and San Francisco, very high. E.g., in Europe: Paris, Milan, Berlin etc. Again, talking about med-care: $1250 p/month might be standard in the US. But for example a professional in Europe will pay a fraction (an order of magnitude lower) than that.
  2. You have done a nice job, with passion in the past. But I don’t have the impression that you are a PRO in the area of communication (including previous experience in companies, a proven track record of results, etc). Or at least it is my impression that the outcomes of your work have been not PRO level (but good for an enthusiastic community member). In any case, the PRO-level does not emerge from the “Team Credentials” in here
  3. Regardless of (2) above, unlike other types of tasks (Smart Contracts, Oracles, etc), which are very specific, require unique skills and are hard to find in a bull market, I suspect that communications is space where it’s much easier to hire PROs from all around the world (since MakerDAO does not require workers to be in any specific zone).

I feel like you’re pushing an important topic, even if it’s unpleasant. I agree with you and thank you for taking on the uncomfortable role of bad guy, because this point of view needs to be discussed as well.

Where I live in the EU, a monthly $ 1,250 more than the average net salary, but I’m aware that even with that, we’re in the global top 1/3 in terms of living standards. Dealing with tensions arising from differencies and inequalities around the world is a huge challenge within any open worldwide organization - here is not possible to hide contracts in the depths of a safe, as they do in centralized organizations

I think it is important to emphasize that this is not a unique debate, it points to much more. In addition to salaries - there is -and will be-, a lot of tension (social, worldview, etc.) that is at least as important to deal with well as not to make a mistake in the code. The question is who and how will deal with this here? (Sorry if this problem has been suggested before and its escaped from my attention.)

Going back to that nice football example from Doo. It’s commonplace, but if you want to play in the Premier League, you need top players with top payouts. Is Ronaldo playing football better than a substitute in the top league? … well, I don’t think so. But everyone wants to see him on the field because they trust him to lead the team to win.

I can’t decide who is worth Ronaldo’s money for the team, but I hope there are more knowledgeable people here, who better understand the needs of the organization and know a good answer.


If we compare the Communications Facilitator to an Investor Relations Director for a PLC–the average IR Director salary in the United States is $176,000 - I think David will be underpaid, TBH.

With regards to David not being a seasoned “PRO” I disagree. I think David has improved his skill set since 2018, has weathered the storm, has built self-confidence, has no fear with communicating, has the ability to work under pressure, has outstanding people skills, and will represent the Maker vision and mission properly.

And then we take Tim Black. I mean come on. We are so lucky to have Tim. Enough said.

A few years back a successful investor told me to “never think with your own pockets.” Meaning that you should always think BIG. Never let the price tag of something you believe in stop you from achieving greatness.

Yes, in some parts of the world these salaries are high. But in some parts, they are inexpensive. If you think about the Communication Team members–we are getting a bunch of extremely Talented people for what is considered fair wages in the United States.

These individuals are David Utrobin, Ms. Anna Kryukova, Tim Black, Payton Rose, and Jerry Goldfarb. It is a bargain deal that the Maker Community needs to enroll.

Let’s get these folks on to an Executive Vote and set our Governance Communicate Team in stone.


Thanks @ElProgreso !

Fair enough: it’s good to have and discuss different views.
These are probably somewhat determined by the context (country of origin/residence) and salaries we see around us.

That’s all good! MakerDAO will eventually make the right choice.


Do the salaries include two or three headcount? As someone who works in corporate finance (and this is not unique to this proposal) I’d like to see the core unit proposals be more explicit in outlining headcount expenses to avoid confusion. Salary looks like 65-97.5K per person which is more reasonable than suggested by others.

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First of all, no one is challenging the quality of these individuals.
Second, out of all the names you gave, only @twblack88 is in the proposal that is being discussed (which makes me think that maybe you have not read the whole proposal, Frank?)

I’m not sure if I agree with this. At the end of the day, it’s the value that you provide (and how easy you are to replace). If someone told you that they’re going to hire 100 offshore workers to do the same task than a script written by a top developer, which one you would choose? The “cheap per headcount” salary? Or the expensive developer?
It’s about the value (and the quality).

Before we start discussing “salaries”, I want to discuss value. I’ve already left a comment on the Mandate Subproposal. Right now, I do not see clarity in the Mandate, and it seems that we will be paying 27k Dai per month for Governance and Risk calls summaries.

Just to keep the analogy: if you hire Ronaldo to play in the NBA, he might have a hard time producing value (even if he jumps higher).


Yes, it’s here:

So the others are not viable?

The contributors help write the proposal. So they probably contributed with feedback. That does not necessarily mean that they will be involved in this Core Unit (especially since their names are not in the list provided in the preliminary team list).


Oh right, I was under the impression the contributors were also looking to continue contributing in the near future. Got it now. Thnxs


“Price is what you pay, value is what you get” - Warren Buffet. In an industry as nascent as crypto, I think transparency and structure are of the utmost importance if we want to drive long term value creation.

  1. Hello from New York :sweat_smile: Healthcare costs are real and high. The Facilitator salary of 110k and PM salary of 75k are mid-range salaries. They were reasonable to all of the individuals I consulted. I made sure not to give our team too much credit out of the gate financially, but enough to make us a fair offer.

  2. You are right, I am not at the top of the range of communications professionals, but I am a communications professional, a good operator, and the right person to start this team. Feel free to look over my credentials and commitment as a Facilitator.

  3. Being effective in a communications role at MakerDAO also requires a good amount of background knowledge about the protocol. Of course, it is harder to find Smart Contract Engineers than communication professionals, but even they need to be the right fit.

All in all, we are launching with a team that is capable, qualified, fairly paid, and ready to serve MakerDAO. Nevertheless, we are interested in top-tier talent, so if you do know any communication PROs who you think would be interested in what we’re doing, don’t hesitate to introduce me!


The Salaries line includes two full time roles :slight_smile:

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My initial gut feeling was that the proposed salaries were too high but on closer inspection this is what is normal in NY. I do not really find any reason for opposing the proposal.

EDIT: I have (again) typed a bit much and did not read the original proposal well enough. Comments added to the MIP39 of COM-001


Thank you so much for the kind words of support and encouragement as always, @ElProgreso! While I worked with gov comms and helped establish the original working group as a community contributor, I will personally not be continuing onto COM-001 Core Unit as I am very excited to be working on another unit to continue growing the Maker community and ecosystem!

I do fully support the individuals listed in this proposal as I have personally worked with all of them and know that @Davidutro will do an incredible job both as a leader and as a communications professional! I have full confidence that this team is in great hands and will continue to provide valuable contributions to our community.


I don’t think this even close to a reasonable comparison. Typical qualifications for a Director of Investor Relations include:

  • Bachelor + Advanced Degree (CFA, MBA, CPA)
  • 8-10+ years of relevant experience in IR, Finance or on Wall Street
  • Deep understanding of Capital and Financial Markets
  • Strong background in Financial Modelling and Financial Reporting

Typical responsibilities include:
• Leading the quarterly and annual earnings release process by collaborating with legal, finance, commercial and core business teams. Includes collecting and discerning key performance data, developing key messages, writing of earnings release and earnings call scripts and presentations, as well as preparation of senior management for investor Q&A.
• Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with analysts, investors and prospective investors. This includes timely, consistent communications through telephone and personal contacts, group meetings, written materials and making presentations at one-on-one investor and analyst meetings and investment conferences.
• Monitoring and communicating peer company performance, metrics and messaging.
• Monitoring analyst models and street consensus to value/evaluate the company’s performance, and providing advice and counsel with regard to key valuation drivers.
• Developing and maintaining a compelling strategic investor roadmap inclusive of target shareholder analytics and outreach plan, as well as quarterly analysis of shareholder ownership changes, and acknowledging potential risks of activist and short activity within our shareholder base.

These are quite different than David’s proposed responsibilities.

I think governance needs to consider the Global market rates for the salaried roles outside of the Smart Contract Core Unit (as the skillset is highly concentrated geographically relative to other functions). For example, what if we hired another full-time facilitator and project manager with equivalent responsibilities but they lived in a low cost of living area like Montana. Will they be paid the same rate and if not, how would they feel about having their compensation adjusted to reflect the lower cost of living?


Long time lurker who only holds a two digit amount of MKR


I feel it is extremely irresponsible to have salaries and benefits based on the extremes of the global market standard deviation cost of living.

Ultimately maker is not requiring anyone to live in London, New York, California. Therefore I do not believe the DAO is obligated to offset the costs of living in an extremely expensive city.

In practice a DAO should have a market advantage against traditional finance and be able to attract top talent while paying reduced salaries because it offers the employees the ability to work from anywhere in the world.


My cousin is a CFA in one of the top 3 banks in the U.S. – the dude has 10+ years experience wearing a monkey suit (+ shirt & tie), takes his fancy pants clients to Art Basel Miami every year (pre-pandemic), has worked his way up to managing who knows how much in assets–but dude is dumb as rock. I’m being honest! And when it comes to this ecosystem–the dude is ignorant as they come. BUT. Finally!! Two weeks ago, he ask how to go about buying Bitcoin via a major CEX. Go figure.

Sure, 20%, maybe 30% of CFAs, MBAs, etc. have a deep deep deep understanding of Finance–I give you that. But when it comes to DeFi? They are clueless. This shit is real. This takes dedication and passion. This takes commitment. Ain’t no weekends in DeFi. Maker ain’t for the faint of heart. You either in it–because you talk it, you walk it, you sleep it, dream it, and eat it–all day everyday. Come on man you know that :slight_smile:


I still don’t see how that justifies over paying for a position.

I also think we should coinsider paying a portion of packages in MKR. (Similar to a stock based compensation)

Ideally the MKR would be bought on the market and placed in a time locked smart contract to vest over a few years, meaning, they are not earned by the employee until a specified period of time has passed. (3-5 years) From there they can hold the maker indefinitely, or sell them to convert them into cash.

This would ensure salaried employees interests are aligned with investors.

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This can’t seriously be a an argument?
Following this line of reasoning, a very enthusiastic 13yo with Metamask+Uniswap+Farming+NFT experience deserves a higher salary than a fancy pants CFA?

I am personally not in favour of pushing this type or rhetoric. Let’s not promote this type of culture: the wall-street warrior who works days and nights and breaths (decentralised) finance all day, and can retire by the age of 35.

MakerDAO needs to find talents, competences, people with a solid background and a proven record of results. These people should be able to enjoy weekends (why not? Just take turns with others) and be potentially be faint of heart (how being faint of heart or not has anything to do with Governance communications?)

The Governance Communications Core Unit, proposed by @Davidutro , is clearly made by talented people. No question about that. We are discussing here merely about salaries and cost-opportunities.