[Signal Request] PaperImperium Supplemental Compensation


While I do not know the final equilibrium, the drafts I have seen of proposed delegate compensation detail a fair maximum compensation (~48,000/year maximum) – but less than I would like to have for my efforts.

Rather than try to shape the total delegate compensation process to fit my own needs and idiosyncratic involvement with Maker, I will instead try to return for one-time supplemental compensation when both I and the community feel I have delivered value to the DAO.


I am requesting a one-time lump sum of 50,000 DAI outside of any delegate compensation that may or may not be forthcoming in the future. Payment should be made to the same address I use for SourceCred.

  • 10,000 DAI earmarked to be the retainer for legal counsel. This is the amount quoted to me by several high-quality law firms, and I have a specific firm selected, if they will accept me as a client and still have no conflicting current clients.

  • 20,000 DAI earmarked to purchase MKR on the open market within 7 days of receipt. Field Technologies, Inc (my company, and the owner of the delegation contract and through which I conduct all MakerDAO activities) holds less than 5 MKR. I hold no crypto assets outside of Field Technologies, Inc.

  • 2500 DAI earmarked for taxes on the 20,000 DAI to purchase MKR. My effective tax rate is typically around 13%.

  • 17,500 DAI as supplemental income to (partially) offset forgone income from less time spent as a cultural resources consultant (archaeology).

This is a proposed one-time, non-recurring payment. It is, however, my intention to return from time to time (perhaps annually or semi-annually) to see if the DAO believes my activities deserve additional compensation. This periodic revisiting of past performance also seems more appropriate than a forward-looking schedule, as I am neither an employee of the DAO nor guaranteed to maintain this position. It is not in lieu of any other form of compensation allocated by the DAO.

Address for DAI: 0xBde950A3588C680fee26A7cFC7A34aE97EB45B8C


I feel I have delivered value to Maker above and beyond what is reflected in my SourceCred, and have a clear path to continue to do so. Also, the first item is a fairly urgent need for me to continue to participate in this space. I have invested deeply in MakerDAO, and hope that MakerDAO can, in turn, modestly invest in me.


This poll will close in two weeks.

MakerDAO Should Make A One-Time Supplemental Payment To PaperImperium for 50,000 DAI?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

0 voters


Apologies, I forgot to set it to show who voted, as is required. I know at least one person voted before I could fix that.

For the future, you can find the signal request requirements and suggested settings here: Guide to the Signaling Process.

You missed some of these, I don’t think there is anything too critical though, so up to you if you want to restart the poll (again.)

1 Like

While I have no problem compensating community members doing so heavy work, I think doing a Signal Request a posteriori without even explaining what was the work done is not scalable. There are ways to get compensation that should be used.

  • One solution is to use a grant from an existing Core Unit. makerburn.com started (and still is) as a community project and is somewhat getting grants from GovAlpha and Risk. This put the decision under a mandated actor which is probably in a better place to judge the interest of the work. This could fall under GovComm if this is related to discussing with Senators and doing some PR work.
  • You can also create another GovComm CU or Lobbying CU if this is to be long term as you present it.
  • MIP55 is also a solution.

I chose a signal request because I need to know income is or is not coming. Even a delegate compensation MIP will require 30 days of RFC before voting. The ambiguity about how much and timing of compensation means I cannot calibrate my own commitment of time and effort. Also, a signal request requires support from the community in a form where delegates enjoy no special advantage in the voting mechanism.

Additionally, the lack of limited liability from the DAO means I have the potential for increased expenses — most notably I need legal advice on certain DAO matters, and I cannot pay for these out of my own pocket.

Finally, there is an increasing opportunity cost to my level of activity within Maker. I firmly believe that Maker is a once in a lifetime enterprise that can become something very special. But a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, and I am increasingly asked “how much to do what you do for Maker, but for our company/project”? I know I am not the only delegate who has had to field questions about this — “you work for free for the whales?” — in a DAO that is, quite frankly, known for its generous compensation schemes.

But even without that, I have 3 kids. I have a business. I also have only 24 hours in a day. I need to scale my time commitment to Maker to match what compensation I believe will be coming. At the moment, I have no promise of anything other than SourceCred.

I would prefer the opportunity to actively protect and expand Maker. But if that’s not on the table, then I need to take a more passive approach — which means often saying no when DAO members want to discuss something, limiting any involvement beyond the forum, and a return to either my own business or another protocol.

As to retroactive vs forward-looking: I think it would be inappropriate to have anything other than retroactive compensation for delegates. It provides some small speed bump against rent-seeking. Even the drafts for generic delegate compensation base it on past participation and past ability to attract MKR. While there are certainly ways to vest, those are more complicated and have not been proposed, much less voted into certainty.

As to structure, a MIP allows a delegate like myself nearly cart blanche and seems inappropriate. With grants, we don’t want delegates beholden to a CU whose budget they will need to vote upon.


A slightly tangential comment from me.

Regardless of the outcome of this signal request, I am happy to see this distinction being made between work done in your capacity as a delegate and work done in your capacity as a community member. I think that was missing in several discussions before leading to very different expectations from the community on what a delegate needed to do and the corresponding compensation for that. I might also add that it is still a bit mixed up but I think this sort of thread starts to help separate the two.

I think it’s fair that you should be compensated and the only question that really remains is the structure through which you should be, whether it’s ad-hoc signal requests or one of the existing methods as @SebVentures points out.

I would also hope that this leads to a clear process by which anyone can contribute to whatever degree they like with both appropriate compensation and oversight.


I have voted “abstain”, as I am not really sure, but honestly I don’t like this.

Sure, you (as anybody else) have the right to ask for extra money but as @SebVentures said it doesn’t seem right to do that a posteriori.

You should document it more precisely.
Let me be more clear: you should not leverage your visibility (which is part of what being a delegate brings you) to automatically ask for money. It’s important to leave a precise papertrail of what has been done.

How much money. In one of your interviews (link) you said clearly that while some delegate compensation would be necessary, it should definitely not be at the same scale of CU Facilitators.

50k DAI for less than ~6 months (less? part-time?) work seems pretty high to me. Especially since you did not have to deliver anything concrete, no deadlines, no tasks, no supervision, etc. [that’s the problem with a posteriori claims.]

I totally agree that this would be a better path, since you are seemingly mixing your Delegate work with USA-Lobbying activity. We should be able to evaluate the two separately, and with concrete objectives/goals/milestones/etc.

TL & DR: Everybody is aware of your high community participation and very enthusiastic delegate work. I just don’t think this a posteriori compensation (furthermore in the middle of the discussion about delegate compensation) is the right way to go. In any case I voted for “Abstain”.


The uncertain legal status of the DAO means that my company need to retain quality legal counsel, and it needs to do it yesterday.

To be quite frank, it may be aspirational that the legal fees will not consume more than the 10,000 DAI, but that is what is needed to get the ball rolling. If more is needed, then the funds for actual compensation + MKR purchases will fill that gap rather than the coffers of the company I conduct all DAO interactions through.

But the hope is that this is about right for both a backlog of urgently needed legal advice, some compensation to further align my own long run interests with MakerDAO through MKR purchase.

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Don’t get me wrong, but everybody (and every delegate) exposing themselves to MakerDAO probably needs legal counsel.

And everybody feels like:

It seems like (I say “seem” because you have not clearly described your achievements) you think you need some extra compensantion (vs other delegates) due to your “lobbying” activities.

Once again,

But have we had a public discussion about how much we want to invest on those? If we have a shared strategy? By means of a joke, I think @NikKunkel has made this point in the chat:

Disclaimer: I am totally ignorant on Lobbying (USA) activities. Perhaps your work in this area is already worth >> 50k… I have no idea! But I’d like to see it discussed clearly, as everything else.


One thing I like about this is that it starts separating compensation for being a delegate from compensation for other activities.

Re: @SebVentures, CU formation/CU grants/MIP55 are good but maybe a little too process-heavy and, trying to think long-term here, having a culture of quickly and easily deciding to give small-sized amounts for future OR past work will probably generate a lot of activity from outside contributors. They can all graduate to CUs or whatever later, but fast action on things that look promising yet uncertain will generate outsized returns. On that topic, I found this article on Tyler Cowen’s fast funding strategy quite interesting.

@iammeeoh I agree with most your message but I’ll push back on “50k is a lot”. It’s very important to stop thinking in terms of “what is $50k to a person” or “what do people earn generally” and more in terms of what Maker wants, what $50k represents for Maker, and what Maker would be purchasing for $50k here (in expectation). Governance may later decide that U.S. lobbying-related activities are a bad idea and should not continue but in the meantime the expected value of continuing this experiment is super high.

Let’s signal goodwill, grant $50k, and keep going with @PaperImperium. If you drop questions of process (although they do matter!) and the background question of delegate compensation, this is really a no-brainer.


It is a lot wrt to the salaries currently paid to MakerDao contributors.

@PaperImperium earlier said that delegates should receive something, but less than Facilitators. And I think 50k for <6 months (in reality 4?) is very high WRT what he said.

My main point is not about quantity of money. But for

  1. asking extra money vs other delegates,
  2. for extra work that was not agreed on nor it has been evaluated, i.e; a posteriori compensation.
  3. likely for contributions along “USA lobbying” that have not been properly discussed.

50k usd is not going to change the life of MakerDAO. That’s why I voted “Abstain” as I don’t want to fight in any way @PaperImperium whose work is appreciated by several people (myself included).


I voted Abstain for now.

You are asking to be paid for the work you’ve done so far. How you will use the 50k dai (legal counsel, buying MKR, supplant income) is in my opinion not relevant to the DAO, you’re free to use the income as you see fit.

But you are lumping 2 things together.

  1. Getting paid for your delegate work retroactively
  2. Getting paid for your non-delegate work retroactively

For the first one, it’s important we treat all (recognized delegates) equally imho. If you should be paid retroactively, so should all the other delegates.

For the second one, I agree you should get paid. But let’s define and agree which work is clearly outside of your delegate duties. And then let’s pay you.

Will you be abstaining from voting on this as a delegate?


I’m abstaining on the signal request. I will abstain for the on-chain poll.

I will not abstain from an executive after the poll has passed.


About Retroactive Payments

I’m not sure I agree with the “retroactive is wrong”.

Stealing some of Vitalik’s wisdom, we (humans) are supposed to be better at evaluating impact looking backwards than trying to guess the next hot trend.

In this specific situation, we would be telling the broad community that we value contributions.

I agree with @SebVentures: we probably need to think about how to make this scalable.
Until we reach that point, we probably should try to adapt the systems to the situation.

About Paper’s Role

Paper has played quite a significant role in pushing Maker on several different fronts.
This might not be the ideal way (and I’m sure that Paper is open to discussing the how). That said, I believe that not paying Paper would be much worse than paying him (this way).


A few points from someone who has been paid under grants as well as executive and sourcecred. I have been here since 2019 and earned for EVERYTHING done no more than 20K DAI for work totaling on board 175hrs (BT report 40 under grant, BT compensation group 135 paid in a executive) + everything else. I took a pretty long break from Maker simply because I had to be the one to ‘kick the can’ about no-one (including myself) in the BT compensation group being paid. It was upsetting and put me off from Maker for a while.

My intention is to compensate you @PaperImperium but I abstained because I have one problem with the justification for the amount.

To give some perspective. It was always my intention to take funds made from Maker and plow them back into voting fees and buying MKR as mostly a zero sum game. In 2020 I wanted to take the money I felt I had earned from the last BT compensation payment (6750 btw which was 50/hr for billed 135hrs of work over a period of 4 months (chump change compared to what you are asking for Paper) My work journal had a lot more hrs but I got some sourcecred too. Frankly I am paid at 100/hr and have been for some time now. One of the reasons I was upset was because I planned to buy about 12MKR for that 6750 which when I was finally paid became about 3-4 MKR because the price had already risen on me from about 500 to 3000… :frowning:

So 20K for you to buy more MKR. Sorry if you get that then I would want to submit for the DAI to buy the remaining 8MKR I planned to get if I had been compensated in a timely manner (I actually boned up 12K to buy 4 more MKR at about 3K btw) to get to my whopping 7.8MKR at the time.

Honestly I am doing work for CUs - did I ask for a grant. No I am just going to submit the work when I get done and see if the CUs can find funds for some compensation. Will they? I am at the point I just assume they won’t so this means everything is going to take 4-10 times longer because I don’t have enough income to even drop to 1/2 time in my job so I can work 1 week on and take the other 1 week and work for Maker. The rate also sucks. 50/hr compared to the 100/hr pretty much a huge leap down in compensation especially if one factors in SSI, taxes, lost retirement matches, vacation, medical (which I will have to pay for at 1/2 time) etc.

So this is where we need a real distinction between delegate work as a delegate from something more formal like a CU. Frankly paper I have considered nominating you for a head delegate position and wanting that position to be a paid CU that has responsibilities like interacting with other politicians, giving reports, etc. 100-150K/yr for this isn’t unreasonable and the elected delegate to this and @PaperImperium is a great candidate deserving of it.

My counter to your proposal for 50K DAI would be to support you for 30K and for you to consider creating a CU for delegates that is like a lead elected delegate - make a MIP for this. I would support such a MIP and also support a CU budget for this office that also has authorities and responsibilities.

When it comes to legal I keep thinking the organization should go for legal, but if everyone is a consultant I think everyone honestly is going to need their own legal or at least access to one. I already have been burning my own cash talking to not one but two legal consults regarding my status as delegate, owner of MKR, and to get information that I can get no-where else from one of them. I have not submitted a request for compensation for these lost funds or time.

Loosely speaking this request is something that sets potentially a bad precedent. But I have been around long enough to see the energy @PaperImperium has put forward - this for sure is worth 30K + earned SC. The 20K DAI for Maker to make this 50K for as others have said < 6 months undefined or managed duty/responsibility seems a bit much. But 100-150K/yr for a real approved delegate CU position under a MIP - NOT unreasonable.


Will comment here without reading anything:

On one level, I agree with delegate compensation. It’s a lot of work to keep up with everything and make decisions regularly. It’s a job like any other and should be compensated. It should definitely not be lucrative. Something modest is fair. I’d definitely place the 50k proposed by @PaperImperium as reasonable and fair.

W.r.t. to who is eligible for delegate compensation, the delegate should meet some minimum criteria.

  • Public / not-anon (sorry shadow delegates) [Otherwise, anyone can delegate themselves as a shadow delegate and receive compensation.]
  • Some minimum threshold of MKR delegated (maybe >50mkr?)

There should be a cap to delegate compensation (50k seems fine… arguably higher is okay? but not by much). Maybe that cap is reached asymptotically as more MKR is delegated.

Most importantly though, and maybe controversial… why should MKR foot the bill for this?
Delegates with large MKR backing are presumably (apparently?) backed by rather wealthy holders.

50k is a drop in the bucket for some of these players.

Imo, above some threshold for MKR delegated, delegators should be footing all or a portion of the bill. They would also be free to compensate much more than 50k. Maybe 50k (or something less? or more?) is the cap that MKR should be on the hook for per delegate, and any more can be supplied by the delegators to whatever heights they wish.


This is not proposed as delegate compensation (at least, not entirely), but for other services to MakerDAO. It is confusing, though. I wish there was a clearer distinction.

This gets back to [Informal poll] Compensating recognized delegates, parameters which I think should be a distinct issue.

@PaperImperium has provided other valuable services to MakerDAO, such as the speaker series and interfacing with regulators/politicians.

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Those who voted yes in this poll, I would deeply appreciate your support in the on-chain poll. I have, of course, abstained. That coupled with the decision of another major MKR holder to realize gains leave the poll extremely close.

You may vote yes, no, or abstain here.


Okay… after actually reading the comment thread now…

As someone who has done my own uncompensated “work” for MakerDAO for some time (spending money out of my own pocket, custom swag, airdrops, etc.), I think I have some of my own views to add.

Only after being urged countless times, I eventually formed my own CU, and received retroactive compensation for my expenditures.

As such, I can completely understand where @paperimperium is coming from here.

That said, I on some level agree with @sebventures that there may be some better, more formal/optimized process for this. Maybe a grant is the way to go?

Still, the amount in question, $50k, to me, does not seem absurd or astronomical. @paperimperium has clearly been delivering value, maybe in his own unique way. Whether or not everyone in our community agrees with or values his efforts and methods… to me, even though he’s rather new, he’s shown quite a bit of commitment and has invested a lot of his own time and energy into Maker.

To @iammeeoh’s comment… $50k has very different mileage in the US compared to other parts of the world. :pensive:

Though… again, reading further in the comments, @makerman makes a good point as well! The $20k requested towards purchasing MKR, is reasonable, but others haven’t always had the same opportunity, and have been here quite a while longer!

With all that said, I am torn. There are good points on both sides.

It’s not a large sum in question, and if we let this pass, we’re betting $50k on @paperimperium continuing to deliver value.

I lean towards letting this pass.

Going forward though (if this is in fact a bad precedent), things like this should go through a more formalized process.


Fully agree with this.

Hopefully it serves as a wake-up call to the DAO; not having proper incentive structures in place for delegates (ie. a crucial role with a high-profile, high-risk and high-effort nature) is unacceptable. Delegates control a relatively large amount of MKR voting power but apparently feel insufficiently financially aligned with the success of the the protocol they are governing (and its governance token).