[Signal Request] Vault Compensation Working Group Payment


The vault compensation working group, consisting of @monet-supply, @makerman, @joshua_pritikin, @Vault2288, and @befitsandpiper, worked on a process to address Black Thursday vault losses from April through September of this year. This comprised gathering and analyzing vault data, as well as planning and leadership of community discussion and polling.

Over the period when the working group was operating, members contributed the following uncompensated time:

@makerman: 126 hours
@monet-supply: 76 hours
@Joshua_Pritikin: 40 hours
@befitsandpiper: 8 hours
@Vault2288: 4 hours

Total hours: 254 hours

In the original plan documents, the working group had proposed for compensation of time spent at a rate of 50 DAI per hour. If approved, this would have been funded by governance as part of the vault compensation proceeds.

In the end, MKR voters decided not to move forward with the vault compensation process. Due to independence considerations, the Maker Foundation is unable to provide reimbursement for the time spent contributing to this project.

We humbly ask MakerDAO governance to consider funding payment for time contributed to the vault compensation project.

Reasons in favor:

  • Maker voters’ affirmative poll vote in April indicated support for further research and discussion, and was a catalyst for the working group forming
  • While governance didn’t adopt a compensation plan, the compensation group’s work arguably still provided value to Maker
  • Shows that the DAO can coordinate and fund important projects independently of the Foundation

Reasons against:

  • Would require payment of 12,700 DAI from the Maker surplus
  • MakerDAO governance hadn’t made any explicit commitment to pay working group for their time, so perhaps it’s not suitable to address reimbursement after the fact

Poll question:

Do you support transferring 12,700 DAI from the system surplus to the community members listed above as payment for their time contributed to the vault compensation project?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Abstain

0 voters

Next steps:

This signal poll will be live for 2 weeks. If a majority of forum voters support payment, we’ll submit an on chain poll in the next available weekly governance cycle.



Just a quick word on this regarding process.

In general, I don’t think it’s a great idea to include funding requests via the weekly cycle, and I’ll be fairly strict about what is valid for that process, and what requires the use of MIP14.

However, in this case I think it’s reasonable that this be addressed via the signalling process and the weekly cycle. My reasoning is as follows:

  • The total amount is low (12.7k) in comparison to the protocol’s current daily revenue (93k DAI).
  • The work described has already been completed and governance has seen the work items, this isn’t a speculative funding request for work to be completed.
  • A large majority of hours described were spent by individuals that the DAO is familiar with.
  • Those involved have been waiting for payment for some time.

Hey there, even though I would love to get paid for 4 hours of work. I’m not the one that worked on that project, you must have tagged the wrong person :slight_smile:


Oops, sorry about that Felix! Tag has been updated now!

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How can we verify that the stated hours are correct? Have we ever funded anything through the surplus buffer? Shouldn’t we have a formal way (MIP?) to ask for funding from the surplus buffer? Shouldn’t there be a report of the job done with milestones and work hours for each milestone? Did any member of the working group receive any compensation in another form for the same job (SourceCred, the Foundation, grants…)?

I’m not against the funding for the working group but the rules must be clear and equal to everyone.


I totally support the compensation amount requested via the Surplus Buffer – for the benefit of these terrific Community Members.

If you believe in this DAO and you want continuous full support from community members like @makerman, @monet-supply @Joshua_Pritikin @befitsandpiper @Vault2288 then you hit that YES button and help make this Signal Request come into fruition.

I know you do–I know you will stand with us All.

Always Do the Right Thing.


This can be seen as appreciation for the work done, even though no explicit commitment was made. Compensating people for taking the initiative to do work perceived to be useful to MakerDAO should be encouraged.


These are good questions @bit, I’ll try to answer them.

I was supervising the working group (in the working group channel in rocket-chat.) While I can’t guarantee that these hours are 100% correct, I do think they’re in the right ballpark. @Joshua_Pritikin did a lot of the initial work, @MakerMan did a lot of analysis, @monet-supply did a lot of the organisational side.

We have not.

We do! MIP14. I commented on using that process versus this process in my last comment.

In an ideal world, yes we should probably have something like this. The group and the work done was more informal in this case. While I do think we should try to have a clear process with milestone and a breakdown of hours, I don’t think it’s beneficial to insist on it in this case.

All members are opted in to SourceCred (I believe), however this isn’t a reason to not pay them. Lots of contributors get money from SourceCred in addition to grant money. The exception here is facilitators who are exempt from SourceCred as they tend to accrue a large amount of cred due to stuff they should be doing anyway.

MakerMan I believe received a one-time grant from the Foundation (approved by Rich Brown) to do the initial analysis. I believe the hours linked here are hours spent subsequent to that initial report.

I agree with you in principle. I will say though that at this stage there aren’t really any rules, which is one of the reasons this is coming so late after the work was completed. I’m certain that we’ll develop rules and a more formal process over time, but there is a danger in trying to define too many rules up-front only to find later that they don’t really play well in the real world.

It’s much easier to create a good set of rules once we have run through an informal process a few times and can identify points for improvements.


This is a no-brainer and has my vote.


I tend to keep a really good working journal on this stuff but I don’t think others do so I saw no reason to post it. I added up my total hours on this and it far exceeds the 126 mostly for two reasons.

  1. There was a point we tried to do work to get data to use for what appeared to be a cleaner and better compensation model that could cover everyone (the DAI Tab method). I probably spent a good chunk of two weeks wall time and maybe 60hrs which pretty much went nowhere and I/we dumped in favor of going back to a better model.

  2. Some of my initial BT auction/analysis work revealed something interesting which I discussed with the foundation and have privately with others that is not fully released. There was and is a senstive nature to this information that myself and the others I have discussed with understand. To this day I believe while still actionable and having value has not been actioned on due to a number of factors. THis one alone I think cost me at least 20-30hrs of discussion with the foundation and others, thinking about how/whether to bring it up publicly and then finally dumping it all and leaving it alone. To be clear this has no implications for security of the protocol just something I noticed in the auctioning system which will likely be reconciled within the next liquidation upgrades.

So far I don’t believe there is a reporting metric or even a public place to make such reports. I believe this has changed and is changing all for the better probably.

I agree with your comments and questions generally though.

Yes and as @LongForWisdom knows I have advocated strongly for something like a MIP14 MIP14: Protocol DAI Transfer. In fact given the Foundation pulling back in a number of areas (example: Foundation Statement on the PSM ) MIP14 or something like will be needed even more now. MIP14 funding and many other reasons I proposed and have advocated for a secondary treasury to draw such funds from. System Reserves

Agree. I am not sure an after the fact on this is appropriate and it would cost more time. Would you like for me to add a few hours for that at $100/hr?! (the rate if I am asked for work at this point).

Yes. I received a 4K DAI grant for the 80hrs for the initial BT report Maker MCD Ethereum System Liquidation report and Black Thursday Compensation Analysis (also was technically way more than 80hr for a number of technical reasons - I also paid some of the 4K DAI to compensate Twicky for providing the data I needed maybe 200DAI I can’t remember atm). Often times when I do work I only bill for hours that led to some useful result which is why I often don’t bill my complete hours. I used to be a highly paid freelance IT team lead that was billed out at up to $500/hr and took home $200/hr. I have made up to $1000/hr (for some technical testimony in a Sony/Apple patent case) quite some time ago. Now I get about $100/hr in my full time job.

My work with Maker initially wasn’t done to be paid but simply because I was interested in helping the potential DAO bank of the future materialize. I honestly can’t say how much positive I have contributed here. Coding chops too old to be useful. I do know fairly accurately how much time I have spent. I was trying to add it all up - just from my logging of hours (many times - like this particular instant) I don’t log forum posts, or chat, oir whatever because I may or may not consider it work. When I added up hours and looked at my total compensation (nearing about 8k) I think I am getting maybe something like minimum wage for time in relation to my contributions to Maker over the past 9months (lets skip forum posts, chat, and me learning, the 6 months previous). I think my participation while down now has averaged about a 1/4 time job here over this past 9 months. My current salary I calculated to be approaching 100/hr with SSI, retirement, vacation, etc.

Some time ago I had a crazy idea of maybe moving my skills and talents online and dropping 1/4 time for each 10hrs/week I could get at $100/hr but I am rapidly coming to the conclusion this probably won’t materialize. 50/hr give or take iis about anyone is going to make and while decent money, just doesn’t compare to a full time job for a highly educated, skilled, and vastly experienced person like myself. This does not even remotely address the highly variable and uncertain nature of these types of jobs. This is something the DAO will have to deal with, and those working within it, in the coming months/years. I don’t see highly skilled smart contracts folks like @cmooney, @hexonaut @Kurt_Barry @equivrel and god knows how many others who are key important, skilled, experienced contributors to Maker getting cheaper over time (please forgive me the rest of you are listed below and so, so many of you are key to this organization).

My job has just changed significantly recently. I am working on an entirely new produciton facility bringing online vastly new and improved production facilities that are World Class (in fact will soon be #1 in the world at what we do). My key new responsibility is making this new beast perform. I had a lot of time in the past I could chat, read and respond to forum posts, do analysis, whatever as my hard work was mostly done. That time now ends for me. Fortunately there are so many other people here in Maker and MakerDAO now to take up the mantle. I still have some work to persue for this space that I hope to release in a month or two that is more general to DAO work-rewards recording of effort, community grading/approving, and how to manage the reward components. This likely will come through sourceCred, but who knows. It is something I have spent 30 years of my life on, travelling to intentional communities, doing charity work in my spare time, and was only solvable by blockchain, DAO, and my own participation throughout this space… We will see if this is just MakerMan wind or a real leap step in how DAOs function with regards to this whole doing work and getting rewards as well as having say-so in governance issue. So I probably will be stepping back from a lot of my previous activities to persue the completion and release of a whitepaper on this single issue. (I hope)

Keep doing what you are doing @bit there is much of your posts and thinking I agree with. I would urge everyone to keep as meticulous of a journal of the time they spend doing what, because someone just might want to know what you did to justify the pricetag you are asking for. I started this habit because of being a freelance IT, as well as IT team lead. :wink:

Rest assured, I am not independantly wealthy, nor am I getting rich off DAO monies. My work in this regard I consider ‘charity’. I still have to pay SSI, and income taxes on that whopping 50/hr pay and don’t think I am not grateful. To @rich.brown first GF for paying me the first 4K, to people like @LongForWisdom for getting SourceCred here and making ‘some’ funding available to encourage others like yourself @bit, monet-supply Joshua_Pritikin rune, mrabino1 cmooney @Aaron_Bartsch @cmooney @Andy_McCall cyrus Vishesh befitsandpiper wil Jtathmann @Davidutro @s_ben @Derek amyjung wouter @BrianMcMakerDAO equivrel @iammeeoh jernejml MicahZoltu Mitote Mariano_Conti and so many others who I can’t thank enough for their patience and undertanding in putting up with me as well as doing some of the hardest work not just to make Maker, but to keep Maker pushing towards the future.

There add another hour to my total hours here.

This post isn’t a good bye but an a’ tout l’heure (until later). And If I don’t get to it or am around Happy Holidays and New Year. Maker 1B and going strong. Amazing times.

I really want to urge Maker voters to seriously consider expanding the surplus to at least 1-2%, adding a secondary treasury (to fund operations, and other stuff), and something like a MIP14 for the DAO to be able to spend those funds without having to micromanage every little funding thing. The DAO having to deal with every piddly 10-20K outlay, while important, is going to so overload governance as to grind it to a halt. Appoint managers who have budgets, authority and responsibility to put them to good use. Put up a place where people working on things, record time (even time wasted) but time well spent and milestones met. Tie this all not just into payment in DAI to pay bills, but some MKR (stock in the whole) thing as a bonus (yeah when Maker is burned or via some other more reasonable metric).

What I find with Maker that isn’t hard is the ideas, or even seeing those doing the code, but selling it to the DAO and MKR token holders/voters.

And then just at the end when I click this to post I am limited to mention only 20 people - so removing the @'s now and another edit cycle.

Oh and one last request. I want my special forum Maker Black Thursday Compensation group member or ‘team lead’ badges please. :wink:


Thanks for your post - it was an interesting read and I learned new stuff. I agree that the sustained funding is very important for the project’s success.

Thanks for your Vault Compensation work!

I want to see more ideas that are not just fixes for the problems introduced with the previous fixes.


As a Foundation member, I think I have to “abstain” from this poll, as it was not a Foundation initiative and the Foundation has had no role in this. < /disclosure>

I will mention that foundation members are watching this to find out what role, if any, we will have in the protocol once the Foundation ceases. There are opportunities elsewhere that pay better and that don’t involve being micromanaged by forum members. It seems like this process needs to be streamlined if the protocol is to attract and retain talent.

MKR holders voted to have this work done, and should pay for it, and probably should have set this budget aside when the work was contracted. @MakerMan and team have done the work the protocol asked for here and it’s honestly discouraging to see this playing out this way.


The “micromanaged by forum members” really struck me. That’s one more reason to have a strong executive structure in place and leave the forum discussion to high-level issues: being managed by a committee must be horrible. And governance would be gambling with abandon if it did not retain a good chunk of the skill & existing knowledge current foundation employees have. I have changed my vote from abstain to yes.


I abstained only to see if my vote counted… when my abstained vote counted I was a bit surprised that I can determine the spending of funds without having to prove I hold MKR tokens. Am I missing something here?

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This is a community poll - it’s to gauge sentiment. If it passes, it will go to a vote of MKR holders.


glad to see i’m in the majority voting yes for this one

50 DAI per hour at 254 hours is very reasonable for the nature and importance of work done


It’s worth noting that these polls are also checked for sybil attacks and brigading and votes are discounted if I think someone or some group is attempting to manipulate the result.


That’s a really great idea. A soft checks and balances.

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I wanted to be clear. bit didn’t really upset me. I just felt the post deserved an answer. In the answer I also made a more general statement. Because this kind of stuff doesn’t just land on me, it lands on everyone giving of their time to do something ‘important’ to them. I think I am past upset, sad and just at the don’t care anymore (the time is written off). I had a lot of hopes, but hey sometimes we just have to get past something. What I honestly have seen now in the past 30 years of my research on ‘different ways’ of doing ‘community’ is a lot of people with extraordinary talent, personality, experience and patience literally getting used up and then exiting or worse being discarded.

I hope someday we can learn how to do better, for the individual as well as the collective.

I also would like to see some time given to looking at longer term implications of our choices vs. just patching over yesterdays problems, with todays solutions, leading to tomorrows problem. The issue with this is quite often being on one hilltop doesn’t allow us to see past the next, unfortunately at some point we give up trying to look as a waste of time.


You do realize it’s literally only a couple of people that decided the fate of all your work right? I think the majority of the actually participating community wanted some sort of resolution and most definitely wanted you to be compensated. To be honest I had no idea you hadn’t been compensated. I think we were under the impression that the foundation was paying for all that work. What the fuck happened?