[VOTE SUCCESSFUL] NEM Ventures Incorporation Proposal


#44

Interesting thread, any clarity on the questions below …

Will this new proposal of managing the funds remove all community voting for approvals going forward?

Or is the NEM Ventures coming in after community voting/approvals to manage expectations/milestones/payouts etc?

The different funding tiers seems to imply community vote is only for 1 funding tier 50 - 750k and no other voting is required for the other tiers.

This new proposal seeks to manage a portion of the NCF, what happens to the other chunk of funds and who manages that?

Seems the vote is for the change of governance of the NCF fund through NEM Ventures AND the initial funding of $875k for year 1? Who approves the funding in year 2 and beyond?

Will the trustees also be put to a community vote as well?


#45

I think it’s really a shame that you got so personal in your attacks since you have raised a couple of interesting points. I don’t expect the team to answer them all directly when they are busy defending themselves from your other character based accusations. One of the better points being: can the VC team show the community any evidence of the consensus on the proposal that they have achieved behind closed doors.

On the one hand, the NCF is pretty much a black box to outsiders and when you see conversations like this, you have to wonder how much the power is concentrated in the hands of a few. On the other, if this really was a coup and not supported by the NEM organisation, there would likely be high ranking NEMbers in here supporting the opinions of @Lionheart and @Mulechain and furthermore, the proposal would never make it through a vote. Look at the voting outcome of GreeOx. Whales came out and used their very powerful votes to squash the proposal, even in the face of apparent popular support. Absolutely, the whales will be watching this and they will crush this too if has not come about from an internal consensus. This isn’t a certainty, but a pretty reasonable assumption.

Also I don’t really understand you accusing the Nem Ventures team of having no VC experience. Aside from their advertised experience (which has been been called into question in the thread), they at least have the work they have done at NEM. You, as the CEO of a logistics project, leading a team with no logistics experience, surely you must think it is a possibility to learn the ropes as you go.

I don’t intend to use this as an attack on your project, or you, but this is one part of the benefits of blockchain. Namely, the money that has been raised to be invested into people and teams that are capable of thinking outside the box. FedEx are never going to launch something like Mulechain, it needs a team of diverse backgrounds to develop these new solutions. For NemVentures, they are not running an investment fund. They do not need to balance their portfolio or generate annual returns for investors. They actually don’t need a strong finance background for this. What they need is a diverse range of experience and analytical skills, as well as a strong pool of advisers to draw upon.

This thread should be more focused on discussing the details of the proposal, such as are there caps for compensation for the team, or the idea introducing an annual public vote to maintain funding for NEM Ventures. You’ve said your piece, let’s move on.


#46

Give me a break Andrew. Let’s stop pretending and acting like no ethics have been broken in their conducts and in their intention to privatize the power to the management of NCF going forward. Let’s take off everybody’s mask to start talking like a human being on an equal basis. We started treating Leon like a decent professional and answered his request on our project on a professional basis and little did I know he is simply a person with no job, no income and no education or any other qualifications but acting as a volunteer to waste everybody’s time on their projects and doing active comments on other people’s blogging all day long. Regarding Kailin I happened to be the one person who interacted with him closely since February leading to his current NEM VC project now. I witnessed every step of the way and suffered deeply from his characters and behavior during this time.

My role now is not to win popularity contest through any voting anymore since they themselves have killed the NCF already anyway but rather to do my part as a concerned XEM holder to report what exactly has happened to these people who want to take a public good into a private interest and how they got here. Shame on you to try to make it as though I have to apologize by being personal simply because I laid out exactly what had happened in our own experience to let the NEM communities to become adequately informed. What is the reason you wanted to silence me so that the communities would not know what had happened?

If you continue to pretend that characters and ethics are not important to decide whether to let certain people to handle public money then I would have to ask you to either come down your high horses or to come out to the lime light to show us what you have been doing professionally in your life before so that we could understand who you really are and what makes you to make these naive comments. I do not want another episode like what Leon played on us before to make us do song and dance. Please show us your qualifications to offer some credibility please.

Outside of this thread or outside of the NEM environment, no matter what you say, you will be able to find very few people who would not laugh at you if you want to play dumb to let somebody without a high school degree to handle not just $10 million to invest but also to control the future of the entire NCF.

The analogy you made are apples to oranges. Perhaps you really don’t have any knowledge on what a VC or a banker does. The point is, why would we need to turn a decentralized vote based community system back to a VC controlled by a few individuals? Especially when these individuals clearly do not have the qualifications to do so. Are you really asking everybody to play dumb like you did?

What was the initial purpose of NCF to help build a great XEM eco-system? Do you think by simply turning NCF to become a VC in the hands of some crony individuals will automatically make more money for NCF? What kind of projects do you think will end up coming to NCF for VC money? Most likely those who have no credibility, no business value, no hope, outcasts and rejects by the outside VC world would end up here, and most likely, funded through their crony connections with the general partners.

If the general partners (GPs) of the NEM VC have no credibility or qualifications themselves, how can they attract the top quality start-ups to come here?

As I have said over again above, whether NCF to go VC could be one vote. Who gets to be the GPs to manage the fund and build credibility for us should definitely not be lumped into the same vote. It should have its own separate voting from a few carefully selected credible candidates. That is how we could avoid cronyism here at the NEM Community.


#47

:sweat_smile:


#48

Thanks @corporal_clegg, we are trying very hard to ignore the incessant attacks, drivel and all caps posts in order to focus on valid discussion points and appreciate the support in trying to bring that focus.

If any of the points you mentioned have been brought up and we haven’t covered, they will have been lost in the noise - very happy for you to re-ask stuff we have missed at any stage and we will aim to provide as full an answer as possible.

To that end - if anyone wishes to discuss any questions in private, directly with us without fear of being made a target for this nonsense by airing genuine questions, do please feel free to message any of the team directly and we are happy to discuss directly if you feel it is easier for you.

As you rightly mention and was alluded to by @Jaguar0625 above, there has been no coup or dictate, a proposal has been put forward. We believe the proposal will help bring transparency, governance, legal entities, a positive return and viable projects to NEM by building on the good work the NCF has been doing but that has become difficult to manage.

There has been no coup because this is a proposal that requires public support in the form of a vote. The 10 day pause in reviews while this is discussed, in the scheme of things, doesn’t seem a particularly long period.

Discussion has occurred with various senior individuals prior to bringing this for public comment, including said 10 day pause, if they wish to speak out they are free to do so, however I do not intend to put anyone in the line of scatter gun fire this thread is drawing by removing that choice from them.

The team has sufficient and varied experience to manage this proposal, the notes highlighted in bold earlier are lies in various cases and people are free to check our profiles as listed in the proposal to form their own views. Shouting lies as fact, does not make them truth, it just makes them loudly shouted lies. As has been mentioned previously - where necessary, legal advice will be taken in relation to some of these in due course.

The proposal is not a traditional VC and frankly the team would have significantly less interest if it were, the three objectives are far more interesting than an unrelenting focus on profit. Where there are areas that support would be beneficial, we have reached out to relevant senior people who are interested to support this, IF the NEM community commits to it. If not they have several other offers most of the time and naturally are getting less keen to be involved in this the more unprofessional certain parties become. Frankly I’m glad we haven’t put their names into this cesspit as they are valued friends and colleagues of ours who I don’t with to expose to what is essentially Troll behaviour.

To respond on a point raised earlier @leoinker is not named in the proposal and is not part of the Ventures team, otherwise would have been named as the rest of us has been. The comments of support he makes are as a member of the NEM community, a volunteer on the NCF committee and an individual. The level of disrespect shown to him is unwarranted, unjustified and unbecoming of someone who wishes to be member of the community. The committee members are and will continue the good work done to date by managing the funding for projects that have been previously approved. Several members are naturally likely to be interested in assisting NEM Ventures since this is an area they have all been passionate about or would not have volunteered their time - that collaboration will be welcomed gladly and similarly we have said several times we are very happy to support the ongoing processes if the committee wishes to draw on that support.

As has been stated on two occasions already, anyone is free to propose a solution and always have been, there is a problem let’s get on with trying to fix it for the good of all XEM holders and the community in general.

This is a further attempt to be constructive, I’m fully expecting a further barrage of nonsense we will keep trying to work constructively around it.


#50

Hi guys,
I have read all above comments and have thought about it a lot.
Firstly we must recognize that there is a backlog of funding proposals and this needs to be resolved quickly. The lead developer indicates this.
Kailin has already been a big part of the proposal process and has done a great job up till now. Its not his fault that there is exponential interest in funding proposals and he is seriously addressing the issue of backlog.
Obviously people need proper renumeration for doing this very important job. I dont see anybody else taking up the baton with any initiatives. I have known kailin from before Nem actually when he was enthusiastic about NXT and then wisely directed himself to NEM like so many of us. He has done massive amounts of work already on NEM with no payment whatsoever so I wont let his character be bashed by some here.
I have looked at the qualifications of those involved and I have not been convinced that they are UNDERqualified. Im not one of those that goes by the mainstream criteria for suitability as it is invariably wrong anyway. I would rather have a committed NEMBER anyday of the week to some disinterested so called professional.
The project is requiring around 10 million dollars which is about one third of the total community fund. In my opinion this is a worthwhile risk. Even if it was a complete disaster we would still have enough Xem to continue on as before albeit very slowly. On the upside if this project does well it will serve to completely put the whole NEM project on a trajectory upwards.
We cant stand still guys, we have proven NEM people trying to take us forward…its not a time to be taking a negative attitude…sure there is a need for trust…but there is an element of trust in everything…
I will be voting FOR the project !!!


#51

I do think that having to go through the community vote again every year to retain funding is a fair request. This is a huge thing to sign off on with just one team. It seems to me an unnecessary risk to take with the fund. Even apart from protecting the fund from human error, it would create an appropriate incentive structure to keep the Nem Ventures accountable to the community.


#52

It always amuses me that most posters on here spruking the goodness of Nem more than often have their finger in a funding proposal pie…(umm yes of course Nem is the best as long as it throws a cool million your way).
Is this what Nem has come to?
Hence my criticism of the forum or lack of as a platform, there appears to be very few community voices here to at least state the obvious.
Dan


#53

Well I support the idea and I’m not in a funding proposal pie…


#54

We ourselves have been going through the entire process from a to z for months…

I am not involved with evaluating any community fund proposals, so I cannot comment on that process in general or your specific experience with that process.

What was the real cause of the application backlogs

The community fund is run and managed by volunteers unaffiliated with NEM Foundation. My understanding is that are only a few active volunteers and they could not keep up with all the applications.

The undemocratic part is that they stopped the existing process at the expense of all other applicants

My understanding is that this was approved by the NCF committee, which is composed of volunteers.

Someone involved with the NCF committee can comment on the correctness of my understanding above.


#55

Hi @corporal_clegg, i like that idea and i’m sure we can look at how we can include it. But there are some practical challenges we need to address in order to incorporate the idea:

  1. If Nem Ventures has existing obligations and liabilities, and approval were denied, it would essentially result in a vote of no confidence, which is fine for removing the mgmt or stopping the fund, but the obligations and commitments would still exist without anyone in place to manage them, go to board meetings in investment companies, offload equity positions if needs be etc. We could request the trustees to step in but there is a risk that they may not have time right when its needed and it could be a problem for portfolio companies etc. There would need to be some kind of SoP put in place in that instance. Any ideas on how to get around this?

  2. The trustees would have legal control of the funds, so the vote would be largely symbolic, like a non-binding national referendum. We can write it into the articles at the time of inception and indicate the intent to manage the case in which the community loses faith in the management team, but ultimately if the trustees decided not to accept the vote result, legally its unlikely it would be binding. This one concerns me less as the trustees would impictly be trusted members of the community, so it is likely that similar to a non-binding referendum that the leadership would accept the guidance and enact the communities wishes.

It is a really good idea and we are keen to integrate it, open to ideas if you have any idea on how? We may need to agree in principle in the interim and then seek guidance from the audit/governance advisors planned in Q1 for exactly how we can make it a reality it but happy to discuss further and see if we can come up with something in the next few days.

Its intended to release accounts and progress reports to the trustees quarterly in order to continue operations and continue to secure investment and operational budgets, while an annual audit will be performed, summarised and released to the community as well, which would be a logical addition to a public vote if we can include it in a fitting way with the planned governance structure.


#56

Kailin?

Hi, well for the first point, there could be an exit plan in the case of a vote of no confidence, so the fund could be reduced only to a few key members who would be kept on salary to manage the investments but without access to future funds to continue to invest.

  1. This does concern me. I don’t have any faith in politicians haha. How are the trustees to be appointed then? It’s interesting, I was explaining this situation to my wife today (trying to train her on blockchain for MarginX) and she asked me how this is different from EOS consensus. Now I realize she was right on point. You have a typical byzantine generals problem here. With those resources, it would be simple to overwhelm the NEM community and have them agree with any appointments made to the board of trustees. It could even be benevolent at first but get out of hand via human error. Whether it is likely or not based on the character of the people taking the office doesn’t matter, security flaws are security flaws. The fund shouldn’t be open to that risk. I will need to think a bit more on a solution for this, unless you have one already.

#57

My general take on this:

I don’t see the community fund as the right financing vehicle for companies and, as many of you agree, it is not gonna be sustainable. Of course, encouraging more startups to build on NEM is great, but donations for private companies at such significant amounts are ridiculous. Giving up 10% equity for a 1Mio USD Fundin is still amazing and create with a higher likelihood good Startups, sustainable Funds and subsequently allow to reinvest the money.

–> Community Fund for developer projects & small community startup financing run by community committee + Venture Fund for promising Startups (built on NEM) run by a team of Bankers/VCs that have done this all their lives …appropriate due dilligence with established screening criteria, know the deal flows, … (focus on early stage financing gap approx. 50K-500K - but depending on size of fund of course)

Therefore, creating a Venture Fund next to the Community Fund will be great as long as these two entities are completely separate in operation and the Venture Fund is run by absolute VC experts. The Venture Fund/VC must have as investment criteria definitely “Company building on NEM” - but managers, investment criteria and daily operation should be handled like a professional VC without community vote, part-time partners, weird milestone payments …

My prefered option would be to create a VC led by experienced Bankers/VCs that also collected money from other capital firms/funds (Bigger network, more visibility, more resources, less risk). NEM Community fund would participate with X%, NEM Foundation with Y%, NEMwhatsoever with Z% and the other investment parties as well which will result in a successful “traditional” venture capitalist model and support existing NEM entities long-term.

My conclusion:
great idea, but the implementation must be quite different and much more professional. “Guiding Principles, Screening Indicators, Investment Payments, Ownership and Management” must be venture capitalized.

Why create a Venture Fund/VC and then not let it work like a Venture Fund/VC to support the NEM ecosystem, but create a Hybrid Super Community Fund managed by “investment amateurs” with good intentions?


#58

An experienced VC fund manager could cost 250k annually and they wouldn’t be willing to leave their job at goldman to run a 10 million crypto fund.


#59

That would be the cheapest experienced VC manager at Goldman I ever got to know. There is Bankers/VCs/investors who believe in “crypto”, and are either tired of their positions in big banks etc., or simply want to work on their own success story with a much higher upside potential.

Obviously, you need to incentivize such people e.g. with relatively low salary (usually don’t need this anyway) + a 4-year NEM options vesting package + equity in the deals they are doing.

At this stage, I would definitely not compromise on quality of team when this is the number one factor to success of every single company.


#60

Im kailin, yeah. :slight_smile:

That’s a good suggestion, and is actually something that is already in place, partly, in the existing governance structure. If the trustees decide that there has been mismanagement of the fund or investments, they have the authority to step in and make the decision to cut back the management team and enforce the winding up of Nem Ventures. In this event, a process would be needed to appoint an administrator (the auditors may be open to this option) either for the mgmt team to hand over to or if appropriate to sit above the mgmt team while they wind it up.

Generally speaking, if the community lose confidence in the management of Nem Ventures, it is highly likely that the trustees would too, have already lost faith in the management team. In this way, it would be expected that the trustees correct the issue long before the community are even aware of any problems internally or have removed or wound up the fund. In the event that public opinion has dropped to the point of a no confidence public vote, it is likely that the trustees have not performed their duties correctly or have possibly become corrupted, in which case a public vote loses its power. I certainly see the value of a public vote, however there are additional issues or short falls with such a system, that should also be addressed and resolved prior to incorporating dependency on a public vote.

With regard to the selection of trustees, there are a number of possible ways in which this can be done, some with more merit than others.

  1. The current trustees could step into a trustee position given their long standing history as informal trustees. In the case a cosignatory does not wish to become a legal trustee, they could alternatively delegate their position to someone they deem suitable for the position. We currently inherently trust the existing trustees and have done from day one, so this would make sense to also trust them to chose a delegate. In this situation, the selections could optionally be approved by the core devs as a matter of principal.

  2. The trustees could be selected and approved by core developers. This would also make sense, given the core developers are not only thought leaders in the community, but are also have the most interest in the trustees being honest, integrous and having only the best interests at heart. They have also been around longer than anyone, and have observed the community and interacted with many key and non-key players within the ecosystem, so should be in a strong position to chose wisely. However, the core developers also see the NCF as outside the purview of core devs.

  3. The foundation could select the trustees. This is an option, but it is counter to the current nature of the community fund. The foundation, as has been noted recently by jaguar, and by design, has not the authority nor mandate to control, manage or disburse the nem community funds account. This would imply that the foundation also does not have the mandate to select the trustees.

  4. Public vote could be utilized, but this runs the risk of large stake holders colluding in order to sway the vote in their favor. The public vote is useful and mandated in particular situations, such as in the case of this proposal to be awarded the mandate to utilize a portion of NCF in a particular, but it is important that the final governance and legal control in this case be delegated in a very careful manner by those who we know absolutely have only nems best interests at heart. Opening up trustee delegation rights to that of public vote, also opens up the fund to risk of manipulated take over from unknown entities who may hold large sums of XEM. A good example of this may be in the case of the hacker. He would single handedly have the ability to secure the vote in his favor, putting in power trustees he deems fit. This is a risk of manipulation that has historically been tolerated with proposal votes, as the stakes have not been that high relative to the over all size of the NCF, however with this delegation of power of trustee selection, it is probably not a wise move.

The above are listed in our order of preference but absolutely up for debate. Given the community already trusts the co-signatories in this role, it is logical to continue that governance structure - I am one of those co-signatories at present and naturally would not take up a trustee role for obvious reasons! This should be tied in with the approval of the core developers as a second layer of protection and to ensure only the most highly regarded members are chosen as trustees.

There is of course always going to be risk associated with this, however the risk is already present, its just not visible. Currently the funds are distributed to companies upon completion of milestones, which are in many cases near impossible to verify or to retain any oversight on what happens to those funds. We are essentially trusting that the companies not embezzle the funds, which in many cases run into the +500k dollar range, utilize them in unintended ways, or are otherwise abused or misused, or ensure that the project actually do anything at all. There is no financial trail the committee can follow or even legally request given the DAO nature of the fund.

This is an unacceptable level of risk we are maintaining and accepting with existing operations, given the complete inability of the current committee to perform any due diligence into companies or the results that they produce. With this in mind, when we incorporate Nem Ventures and put in place trustees selected from the community by long standing and reputable members, we are reducing the associated risks and concerns dramatically by allowing Nem Ventures to do due diligence and checks on companies while delegating true financial control to the trustees, rather than relying on the good behavior of NCF funded companies.


#61

Hi willowfoot,

Sorry for not replying sooner, missed your message through the flurry of messages.

You are correct in that the community vote will only be required for the 50-750k tier. This is in place to allow Nem Ventures to consult the community should management not have a clear majority vote in favor or against. It allows Nem Ventures to consult the community in times when there may be some disagreement but not a clear majority one way or the other.

It is also possible that Nem Ventures would utilise a public vote more regularly than is required to maintain a high level of community engagement, in keeping with traditional practices of NCF. However, we wanted to allow flexibility in that there may be times when a company does not want the investment advertised prior to securing the investment, or if the investment is time sensitive and we need to act quickly. This is important to allow companies privacy and expediency when seeking investment, which would not be uncommon if the applicant is in talks with multiple parties.

We have also included a vote allocated to core developers depending on the scale of the proposal in question. Should the proposal be outside the bounds of Nem Ventures allocated investment budget, or should another proposal such as this be put to the trustees, it is possible that the funds be released from the trust pending a majority approval from trustees, but this would require additional sign off from one or two of the core developers depending on the amount of funds requested. This is expected to be a very rare case, but it was important to include in the case a highly valuable and desirable opportunity arises.

The remaining chunk of the NCF funding would be stored, managed and legally controlled by the NCF Trust that will be incorporated as a separate entity as part of the set up process of Nem Ventures. This trust will be the legal owner of Nem Ventures and Nem Ventures will apply to the Trust for funding ongoing - this proposal and vote will act as the first proposal. In future, other projects may also apply to the trust for funding, but these entities would be intended to be key nem infrastructure akin to nem venture type initiatives or akin to the foundation opposed to the type of projects that generally apply to NCF in the past. NCF fund stpe proposals would be expected to apply via Nem Ventures.

Regarding how the trustees would be selected, and how funds are approved and allocated, please see the post here which touches on those points in depth.

Thanks for the constructive questions. Feel free to ask any further questions if needs be.


#62

Greetings all, my name is Jan and I represent CarbonClick - we currently have a proposal under review with the NCF committee. I hope this feedback comes through in a constructive manner and contributes positively to the discussion.

Firstly, I think we have to acknowledge that a lot of people have put in massive amounts of effort and time on a voluntary basis into this system, which is quite incredible and shows how amazing community DAO’s can really be. But this concept and way of doing things is really new and riddled with challenges and I think the NCF is now in a challenging time. In challenging times, I think it’s important we really understand the root cause, don’t rush things and make potentially irreversible or harmful decisions.

As a startup founder, one of my key drivers to most things I do is “Will this action increase the chances of success?” Overall, I think there are many elements in this proposal that indeed increase the chances CarbonClick will succeed. I also think that trading equity for funds, skills, guidance, mentorship, networks, etc. is an often necessary way to grow your business and increase chances of success. So I’d like to point out, we at CarbonClick are willing and open to do an equity trade because it increases chances of succeeding in a world where most startups fail. But it has to be done in the right way with the right partner.

Some other points I’d like to make:

  • I agree with most of the problem statement and the current state of things is indeed dire. There is a long backlog of proposals and the volunteers are struggling to keep pace and approve projects that pass the initial guidelines. This is an issue that needs to be fixed.
  • I also agree that the current method of funding projects is not the most effective and the benefits to NEM are somewhat constrained without an equity stake. This is one of the reasons why our proposal included an intention to pay back the grant. But equity stakes are only one way to return value to NEM, so I support that more features need to put in place to ensure the project returns expected value to NEM
  • This proposal comes as a surprise. I knew there was a backlog of proposals, but I didn’t know much of any other challenges the committee has been experiencing. When managing a DAO and the organisation has challenges, then there should have been posts out to the community months ago informing of the problems/challenges that have arisen. Not only in terms of the backlog, but in terms of the process. Why wasn’t the community kept up to date and consulted?
  • Around 3 weeks ago, the committee revised the guidelines for the proposals, a new system for managing proposals was put in place. As a person impacted by these changes, I think the revisions were valid and teased out certain things that would have assisted the community in identifying genuine projects. It’s in all our best interest that funds are spent on genuine projects with signifcant value to NEM. I was under the impression however, that the changes mentioned above would have helped alieviate some of the issues the committte has been experiencing - but seems no time is being given to “wait and see”?
  • To me, this proposal essentially kills the NEM DAO, which seems like it was one pilar feature of NEM and it’s certainly an important NEM feature owned by all token holders. I think removing the DAO would be a massive loss to NEM. There are plenty of VC funds out there, but DAO’s are scarce. They serve different purposes.
  • Finally, it feels like there might be better ways to solve the issue. Here are some off the top of my head:
    – Hire in professionals to manage all/some of the proposals.
    – Hire in professionals to do standardised due diligence, create summary reports, rate proposals based on list of criteria, etc.
    – Pay existing committee members to prioritise getting through the backlog. A decent hourly rate will cause people to reshuffle life priorities to make it happen.
    – Further tighten up the guidelines, additional standardisation will help screen projects.
    – Bring in some expert consultants and have them create a new process within the existing framework.
    – Put new proposals on hold, until the backlog is cleared.
    – Put new proposals on hold, until the bear market is over.
    – Put new proposals on hold, until catapult is released.
    – Lower the funding caps.
    – Start co-funding projects, e.g. tranches to be paid out only once evidence is presented that matching funds have been provided.
    – Identify a chunk of the fund that can be invested in traditional assets and use the returns of the fund to finance particular activities like NEM scholarships. A $10 million investment could yield $1m to projects in perpetuity (although 4-500k is more safe.)
    – Make milestones more stringent and standardised. Make payouts linked to returning value to NEM.
    – Give the fund to an existing crypto VC and give them a specific mandate.
    – Get more people on board.
  • Finally, I also think such a massive change to a fundamental feature (to me, this is almost on par to changing the consensus mechansim) should be taken to the community in a different way. Not dropped like this, giving us 10 days to provide feedback, scrutinise and do due diligence. Seems all other proposals have followed a 30 day Q&A period, then a 10 day voting period.

In summary:

  • I concur that there are issues and something needs to be done
  • I’m not yet convinced this is the best solution. I’m open to it though.
  • At minimum, I’d add 30 days to the proposal Q&A period. Don’t worry about the proposal queue, just be transparent about it and give people estimated timelines. We’ll understand. :slight_smile: The 30 days will allow better discussion and identifcation of the best solution.

Final question! I’m also curious if this proposal has been run past the entire NEM foundation (https://nem.io/about/foundation/) and you have received their endorsement?

Cheers,
Jan


#63

Thanks @CarbonClick for a well thought out, considered response and it certainly comes through constructively. I have tried to cover the points below but please let me know if they need further information, discussion etc. We want this to be collaborative and as one of the projects in the pipeline you are in a great position to provide a unique perspective so it is good to hear at least partial support and likewise we would welcome working with you assuming this all goes ahead.

I agree, the work that has been done to date as a DAO has been very good an built a great platform to expand from, the committee have done a great job under difficult circumstances and are continuing to do so.

We are glad you see the value in what is proposed from a project perspective and recognise the current issues as something that does need to change. You have hit the nail on the head with why we feel a combination of a investment, support and network would be beneficial for startup teams, the investment returns and NEM generally - especially if we can start to line up with the catapult release.

I think perhaps some of the messaging hasn’t come through fully in the proposal and will try to highlight some of it on your points, on the equity and DAO I think we are coming from similar perspectives particularly:

  • Equity is currently viewed as you suggest - one way to return value but not the only way; it is likely to be one of the more common ones to start with. We have included in the guiding principles a concept of ‘Good NEM Citizenship’ - if a project works to enhance the community, technology, reputation etc then it is a positive return and is factored into discussions. An easy example of that might be that if the technology can be open sourced the investment terms may be reduced in recognition - naturally it still needs to make financial sense, but unlike a traditional VC there is latitude there to account for different rewards. Similarly if it can increase XEM usage in a significant (and auditable way) it will increase XEM price so that can be considered a return. It is likely in these scenarios we would do something like an equity position that reduces one value is realised, or a convertible note that isn’t converted etc, a few options exist but is something we very much have in the model and key reason we don’t view this as a traditional VC fund.

  • The DAO approach I agree is scarce, unfortunately one reason for that is that it is simply difficult to account for funding or contract with anonymous groups in most OECD jurisdictions. It is also nearly impossible to take equity positions, pay tax on gains, run payroll etc without an entity - which by virtue of there only being one and being known means it is not a DAO. It is not even possible to sign an NDA for example which has been part of the challenge with speaking to partners for this proposal (I had to sign them personally with my own company). Auditors similarly can’t sign a contract; their insurance prevents them working on it without one and the fund is difficult to govern transparently. This is an area I agree with you on, I like DAOs and would like to see more of them, unfortunately, right now, the traditional world still needs to be bridged at some point and DAOs make it hard right now, hopefully this will change over time. they are obviously far easier to accept from as individuals but in the even to tax audits etc money laundering still needs to be satisfied. If it never hits FIAT accounts or needs to pay bills in anything other than Crypto, is likewise simpler, but for most projects that isn’t really an option. Note I said most - not all jurisdictions here, there are exceptions.

  • I apologise that the proposal came as a surprise, we did discuss with various parties before going public and a post was put up a while back to say it was coming, I think the thread started in June from memory. I openly accept the comms on this could have been managed better, particularly for existing applicants and we have been working in collaboration with the NCF Committee and the Foundation to try and rectify this. I accept this criticism fully - we could have done better here and apologise.

  • The revised guidelines are much better than before, however they have already caused a couple of problems in reviews and some of the committee have spotted things that in hindsight haven’t quite worked as expected, they would need some additional revisions. I can’t comment on whys and wherefores of this as its not my place but I do see it from your perspective - ideally this proposal could have come before that. The new guidelines are being used to manage the existing approved NCF commitments ongoing (circa $2m) so the change does still have real value to the community though.

  • To your suggestions:
    All of them are absolutely valid points, unfortunately they don’t resolve the legal entity problem or sustainability of the funds (tied to legal entity). They would certainly make the current approach run slicker and clear backlogs . Without the entity it is very hard to hire services as you can’t contract them.

The investment one is particularly interesting and something that is an option with any budget that is unallocated within NEM Ventures, the return can help cover operating costs etc. Similarly it can happen with the NCF funds outside NEM Ventures - but traditional vehicles need an entity to invest as so a DAO its quite hard. This is a great suggestion and something we will try to work in with the trustees as part of ongoing NCF funds management not under Ventures. Obviously there is an Opportunity Cost to this that if XEM goes up by 2x, you probably would be better holding XEM, but if it goes down, you would be better being invested so a diversified approach would be sensible.

Co-funding is something we have in the models for ventures and several VCs have expressed interest in this - however they all want something they can sign and NDA and partnership agreement with as part of their risk management approaches.

Funding caps we have attempted to model this by creating the NFP trust which will have the ability to issue smaller grants with different criteria to investments, these are likely to be in the size of sabbaticals to work on a project, get something to a PoC prior to investment rounds etc. They won’t come with the same committed support but will be provided with all the support that they can be.

Timing
This was discussed prior to publication and can still be altered if need be. We have been lucky with the amount of interaction this project has received in comparison to most - generally projects need to go out of their way to get engagement, this one due to its nature obviously fosters engagement more easily.

We are trying to avoid adding even more delays to the current processing but I will take this one on board and have a chat with a few people and get their take on it. My initial thought is 40 days in total is a bit long. We could certainly add a few days if the conversation needs it. Perhaps we revisit toward the end of the weekend and see how it feels to be going?

To your question on the Foundation - it hasn’t been run past the entire foundation, but it has been run past various people in the foundation, some of whom have commented above and some are part of the existing committee. As I said above, I can’t provide names as it is not fair to the individuals, but do hope they will post here through the conversation and welcome input as with any other members of the community. There is a balancing act on this one, the NCF was set up to be deliberately autonomous from the foundation as Jaguar mentioned, however, naturally we value the work done by the foundation and thoughts on this.

Thanks again for your input on this and we look forward to keeping this conversation going, do please come back with any suggestions, questions, thoughts etc they are very welcome


#65

Somewhat agree with @jrmr92.

If you’re going to take away the community voting for most projects and manage it in a VC capacity, might as well do it right and hire top talent for this fund that has a proven VC track record.

Onboarding some notable VC fund manager would be great PR for NEM as well and could create buzz for the whole NEM ecosystem.

If price explodes and hits dollar figures again, the NCF will be worth 100s of millions.

I appreciate the effort and think this is a step in the right direction as change is needed, but hope this is not pushed through just because.