[Proposal] Fund independent team to build on TrueFi

Summary

A proposal for independent contributors to provide product and engineering development, business development, and marketing support for the TrueFi protocol, putting forth deliverables and milestones for the next 6 months.

Introduction

On the back of TrueFi’s progress on progressive decentralization, we are putting forward an initiative to provide continued development for the TrueFi protocol, independent of the corporate entity (TrustToken, Inc.) that contributed to the initial development of TrueFi.

As a part of this transition, TrustToken has committed to funding the DAO with stablecoins and $TRU tokens in an effort to greatly expand the value of the TrueFi treasury, ahead of the DAO reaching a point of profitability (more on this at a later time with projections).

Per the recent governance measure to establish & fund the TrueFi Foundation, TrustToken will be moving $1.7M USDC and 40 million TRU to the DAO treasury.

TrustToken (the corporate entity) will likely share updates about their future product development roadmap, but the TL/DR is that they will be focused on building around the protocol (enabling centralized software for institutional lenders, borrowers, and portfolio managers), and will be less focused on protocol development directly (i.e., smart contract work).

Proposal

We are a team of 5 TrueFi community members who have helped to build TrueFi and want to continue building TrueFi. Several of us have been here since TrueFi’s inception and all members have played key roles in the protocol’s early formation and growth.

Who we are:

  • Ryan Rodenbaugh (forum: @RyanRodenbaugh, twitter): TrueFi community member and head of business development. Previously, Ryan was one of the earliest team members at TrustToken, where he played a key role in the ideation of TrueFi and establishing relationships with many of TrueFi’s partners (borrowers, lenders, other defi protocols, centralized exchanges).
  • Tyler Wallace (forum: @tylerw, twitter): TrueFi community member and customer success lead. Previously, Tyler was product manager of TrueFi within TrustToken and helped launch tfUSDC/tfUSDT pools in summer 2021 and TrueFi Capital Markets in 2022. Tyler also builds analytics covering TrueFi on Dune.
  • Kaimi (forum: @kaimi , twitter) TrueFi community member and product lead. While he prefers to stay pseudonymous, we’ve worked with him for nearly the past year. He’s deeply technical, and leads products for all of our existing and new initiatives. He previously worked at other leading DeFi protocols.
  • Bartek Rutkowski (forum: @barrutko, twitter, Github): TrueFi community member and protocol architecture lead. Bartek has contributed to many of TrueFi’s engineering decisions since the very beginning days and has written or contributed to a large portion of existing TrueFi code.
  • Justyna Broniszewska (twitter, Github): TrueFi community member and engineering lead. Justyna (an exceptional engineer in her own right) today manages all of our engineering teams and is the reason things ship on time. She is also very involved in the broader Ethereum community as a co-founder of ETH Warsaw.

We are also planning to bring on additional contributions (part-time) such as Codeknight

In the coming weeks, we will also be sharing JDs for new full-time contributors we seek to hire.

What we want to accomplish

Over the next 6 months, we plan to:

  1. Expand TrueFi’s RWA footprint by launching key new products: Create and deploy contracts that enable TrueFi to support deals with multiple tranches. This will help TrueFi create structured deals for RWA originators.
  2. Increase adoption by making TrueFi infrastructure more user-friendly: deploy enhancements that provide (a) ERC4626 compatibility for TrueFi portfolios, (b) the ability for the protocol and portfolio managers to charge fees that accrue over time, and (c) the ability for portfolios to lend to other portfolios (fund of funds model). We believe these features can attract more lenders to TrueFi DAO pools and create sustainable fee streams for the protocol.
  3. Build with TRU stakeholders in mind: Deliver the next iteration of TrueFi DAO pools and turn fee streams back on from DAO pools. Grow TrueFi’s economic activity by creating adoption for TrueFi Lines of Credit, starting with the dYdX borrower pool. Improve TRU emissions sustainability (1,2).

You can find a more detailed version of our product and engineering roadmap here. In addition to this, we will soon be sharing some tokenomics proposals.

Project plan & Budget

We are requesting a total of 900,000 USDC and 6,671,875 TRU as total budget for 6 months. This budget would cover team members (our current 5 team members above, plus funding for 2-3 additional full-time external hires, and 1-2 paid part-time contributors) and additional expenses including:

  1. Conference budgeting (flight and accommodations)
  2. PR Agency (optional expense, TBD)
  3. Legal costs
  4. Community grants
  5. Gas fees for smart contact development

Our 6 month engagement will start from the moment that our first on-chain proposal on Tally is approved. We propose a payment schedule of [40%] at the start of the engagement, with the remainder streamed over the full period of 6 months.

The external hires (i.e., people who never worked at TrustToken) would include 1 new BD hire and 1-2 new marketing hires.

This budget includes funding for multiple smaller grants focused on small, discrete tasks such as governance facilitation or tokenomics contributions. Audits are not included in this budget for the reason that we believe large expenses should be approved separately by governance. For large and important “one-time” expenses like code audits, we will expect to request funding from DAO governance separately.

As the first direct contributors to TrueFi DAO, we expect to play an important role in establishing the processes for onboarding contributors and reporting to governance. We envision that the community of TrueFi DAO contributors will grow significantly over the next 1-2 years to ~25 people, and we plan to identify needs in the ecosystem and help recruit for those needs.

Reporting Expectation

In an effort to provide the utmost transparency to the community and token holders we will

  1. Host monthly town halls
  2. Provide monthly reports detailing how we are tracking against our budgets, revenue goals, and development timelines.

Other Details

As it stands today, we will not be forming an entity to house these operations (such as BDG Labs:AAVE or Uniswap Foundation:Uniswap), we will be “contracting” directly with the DAO and the TrueFi Foundation. That said, everyone who is planning to contract with the DAO has an existing working relationship and we are planning to work closely together as if we were housed under the roof of one company. We may in the future choose to operate behind an entity (akin to BGD Labs).

7 Likes

Snapshot voting for this proposal is active:
https://snapshot.org/#/truefigov.eth/proposal/0xde11901f15c2e20e41b80744e9d0b85fcfc70f0d99cbb5a9cf50dbdd5e3a85ba

2 Likes

This is a beautiful proposal! We have a competent team with a plan to accomplish some very meaningful work. Increasing support of RWA, better ability to manage funds via ERC 4626, and lines of credit are some things I’m excited about.

I’d like to see a budget breakdown. The requested amount of 53% of the USDC in the treasury and 17% of the TRU. This is quite a significant portion of the treasury, and I’d like to ensure that we are very efficient in allocating capital. We’re probably going to be in a bear market for the next two years, so we want to ensure our runway is long enough to cover us for at least the next two years.

3 Likes

Very valid question @TylerEther - would love to hear if @ryan.rodenbaugh or someone else can help speak to this!

Additionally, I saw there were other ‘no’ votes on the Snapshot as well, if folks can post here about their concerns then we can work together to address them!

2 Likes

As it stands, USDC breakdown is currently:

CleanShot 2022-09-26 at 22.38.45

Salaries includes 5 people listed above, 3 new hires (1 BD, 2 marketing), and budget for two part-time contributors. In addition to that, there is a good chance that we decide not to hire a PR agency, at which point those funds would be returned. Of course excess conference/marketing spend, legal, grants will also be returned if unused.

re: TRU, the entirety of that is earmarked for salaries and compensation.

This is an extremely fair point! Do note though (from a separate post)…

3 Likes

Sounds good, I’m on board!