TrueFi & Wallfacer Labs: Chapter 2.5

Introduction

Let’s stop wasting time and get back to work.

We’re burning valuable time as Cicada has been extremely motivated to keep getting pools live and we want to support and enable them.

We’re proposing a 3-month stopgap proposal so that we can continue to push with Cicada, help Adapt3r when needed, and maintain the momentum we’ve been building over prior months.

We propose extending the pricing of our last engagement so that this decision does not have to be as “controversial” and this gives alternative teams a serious amount of time to both get ramped up (alongside us) and come up with real new and novel ideas.

Timeline for Alternative Teams

An ideal 3-month timeline for new service providers that should happen in tandem with our work would include:

  • 1 month of an RFP period where new service providers can make proposals without feeling rushed
  • 1 month of review, debate, and selection
  • 1 month of time for the new service provider to ramp up their work alongside us so that there is ample time for handoff and knowledge sharing

Next Quarter Work

Below is the list of tasks we had outlined to work on with Cicada:

  1. Distributing token incentives on Arbitrum
  • We have hit the first two milestones for the lender incentive grant on Arbitrum and we need to begin distributing these. TrueFi will need to decide how to best distribute these ARB rewards to LPs, whether through farming contracts or periodic airdrops. You can track the early growth of the Arbitrum vaults here https://dune.com/truefi/truefi-alocs-on-arbitrum
  1. Partner Integrations for distribution
  • We are currently speaking with two new stablecoin issuers and one large regional CEX (which is issuing a stablecoin) who are interested in partnering with Cicada to underwrite market maker loans on TrueFi and with two of the issuers looking to seed the pools. These would bring TrueFi new borrowers, new sources of liquidity, new assets to support, and interestingly, an opportunity to host one of the first non-USD stablecoins on a credit protocol. Besides normal pool deployment, additional non-standard development work might be needed before one of the stablecoins is to be adopted on the TrueFi platform.
  1. Wallet / Interface Integrations
  • Somewhat related to the above, but unique – we are in conversations with a CeFi-like application and a web3 wallet that are interested in offering Cicada’s higher yielding pool opportunities to their users.
  1. Additional L2 deployments
  • Wallfacer and Cicada are in advanced discussions with an additional Layer 2 network to deploy additional lines of credit with them. These pools would also be lender incentivized with the L2s native token as a part of an upcoming DeFi incentive program the L2 is running. Development work is needed to modify TrueFi contracts for this L2 network and to deploy on this L2.

Below is the list of tasks we had outlined to work on with Adapt3r:

  1. Adapt3r is in the final negotiations of becoming the collateral asset for “decentralized RWA stablecoin” and will need support in getting this live and may consider transitioning from “asset vaults” to “index vaults” for this integration.

This is on top of our existing and ongoing responsibilities that we do not normally break out, but include everything mentioned in the prior post

See specifically:

Additionally, we will support the board on getting up to speed on the current (healthy) state of the treasury. If no one else steps up, we can also consider putting forth a treasury diversification proposal.

There are some tasks from “Chapter 3” that we’ve deprioritized and we’ve refocused on more product, engineering, and business work that is more go-to-market driven.

Hand Off Tasks

There are additional “hand off” items that we also need to complete. We will (obviously) do these regardless of whether a new agreement is approved, but just flagging some other items as well.

  1. Wallfacer team members leave Truefi-protocol Github org
  • TrueFi · GitHub - Currently this Github has owners from Archblock and Wallfacer. Archblock currently pays for this. To transfer ownership to the Foundation, the Foundation will need Github account(s) and a way to pay for it.
  1. Pass engineering / technical accounts to Foundation
  • Netlify: Hosting service for truefi.io, truefi app, truefi documentation
  • Foundation will need a way to pay for hetzner account, cloud hosting software used for testing
  1. Pass social platform accounts to Foundation.
  • For most of these, there will be no issue, but for some like forums and Twitter, the Foundation will need a way to pay. Additionally, the Foundation should have some kind of password manager we can use to securely pass login access for these accounts.

  1. Smart contracts
  • Pass ownership of any periphery smart contracts to DAO timelock or elected multisigs
  1. Multisigs
  • Arbitrum Liquidity multisig: two new independent signers should be elected to replace Wallfacer addresses
  • Canceller / TrueFi DAO Multisig: two new signers should be elected to replace Wallfacer addresses

Budget and duration:

3-months at a rate of 3,666,666 TRU per month with 20% upfront

Masa previously said,

We have strong preference for 3-months given the timeline outlined above, but if the sole motivated “NO” voter feels so strongly towards 2-months, we can do our best to accommodate. A hard extension of the prior engagement is 3,666,666 TRU/month. We’ll leave some time for discussion, but request an expedited timeline here as the normal period of 3 weeks would be a terrible loss for the momentum we have going.

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Just wanted to note here for the community.

As of July 1,
3,600,000 TRU equals $467,820.00 United States Dollar

In essence, the contract at 3,666,666.00 is in excess of $1,403,460.00 for 3 months, or $467,820.00 / month.

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This is a super helpful Proposal and clearly outlines the scope of tasks, and how Wallfacer can continue to work with the DAO during and after the transition period of working with new servic providers.

Following from @Sanctus point, before the community and I can make a reasonable decision, it would be great to know how many people from the Wallfacer team will be working full-time (or part-time) on TrueFi during this time. @ryan.rodenbaugh

This would show alignment with the DAO’s need for transparency and sustainable spending.

We appreciate the ongoing discussion, but we want to clarify Wallfacer’s role and value to the DAO. Our position extends far beyond that of a simple outsourced contractor; we are an integrated team committed to delivering value to users and customers.

We’ve been transparent about our flexible, value-focused approach:

Since our first proposal, we have based our proposals around the value we offer to the DAO. From Wallfacer’s first post:

This flexibility has been acknowledged in prior discussions. However, the recent conversations, particularly regarding Chapter 3, seem to have shifted towards a bidding war for the lowest-cost contractor. This approach doesn’t align with our working relationship with the DAO.

Wallfacer has filled a critical role by excitedly stepping up in the past when other teams stepped away from contributing to the protocol. While we’ve defined our responsibilities well, brought in new partners, and communicated with stakeholders, the dynamic nature of our work often requires us to adapt to emerging, higher value opportunities. We proactively seek feedback on priorities and remain open to suggestions, though we’ve rarely received actionable input on alternative focus areas.

Our engagement is analogous to a startup team, encompassing broad responsibilities in product development, engineering, and business development. While we’re open to other teams taking on specific aspects, we believe our comprehensive approach provides the best value for TrueFi.

If the DAO seeks a team for strictly predefined tasks, we may not be the ideal fit. However, we also don’t believe that is the best outcome for the DAO as no one else has been able to define what the alternative highest-value work would be.

Whether with 3 people or our current team of nearly 10, we assert that our unique position, extensive experience, and proven track record make us the best-suited team to continue driving TrueFi’s progress for at least the next three months and beyond. We remain committed to delivering the highest value possible to TrueFi and its community.

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This is a comprehensive list of tasks that should provide solid direction for any new service providers. I agree with Wallfacer in utilizing a 3-month transition period to ensure adequate time to attract alternative service providers and then to smoothly hand over responsibilities. I think anything less would be too rushed, which could provide a sub-optimal outcome.

As for the budget, let’s look at prior budgets:

  • Previous engagement: At the time of voting, $1,354,000 over 6 months, or $226k/month.
  • Rejected continuation: At the time of voting, $3,168,000 over 6 months, or $528k/month.
  • This proposal: As of right now, $1,496,000 over 3 months, or $499k/month.

While the dollar figure is still double the rate of the previous engagement, one must consider the cost of a rushed transition and how this could jeopardize TrueFi’s current traction.

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Contractor Leverage

Have to note here, “rushing” a transition isn’t a justification for doubling a fee. It simply suggests the prior arrangement was inappropriately structured and failed to account for “sad path” scenarios and protect TrueFi/ the funder. It is all worth nothing Wallfacer authored the proposal which presently places us in the unfortunate leverage situation. To simply proceed in the same manner seems folly?

I did note this multiple times, for example, in November 2023, here and here and others here. The point was disregarded, around both headcount, unwind planning, and operational risk calibration. Unfortunately, we now see why this matters.

I think generally the issue is if the DAO denies your funding, when does it expire? There needs to be a long enough window to ensure continuity of your operations, otherwise it turns into a weird leverage challenge. Happy to provide feedback and get something structured a bit better.

Compensation Calibration

As for the budget, let’s look at prior budgets:

  • Previous engagement: At the time of voting, $1,354,000 over 6 months, or $226k/month.
  • Rejected continuation: At the time of voting, $3,168,000 over 6 months, or $528k/month.
  • This proposal: As of right now, $1,496,000 over 3 months, or $499k/month.

The compensation prior was disproportionate to the market rate for the services rendered and has simply scaled further with the bull market. There have been no disclosures on team size despite multiple requests, and absent this disclosure, the rate still continued to climb and more than doubled.

At the rate proposed, with an assumed team size of 6, the total comp per head count is is excess of 1 million dollars. We expect the team may actually be smaller. Regardless, since this is a somewhat opaque workforce, calibrating by headcount makes less sense, it matters based on the SOW, and what it is worth to the project. Then, what the project can get the work completed for on the open market. A premium for those with prior knowledge and a known quantity is reasonable. A premium of 300% seems to be less so.

One solution could be to disclose the team and their CV’s or an equivalent to understand what compensation is fair. The standard practice we have seen in DAOs is that contractors simply inflate headcount as we see above and claim they are full time (1.0 FTE ) to justify the spend. As we have already established, Wallfacer has used its funding to engage in independent initiatives they own, such a vaults.fyi, so any claim around FTE figures would need to disclose their other obligations and commitments to demonstrate their figures provably. This seems like something they would be unwilling to do, and hence, we return back to a defined statement of work.

A statement of work should be defined enough to enable agreement upon performance, and flexible enough to be dynamic as @ryan.rodenbaugh notes.

Current Ask

Monthly Comp: $499,583.24/month
Annual Comp: $5,994,998/year
Assumed Team Size: 6 FTE
Annual Comp / FTE: $999,000.00+

The proposal asks to pay 1mm a year per headcount, which is a principal L7 FAANG rate for 6 people. The most recent public disclosure listed 5 individual names as team members. Is the team at the level of 6 Google Directors or Principal Engineers? I have not yet seen evidence of this, and the structure (and absence of substance of the funding proposal) could suggest otherwise. Even at 10 FTE as claimed, $600,000.00 USD / FTE is frankly, absurd.

Wallfacer would do best to consider that when discussing with a legitimate counterparty who possess fiduciary duties, such a proposal( large sums of money, opaque SOW, no operational or counteparty risk calibration) is in effect, dead on arrival.

Moving Ahead.
If Wallfacer is retained for another engagement, the objective should be to de-leverage the current power imbalance. The easy means is to pay a majority of the fee post-perfomance (ie. only after successful hand-off of the promised transition tasks). Wallfacer is now sufficiently capitalized to float this reasonable risk.

References

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Out of curiosity, doesn’t Wallfacer Labs also get involved in non-engineering chores as well? from my understanding it’s not only the technical things but this involves other costs of onboarding projects to the ecosystem, marketing (which wasn’t really satisfactory with all fairness), liquidity etc …

Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the spending will be used only to code some “smart contracts”, the output we’ve got the last year doesn’t justify the spend, unless if Wallfacer Labs is hiding something great they are working on that will shake the Tradfi ecosystem

I 100% agree with this Sanctus. The price tag for this is insane. The work done doesn’t even come close to the costs charged by wallfacer.

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Thank you and I thought we covered this in an earlier comment, but I can’t find it. We intentionally priced less for the last engagement because we had less large-scale engineering work to do and most of our efforts were on BD, commercialization, etc. In some ironic sense, it seems that our biggest error was scaling back pricing last time (TFIP-8)

Of course there was still engineering work (as you know), but we were able to scale back and price accordingly. You may remember our first first engagement (TFIP-4) came out to just about 500k/month with 1.5mm paid in USDC.

This time around, we anticipated a similar scope of work to our first engagement (TFIP4). On top of all the other work we do for TrueFi outlined in previous posts and again below.

Yes, we are grateful for your participation every time we have a funding proposal live and then complete disappearance for the rest of the time.

You had 6-months+ to come up with concrete ideas or alternative proposals and did nothing.

Hi @0xcfcfcf

Yes, covered both below. Let me know if I can clarify anything else.

and

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Could you please kindly provide the list of the 10 headcount, including roles and responsibilities, within Wallfacer, within TrueFi, and the proportion of time committed to TrueFI based on ”FTE” assuming a 40hr workweek. Please also include social links to show these are real people.

Where possible, could you please support it with public evidence, such as GitHub commits, etc and note (at a high level) what each member has delivered in the last two quarters?

This request is rather simple, straightforward, and easy to comply with.

A good deal takes care of the interests of both sides in a deal, even if one counterparty is putting it together. Here is your chance to make your case during due diligence.

Please just provide the requested information, it is to your benefit.

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Thanks for the calculations and comments @Sanctus. I think this framing is the same reason why we are having this conversation in the first place. Transparency.

Currently, the community’s main gripe is the lack of disclosure on individual compensation, and from utilising public information, the current compensation is not proportional or at the market rate. But without competition, the DAO doesn’t have much choice but to pay. The process of the Foundation taking on more responsibilities will help to ensure that better pricing is met. We thank the Wallfacer team for helping with this transition by outlining the responsibilities clearly. It shows good commitment to TrueFi’s success despite currently being in limbo.

If a proposed Wallfacer compensation for the transition and BD support cannot be met, then all the assets would need to be transferred in accordance with their contract. And there would be no continuation of the work that Wallfacer has been doing over the past months. This would be the worst-case scenario, that I’m sure all parties would like to actively avoid.

Thankfully @TylerEther has already presented the previous engagement with TFIP-8 and I suggest we return to this for the following three months during the transition ($226k/month).

Even with a 10-man team this seems more than reasonable. After a successful handover to the Foundation, we can assess which responsibilities will still be met by the Wallfacer for the success of TrueFi.

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After giving it some thought and having a few conversations. its time to get off :carousel_horse: and time for fresh :drop_of_blood:

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Why the rush ? I think a pause from considering any new current proposals could turn out to be a good thing.

Once we close this door again, no new proposals will enter for quite some time.

Decisions around whether to continue paying someone shouldn’t drag out. Its bad for morale and makes it harder to retain talent. It also impacts business partners who will have to work around the uncertainty. Either way, it is better to make the decision quickly.

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Appeals to morality and social norms are a common persuasion technique a la interdependence theory.

It is best to simply assume termination and perform the handoff to deleverage the situation. From here, both sides can move forward on equal footing to negotiate a fair deal.

Pari passu in the most literal sense will bring about the best outcome for all sides.


Okay then, lets peel back some layers

Which of the 11 or more are actively collaborating with Cicada and Adapt3r?

Can Wallfacer provide a detailed breakdown of their roles (information direct from LinkedIn) and the associated costs in the proposal?

And maybe you could expand on those who are, and those who are not, actively engaged with Truefi Github in 2024 ?

Most here are questioning the dollar amount of your proposal, im simply requesting transparency @ryan.rodenbaugh nothing more, nothing less :+1:

Regarding all that put forward proposals.

A formal warning should be issued to all individuals involved in the proposal process, emphasizing that they must not attempt to contact or influence voters in any way, including reaching out privately, even if you feel they are on the same page based on their views expressed on the forum.

This includes trying to potentially sway voters’ opinions or potentially manipulating their views to serve their own agendas. Such actions are not only unethical but can also lead to suspicions of collusion, where individuals might be conspiring with others secretly to affect the outcome of a vote.

It is imperative that the integrity of the voting process is maintained, ensuring that all voting decisions are made based on fair and unbiased judgment.

Any information you feel you have, the forum is the place to put forward any claims for an unbiased conversation to take place.