[Bankless Academy] S4 Funding Proposal

Title: [Bankless Academy] Season 4 Budget Proposal

Authors: Tetranome :black_flag:, DidierKrux.eth :black_flag:, iSpeakNerd.eth :black_flag:, (:busts_in_silhouette:, :handshake:) ivanpomidorov :black_flag:

Date Created: 08/04/2022
Date Posted: 08/04/2022


The Bankless Academy project would like to request funding for continuing its operations into Season 4, where the team will be focused on execution, growth, and deeper analysis of its target audience groups.

Our notable achievements for Season 3 include the public launch of Bankless Academy, the overhaul of our project management processes, the building of our project’s product/market foundations, and the hiring of a competitive core team.


1,340,000 BANK

Note: Funding is unlocked after milestone achievement, delivered at the end of each month after a joint review.


As a project, we understand that we have a responsibility to the Bankless Community to deliver on our ideas in efficient and measurable ways.

Here is a list of our most impressive S3 KPIs:

1. Product Release

a. Stable & successful launch of our ‘Bankless Academy MVP-II’ web interface during February 2022.

b. Popular launch event marketing, with over 8,000 unique visits over 2 weeks, over 7,000 unique wallet connections and 6,400 POAP distributed (3,200 / lesson).

c. To reduce project upkeep and increase efficiency/alignment in decision-making team was restructured from 20+ members to 4 core contributors.

d. Careful synthesis of Product/Market fit, and the analysis of the various platform monetization strategies at our fingertips.
Academy [Pubic Good Value Proposition]

2. Marketing

a. Hit 2,000+ followers on Twitter, with an average monthly growth rate of +30%.

b. Recognition and commendation by BanklessHQ - regarding mission, branding, and tech - as received via personal outreach plus a featuring in the ‘Bankless Weekly Rollup’ (timestamped below).

c. Selected as the #1 Highlight Project @ Gitcoin Grants + solid positive feedback from founder Kevin Owocki.

d. Finalisation of the Brand Consolidation process; a unification of target audience, team composition, visual art style, user interface, core personality traits & tone of voice, social media interaction, and user journey.
This process has resulted in the Bankless Academy: Branding Handbook.

3. Team

a. Creation and marketing of our jobs board, successfully filling the core roles of Content Director and Product Manager with highly aligned and experienced candidates. This has brought our core team from 2 → 4 members with long-term vision and commitment.
Bankless Academy - Jobs

b. Thoughtful planning and publication of the ‘Bankless Academy Roadmap’, outlining our planned journey for becoming the #1 Web3 Explorers Community.

4. Ecosystem

a. The project continues to provide valuable Project Management and Branding research for operating effectively within the decentralised BanklessDAO Ecosystem. Our experience and analysis has been made available through shared documentation, public discourse, knowledge-sharing with other BanklessDAO projects, and PLM data-capture.


The [Unlock] brackets below show our suggested framework for S4 Milestone unlocks, so that project funding is only deployed as the measurable ‘Key Results’ to our more visionary ‘Objectives’ are met.

S4 Objectives & Key Results

Objective #1: Understand who our customers are

KR1: [Unlock 15%] for learners- identify the characteristics, skill gaps and the behavioral changes we want to cause in our learners

KR2: [Unlock 15%] for clients- identify the common problems and characteristics of our whitelabel customers

Objective #2: Content roadmap and skill tree

KR1: [Unlock 10%] Create content roadmap

KR2: [Unlock 10% each] Release 3 new lessons

KR3: Build infrastructure and processes to track our impact on learners’ skill gaps

Objective #3: Identify and evaluate revenue streams

KR1: [Unlock 20%] Build White-label infrastructure

KR2: [Unlock 10%] Onboard our first White-label customer

KR3: Identify 3 other potential revenue streams, have at least 1 conversation with a potential partner in each stream

Objective #4: Build out the Bankless Academy explorers community

KR1: Hire a Community Manager

KR2: [Unlock BONUS role funding] (To be formed by the Community Manager)

Academy Roadmap

The Academy Roadmap shows our long-term vision for the Academy platform and community, and will be updated regularly with further features. Without further adieu, let’s see where the Academy is headed!

Click to view in FIGMA

Providing Value to BanklessDAO


Bankless Academy plans to maximise our ecosystem impact by offering infrastructure as an Education Primitive to external platforms, with optional support and content workshop services.

Other protocols and partners will be able to use our infrastructure for lesson creation and hosting on their own websites cross-branded with Bankless Academy.

This approach has notable potential to turn BanklessDAO into a content flywheel, where various projects and guilds could offer services generating written, illustrative, and/or video content for platforms using our infrastructure package.

By licensing our content platform, we embed ourselves as an Educational Primitive within the Web3 ecosystem, maximising the impact of our small team.

Initial access and setup could be priced anywhere between $5,000 - $20,000 USD.
Support would require the protocol to hold a baseline position in BANK, $15,000 USD at time of purchase, for example, causing buy and supply lock pressure for the token. The platform would then pay an hourly rate for support from our team.

Because the infrastructure is already created for the base Bankless Academy platform, Bankless DAO Guilds and Projects gain access to our education primitive as a free perk, only paying the support costs and avoiding the up-front requirements.

More Benefits

Here are some of the other ways we see Bankless Academy adding high impact and value within BanklessDAO ecosystem:

  1. Focused execution on the core Bankless mission of onboarding one-billion people to the decentralised finance & Web3 ecosystem.

  2. Onboarding high volume of Web2 & Web3 users to the Bankless Ecosystem and any targeted projects of interest.

  3. Bankless Academy can generate premium sponsorship income in exchange for providing protocol-specific education and increased traffic.

  4. Increase versatility and utility of the BANK token to incentivise new waves of buy & hold pressure, by requiring it for using our White-label services, or accessing certain tiers of our community.

  5. Academy offers Patronage Packages - containing unique perks - for subscriptions or one-time fees with a portion of NFT sales accruing to the Bankless DAO treasury.


Lead Developer

Didier is the longest standing member of the Academy project. With 15+ years of development experience as full stack and front-end expert he is more than well equipped in the building of solid product infrastructure. Didier ensures that the app is consistently smooth, reliable, responsive, and ready to scale. He and Tetranome have worked very closely together in building out the Academy’s product vision.

Art & Brand Director

Tetranome joined the Academy team to help with art direction and gamification - looking to offer his 5+ year experience working in AAA Games and other media industries. Since joining the project he has focused on building out the Academy’s Product & Brand, working side-by-side with Didier to establish a clear vision for what it means to become a Community of Web3 Explorers.

Content Director

Nerd joined the Academy near the beginning of S3 and will be leading the development of our content pipeline and the release of course content. He has 6+ years of experience as a professional educator. This experience, paired with his love for tech products and his passion for helping people learn, is proving to be a solid skillset addition to the team.

Product Manager

Ivan has recently joined the Academy to analyze, adjust, and execute on the product strategy that will transmute our efforts into the project that onboards the next wave of Web3 explorers. He has over 10+ years of product management experience, a passion for helping start-ups discover product market fit, and a history of building not only great products but the key internal processes that help make this possible.


Salaried roles

Product Manager @ 20h/wk
Lead Developer @ 20h/wk
Art & Branding Director @ 20h/wk
Content Director @ 20h/wk

BONUS: (Community Manager @ 20h/wk)

Total Role Funding:

80 hours / week x 13 weeks x 1000 BANK / hour =

1,040,000 BANK

BONUS: (CM: 20 hours / week x [up to] 13 weeks x 1000 BANK / hour = [up to] 260,000 BANK)

Bounties & Other Costs:

  • Web Hosting & Database
  • S4 Project Management Retrospective
  • Bounties

300,000 BANK

Total Estimation for S4:

1,340,000 BANK

BONUS on CM hire:
up to 260,000 BANK

Approve S4 Funding
  • For
  • Needs Revision [will comment]

0 voters


As an original flagship cross guild collaborative education project I see it’s continued progress and contribution. The funding request appears in line with the M, V and V of the bDAO. Another super collaboration educational effort. Please join me in voting in favor of this effort.


Super proud of the Bankless Academy team and roadmap - especially now we have got out product manager.

That said, I’m super interested in the white label potential of the infrastructure and the opportunities it could deliver to the DAO. Looking forward to it!


It’s great what you’ve accomplished so far, and looking forward to seeing what you do next.

I appreciate that you’re trying to provide milestones for funding accountability, but I find them pretty granular. It’s awesome that you have a plan, but if every project requires grants/treasury approval for each milestone, it’s going to create bottlenecks for funding in the best case and outright ignoring of accountability mechanisms in the worst case.

Personally I’d rather see a small number of targeted KPIs you’re looking to optimize. TBH I’m not even looking for hard goals, just the fact that you are measuring KPIs and have a plan to improve them.

I suggest two types of metrics:

  • how are you measuring the project’s pursuit of the mission?
  • how are you measuring the project’s pursuit of self-sovereignty?

For instance, # lesson completions could show mission alignment. More people who complete the lesson, more people who are in the process of being onboarded to crypto. You can achieve this through marketing your first two lessons, or create more lessons for those who have already gone through them - it’s your choice. If the number goes up, grants/treasury doesn’t have to look deeper. If the number doesn’t go up, then they can start kicking the tires to see what the issue is.

Self-sovereignty is a bit tougher, but since you have certain revenue streams you are validating, then it could be based upon a sales-based metric like # leads, potential deal size, stage of engagement with your potential clients (ie where in the funnel they are).

Choosing the right level of KPIs means empowering our projects while still having accountability. This (to me) is the essence of decentralization: empowerment of nodes, accountability to the whole.


I’d like to learn a little more about the 300k for bounties (Hosting and Retros are negligible in context imo); what do you expect to bounty out? Have there been bounties in prior seasons?

Hi @jameswmontgomery.eth, thanks for the questions. I can speak to the content part of bounties at least.

Have there been bounties in prior seasons?

Content development was highly bounty-based in previous seasons with content sourced from multiple people and then curated by content director. This is not the planned model moving forward because it introduced many headaches and was slow and prone to coordination failures. We plan to source the direction for needed content through our learning sessions which will include interdisciplinary bounties and subsequent written content could be generated by director quickly in conjunction with other contributors

We recognize this is a bit of centralization of content, but it is best practice for small teams to remain efficient and autonomous. We would like to fully decentralize the academy platform, but what that means specifically and the timeline to do it are not established currently.

1/3 of that 300,000 BANK (100,000 BANK) is allocated for content bounties.

For content, we have an estimated budget of of 39,000 BANK per learning series to focus content production on the needs of our users while reducing the time to produce new courses, and generate multiple short videos for youtube content as well. This is our first season using this model so the exact form of video content produced is still TBD but idea is we will get highly contextualized Q&A videos out of the sessions.

e.g. a security-focused series would yield:

  1. a wallet security course (same as previous written content) focused on the identified needs of our users (web2 members with crypto stuck on CEXs)
  • quick focused jump start on what written content should be included in the course (based on identified needs)
  • jump start on art to convey ideas in the course
  • involvement of our users and building Bankless Academy brand engagement and community
  1. multiple short videos (~5 minutes) (exact content and titles TBD)
  • “What do I do if I think I’ve been scammed in web3?”
  • “Top 5 red flags for discord scams”
  • “What needs to happen for my crypto to get stolen from my wallet?”
  • “How is web3 security different from web2 security?”

what do you expect to bounty out?

Plan is to do one of these series bountying out video transcription, video production, and subject matter expert roles to Bankless contributors. The first of these series is currently being spun up.

We will do 3 series in S4, but only go to full video production on series 2 & 3 if it is deemed warranted. We will save recorded content from live series 2 & 3 to see what ultimate video content we get (2) from the first series and if it is worth pursuing video production further.


Hey @links, thanks for the positive words and your critique.

In regards to KPI measurements, we plan to begin measuring more broad mission KPIs such as growth of user self-sovereignty (Banklessness), level of DeFi education (Proof of Competence), and adoption rate once we have fleshed out the primitives required to form their baseline measurement.

To get our platform to this stage, the suggested S4 milestone framework focuses on the construction of these primitives: lesson release, the ability to track user learning journey, white-label rollout/onboarding, etc.
At the same time, because of our current product stage, we believe that a feature milestone framework minimizes DAO funding risk.

Hi james, I’d like to add a few things to @iSpeakNerd’s comment.

While our Iterative Learning Sessions bring our content bounties to ~120,000 BANK, producing a lesson from this session material then requires refinement passes using writing & branding bounties, followed by the illustration pass. In short, a majority of our bounty budget will be spent on content, as this is one of our two major focuses for this season.

The other focus this season is product infrastructure. Most of this work will be handled by our core team, but our White-label solution is going to require maintenance - which will be handled via regular dev bounties.

As for spending throughout past seasons, the Academy project spent 324,000 BANK on content bounties during Season 2 and 84,000 BANK during Season 3 (this being our previous season that was not focused on content).