Guest Pass Value Alignment

Bankless DAO is overrun with Guest Passes.

Let me be clear: this isn’t necessarily a bad thing–we want to promote inclusivity. We want people to join Bankless DAO. And a lot of guest passes are great contributors.

But the problem is that there’s a value misalignment. Guest Passes get access to the Discord and the opportunities within Bankless DAO but don’t hold enough (if any) BANK. Why would you hold BANK if you can get access for free?

As such, many of them don’t see any reason to convert to L1 members as they can continuously get their guest pass renewed. They’re misaligned with the rest of the full members. Equally as important, guest passes create an operational overhead for community members that’s becoming increasingly more unsustainable.

Per my last forum post, I’m thinking a lot about value alignment these days. I’m a value alignooooooooooor. And being blunt, guest passes are a value misalignment.

I’m a big proponent that we need to fix this for the benefit and value of Bankless DAO.

Right now, I see 3 options that can help minimize the guest pass issue and ensure they’re aligned with the broader community.

1. Reduce the Membership Threshold

We’ve had discussions around this.

Decreasing the threshold from the 35K that was set at genesis is one way to minimize the Guest Pass issue.

The majority of growth in BANK holders has been within the sub 35,000 BANK area. By decreasing the threshold, a lot of guest passes would convert to full-time members, minimizing the overhead for those managing guest passes. Similarly, a lower threshold would promote more inclusivity as there’s a lower barriers to entry!


2. Sell Seasonal Membership Passes

Another option is to sell Seasonal membership passes via NFTs. There were some early proposals for this, but nothing gained traction (Admittedly I was not a fan of this in the early days but have come around to it).

Rather than distributing guest passes, we could offer seasonal memberships for a reasonable rate (let’s say $100 - $250). All of the revenue accrued by seasonal memberships would accrue to the DAO treasury, providing a substantial revenue stream for the DAO.

For reference, if we sold 300 passes per season at $100, it would generate $30K per season ($120K per year!). Membership passes would expire every season and would require them to renew or become full member.

3. Proof of Knowledge access with LP Tokens

The third option is to offer access to the DAO for anyone that LPs on an DEX. The value alignment here is that they provide liquidity to get access to the DAO. It doesn’t how much they provide, but more of a “Proof of Knowledge” – do you have Metamask, do you know how to use a DEX, and can you LP to a DEX?

This would open up the door for anyone to join without any concrete amount of tokens, yet they’re still providing value to the DAO by LP’ing.

Closing Thoughts

These are just some ideas on how to minimize the guest pass issue. It doesn’t have to be just one option either (ex: we could reduce the threshold & sell seasonal memberships).

There are hundreds of guest passes in the DAO with little intention to convert to Level 1s. This is for a range of reasons (can’t afford to convert, see little reason to convert, etc.). But regardless, they are not fully aligned with the DAO and it presents an issue.

Importantly, it’s creating a substantial amount of overhead for operators in the DAO as they constantly need to renew passes.

Let me know what you think.

  • Reduce the membership threshold
  • Sell Seasonal Membership NFTs
  • Allow permissionless access via LP tokens
  • A combination of any of the above 3
  • Do nothing

0 voters


As one who claimed the bankless premium POAP and was given membership but was wrecked and lost it, I think the LP option is a reasonable option. I opposed membership reduction amount but probably do not have a sound reason. I earned my L1 and now L2 and felt the sting of not being a member but watched many guest pass holders make significant contributions. Alignment of values is key. Noting nothing is not reasonable. Eliminate the burden. Combination of options is ok with me as well. The LP indicates some learning has already occurred.

There should be another choice on this post which says “continue to explore other options”.

I don’t know the numbers, but many members became L1 through no commitment.

There is no distinction behaviours between a guest past who doesn’t buy $Bank and an L1 who received it in an airdrop.

There are definitely membership and incentive alignment issues.

Is too many guest passes a symptom of something? or is it the problem itself?

I am inclined to see it as a symptom.

Our membership is complex. Three or more statuses. Multiple levels of power. I’m not sure there is a case to support it. IMO universal membership might be a consideration.


Double click sell NFT passes. LP is too low threshold IMO, also after a season or two NFT buyers could earn their way in. Heavy no to lowering threshold required as it retraces efforts previously made by existing members (who are building this thing😎


Number 2 is my preferred option here. We can generate good revenue by selling these passes. That was my original vision for this. However, some difficulties with the bots have not made that possible yet.

I didn’t even ask for funding as I wanted a finished product first.

I have just sent a message to the devs working on this to see if we can get some traction.


I have some time to reflect on this and here are some more thoughts:

It would be helpful to have the analytic for how many $35k+ wallets are not active contributors. If that is possible.

It might prove worthy to look at what reducing the $Bank token threshold for members from 35K from a 30,000 foot a DAO-wide holistic risk management perspective and fundamental principles.

There is no articulated DAO strategy or risk framework, but we can estimate aspects of it from observations and experience in the DAO space when aligned with the bDAO mission/vision/values.

Mission : We will help the world go Bankless by creating user-friendly onramps for people to discover decentralized financial technologies through education, media, and culture.

Summary: bDAO builds the tools for everyone to discover how to go bankless

Vision: To live in a world where anyone with an internet connection has access to the financial tools needed to achieve financial independence.

Summary: bDAO has a destination and the DAO has to stay alive to get there

4 Values : Education, Integrity, Decentralized governance, Culture.

Summary: How bDAO members behave between one another, and we affirmatively reward action and embrace risk to get the mission done

From these fundamental principles we can see a few things:

Risk plays a part of our fundamental principles, and, we cannot “embrace” risk if we do not know what the risks are. Where there is risk there is reward. We cannot know the reward if we do not know the risk. And, we reward risk takers.


While bDAO builds the tools for all the world, openness to all the world to join the bDAO is not part of our fundamental values


bDAO has a community/social purpose objectives and is analogous in values and structure to a membership-based club IRL.

Lessons observed

Lesson observed 1: When a wallet sells $Bank token the token price decreases.

Lesson Observed 2: locking up tokens maintains upward pressure on the floor price of the $Bank token

Lesson Observed 3: bDAO is not revenue sustainable

Lesson Observed 4: bDAO has established reputation

Lesson observed 5: bDAO needs talent to achieve its mission and vision

Lesson 6: Current guest pass system has no incentive to convert to 35K lockup or pressure to do so.

Quick SWOT

Strength (we control) reputation

Weakness(we control) onboarding new talent

Opportunity (we do not control) increased public awareness and demand for DAO entry and participation.

Threat (we do not control) competition from other DAOs for talent.

Goal: Onboard new talent by leveraging bDAO reputation

Quick Risk assessment

Will the DAO cease to exist if the $Bank token goes to zero? YES

Historically, does token run occur when token price decreases quickly? YES

Will the DAO continue to exist if it does not have a guest pass? YES

Quick Strategy

Strategy 1: Stay alive so bDAO can get to its destination.

               Objective 1: Create value for membership

                                   Goal 1.1: Pressure token price higher value through scarcity

                                   Goal 1.2: Pressure token value through revenue

                                   Goal 1.3: Pressure token price value through reputation

                                   Goal 1.4: …..

               Objective 2: organizational excellence

                                  Goal 2.1: Onboard new talent

                                  Goal 2.2: Governance ….

                                  Goal 2.3: ….

Quick Strategic priorities

                * Create value for the token (Priority 1)
                * Onboard new talent (Priority 2)

Are multiple membership tiers in alignment with strategy?


Current membership token lock ups are 35K and 150k. This aligns with strategic Goal 1.1.

Is lowering the lock up threshold from 35K in alignment with strategy 1?


Lowering the threshold is not in alignment with strategy, This also introduces a new risk of downward pressure on the token.

Is the current guest pass in alignment with strategy?


Guest pass is risk-free reward and is not a membership.

Guest pass is not in alignment with Goal 1.1 nor Goal 1.2 or Goal 2.1.

Are there other membership opportunities to achieve Goal 1?


Many membership organizations require periodic membership renewal.

Increasing the threshold by 5%-10% per season has proven to be successful at other DAOs with a social purpose.

In this example, at 5% increase per season, for season 3 the new membership threshold for bDAO would be 37500 $Bank and climb 5% each season.

Is this in alignment with strategy? Yes

Increasing the threshold $Bank for membership per season aligns with Goal 1.1, while the DAO attempts to get to Goal 1.2 (sustainable revenue)

Re-upping a periodic small amount of $Bank renews active member commitment, puts upward pressure on the token floor price, and off-boards non-active members from the server without token dumping.

Are there alternates to a guest pass to onboard and incentivize new talent into the DAO?


Possibility 1: keep the current system, limit to 10 days exposure, beginning day 1 on Community call.

After 10 days make offer to join. Up or out. This is a tweak, not a substantive change.

Possibility to incentivize offer by direct discount on price (5%) as incentive as opposed to making recruit go through AMM.

Is this in alignment with strategy? Yes

Possibility 2: 10 days exposure followed by proof of participation threshold as explained by 0xLucas, the switching costs are high once committed.

This is a substantive change.

The benefit of selling NFT vs $Bank for membership would require further review.

Is this in alignment with strategy? Yes

Possibility 3: Sell temporary guest pass at a reduced $Bank threshold ie 3333 $Bank. Restrict free participation, deny voting, renumeration, set number of days of participation etc.

This is substantive change.

Details of restricted temporary pass would require further review

There is a lot of room to iterate here with a lot of minds. Please go ahead and throw up what comes to your mind.

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Thanks for initiating this conversation @0x_Lucas!
As a current Guest Pass holder, I want to share my perspective:
I think about the Guess Pass as a “contribute to earn” path to L1, for many potential contributors to the DAO that did not join early enough to get free BANK and cannot financially afford to buy their way to L1.

I’m in complete agreement with you that the current threshold for Guest Pass renewal is way too low.
However, looking at it from the perspective above, both options 1 and 3 will miss out on that incredible talent pool.
I’d like to offer a gentler version of your option 2 for consideration:

  1. An initial Guest Pass will still be issued for free.
  2. Guest Pass duration will be extended from 2 weeks to 4 weeks to provide Guest Pass holders with enough time to make a compensation worthy contribution to the DAO (through tips, coordinape, bounties, role. etc.)
  3. Renewal of a Guess Pass will be limited to 3 renewals (so a total of 1 Season + buffer)
  4. Each Guest Pass renewal will be contingent on the holder owning an exponentially growing BANK balance on the path towards L1: 1st renewal - 1000 BANK, 2nd renewal - 5000 BANK, 3rd renewal - 25K BANK.

I believe this approach addresses the very real value alignment concern, while at the same time, maintaining a path to DAO membership that’s open to all, regardless of their personal wealth.


i like the renewal contingent on increasing bank holdings i just dont know how difficult that would be to implement. I dont think there is an easy way to do that but maybe collabland can easily do it I’m not sure.

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Thank you @0x_Lucas for raising this issue and presenting some options for addressing it.

I support @itamargo’s hybrid approach for two main reasons:

1.) New contributors can put themselves on a pathway to earning their way in. When I stumbled into bDAO in November, I was very motivated to find a project to contribute to so that I could earn my way to 35K BANK. I attended a few differentguild meetings and found that there was not going to be a way for me to earn with them, so I kept hunting til I found Bankless Consulting. Within a month (1 Coordinape round) I had earned 25K BANK. The four week guest pass will cut down on the L2 overhead and the angst/embarrassment of guest pass holders having to repeatedly ask for the patronage of an L2 to renew their membership without any clear endpoint.

2.) Bankless Consulting needs fresh talent, and I imagine other guilds do too. We worry that the LP and NFT ideas are too high barriers for professionals who are exploring web3 work opportunities and looking for a place to plug in. There are no shortage of DAOs looking for professional talent and we need to win the recruitment. For example, in the past two weeks we’ve had a dozen calls with potential clients who want to hire us for marketing or PR, but we don’t have enough people in BC yet to handle this workload. We’re trying to recruit guest pass holders to plug into our projects and if they do, they’ll start earning BANK and enabling BC to replenish the DAO treasury too. It seems less likely that we can recruit a boomer marketing whiz if she has to first pony up for an NFT or go through an LP quest.

35K is a fine threshhold for L1 membership and I know a bunch of people who made it in season 2. We can more clearly definine the pathway to get there with 4 week guest pass milestones to separate the bDAO serious from the bDAO curious.


I have been thinking about this for quite some time now as I am a Guest Passer myself working towards L1 status. I agree with Soundman in his post and see a future where we are over ran with Guest Pass members as they are funneled in from Bankless HQ and their primary goal is value extraction.

I have no incentive to achieve L1 other than that’s just what I want to do and I believe in the future of bDAO. Either Guest Pass needs restrictions ( such as not holding roles, ect ) or L1 and L2 need more benefits.

This alone is a large issue not to mention the managerial overhead. Certainly, there are standout Guest passers and those peoples efforts are easily visible. It is hard to remain as inclusive as possible while also preserving the values and vision of bDAO without setting the bar to high for new comers.

Holding 35k bank implies a lot to me about who you are are and something that is not easily achieved by the majority and I feel this is as it should be. Perhaps we could work more closely with the Analytics guild as I know holding 35k doesn’t always equal participation. Sweat equity is also valuable

From attending the Guest pass vibe checks, I get the over whelming sentiment that there’s just not that much to do for new members who dont get plugged in strait away. Not enough actionable tasks to earn bank and the bounty board is desolate.

I also like this idea of exponentially growing BANK balance on the path towards L1 however I would tweak it to something like…

-Initial guest pass is free for 1 month and to never be issued again.

  • Every month there after you must purchase a NFT or hold exponential bank Month 2 Month

That being said. I am all about inclusivity and not becoming just another boys club is important for the culture. So, in addition to the above. Perhaps we could add on another layer such as Community Member < Guest Pass < L1 < L2 < L3.


I empethise with a lot of the views above. However, as a guest passer and my skill set being made up of org theory, project managment and governance, it’s very hard to earn your way into level 1 through bounty board etc. I’m also not in a position to chuck a few k down on a bag of bank (maybe if I found this DAO earlier in 2021 that would not have been an issue).

This issue goes a lot deeper and I think it’s important to recognise the guest passers who are going to contribute value to the DAO and allign that to gaps in the DAO (project management as an example…).

I’ve seen the term ‘skin in the game’ here an awful lot and that doesn’t really allign it’s self to the DAO’s mission statement of onboarding 1 billion people into the blockchain and certainly makes me feel as though my contributions as a guest passer aren’t valued.

Lastly, if I did cough up the 35k BANK required to become a level 1 a few months ago, instead of earning my stripes I feel it would take some time before there was a strong ROI - It’s taken alot of networking within the DAO to find my place here and things are only starting to move forward in a strong direction now. I’m happy with the pace as it hasn’t cost me anthing other than my free time which I’m extremely happy to dip into in order to: make strong working connections. add value into problem areas in the DAO and most importantly, persue something I’m passionate about.

Just my 2 gwei, I don’t want this to come off as a rant or agruementative because I do strongly understand where you are coming from. I’m just providing the POV from a guest passer in the this thread :slight_smile:


Great post Lucas. Big fan of the NFT membership idea. Part of the issue with onboarding (and the strain on talent scouts it causes) is that a lot of people come into the DAO who have no reason to stay around, which unfortunately wastes talent scouts’ time and increases coordination overhead for guild and project leaders. We need some way to know that people truly want to be in this DAO. A cheap NFT on polygon with low gas fees sounds like just the way to do it. Proof of basic Web3 knowledge, proof of having some stake in sticking around for a whole season, and some cash for the bDAO treasury. I can’t see any faults with this model!

Should this really be table stakes for membership? I know a few people who wouldn’t be here if they had to buy an NFT to join (myself included). In fact I bought my first ETH like 3 weeks ago so I could LP my BANK.

I joined BanklessDAO, earned my way to L1 and learned about web3 in the process. Seems like the mission was accomplished on me. Do we want to close this path for others when we know it works?


You’re stumping me again links :laughing: I feel like for a DAO that has the mission to onboard 1 billion people to crypto, people should know just enough to google “how to buy an NFT” and go on OpenSea and do it? Not saying that buying NFTs is easy. I just think it’s easier than, say, yield farming. Maybe we could provide a guide on “How to Buy an NFT” that walks them through getting their bDAO membership NFT and use that in our New Member information/First Quest/website.

Thank you for the post and I agree with your points about misalignment amongst guest passes. Two other possible solutions.

1, Subscribe to bDAO at ‘x’ BANK/day. Have BANK in your wallet, connect to a smart contract that streams BANK from your wallet to treasury

  1. All coordinape and role rewards for guest pass members are locked into a smart contract which unlocks once the account reaches L1 status. Guest passes can continue to earn via bounties meanwhile

thanks for sharing your perspective its important to hear from guest pass holders on this issue. I will say about the skin in the game I think some people hear our mission statement and think we are trying to get 1 billion people onboarded into banklessdao and at least to me that is not at all what we are trying to do. I dont want to be ungrateful to guest pass holders or say that their contributions are not valued because they definitely are, we just need to work on aligning incentives to make sure people are trying to get to L1 status and not remaining perpetual guest pass holders.

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