Project Value Alignment

So you launched a successful project through Bankless DAO.

What now? How do you scale? How do you align values with the DAO?

This is a follow-up post with my personal thoughts to compliment IcedCool’s Project Revenue & Ownership Discussions

Let’s explore.

Project Type: Revenue Generating

Examples: The Rug, MetaFactory, Bankless Indices, Media Nodes, NFT Showcases, etc.

Revenue-generating projects are relatively straightforward to align values with the broader DAO. There are three ways that I can think of.

Option 1: Revenue Sharing with Treasury

The first is the one that we already do among most revenue-generating projects: profit sharing with the Bankless DAO treasury. After paying contributors for their work, the project can distribute the remaining profits back to the treasury.

This helps diversify the treasury and provides non-BANK funding for future seasons and contributors.

Option 2: Buy Backs

The second option is something we haven’t done yet. Rather than distributing profits to the DAO treasury, the project could allocate it towards BANK buybacks. This especially works for projects that generate their revenue in crypto monies like ETH, DAI, USDC, etc.

This is actually a very optimal way to go about value alignment as both BANK holders and treasury benefit from the demand-side pressure, while the project benefits as they build up a reserve of BANK for themselves.

They could then turn it into a revenue-generating asset by LP’ing and/or leveraging Olympus Bonds, or use it for future incentives for their contributors.

Option 3: Tokenization

If the project is generating revenue, another path forward may be to tokenize the project and governance over the product. There’s a lot to unpack here for this post so I’ll leave out the nitty-gritty for tokenization out for now. Not every project will be worth tokenizing, and if it is, there needs to be a lot of thought and planning around it.

But if tokenization is the viable path forward, the value alignment mechanism here is to distribute a portion of the supply to BANK holders and the DAO treasury.

The exact numbers will depend on a lot of factors!

Project Type: Non-Revenue Generating w/ potential to generate in future

Examples: Bounty Board, DEGEN, Bankless Academy

The most capital-intensive projects right now are our software products that aren’t currently revenue-generating but could be in the future.

These projects have been around for a while and have received millions of BANK in seasonal grants. We are at the point where these projects are maturing, finding product-market fit, and are ready to scale. The problem is that these projects are becoming too capital-intensive for Bankless DAO to afford every season, but are also not ready to generate revenue to become self-sustainable.

There’s really one path (that I can think of) they can go down:

Option 1: Raise Outside Funding

Once the initial product is built and there’s PMF, this is when it’s a good time to start exploring outside funding, potentially from Investment DAOs and other crypto funds. This will allow the project to hire full-time contributors and scale the product to its full potential without continuing to ask for an incredible amt of BANK every season. The project becomes a fully-fledged subsidiary of the DAO.

Additionally, other than direct investments, bDAO projects could also lobby for grants from other project grants programs like Uniswap Grants, Polygon Grants, and Gitcoin Grants.

When to cut off Bankless DAO Funding

Generally speaking, there needs to be some internal timeline on when a project needs to make the jump from relying on BANK to outside funding to scale and finish the product. Bankless DAO should be used to bootstrap the initial team and MVP. There needs to be some discussions/social consensus on this timeline (somewhere around 3 seasons/9 months feels like plenty of time).

After multiple seasons, there should be enough built to garner interest from investors (MVPs, user growth, etc) to scale the product.

If not, the harsh reality is that the project may have failed. This is okay! Not every project will be a success and we have to recognize that.

The good news is that successful projects will be able to raise outside funding, scale the product, and should have an avenue towards revenue generation. This would lead them back to the “revenue-generating projects” path.

Project Benefits

The last area for value alignment is project benefits for Bankless DAO members!

The first instance of this was with DAOPunks which offered Bankless DAO members pre-sale access to the NFT drop. (They also did a revenue share with the DAO treasury!)

To summarize a handful of member benefits:

- Airdrop tokens (tokenization)
- Pre-sale access and discounts (for culture drops) 
- Membership access (hold BANK and get bonus benefits) 

We’re still early in this area, but DAOPunks, Flipper NFT, and others are all leading examples of where Project Benefits can go.

These are just my thoughts on how to align values. To summarize:

Alignment for Bankless DAO Projects

  1. Revenue sharing with Treasury
  2. BANK Buybacks
  3. Tokenization that favors BANK holders and the treasury

I summarized them in this hopefully not too confusing flow chart

**If you are building a project for Bankless DAO and are wondering about value alignment or tokenization, please hit me up. I will happily share my thoughts on potential avenues with you and the team for your specific project!

Value alignment is nuanced and every project will be different!

This post should hopefully give you the templates and ideas to get the ball rolling.


F’ing love this idea. Bravo!

@0x_Lucas I really appreciate this post and agree with many of your points. The challenging points, like cutting off non-revenue-generating projects, are necessary for people to hear. We’re trying to build something bigger than ourselves. The BANK buy-back is a great economic approach for so many reasons.

One thing you didn’t mention but which I think deserves attention is exploring other sustainability models for projects that have found PMF but aren’t generating revenue yet. It might just require someone to help the project team figure out how to license the software or improve the business model rather than a) selling the product to investor(s) or b) cutting the project off from Grants Committee funding and letting it die.

The Bankless Consulting team read this post yesterday and would like to talk to you about many of the points you raised and how they pertain to the project/subDAO we’re building for/with BanklessDAO.

@0xLucas, I am very grateful that you kicked-off this discussion. I think it will also help the GSE team to complete their task.

I would like to add another dimension. In TradFi, if someone founds a Startup, usually the core team will not be paid in full market competitive salaries. Rather these people will be happy to accept a lower pay for future benefits from the growth of the company. Our projects currently eat up a lot of BANK to fund the salaries of the projects participants. I understand the philosophy behind that. Maybe we can find a new approach where a project team is so convinced of the success that they are willing to allow for a lower remuneration in the beginning for a higher cut of the success at a later stage. This will potentially lengthen the runway of the project, where bDAO will be willing to fund the project.

We could offer a project a fixed amount of BANK (seed funding) and they can propose across what time span they would want to receive this amount and how they would create incentive mechanisms for team members to invest their time in a project that they are convinced in but that has an uncertain outcome.

How does that land with you?


Another aspect of this is who owns a project that no longer receives funding? What if the people working on it want to continue but on their own do they own it or does the dao? Likewise if the dao later decides they want to start an old project back up do they need permission from the original group that worked on it? It’s my opinion that if the dao funded it the dao owns it but I don’t think that is an opinion that everyone in the dao holds and that should be decided before funding projects ideally.

I like this as a possible option.

Speaking for bounty board though, already we are working at below market rates, for under-accounted hours.

I think part of the challenge is that dev projects can be big, competitive and expensive.

I think this one works only if the potential upside is insane. Not sure if you consider the potential future of Bounty Board as “insane”. If yes, it may be a matter of designing a vision of the future potential revenues each of the project members may get. This compared with the awesome cultural vibes of bDAO may compensate for subpar market pay.
But this is something that needs to be carfully and individually explored.

A conversation on the CC call by @0x_Lucas brought me to this post my curiosity how many projects from season zero have been offered grants by bDAO , how many of this projects are currently generating revenue and what value are they regenerating to the bDAO ecosystem, how many projects are ongoing, what is the total grants to date Bank Allocated, what is the current market cap of this projects. how many of this projects/Subdaos are using BANK token for governance, daily activities etc. Not sure analytics Guild has all this data from here we can start self assessment and project alignment, where we have succeeded or where need to improve and lessons learnt.

  1. My take our vision is to onboard 1 billion people to crypto then what? should we continue funding projects that offer almost zero value to the bankless ecosystem. Our focus should be projects like Bankless loans, Our own bankless protocols, for DEFI i.e bankless staking, farms, insurance. Bankless DEX, point here is projects that will add value to BANK and the Bankless community in general. hypothetical terms we onboard 1million folks to bankless and 1% use our products/protocols and BANK as the token just a thought…?

2.The issue of Guest pass @JENetics brought this issue as it is straining our manpower i agree when launching season three our Discord members were 17k today as i checked less than a month we are almost 22k members not to mention twitter we are growing at rates not envisioned. My take there is talk of NFTs i really like the model and also a big up to the first quest team, Should we have NFTs in BANK i.e 1BANK NFT, 10BANK, NFT 100BANK NFT, 1,000BANK NFT, 10,000BANKNFT NFT’s issued in multiples of 10*.

My proposition is simple every new member on discord is entitled to claim a free mint of a). 1BANK nft for just welcoming them to the new world of web3 and bDAO .
b). 1O BANK nft is for those that get the through the first quest and at least introduced yourself, this will unlock certain channels in Discord TBD eg X-role select. the end of freebies minting
c). 100BANK NFT here start the hard work and this NFT you have to earn it or buy it in the open market by earning it i mean in the the two weeks of you being a guest passer you will have shown some interest to contribute or your peers have noticed a talent here they can tip you the 100BANK nft. which also unlocks your guest pass automatically for another month…
d).1000BANK NFT here you have made your feet dirty and your peers have noticed your hard work and contributions for one month if the tips and end month coordinape totals 1kBANK you can use the proceeds to buy 1KBank NFT this level unlocks more channels in Discord…
e). the cycle continues upto 10kBANK nft at this level you can hold guild roles etc… NOTE… All NFTs are not mere nfts but they have value corresponding to the number, eg 1kBANK nft corresponds value of 1000BANK, here we have our very own BANK currency I believe this model can work out wonders and relive part of the manpower that is suffering from a burnout. Also NOTE; this NFTs can be bought and sold in the marketplace pegged at price of BANK. members/contributors can either decide to Buy membership or Earn membership…
Also a quick thought on governance one NFT equates to one vote i.e 1bank nft 1 vote, 1k or 10k NFT 1 Vote this may solve the Quorum issues when the whales dont vote…

I have thought about this thanks to @0x_Lucas can we have a brainstorming session on this to refine it before we come up with a better refined proposal for the community… Also happen to have more insights on tokenomics and governance as we onboard 1billion people to crypto lets have our stake lets not do all the dirty work while others are laughing all the way to their wallets…

Lets have this discussion @0x_Lucas @chuck25 @Icedcool @AboveAverageJoe @Steff @frogmonkee @dseid.eth @JENetics @samanthaj @saulthorin and many more i have not tagged…


Nice idea @Morte-ch, I like the approach of receiving NFTs as you cross BANK thressholds and that giving you new access and permissions in the DAO.

I think this forum may be quiet for a few days as everyone is hanging out IRL at Eth Denver!