SIP-161: Core Contributor Committee

Author
StatusSC_Review_Pending
TypeGovernance
ImplementorTBD
ReleaseTBD
Discussions-Tohttps://research.synthetix.io
Created2021-07-05

Simple Summary

This SIP proposes the introduction of the Core Contributor Committee (CCC) to help coordinate and govern the Core Contributors. The CCC will be comprised of existing and former Core Contributors elected to the role by the Core Contributors.

Abstract

This SIP introduces the Core Contributor Committee which, if implemented, will be responsible for:

  • Managing the Core Contributor road-map and prioritizing protocol work
  • Processing Core Contributor candidates and determining their engagement
  • Managing Core Contributor incentive packages and compensations on a regular basis
  • Managing and processing the removal of core-contributors where neccesary
  • Managing resourcing within the CC budget and negotiating with the Treasury Council for setting this budget
  • Negotiate partnerships with external protocols within the ecosystem

Motivation

The Core Contributors are a critical component to the Synthetix Protocol, ensuring the project has the resources for protocol development. Up until now, the structure of the Core Contributors has been very flat with most of the Core Contributors self-organizing and self-prioritizing protocol work.

This worked in the early stages of the protocol, where most of the Core Contributors worked in the same time-zones with only one or two SIPs being implemented in parallel, however as the number of CC's and SIPs has grown the lack of structure has impeded the scaling of the Synthetix Protocol.

The current structure of the Core Contributors also presents problems in the onboarding and compensation domains, where most of the processes are decided by a few individuals and are often opaque. This structure should be aligned with the rest of the Synthetix Governance system.

Specification

Overview

The Core Contributor Committee will be made up of three senior members of the Core Contributors, elected by the Core Contributors. This committee decides (via a ⅔ majority) on a variety of decisions:

  • Core Contributor Engagement/Disengagement
  • Core Contributor Incentivization
  • Core Contributor Resourcing & Prioritization
  • Protocol Road-map and Vision
  • Core Contributor Committee Stipends

Core Contributor Engagement/Disengagement

The on-boarding of new Core Contributors will be a process of coordination between the

  • Core Contributors
  • Core Contributor Committee members
  • Treasury Council

For a candidate to be eligible for a review from the CCC, they will need to three existing or past Core Contributors to vouch for them (this parameter can be modified via an SCCP). The CCC will then interview the candidate and make a decision on their engagement via a proposal and vote, based on both the candidates merits and also the CC budget that the CCC operates within (the CCC at any point may negotiate with the Treasury Council to request a larger budget for the following epoch).

The Core Contributor Committee will also be responsible for disengagement with any Core Contributors for any reason.

See Test-Cases for examples

Core Contributor Incentivization

The Core Contributor Committee will be empowered and held responsible for conducting quarterly reviews on the Core Contributors compensation and packages to provide a systematic way of ensuring that the Synthetix Protocol and Core Contributors are aligned.

During these quarterly reviews, the CCC will need to coordinate with the Treasury Council to adjust the CC budget.

From the specified budget, they will also provide resources for the following:

Core Contributor misc costs such as travel, work equipment and tooling The CCC must ensure they have sufficient budget to pay for all CC ancillary costs like computers, software and travel.

Office rents and other ancillary expenses Any other costs required to support the CCs, including office rent and equipment must be allocated from the quarterly budget approved by the TC.

Major Partnership costs Given historical precedent the CCC is best positioned to negotiate and manage external partnerships and relationships, these partnership costs can be requested from the TC on an ad-hoc basis outside the approved quarterly budget if necessary.

See Test-Cases for examples

Core Contributor Resourcing & Prioritization

Core Contributors provide value in non-technical and technical ways, so the CCC will need to be diverse and enough to oversee both domains.

SIPs

The CCC will be responsible for acting as a conduit between the Core Contributors and the Spartan Council by conducting weekly meetings with the Spartan Council to convene on the current SIPs in the FEASIBILITY and APPROVED backlog and then discuss the priority of each.

The CCC will then be responsible for assigning leads from those interested in championing the SIPs who will be held accountable and responsible for leading a squad of resources (non-technical and technical) to implementing or perform feasibility assessments to that SIP.

Depending on the performance of the lead and squad, the CCC may use its discretion to allocate additional bonuses for their work.

In terms of prioritization, the Core Contributors will also be able to signal on a platform such as canny.io on which SIPs they think are most important, this will help foster a collaborative relationship between the Core Contributors and the CCC.

Non-Technical Work

Whilst SIPs are predominately for specifying technical protocol work, the non-technical work still remains an important aspect of running a successful protocol. The CCC will be responsible for scoping non-technical work in a similar fashion that is done with technical SIPs, this may require that there be non-technical leaders voted in for the Core Contributor Committee role.

Protocol Maintenance Work

The advantages to having Core Contributors who are engaged by the Protocol is that it provides the Protocol with access to resources quickly. Apart from well-defined projects in SIPs, the CCC will also need to schedule resources for ad-hoc tasks like technical upgrades, bug-fixes and other maintenance task in which the SIP process does not account for.

Protocol Road-map and Vision

For the long-term sustainability of the Synthetix Protocol, the Core Contributor Committee will be responsible for collecting and discussing ideas for the long-term vision of the Synthetix Protocol. This means that the CCC will be responsible for interfacing with all the Synthetix Governing Bodies and Stakeholders to help synthesize a direction in which the Protocol should aim to follow.

Core Contributor Committee Stipends & Transparency

The Core Contributor Committee will be an incentivized role funded by the Treasury Council, the CCC stipends amounts will be openly shared. However, the amounts decided on by the Committee in regards to new and existing Core Contributors will remain accessible by only those involved internally. The CCC Stipends are made transparent so that the CC's have some sort of benchmark in understanding how the CCC are valuing their involvement with the Synthetix Protocol whilst avoiding conflict that may occur within the CC's if all the individual CC stipends were also shared.

Rationale

The Core Contributor Committee ratification has been formed from a variety of considerations

Voting System

The CCC members are voted in by the Core Contributors as they are the ones who are directly influenced by the decisions that are being made, they are the ones who have the most context regarding which individuals would suit the role at a particular time. This results in a positively reinforced feedback system between the Core Contributors and the CCC members.

Core Contributor Engagement

The Core Contributor Committee is in the best position to understand which resources are lacking within the Core Contributors and the budget capacity while the existing Core Contributors themselves understand which candidates would be most suitable for the role they are applying for, this vouching system ensures that both parties are responsible for what they know best. This also applies for the disengagement of Core Contributors, since this Committee will be regularly interfacing with the CC's they will have the best understanding of performance.

Core Contributor Compensation

The CCC have full discretion over the budget provided by the Treasury Council so they are able to ensure that the Core Contributors incentives allocation is aligned with the Synthetix Protocol priorities defined by the Core Contributor Committee and Spartan Council.

Core Contributor Vision and Prioritization

Since the Spartan Council is voted on by the Synthetix token holders meaning they are positioned to serve in the best interest of the token holders, there needs to be a mediator between the Spartan Council and the Core Contributors. By positioning the CCC as this mediator, the Spartan Council can have more transparency and discretion over the performance and prioritization of the Core Contributors ensuring they serve in the best interest of the token holders.

Technical Specification

  • Internal Infrastructure

    • Work stream for vouching for candidates
    • Platform for voting on eligible candidates and record keeping on decision making
    • Platform for voicing opinions on prioritization (Canny)
    • Communication medium, such as a dedicated Discord channel or forum
  • Committee Election Platform

Test Cases

Core Contributor Vouching & Hiring

Sally, a community member has been working on developing a website grant proposed by the grantsDAO for a month. She frequently interfaces with the engineering Core Contributors for help understanding the contracts to interact with.

Sally on the completion of this website, mentions to the grantsDAO that she is keen for another grant and would like to work more on Synthetix products.

The grantsDAO mentions this to the Core Contributors who in turn contact Sally and gauge her interest in being engaged as a Core Contributor. After some deliberation the two Core Contributors who have been interacting with her decide to vouch for her. They understand they need a third vouch so they reach out to another Core Contributor and discuss, the third CC decides its a good idea and brings it to the CCC for a decision.

The CCC decides Sally is a suitable candidate because of her previous involvement with the grantsDAO, they look at their budget and find that there is room to offer Sally a incentive package. Sally happily receives it and is on-boarded as a Core Contributor.

Compensation Review

Billy, an existing Core Contributor was on-boarded as a front-end engineer into the Synthetix Protocol to work on the dApps. Over the last 3 months, he has taken up Solidity development, writing up helper contracts to aggregate data for the dApps to consume easily.

The Core Contributor Committee has noticed this and so on the next quarterly review, they decide to offer Billy a higher compensation package and also ask if Billy wants to focus more on core contract development.

Billy who is astounded to hear this notices that the new compensation package does not match his expectations and decides to go back to the CCC with a higher offer. The CCC looks at their budget and decides that it can be provided and happily accepts.

Discretion in Budgeting

The Core Contributor Committee has received their quarterly budget, upon review it is enough to meet the stipend required for the existing Core Contributors. However, the Core Contributor Committee is planning to hold a Core Contributor Off-Site at Main-net New York as well as sponsor it and realize that they need more funding for this particular quarter.

The Core Contributor Committee schedules a meeting with the Treasury Council in which they request more funding for partnerships and also ancillary cost. The Treasury Council obliges and schedules a transfer of funds to the Core Contributor Committee multi-sig.

Roadmap & Priorities

There are 5 SIPs in total sitting in the FEASIBILITY and APPROVED categories in a particular week, when the CCC meet with the Spartan Council they decide that one of the particular approved SIPs is important for the Synthetix Stakers and is time-sensitive. They decide on making this SIP the highest priority and the CCC schedules this in.

Another discussion that comes up is that the Spartan Council has seen a FEASIBILITY SIP that potential solves impermanent loss, they are not sure that this is actually possible and would like to see more evidence and research, they tell the CCC to appoint Billy on this research task.

Configurable Values (Via SCCP)

  • The # of members on the Core Contributor Committee
  • The # of vouches required for a candidate to be considered eligible for consideration
  • The frequency of Core Contributor reviews

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