Intents, Missions, & Alliances: Season 4 at Optimism
Updated: May 18
Optimism is a prominent Ethereum Layer 2 solution that aims to make blockchain technology more scalable. It stands out for its innovative and experimental approach to governance. The Optimism Collective, which stewards the Protocol toward decentralization, collaborates to incentivize public goods and foster a sustainable future for Ethereum. By supporting projects that promote technical decentralization and contribute to the development of a rich ecosystem, the Optimism Collective pushes to eliminate the idea that public goods cannot be profitable and aims to create a more inclusive and resilient future for all.
The Optimism Collective has successfully completed three seasons to date, during which they continuously explored innovative ways to incorporate economic incentives into public goods. Season 4 is scheduled to begin on June 8th and will introduce new governance experiments centered around Intents and Missions. These experiments aim to foster collaboration within the community, enabling them to collectively work together to achieve the goals of the Collective.
Season 4 consists of four core goals known as “Intents”. These Intents provide a target for the Collective to aim for. How the collective reaches these goals will be determined by the “Missions” that are proposed. More on those later.
This season, the Intents were designed by the foundation but in the future, this responsibility will fall on the community so that they can be determined collectively. The four Intents for the upcoming season are the following: Progress Towards Technical Decentralization, Innovate on Novel Applications, Spread Awareness of the Optimistic Vision, and Governance Accessibility.
Last week, the budget for each of the four Intents was approved by the Optimism community through onchain votes. These allocated budgets will fund the Missions for each Intent and help Optimism succeed at achieving its stated goals.
Intent 1 - Progress Towards Technical Decentralization
This Intent is the Collective's highest priority of the four Intents as pushing forward technical decentralization is one of the core values of the Collective. The modular framework of the new Bedrock release will have a big impact on the community’s ability to further decentralize the development of the OP Stack. While OP Labs continues to focus on Permissionless Output Proposals, Bridge Decentralization, and the Cannon Fault Proof Program they still require a rich ecosystem of clients, provers, and citizens to achieve full technical decentralization. The Collective hopes that this intent will help foster this development through the Missions this Intent funds.
The approved budget for Intent #1 was 1M OP, which is the lowest budget of the four intents. However, since this intent is seen as the Collective’s highest priority a separate RFP funding process will happen concurrently through Foundation Missions. This will allow for funding technical decentralization initiatives that require more context and expertise such as ongoing core development work by community teams like OP Labs.
Intent 2 - Innovate on Novel Applications
Intent #2 will be managed by the Grants Council a community-body rewarding projects building on top of Optimism. Interested parties can now self-nominate on the forum to be considered as Grant Council Reviewers for Season 4. Three community members will be chosen to sit on the council's Builders subcommittee and five members will be selected to sit on the Growth subcommittee. We at StableLab have submitted our self-nomination for the Growth Committee.
This Intent has a proposed budget of 5.285 million OP to be distributed via grants with any remaining funds returned to the governance fund. The Grants Council will evaluate applications on 5-week cycles. This intent aims to fund missions that help crypto reach its full potentials, such as applications of identity, game theory, social, community, gaming, and bridge dynamics.
Optimism continues to improve crypto scalability, this intent will fund initiatives that take advantage of these improvements to build something crypto has never seen. Projects that push forward the frontier of crypto utility to help realize the vision and promise of Ethereum.
Intent 3 - Spread Awareness of the Optimistic Vision
This intent was initially left unspecified as it was up to the Optimism community to suggest an economically driven Intent. After delegate input and discussion Intent #3 became “Spread Awareness of the Optimistic Vision.”
The community realized that many valuable potential contributors might be unaware of the Optimistic Vision and the important role of public goods in our ecosystem. Therefore, this intent was designed to onboard new people, DAOs, and builders to the Optimism Community. The hope is to have Optimism widely recognized as an ecosystem that fosters public goods and works towards the creation of a new economic model.
Intent #3 was approved with a 1M OP budget from the governance fund. This budget will fund missions that increase awareness of the Optimistic Vision with initiatives such as educational resources, hackathons, conferences, and marketing efforts aimed at growing a community of Optimists.
Intent 4 - Governance Accessibility
Optimism has a two-house system that allows protocol upgrades, token treasury, and Collective revenue to be managed by a diverse set of governance participants with checks and balances.
Intent #4 is focused on further improving governance accessibility in order to encourage a diverse range of Optimists to participate. A variety of perspectives participating in governance increases knowledge sharing which allows for more informed voters and helps to lower barriers to participation in governance.
A budget of 3M OP was approved for Intent #4 and will be distributed to Missions that make Optimism governance understandable, open, flexible, and legible to all. These initiatives hope to increase the amount of $OP used to vote as well as decentralize the voting power amongst new voters. Specific examples of possible missions for this intent include initiatives that increase the resiliency of core governance infrastructure, create user-friendly interfaces to interact with governance programs, or promote a welcoming governance community.
Season 4 introduces Missions for the first time. Missions are proposals that are specifically aimed at helping achieve an Intent. They are designed with a narrow focus capable of being finished by the end of Season 4. This serves as an alternative to working groups as they allow initiatives to be more focused on a specific task instead of a vague scope of work. There will be two separate types of missions: Proposed Missions and Foundation Missions.
Missions will be submitted to one of the four Intents and will receive funding from that Intent’s budget. The Token House will be responsible for ranking proposed Missions and prioritizing them in order of most aligned with the Intent they were submitted to. The Intent’s budget will then be distributed based on these rankings.
Foundation Missions (RFPs)
Foundation Missions will also fall under the four Intents, however, these are pre-specified by the Foundation similar to Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Funding for Foundation Missions will come from the Partner Fund instead of the Governance Fund and the Foundation will select the proposals to complete each Mission. To ensure transparency and accountability of this process the Token House will have visibility into all Foundation Mission applications.
Alliances and Trust Tiers
Missions will be completed by groups of contributors known as “Alliances” that work together to finish the Mission. Alliances can be made up of external organizations or groups of internal contributors.
Season 4 also introduces Collective Trust Tiers. These tiers help establish standards and determine what level of funding an alliance can receive. Alliances may only propose Missions or apply to accept Foundation Missions at their corresponding Collective Trust Tier.
There are four tiers and the requirements to qualify for each tier can be found below.
1. Ember Tier
Eligible to receive up to 100k OP
Never worked for or with the Optimism Collective or has never received retroPGF
2. Fledgling Tier
Eligible to receive up to 350k OP
Has done work for or with the Optimism Collective at least once before or previously received retroPGF
3. Eagle Tier
Eligible to receive between 350k OP and 1M OP
Has repeatedly done work for the Optimism Collective or has received over 50k OP via retroPGF
4. Phoenix Tier
Eligible to receive over 1M OP
Has repeatedly done work for the Optimism Collective, at the Eagle Tier level, or has received over 100k OP via retroPGF
Alliances may submit multiple Mission proposals at a time with a maximum of three Mission proposals per period. If an Alliance is made up of multiple contributors its Trust Tier is determined by the Alliance’s lead.
Alliances may propose a Mission to a specific Intent. To do so, Alliances must post a Mission proposal to the forum that contains the following aspects:
Specification of a baseline reward amount required to execute the Mission.
Measures of success and KPIs so Token House delegates can measure progress and Citizens’ House badge holders can accurately measure the grant’s impact.
Critical milestones. (Failure to reach these may result in removal)
Alliances must then get 4 delegate approvals to ensure the proposal is valid and works towards the specified Intent. Valid Mission proposals will be added to a Voting Roundup under the appropriate Intent by the end of the relevant Voting Cycle’s review period. In Season 4, this will be June 21st at 19:00 GMT and must receive 4 delegate approvals by June 28th at 19:00 GMT. After the season all successful Missions will be evaluated for retroactive rewards if they exceeded what was expected of them.
Apply to Accept a Foundation Mission
Alliances interested in accepting a Foundation Mission must submit their Foundation Mission application on GitHub. The deadline to submit Foundation Mission applications is June 28th at 19:00 GMT.
Foundation Missions will be created at the start of every voting cycle by the Foundation. Alliances are eligible to apply for up to 3 Missions per period but can only apply to Missions at their corresponding Trust Tier.
Season Four at Optimism is shaping up to be another exciting experiment for governance and public funding. With the Collective setting the goals for this Season through the four Intents, it is now up to us in the community to get involved. We at StableLab are looking forward to actively participating in Season 4 and have already applied to be on the Grants Council for Intent #2. Additionally, we will be proposing Missions under Intent #4 and will be sure to keep an eye out for any Foundation Missions we feel we can accomplish. We’re thrilled to continue being active members of the Optimism Collective. Stay Optimistic! (✨🔴_🔴✨)
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