Block.one Brings Funding to EOS! Yves La Rose interview.

If you aren’t already aware, Block.one recently awarded a $631,000 grant to Block Producers EOSNation and EOSAsia to develop an EOS-based crowdfunding platform that will bring development funds to EOSIO projects.  I won’t go into details, but you can read both B1’s and EOSNation’s press releases and other details in Mark Bailey’s article here.

I sat down with EOSNation CEO Yves La Rose to learn a little bit more about what they will be doing, figure out what exactly crowdfunding is and how the hell I might be able to earn a few bucks in the future!

Chaney Moore: Congratulations on the grant.  A funding mechanism is something that EOS has needed since launch.  How long have you been working on this?

Yves La Rose: We implemented a Worker Proposal System for another EOSIO chain in 2019.  After refining it we investigated launching it on EOS in early 2020 but found that many potential stakeholders, including Block.one, weren’t in alignment with our product.  We then pivoted towards an initiative that might receive consensus from those who would be interested in providing funds.  We’ve been working on legal and regulatory concerns since last summer and landed on the Gitcoin style platform we proposed to B1 and they funded.  (CM: you can learn about Gitcoin here https://gitcoin.co/grants/). 

CM:  Wow, sounds like you and Block.one have put a lot of time and energy into getting this done.  Thank you for that.  How exactly will the new platform work?

YLR: Well we’ve leveraged off Gitcoin, an Ethereum based application which communities use to fund initiatives, projects, and people that they find worthwhile.  It provides a quadratic and democratic method for backing projects.  In a nutshell, a proposal or project is put forth on the platform, community members can then contribute to that initiative, after community funding is closed all the data is calculated against based on individual accounts, amount funded, etc. and then matching funds provided by third parties (Block.one initially) are added, sometimes multiplying the total amount funded many times over.  A person that can only spare a few dollars can have a larger impact than they would imagine, an exponential impact.  There are different types of funding requests as well.  You can put out a request for a project you are responsible for and working towards, or you can put out a bounty for a project or feature you want a third party to build or an issue you want resolved.  There will be four funding rounds per year, one each quarter.  We are targeting to fund the first projects in the third quarter of this year!

CM: This sounds like it could be gamed or sybil attacked. I have 10 friends who send in a lot of EOS and have it matched and send it back to them later.

YLR: One great thing about leveraging the experience of Gitcoin is that they are on their 8th iteration.  They’ve learned a lot about sybil resistance.  Their founder has been in direct communication with us and supported us throughout the initiative.

We’ve also got tools in place to help fight this, eosdetective.io, and others to combat abuse.  Ultimately, if we determine that there is an abuse, the matching funds can be withheld.  It will be a learning curve.

CM: I’m glad to hear that you are getting support from an Ethereum project.  In the press release Block.one said that they are going to fund the initial funding contributor, meaning that the new crowdfunding platform will be doling out Block.one funds in the manner the community decides. How much will they be contributing and will they continue to contribute into the future.

YLR:  We wanted to be as regulatory and legally compliant as possible to make sure the largest EOS stakeholder was able to utilize the platform.  The money they put up will be given out to community-backed initiatives and they may not be the only ones.  Other natural matching partners would be exchanges, businesses, or even Dan’s new Eden initiative, there are lots of opportunities.  It is not for me to tell you how much Block.one will contribute or whether they will contribute again in the future.  I will say that this first round will be a learning experience and I expect that as the community sees how it works and the platform gains trust, the number of contributing partners and the combined amount that contributing partners add to the pot in the future may grow.  Don’t expect $10 Million in the first round, it will likely ramp up over multiple rounds.

CM:  Wow, that sounds promising.  I hope Block.one will continue to contribute in future rounds. So other community members can be contributing partners, can other EOS projects utilize the platform to form their own uses?  For example, can Cryptowriter use the platform for our own purposes?  Let’s say we are the contributor and have our writers be the ones that put their ideas out there, then we are the contributing partner as it relates to how our community votes and funds our writers?  This would not be used for EOS but for a project.

YLR:  Eventually projects may be able to leverage the platform, likely bounties will be the first iteration of projects being able to use the platform for their own purposes but even that feature may not be available at launch.  During the first round, it will be more of an MVP (minimal viable product)

CM:  We keep calling it the “platform,” what will it be named?

YLR:  There is a name we use internally but are still in stages of securing the rights and websites.  Until that time, we won’t be sharing any details.

CM:  One thing that many people in the EOS community were shocked by is the fact that Block.one funded a project proposed by a Block Producer.  This is the first time this has occurred; in fact, it was stated for previous grants the company receiving the funds must be separate legal entities from those that run BPs.  How did you get Block.one comfortable?

YLR:  We submitted a proposal to Blocke.one for the platform and worked very closely with them.  While this is termed a “grant,” typically grants are no strings attached funding, go do as you will.  This is a very specified grant and we must follow through with our commitment.

CM: I see that the Block.One Public Blockchain Engagement (PBE) team unvoted all the other BPs and now is only voting for EOSNation and EOSAsia, putting you back in the number one Block Producer seat.  Is that a show of support for the efforts you’ve put into this?

YLR: That was a pleasant surprise, I had no idea Kevin (Kevin Rose PBE) was going to do it.  I think you’re right, it’s a symbolic signal that Block.one values and recognizes the efforts of those willing to work with them. (Note: the PBE changed their vote three days later to include additional BPs while still voting for EOSNation and EOSAsia)

CM: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today.   Anything else you want to share with the readers?

YLR:  I’m proud of the consensus that we’ve been able to reach here.  This brings the strengths of both Block.one and EOS to the same table.  This is significant, really, really, really, really significant!  I can’t emphasize that enough.  You have no idea how much work has gone into this, hurdles jumped, barriers pushed through.  It’s a monumental achievement, direct public support from Block.one for the EOS community.  I’m very hopeful for the future of EOS and look forward to what we can build together.

Editorial:

CM:  It took me a few days to compile my notes and write up this interview, then I sat on it a few more days to collect my opinions.  Personally, I’m thankful that Block.one is making very public commitments to the EOS community.  The PBE was announced one year ago today.  Outside of the EOSIO codebase, this is arguably the most direct investment they have made into the health of the EOS ecosystem.  The PBE has been instrumental in passing the new Powerup model and setting up a voting rotation for BPs that meet their criteria.  We know that they are looking at staking pools and other opportunities in the coming months.  The PBE gets a lot of pressure from the community, primarily because they are very limited to what they say in public venues, but it is obvious they are working towards specific goals.  I would like to take the opportunity to commend Kevin and the PBE team for their efforts here.

Thank you, Block.one.

I sincerely hope this is only another step in a series of positive announcements from the PBE this year and that Block.one will fund the community platform into the future.

Please let us know in the comments below what initiatives you’d like to support once the platform is live and give Kevin, Yves, and their teams your appreciation as well. 


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