Create new pod: Nouns Technical Grants Committee



  • Willprice
  • Vapeape
  • Solimander
  • Brennen


  • Prioritize, fund, and mentor projects that committee members deemed to be of technical interest to the DAO
  • Free up Nouns technical resources to be used in a higher level, architectural/managerial role
  • Solicit and incorporate feedback from other DAO members
  • Share periodic updates with the community

Successful Outcomes:

  • Bring fully fledged technical improvements to the DAO for vetting/revision/approval
  • R&D / experimentation should be broadly scoped enough to have failures as well as successes

Initial budget request:

  • 100 ETH to be spent primarily on smart contract design / testing / audits at the discretion of the committee

Genesis Project ideas:

  • A more robust Descriptor contract to allow easy addition/removal
  • Research, prototype, and audit potential financial mechanisms
    • Noun lending, ragequit, Noun buybacks
  • Dynamic governance quorum
  • Research emergency mechanisms that could replace the centralized veto


  • 3 of 4 Gnosis Safe for fund custody (Gnosis Safe)
  • 3 of 4 to approve funding decisions
  • All related work will be tracked in Github

worth noting the focus of this group will be on R&D into Nouns related mechanism design and smart contracts at the protocol layer. our great resident engineers are focused on the layers above this on the stack and will be managed independently from this committee for now.


Some of the things I would like to see looked into:

  1. expanding governance model using either a fractionalization of nouns to create smaller delegated tokens or through a minted vote token only used to delegate vote power to noun holders, but can be minted independently from nouns. (I would name these vote tokens verbs)

  2. Investigation methods on proposals to challenge outcomes or fund usage once they have been delivered. These challenges have cost to the party, and some punishment to the offending party. (this goes really well with the above vote tokens)

  3. A potential better model for the daily auction bidding, First-price sealed-bid vs. Dutch Auction etc. We should maximize the amount each noun should go for, but not at the cost of having to keep bidding a new price to reset the clock every time (1am central :frowning: )

FYI on those verbs, they could still be NFTs with their own noun derivative style :slight_smile:


some more ideas:

gov incentives: vote stipend. integrated proposal tipping.
dynamic voting period to allow quick execution under certain conditions. decentralized proposal challenge/review/adjudicate mechanisms.
noun lockups (eg veNoun). for example, lock noun for x years = head retirement

bonded delegation: delegate for fixed period in exchange for a fee. guaranteed by bond.

new layers to noun (descriptor) for attribution or accessorizing.
what about a layer 6 that enables vectorized SVG art. What about a layer 7 that enables runtime art a la Terraforms etc…

financial: Options, Preferreds (non-voting shares)

Nounbounding assets. Secondary issuances that are tied to Noun token (accessible only via Noun ownership)

Alternative minting mechanism: Noun is minted by bidder according to block hash at time of bid submission

(keen to participate esp wrt crypto-economic considerations of contemplated mechanisms)


I love this, my only criticism is that 4 is a challenging number of members, what if its a split 2v2 vote? Also 4 is kinda golfy. I think 5 is a great number. Fixes everything.

I nominate @anounymous to join the pod (if willing) to bring a constant source of tech ideas and thinkery.

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The budget is quite large in comparison to those of other pilot projects. The initial proposals for Small Grants and Prop 17, for example, asked for an exploratory pool of funds in order vet their ideas and demonstrate usefulness before asking for larger follow on amounts. How do you see 100 ETH being spent and over what time frame?

@vapeape I would like to apply to be a part of this committee, as well - I have been building in the space since 2016, have worked with dozens of projects, and have worked with grants teams (including the ethereum foundation).

I also think that there’s a way to improve the governance model with something similar to what @brennen.eth was talking about with having something akin to voting credits.

starting point cost on an audit is $100k and the kind of talent we’d be looking to work on this is in extremely high demand. I think this amount gets us 1.5-2 of the items above from end to end.


+1 would love to have @anounymous on that list!

The work and responsability the nouners/nounders behind this proposal are comitting themselves to is not trivial. But I have no doubt it will pay off.

I appreciate the other people looking to get involved here. From my perspective the DAO’s expectation from members of this group is not primarily idea generation or finding new things to deploy the capital into (small grants is a great venue for that). Of course we are happy to take input and direction from community members as well.

Instead this group will focus on things like creation of technical specifications, contributing(debating) software/protocol architecture, sourcing and evaluating engineers, peer code reviews, facilitating the audit lifecycle, etc. If you have experience in these areas happy to chat, although we want to keep the group somewhat small to start so we can avoid too much coordination overhead while we find our footing.


I like this idea.

Small Grants has been asked to fund certain technical grants and I will admit they can be outside the scope of our expertise. This would be a great compliment to Small Grant’s focus on community / art / memes / assorted DAO fund needs

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Thanks. It wasn’t clear that your intention is to use the funds to hire outside contractors for the work. I agree outside talent + audit requires a large initial budget.

Given the current budget only supports 1.5-2 of the projects on this list, and to be maximally transparent, the DAO should be presented with and rank (via simple emoji consensus) which we think are highest priority.

agree. flow, esp for piloting, could be to either solicit a mandate from dao on specific projects or provisionally spec a few ideas and get some at least informal (personally prefer formal/onchain) consensus from dao before building out .
could save dao from spending significant resources on mechanics that might be doa

Agree! One of strong points of Nouns DAO is the tech! We should make more tech for people!

I like the idea to focus on technical improvement for the NounsDAO and mentor the projects.
The selection criteria you chose could be of interest for my Prop House proposal for a small grant to streamline the proposal process.
So perhaps we can bring these streams together somehow.


While reading this proposal and the related comment’s, I asked myself whether it is conceivable to formulate a mission of the nouns in addition to a standardised evaluation of proposals.

In any case, from my point of view it would be helpful to define certain goals (or intermediate goals).

Certain goals (or later project categories) could also be voted on regularly to ensure a dynamic process.

I quite like cairol’s approach!

The advantage of structure is that it provides support and thus offers a framework for many growth processes. You can think many examples, such as crystals, snowflakes or other „themes“ from nature.

The important thing is that it is not rigid - a „breathing concept“.

Structure can be important to a certain extent in my opinion - especially in the growth phase.

Please excuse me if my comment on something like a nouns’ missions has touched on something that is not aimed in the circle of members.

As an architect and urban planner with extensive knowledge in sustainability and climate protection I’d love contribute anyway.

In my opinion there is a huge potential… I would be honoured to be involved in this and other processes.