Nouns Airdrop Design Alternatives

We’re excited to design a better way for the DAO to give Nouns to builders/partners, thanks to @jacob’s idea.

This is a tough feature to design, as it rubs against the original Nouns auction and inflation meme (one a day).

Our goals with this post is:

  1. Present the DAO with the leading designs on the table
  2. Solicit additional design suggestions
  3. Get a discussion going among voters

Assuming consensus will still be unclear as it is now, we will likely put this up to a Snapshot signaling vote. We would use choice-rank voting, asking Nouners to rank all design options + the option to not build this feature at all.

And now, to the design options.

Design 1: mint on demand

Thank you @jacob for sparking this design.

  • A proposal would call a function on AuctionHouse which would give the recipient the right to mint a Noun, e.g. allowMint(recipient, amountOfMints)
  • The recipient can then call a mint function on AuctionHouse at any time (up to a certain expiration date).
    • This allows recipient to FOMO a Noun with a head they desire.
    • It’s possible to give a recipient multiple mints in a single function call.
  • The mint takes place in parallel to auctions, such that if on the day of the mint Noun 701 is auctioned out, the mint creates Noun 702, and the next auction would be for Noun 703.


  • Auctions always open to the public.
  • It’s possible to mint faster than one per day.
  • Highest chance of builder getting their desired head (other designs rely on 3rd party actions).

Design 2: reserved nouns

Thank you @9999 for coming up with this design.

  • A proposal reserves the next minted Noun for a recipient instead of the auction house.
  • The proposal can reserve a Noun with a specific head for a recipient instead of the auction house.
  • During NoC, if there is a reservation for a Noun with any head, when FOMO players mint a Noun, it is reserved for the recipient
  • During NoC, if there is a reservation for a Noun with a specific head and FOMO players mint a Noun with that head, the Noun is reserved for the recipient.
  • If a head is specified, but FOMO does not mint a Noun with that head, the reservation rolls over to the next mint.
  • When a Noun is reserved, it is held for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours FOMO players can mint the next Noun, at which time the reservation is settled, and the next Noun is sent to the auction house.


  • The DAO has minted only one Noun per day, preserving the spirit and continuation of the meme AKA our core message and differentiator
  • Is fully backwards compatible with current protocol, infrastructure, and any downstream applications. Minor changes to messaging on can be added for clarity.
  • The current Noun on auction is always the one with the greater ID
  • Preserves wider community expectations: the DAO can specify how a Noun is distributed (either auctioned off or sent to a recipient), but makes no changes to randomness and fairness. No single person can wait until the perfect blockhash to mint a Noun.

Both designs can support minting/reserving a Noun based on a builder’s hitting a certain milestone.

Thanks for your attention
⌐◨-◨ the verbs



I wonder how things would work with both options implemented…
I like sticking to the one per day. But I think the ability to mint between is kinda cool too, assuming that it’s only possible via proposal, so the DAO at large has to agree to inflate the supply each time it is requested to do so.

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If you like sticking to the one per day then… let’s stick to one per day. If we’re going to not stick to it there’s no reason to implement Reservations. To me it’s either/or.

The point of Reservations is the 24 hour attention on a Noun which is usually given to bidding is given to the recipient and the act of reserving. The most important thing we have as a brand and community is to stick to “Nouns native” principles. It’s easy to implement throwing off Nouns at any time. It’s not easy to do the work of minting a great Noun, pausing for 24 hours to admire the act of honoring the recipient, and considering that this was brought about by DAO voted, on-chain proposal. Reservations, like the 24 hour auction, puts everything we have to offer on display.

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I definitely see your point with sticking to the native principles.
Just an interesting thought experiment at least to ponder how there could be extra DAO voted additions that didn’t take away from the daily auction mechanism.
But yeah, I think the reservation method is the better option to avoid the slippery slope of over inflating the supply long term and obviously honouring the core one per day forever principle.

One Noun, Every Day, Forever.

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I’d like to throw a third design into the mix - The Noun Buyer

The noun buyer is a solution based off of the token buyer, which is the contract that the DAO uses to pay proposers in USDC.

Token Buyer Background

The token buyer contract gets funded with ETH by the DAO, and allows anyone to supply USDC in return for ETH within some percentage of the on-chain oracle price (Chainlink).

When the DAO wants to pay with USDC, a proposal is created that tells the token buyer to pay from the available balance, or register a debt entry with a receiving account and an amount.

Noun Buyer Design

When the DAO wants to distribute a Noun, a proposal is created that tells the noun buyer to register a debt entry with a receiving account and an optional noun trait specification (chicken head for Stoopid buddy, basketball head for Victor Solomon, etc).

The noun buyer contract gets funded with ETH by the DAO, and allows anyone to supply a noun that satisfies the desired trait(s) in return for ETH within some percentage of the on-chain oracle price.

In this case, the oracle is Noracle, an on-chain historical Noun settlement price oracle.

Why is this solution preferred?

  • Keeps one-a-day meme intact.
  • Does not skip daily auctions.
  • Separation from the core protocol, which silos risk.
  • Allows nouns to be sourced from outside the primary auction (any marketplace, private collector, etc).
  • Uses market forces to:
    • Incentivize minting of a specific noun trait if not available on secondary.
    • Incentivize timely distribution through arbitrage.

Thanks for the ideas and feedback.

We posted a vote on snapshot to guide our decision on which design to implement.
Please voice your opinion here.