Platform to teach people crypto basics and reward them with free Noun NFT

Project with the code name “Nouns welcome you into web3”.

On one Prop House Twitter space, Seneca spoke about an idea for a nounish project that will help onboard ordinary people onto web3 with free NFT, ENS name or/and other blockchain goodies. This idea captured my mind, and here is a write up of what I heard and thought by myself. This post is mainly intended to collect everyone’s thoughts and be something of a baseline(or a starting point) for a possible proposal, as there are ultimately many ways to tackle this idea.

Thinking behind the idea

As you know, the barrier to entering the crypto, especially the NFT space, is very high and especially for developing parts of the world. A simple “buy” of NFT results in $100’s spent solely on transaction costs. For most people, it’s an unbearable amount. Most are scared even to try when they see $20 ask to simply transfer a token. But for our space to grow, we still need to bring people in and teach them how to use all the tools that will probably become a norm in 5-10 years. And teach them in a way to keep them safe.

I see something being the entry point into “web3” for every person. With 0 upfront investments. To get the feeling of a thing. To learn about it.

It also can be a thing to point people to, so they can learn that there are much more than only “mining” coins in crypto.

Idea

So Seneca talked about making some platform/website where people will get an NFT/ENS domain name brought them for free by NounsDAO.
I think working with the NFT field will be the best as it’s more coupled with the DAO essence, as it’s still one of the pfp projects.

My main idea is to make a website with fun, gamified “gameplay”, where people complete learning steps on:

  • What is a wallet
  • What is public/private keys
  • Guide on setting up a wallet
  • What is NFT
  • etc

That, in the end, “bring” them free NFT.
That is how I see the main functionality of the app. At least for version 1.

There are many examples of gamified learning platforms, with CryproZobies for learning Solidity as a crypto example and Duolingo for learning languages. I want to make the process with a similar “ease of learning” flow, with the process including quizzes after every step to help people remember the information. Alongside “functional” checks, like logging in with a wallet, signing a message, etc.
I also want to realise some fake fishing attacks, like:

  • trying to get users seed phrase
  • asking them to sign some malicious transactions
    To teach them the concrete example of what they did wrong, so they will have hands-on experience and be safer with actual use(though this is still a high-risk thing that might be dropped if there won’t be a 100% safe realisation for the user security).

The platform will basically teach people what a wallet is, how to use it and what NFT is. All to prepare them to get their first NFT and be knowledgeable enough to see the way in web3 and not fall a fool for scammers. At least at the basic level.

When people end all the learning, they get a noun NFT airdropped them, all for free, financed by NounsDAO.

Some marketing page mock-up ideas:

On bad behaviour

To make sure that real people get the NFT, registration might be set with Twitter/Facebook only, with some basic checks on:

  1. When the account was created
  2. Does it has an avatar
  3. N of followers
  4. N posts
    And other things to make sure we don’t get a flow of bots.

We can also implement post-your-address verification as the Foundation marketplace do for registration:

This will add an additional layer of verification and help spread the word as we will try to include a link to our website altogether with the address so that people will see the posts and our website in it. This might be a base for organic growth too.

On NFT airdrop realisation

When a person has completed all the steps and everything is verified on the back-end, a call is made from the back-end to the smart-contract with the recipient address of the player. The contract will handle the minting of the NFT and its transfer to the recipient address. The contract then will refund gas costs for the executor address. This way, we’ll transfer the costs of mint and NFT transfer to the contract that will be fulfilled with ETH by the DAO. Or by anyone who wants to donate and support the initiative.

The contract mint function will be set to being accessible to only a particular executor address that may only be set by NounsDAO, for example, to make it safe.

This is still my first idea on possible realisation, and I may come up with something much better as I research more through it. I hope other engineers can also drop their thoughts on this.

Possible Problems

Costs

In my current view, the main problem this will face is mint costs. As you know, gas prices are no joke. If we take all costs on the DAO side and somehow manage to fit per user airdrop price into 0,01 ETH, for example, 1,000,000 onboarded users total 10000 ETH, which is 75% of current NounsDAO holdings. The number is very speculative still and will fall after transitioning to PoS.

How this could be mitigated before PoS:

  1. First of all, batched airdrops. We airdrop NFTs once a day when the gas is “lowest”. This “will” reduce costs, especially with a higher number of NFTs in a drop per day. Though I currently can’t say how lower gas spending will be before running all that through the tests. If there are people with experience with this type of usage, I highly encourage them to leave their thoughts.
    This has its drawbacks, too, such that costs will be suboptimal at the start, as there might be not much traffic, resulting in higher costs per user. Also, on the side of user experience(UX), getting NFT not now, when a user is “Done” with all the studying process, but sometime during 24h window…it doesn’t feel that good, as getting NFT right in the moment.
  2. There is also a possibility to do drops when 100/1000/10000… users accumulate in a so-called “queue”. For the cost’s terms, this might be even better than ver.1, but worse in terms of UX, as it might take a while to accumulate enough users in a queue. Though, it might be mitigated with some sort of “dynamic queue” where a bar will be set based on general user dynamics. For example, when 100 active people are going through the learning, the queue max level might be set to 10 passed users, but when it’s 100k studying users, the level might be set at 10k or 5k passed users.
  3. Ver.1 and ver.2 could also be mixed to find the optimal cost/UX basis.
  4. Make gated access to the platform, for example, for only 10000 users per month. This way, DAO will have projectable and controllable spending on this initiative.
  5. There might be other and better ways to do that, of course. Hope to hear from the experienced people too.

There is also risk regarding the web2 infrastructure, such as the back-end might be compromised, alongside executor address keys, which might result in stolen ETH used for day-to-day contract calls. However, it will be a minor loss since the executor address will hold minimal ETH required to make calls for a few days. Anyway, I don’t currently see a way around that, as there is a need to provide the passed users’ address data to the contracts in a generally safe manner. However, these risks can be maximally mitigated with a good cloud provider coupled with hardware 2FA for engineers access.

The who

Currently, it’s @ng, who has also written all this. He creates different apps using his software knowledge. With the nouniverse he’s involved in making NounsNeedNames and drop some nounish things from time to time.

Future upgrades

The platform might become a good base for future extensions on other topics:

  • Advanced topics in wallet usage (how to win in the gas war, lol)
  • The DAOs
  • Different tokens
  • Other Ethereum tools
    With different rewards for different sections. Many fields will benefit from good and rewarding learning materials.