Domain Name + Merit Circle Contribution Tooling Proposal

Subdomain Names for MC Members

Matthew Harwit


The purpose of this proposal is to propose a set of tools for Merit Circle DAO to set up a one-stop-solution for allocating subdomains to members.


Once this proposal is implemented, MC members will be able to

  1. Register a MC subdomain name (i.e. Your_Name.MC.eth)
  2. Display your MC subdomain name in place of your wallet address, Discord ID, Twitter handle, in-game gamertag, names of NFTs you own, etc.
  3. Trade your subdomain name on a subdomain name marketplace for potential yield
  4. Store contributions made to the MC DAO as metadata and use this to build user on-chain reputation


I’ve noticed two big pain points with MC DAO.

  1. Most MC members are here for yield, yet beyond staking, MC offers few yield opportunities.

  2. A small sample size survey revealed that around 50% of MC members would be interested in having their own MC subdomain name, yet there are few tools to make this a reality (note: ~30 participants voted across Telegram and on this proposal)

I want this proposal to be implemented because I believe it will address both of these pain points listed above.

Pain point 1 is solved via a subdomain marketplace; members speculate on the price of domain names to generate potential yield. Although different than staking MC tokens, I believe members would still be interested as this is a yield opportunity. There are potentials for other subdomain related yield opportunities (briefly mentioned in the “cons” section below).

Pain point 2 is solved because members can easily register subdomain names, just as they would on ENS, and use them in a variety of different scenarios.


None, I’m already working on this with a small team. I’d be happy to have MC use this platform and tools for free.



  1. Generate a steady inflow of fees/revenue for the DAO
  2. Allow members to display their MC subdomain in many different social scenarios, which helps build the MC brand.
  3. Create a MC-specific profile for members that updates when they contribute to the DAO. This goes towards building their DID/SBT and on-chain reputation.


  1. Members register domain names, but then regret it because there are limited use cases.

Subdomain names will at least have as much use case as a domain name. I plan to develop more use cases for subdomains, specifically pertaining to games. For example, I think it would be great if MC members can use their subdomain names as their gamertags in web3 games. Any place where they have a name can be replaced with their subdomain name (in-game leaderboards, names of NFTs they own i.e. BAYC # name.MC.eth, etc.)

Some other potential use cases:

I discussed the concept of contribute-2-earn in the previous iteration of this idea, but it was pushed back heavily due to concerns over quality of contributions that would be incentivized (such as social media sharing), and the ability to game the system (i.e. spam surveys in contribute-2-earn).

That being said, there may be potential for display-2-earn, where rewards are given based on reach of the accounts involved (i.e. a popular web3 gamer would be rewarded more native tokens for changing their in-game display name to a MC subdomain name than a random gamer with no following)

Note: this concept of rewarding members for displaying domain names is merely a thought, not something that must be implemented with domain name tooling.


  1. Would you support MC to use our tools to sell subdomain names to members? Yes/No

Copyright and related rights waived via Creative Commons CCO


Hello Hobajons!

As there’s no replies yet in about 24 hours, I’ve decided to share my personal thoughts here on the forum.

As a ENS enthusiast, using ENS subdomains in the community is something I’ve thought about since day one of Axie420 / Merit Circle.

To start off, this proposal reads to me as if it should’ve been two separate discussions and items. It namely consists of two points: ENS as a service AND contribute-2-earn and there’s different poll questions for these matters.

I’ll address contribute-2-earn first:
The Merit Circle DAO has just introduced the grant system. There’s research and development grants and those that want to contribute to the DAO can now do so in a more effective manner and can receive budget to do so. Rather than voting for individual grants, a max. budget for both categories have been set and a jury has been appointed. Setting up a contribute-2-earn program next to this feels like an overkill and like bypassing the grant program.

To address a few of the examples given: for survey-2-earn, so far there have been no issues with collecting feedback/input. Whereas social-2-earn would attract the wrong type of audience (similar to airdrop hunters) who will likely upvote each other posts and spam the web with content that would do more harm than good.

Secondly, I’d love to address the second item ; ENS as a service.

There’s a few points I’d like to make:

  1. Leasing/selling ENS subdomains is a pain at the moment, as a result their community has in fact already been working on a ENS domain wrapper which is a very interesting concept that’s live on the testnet and actually is right around the corner. With this, community members could claim (and pay for) subdomains for a certain time period in a self-serving way, which would significantly reduce overhead. As a result, I would almost suggest to wait for this tool to go live since it doesn’t feel as a high priority item and would allow for testing/measuring interest, rather than building tooling yourself for the moment.

  2. There’s been 5 votes so far on the poll, meaning it does not really reflect community-wide sentiment. On top of that, I feel like the tactile/merchandise event is a good case study to use as we saw below average engagement on this event for something the community can own/claim and display. ENS subdomains feel somewhat similar from that standpoint.

  3. A concern I would have is that it probably makes sense to label DAO wallets with meritcircle.eth subdomains, rather than enabling users to use this handle. Asides social display it doesn’t offer much for users at this point and in fact, majority of people in the community are anon and have often displayed they do not want to doxx their wallet addresses for any reason. Meaning, chances of them rocking a ENS subdomain on their social profile is extremely low.

Summarized, I don’t think that subdomains are of great interest for the community right now and efforts might be better spent on other items. Although, I do really appreciate seeing ideas like this and in fact, this could be very interesting outside of the ETH network where ENS is leading. Think of a gamer solution where domain names can be used for gamer tags across various platforms and games.


First off, thank you for the feedback, very helpful. That being said, I’d like to discuss some of the points here for the sake of hopefully moving towards a solution that MC members would want to use.

To address why both of these items are in one post (ENS as a service and contribute-2-earn): I put them together because I believe they only work when linked together.

The big problem I see with any contribution tooling platform (i.e. Dework) is that there is no inflow of funds to support the rewards given away to members for their contributions, thus, making it hard to sustain. Grants are a form of contribute-2-earn (action-reward mechanism) that produce direct, tangible improvements to the community and user experience, but unless they bring in actual revenue (sales from a game for example) would still be difficult to sustain.

The thought then is to use the sales from subdomain names to serve as the inflow of funds to support contributions (grants included). I chose subdomain names because I figured that they would be popular among members; they are also NFTs that can store contribution data as NFT metadata, thus helping members build on-chain reputation and identity, which they can use as a sort of “resume” to contribute to other protocols. This gives subdomain names a real use case, which would make them more appealing to members.

That being said, the “inflow of funds” doesn’t have to be from selling subdomain names, it can frankly be anything that can be sold to provide funds for contribute-2-earn.

I also don’t believe there is any conflict between contribute-2-earn and the new grant system being introduced, in fact, there may be great synergies here.

I view grants as a “serious” form of contribution which requires applicants to pour in time and effort in hopes of being rewarded with funds to build something for the DAO. This is great, and I’m glad something like this exists, but most DAO members don’t have the capability nor the time to contribute at such a deep level.

However, this is not to say that these members don’t want to contribute, there just does not exist a standard for them to do so. I believe contribute-2-earn introduces that standard, and allows members with less time and technical expertise to also help the DAO in ways that they can! If at the end of the day, only a few dozen of thousands of people contribute, then we are operating at only a small percentage of our true potential.

Now to get more specific regarding how contribute-2-earn would work:

  1. Social-2-earn - I believe there is a bit of a misinterpretation of what this is. My thought with this is that members earn rewards for amplifying MC posts (Twitter, Proposals, Discord, etc.), not each other’s posts. This would help MC posts reach more people and help bring more members to our community.

  2. Survey-2-earn: glad to see there have been no issues with collecting member feedback. My thought here is that it never hurts to have more people contributing their input. For example, looking at even the most popular MIP submitted in the last 6 months (MIP 15), there were only 2.9k views and 29 replies. We have over 100k followers on Twitter and over 23k members in discord. If more of these members gave feedback, we would be building a community that better represents its members.

Now to address ENS as a service:

  1. ENS domain wrapper - agree with your points here. Glad to see ENS finally addressing subdomain issues. We can wait and see how that turns out.

  2. Regarding the popularity of this post, I don’t believe it having less votes and views necessarily translates to not being of interest to the community. There have only been 90 views so far, which makes me think that this isn’t about the topic not being of interest, but simply the fact that most members probably don’t even know about the proposal. My title would have to be extremely boring for someone to see it and not even bother to click on it, which I don’t think is not the case.

I know this may be asking for too much, but would it be possible to make an announcement or something along those lines to get more people to read the post?

  1. My comment here would be to conduct a poll. I believe the members that don’t want to doxx their wallet addresses for any reason are likely members with a lot of capital/movement of funds. I don’t believe this represents the majority of MC members. Given my research with other DAOs (including gaming DAOs of this size), most members were very interested in having subdomain names. If we can conduct a MC sponsored poll, that would be much more convincing to me.

Summary: Again, I want to thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. As for specifics TLDR:

  1. ENS as a service serves as “inflow of funds” to support contribute-2-earn, which is why I decided to include them together in the same proposal.

  2. I believe the new grant system has no conflict with contribute-2-earn. Contribute-2-earn is a system for implementing any action-reward standard, grants would fit into this definition as well. Contribute-2-earn allows less technical members and members with less time to contribute as well.

  3. Social-2-earn is for amplifying MC posts, not other user posts. Survey-2-earn can get even more members involved, purely looking at numbers, even our most popular proposal was only viewed by ~15% of the members.

  4. Agreed we can wait on ENS subdomains since ENS is rolling out something here.

  5. This post receiving little attention so far may not be indicative of its popularity among members. There have only been 90 views and 8 votes so far, which indicates to me that it is a matter of members not knowing about it more so than members not being interested in it. I think if we can get this in front of more members, we’ll have a better idea of if people want it (an MC official announcement might do the trick)

  6. You could be right regarding members not wanting subdomain names, but I would say its probably best we create a poll and see what members really think.

1 Like

Hi Hobajons,

First off, thank you for taking the time and effort to write a proposal here.

Speaking for myself, I don’t particularly see the appeal of implementing something like this and would vote no.

  1. I don’t like gamified social media likes, comments, and surveys which will be ripe for abuse.

Bots and “farmers” will spam socials all day long. I would rather let this happen organically, and with strategy from a CMO / growth team when the time is right.

If this is permissionless, it will be awful. If it’s not and requires actual manpower to vet the quality of posts, that’s a waste of human resources in my mind.

  1. I wouldn’t want $MC going towards rewarding tasks such as this. There are already enough $MC rewards with the staking/LP programs.

Gamify rewards will contain weak holders and will dump. I can already envisage spam farms.

  1. If you look at the majority of the top $MC holders, very few have ENS domains.

Top 100 wallets: 5 have custom names (~ 5%)
Top 250 wallets: 14 have custom names ( ~5.6%)

Regarding the low response rate, this topic has been brought up many times over the last week or so on Telegram. I would argue that it suggests quite low interest in those who participate in governance (who are very active on Telegram).

Best regards,

1 Like

Hi there,

Thanks for the feedback, will do my best to respond.

  1. I can understand the concern for bots spamming socials all day long. In that regard, I think we can set up some simple guidelines to get rid of bots while still benefiting from extended reach of our posts.

For example, we can start by making it so that only retweets of Twitter posts can be rewarded. On top of this, we make it so that rewards are handed out based on number of followers of the person doing the retweet. In this case, even if someone wanted to game the system, it would be difficult as any new bot accounts they create will have limited followers, and thus, the amount they can earn would be close to zero.

Regarding surveys, a similar set of guidelines can be developed. For example, responses must be free response as opposed to multiple choice, which can be easily exploited. With chatGPT, perhaps its possible to farm surveys with legit responses, but even then, I think we can automate a way to detect this.

Perhaps a better way to address this is to ask you the question of what you think would be a better alternative system to get more members of the DAO to contribute? Your feedback here is very helpful, but I think it would be ever more helpful if you attempted to strong man my side so that we can together develop a concept that would help better the community.

  1. Understandable. However, if the only thing people do with MC tokens is to stake them, then there is little to no incentive for them to participate in governance or contributing to the community, which is the very concept I am trying to push for.

  2. Thanks for this information. Again, my premise for this is to get more MC members to contribute, not to satisfy top MC holders. If we have 23k discord members and 22.5k of them want subdomain names and the top 500 MC holders don’t, then wouldn’t it still be a good idea to roll them out? Top token holders do not represent all token holders.

Finally, regarding the low response rate, you’ve proven my point exactly. There may be low interest among those that participate in governance, but the people that participate in governance make up a very small percentage of the people that are actually a part of the DAO.

The point of this proposal is to get more members of the DAO to participate and contribute in all aspects of the DAO, governance included. If only 1% of members participate in governance, I don’t see how decisions made can ever represent the consensus of all members.

Hope that makes sense and look forward to your response,


1 Like

This is a very good proposal.
People are motivated by having subdomain to link themselves together with DAO.

My team is also working on DID related project and I think it’s a bright way to consider involve subdomain.


1 Like

Hi Hobajons,

I appreciate the reply. I am all for encouraging broad participation on socials etc, but I don’t like the gamified aspect due to potential of abuse, as said previously.

I would be more interested in hiring content creators, press release writers, infographic artists, and illustrators, either full-time or freelancers through grants, and letting the market take care of the rest.

My post wasn’t insinuating this was about the top MC holders. I’m all for the benefit of the DAO as a whole as opposed to a select few - It was just used as a sample set to gauge the actual use of similar services.

I can only view the top 1000 holders on Etherscan out of ~ 8,625 which has a total of ~82 ENS (~8.2%). My whole point was, is there actually a demand for something like this?

For argument’s sake -

I’m an ardent supporter of $MC and value my privacy. I like being anonymous and don’t like sharing personal account balances of my wallets.

  1. Please convince me why I would want an MC address handle.

  2. If I already own an ENS name eg anon.eth, why would I want to switch to

In more general terms -

  1. How would this accrue token value for the DAO.

  2. What kind of take-up rate would you consider a success.

Going through the numbers:

Let’s say 8.2% is standard take up rate across the whole launch, and is priced at $5. With ~8,625 holders* x 8.25% @ $5 = $3536. If every single on-chain holder bought = $43125.

*To be fair, not all holders have their own wallet - eg, they’re holding on Binance.

I do understand your point. However, members who actively participate in governance very much want $MC to succeed, even more than most. It would fantastic if we had more users contributing.

If the majority of people want something like this, I would have no issues whatsoever and will support.

Best regards,

1 Like

Hi asam0oo,

Again, greatly appreciate the comments.

Regarding the potential for abuse, I agree that this is a big issue and needs to be addressed if we are to consider rolling this out. If we do end up trying this, I would suggest we start with variants that are not easy to game, while being in theory beneficial and test the waters.

For example, we can start with social-2-earn and limit it to 100 participants where each participant must have at least 500 followers and contributes by retweeting the most recent community post. We then evaluate this over a period of time and assess the results. If it is both beneficial and not being abused, we can slowly roll out other variants of contribute-2-earn while constantly evaluating the results and potentials for abuse. At any point, we can decide to terminate the trial. Would you be supportive of such a trial?

Note here that the action-reward mechanism illustrated above is only meant to serve as an example, and does not necessarily represent what the final trial contribute-2-earn action-reward mechanism would be. I’m open to thoughts on what that would look like and what the trial would be.

Re: hiring professionals through grants, I think its natural to feel that this would be a better alternative. Thinking from a game perspective, there is nearly no risk in choosing this option, and the reward will be within a range bound expectation. On the other hand, experimenting with contribute-2-earn is more like taking a higher-risk and potentially higher-reward path. If it works well, then we will have more members contributing and more members joining, creating a greater environment for all community members. If it doesn’t work out, we could be introducing bad actors into our community and spoiling the experience for others.

I’m of the thought that if we take this step-by-step and control for bad actors, even if it doesn’t work out it will have minimal impact on the community and MC culture. I see a lot of upside potential and limited downside potential, thus, I would vote to at least run a small trial run and evaluate from there.

Re: whether MC members want ENS names, again I would say we try to gather more data (something on the north side of 500 votes) to see if this is something they want. Thanks for providing this data, as you said here, 8.2% of the top 1000 MC holders have ENS names, which isn’t very significant. However, looking at some more numbers, there are approx. 2.8M ENS domain names and ~220M Ethereum addresses, so by that ratio, it would appear that MC holders are more likely to hold an ENS domain name than the average web3 user.

That being said, what would perhaps be a bit more convincing is that other gaming organizations also seem to be interested in subdomain names. Decentral land has their own subdomain builder/contract that they deployed. Manage Names in the Builder | Decentraland I can’t seem to find the link for the contract, but if I recall correctly, they had something like 14k subdomain names registered.

I also talked to Star Atlas and they were interested, citing that they had thought about rolling out subdomain names, but pushed it back due to privacy/anonymity concerns among big token holders (glad to see there is a common theme of privacy concern here, this is significant). I’m currently talking with them as well to have this implemented.

Re: 1. I won’t try to convince you that you want an MC address handle. That being said, I don’t think you fit the typical MC member profile. You already contribute to the DAO, and having an added incentive to do so likely will not change how you contribute. You also value being anonymous so having a subdomain name would not make sense.

However, what I can attempt to do is to convince you that the typical MC member (regardless of if they hold token or not) would want a subdomain name. I can bring up examples that I brought up in my previous responses, highlighting Decentral Land, Star Atlas, etc. but what would be much more convincing is to simply do a poll with our members. If we can do a MC sponsored poll and collect at least a few hundred votes, then I think the answer will be clear. I like to let numbers do the talking :slight_smile:

  1. Again here, I don’t think you would have any reason to switch to I would in fact recommend that you don’t because its giving others information that could be used to doxx you. For those that are not as concerned about privacy, they can proudly display their MC handle on social media, but more importantly, use it as a means to build on-chain reputation. The subdomain name is an NFT - and thus, contributions can be stored as NFT metadata and used to create a SBT. Members that contribute can take their “profile” and bring it to other communities as a sort of digital resume. This can be immensely helpful, for example, to get hired by another DAO to contribute full time.

As for how this will accrue token value for the DAO:

The premise of all of this is to get more members to contribute. Through more member contribution, we will accelerate the process by which we go from ideation to implementation to seeing that implementation bear fruit. This will in turn attract more members to join, bringing in more subdomain name fees, which goes towards more rewards for members to contribute, creating a virtuous cycle. All this while, the MC token value will steadily accrue value.

  1. Great question. I think a take-up rate of 10% would be pretty successful. My expectation with MC subdomains is that at least a few whales will squat the “rare” subdomain names, a common occurrence among any name service. For example, something like Amazon.eth sold for I believe $1M last year. As with .eth names, we can sell the more rare ones for a higher price, or perhaps, auction them off. For reference, I believe .eth domain names are 0.5 ETH for 3 letter domain names and 0.1 ETH for 4 letter domain names, and ~$5 for 5+ letter domain names (note this does not include gas fees).

Looking at numbers, I assume here that non-MC token holders will actually participate as well, so the calculations here should start with higher than 8625. But for now, we can start with this.

Assuming we use an auction format, I believe the skew will be bi-model, aka there will be a lot of domain names that sell for $5 and a lot of names that sell for a lot more than $5 (i.e. rare ones). I won’t dive deep into the numbers here because its mostly speculation, but I’ll try to walk through a simple example.

Let’s assume 1000 MC members each buy 5 domain names (that’s the ratio for ENS domain names), then even if they all only buy $5 domain names, that would be $25,000 per one year of renewals. Let’s assume that some whales will want in and so the average turns out to be $100 per person vs. $25, then that would be $100,000 if everyone only renewed for one year. This still isn’t much, but 100k a year would still probably help us grow the community if its used to reward members for contributions.

As more members come in, this number will naturally go up. To generate more fees, we can make it more exclusive (something like $50 per regular domain name) or take a royalty for when these domain names exchange hands on a marketplace. The point here is that it may not be that much at the start, but as network effects take place, it will certainly be no small sum.

Finally, to address your question, I would say if we can generate $50,000 from domain name purchases within the first two months of rolling this out that would be a success (contingent on a situation where at least a few hundred members buy domain names, and not where a couple whales account for all of the fees generated). We can then build on that and continue from there.

In conclusion, I do believe we both want MC to thrive and have more members contributing. It really just comes down to whether this specific proposal, or perhaps some variant of it, would be worth the effort to try. Like I said earlier, I think the best thing to do is to get a poll with some significant amount of votes from MC members (not just those that participate in governance) and proceed from there. If the people want something, then we should look to deliver it :slight_smile:


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