MIP-15: NFT Aggregator Development

Hi @0xDouwe , Thanks for your proposal.

I am really excited about this for a few reasons.

  1. Aggregators are still evolving and there is no winner yet. So we still have opportunity to fight it out and win in this space.

  2. I am afraid with gem acquisition, if gem wields too much power OpenSea might use it for extractive purposes which might effect Sphere later on. So having our own aggregator will be insurance against such deeds in future.

  3. I feel Once the aggregator is well known, there are many ways in which we can monetise. I am not at all worried about this aspect.
    Even creating & charging for an NFT data API can bring a good amount of money (as someone working on an NFT product myself, can attest to how bad existing NFT APIs are)

  4. A lot of people got disappointed when gem was acquired because they won’t be getting a token for the same.
    I feel one of the best ways to differentiate in this space apart from efficient contracts of course is creating a great token model for aggregator users to participate and own.
    I feel Merit Circle & its partners have lots of experience in the tokenomics design and can greatly help this product in that aspect.
    That said I want to highlight that moving fast is really needed in this space right now. So better to work on launching & iterating product in the short term and may be hint at a possible token model in the future.

I will be voting YES to this proposal.

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Greetings everybody,

as @deepu256 already mentioned there’s still opportunity in the aggregator space and OpenSea could use Gem in a way that favors them, as Sphere is a direct competitor to Opensea.

The strategy to capture a large user base and then monetize via various methods is probably the best way to go. However, I would not want to see ads on the platform. Ads are a cancer of web2 and should not be a part of web3. Introducing a token at a later stage when tokenomics are well thought out can still be another way to fund the project. This would also give the community the opportunity to benefit financially from it and not just VCs with equity.

I see a lot of synergies for both MC DAO and the aggregator team around @0xDouwe. The community benefits as well so it’s basically a win-win-win.

Considering the advantages and low initial costs I think this is a no-brainer and I’ll be voting YES.

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Thank you for the proposal. Think this makes perfect sense for the MC DAO to accept this proposal. Another aggregator in this market which intergrates Sphere and hopefully pulls in more trading will only benefit MC. Plus the team can help with all the other areas that you may not be as knowledgable in, so it seems like a great partnership to me.

Will be an easy YES.

1 Like

Dear Douwe,

Let’s start off by expressing our gratitude for this post and the willingness to add value to the Merit Circle DAO. We are fortunate to have such a talented community that’s eager to contribute in their own way. Now, let’s zoom in a little bit and share our thoughts.

Independent contributions
The power of a DAO is the fact that you are home to dozens of individuals that all come together to work on a common goal. This creates a hub for idea generation and collaboration. The stronger the brand and the community, the better the ideas become and the more effective the collaborations will be.

As we proceed, we see the power of the individual becoming more evident. An individual can build a product suiting their own needs while finding the strengths from collaboration when necessary. There’s no friction throughout the development process, only additional knowledge to be gained through the feedback and expertise of others that contribute in their own way. We salute this, and wish to encourage many others to take this very same route.

We have asked the Merit Circle DAO’s main developer to run through the code, to quote; “That aggregator code looks tasty!” This stamp of approval gives us confidence that the author has a certain level of credibility and skills.

Discovering the unknown
Whereas this proposal is well thought-out and describes at length what the idea entails, there are tons of unknowns that have yet to be discovered. Suiting, the author proposes a clear start-up phase that allows the author, and other contributors, to discover these unknown and answer any questions. We believe that we are in the position to strongly advise in terms of user acquisition, branding and marketing.

The use case
We’re thrilled to see the potential of this idea and do agree with the author that there is plenty of space in this industry for an additional aggregator.

We believe NFT aggregation is a very useful application. It is a growing space that we suspect will only grow bigger with the growth of the NFT market. It is likely there will be a few dominant aggregators and a few dominant primary nft marketplaces. Sphere is building a primary marketplace, hence, there is no direct competition in our view, only addition. We also suspect there will be a lot of potential synergies from having the Sphere team and an Aggregation team cooperating.

The strategy to optimize for usability and growth of the user-base first is one we subscribe to. First we need to build something useful, grow a user-base and fuel your application with data. This will allow to further improve the UI/UX of the product and attract even more users. Once you have a large userbase there are always ways to monetize a useful (D)application. We therefore agree on not focussing on monetization too early for this specific application. It’s encouraging to see the author is aware of all these strategic considerations and that these align with the DAOs values.

Value accrual
As the author has described in his post, the goal here is not only to build something that can contribute to the overall NFT space, but by doing so also return value back to the MC DAO.

We will always be looking into ways to maximize revenue for the MC DAO and optimize the volume towards Sphere. Naturally, this goal should not interfere with the usefulness of the aggregation dapp. The useability of both our primary marketplace and the aggregation dapp in itself should always precede other considerations, else it will never be a successful dapp. It is important that an aggregation dapp is neutral in its core offering and has a suitable level of independence. The myriad of potential ways to bring value back to the Merit Circle DAO, either directly through equity ownership (and monetizing the aggregation dapp) or indirectly through cross-selling or expertise/resources exchange is something that we should crystalize later in the journey.

In terms of ownership we think it is important to confirm the proposition to both sides for clarity. As laid out in the proposal, merit Circle DAO will get 50% of the common shares in equity. Please specify to what use the other 50% is labeled, team equity?

As we understand new equity will be raised as preferred shares. Diluting the relative monetary share value of both the team and Merit Circle, but not the voting rights. This part does not have to be set in stone, to maintain flexibility in the best way to structure the raise and get the best result.

We think it is important that in the event that a token is released that Merit Circle DAO (or all common share holders) get an equal pro-rata share of tokens.

Equity/ownership
Through a legal structure with different servicing entities the Merit Circle DAO can hold equities. Infact, it holds a lot of equity and will likely own much more equity in the future. The DAO will be able to monetize on equity, just like it can monetize on tokens. There are just a few structural differences that lead to a general preference for tokens over equity for the DAO. Such as liquidity, transferability and composability.

However, we recognize equities also have their place in this world and the future world. This is why we are structuring in the way we do. We will soon release more details about our structuring. We are structuring in a way that it’s the tokenholders who legally own the underlying equity, through the DAO. This is something that most DAOs do not have, even the ones that have the infrastructure to invest in equity.

Proposal
Given our feedback we believe that the proposal is not complete as of yet. Therefore, we wish to ask the author to include a section in the proposal that clearly states what is being voted on. We believe this should include the following;

  1. The acceptance of this proposal grants the Merit Circle DAO 50% ownership in the to-be created equity of the proposed project.
  2. In the event that a token is created, it should give Merit Circle DAO a pro-rata amount of tokens. Proportional to the amount of team tokens the team equity would get in such an event.
  3. Merit Circle will help with bootstrapping. This includes legals, branding, planning and fundraising. This is where the 50K budget is used for.
  4. After the bootstrap phase, Merit Circle DAO will remain a founding partner, but the aggregator team will be led by an independent team. The seed raise funds can be used by Douwe to comprise a team.

Housekeeping
This post has been issued in the wrong section of the forum. Has this been intentional or are we good to move this to the ‘Governance’ category?

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Dear team,

Thank you for your response and support for this proposal. I too believe the aggregator will bring great value to the DAO in both financial and technical aspects. There is no other team and project that I have more faith in to enter a partnership like the one we’re about to embark in (given the proposal is accepted).

In terms of equity distribution, I believe it’s most appropriate to grant 50% equity to the DAO and 50% equity to me. During the structuring of the fundraise, we can include the issuance of an employee option pool, which will be used to offer valuable team members a stake in the company. I think this is an important point to mention and therefore should be included with the 4 other points mentioned by you.

If you agree with the above mentioned above mentioned proposition, I’ll include these points in the poll section of the proposal.

Regarding the category, I must have excitedly clicked post too soon. We’re good to move it the Governance category.

3 Likes

Dear Douwe,

Thank you for the quick response. We’ve been discussing your latest addition to the proposal and have come to an agreement. Throughout structuring the fundraise, we will further negotiate on the terms for this mentioned employee option pool, but we certainly believed this should be part of the proposal at this stage.

The post has been moved to the governance category. If the proposal is updated, we shall vote.

2 Likes

Vote is up!

Head over to Snapshot and put your $MC to work!

https://vote.meritcircle.io/#/proposal/QmcZfm6ytj536u8fpNB8Npme8b2gdjLiipQQtYbPt9pbnB

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