We interviewed Zack, the co-founder of Coordinape, who told us all about the contribution aspect in DAOs and the future of payments in them.
Before the behemoth of crypto and web3 came to life, Zack Anderson was working on sustainability as a consultant, and teaching it at schools like University of Washington and Antioch University.
In 2015 he started Converge, an initiative tackling complex social and environmental issues consisting of strategists and designers who worked in a massively collaboration-fueled fashion and had no formal salaries, where monetary rewards and resources were won on a case-to-case basis by those with the best ideas – one might say it was a phenomenon of a collaborative decentralized network in the physical world.
The aforementioned growth of blockchain tech and the ever-inspiring idea of working collaboratively led Zach and his peers to contribute to collectives like Yearn Finance, where, even though decentralization of work ruled, efficiency was a drag.
After experiencing the bottlenecks of DAO-like operations of that time, Zach and friends decided to start Coordinape, a software company aligned with the same values that makes rewards, contributions, accounting, and payroll effective for DAOs.
The first steps of Coordinape were about solving community grant distribution flow for Yearn Finance, then the project branched into building more generalized features that would suit any DAO that joins in.
The MVP of Coordinape was built off-chain to design the basic ideas of compensation in decentralized organizations, now work continues on the implementation of L2 EVM side chains and an ETH L1.
Although governance in DAOs is a very crucial aspect, the lack of salaries and HR itself make it difficult for people to actively, consistently contribute to them with certainty that they would be compensated for their work.
This largely limits the progress of web3 because if real incentives are not created by the DAO starters, the entity that's supposed to be an innovative organization can become just another crypto-related online community.
Coordinape makes all of this simple through intuitive dashboards, management options, analytics, and more. The platform allows anyone, whether it's a DAO member or DAO founder, to simply connect their wallet, access or create Circles that act as DAO departments, then begin tracking contributions and handling rewards.
The contributions are run in Epochs, which makes said tracking of DAO operations more structured and easy to follow. After an Epoch ends, the funds from Coordinape's customizable Vaults get sent to the contributors, the size of which depends on the previously set task parameters.
The task card structures are like DAO proposals, just faster and more efficient. Contributions can receive feedback from the workers' peers, then the gift circle can be distributed, the payments data of which can be exported as CSV.
The entire flow of contributors' operations can be observed through interactive graphs that feature members as nodes and lines as their connections to activities and other members. Coordinape's GIVE token represents budget portions of a given Circle, and enables fast distributions of rewards for work done.
As a DAO tooling platform, Coordinape also offers social bots, which were Telegram-only at first, and later ported to Discord for integrations with the Coordinape admin dashboard and more. The bots track and send out messages featuring Epoch-based transactions and Epoch details, as notifications increase the transparency of member activity and keep them updated.
Zach observed that DAO members tend to care about reputation as much as, if not more than monetary rewards – it's why the team is currently building and iterating on Experience Point-like features and structures that would help establish who among the members of a DAO deserves the most respect.
Although the Coordinape platform has over 150 DAOs as clients, many of them being significant players in web3 like Gitcoin, Developer DAO, Bankless DAO, Nouns, the project is still highly experimental, testing its features in phases to ensure that the social dynamics of decentralized organizations are understood and acted on.
More products are coming soon from Coordinape, as the world of DAOs seeks additional solutions to advance the cryptosphere further.