[DRAFT] - Reduce CODE Requirement to join discord

Reduce CODE Requirement to join discord

Authors: @kempsterrrr
View discussion from the last stage of the proposal here. (provide a link)


This proposal suggested reducing the CODE requirement to join discord to be inline with the minimum level of rewards issued as per the 15 CODE/hour model - 15.


The current requirement of 400 CODE to join the server presents both economic and practical barriers.

  • Members: for members joining the DAO, the current price of CODE as per coingecko is 0.116106 which means it cost 400 X 0.116106 = $46.4424 to join discord. Given the CODE token is only available on DeFi exchanges, there are significant gas costs associated with performing on-chain swaps that increase this cost significantly.
  • DAO: With the current 400 code level, it is expensive (in Governance tokens) for the DAO to welcome a high-volume of members into discord.

By reducing the CODE amount we can reduce the economic barrier for non-members looking to join and also reduce the cost to the DAO of rewarding participants sufficiently for them to join the discord (i.e those who submit to hackathons).

We can also make the CODE token “go further” in-terms of rewarding contributors in access to discord.

The high-level goal here is to have more builders in the DAO and thus a bigger impact on our mission to “Accelerate the Education and Impact of a new wave of web3 builders”

Scope of Work

We proposed reducing thus requirement to 15 CODE.

This brings access to discord inline with the minimum rewards issued by the DAO for participation in our community under the 15 CODE/hour model.

Putting these changes into effect is simple:

  1. Reduce the CODE requirement on guild.xyz/dd from 400 to 15
  2. Update all docs and materials around the DAO to show this change.

Given this is a significant reduction and therefore largely an experiment as well as the fact the CODE price on the open market will move over time, we further propose a Quarterly temp check vote in Governance to get the community’s perspective on if this threshold should be re-evaluated.


  1. Reduces the barrier to entry, making it easier to join the DAO than previously has been the case - this could, in theory, result in more folk joining who are less “invested” in the DAO
  2. Might be perceived as unfair on Members who have previously joined at the higher rate
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I didn’t expect it to be this low, but I can understand the rationale put forth. I can also see a case for increasing it to around 50-100 as an entry. But that’s based on its existing fiat price.

I do also see a somewhat counterintuitive upside in the 15 $CODE framework that’s been put forth. The lower price incentivizes people to acquire more (as already alluded to above), and the lower price allows for greater distribution. And as far as the automated money markets goes, this activity can potentially drive up the token price. Eventually, those 15 $CODE tokens will need to amended due to the higher cost of 1 token. Essentially what I mean is that: the perspective can begin to shift when you start dealing with a token in smaller units, ascribing some value (possibly also utility) to that smaller amount — and then working your way up from there. This perspective can even end up influencing the token price.

“15 $CODE gets a membership… imagine what 400 $CODE can do?”

There’s a psychology to this.

This is where Platform Architecture, Systems Security, and Community Management come to the fore. The onus in the team to be proactive about these 3 elements working in tandem, to mitigate bad actors coming into the DAO.

I doubt there will be much issue with existing members. Many of us paid for the Genesis NFT. Many qualified for the airdrop, may had theirs gifted to them.

I’d be keen to hear the thoughts of anyone who is opposed to reducing the financial barriers to entry.

Totally agree, the psychology around this will be interesting to see play out. I thnk low barrier to entry will help us get as many people as possible into the funnel of opportunity (levels of the game) being created in the DAO.

Like games now are free to play, I think if there is a low barrier to entry and then some form of effort required to earn the tokens to get to the next level (i.e. submit in Hackathon/Fellowship/whatever), will create for a better gamified experience for everyone vs setting the bar high just to start playing the game.

yup - big known unknown here. @Billyjitsu and co in Community and myself and others with responsibility around infra will need to be on the ball as the numbers go up.

me too :pray:


Not fully convinced this is the right path. We want $CODE to be worth more, in order to be able to use it as a meaningful reward for contributions. People getting 400 tokens to enter the discord is the only thing sustaining the current value. Reducing this demand will lower the already low price.

I do agree that lowering the amount of CODE will allow more people to join the discord. But I won’t expect newcomers will be fully engaged with the DAO. When something is cheap, people tend to undervalue it.

If we want to increase the membership, I would suggest to give more scholarships (and similar initiatives), instead of reducing the amount needed. Just my two cents.

That was my first thought too, but maybe more people would simply buy CODE if less of it would get you in. More buyers, more demand, higher price :thinking:

Well, I have purchased the developer dao nft to gain access to the server and it cost a lot more than the current 45$ price.
I am really hoping the decision will take into account this as well.

Besides, the token price has been not going anywhere since the volume for the token is very small.

Since the token price after the spike has been down trending, we can expect the barrier to entry to decrease over time naturally.
I think the decrease in token entry amount will plummet the price. To guarantee it will not happen, how about minting the existing holders more $code

cc @Erik_Knobl @Kay @pfedprog

Pleased to have some alternative perspectives shared.

I don’t think we can say this with any certainty. I also think worrying about the short-term price impact of lowering the code requirement to join discord is a mistake for a few reasons:

  1. The DAO !== Discord - everything else we’re doing is already open to everyone so why not discord?
  2. Discord is very quite - Members come and members go, and we need a consistent flow of new members to realise our mission and grow the value of the DAO
  3. Networks grow in value based on the number of nodes in the network (Members) and the strength of the connections between them (relationships). If we don’t have members in discord making relationships how does the network value grow?

If you are worried about the price of the token for those reasons I believe lowering the price and getting more people into the discord will help that, not hinder it.

We could keep issuing scholarships as @Erik_Knobl has suggested but it’s very expensive to the DAO treasury at 400 CODE per person just to enter discord, same applies to rewards for hackathons, giveaways etc. - we’re spending a lot of Governance token to welcome folks in.

My high-level view is:

  1. We reduce the barrier to entry and welcome more folks in
  2. Once the activity is back up and we’re confident we have the numbers, we begin to introduce utility to the token by gating access in a tiered way.

For example:

  1. 15 CODE to join discord
  2. 50 CODE to participate in a hackathon
  3. 500 CODE to participate in a fellowship program
    and so on…

(zero calculation on these numbers, just for illustration to make the point - I think of this as playing levels in a game, each level requires more points to unlock)

It would also be interesting to consider other means of both incentivising holding the token and reducing sell pressure. For example:

  1. Require contributors to take X CODE to hold a role in the DAO
  2. Require applicants for the Fellowship program to stake Y CODE to access the program
  3. Require staking of token to participate in Governance
  4. Create other means of value for holding the token (i.e. a grants round voted on by members similar to ENS small grants)

You could even introduce things here, such as - if you complete the fellowship program, you receive a yield/reward on your staked tokens, if you drop out, you get slashed.

I strongly believe these kinds of ideas, introduced slowly and over time, will have a much bigger positive impact on price than not lowering the barrier to enter discord.

I feel this deeply, I imagine a lot of other people do as well - thanks for sharing it.

To my point above if we all believe in the mission here and want the value of the DAO to increase over time, help more people etc., I don’t think keeping the barrier to entry to the discord high is an objective way of achieving either of those things.

It sucks that some folks paid a lot more for entry, but I don’t believe the emotion connected to that fact should be a driving force for lowering the barrier or not. IMO, the motivation should be squarely rooted in what is best for the long-term ability to deliver on our mission. I believe we need to make it easier for folks to join to realise the DAO’s potential to deliver further on its mission.

The other big challenge with keeping the CODE requirement so high is liquidity as @pfedprog pointed out - there is not enough liquidity in the market for folks to join currently. The DAO is unable to provide liquidity directly due to laws that apply to the foundation, we can, however, purchase tokens back from the open market. To do that, we need revenue, to get revenue, we need an active community, Keeping the barrier to entry high makes that harder, thus we’re able to buy tokens back from the open market and help seed demand for the token.

TLDR - lower the barrier to entry, increase activity and value in the community, introduce token utility over time, grow the treasury, buy tokens back from the open market.


I personally think 15 $CODE is far too low. My reasoning here does not have anything to do with potential effects on the token price, but more so the quality and eagerness of contributing members that would have joined at a lower price.

A thought I had would be what if we halved the cost to join D_D Discord (200 $CODE), but we keep the minimum amount for governance at 400 $CODE? The extra 200 $CODE needed to govern might encourage those members to contribute and earn $CODE.


There is no minimum in Governance - whatever number of tokens you hold you can vote.

Curious to get your perspective on the points share here in response to @pfedprog questions

If the assumption is that reducing the CODE requirement to join the Discord will activate the Discord and result in more people joining, I would question that logic. First, I would test whether this is really the case and whether people are not joining the Discord because of the cost.

I have a feeling that these two assumptions are not connected. I would address the issue of Discord activity by providing value to the overall structure, thereby attracting people to rejoin, instead of lowering the entry requirement.

Here are my thoughts So far, i have not read all the replies yet.

I think what i am concerned with is members just joining the server and turning it into the spam/shilling peace of garbage.

I really like the model of ETH Global.

I think members should stake to join the event so we can improve the number of submissions and people collaborating with one another.

There should be mentors, who should also be reimbursed. POAP could be enough.
And we can actually raise the bar for code here to become a mentor.

Treasury can grow by allowing some to shill similar to ETH global.

I have no issue with code going to zero. But the costs will still be related to gas for new members. And the NFTs prices are directly related to code entry price.

Entry Code amount → NFT prices → ability to create tokens/NFTs

I want to experiment with temporary memberships. Maybe there is a way to build a smart contract with ERC20 to automatically cycle through addresses and an ability to recall by DAO.

Agreed. The token price (cost of entry) and discord activity relationship is certainly not linear, although I’m sure on some level of connection.

I think the more significant part of this is lowering the cost for the DAO to welcome new members into Discord via scholarships, hackathons, and maybe choosing other ways to recruit verified builders (Airdrop to ETH Global winners, for example).

Right now, doing this is very expensive in CODE at 400 per person, if we reduce it, it’s much cheaper, and therefore, we can welcome more people.

I don’t expect a huge influx of new people purchasing entry when we reduce this but it does mean the budget quoted in Labs Budget - 2023-Q3 or any other budget can go much further in growing the community with the right kind of people (builders).

If we do get a huge influx of new people purchasing the token to get in and it becomes shilly, we can always raise the threshold again.

I don’t believe we have the demand/activity for this yet - many of the folks participating in our hackathons are non-members getting involved with the DAO for the first time - If we introduce this now I think it would have a large negative effect on the viability of our hackathons.

That said, once we’re in a better place exploring this would be awesome so long as we don’t end

I would love to see this also and have given this feedback to @Piablo and the mentorship team - taking juniors/first-timers through hackathons is a huge positive.

The idea of temporary membership is interesting although launching another ERC-20 under the DAO umbrella is not so much given legal uncertainty. Bankless do this in their server, so maybe this is something to look at more closely.

Really love the idea of making the DAO more inclusive and accessible to others. I’ve spoken to many members who ‘had to wait’ for it to be affordable.

@kempsterrrr you make a lot of good arguments for getting more folks into the DAO, and hopefully not only in name, but hopefully (primarily) in Discord ‘doing worthwhile stuff’ . Making a presence would already be positive and create the ‘nodes’ you mentioned.

There were good points about keeping a bit of a barrier to stop abusing the system. I find 15 $CODE on the low side and might cause a lot of noise. And psychologically, the network fees might be a real bummer when folks see they are 10 times higher than the actual transaction amount. Personally, I always need to ‘talk myself into’ doing that type of transaction in order to see the real investment in the token I’m looking at.

I like the idea of staking and slashing that you mentioned. One thing I think we should always consider in these deliberations is the fact this is an opt-in community, and we opt-in to the rules of the game, and once in there, we can work to change them, if we don’t like them, just like we are doing here right now. So regarding more of a barrier, I think this is a good signal to say to folks, “if you wanna get an easier trip into this ‘club’, these are the barriers you need to get over”, and if folks want to abuse the game, then let them, but they lose access to the DAO if they get slashed. And these things might dispel any injustice felt by members who paid more to get in, because they won’t be getting slashed.

I would consider 99 $CODE as an entry and see how it goes - with that psychological 2 figure as opposed to 3 - we could maybe create a narrative around it. And the gas fees would be closer to the price of the tokens (that rationale maybe coming from my position of privilege),

Is it a possibility to wrap our tokens and make them accessible on another chain and grant entry that way?

p.s. I didn’t know we could cast a vote with less than 400 $CODE??

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This. Wasn’t the initial point of minimum 400 $CODE to equate to minimum tokens needed for governance? I’m not sure about at what point that direction was lost or removed along the way.

I completely agree that there is a need to make the DAO more accessible to those without the resources to pay for their entry in.

Here’s how I’m thinking about the motivation behind this proposal:

  • Why do we want to lower the barrier to entry?

    • To make it easier for interested members to join.
  • Why do they want to join?

    • To participate in the various experiences the DAO provides.
  • Why does the DAO provide experiences for its members?

    • To fulfill its mission (accelerate education and impact of next wave of web3 builders)
    • Create sustainable revenue streams that fund more experiences for members.
  • Why is a growing member base important?

    • Partners are attracted to working with Developer DAO to provide experiences because of the DAO’s concentration of web3 developers.
    • There has to be a balance between the number of experiences for DAO members and the number of DAO members to participate in those experiences.
    • More members results in more experiences results in more revenue. This is the path to sustainability for the DAO

More Members → More Partners → More Experiences → Sustainable DAO

So, I think that lowing the barrier to entry via a reduction in the amount of $CODE required to join the DAO is ONE solution to address the goal of growing Developer DAO to be sustainable.

If the goal is to increase members, what are all the reasons the DAO may not be doing so?

  • It’s too expensive?
    • Addressed by lowing the token requirement
  • Is it clear what the benefits of being a member are for those on the outside?
  • Is the requirement to own/understand a wallet and tokes in web3 keeping people away?
    • Should we explore more web2 friendly solutions
  • Is it difficult for member to earn $CODE through participation activities?

@Gordo said it well here, there are assumptions to be better understood.

It’s important to understand why the DAO isn’t attracting more members, and be able to clearly articulate the problems. I think @kempsterrrr’s proposal to decrease the $CODE requirement is a step in the right direction to solving this problem.

When it comes to the consequences of lowing the barrier to entry, I think there are some really good points made above.

Lowing the amount of CODE required means we can be more efficient when giving out memberships through hackathons, scholarships, referrals. I personally gave out 16 memberships via $CODE, that could have been 416 new members for the same amount of CODE had the barrier to entry been lowered to 15.

The point of using a tool like Guild is to allow members to gain access to “the next room” as they earn more $CODE through participation. Earning your way to be able to vote in governance for instance is a great model, ad @kempsterrrr’s point on setting requirements of 100 or 500 CODE to participate in other experiences allows the DAO to gamify participation. It’ll also be important to provide ways to earn the CODE required to participate, but again that’s only when agreed upon models are in place.

Hope this was helpful, I’m not opposed to the decrease, personally I think the more the merrier, especially when the next bull hits. This just seems to be the start of a very important strategy to improve member experiences and establish Developer DAO as the place for Devs in web3.

The initial points was to ensure the CODE that was issued to all NFT holders (400) was equivalent to the CODE requirement to get into the discord - it has never been a limit on Governance unless I’m misremembering :face_with_peeking_eye:

Looking back at P-5: Governance Token Proposal, I don’t see a mention of this, but the sheer fact both of you are asking the same questions shows there’s a lack of clarity here.

Does this change your thoughts on the CODE threshold for discord?

this is possible, yarrr. Would make us issuing out rewards cheaper as well however does raise other challenges

  1. How do we create liquidity on an L2 when we’ve so far be unable to create it on L1
  2. Might make the UX for newbs harder (i.e. do they need to understand how to bridge and also pay even more gas doing that)

  • It is cheaper for the DAO, or even members who hold tokens, to welcome new members

A critical piece here is more members means more peer-to-peer value created, as well as there are more members for every other member to vibe, learn, build and govern with.

Broadly speaking i guess my views are if we lower the barrier to entry in a way that doesn’t damage the experience for existing Members there I only see upside:

  • More inclusive and accessible community space (everything else is open anyway)
  • Cheaper cost in CODE to welcome new folks (Treasury goes further)
  • Bigger network of members so more peer-to-peer value and network level value created

There only two downsides I can see are:

  1. People historically have paid more to get in
  2. Increased danger of bad actors joining discord as cheaper
  1. Increased danger of bad actors joining discord as cheaper

On this last point. If this is the biggest worry, for a bad actor, I don’t think the difference between 15 + 400 code is really going to make a significant difference here - most of the cost is in the swap anyhow.

Seems to be hard to reach a consensus here on a number and whilst we’re waiting for more stewards to engage - @mannyornothing @rubinovitz - I wonder if a few of the steps below might help:

  1. Hold a series of polls in discord on the topic to gauge community sentiment
  2. Hold a Twitter space or Discord event to discuss it openly
  3. Move this vote as is to Snapshot ASAP for force a binding vote
  4. Move this vote to Snapshot with agreed options from points 1 and/or 2 to force a binding vote

love to know thoughts and any other ideas :pray:

Could quite possibly be a Mandela effect based on previous Discord conversations! Thanks for the clarity mate

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Forgive my noobness on finance and liquidity…(anybody who knows me, knows my aversity to money) Do I assume there would need to be a liquidity pool on an L2 with wrapped$CODE and something stable to balance that pool with, and that (amount of) stable coin would be the liquidity you’re referring to, that’s absent? If so, I understand your point (as well as the status quo coming from the Foundation’s restrictions for being able to ‘sell’ $CODE).

Since I’m here, to the second point. If we are thinking about financial inclusion as one of the main drivers, isn’t doing business on an L1 a non-inclusive operation since a couple of years ago (is for me) e.g. if i want to onramp a few euros FIAT, I would do it to an L2, and complain heavily about it if I had to do it to Mainnet Ethereum. What I mean is, if anyone is new in the space, and doesn’t have a big, big lot of cash to play with, would their UX not simply be an L2, like mine?

I’ll leave all my naive suggestions of having a vault for staking unwrapped $CODE on L1, because, 1. I don’t know what I’m talking about…obviously, and 2. we don’t have the liquidity problem solved anyway.

just wanna add. I’m totally averse to this token weighted model. Not forgetting that we’re an ‘opt-in’ community, the sooner we have a soulbound token per member, and one member, one vote, the better. “the wisdom of the crowd” is much more meaningful and inclusive than the “will of the wealthy”. And we could eventually use sortition to ‘call up’ the wisdom of the crowd, so that they are having 'these deliberations instead of the few of us here" (see Citizens' assembly - Wikipedia)

Given the CODE token is only available on DeFi exchanges, there are significant gas costs associated with performing on-chain swaps that increase this cost significantly.

We can also consider bridging CODE token to Optimism using this guide https://github.com/ethereum-optimism/optimism-tutorial/tree/01e4f94fa2671cfed0c6c82257345f77b3b858ef/standard-bridge-standard-token

This will reduce the gas fee for people to get access to CODE since L2 cost is lower = further reducing the barrier to entry, and we can factor the price of the saving on gas cost back into the gate fee.

I reckon doing this will reduce the cost of swapping by about $10

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guys, I do not want to sound pessimistic but I have little clue where to even get the token.

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