I read your comments on Reverie’s performance with great interest. Your perspective is undoubtedly important, and we all value your insights. However, I confess to feeling somewhat surprised and perplexed by your stance. It is my understanding that the overarching objective of dYdX is to build a truly decentralised trading platform. If so, then an effective DAO is undoubtedly crucial to support this. I am convinced that the dYdX Grants Programme offers a fantastic opportunity to begin crafting this DAO and, in doing so, establish a standard for the rest of the ecosystem.
From where I stand, your satisfaction with Reverie’s management of the DGP seems at odds with my experiences, as well as those reported by other grantees in our community. In my most recent encounter, it took Reverie seven weeks to reach a straightforward conclusion on a retroactive grant and an additional three weeks to arrange payment.
On one occasion, we were paid $500 USDC less than the agreed amount as we were sent DYDX tokens, with no payment notification, instead of USDC. We were later told this was just “the cost of doing business in the space”. I then had to bear that loss to pay the developers for their work out of my own pocket. This experience, along with other inefficiencies I’ve encountered, did not meet my expectations of an optimally run DGP, especially considering the significant compensation involved.
Furthermore, I’ve noticed numerous comments and complaints on the forums regarding delays and inefficiencies in the application process, along with other issues that anyone can view publicly. These comments escalated to the point that the foundation had to intervene, and Carl had to hide his online status from the community—a situation that persists today.
Just a couple of days ago, we had a community member publicly express dissatisfaction during a Town Hall meeting, complaining about how severely underpaid they were, despite their incredible work. Whilst I am grateful for the support we have received and the opportunity to prove our worth, I have personally witnessed founders of other trading journals post public “lol” messages regarding the funding we received in return for the work carried out by us to get the trading journal to its MVP version. I know of one instance where dYdX has now missed serious opportunities, such as promoting the exchange to 4,600 Russian-speaking traders, due to Reverie’s reluctance to fund appropriate amounts to the contributors undertaking this work. I suspect perhaps also due to personality clashes and personal grievances—an issue when you have a single point of control.
These experiences highlight a substantial disconnect between your assessment of Reverie’s performance and the reality the broader community faces. While I won’t dispute that Reverie may produce excellent results with those they selectively engage, this current approach introduces biases and judgments that appear contrary to the ideals of decentralisation and autonomy that I believed we all strive for.
Interestingly, a couple of the positive comments above are from members of the foundation and yourself, none of whom directly work with Reverie as grantees, and Chaos Labs, who, to my understanding, as pointed out publicly by community members, received a significant advance of $300,000 over a year ago for work that has yet to be executed, with no public clarification about this payment and its purpose other than it being a means of “locking them in” for potential future work. Also, Max, the top compensated grantee, who, while performing extremely important and professional work and who I respect and am in no way criticising, would naturally have a favourable view of Reverie.
To clarify, In some aspects, I have had positive experiences also, and I don’t wish to criticise but to enhance the DGP’s functionality and performance. The conundrum is that If we don’t point out the inefficiencies you’re unaware of, and actively find solutions, how can we expect to improve? And regrettably, by making these statements, I might be compromising our chances of receiving the funding we need to build out more projects for dYdX. This is a major reason why most people won’t voice any negative experiences that could be reflected upon to improve the DGP. We hoped to secure funds to develop an advanced v4 analytics dashboard like this prototype we are currently working on and the fully featured v4 trading journal, but I fear that achieving these goals may now be challenging depending on how personally Reverie takes this feedback.
If a centralised organisational structure is what you envision for dYdX, it would be beneficial to make this clear today to prevent community confusion and frustration. If, however, decentralisation and autonomy remain the objectives, I believe my suggestions for the DGP offer a constructive way forward.
Rather than having Reverie oversee all aspects of the DGP—which, given their proposed control over 90% of the funds and Alexios’s semi-control of the rest, appears to be the case—they could manage the clients they choose to work with separately. Concurrently, we could build a new governance platform over the next six months to manage a secondary grants program and other organisational facets, all within a fully decentralised and autonomous framework. This setup would promote the necessary checks and balances, be efficient, cost effective, and encourage accountability.
As demonstrated by the broader industry’s evolution, I am convinced that this council-centric, decentralised approach to governance represents the future. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on my perspective and am eager to collaborate with you to ensure dYdX and its community continue to thrive.