[Pre-Discussion/Ideation] Diversifying the DAOs revenue stream through the re-acquisition of CoinCap

In my opinion there needs to be more initiatives and focus groups (leading to eventual special project workstreams) for diversifying revenue streams outside of DeFi – I’m talking SaaS/PaaS style. Of course, as with all things, its easier said than done. I have about a dozen ideas, but I’ll get the thread started with just one huge elephant in the room to get the discussion going, the creative juices flowing, etc etc.

CoinCap

The most glaringly obvious revenue stream that could be implemented with relative ease, to me is CoinCap. Market data and details on assets are everywhere and if you look in the right places, free. But CoinCap stands out in that because of its early founding,
it is actually sitting on a data goldmine that’s is currently … well, just sitting there for the most part. Historical OLHCV data dating back many years in multiple timeframes is an extremely valued asset in various giant fields: financial research, machine learning, and algorithmic trading and backtesting are the obvious ones that come to mind. Some easy and not-so-easy steps to prepare in bringing the data to market:

  • Update the frontend and design to be more 2022-esque and ShapeShift branded
  • Modernize the REST API for authentication, limits, security, etc.
  • Implement more websocket support for exchanges (long time supporter of CCXT here – they’ve already done the hard work for dozens of exchanges)
  • Here’s the kicker: begin creating a framework to include all these asset data (bretroactively as well, filling in gaps with existsing data thats already on chain) coming from DEXs. Just a few years ago the thought of a ‘near real-time’ websocket for streaming onchain data and decentralized protocols seemed like a daunting, ineffective, perhaps a waste of time. But projects like Blocknative, Quicknode, MoralisDAO, and a growing list of others + the rise of L2 networks have shown that although not perfect, it is achievable. And unless the data is being used for HFT bots, 10-60 seconds in delay from decentralized sources shouldn’t make a big difference.

If you do a quick Google search on the pricing of historical minute data for crypto, you’ll see why this could be a great source of revenue. Sure, it won’t make the DAO rich, but revenue is revenue – and this type of project would bring in the best type of revenue: recurring. Obviously CoinCap is not going to be the CMC or Coingecko killer, but a product/service like this coming from an entity as respected as ShapeShift could definitely turn some heads. Also opens up many doors and opportunities for partnerships outside of the DAO world.

Status of CoinCap

CoinCap is not under the ownership of the DAO at the moment, but the foundation has hinted that if a proposal is made and passes governance, they would be happy to either sell CoinCap to the DAO, or fork the project for the DAOs use.


I’d like to hear thoughts on this idea, as well as ideas for other SaaS-type revenue streams we can launch in 2022. Quick ideas: IPFS pinning service (come on, Pinata isn’t that great), ShapeShift Grants and Incubation, FOX-powered VPNs for the public as well as the DAO members, ShapeShift ENS Registrar (current official ENS platform is confusing and hard to use for most end users), etc. Basically any value-adding service that would give FOX more utilization power.

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Coincap discussion came up just a few weeks ago. Several of the points you mentioned. I like the way it looks currently, and is my first stop when looking at things. I dont know how to make it an income, but if doing so, makes it, that sounds like a great idea! :slight_smile:

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There’s a million ways to develop a strategy, but the obvious ones would be:

  1. Staking FOX or even straight up purchasing a subscription plan for ‘premium’ API access
  2. Utilize conventional payment methods, but give discounts if paid with FOX
  3. Make it free, but generate revenue through paid ads on the site
  4. For historical data, different price points for timeframes

etc.

The canvas is blank, and if this project was to be taken to the proposal level and the gears are beginning to move, I suppose it’d be the committee’s job to research and come up with some creative ideas, collaborate with the DAO + foundation, and ultimately bring it to market.

One thing I respect greatly about 1hive is that they’re in so many different projects doing so many things, it’s kind of beautiful to see. DAOs within a DAO.

Anyways – the point of this thread was to begin discussions, so everyone please feel free to chime in with ideas concerns criticism. I would especially like to hear thoughts from the foundation.

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A few things that are probably worth clarifying.

  1. The foundation doesn’t exist as of yet (target date of 4/1).
  2. The foundation doesn’t own CoinCap and doesn’t have plans to be the owners of CoinCap. Maybe @jonisjon can clarify, but from my understanding CoinCap is owned by Shapeshift AG.
  3. Whatever the DAO proposes would need to take into account the implications of maintaining the centralized infrastructure required to run CoinCap.
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I am not crazy about the idea of the DAO taking CoinCap. The biggest challenge is that we don’t even have enough resources to build v2 like we want. Having to use resources on CoinCap would dilute our attention and focus.

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So yea to be clear on these points.

(1) CoinCap is currently owned by ShapeShift corp, the corporation is looking for the right home for CoinCap hopefully before the end of the year (it will not be owned by the foundation).

(2). As @0xean mentions any proposal to take over coincap would need to take into account the centralized infrastructure and maintenance of doing so.

So overall I think this is an interesting idea. The ShapeShift corp does need to find the right home for CoinCap this year and I have certainty thought at times that the DAO could in a way make the best home (but there would need to be a proposal for the DAO to effectively acquire CoinCap from the corp to do so). In the meantime the Corp is exploring other options to effectively sell CoinCap to an interested buyer.

I share the same concern as @Josh that this could be a distraction from ShapeShift’s core mission though and am unsure if this is the best route to go.

One idea I have toyed with, but have not fully fleshed out, is the idea of perhaps breaking out CoinCap into its own DAO, but one where it is heavily tied to the ShapeShift DAO ecosystem (e.g. perhaps the new DAO airdrops most of its tokens to FOX holders including the treasury). Maybe this would allow a new community to pop up and support it without distracting too heavily from ShapeShift’s core mission (while of course still a lot of value accruing to the DAO treasury and FOX holders if it does do well). I haven’t had time to fully dive into this idea yet so I am not sure if it is the right or best way to go, but it may be worth considering.

I do think in one form or another a fully open sourced/community run version of CoinCap could be quite powerful and may actually give CMC a run for its money because that open source/community version of a crypto data analytics site does not really exist yet, but we should not underestimate that the work around creating such a new DAO/product/community would be considerable.

Overall I am not sure exactly where I stand on this yet, but I am open to the idea(s) and appreciate you get the discussion on this going @LPX

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Thanks for the thoughtful response!

I don’t think that ‘distraction’ from our core mission should be of too much concern – if a ‘normal’ conventional company saw a revenue opportunity, especially something it has already spent money in R&D, I think they would find a way to capitalize on it without losing focus or moving resources away from the core product line. The devs working on the platform would continue to do so, and there would be a smaller team formed for different projects.

But I can see how it can be distracting in terms of governance and treasury, so I love the idea of the sister/sub-DAOs under the mother DAO, ShapeShift. Also another reason why I love your recent proposal.

Anyways, this was just to get some discussions going on potentially completely new services/products to diversify the DAOs revenue, so all are welcome to chime in :slight_smile:

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