[SCP-54] Proposal: Commission research through the Messari Hub

In an effort to scale the amount of quality, long-form research, we are proposing ShapeShift commissions quarterly reports through their existing membership in the Messari Hub. This would serve to better inform the crypto ecosystem on major developments and ongoing fundamental changes, effectively attracting more builders, entrepreneurs, and investors providing value to the overall network.

These reports would live as free resources on Messari and would be distributed through our newsletter (200k subscribers) and various social channels.

Currently, there is a high barrier for those within existing project communities and the broader crypto world to stay informed and up to date with all of the major fundamental and protocol-level changes. While there are various analytics dashboards, blog posts, and messaging channels, it is still cumbersome to have a strong understanding of all the important happenings going on. This leads to a misallocation of resources, both time and money, since there are stakeholders that are not acting with the full breadth of knowledge at their disposal.

To alleviate this problem, many of the largest projects and DAOs are expending additional resources to better surface a lot of this core information. These initiatives are serving to increasingly professionalize this industry, however, what is still missing is the proper contextualization of this data from an independent third party that would allow an outsider to gain better insight into what’s going on.

We propose that ShapeShift commissions four quarterly reports (example) over the next year beginning Q1 that present and analyze key KPIs and fundamental metrics, governance developments, upgrades, and key roadmap initiatives on a recurring basis. We will also build out dashboards to standardize the quantitative information and enable it to be viewed in real time (example) as well as host analyst calls to discuss the report and engage the community.

The total cost will be an upfront payment of $125,000 payable in stablecoins.

We’d love to hear any and all thoughts on this proposal and if there are any changes or additions to the research topics that you think would be value-add for the community!


thanks for this proposal @jpurd17!

I could definitely see value in working with Messari to create this content and distribute it to your large, targeted following.

The $125,000 cost does seem rather high to me when you consider what else we could do with that funding though (ie. hire a full time contributor for a year). If the total cost was $25,000 for example, I would be more inclined to support this proposal.

Can you talk a bit about how this expense is calculated/justified @jpurd17?

On a related note, were you able to attribute any positive KPIs for Compound and COMP to the report you did for them? Did they pay the same $125k cost?


I have a few of the same questions that @willy does in terms of cost/benefit. The cost is a bit high, but maybe you could help me understand a little bit more in terms of what building out dashboards to standardize our real time information feeds encompasses. In terms of what I understand potential benefit to the ShapeShift DAO to be I could possibly even try to stomach a number under 50k but 125k is hard to justify out of the gate with given information.


I like the idea of commissioning this research and the over all concept of the proposal, however have similar concerns/questions around the cost as mentioned by @willy and @huntthewick .

Would it be possible to start with a price for just the Q1 report, rather than an upfront annual cost for 4 reports? I think it would be easier to pay for the first report upfront and subsequent reports could be then commissioned based on the success of the first one if the community is happy with the results.


@willy Regarding the cost, it goes towards the following:

  • Dedicated data science team to build out the dashboards. Querying on-chain data and presenting it in a clean, standardized format is actually quite resource intensive @huntthewick
  • Analyst hours in writing the report as well as a lengthy in-house editing process to ensure it’s professional grade research
  • Marketing work to spread across newsletter/social as well as coordinating the analyst call (here’s the link to the one we did for Compound)

While you could pay a contributor to do something like this, I think it’d be rather difficult finding someone with the data science skills to pull the numbers while also having the research skills to properly contextualize the data. And even then, if the end product isn’t widely consumed it loses much of the value which is where Messari’s distribution channels come into play.

Regarding the Compound report, this was something we discussed with them over the summer shortly after launching the Hub when we were still getting a feel for the offering. At the time, we thought the report would look similar to a standard report so priced it as such (greatly underestimating the time expenditure for this format). In terms of response, Robert Leshner gave the following feedback:

It’s really exciting to see these aggregate charts and this presentation of this information just in this fashion. Historically there have been dozens, if not hundreds of individual dashboards created by members of the community. Some of them funded through Compound Grants, some of them built by members of the community and hobbyists. And it’s really, you know, I think impressive to see the content and data that has been brought together in this report so far, because I think it’s without a doubt the most comprehensive and complete and effective and insightful information that I’ve seen so far


Thanks for the response @jpurd17

I can definitely see value in DAOing this. I think the biggest concern I have with supporting this at this time is the opportunity cost of what we could with that $125k.

The more revenues and positive KPIs that can be included in the report, the more valuable the report will be. While ShapeShift DAO already has a handful of revenue streams, we’re less than 6 months old, and increasing and expanding these streams is going to be a major focus throughout 2022. I think allocating the proposed $125k towards efforts that will increase these revenue streams would be more prudent at this time than funding this research report. Down the road, once we have a more impressive degree of revenue streaming into the DAO and thus more working capital, I would be much more likely to support an expensive endeavor such as this.

This is just my 2 DOGE fwiw; curious to hear what other community members think about funding this now vs. down the road.


Again, my preference (if possible) would be for the DAO to commission one report to start (for around 30k) and then once that is out the community can reevaluate if it wants a longer term engagement with messari.


Is the Governor dashboard included in the scope? If so, can you speak to how that data is gathered as well as any customization available?

@cryptmiss The Governor dashboard is free for anyone to use :slight_smile:

@jonisjon for a more lightweight proposal, we could start with a standard Initiation of Coverage report (example) for $25k and then reassess quarterlies down the line when it may make more sense


I think I would be in support of trying the 25k option then seeing how it goes from there!


I think I’d support the $25k option too as a start, appreciate that flexibility @jpurd17 :heart: