Proposal: 🕵 Research Guild (Q4 2022) - N3BI


The objective of this proposal is to do research and refinement of a Nation3 Basic Income (“N3BI”), as a temporary project within the :male_detective: Research Guild.


The proposal builds upon the thoughts already published by @anastasiya in UBI as a public good - or unleashing human creativity and @0xGallego’s feedback given in Proposal: 🧧 Basic Income for Nation3 Citizens.

“Introduce UBI for Nation3 citizens” is one of the Phase 1 milestones listed on the Nation3 website:

North Star Metric

Metric: Number of active citizens.

Current metric: 17 citizens voted in the last Snapshot proposal (N3GOV-20).

Goal: Grow to 50 active citizens by the end of Q4 2022.

Definition of active: A citizen devoting 1h/week to Nation3.

Theory: A Basic Income for Nation3 Citizens will produce an incentive for passport holders to be active, so that they can become eligible to claim the basic income.

Work Plan

Definitions and Clarifications

  1. Clearly define what it means to be an active Nation3 citizen. Is it a citizen who votes? Is it a citizen who works? Is it a citizen who is involved? Is it based on activity during the past 1 month? Past 2 months? Past 3 months?
    • Based on that definition, clarify whether or not the Nation3 Basic Income is meant to be an Unconditional Basic Income.
  2. Decide what we mean by basic income. How much is it? $3/month? $33/month? $333/month?
    • For comparison, the Proof of Humanity $UBI is currently distributing $4.50 per month to each registered human.
  3. Suggested by @TonyStark: Do further research on how tradstates have tried to implement UBI systems.
    • The UBI Guide by Scott Santens is a good place to start.
  4. Decide if the Nation3 Basic Income should work the same way for all types of citizens?
    • GENESIS citizens
    • STANDARD citizens
    • Nation3 Fellowship citizens

Sybil Resistance

  1. Suggested by @0xGallego: Research sybil resistance strategies to avoid incentivizing the same people to hold more than one genesis passport only to abuse this distribution.
    • Giving basic income per GENESIS passport builds an economic incentive to distribute your $NATION between multiple locks and claim a passport with each one. Research how to avoid this incentive.
  2. Research sybil resistance strategies based on NationCred and how they compare against other solutions, e.g. the Gitcoin Passport.

NationCred Integration

  1. Research scalable methods of moving citizen activity (NationCred rank) of an Ethereum address on-chain.
  2. Research incorporation of Snapshot voting into NationCred. Should we create a subgraph for querying Nation3 citizens’ recent voting activity?
  3. Research incorporation of Dework reputation into NationCred.
  4. Research other ways of measuring a citizen’s on-chain/off-chain activity dedicated to Nation3, and how to incorporate them into NationCred.
  5. Research how to use SourceCred’s cred score to estimate the number of hours dedicated to Nation3 per NationCred identity.

Funding and Distribution

  1. Research sustainable options for funding the basic income, including sources outside of Nation3.
    • Akin to the Effective Altruism Giving Pledge, would the tens of thousands of tradstateless digital nomads out there be interested in pledging 3% of their personal income to fund N3BI each month? If so, what would be their incentive for doing so?
    • Jack Dorsey’s #startsmall LLC?
  2. Research types of ERC-20 tokens that would work well as an income token, and how each type would affect the system as a whole.
  3. Gather learnings/insights from Proof of Humanity’s UBI project.

Technical Specification

  1. Following the research listed above, refine a detailed spec on how N3BI should work, specifically in the distribution method and its governance.

Research Period

Q4 2022 (Mid-Oct → Mid-Dec)

Research Labor

200-300 hours


8,600 $USDC + 8.6 $NATION
= 4,300 $USDC + 4.3 $NATION per month
= 1,000 $USDC + 1 $NATION per week

Research Workforce

@anastasiya, @yukiw, @aahna, @johnmark13, @TonyStark

Work tools:

Governance Pull Request


This looks great, @aahna !!
All the work points you included are very valuable to be able to introduce N3BI in a sense full way.
Looking forward to read the outcomes from this research.


Great proposal. I am looking forward to the outcome of this research and it’s application into further improvements of Nation3


One of my main concern for UBI was sustainability and scalability, which was slightly addressed in this post.

  • We can also consider building “public” revenue generating digital infrastructures by Nation3 to go to the UBI treasury.
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Love the proposal - I think it addresses all the issues pointed out in the previous version, and covers well all areas that need to be investigated for UBI to be feasible.

Great work @aahna - super excited for this!

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The ubi is a good thing, but I wonder when the Chuangshi passport will be minted. 180 Genesis passports, 18 for each vote. Participation is really not high. Nation3 needs some activities to let everyone participate.

I really like this proposal, specially the part around NationCred and measuring the hours that each citizen would be contributing to the project, which can be a good proxy to Sybil resistance, which can potentially enable 1-person 1-vote in the future. While I personally don’t believe in 1-person 1-vote as ultimate governance (as proven by democracy falling apart in trad states), it can be useful for added checks and balances to our existing governance system (e.g. imagine token-weighted + 1-person 1-vote for sensitive decisions).

Anyway, it feels like N3BI is valuable per se, while the research and tooling leading to it can also be helpful and recycled for other purposes within the project.

In terms of comp, have you thought about taking part in stables, giving the current low liquidity of $NATION? The DAO can raise more stables to not affect the market right now, and contributors might take whatever they need for daily expenses in stables instead of $NATION, leaving it for long-term alignment comp.


@luis Both options seem good to me. Do you suggest we change the proposal’s budget from $NATION to $USDC?

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Not exactly, I think there’s value in contributors receiving $NATION as long term alignment.

I’d ask the following: how much will contributors need to cash out to pay expenses? That should be $USDC, because if it was $NATION it would be sold. The rest should be $NATION.

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@luis Maybe $200 per week? So in this example, with 5 contributors, that would be $1,000 per week (in USDC).

That sounds reasonable to me!

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@luis All right, sounds good. I adjusted the budget to 1,000 USDC + 1 NATION per week. Is this what you had in mind?

Updated PR: N3GOV-21: Research N3BI by aahna-ashina · Pull Request #23 · nation3/gov-proposals · GitHub

Also note that the $200 per person per week will only be paid out when a person was actively contributing during the past week. So the total sum after 2 months will end up being less than $8,600 if we will have weeks with inactive contributors.

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Makes sense! But if you are trying to reflect both amounts, keep in mind you need two transfers in the PR (one for each token).

does this also apply to $nation distribution?

This assumes even contributions from each member each week, while that might not be the case? E.g. it’s possible that one or two of the contributors do 2x the work, if the other one or two are inactive in a given week? Should probably be weighted, could be using coordinape or dework retrospective allocations?

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@luis Added the second transfer to the governance PR.

@anastasiya We can use the Coordinape CoVaults for the fixed weekly USDC payments to each active contributor:

And for the $NATION distribution it can be weighted, like you suggest, using a regular Coordinape Circle :smiley:

So each active contributor would get $200 per week as a base, plus their weighted share of the 1 $NATION.

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I feel very sorry for bringing this here, as I am no one in this community. I definitely lack information on the whole situation of the DAO, but as a token holder with the opportunity to voice my opinions I want to provide my thoughts on this proposal and why I voted negatively last time.

**TLDR: ** Focus. Focus. Focus.

Small organizations struggle really hard when they are shipping, most startups fail for a reason. Dangers await in every corner and choosing the right battles at the right times is critic. I’m not against N3BI research whatsoever, I actually love reading about it and how it could be integrated. But, shipping a product and finding its PMF is hard enough for dispersing the energy in several projects in this early stage. When shipping everyone attention should be on the details, BD, design, vision, development, funding, GTM… It’s a titanic effort from a whole team!
You are building an amazing team building an amazing product as court is. Why not doubling down on it? Why not focusing everyone’s efforts in its success? Otherwise I find it hard to see how that product can survive such an arduous battle against the establishment and provide a more open and efficient system.
I’ve seen many organizations fail due to the lack of focus, that’s why I believe the research Nation3 should be doing should be on types of legal contract that can be ported into the service, business development, legal abstractions, UI/UX, product, development, funding… All the things that will help Court to succeed.

I understand that “diversification” is key in a DAO, yet I can’t stop thinking there’s a time for everything and seems to me Court, as the base of this organization (imo) right now, needs the love from everyone. Anything that brings any small distraction from its success should be scrutinized and deeply studied to ensure how it adds value. And in this proposal, I can only see (and correct me if I’m wrong) the NationCred research as valuable, potentially improving the community and contributor scene across DAO’s if well executed.

With this I don’t want to discourage anyone from Nation3, but actually the opposite, nudge into what I feel is tapping the biggest opportunity and ensuring its success, for the sake of our community. I would love this research team to center their efforts into Court so sooner than later DAO’s and individuals across the world can access a fair system. There are tasks available for everyone present in this proposal in that project. Like, business development for Court is probably going to be even harder than the pure product development. I hope the mission at hand motives everyone here, as I would love to see each one of you one working together in it to see how far we can get this. Once that base is done, it will be a robust base for any other project, to expand and tap into other dark forests.

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You are right about this, and I would argue that this is equally as important as the development of court. I understand your perspective on the importance of being focused in the early stage of a startup, but as we scale we also need to be aware that the right incentive structure for contributors and community members would also promote talent retention.

Moreover, this research is not out of scope for our milestone in phase one.

Again, I understand that the court system is a critical infrastructure, but it shouldn’t negate further progress in other areas in the milestone. The court is still under development and continuous progress is being made in some of the area you mentioned above.

Echoing @0xPaella 's comment.

Timing (Not if but when)

It’s not that N3BI is something we don’t want. It just doesn’t feel like the right timing. Please don’t take my disagreement in a negative way. I have nothing but happy and positive wishes for N3, otherwise I wouldn’t put my time into writing this.

Self reflecting questions

  1. Is our first core product Court or N3BI? (Prioritization: If we can only have one right now which do we choose?)
  2. Will creating a working and balanced UBI be easy or hard? [cost]
  3. How much value will a working UBI create for N3? [benefit]
  4. How risky for N3’s survival will spending time and resources on a UBI be at our current stage? ( Are we at the stage where UBI is something we can easily afford if it fails? ) [risk]
  5. Is the cost to benefit to risk ratio high enough to justify resource allocation right now?
  6. Are we thinking objectively? Is researching and building a UBI an objective strategic product decision that shows it makes the most sense to do now, or are we pushing it forward for an alternate reason?

Current proposal

This proposal is lacking a detailed explanation as to why it’s needed so early in development. I don’t see a compelling product idea, I see that the theory that a N3BI will increase activity, but that is not a validated idea yet. It may work out that paying people to be active through N3BI would bring in a group of extractors who do the bare minimum required to game the system to collect their N3BI.

I think it can’t be overstated how risky a UBI is to N3. UBI is not an easy thing to create, it’s actually never been successfully done before. I know we want a UBI, but if we rush in too quickly we might blow up N3 before it has a chance to get off the ground.

Missionaries and Focus, Focus, Focus

At our stage it’s critical we build a team of passionate missionaries dedicated to building a core value adding product to sustain N3 from.

Court serves a clear value prop and acts as the base level for everything else to be built on. I agree that we should be thinking about doubling down on court to ensure maximum chance of success.


What do you think of revisiting N3BI research in 6-12 months once the court system is running and has established a basic product-market-fit? ( @luis @anastasiya @aahna )

In the mean time there have been some great discussions around UBI in Agora, we could keep the discussion going to evolve our thinking on this more before spending money on research/building.

I saw this too late (gonna set up notifications for the forum!) but here’s my take:

Focus in a small organization is paramount. However, if there’s one thing that DAOs are good for, is exploring multiple parallel routes. This is possible by having different guilds (some of them more open, some full-time, etc.). All guilds are focused on the OKRs, but each guild has its own scope. Within that scope, the guild should be laser-focused.

I believe that even if we wanted to have everyone in this proposal work in the Court right now, it would be useless. Why? Because I believe that Nation3 Court doesn’t need 7 people working on it part-time right now. What it needs is 3 people working on it full-time, with some others contributing in the sidelines.

But besides that, why is it useful to explore N3BI? Few reasons:

  • This proposal will lead to an active citizens metric, which we don’t have now, therefore making it impossible to meet this quarter’s OKRs.
  • Research around NationCred and measuring active citizens might take us to some Sybil-resistance, privacy-preserving way of introducing 1-person 1-vote. This can be a powerful tool to introduce more checks and balances. Checks and balances are what gives Nation3 Court legitimacy.
  • N3BI can be a powerful user acquisition and incentives mechanism for Nation3 Court. For example, N3BI recipients could receive added $NATION collateral for participating in higher-stake agreements, instead of just getting cash. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

I’m personally very excited about how synergistic this proposal is with Nation3 Court and the current OKRs. If most of the contributors who will work on it where meant to work on Nation3 Court, I’d oppose, since launching the Court is more important than building stronger checks and balances or incentives mechanisms on top of it. Said otherwise, with no Court this proposal wouldn’t make a lot of sense to me, but having the Court being launched soon, it seems quite complimentary.