To be clear, BIP-37 serves to open up discussion on how to govern Botto's periods and what existing standardizations are all but in place. New additions to Botto's system have already been included in BIP-36: Fifth Period.
This means that while we may move forward with certain items presented in BIP-36: Fifth Period, that does not mean they cannot be changed after (or even during) Botto's Fifth Period.
In response to Botto's growing needs for predictability, reduced governance bloat, and standardized operations, BIP-37 formalizes the structure and processes of a "Period". A Period, redefined from an initial annual cycle to a 12-week interval, embodies Botto's creative lifecycle - from art creation to community participation and finally, auctioning of chosen artworks. The absence of standardization in this process has, however, led to perceived rushed considerations prior to period launches, hindered narrative building, and ultimately created governance inefficiencies. BIP-37 establishes a clear, predictable Period and governance structure, enhances transparency and timeliness, streamlines governance procedures, and improves data comparability across Periods.
The following sections specify proposed standardizations in Botto's Period, including auction and round structures, buffer periods, art engine, theming, voting process, contract utilization, budgeting, and governance processes.
The TL;DR of this BIP:
- Changes to anything related to Botto’s Period are passed through separate BIPs
- Existing Period and Round format is used as the default
- Existing Art Engine format is used as the default
- Existing Rewards format is used as the default
- (Included in BIP-36) A 2 week buffer becomes the standard amount of time between each Period (§2.3)
- (Included in BIP-36) Models are permanently culled when they represent less than 5% of the Voting Pool (§2.7)
- (Included in BIP-36) New themes for Botto’s next Period are voted on from the 11th Round (§2.8)
- (Included in BIP-36)Botto would use Transient Labs’ ERC721-TL Creator Contract instead of Manifold’s Creator Contract (§2.10)
As Botto continues to grow, there's an increasing need to standardize the way the DAO governs certain aspects of Botto as a means of ensuring predictability and reducing governance bloat. For these reasons alone, the DAO should be seeking to standardize what a “Period” of Botto means as an attempt to reduce friction between periods.
The concept of a "Period" has been a fundamental part of Botto's operations since inception. A Period, initially defined in Botto’s first year as 52 weeks, is now as a set interval of 12 weeks. Succinctly, a Period represents a lifecycle of Botto's creative process where it generates art, garners community participation (voting process), and ultimately brings selected artworks into fruition with an auction.
The specifics of each Period can vary substantially, leading to potential confusion, lack of clarity, and a sense of unpredictability not only among our community members, but to external parties as well. This arguably hinders narrative and collective meaning making processes. A further tradeoff with added variability between periods also impacts the systematic gathering of insights and analytics, making it more challenging for us as a DAO in assessing Botto's growth. Finally, the current process of setting up a BIP every period may be considered “bloat” in governance - and has not been done so in a timely manner, adversely affecting deliberation time. This goes against the grain of the DAO actively being able to work together to improve Botto - we need to collectively understand what levers to pull, if not introduce, in a timely manner. We’re certain that at this point, the current Period BIPs feel like reading “fine print”, which is a subpar tradeoff to a process that already seems fairly standardized to the eyes of a trained Botto participant.
Standardization of the Period process will add cadence, de facto standards, and thus clarity, to the whole process of setting up a new Period. This BIP aims to formalize and standardize the structure and processes involved in each Botto Period. By standardizing, we aim to:
- Provide a clear, predictable (Period & Governance) structure for the DAO to participate in and share with others
- Foster a sense of transparency through timeliness in Botto's operations and governance.
- Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Botto's governance process.
- Improve comparability in data and analysis across different Periods.
In the sections that follow, we outline the proposed standardizations for each component of a Botto Period, including auction structure, round structure, grace periods, the art engine, theming, the voting process, contracts used, a default budget, and governance (meta) processes.
2.0 Specifications: Components to Standardize
The following are components seen across every Period BIP so far that we aim to standardize:
What is this?
A "Period" refers to a predefined cycle or timeframe in Botto’s cadence, typically set at 12 weeks, during which Botto generates art, engages the community in the voting process, and ultimately auctions off selected artworks.
A period will remain 12 weeks long unless adjusted by the DAO through a separate proposal.
What is this?
A "Round" is a weekly interval of the overall Period during which the DAO votes on fragments (unminted artworks) added to the Voting Pool. A round lasts for 7 days.
Rounds will remain 7 days long, with the leaderboard opening up 24 hours prior to the round ending. The round specifications are as follows:
- Rounds begin every Tuesday, 21:00 UTC
- Leaderboard opens every Monday, 21:00 UTC / 16:00 EDT / 13:00 PDT
- Rounds end every Tuesday, 21:00 UTC / 16:00 EDT / 13:00 PDT
- New fragments are added to the voting pool every Tuesday, 21:00 UTC / 16:00 EDT / 13:00 PDT
- Auctions are scheduled on SuperRare to begin every Wednesday, 21:00 UTC / 16:00 EDT / 13:00 PDT
- Auctions are scheduled to end every Friday, 21:00 UTC / 16:00 EDT / 13:00 PDT
Changes to the Round format are required to pass through a separate BIP.
2.3 Buffer Between Periods
What is this?
A buffer between Periods, sometimes referred to as a grace period, is a set amount of time between each Botto Period. These have typically spanned between 1 to 3 weeks.
This BIP standardizes the buffer between periods, setting it to 2 weeks. The DAO may opt to fill this buffer with collaborations, derivatives, an extra Botto mint, or anything else it desires. What happens within the two week buffer is not specified by this BIP, and would require a separate BIP.
What is this?
A weekly auction is scheduled at the end of each Round. Auctions take place on SuperRare. > The format of each auction on SuperRare is as follows:
- Scheduled auction
- No reserve
- 48 hours
Any change to the auction format or schedule needs to be proposed through a separate BIP.
2.5 The Art Engine
What is this?
Botto creates art through its Art Engine, drawing feedback from voter behavior. For an overview of how the art engine works, please refer to its documentation.
All specifications outlined below are only valid for Botto’s “Period” voting pool. The default set up for the art engine is as follows:
- Botto creates artworks of varying aspect ratios (artwork format)
- The voting pool rebalances based on voters’ model preference
- Voting pool artworks rebalance based on voters’ preference on artwork format
- 350 artworks each round are culled by least-earned cumulative VP
- Total voting pool size at any given time is 1050 fragments
By default, the art engine does not incur changes between periods. The incorporation of new mediums, models, or other aspects that affect how or when Botto produces art should be introduced to the DAO in separate BIPs.
2.6 Model Percentage Weights
What is this?
Models are allocated a percentage of visibility in the voting pool whenever they are added to the art engine. What this means is that each of Botto’s models are allocated a certain amount of fragment “slots” in the Voting Pool of 1050 fragments. A model with 100% percentage visibility would occupy 1050 fragment slots.
When no new models are added to the pool for a subsequent period, the final percentages from the preceding period are inherited for the next period. A hypothetical example follows:
Rebellion’s final round ends, with the voting pool models’ percentage visibility:
To add a new Model to Botto’s Art Engine, the DAO needs to submit a standalone BIP.
When a new model is added, the model would be allocated a percentage of visibility based on the quantity of other existing models in the pool.
This is calculated:
Other (old) models are then proportionally distributed the remaining percentage allocation according to their performance in the previous Period:
When a new model was previously added into Botto’s “Rebellion” Period, Botto employed the methodology above. A new model cannot be added into an existing Period.
2.7 Cutoff Percentage for Model Exclusion
What is this?
When a model’s percentage visibility falls below a certain threshold, we can ask Botto to take action and exclude the model either until the end of the period, or alternatively exclude the model permanently. Currently, there are no cutoff percentages specified.
If a model comprises 5% or less of the Voting Pool, the model is permanently excluded from Botto’s Art Engine in the next round. Its remaining percentage is redistributed equally among the remaining models. Based on the scenario above (outlined in the table in §2.7), VQGAN would be removed, and the final 4.8% allocation would be redistributed equally to the four remaining models (1.2% to each model).
With each model running separately on its own instance, this allows us to reduce incurred costs in Botto’s creation process (turning off a model). As Botto evolves to include more models, the 5% cutoff may always be reviewed in a standalone BIP.
What is this?
Themes shape Botto’s artistic direction, with one theme being voted through by the DAO each Period. Botto uses only the most voted theme as a guideline to create its artworks throughout the Period. Before each Period begins, Botto proposes various themes for the DAO to deliberate upon. The DAO votes on 12 themes in total.
- The 6 highest performing themes from the previous Period will be kept.
- The 5 lowest performing themes from the previous Period will be discarded.
- Botto will propose 6 new themes on the 11th (penultimate) round of each Period.
- These will be voted on until the 12th round begins.
The existing theme format would be standardized through BIP-37. Subsequent changes would require a separate proposal.
2.9 Artwork Output: Aspect Ratio & Metadata
What is this?
Botto’s Art Engine outputs fragments in varying aspect ratios, attributing titles and descriptions to fragments:
- Aspect Ratio: Variable between Portrait, Landscape, and Square. In-between aspect ratios are also used by Botto.
- Title: A title is attributed to each fragment prior to being added to the Voting Pool
- Description: A description of the winning fragment is selected by the DAO through a description voting process. This takes place within 12 hours of a Round ending.
- Metadata:: Metadata is attributed to the mint of the winning fragment, based on voting data. Metadata includes Round, Score, and Voting Points of the winning fragment.
Botto autonomously creates the above mentioned with the exception of metadata, which is based on voting behavior. These are not subject to change.
2.10 Period Smart Contract
What is this?
Prior to the start of a Period, Botto deploys its own smart contract to manage the collection of artworks created throughout the Period. Manifold’s Creator Contract has been used for Botto’s Fragmentation, Paradox, and Rebellion Periods.
This BIP proposes that Botto mints its Period Smart Contract using Transient Labs’ ERC721TL Creator Contract. This contract is preferred over Manifold’s Creator Contract, allowing for support of Artist & Collector on-chain interaction through “Story Inscriptions”, and hosts many other improvements that may be found here.
This BIP proposes the use of Manifold's Creator Contract, which is the current contract used for each of Botto's periods.
Royalties for secondary sales remain set at 10%.
2.12 Economy System (Rewards & Incentives)
What is this?
Every period, the DAO decides how auction revenue is distributed within the DAO. Historically, there have been three different ways in which auction revenue has been distributed. These have been:
1. Active Rewards: A percentage of revenue redistributed directly to participants within a given Round.
2. Retroactive Rewards: A percentage of revenue reserved to be distributed to DAO participants across a given Period.
3. To the Treasury: A percentage of revenue sent directly to the BottoDAO treasury.
The current economy is set up to distribute 50% of revenue to Active Rewards, and the remaining 50% of revenue is sent directly to the DAO treasury. Retroactive Rewards were sunset at the beginning of Botto’s fourth Period, ‘Rebellion’.
Any changes to the Economy System of Botto would require a standalone BIP.
Infrastructure costs for supporting Botto’s Art Engine are currently budgeted at $10,000/mo. Subsequent model additions are required to have budget increases specified in their own BIP.
4.0 Criteria of Success
Clarity, predictability: Successful implementation of this BIP should provide a clear, understandable, and predictable structure for Botto's Periods. This should make participation easier for BottoDAO members and improve our ability to share information about Botto's processes.
Transparency, timeliness: This BIP should ultimately promote transparency in Botto's operations and governance processes. Standardizing a Period’s setup should ensure that changes and updates are implemented in a timely manner, reducing confusion, the potential for miscommunication, and eleventh hour considerations.
Governance efficiency: BIP-37 should reduce the need for repeated deliberations over the specifics of each Period, freeing up resources and attention for other areas of governance and development.
Comparability: By standardizing the structure and processes of each Period, BIP-37 should improve the ability to compare data and analysis across different Periods. This can contribute to a more accurate and meaningful assessment of Botto's growth and progress over time.
Bureaucracy: Significant changes to the format of a Period may require multiple BIPs, working against one of the intentions of this proposal. If every modification to the Period setup requires a separate proposal, it might lead to an excessive number of proposals. This could overwhelm us as a DAO.
Lack of flexibility: Standardizing the Period setup could limit flexibility and potentially stifle our own innovation. As Botto grows and evolves, it may be beneficial to have the freedom to adapt Period setups to meet circumstance or opportunity.
Resistance to change: As we become accustomed to the setup of a standardized Period, we may become resistant to subsequent iterations.