What is the Optimism Collective?


The Optimism Collective (opens new window) is a band of companies, communities, and citizens working together to reward public goods and build a sustainable future for Ethereum.

Together we will dispel the myth that public goods cannot be profitable. Public goods (including public goods for Optimism and Ethereum) often go underfunded when incentives aren't properly aligned, forcing many to make trade-offs between earning a profit and building for the common good. The Optimism Collective is bound by a mutually beneficial pact, a vision (opens new window) that can be summed up with the equation Impact = Profit.

# Impact = Profit

The Optimism Collective will deploy a new model for rewarding those who create or sustain public goods - retroactive public goods funding (opens new window), to support projects and communities building for the common good.

Retroactive public goods funding is advantageous because it is relatively easy to agree on what is useful, and see who built it. It is a lot harder to identify in advance what will be useful, and which team will do the best job of building it. The possibility of an eventual exit payment can also encourage investors to fund initial public good development efforts until the usefulness is obvious, in the same way that the possibility of an eventual IPO or buy out encourages investors to fund startups today.

# How is this going to be governed?

The Optimsim Collective takes an experimental and agile approach to governance (opens new window) relentlessly iterating towards a system which stands the test of time. Initially, the Collective's model of digital democratic governance will consist of two houses: the Token House and the Citizens' House.

# Token House

Governance of the Optimism Collective began with the launch of the OP token and the Token House. OP was distributed to hundreds of thousands of addresses that engaged in positive-sum, community-oriented behavior with Airdrop #1. You can read more about the distribution criteria here.

As Token House members, OP holders are responsible for submitting, deliberating, and voting on various types of governance proposals. In carrying out these functions, OP holders may either vote directly, or delegate their OP voting power to an eligible third party.

The Token House votes on these proposal types:

  • Governance fund grants
  • Protocol upgrades
  • Inflation adjustment
  • Director removal
  • Treasury appropriations
  • Rights protection

Read here for more details (opens new window).

# Citizens' House

The Citizens' House is a large-scale experiment in non-plutocratic governance (opens new window) and retroactive funding of public goods. Citizenship will be conferred by "soulbound" (opens new window) non-transferrable NFTs, and the set of Citizens will grow over time. The exact mechanism for distributing Citizenships will be determined by the Foundation with input from the Token House.

The Citizens' House is responsible for retroactive public goods funding (RPGF) (opens new window). The funds for RPGF will come from several sources, including:

Read here for more details.

What is described here is an initial experiment. The specifics of this system will evolve as the Collective grows.