SubDAO Incubation: LanguageDAO Whitepaper
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February 14th, 2022

Author(s): Matter (MatterTurbulent#5161) | zerohash (Tet#7609)

Editor(s): Enfin (enfin#5116)

Updated: 23 Feb 2022


PeopleDAO launches the LanguageDAO subDAO

The goal of LanguageDAO is to lower language barriers in web3 through a combination of translation and interpreter services and mission-driven activities. The services include interpreting conference calls like DAO Twitter Spaces and translating crypto white papers, which often feature evolving technical jargon and regional slang that defy automated translation solutions. Revenue generated from these types of services fund mission-driven activities consisting of outreach into the marginalised countries, free education, and advocating for web3 organisations to increase language accessibility.

We have identified the growing ecosystem on the Harmony blockchain as a good place to launch this DAO - being at the crossroad of language accessibility, funding opportunities, and growth potential of the ecosystem.


Statement of Need

Historically, English has been the ubiquitous language of web3 (Bell, 2018), although that fact is changing. Although English-speaking countries make up the majority of job locations on the web3.career (Web3 Career, 2022) website, just over half of the top 50 countries are non-English speaking. This is one indication the web3 industry is flourishing across the world. Subsequently, web3 teams will increasingly need to communicate with other teams who speak a different language.

Similarly, crypto markets are booming throughout the global landscape, hungry for products and services. Nigeria, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Turkey rank the highest in terms of crypto adoption rates (Buchholz, 2021). Additionally, 60% of consumers say they will not buy a product (CSA Research, 2020) if they cannot read the marketing language. The market in China for Bitcoin rapidly expanded once Satoshi’s whitepaper was translated into Chinese (Bell, 2018). Understanding a crypto market, and the underlying technology, is fundamental to participating in that market.

Web3 presents an opportunity, allowing unbanked individuals living in countries with limited banking systems access to financial services. Additionally, web3 can enable entrepreneurs to sell goods abroad, when these individuals would otherwise struggle to connect with international payment systems (Scott, 2016). Yet, persisting language barriers threaten to cut off marginalised countries from the opportunity of web3 (Bell, 2018). To further complicate the problem, terms for blockchain infrastructure, DAO governance, etc, can specialise within different geographical and cultural silos. Eventually the industry may settle on open standards, but in the meantime lingual and cultural translation has the potential to play key roles in facilitating both commerce and coordination (INATBA, 2020).

Harmony is already funding Regional DAOs , eleven at the time of writing, charged with onboarding web3 entrants and building communities in respective countries (Harmony, 2021). While this may solve some issues related to translation, Harmony would benefit from a dedicated translation agency, and an organisation driving connections across international groups in the ecosystem.


LanguageDAO Mandate

The DAO mandates help clarify the goals and operations of the DAO. The following three mandates will aid LanguageDAO in its future endeavours.

  1. Connect - translate and interpret web3 communications
  2. Advocate - campaign to lower language barriers
  3. Facilitate - organise events and educate, fostering intercultural exchange

PeopleDAO x LanguageDAO

Language DAO is a subDAO of PeopleDAO and as such we inherit talent, resources, and community engagement from our metaDAO. PeopleDAO was born from a web3 movement to buy a private copy of the US Constitution (Patel, 2021). Although the project failed, the developers bequeathed the $PEOPLE token to the community. PeopleDAO formed and adopted $PEOPLE as its governance token, impressed by the meme coin’s decentralisation, capped supply, and history. Now the Discord contains almost 10k members and the Twitter account boasts over 18k followers. The overarching goal of PeopleDAO is to advance web3 and social good leveraging both the $PEOPLE token and an innovative metaDAO model.

There are multiple reasons why PeopleDAO is positioned well to found the spin off LanguageDAO and succeed on the Harmony chain. The PeopleDAO community hails from over 15 countries, including Canada, China, Dominican Republic, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United States, and Vietnam. We have a dedicated translation channel in our Discord and every weekly meeting is conducted in both English and Mandarin. These multilingual contributors have the ability to engage potential customers and onboard people throughout the world.

PeopleDAO is housed on Ethereum, but thanks to a partnership with Celer Network and cBridge, the $PEOPLE token extends to many chains, including Harmony. LanguageDAO is currently in early development but a natural extension of the existing translation infrastructure in PeopleDAO, the Translation Team. As a participant in the $PEOPLE ecosystem, LanguageDAO will accept the token in return for services, in addition to accepting $ONE.


LanguageDAO Governance

A DAO should live up to its name of being a decentralised autonomous organisations. LanguageDAO adopts an open community mindset for its governance and project execution. This means that all DAO-related governance are in the hands of the community, led by community-elected governors to facilitate and organise soft and hard consensus discussion and voting. The DAO itself is governed by its own Constitution, which is abided by all member of the community - governance is conducted using the DAO's very own $LANG token.

Treasury

The initial three months of LanguageDAO operation will be a transitory period as we ramp up operations, and this also applies to governance. During this period our metaDAO PeopleDAO will act as a fiscal sponsor and retain custody of our funds in their Gnosis Multisig Wallet. Their 9 keyholders will execute transactions for our funds in accordance with their duty to support subDAOs. We plan to begin the process of creating our own treasury at the three month mark, also involving the election of 9 keyholders.

Decision-making

Similarly, the first three months will be a transitory period in terms of decision-making, before we elect Governors and issue our governance token. In the short term, project managers and their moderators will coordinate decision-making in the DAO. Project leaders will be elected through a self-nomination process and their moderators will be appointed. The community will approve project managers based on personal integrity and qualification. The elections will be discussed with the broader LanguageDAO community on off-chain platforms (ie. Discord, Twitter) to ensure absolute transparency and fairness. The project managers will engage with the community off-chain in community forum and group chat platforms to informally discuss the possible projects and direction the DAO will undertake for its development and long term sustainability.

After the transitory period the Governors will facilitate the consensus process, including both the off-chain discussion and on-chain voting. Off-chain discussion will aggregate opinions and formulate proposals, later determined by on-chain voting. As such, off-chain governance will always be dedicated to community discussion and arrangement, which will enable soft consensus proposals.

On-chain governance will consist of on-chain proposal voting using $LANG, where proposals from off-chain discussions will be voted on and executed if it fulfils a quorum threshold.


LanguageDAO Operations

For its translation operations, LanguageDAO will utilise the same incentive policies used by the PeopleDAO Translation Team. The approach is a modified version of the bounty system. Every month LanguageDAO will allocate a budget for that time period. Translation projects are posted within a designated Discord channel, or assigned by the team managers. Completing the project earns the translator points, based on the length of words; for example, 0 to 200 words earns 1 point and 1500 to 2000 words earns 5 points. Once the month concludes, the budget is awarded proportionally based on points accrued. Additionally, during each budget cycle the DAO awards the most active translator a further bonus.

For both interpreter sessions and campaigns to reduce language barriers, LanguageDAO will leverage a traditional bounty system. The Dework platform offers an effective means of posting, managing, and reviewing bounties.

Looking forward to expanding our operations, there are already groups of volunteers throughout web3 providing translation services for free. They should be incentivised to contribute to LanguageDAO in return for compensation. In parallel, the DAO will need to continue expanding its moderators. PeopleDAO offers a talent pool of project managers.


LanguageDAO Sustainability

The operations of LanguageDAO as a service DAO will ensure the self-sufficiency of the DAO. The community identifies and advocates for new clients and partners, ones who require translation services for their content. Such partnerships enable the DAO to exchange services for a fee, funding the operational endeavours of LanguageDAO, rewarding its contributors, and subsidising mission-driven activities.

We are still developing our pricing structure but will make decisions based on market norms, and so will charge $0.1 cents per word, for example (IsAccurate, 2022). Similarly, we will follow industry norms for interpreter services and charge $3 per minute (APA, 2020). We will continually assess the market and our operating costs and adjust prices.

Figure 1: Development phases of Language DAO.
Figure 1: Development phases of Language DAO.

Operational phase breakdown

Referencing our Gantt chart from Figure 1, our operations are categorised into 4 main phases that happen simultaneously. The first phase is the initiation phase. Here, we try to onboard as many community member and partners as possible to build the backbone of the DAO. During this phase, we will also begin our translation and interpreter service provision to our partners and clients. In order to assure quality deliverance, we conduct a mandatory quarterly performance review to identify areas for improvement.

The second phase is our research and development phase. Here, we will be developing products beyond the simplest translation and interpreter services offered. The DAO's token smart contract development will begin at this phase. This token will be used to govern the DAO by its community, contributors, and partnered associates. The last on our list for R&D is the development of a protocol that could help users in translation work based on a web3 login interface, via "Connect Wallet" function - similar to how Mirror.xyz works.

The third development phase is where we enact our decentralised governance by conducting a fair-and-free election of our Multisig Treasury governors, establish a treasury, distribute our tokens to the community, and officially begin our decentralised governance.

Finally, the final phase of development is where we delve outwards for expansion. The aim is to identify more community members and potential partners to join and collaborate with LanguageDAO. This is closely followed by our marketing to define the positioning of the DAO in the related DAO's market as a service DAO. Finally, an annual report for the fiscal year is to be published by the team to upkeep the transparency and performance of the DAO to the general public.


Three month deliverables

LanguageDAO has the following objectives for its first 3 months as it ramps up operations. These represent bare minimums:

  • 30 web3 document/article translations
  • 6 Twitter Spaces, Discord Townhalls, or other conference calls using our interpreter services
  • 3 protocols or DAOs that improve language accessibility in response to LanguageDAO advocacy
  • 6 free educational articles produced, with mission-driven topics such as explaining financial terms used colloquially in different countries

A wider view of our timeline can be seen in the Gantt chart depicted in Figure 1. Every three months we will evaluate our performance and set new objectives for the subsequent three months. If we fail to meet our targets we will review our marketing, incentives, staffing capacity, and other factors, and adjust accordingly.

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