Grant Request [Tokenomics Review and Revamp by Dean's List]

Hello Marinade DAO,

I am DeanMachine & make this grant proposal on behalf of the Dean’s List Network State. We are a growing community of power users & decentralization maxis & are primarily Solana native. Our signature offering is UI/UX feedback but we are rapidly growing into a vocal platform around governance, tokenomics, DAO consultancy, adoption of open source software, blockchain analytics and much more.

Grant Proposal - Scope

The scope of the proposed grant would be to undertake a thorough tokenomics review of the MNDE token, MNDE governance & present our proposals around how to structure them in a goal congruent manner with the community at the heart of it.

Grant Proposal - Terms of Reference & Flow

The process entails:

  • A 1 hour introductory call with the MNDE community and Dean’s List community
  • Dean’s List core tokenomics team will craft a questionnaire to fill any gaps in understanding and goal setting
  • A 2 week exploratory session of Dean’s List community members. The goal of this is to have 3 unique proposals to present to the MNDE community.
  • Another 1 hour call to discuss the proposals and how to implement them.
  • Arrange up to two more 1 hour calls to help with implementation.
  • A dedicated Whale’s Tales episode to share MNDE initiatives

Specific to MNDE, we shall cover:

  • Distribution: Path to full circulation including what is fair / community owned & what is not.

  • Utility: Value Accrual, Creation & Capture including the flywheel &/or network effect between your token & your project.

  • Decentralization & Governance: The path to decentralization & finding optimum balance between token governance & council governance.

  • Incentivization Structures: User acquisition campaigns

Grant Proposal - Expected Team

The Team shall be led by myself & comprise:

  • Ahm3d - Citizen of the Dean’s List Network State with an expertise in Tokenomics & Governance. Joint lead at Team Tatami
  • Whale’s Friend - Citizen of the Dean’s List Network State with an expertise in Tokenomics, Governance, Defi. Co-founder of Grape and Host of Whale’s Friend podcast
  • Jack Guy - Citizen of the Dean’s List Network State with an expertise in Blockchain Analytics. He is also the Founder of Pine Analytics

Grant Proposal - Expected Award:

4,000 USDC in MNDE token (~20,000 MNDE) or 3,000 USDC

Our DAO will hold the MNDE token to increase our involvement in Marinade DAO and pay our members with USDC from our own treasury for their contributions on this tokenomics revamp.

References To Our Earlier Public Work


Where will this be published? Twitter thread/recaps are nice but I’d also like an article page somewhere.


I 100% agree!

At a minimum it would include an article and the inrerview/discussion video with Whale’s Friend


Hey Dean, thanks for the proposal. I have a few questions:

  1. It feels that forcing the grant to come up with unique proposals might end up working against the objective and I feel that we shouldn’t bound the grant to a specific number of proposals, but rather to some qualitative outcome of the research, for example
  • On DAO structure

    • A complete overview of the current DAO structure with its strenghts and weaknesses (what is controlled by who, etc)
    • A final structure that Dean’s list is suggesting, supporting the decentralization of Marinade while limiting the attack vectors, which can be discussed by the DAO and adopted at a later time (or modified)
    • An assessment of the potential evolutions needed for this structure as Marinade would grow or with more MNDE circulating
  • On tokenomics

    • A complete overview of the current and planned distribution with a suggested path to full circulation
    • An analysis of the current and potential future utilities of MNDE, potential flywheels etc.
    • Suggestions on crafting user acquisitions campaigns, etc

The end goal would be that those researches would both depict the current situation and explore the potential options for Marinade DAO in terms of governance structure and tokenomics (potentially suggesting the best options in your opinion), so they could be used as the basis for those future discussions and decisions, if that makes sense.

  1. Do you think calls between communities are an efficient way to exchange opinions and find a common ground to start the discussion? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to have a public place/channel dedicated for this discussion so it could be ongoing?

  2. I would also prefer to see those researches published as standalone/complete overviews rather than on Twitter, will it be possible on your end?


Hey there

We can surely make an article recapping the core proposals / outcomes as well. Open to that if thats what the community wants.


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Hey, gm.

Thank you for putting this together chief. One by one:

  1. We are fine with the proposed terms of reference for the grant - our existing approach also covers these qaulitative aspects but presents multiple options as paths to take. However, if the focus is required towards one recommended proposal which may further be improved upon, it is okay with us.

  2. Calls, in our experience, show participation levels better than chat rooms. Also, the exchange is more fresh & not susceptible to the chance that it isnt acknowledged as some text flow normally ends up being. However, we are open to have dedicated channels / forums where ongoing engagement can take place along with our proposed call plan. We already have experience with our community feedback service and designing a process around effective engagement for such forums is not a problem at all. We have the experience and the manpower.

  3. We are completely onboard with publishing the final outcomes / proposal(s) as a long form write up that may be a document earmarked for consumption by the Marinade community or making it public as an article. Whatever route you guys want us to take on this, we are game. Personally prefer the public route for utmost transparency and openness.

Hope this suffices in response to your queries. Happy to discuss further how we can align the outcomes & processes to what the Marinade community requires.



Overall, to me this feels like a proposal in search of a problem. Marinade is one of the best projects on Solana in terms of tokenomics and governance. I’m not aware of any glaring issues that need to be solved on these fronts.

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Having studied the tokenomics and governance parameters previously, I would agree with you that MNDE is, and has always been, far ahead of its time. However, innovation is a continuing process. The competitive landscape is not what it was when Marinade first launched nor did the design framework that exists today was there on Day 1. That too has continued to evolve - and so has the available tooling, ideas & competition.

We come forth from the perspective that Heraclitus had - “you dont step in the same river twice”. Change and fluidity are an essential part of our lives. We would request that the community considers this when voting for or against this proposal.

Thank you

Appreciate that and agree but also feel like a lot of the things the DAO has installed may be a bit stale at this point now 2-plus years old, and I wouldn’t mind being open to some new ideas now that we’re committed to Realms. For example, I’d love to get something out of this report that we could use to advocate for new Realms tooling in a hackathon, or get some interesting data from an angle not surfaced by Flipside yet.


Agree with btuck, even if the conclusion is “current tokenomics is good, there’s nothing to change”, the analysis part is still useful to create more awareness of Marinade DAO governance, and that could be required for new people are entering the solana ecosystem


@Ahm3d can you link some tokenomics analysis the designed team has made in the past?

Hi Luciotato

Thanks for the support. I think this will be very worthwhile no matter what

The best prior work we can publicly share is here

Thank for you taking the initiative here team. Although changes to things like tokenomics can be a very sensitive topic and any subsequent proposals may, in practice, face an uphill battle, I still believe it is a worthwhile endeavor to provide a comprehensive view in an easily digestible format.

A few areas which @Cerba highlighted that would also be of interest to me:

  • An assessment of the potential evolutions needed for this structure as Marinade would grow or with more MNDE circulating

  • An analysis of the current and potential future utilities of MNDE, potential flywheels etc.

  • Suggestions on crafting user acquisitions campaigns, etc

To further elaborate on the last bullet point (suggestions for user acquisition campaigns), I think it would also be useful to see a comparative analysis of all ‘competitor’ governance tokens and their respective utilities.

Finally, how would you suggest that the grant committee go about evaluating the output?

In my opinion, we probably want to avoid a simple checklist - ie did they do this or did they not? - and incorporate some qualitative measure of usefulness. How do you suggest we achieve alignment there?


Hey, gm

Thank you for laying this out. Our analysis touches upon all these aspects and be rest assured that we will be including this in the final report. The input from you and everyone else has been super helpful and we will, before we embark on any workflow, make sure that we share a full document of expected outcomes that the community has suggested.

To your point on evaluation, I believe goal congruence already exists as we are asking for compensation through a grant of $MNDE and not stables. Our work, if qaulitative and implemented, should have a positive impact on the protocol & accordingly benefit us as holders of $MNDE too with the intangible benefit of ecosystem visibility on top of that. Hence, its in our interest that the work we do does not end at a checklist and while we cant influence implementation, the aim would be to equip the community with enough ammunition to chart the way forward if they wish to do so.

That said, if there is another proposal on how to align our interests even more, we would be eager to discuss them.

Thank you


Okay the grant committee would like to go ahead and green light this proposal. Thanks for your patience and feedback and looking forward to it.


Thank you. Youve made our day & excited as ever to get going with this :saluting_face:

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Please provide your pubkey here and we will get the grant going. Thanks


This is the Dean’s List Network State Realms Treasury - you may send it here.


Also wanted to share that we are finalizing internally our execution strategy on this grant. The target is to go live on Monday and you can expect to hear from us shortly with a full schedule of activities and expected outcomes.

Thank You!


Hope everyone is keeping well

We wanted to guague the interest of the team and the community around a few ideas connected with this grant underway and thought best to use this space - there is some ideation we left elsewhere (under MNDE Season 2) and understandably some of you were upset. So here goes

Judging by the comments under the Season 2 thread where I had suggested the use of MNDE options to reward governance on top of any other rewards coming from staking and the MNDE emissions, I couldnt help but notice that there is a certain inertia that is prevelant in the community here. Precisely, the sentiment was “there is alot of MNDE in the treasury, we dont know what to do with it but we dont want to give it away because there could be future use cases where these could come in handy”

This is a very valid way of thinking but when prompted to define what these use cases could be, there seemed to be no clear idea. Hence, I want to use this post to help chew on a few ideas with you and see if we can find a way forward:

  • A lateral acquisition?
    Lets face it - Marinade is the number 1 staking platform on Solana but you have all these competitors now that are vying for the same market share. True, the amount of SOL not staked, liquid or native, is a pie available for everyone but where is your pulse on knocking off the competition by making them join you? MNDE in exchange for ownership based on a valuation. This increases circulating supply but likely gives you higher metrics on the core business side, more users and more revenue.

  • Token Swaps?
    In wealth management, where significant single stock positions are the case due to someone building a business from the ground up, inhertance or earning (through employee stock options schemes), the norm is to diversify away. Assuming, for a moment, this is the case with the MNDE in the treasury, what is the feel around token swaps with other DAOs to fuel user acquisition? For example, 10mn MNDE swapped with 50m PSY and the incoming used to reward members of the Psy community to come stake with Marinade. True, PSY DAO could put the MNDE recieved to the same use (or may not which is the best game theory outcome) but net net there is user acquisition. This is all cetris paribus ofcourse - this is only value accretive if you get a majority of unique users and not the same ones. That said, would like to see where you guys stand on this.

  • Cross Chain User Expansion?
    So there are multiple ways of doing this but realistically speaking wanted to throw out two ideas:

a) Doing a token swap with an ETH DAO and use the incoming token as an incentive to bring capital from ETH to Solana into Marinade

b) Using MNDE to bootstrap a best in class staking service on another chain

Again, more users, more revenue and a cross chain gospel.

  • Buyback & Burn
    All of the above deal with somehow using the MNDE in the treasury for user aquisition growth but as we know, there is a revenue base as well which, after paying for expenses, is essentially distributable if the community thinks so. I saw a thread here earlier where burning the MNDE was also ruled out as a possibility and I agree that a simple burn does nothing except give this sense of more scarcity then originally held. My idea would be to instead initiate a rev share mechanism whereby a certain % of the revenue is used to buyback MNDE and burn, maybe fortnightly or monthly, till such time that circulating supply is reduced by half. Such a program would allow for two things:

a) Value accrual to MNDE beyond just governance power (which is a matter of perception and very individual) as the token becomes deflationary

b) Allow the community to consider allocations from the treasury for growth initiatives more freely like the ones shared above or maybe as basic as the Earn season 2 program on which there is clear consensus already widely held.

Not throwing numbers here but as long as the net burn can exceed or match the emissions for growth from the treasury, there would be significant value accrual to the token and a network effect where protocol success drives token value and vice versa.

My apologies for the extremely long post and for chewing your brains with all of this but your input would be extremely beneficial in finalizing our report with the community pulse in mind.


For The Dean’s List Network State


Id like to add to the intro Ahmed gave

It’s not necessary to decide which allocations go under which initiative. The most important is to have discussion and debate on the use of the MNDE tokens because they are a tool that allows the protocol to further decentralize and grow.

Doing nothing with the MNDE tokens is an option, and in my opinion, a very bad option (and conveniently the laziest option)

Do not be fooled into thinking that distributing the token is a poor decision for current MNDE holders; it is a win it should be the mission of the DAO to determine the best way to allocate them. It is what we at Dean’s List have been working on and the above recommendations are part of it

Every allocation decision should be with the following in mind

  • Does this get more SOL staked with us
  • Does this get more active governance participation from contributors

These 2 are the guiding principles for the way I have been looking at this problem

Taking the above initiatives under this analysis

  1. Lateral Acquisition - this accomplishes both VERY well. This strategy is difficult to execute because of how public the discussions of a DAO need to be, but it still is very realistic. Few options accomplish so much as this idea does. Growing the team with this talent is a huge win.

  2. Token Swaps - I dont think you’ll get as much value from most DAOs other than the serviceDAOs like Dean’s List and Superteam. It could be used for contributions and be vested in governance giving a 20% discount to the USDC price of the MNDE. Id say yes :slight_smile: Helps with active contributors but doesnt solve for sol staking.

  3. Cross-chain user expansion - alot of work, but a good way to access new liquidity. Contributors could be from staking platforms on ETH. Solves for both

  4. Buyback and burn – good idea and clear way for existing MNDE holders to be happier. Only problem is this doesn’t increase market-share if its not paired with a liquid staking reward program. Doesnt help governance and doesnt increase SOL staked

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