「Proof of workload」——Understanding how PermaDAO works

Author: 0xmiddle

Translator: Jomosis

Reviewer: Marshal Orange

Summary: Perhaps the best practice of Community DAO

  • You don't have to work a nine-to-five in a crowded city; instead, you can work remotely, lying down as you please;

  • You don't have to be employed full-time by a specific company; instead, you can decide your own schedule and level of involvement freely;

  • You don't have to take on a specific job role; instead, you can do what you want in a task marketplace based on your interests and competencies;

  • You don't have to be just a cog in the machine or an unknown entity; instead, you can earn a voice within the organization based on your contributions;

  • You don't have to settle for a paycheck; instead, you can enjoy the dividends of long-term organizational development.

These are all benefits that PermaDAO can offer you.

PermaDAO is a Community DAO funded by Forward Research (the official Arweave organization) with the goal of promoting Arweave's ecosystem growth. In addition to this, PermaDAO's broader vision is to actively explore cooperation among strangers, establishing a new organizational form suitable for managing public goods and efficient collaboration through blockchain technology and decentralized governance.

In September 2022, OutProg, a core contributor to the Arweave ecosystem, initiated PermaDAO. The term "Perma" comes from "Permanent", signifying eternity, with the hope that all achievements of this organization will persist on the Arweave network forever. After a year and a half of development, PermaDAO has evolved from chaos into a structured entity with a set of rules and processes, allowing anyone to contribute and receive incentives.

Let's take a closer look at how PermaDAO is put into practice.

1. Diversified Workloads

How does PermaDAO make money? Unlike traditional companies with fixed positions and salaries, PermaDAO uses workloads as the basis for compensation. Workloads are abstract tasks that the DAO wants contributors to perform, and their contributions are measurable. PermaDAO has defined a wide range of workloads, with over 100 different types identified. Here listed some of the typical ones.

The types of Workloads are extremely diverse, and it must be acknowledged that even the author cannot guarantee a complete understanding of them; the ones listed above are not exhaustive. However, as a contributor to the DAO, you don't need to understand everything; you just need to do what you're good at in the guild you like and earn rewards.

Among these Workloads, some have almost no entry barriers, such as sharing articles, identifying article errors, participating in meeting discussions, etc. Some require professional skills, like poster design, video production, writing research reports, and project development. Others require a deeper understanding of DAO before you can tackle them, such as proposing improvements to workflows.

Some tasks involve low collaboration levels, suitable for newcomers just joining, like writing articles, while others require a higher level of collaboration, needing a well-established network within the DAO, such as organizing events.

In essence, there's a progression from beginner-friendly tasks to more challenging ones, allowing you to find where you fit and where you can make sustained contributions. The DAO itself is an organization with blurred boundaries, so your journey with PermaDAO isn't about crossing a line from outside to inside; it's more like starting as a novice and becoming a master in a game.

Although the pay structure based on Workloads might seem more intricate than traditional fixed positions and salaries, leading to additional quality control and financial settlement costs, tools like Notion, everPay, and streamlined workflows can keep these costs within acceptable limits. This model offers contributors great flexibility in earning money and investing effort based on their interests and strengths, creating a more comfortable and relaxed environment compared to traditional companies.

Under this mechanism, PermaDAO has organized over 70 events in the past year, including 4 large offline events, published over 1000 articles, and made significant contributions to Arweave's expansion in the Asian market. Behind these efforts are over 10,000 various types of Workloads.

Currently, PermaDAO has over 600 onboarded members, with more than 50 active contributors receiving incentives weekly. Last year alone, over $300,000 in incentives were distributed. Through decentralized management and 100% online collaboration, PermaDAO has achieved collaboration at the scale of a medium-sized enterprise.

Within PermaDAO, there's no hierarchical structure among contributors; everything operates through automated processes. While there are rotating facilitators, their role is more about coordination than management, making "Facilitator" a more fitting term than "Manager". This isn't far-fetched; even in traditional corporate management, successful experiments like Holacracy exist.

2. Respecting Contributors' Power

Throughout its development, PermaDAO has been committed to a crucial milestone: decentralized governance and Token issuance. Although not yet implemented, PermaDAO has a clear and comprehensive governance framework. The core feature of this governance framework is that contributors hold most of the power, surpassing capital power.

At the beginning of the launch of this governance framework, there will be a testing period aimed at providing ample exploration, trial and error, and adjustment opportunities for the evolution of the governance framework. The governance token during the testing period is called $HALO. $HALO has the potential to be mapped to an official governance token in the future, with the mapping rules determined through proposal voting. It's worth noting that both the current HALO and the future official governance token will not only be used for PermaDAO's governance but also for Permaswap (a DEX product incubated by PermaDAO, currently the largest DEX in the Arweave ecosystem).

There are various ways to obtain $HALO, including earning through contributions, participating in events, and purchasing on the secondary market. However, $HALO earned through contributions carries 10 times the governance weight in governance voting. Specifically, PermaDAO is divided into five major guilds (Content Guild, Brand & Promotion Guild, Activity Guild, Dev Guild, and Admin Guild), and the $HALO earned by contributing to a guild carries 10 times the governance weight within that guild.

How is this framework implemented?

There is a concept of Staking Pools In PermaDAO's voting system. Each guild corresponds to a Staking Pool, namely the Content Pool for the Content Guild, Brand & Promotion Pool for the Brand & Promotion Guild, Activity Pool for the Activity Guild, Dev Pool for the Dev Guild, Admin Pool for the Admin Guild, and additionally, there's a Base Pool.

The $HALO earned by contributing to different guilds will be in different Pools. For instance, $HALO earned by contributing to the Dev Guild will be in the Dev Pool. In governance proposals within the Dev Guild, $HALO in the Dev Pool will have 10 times the governance weight, while $HALO in other Pools will have only 1 times the governance weight. This applies to other guilds as well. $HALO in the Base Pool will have 1 times weight in any guild's voting.

Source: PermaDAO Practice: From Human Governance to Full On-Chain Governance

Only $HALO in Staking Pools can participate in governance voting. $HALO in Staking Pools cannot be traded or circulated, but users can unlock them at any time. Once unlocked, the $HALO enters a free circulation state and can be traded on secondary markets.

It's important to note that unlocking $HALO from Guild Pools is irreversible. If you unlock and wish to restake into Staking Pools, you can only choose to stake back into the Base Pool and cannot stake into other Staking Pools. This means that $HALO in Guild Pools can only be obtained through contributions from the Treasury and cannot be acquired through purchasing.

This is the governance structure of PermaDAO, respecting the power of contributors, ensuring that their governance rights are not easily diluted by capital, while also considering investor rights without completely excluding them. Investors can acquire governance rights by purchasing governance tokens, but the capital cost they bear is much higher than that of contributors. This is akin to the "dual-class shares" structure in traditional companies.

Additionally, we notice that contributions in each guild are rewarded with 10 times weight only in their respective guild's voting, which also respects professional contributors. For instance, contributors to the Dev Guild may excel in coding but lack marketing skills. It would be unreasonable for them to vote and enjoy 10 times governance weight in the Brand & Promotion Guild. This design to some extent reflects the governance philosophy of KEV.

The core of KEV (Knowledge-extractable Voting) is to give experts with knowledge more voting power. In the KEV mechanism, proposals are divided into different topics, each corresponding to different knowledge tokens. Holding a certain type of knowledge token grants more voting power in proposals related to that topic. However, the acquisition and deduction of knowledge tokens are based on whether the expert's voting choice aligns with the final voting result, essentially still following Furtachy's "betting for beliefs" system.

PermaDAO's Staking Pool mechanism is different; power comes from contributions. Whether you're an expert is determined by whether you've made enough contributions to the corresponding guild. The more you contribute in a specific category, the greater your voting power, making you an expert in that category.

This is also one of the greatest benefits PermaDAO can offer to contributors. Contributors gain not just monetary incentives but also a say in specific topics, including significant voting power in PermaDAO as a whole. Once you've accumulated enough contribution value, you can have a significant voting weight in governance voting that cannot be ignored.

3. Self-Iteration and Evolution

Within PermaDAO, there are many rules: organizational rules, management rules, and incentive rules. However, these rules are not set in stone; they can be continuously amended and improved through governance proposals. In fact, over the past year, PermaDAO has evolved from its early chaotic stage to a relatively mature system through one proposal after another.

When there's a significant tension within the organization, someone will propose a solution. PermaDAO encourages any contributor to optimize workflows. Proposals are also a type of Workload and can earn incentives. Depending on the proposal's level (ordinary, medium, major), incentives range from 30U to 180U. In Frederic Laloux's book "Reinventing Organizations," organizations are categorized into several types, including red, amber, orange, and green organizations. Frederic believes that Teal Organizations represent the future evolution of organizations. In Teal Organizations, members can self-manage, achieve unity of body and mind, becoming "super-individuals." At the same time, Teal Organizations can continuously evolve as needed, earning them the title of evolutionary organizations.

Source:Reinventing Organizations:A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousness

Through decentralized management, especially the proposal system, PermaDAO is also practicing Frederic Laloux's Teal Organization theory.

So far, PermaDAO has had over 60 governance proposals, ensuring that most affairs within PermaDAO have a basis. However, there are still various loopholes, flaws, and areas of vacuum. After all, PermaDAO is at the forefront of exploring large-scale anonymous collaboration, aiming to create a new type of organization suitable for managing public goods. PermaDAO still relies on all contributors to optimize and improve together. PermaDAO will not stagnate.

More knowledgeable individuals are welcome to join PermaDAO to propose and improve rules together. Here, there are no set-in-stone rules, only better rules. Perhaps everything currently seems somewhat outdated, but emergence and evolution will bring it back to life.

4. Full On-Chain Governance and Eternal Contribution

I have worked in various internet startups, handling products and operations, but unfortunately, most of these products no longer exist. Websites have been shut down, and apps have been delisted. At such times, the author often feels a sense of emptiness about "existence."

One's existence requires confirmation from others. If there are no others in the world, no one remembers our traces, then when we perish one day, who will prove that we existed? Or did we really exist at all?

However, your contribution to PermaDAO, your Workload, will be permanently recorded on Arweave. Your contributions in PermaDAO will be rewarded through everPay. everPay is a fast payment network built on the Arweave DA layer based on the SCP paradigm. All transaction data on everPay will be rolled up to Arweave for permanent storage.

The work legacy that seasoned professionals excel in is not so much needed here. Arweave will leave a permanent mark for you.

PermaDAO's reliance on permanence is a cornerstone of its trustless nature. The actions of contributors within PermaDAO are recorded on the blockchain, creating permanent records, and the workload always belongs to the autonomous contributors. Arweave will record everything about PermaDAO from its inception to the distant future. Every contributor will have their own digital resume on Arweave! Perhaps it may not seem significant now, but in the highly composable world of blockchain, valuable data will generate endless possibilities.

Apart from Workload, all governance processes are also on-chain. All proposals and votes will take place in a chain environment called HaloVM and, upon approval, will be automatically executed by HaloVM. While HaloVM has not been implemented yet, PermaDAO's governance still relies on a rudimentary, manual system. However, with HaloVM's completion, PermaDAO will achieve a more efficient, trustless, and fair full on-chain governance system.


In early 2023, I wrote a series of research reports on DAOs, delving into theoretical explorations, but it always felt like empty talk. Later on, I started actively participating in various DAO operations. After exploring, I eventually chose to stay with PermaDAO and became one of its core contributors.

Here, I experienced the vitality of this community, met many lovely partners, and experienced the concrete and nuanced contribution incentive mechanism. PermaDAO adheres to the "Proof of Workload" principle, recognizing and rewarding every contribution, even seemingly insignificant ones, valued in U and paid out in the hard currency $AR, never taking advantage of your labor with points.

Moreover, along with incentives, you receive airdrops of governance tokens in proportion. As mentioned earlier, these governance tokens grant you 10 times voting power in the guild where you earn them.

More importantly, through governance proposals, you can turn your ideas into reality within PermaDAO, transforming your solutions to problems into long-term institutional norms in DAO operations, leaving a lasting mark of your existence in PermaDAO. Since joining, I have initiated and implemented six governance proposals, including a foundational No.1 proposal.

At this current juncture, just under two months since AO (Parallel Computing) was launched, Arweave has expanded beyond the narrative of permanent storage to build a parallel computing infrastructure that significantly promotes Web3 mass adoption. More and more enthusiasts, developers, researchers, and even investors are diving into the Arweave/AO ecosystem, rapidly expanding the ecosystem at a visible pace. PermaDAO will become the collaborative community and communication hub for these enthusiasts, developers, researchers, investors, and will continue to contribute to AO's theme sharing, technical education, and activities in this paradigm shift brought by AO.

Whether you want to be part of the Arweave/AO ecosystem, seek a high-quality community for exchange, or contribute your expertise in PermaDAO for incentives, PermaDAO welcomes your participation!

If you've decided to join PermaDAO and embark on your DAO journey, feel free to contact me, and I'll guide you aboard!

Onboarding link:

My WeChat: xuezhijie156

Further Reading:

PermaDAO Map

PermaDAO No.1 Governance Proposal

Outprog | PermaDAO Practice: From Human Governance to Full On-Chain Governance

0xmiddle | PAKA Pan DAO Series

Marvin Kruse, Sebastian Gajek, and Yannik Goldgräbe: The dit Protocol: Knowledge over Wealth to Sustain Open Source Development

Frederic Laloux | Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousness

Brian J. Robertson | Holacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World

🔗 More about PermaDAO :Website | Twitter | Telegram | Discord | MediumYoutube

💡 Initiated by everVision and sponsored by Forward Research (Arweave Official), PermaDAO is a "Cobuilding Community" focus on the theme of Arweave consensus storage. All contributions from PermaDAO contributors form the bedrock of data consensus. Let's embark on a journey starting with data consensus and delve into a novel paradigm for decentralized collaboration - Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)!

“Debug" Program: If you find errors in this article, including typos, grammatical mistakes, incorrect descriptions, ambiguous meanings, redundant descriptions, or other problems, you can give us feedback and we will be rewarded with incentives. Click "here" to give feedback.

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