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Keeping up with the Nouns 🔥

Catching up on Nouns DAO!
William M. Peaster William M. Peaster May 23, 20236 min read
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Keeping up with the Nouns 🔥

Dear Bankless Nation,

For me, Nouns are the most ambitious and visionary NFT experiment on Ethereum today.

It’s an infinite public art and software movement. A decentralized brand. A marvel of smart contract architecture. A DAO that’s active and growing. The onchain innovator of the “one-a-day” NFT creation flow. An Ethereum-native collective funding creative and cultural efforts. A supporter of public goods in the cryptoeconomy. An ETH staker by way of Lido.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Nouns is special, and personally I think it’s the most interesting effort to spend time exploring in the NFT space.

So, let’s say you’re curious about becoming more Nounish, but you’re not sure where to start because you haven’t been tracking the project closely. No worries, I’ve got you covered. Let’s get you up to speed on what’s new with the Nouns!

-WMP


Keeping up with the Nouns


First, my Nouns jargon buster

There are a handful of variations of the word “Noun” that have very specific and important meanings in the Nouns ecosystem.

If you’re new to the project or still catching up, check out this mini-glossary, which I’ve mostly borrowed from my original September 2021 Metaversal guide to Nouns:
  • 🏰 Nounders — the 10 founders of the Nouns project, including but not limited to 4156, dom, and gremplin.
  • ⚙️ The Nouns protocol — an open-source suite of smart contracts for generating and auctioning one Noun per day.
  • 💎 Noun — a member of Nouns DAO, also one of the official onchain NFT avatars generated by the Nouns protocol, all released into the public domain via CCO; all Nouns are equally rare because the project enforces “no explicit rules for attribute scarcity.”
  • 🗳 Nouns DAO — the collective of Noun holders, who collaborate to approve community proposals and govern the treasury (1 Noun = 1 vote) amassed from daily Nouns auctions; that treasury is currently +28,000 ETH strong!
  • 🖼️ Noun derivatives — projects that build atop the Nouns protocol infrastructure or create art that’s derived from Nouns imagery.
  • 🕛 Noun O’Clock — the time of day at which the current Noun’s auction ends (calendar here).
  • 😎 Noggles — The signature glasses seen on every Noun, also the de facto logo of Nouns DAO and Nounish efforts in general.
  • Nounish — The spirit of good vibes found in people and projects that exemplify and extend the Nouns mission.

Next, become a voter for ~0.01 ETH

Right now, the floor price of a Noun NFT is around 31 ETH on OpenSea.

Most people don’t have that kind of ETH to spend to become a Nouns DAO voter. But most people also don’t know that there’s a 99.9% cheaper way to vote in Nouns DAO, and that’s via Bud Light N3XT NFTs, the floor of which is currently just under 0.01 ETH.

The context: in early 2022, Nouns DAO and Bud Light struck up a deal. Bud Light received a Noun, specifically the beer-themed Noun 179, in exchange for Bud Light featuring the Nouns noggles in its premier Super Bowl commercial in 2022.

That said, the N3XT NFT serves as the access pass to Bud Light’s web3 community, and one of the perks of the pass is that it lets you collectively vote with other N3XT holders to decide how Noun 179 votes on proposals before Nouns DAO. If you want (indirect) voting access in the DAO, you can’t beat the ~0.01 ETH price of N3XT NFTs right now.

If you do make the leap in, note that you vote on how Noun 179 votes using Snapshot whenever there are active proposals. You can also get notified of proposals or discuss them with others in the “nounsdao-proposals” and “proposal-workshop” channels in the Bud Light Discord.

Recently approved proposals

What kinds of efforts are the Nouns backing lately? Here’s a recap of the past 10 proposals approved by Nouns DAO to give you a sense:
  • 🎥 Proposal 289 — This proposal was about retaining the services of the 10-person “Nounish” video production agency team. The goal is to create a series of videos that highlight the Nouns community and its achievements.
  • 🎤️ Proposal 288 — This proposal was about deploying an open edition mint of a Nouns-themed music video. The video, titled "100 Nounish Things," celebrates the achievements of Nouns in the past year and a half. The revenue from the mint will be split 50% to Nouns DAO and 50% to the video producer.
  • 🧸 Proposal 287 — This proposal was about the creation of “Nounish Friends” mini-figurines. These 3” tall mini figures will be designed to be a fun, stylish, low cost, and non-crypto-based entry point into the world of Nouns. The mini figures are modular and packed into mystery boxes, designed for distribution in museum shops, high-end retail, and lifestyle shops worldwide.
  • 🧻 Proposal 286 — This proposal was about creating Nouns-branded wet wipes. The wipes will be produced by a manufacturer in Malaysia and will be sold at various retail outlets to increase brand awareness. The proposal includes the costs for producing, packaging, and marketing the wipes.
  • 🍕 Proposal 284 — This proposal was about organizing a global pizza party in collaboration with PizzaDAO for Bitcoin Pizza Day on May 22, 2023. The party was held in 90+ cities around the globe and the proposal included the costs for purchasing pizza from independent pizzerias and marketing the event.
  • Proposal 282 — This proposal was about reducing the maximum quorum from 20% to 15% for the Nouns DAO voting process. The aim is to protect the DAO from voter apathy and to encourage higher voter participation and/or delegation, which would increase DAO health.
  • 📁 Proposal 280 — This proposal was about using the "NFTR" NFT identity registry system to name Noun 687 as "JellO". The NFTR protocol is on Ethereum, but it’s similar to ENS but for NFTs instead of wallets. The proposal aimed to give Noun 687 its own NFTR domain and profile page accessible by the name "JellO.nftr.name".
  • 📱 Proposal 279 — This proposal was about funding a turnkey consumer-friendly device for ethOS, an open-source mobile-friendly operating system for Ethereum.
  • 🛡 Proposal 278 — This proposal was about minting 5k "Stand with Crypto" NFTs and donating $100k to Gitcoin Crypto Advocacy Round. The proposal aimed to claim the top spot for the most mints of this open edition.
  • 🔑 Proposal 277 — This proposal was aimed at creating a low-cost, yet highly sought after and unique piece of hardware that fits in your pocket. The proposal requested 75Ξ for the development and production of 600 Artisanal Noggles LED keychains.

Neat Nouns resources to know about

So let’s say you understand the basics, you’ve got your first N3XT NFTs to help steer Noun 179, and you’re keeping an eye on Nouns DAO governance. What next?

Toward that end, there are many awesome resources to check out around the Nouns ecosystem that can help you deepen and further your Nouns journey in various ways. Some of the best of these resources right now include:
  • 📚 Nouns Center — The knowledge center and resource hub for Nouns DAO, providing comprehensive information about the project, its ecosystem, and community. It also offers resources for development, funding opportunities, and ways to get involved with the growing Nouns ecosystem.
  • 🪙 Prop House — A public infrastructure resource funded by Nouns DAO that serves as an experimental platform for communities to deploy capital. It hosts funding rounds in community houses, where builders can propose ideas and community token holders vote on them, with the top proposals receiving funding. “Bid with ideas for ETH,” in other words.
  • 📜 Noundation — A repository of Nounish resources, from fonts to icons and beyond.
  • 🏫 The Noun Square — A media and community hub for Nouns DAO and host of a daily Twitter Spaces event in celebration of Noun O’ Clock.
  • 🏛️ Nouns Agora — A Nouns delegation platform, where you can review current Nouns delegate voters and make your own pitch for being delegated a Noun to vote with.
  • 🗳️ Voter.wtf — Created by Papr co-founder Wilson Cusack, this site is a one-stop hub that serves as a voter dashboard for Nouns DAO voters. For example, here’s the tracker page of Bud Light’s collectively-managed Noun 179.

Looking ahead

There are two things that elements of Nouns DAO are exploring now that could have far-reaching impact on the crypto space going forward: the Nounish ragequit and private zk-based DAO voting.

Regarding the ragequit, there’s currently no mechanism to “dip out” from Nouns DAO for people who grow dissatisfied with the project. That said, a team lead by developers David Brailovsky and Elad Mallel are working on a “DAO split mechanism” that could bring a simple ragequit functionality to Nouns DAO. If this crew gets the design right, look for it to be widely adopted around the ecosystem of Nounish DAOs, of which there are many now courtesy of Zora’s Nouns Builder DAO deployer.

As for private DAO voting, the Nouns are currently backing open-source design efforts for using zero-knowledge (zk) proofs to enable private voting, e.g. if a Nouns voter wanted to remain anonymous during a publicly contentious proposal vote. Toward this end, the Nouns have tapped the Aztec x Aragon teams to build out this voting tech. This is another bit of infra that stands to be widely adopted in the space going forward, so keep an eye out here.

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William M. Peaster

Written by William M. Peaster

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William M. Peaster, Senior Writer, has been with Bankless since January 2021. Immersed in Ethereum since 2017, he writes the Metaversal newsletter on the onchain frontier, covering everything from AI projects to crypto games, as the team’s lead NFT analyst. With a background in creative writing, he writes fiction and publishes art on Ethereum in his free time. He lives in Washington.

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