yBudget Update: Bear Minimum Comp

The model for how full-timers at Yearn are compensated was set at the height of the bull market and no longer corresponds with reality. In light of this, we are changing how full-timers are compensated.

We were preparing for the bear with the intention of having 2 years of runway saved up. The treasury has successfully repaid $11m debt and managed to accumulate another $28m of cash over the course of 2021. The treasury currently has $18.1m of cash assets remaining.

This update to contributor comp will further help us towards our goal of improving Yearn’s financial health.

Previous Model

Since YIP-66, full-timers at Yearn received a portion of the protocol’s net income based on self-assigned percentages, which are reevaluated every quarter. If the protocol fails to hit the target, a floor compensation is enforced.

The previous parameters of 45% sharing and 2,000,000 DAI/month floor made sense at the time they were chosen, but now need to be changed to match the current market conditions.

When we don’t earn enough, the comp model falls back to a much simpler flat rate model, to free up the brainpower we need to turn the ship around.

New Comp Model

Previously we were spending 1,419,342.9 DAI/month and 0 YFI/month on comp, not counting the 200,000 DAI/month sent to the strategists multisig to pay interns.

We are now moving to a flat compensation of 10,000 DAI + $10,000 worth of YFI per month per person. The YFI rate is adjusted once a month based on a 30-day VWAP.

This reduces the compensation spending to 230,000 DAI/month + $230,000 in YFI/month, which results in a 2.92x reduction in overall spending and 6.17x reduction in compensation spending.

Further improvements

Yearn has moved to streaming for most expenses since June 2022. You can check out the existing streams on LlamaPay.

Moreover, all budget requests are public since June, providing unprecedented transparency and accountability around the DAO’s monetary flows.

YFI Buybacks have been fully automated with Yearn being able to quickly fill any amounts by offering another trade leg to arbitrage bots and dollar-cost-average into YFI.


this has my name all over it!

I don’t have any thoughts on the appropriate level of compensation, but a few things struck me about overall accounting.

The $230,000 YFI/month should still be counted as an expense. Otherwise you get into weird outcomes like CRV/Aave burning more than they make, or Ohm using minting to artificially inflate revenue. TradFi has a long history of requiring stock compensation to be counted as an expense, which I think still makes sense here.

How does this align with the YFI Buyback initiative? Does it even make sense to continue? Feels weird to buy back YFI and burn it with one hand, while minting it and spending it with the other. If the point of YFI buyback is to reduce YFI supply, minting YFI for compensation goes against that.

Why not combine the two into buyback and compensate, which would reduce the expense by half. Instead of:

  1. Buyback and burn + Mint and compensate
    you have:
  2. Buyback and compensate
    so you’re eliminating the middle two actions of burn + mint, which seem contradictory to me.

That would also make it clear that it’s an expense, since the buying comes from treasury funds (I believe).

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Nobody is minting YFI, you are mistaken. Bought back YFI is taken off the market but could be used for comp or veYFI incentives. It’s counted as an expense, the chart only shows how the DAI monthly spending is reduced.

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shouldn’t it be bare minimum compensation? bear minimum compensation makes me think of bears and is confusing.

i won’t vote for this unless the title is corrected

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bear with the bear brother

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Since crypto markets have strong volatility, it makes sense that salaries also account for that volatility. However a flat salary sound boring and unincentivicing for good performance. A flat floor with uncapped upside where salaries can increase as the market improves and the protocol performs better sounds more appealing.

Still a great salary compared to the average worker.

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