Proposal: Have DeFi Dave Earn Referral Bonuses For Growth Efforts

Dear Gelato Community:

My name is Dave Liebowitz, better known as DeFi Dave, and I have been an active contributor in the Gelato community since February 2021. I joined Gelato as their first Growth lead when the team was only 9 people and played an instrumental role in both partnership and media strategy. In my 10 months working full-time at Gelato, I was able to secure partnerships with the likes of Zerion, OlympusDAO, Quickswap and a number of others which greatly increased transaction throughput. In addition, I was able to not only garner press attention but authored a piece in The Defiant detailing how Gelato is leading the automation revolution. These growth endeavors were vital to Gelato in its early stages and served as a solid foundation for its respected position in the greater DeFi ecosystem today.

In December 2021, I decided to leave my position at Gelato full-time to pursue other opportunities but I did not want this to be the end of my time at Gelato. After I left, I was able to secure more integrations and have already initiated conversations with several more potential leads. Although I am not full-time anymore, I know I can still contribute to Gelato in a meaningful manner. I am proud to call myself a “Legendary Member” and would still love to play a part in Gelato’s success.

That is why I am proposing that I receive a referral bonus in GEL for every protocol that I introduce to Gelato. The terms are as follows:

-For Gelato $3000 worth of GEL tokens for every 100 transactions on side chains and 10 transactions on mainnet. An extra $1000 worth of GEL for an additional 1000 transactions on sidechains and 100 transactions on mainnet

Discretion for bonuses will be up to the Gelato core team. I am open for any feedback the community may have. Thank you for everyone’s consideration.


Awesome Dave, definitely in support of this! I think it makes more sense though to vote on a general BD / Marketing GEL budget that can be used for not only external BD incentives like in your case, but also other things like sponsoring hackathons & conferences, creating creative marketing campaigns, paying influencers, forming partnerships with other DAOs, etc.

Basically everything that creates awareness and drives more traction to Gelato in the long run. This is what the DAO funds are for after all, grow the traction of the network!

I would propose that we allocate a Marketing & BD Budget of 5,250,000.00 GEL for that which is roughly 2.5% of the initial DAO treasury. This should definitely enable us to kickstart a more aggressive marketing and BD campaign starting in May for the foreseeable future, probably lasting for at least one year. Estimating an exact time frame for how long the budget would last is always difficult because the $GEL price is quite volatile, but this should definitely work for the next 12 months.

Important to note: The GEL Budget will of course not come into circulation all at once, but slowly and steadily via smaller payments to hackathon winners, influencers that spread the word about Gelato and Business Developers like Dave who bring traction to the project. The higher the $GEL price will be over the next months, the longer this budget will last!

Let’s have the community discuss this for a while before brining this up for vote, happy to get some feedback on this!


Yes I agree, would definitely make sense to set aside a budget long-term. I would support a proposal like this!

Hey Dave!

Nice to see you finally in the Gelato Forum,

Absolutely in support of allocating a Marketing & BD Budget. GEL as an incentives resource has been used very sparingly and it would also be important to ensure that a reasonable timeframe around a budget exists to that GEL can slowly be introduced into circulation.

I am also in support of a systematic approach to this kind of model that is data driven, hardcoded and publicly verifiable. Gelato being a transaction hungry protocol, a full focus on tx counts are vital, and having a system that tracks the correlation between the increase in transactions and BD efforts is absolutely necessary.

@DeFiDave Did you want to take the steps to introducing a model that @hilmarx mentioned to Governance and spearhead this Proposal forward?

Hey guys

Not very active in forums but this idea was interesting.

I wanted to counter propose an add-on to gelato automation hub that allows to add a referral wallet. This wallet gets a comission from the transactions and we can also have more people to contribute into more usage of the platform.

I think we are all about on-chain and automation, and although Dave has helped gelato enourmously, i consider that manual transactions limit visibility and add an extra layer of trust that we can avoid.

If this idea sounds good, we can expand into it with some numbers taking in consideration the marketing supply Hilmar mentioned.

Expecting to hear what you think!


grateful for the growth work for sure, but i don’t really get why additional bonuses
isn’t making partnerships part of the job as growth lead? was salary supposed to cover all that tasks?
also, i don’t understand the proposed bonus. does it mean gelato is going to give bonus forever for all the transactions? that sound like a rentseeking.
happy to hear some clarities on this @hilmarx


note: Dave doesnt work at Gelato any more, ergo he doesnt receive a salary. This structure would enable him and other outsiders to remain incentivized to help gelato grow as non employees of the company

interesting idea, though very hard to realize in practice. These intros that lead to more projects using Gelato are usually simple telegram groups that get created from personal meeting e.g. Dave has at some of the conferences he usually visits. Then either the devs onboard themselves or they need some help from our end to get fully onboard. Having referral wallets can also use to abuse by just inputting some random wallet that actually did not make an intro controlled by yourself to get free GEL.

I think to make this work there needs to be a decent level of trust, though we as the executive body managing this budget dont really have an incentive to give any GEL away for free without actually making sure the BD work was done which led to new integrations.

Also this proposal is not exclusive to Dave, but to any third party contributor who wants to participate and contribute to the networks growth by finding out which project might want to use Gelato and then making an intro to them which leads to an integration later on.

Let’s have a first vote in here:

Should we have a BD & Marketing Budget to accelerate growth managed by the core team? *

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

1 Like

ok, my bad misunderstanding it

is the bonus meant as long as there are tx? if gelato wanna scale to tens of thousands tx, imo it’s still rent seeking. so if i introduced gelato to be used by a protocol once, i forever enjoy the bonus, almost like a patent, and not a healthy and sustainable to gelato

i know the specific numbas still to be determined, but the numbas in dave’s proposal imo are too much. 3000 / 100 tx & 10tx … unless we only wanna do small numba of tx with gelato, once this bonus plan starts and tx goes up as gelato’s ultimate goal, this is easily abused and the budget is easily drained. for instance, every project can just make a fake anon account and introduce themselves to gel while in fact it them all the way, then earn the bonus. on cheap and fast chains, they can spam the tx and get as much gel as they can spam.

i think growth should be the job of the marketing and growth department of the team. referral is too easy to be abused and the proposed numba is rediculous and rentseeking. even if we use one off commission, it can still be abused, like using gelato for the commission, and then change to keeper or chainlink right after receiving commission.

One way to avoid abusing the system is a simple verification form/whitelist where a team asserts their interface being implemented thanks to a gelato contributor, enabling the referral address comissions.

Also, in this case the comissions would be a percentage of the transaction fee, (not a hardcoded value) depending on the chain where it’s submitted. This way you aim for more usage and longevitiy in the platform without an aggressive distribution of the marketing funds.

I could imagine a portal where people can ask for a contributor role, and then work with projects to implement an automation feature, but i think this could add a trust layer in a decentralized platform and possibliy limit horizontal growth.

Interesting thoughts, the current system that we have in place is pretty simple and will definitely evolve in the future. Our aim is to make it as sustainable and fair as possible. Imo the currently proposed system ensures that people like Dave are incentivized to bring projects that yield a high number of transactions to use Gelato which is good for Gelato’s growth. I dont see any risk of rent seeking because this is a one off payment and not a continuous one, i.e. Dave wont get paid for every 100 transactions, but only for the first 100 transactions.

@ChadTraders yes there are a lot of ways how we can make this system more sustainable in the long term but I am a big fan of starting with something simple and then move one to more complex implementations like commission based models which would require smart contract and UI changes and would have to be thought through in detail before implementing.

Based on the current poll, I will be putting this BD budget up for vote in the DAO.

thanks for clarifying this, it looks more reasonable now, the numbers still has to be discussed, at least it’s the “first xx tx” that is important