Incentive-Aligned Public Good

Overview

The road to delivering a provably trustworthy world and web powered by attestations requires the use of strategies that are pragmatic and have a net positive impact. An attestation ecosystem must be open to use and contributions, impactful, and credibly neutral for all parties from all walks of life. Alongside this, the space for dedicated contributions and continuous maintenance of an attestation ecosystem must be rewarding, sustainable, and reliable.

The Sign Protocol is designed to strike a balance between two key aspects. On one hand, we have the continuous development and support, which incorporates viable options for monetisation to reward contributors for their work. On the other hand, we have the output of this work, which takes the form of products, tools, and services that evidently create impact and benefits for the general public. We refer to the former Pragmatic Sustainability and the latter Net Positive Impact.

Drawing inspiration from other notable protocols like Git, TCP/IP, and Ethereum, among others, Sign Protocol is intended to serve as a beacon for open innovation and public benefit. It upholds this aspiration with a strong emphasis on practicality, which is crucial for the protocol’s sustainability and growth.

Net Positive Impact

Sign Protocol brings a suite of tools and solutions that will serve as the core foundations for a new and robust attestation ecosystem. In order for Sign Protocol to attain wide-spread adoption and proliferation, it is imperative and of utmost importance that these solutions offer a credibly neutral and open set of benefits and utilities to the general public.

Users and businesses around the globe must be able to experience and apply the useful improvements, brought over by Sign Protocol’s attestation ecosystem, in the trust systems they depend on, without any special permissions or privileges.

We envision that the progress and developments of Sign Protocol will stimulate contributions and enhancements to a variety of related ecosystems. This could be through improvement proposals to existing protocols like Ethereum, ENS, or just ERCs in general, or by supercharging certain experiences such as airdrop and reward distributions, identity verification for DAO governance, reputation systems, and more.

Sign Protocol recognizes that the journey to establish an ideal attestation ecosystem, as outlined in the Effective Attestation philosophy, is more of a marathon than a sprint. This ecosystem aims to become a standard for the trust systems of the world and web. To achieve this, it is crucial to engage and empower the public at every step of the process. This is how Sign Protocol will achieve net positive impact for all.

Pragmatic Sustainability

Sign Protocol and its attestation ecosystem, which includes tools and infrastructure, should be developed and maintained in a fashion that is reliable, sustainable, and practical. Traditionally, many teams rely on grant funding for these types of projects, which are primarily intended to serve as a public good. However, this approach is not always reliable because grant funding is highly competitive and public interests can change, particularly if the project does not play a vital role in their lives. This unreliability can jeopardize the project’s integrity and sustainability, making it impractical. Therefore, alternative funding and development strategies should be explored to ensure the project’s long-term success.

EthSign, a key contributor to Sign Protocol, is set to explore various revenue-generation models and services that uphold the principles of credible neutrality, open contributions, and net positive impact. This initiative, known as Pragmatic Sustainability, aims to ensure the reliable, sustainable, and practical development and maintenance of Sign Protocol and its attestation ecosystem. A range of strategies will likely be explored and evaluated. These include subscription-based services, product sales, and business contracts, as well as models akin to those implemented by GitHub and Red Hat. As part of this endeavor, EthSign will also seek to increase the accessibility of these models to other contributors, fostering developer diversity within Sign Protocol and its broader attestation ecosystem.

Conclusion

The pursuit of a provably trustworthy world and web, powered by attestations, necessitates pragmatic strategies with a net positive impact to establish Sign Protocol as an Incentive-Aligned Public Good. This ethos, along with that of Effective Attestations, is embodied in the design of Sign Protocol, balancing Pragmatic Sustainability and Net Positive Impact. With EthSign as its core contributor, Sign Protocol aims to democratize benefits globally, akin to notable protocols like Git and Ethereum. EthSign's exploration of diverse funding avenues underscores a commitment to pragmatic sustainability, ensuring the long-term viability of Sign Protocol.

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