How Bankless DAO uses Badges for Membership Levels
Emily Furlong
0xcAB2
Otterspace
0x74EF
January 11th, 2023

Bankless DAO is the decentralized organization leading the charge in the mission to onboard 1 billion people to crypto. With a strong community of over 29,000 Discord members, 13 Guilds, and 5,900 token holders, Bankless DAO is at the forefront of the decentralized movement.

Bankless DAO kickstarted its journey when David Hoffman and Ryan Sean Adams airdropped 35,000 BANK tokens to each Bankless premium subscriber. Since then, the organization has primarily operated through Discord, the Bankless DAO Forum, and Snapshot.

However, managing membership properties such as community level and Guild membership via Discord role tags can be a challenge. These off-chain roles are difficult to oversee, vulnerable to being gamed, and cannot easily interoperate with other Web3 functionality. That's why Bankless DAO has introduced Otterspace Badges, a trusted and transparent on-chain system for managing membership.

Bankless DAO was using off-chain Discord role tags to designate membership.

Bankless DAO previously managed membership properties, like someone’s community level or Guild membership, via Discord role tags. Some of these roles are issued automatically, for example when a member selects a Guild via a Discord bot and receives the Guild member role. Other roles, like the Level 2 role, were issued manually by server admins. Level 2 status requires having 35,000 BANK tokens and nominations from other Level 2 members.

These off-chain Discord roles are difficult to oversee, vulnerable to being gamed, and cannot interoperate with other Web3 functionality.

The Guild election polls are managed via a Discord bot (sesh.fyi) which allows any Guild role holder to vote on who is elected into Guild leadership positions. Because gaining access to the role is completely permissionless, the election system is vulnerable to being gamed.

The enduring nature of Discord role tags also meant that dormant members retain their access and powers, both to vote and participate in discussions. It was hard to manually keep track of member activity and remove stale role tags. This especially presented a challenge in the case of inactive Level 2 role holders who maintained considerable permissions in the server.

Badges bring Bankless DAO membership into a trusted, on-chain system.

The Level 2 Badge is a non-transferable NFT that represents a member's status as a trusted member of the community. By holding the Badge, 35,000 BANK tokens, and the Season 6 Participant Badge, members can automatically claim the Level 2 Discord role and temporary access to certain spaces via Collab.Land. This ensures that membership status is continuously visible and verifiable on the blockchain, and allows for the potential for automatic expiration based on on-chain criteria in the future.

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The Season 6 Participant Badge, on the other hand, is an expiring Badge that represents a member's participation in the current season. Similar to the Level 2 Badge, holders of the Season 6 Participant Badge can automatically claim the Level 1 Discord role if they also hold 35,000 BANK tokens. However, this Badge will automatically expire at the end of the season, ensuring that inactive members do not maintain access in the next season.

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Otterspace Badges not only serve as a reliable way to manage membership within Bankless DAO, but they also act as visual mementos that represent a member's contribution and experience within the organization. These Badges can be displayed in wallets and across other dApps, and can even be collected to create an on-chain record of skills and experience from various projects. And if a member ever wants to dissociate themselves from Bankless DAO, they can simply burn their Badge.

Implementing Badges

To pilot Otterspace within the DAO, the Ops Guild decided to start by focusing on two Badges: the Level 2 Badge and the Season 6 participant Badge. Creating the Badge specs is a 4-step process:

  • Pick a Badge name

  • Upload Badge artwork

  • Select expiry date (optional)

  • Register Badge spec on chain

Once Badge specs are created, they can be set up within a Collab.Land token gate, by selecting ‘Otterspace Badge’ as the token type and inputting the Badge name.

Using Badges in Collab.Land's Token Granted Roles
Using Badges in Collab.Land's Token Granted Roles

Badge specs act as the ‘blueprint’ from which Badges are minted. To allow members to mint a Badge from a spec, their addresses are added to the allowlist. Bulk allowlisting makes it possible to add hundreds of members to the list with a single signature.

So far, approximately 200 addresses have been allowlisted across both Badges. After being allowlisted, members are able to sign in to Otterspace and mint their Badge(s). The Badge can then be viewed in their profile, wallet, OpenSea, or other dApps in addition to being used with Collab.Land to gain access to Discord roles.

If you are curious about building your DAO’s membership structure with Otterspace Badges, join our community here to learn more.

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