AIP-368: ApeChain - A zk-Powered Polygon Layer-2 to Support ApeCoin Growth

As an engineer, I see no tech issues with this proposal. My concerns, as a DAO member, are outlined below.

  1. Why do we need to be paying Polygon $200K per year for this, when we can go to any other chain (AVAX, Arbitrum, Optimism etc) and do it - cheaper?

  2. If Polygon wants us to use their ZK-L2, why don’t they offer it for free - via a grant? Just like they do - and have done - with others?

    For one thing, ApeCoin doesn’t need Polygon. From a transactions perspective, we get far more transactions that they do. Around the clock. Daily. So, asking us to pay them for this, just means that they don’t actually value our token and community as much as we do.

  3. If this AIP passes, and we end up with a $200K per year expense, who is going to run and manage it? Who is going to do the bizdev to bring people to the chain, use the token etc?

    We simply don’t have a team, let alone a third-party to do any of that.

  4. In addition to the over $3M+ that the DAO is currently spending, we’re now going to be adding an additional $200K on top of that - to what end?

Finally, what’s the impetus for us getting our own L2 right now? In this current climate? What does that get us? How does that benefit us? I don’t see any tangible immediate benefits in this AIP because at the end of the day, we would still need to get builders use it. We can’t get them to build on it now, let alone to use our token; so how does our own L2 chain solve this problem? Especially given all the issues with our voting system which is the first line of entry for any builders who come here.

That aside, the biggest issue that I have with this AIP is due to its reliance on a companion AIP idea that’s designed to fund it via a “Development Fund”.

And a companion AIP authored by Special Council members - one of whom has a financial interest in doing it - to me, is a terrible conflict of interest that simply cannot be ignored.

So, the reality is that if the 2nd AIP doesn’t pass, then this 1st AIP simply can’t get funded. And by tying the two AIPs together, it forces voters - who want our own L2 blockchain - to vote for both. That’s wrong.

This AIP needs to request its own funding and to stand on its own merits without reliance on being a Trojan horse of sorts. And by standing on its own, the DAO can vote on its merits.

And regardless of all of the above, if one day we decide that we need our own chain and via an L2 solution, then the DAO should put out an RFC (like we did when we replaced Cartan) so that other vendors can put forward a formal bid for us. That’s the proper way to do it. Then, we get to vet and vote on the merits of the best AIP that works for us. And then we get to fund it. The result of that is we get the same third-party to build and manage it for us - just like what WebSlingers does for us by way of admin, management etc.

Finally, and this one bugs me the most, the bizdev aspect of the companion AIP “Development Fund” is basically based on the AIP idea that I created last week and which contains a bizdev proposal which is not only created and controlled by the DAO, but is a lot more impactful, expansive - and controlled by the Ape Assembly of members voted by the community. You can read more about that below.

ps. MachiBigBrother mentioned ApeChain on several Spaces about two weeks ago. I have the recordings. He indicated that he had discussions with Polygon about this. I told him that we could build our own ApeChain if it came to that. And now, they [Polygon] just decided to create the AIP on their own - apparently without even letting him know. That concerns me greatly.