Plugging Into One of the Premier DAOs of DeFi Step-by-Step
Yearn Finance is growing, and they want you. With a thriving DeFi protocol and big plans on the horizon, Yearn DAO is looking for contributors. Here’s a bit on Yearn DAO, how to join, and what life in the Yearn sphere is like. By joining Yearn DAO, you could build an impressive Web3 resume, find like-minded DeFi enthusiasts, and help build the future of finance.
Yearn is so much more than finance. Image from The Blue Pill, Yearn’s onboarding book, pg. 44.
What is Yearn DAO?
Yearn DAO is the decentralized community that governs and runs the Yearn Protocol, which is a premier DeFi protocol that makes “DeFi user-friendly, as people simply provide liquidity to a protocol which will generate a return (yield) for the users,” wrote Eaglex in a piece on the functionalities of the Yearn Protocol. The DAO is a multinational, vibrant group of innovative leaders in the DeFi and Web3 space who are working on that protocol and beyond.
Yearn was founded in 2020 by Andre Conje. Rather than yield farming by hand, “he built and automated all of his processes directly on Ethereum. And by doing so, he built the world’s first yield aggregator,” according to The Blue Pill book. A handful of like-minded contributors joined Andre and turned the simple yield aggregator, iearn, into the DeFi powerhouse we know today, Yearn.
In July 2020, Andre gave away control of the protocol by distributing the YFI token, pronounced “wifey,” to anyone providing liquidity on Yearn. This fair launch created Yearn DAO, a global community where anyone can contribute and help steer the direction of Yearn.
While the opening up of power and control over the protocol may sound risky, Andre argued that it’s better to embrace risk and tackle problems than to shy away from hard things. “There is more value in trying, even if it is a failure, than all the critics deeming it so,” he said.
Now, Yearn DAO contributors continue Andre’s legacy of building, innovating, and tackling problems head on.
Yearn DAO emphasizes that if you’ve come across Yearn, you’re there for a reason. So dive right in! Image from The Blue Pill book, p. 78.
Rather than keeping a list of contributors and assigning tasks, Yearn DAO emphasizes that you choose what to do. In a “post-corporate” organization, self-directed work and individual action is paramount. “Everyone is a leader, deciding for themselves how to follow the group’s evolutionary purpose,” reads page 86 of The Blue Pill book. The book then begins to wax philosophical. “We are not companies with closed boundaries, corporate veils, NDAs, and non-competes — we are permeable, overlapping network entities sensing and responding in real time from a thousand empowered autonomous beings.”
Yearn DAO tends to wander into the upper register of human thought and connection, taking a step into the land of the abstract, the metaphysical, the profound. As a completely open, decentralized protocol, the mind truly can expand and wonder at the possibilities of Yearn.
How to join Yearn DAO
0. Optional: Read their onboarding book, which is a combination of lore, history, brilliant design work, and action items for new members who are looking to get started.
1. Start by filling out the brief onboarding form.
4. Meet your launch buddy, who is your helping hand throughout the process of ramping up into Yearn.
5. Attend the New Contributor Orientation, which occurs once a month and serves as a way for new members to meet each other and get onboarded into the DAO.
The evolution of human organization and how Yearn fits in. Image from The Blue Pill book, p. 84.
6. Start working on the project your Onboarding Team Member recommends to you. This will help you build social capital, meet new people, and get to know how operations work at Yearn.
7. If you continue contributing, you can become eligible for their monthly Coordinape round. Coordinape is a peer-allocation system in which contributors reward each other with points that translate directly into governance tokens in your wallet.
For more details, check out Yearn’s onboarding process, which is mapped out here.
Other Ways to Get Plugged into Yearn DAO
1. Check out their Open Issues and pick up a task you have the skills to accomplish. Many of these tasks are great for developers looking for a quick way to start contributing to Yearn.
2. Submit an idea to their Pool of Ideas. Anyone can submit an idea, whether it needs a team, needs funding, or is already in flight.
3. Sign up for an Open Role. Yearn DAO needs contributors with skills in engineering and development, marketing, recruiting, technical writing, and auditing.
4. Browse through the Submitted Ideas list to see if any projects interest you.
5. Join the Yearn Discord and start getting involved in the community.
6. Read this guide on becoming a contributor.
How is Yearn DAO organized?
Workgroups in Yearn DAO are called Charters, and the individuals who provide updates and help onboard new members to the Charters are called Stewards.
Active Charters include:
yFarm: growing the Yearn DAO treasury
yBudget: determining how Yearn DAO spends money
yDev: developing and managing the Yearn protocol
yTx: writing transactions
yOps: coordinating contributors and talent
yPeople: paying contributors
yBrain: developing strategy
yChad: signing multisigs for Yearn DAO’s treasury
yGuard: intervening in the case of an emergency attack or bug
More information on Charters can be found here.
In the April 2021 Governance 2.0 proposal, Yearn DAO voted to move to a multi-DAO structure, which means the DAO is more agile and less bogged down with bureaucracy. Yearn DAO uses a governance method called “constrained delegation,” which means YFI token holders delegate their voting powers to teams and charters. But, YFI holders ultimately “create, define, and destroy limitations” of these groups that they delegate voting power to. In other words, even though YFI holders are delegating power to other groups, those holders ultimately determine how much power those groups can have. When a team makes a decision, it gets passed up to the Transaction team, then onto the multisig team.
Here’s a visual breakdown of the process:
The governance process in Yearn DAO is built to be fast and efficient. Image from docs.yearn.finance.
Tracheopteryx and lex_node, the writers of Governance 2.0, wrote that “Yearn is a network of independent doers united by a shared vision. Our bias is on action over bureaucracy. We move fast with great freedom and agency.” Ultimately, the organizational structure of Yearn is distributed, flexible, and open, allowing for creative freedom and ready decision-making.
What’s the culture of Yearn DAO like?
Yearn DAO fosters a culture of doing.
Jenga JoJo, a translator working on Hindi documents, advised new members looking to get plugged in to simply get right to work. “Although there’s a bounty board, most tasks are self driven and the best results often come out of serendipity. So they should definitely avoid waiting around for someone to ‘take care’ of them or worry about what others might think.”
They also said that The Blue Pill book drives the ethos of the DAO. “In many cases I find the community reflecting the ethos which you can find in The Blue Pill book. Contributors often refer to that ethos in many conversations.”
Yearn DAO contributors are always looking for fresh talent and new eyes on their projects. Image from The Blue Pill, page 60.
Each One Teach One
There’s also a strong culture of helping one another. FarrahMay, key contributor and Onboarding Team Member, said that the voice call is a key time to learn about new contributors and find out where they’ll best fit in. “The onboarding team uses this information to pair them with the right team and buddy,” Farrah said.
Yearn makes it clear that anyone can join, regardless of age, gender, or worldview. Image from The Blue Pill, p. 98
Who can join Yearn DAO?
In a word: anyone. Yearn DAO is open to anyone who is interested.
Even though Yearn is a DeFi protocol, they’re not only looking for developers. They’re seeking a diverse range of skill sets, from marketing to writing to recruiting.
“The community is happy to welcome different types of talent,” said Jenga JoJo. That welcoming spirit is further reflected in The Blue Pill Book, which reads “We are building a ship. It will carry anyone who wants to board. Any age, gender, any worldview. You are all welcome. You are all necessary. Find an oar and start pulling.”
Join the crew to dive into the most exciting adventure DeFi has to offer. Expand your mind, fall deeper down the rabbithole, and add a sprinkle of imagination and wonder into your daily working life.
Learn More about Yearn:
Samantha is a publishing coordinator, writer, and editor for BanklessDAO. She loves thinking about the big questions of the human experience and finding out how Web3 fits in.
BanklessDAO is an education and media engine dedicated to helping individuals achieve financial independence.