Revisiting the Prize Distribution Process of Hackathon: A Call for Simplification and Transparency

Proposal Introduction:

Greetings, Gnosis Safe Community,

I am reaching out to address a concern that touches on the core values of decentralization, anonymity, and ease of access that our community stands by. It has been observed that the participants of the Safe DAATA Hackathon organized in October 2023 have yet to receive their well-deserved prize money as of February 2024. This delay, coupled with a complex bureaucratic Know Your Customer (KYC) process, raises questions about our commitment to a decentralized, permissionless, and censorship-resistant future.

Core Issues Addressed:

  1. Delayed Prize Distribution: The winners of the Safe DAATA Hackathon have been waiting for their prizes for an extended period, which not only impacts their motivation but also the overall perception of the Gnosis Safe community’s efficiency and reliability.

  2. Complex KYC Process: The intricate and bureaucratic KYC process contradicts our community’s mantra of “abstract it anon!” and poses a significant barrier to maintaining anonymity. This complexity is at odds with the decentralized ethos we aim to promote.

  3. Comparison with Industry Standards: Other organizations, such as ETH Global, have managed to strike a balance between regulatory compliance and maintaining a user-friendly approach. Their processes are less bureaucratic, faster, and more respectful of participants’ anonymity.

Proposal Objectives:

This proposal aims to address the following objectives to align our actions with decentralised values and improve the community’s operations:

  • Reevaluate and streamline the prize distribution process to ensure timely rewards for hackathon winners.
  • Simplify the KYC process, drawing inspiration from best practices within the industry, to respect participants’ anonymity while meeting necessary regulatory compliances.
  • Reinforce the community’s commitment to a decentralized, permissionless, and censorship-resistant ethos, making Web3 a more welcoming and accessible space for all.

Proposed Actions:

  1. Streamline Prize Distribution: Implement a clear, transparent, and expedited process for prize distribution, ensuring winners receive their prizes within a reasonable timeframe after the hackathon’s conclusion.

  2. Simplify KYC Requirements: Review and simplify the KYC process by adopting a less bureaucratic approach that balances the need for regulatory compliance with the respect for participant anonymity. Consider adopting models similar to ETH Global that are perceived as less invasive yet compliant.

  3. Community Feedback and Improvement: Engage with the community to gather feedback on the KYC and prize distribution processes. Use this feedback to make iterative improvements that align with our values and the expectations of our community members.

  4. Transparency and Communication: Improve communication regarding the status of prize distribution and any required processes. Keeping participants informed can alleviate concerns and foster a more trusting community environment.


As a community deeply rooted in the principles of decentralization and anonymity, it is crucial that we reflect these values in all our activities, including hackathons. The current challenges surrounding the Safe DAATA Hackathon prize distribution and KYC processes are a call to action. By addressing these issues, we can reinforce our commitment to making Web3 a more accessible, efficient, and welcoming space for newcomers and veterans alike. I look forward to the community’s support in making these necessary adjustments to uphold the ethos we cherish.

Thank you for your attention and consideration of this proposal.

Best regards,
An Unsafe Anon

First of all, let me apologize since I’m the responsible person for these distributions.

We implemented a new system for paying out bounties at the end of last year and unfortunately the winners from this hackathon were the first to go through the process. We had issues with the platform we use for collecting signatures as part of the AML process and didn’t realize the issue for some time.

As of now, half of the winners have been paid out, while we’re waiting for the remaining few to finalize their signatures. If you’re in the camp that’s still waiting, please check your email for outstanding grant agreement signatures.

I hear you that the process was not optimal. I completely agree it has been a headache. We are working to have a better system in place for future distributions, and ideally one that can be done in a more streamlined and transparent way. We’ll have to strike the balance of what’s possible within the limitations of being a Swiss foundation with AML requirements, but we’ll have something better for the future.

Again, I personally apologize for this frustration and I’m happy to discuss further.

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