What SPEs does Livepeer need?

Livepeer now has a community governed onchain treasury that is filling with LPT. And we have a suggested process for making, and building support for proposals. The spiritual idea behind this treasury is that rather than funding end recipients directly, it instead funds “Special Purpose Entities” or SPEs, that have a mission, and are well suited via their expertise to allocate the received funds to end recipients in that area. SPEs are serving the public-goods needs of the ecosystem.

So what SPEs does Livepeer need?

Let me take a stab at first describing the two in-progress SPEs, and their (summarized) missions.

1. Livepeer Innovators DAO
Mission: Provide retroactive funding to video builders who are doing things that help generate demand for the Livepeer Network.

Expertise: Made up of community members who have a long history of deeply caring about Livepeer, are aware of the Ecosystem, and are willing to dedicate time to sourcing, recruiting, and reviewing applicants to allocate funding effectively.

Commentary: At this point in the evolution of the ecosystem, nearly anything that credibly generates demand for the network, without harmful brand association or safety concerns, can be viewed as a public good. This may not be the case forever as sustainable sources of demand generation grow and decentralized.

2. Livepeer Community Grants
Mission: Proactively fund public goods on the Livepeer Network.

Expertise: Dedicated resources, with years-long history building and participating in the Livepeer Network, using subjective judgement to source, review, and support grant applicants.

Commentary: Proactive funding is very useful to enable new things to be built where there is a known need, or where resource constraints prevent groups with the right abilities to be able to dedicate the time to building out these public goods.

SPEs the ecosystem might need

While the above SPEs already exist, here are some unmet public goods needs in the ecosystem that could benefit from dedicated groups.

3. Liquidity Management

Mission: Ensure the proper onboarding and offboarding access points into the Livepeer Ecosystem for node operators, developers, and token holders.

Expertise: Onchain native. Defi, Bridging, Multichain aware. Strong transparency and governance over funds to build trust with ecosystem in managing large amounts of LPT.

Commentary: Livepeer runs on Arbitrum, and currently suffers from a lack of effective bridging solutions to be able to move LPT back and forth between Arbitrum and mainnet Ethereum, where it can more easily be acquired. This is because no incentive exists for users to lock their token in bridging solutions, as opposed to staking on the network where they accrue additional inflationary LPT. This is a great example of a public good that benefits everyone in the Ecosystem, and a good use of LPT in a public goods treasury. The same could be said for other DeFi related integrations such as DEX liqudity on L2, lending protocols, or liquid staking protocols…which all require LPT liquidity. The challenge here is that the proposing SPE would have to convince the community of proper security and funds governance to be trusted to administer large amounts of released LPT from the treasury. This could be accomplished via “don’t trust me because you’re releasing funds directly into a smart contract which will deploy them”, to “trust me via my reputation and track record”.

4. Smart contract security group

Mission: Ensure the security of the Livepeer protocol.

Expertise: The Livepeer protocol. Smart contract development/auditing. Bug triage. Security.

Commentary: Livepeer operates a series of things to ensure protocol security. There is a dedicated security committee. There is a bug bounty program. There are code audits for protocol upgrades. The latter two have benefited the community immensely in preventing lost user funds through protocol exploits. But they also cost significant money. The security committee itself is spread pretty thin resource wise to also react to and triage protocol issues. These are also the ultimate public goods, and the treasury can play a key role in keeping the protocol secure. I will likely propose an SPE that not only funds bug bounties and audits from the treasury, but also retains additional protocol auditors who can be on the front line of response + triage for any issues to continue protecting user funds. Decentralizing this is of key interest for the sustainability of the protocol.

5. What else?
There are many other public goods for the Ecosystem that dedicated groups could focus on over time as these actions decentralize. Here are some category suggestions, though ultimately the missions of these groups would have to be more tightly defined.

  • Global community growth
  • Testing and QA
  • R&D and Innovation
  • Funding broader video ecosystem open source and public goods

What other SPE needs does Livepeer have?


A pre-seed / seed venture fund is an interesting candidate here. I foresee a gap in funding after grants, particularly for for-profit entities that may not be eligible for RPGF but still contribute meaningfully to the Livepeer ecosystem and its credibility.

This sort of fund could be considered a public good unto itself, because it provides a clear source of growth capital for companies building on Livepeer. Grants and RPGF are great for the early stages of the ecosystem build-out, but at some point venture funds will come into the picture. A dedicated Livepeer venture fund would be extraordinarily valuable for Livepeer-associated companies (and would have a ready-made, defensible fund thesis).


So SPEs would be kind of like mini-DAOs comprised of various individuals and/or entities with strong expertise in the scope and mission of the SPE?

@dob Do you think it’s worth expanding a little further on the difference of scope between “Innovators DAO” and “Community grants” ? I know discussing semantics is non-productive most often, but maybe “Video Builder DAO” (VIDAO :smile:) and “Network DAO” provide a clearer separation between “demand source funding” and “network public goods”.

I agree with these 4 initial SPEs, I think having too many initially would be counter-productive. Things like R&D or research could potentially fit in one of these 4 initial SPEs, and branched out if their scope gets to big it warrants a spin-out.

I think it goes without say that Tenderize would love to play a role in creating a more liquid ecosystem for LPT as well as making sure the smart contracts (especially the staking ones) are secure :saluting_face:.


Good question about the difference between the Community Grants SPE and Video Innovators DAO. The differences as I understand them…

  • Video Innovators DAO - running a retroactive funding program for apps and sources of demand building on the Livepeer network.
  • Grants - running a proactive grants funding program for public goods in the Livepeer ecosystem. This includes proactive (ahead of time) funding to apps and demand gen sources, but also other forms of public goods including supply side contributions, core R&D, marketing/events, etc.

Ultimately, the community can see what works and judge which programs to fund, including evaluating how they evolve.

I think it goes without say that Tenderize would love to play a role in creating a more liquid ecosystem for LPT as well as making sure the smart contracts (especially the staking ones) are secure :saluting_face:

Would love to see Tenderize take a lead role in the liquidity SPE.

SPE’s as “mini DAOs”

I do think that’s one way to look at them, but I just want to clarify they needn’t all be DAOs. If one is transparent that it’s just centrally run and executed program, or small team, or individual then that’s fine as long as the community chooses to trust it with funds.


Hey hey, not new to Livepeer, I’m following from a distance since 2017 :smiley: and it’s great to see that you’re interested in growing the public goods for the Livepeer ecosystem. I think running Gitcoin rounds could be a great way of starting to experiment and grow the pg ecosystem around livepeer.

Think it might be very interesting if Livepeer would create a 3 month long QF round on Gitcoin(usually a round lasts for a month) time in which you people can learn about Livepeer and start applying or even have time to start building their projects :smiley:


I think a Creative Content Fund would be a great use case. This grant would finance unique content creation that utilizes Livepeer, fostering a diverse range of creators and content.

The Creative Content Fund focused on unique content creation using Livepeer, here are more examples:

  1. Interactive Live Streams: Funding projects that explore interactive elements in live streaming, such as audience participation in events or shows.
  2. Virtual Reality (VR) Content: Supporting the creation of VR content that leverages Livepeer’s streaming capabilities.
  3. Educational Series: Producing educational content or series that utilize Livepeer’s technology to reach a wide audience.
  4. Documentaries: Backing documentary projects that focus on blockchain technology, digital media evolution, or stories from within the Livepeer community.

These initiatives could enhance engagement with Livepeer’s technology and showcase its potential in diverse content creation areas.


A treasury fund allocation to sponsor and endorse influential creators and public figures on YouTube that are involved in crypto projects and in the streaming industry so that we have a way to advertise to a larger group of people and get them familiar with what Livepeer network does and how it makes transcoding really cheap for not only Web3 streaming platforms but it can also be affordable to traditional web2 companiest as well.
This is just out loud thinking, we can come up with a well thought out plan for this if we do decide to think about this. Advertising never hurts and we would not be pumping LPT coin like the s-coiners but rather the Livepeer network platform that actually has use cases and is already working and providing services.
@dob Let me know your thoughts. Thanks