FOAM Improvement Proposals


I think these suggestions are moving in the precisely the wrong disection. There are currently 3-4 people voting on challenges, and you want to make it more difficult?

The fact that the above posters are all are worried about the “dark side” of Foam instead of the fact that there is virtually no community is bewildering to me. It’s impossible to tell whether the TCR actually needs these changes since virtually no one uses it. Foam improvements should be focusing on growth right now.

To those of you who are flagging my posts in an effort to make them disappear: You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. You’d rather turn to censorship than face some hard truths about this project? Ouch. You might want to ask yourself why you’re even here. Decentralized and permissionless networks may not be for you.


@foam_cs, I presume that you have some kind of targets in mind when it comes to the number of POIs as well as their geographical dispersion? If so, has the map achieved those targets yet?


I can’t agree more with this comment.

I do think you are doing an amazing job guys to put the FIP process in place. However making changes to the map based on the FIP process right now can’t be an “improvement” for the simple reason that the sample size is too small, in fact it is very very very small and doesn’t mean anything relevant that can be analysed quantitatively.

I would recommend anyone to learn what are cognitive biases and more specifically in this case the cognitive bias linked to the law of small numbers. It is an error in judgment to draw conclusion from a small sample size and consider those conclusions relevant for a bigger sample size. Right now you guys and the FOAM team has to understand that very very few people use the map and that no conclusion can be made about this usage and therefore no decisions can be made based on it.

It’s always amazing how humans prefer to not face reality and truth when it hurts to avoid pain and they rather feel good with false data and wrong interpretation of what is going on. I mean would you expect any business to implement changes if 3-5 users give feedback and make recommendations ? If you think so maybe you think your experience is worth more in data than the next hundreds or thousands users then. I just doesn’t make sense.

A lot of efforts have been put in the FIP process and it must be acknowledged but implementing changes right now is not the priority. What matters now is growth. Do you realise that almost no one outside the token sale has added POIs to the map ? I guess thousands of cartographers will come from nowhere with your “improvements” ?


It would have been better to ask this question on the thread about growth. It would be very surprising if FOAM has implemented growth targets since growth doesn’t seem to matter for the team and early adopters.


Perhaps. But perhaps this is also relevant to the ongoing discussion in this thread, assuming growth matters to the FOAM team.

In fact, besides just the growth of POIs, I think growth of cartographers matters too. And what’s happening right now is a downright discouragement to cartographers and would-be cartographers.


I share the same concern as you.

This is why I started this thread on growth :

Why FOAM team is only focused on technology development and not on product/market fit and growth?


All the technical stuff are lost on me. But I would say one thing - it’d great to have 100 cartographers each with 100 POIs, but failing that, I’d rather have 100 cartographers each with 1 POI, then 1 cartographer with 100 POIs. That’s the way to mass adoption.


It makes sense that a challenge for minimum stake would attract a small amount of voters due to gas costs outweighing rewards with a number of voters past a certain threshold. Recent challenges with higher stakes attract more voters. The balance of rewards and voter participation is a great topic to discuss in this thread.

I disagree that no conclusions for improvements can be drawn. Prior to the FOAM protocol there were virtually no data points on the performance of token curated registries and only assumptions. Thus far is the most these mechanisms have been tested live and there are areas identified by users and contributors that can be improved upon, either to discourage a kind of behavior or encourage another. These are needed and important discussions that should be held by interested stakeholders. Improvements to the protocol will assist with mechanism design to make the system more robust. You are free to disagree with the prioritization of the FIP process, however this thread is for proposing and evaluating proposals and should stay on topic.


Here I can understand the simple approach of a theorist.
But ultimately it is the practitioners / cartographers who put all this theory into practice.
Who gives us the right to value their time in such a way.
Here we are talking about the time commitment and thus the part of a person’s life. Creating a fair environment for these people right from the start is something we should aim.
If a company does not have a decent work relationship for the first employees, this will probably not get much more motivated employees. A fair working environment is the first prerequisite for successful expansion.


It may be that my opinion was not understood very well.
There can be an infinite number of cartographies with a POI.
But the decision on which POIs are good enough for our map should then be left to those with 100 POIs. Challenge / Vote
It is about leaving the decisions to those who have more experience and proven commitment. In the course of this also to avoid malicious manipulation.


Are there any current FIPs that the community has agreed to implement? If we can start structuring these as github issues, it’s easy enough for the community (or even say, some mysterious benefactor!) to open up a bounty on gitcoin. That could be an interesting way to increase cadence of improvements to the POI map.


Then the issue would be whether to prioritize voters participation or cartographers participation in creating new POIs?


As this is the Foam Improvement Proposal thread.
A few suggestions that I think might spark discussions.

  1. There is does not seem to be an incentive in sight for a Cartographer to put a POI or a Signal on the map.
  2. For a POI, there only seem to be a risk, as the POI is exposed to being challenged. We need the challenges to keep the basis of the Map’s Token Curated Registry working.

So to help address this. Change how the challenge reward is allocated.

a) When a challenge takes place. 18% of the tokens that get rewarded get distributed to every other point on the map. 2% of the tokens get distributed to every Signal on the map. The distribution takes place after the challenge is completed. The remaining 80% of the reward goes via the current 60/40 split.

Thus existing POI start to accumulate tokens as challenges take place and thus create the incentive to be challenged as they age. The distribution is done in proportion to the amount of tokens staked on each POI divided by the total number of tokens staked on POI’s.

b) Consider reducing the POI staking amount to 10 FOAM token. As at this point in time it is better to get more POI’s on the map. Yes there is a trade off in gas fees. But once someone puts a POI on the map, it then has the opportunity to accumulate tokens per (a). This creates a positive low barrier incentive to participate in building.

c) The reason to distribute some of the tokens to Signals is that it helps with the deflationary aspect of the token, As if you can stake tokens on signals with no risk of loss and the amount of your stake grows, you are less likely to leave the speculative tokens in a wallet unused. Instead they will be placed on the map, serving the function for which they were designed in the whitepaper, a guide to where dynamic proof of location beacons are most desired.



Do you mean each POI requires exactly 10 tokens? Or just reducing the minimum stake from 50 to 10?


Just reducing the min stake to 10.


@AAbranches Thanks for sharing. Something to keep in mind for discussion is the lower the minimum deposit, the lower the reward pool in the case of a challenge which may disincentive voters from participating. In your proposal, "18% of the tokens that get rewarded get distributed to every other point on the map…existing POI start to accumulate tokens as challenges take place and thus create the incentive to be challenged as they age. " there is still the option for the point owner to withdraw this additional stake each time it is received and keep their point at a low stake. Further, to consider, if the reward pool is 20 tokens and 18% are distributed to all points, the amount of gas to do so to 10,000 points would far outweigh the value of the the 3.5 tokens being split so many ways. A distribution of rewards from challenge pool to points needs to have a mechanism and source of ETH for so much gas. Looking forward to further discussing.


@ainsleysutherland Great question. We are in the final stages of formalizing the FIP specification and process. Below is a summary of what we have so far, and here is the full version on Github. I’d love some feedback, if you have any.

We are in the process of organizing another Community Workshop Call to finalize the spec and process, and begin formulating the FIPs that the community liked in the last Community Workshop Call here into the first official FIPs.

Let us know which date(s)/time(s) works best for you for that call here!


@Ryan_foam, You raise the practical issues with the proposal. Thank you.

I can see the sense of keeping the POI’s on map at the staking amount of 50.

On the topic of distribution and ether gas fees. It seems to tied to the FOAM/ETH price. If more FOAM is staked then the ratio will rise, alternatively doing a distribution on a periodic basis or when the value of the collected distribution exceeds the value of the gas consumed.

Just ideas, I know this is a hard problem to solve.


Coming out of yesterday’s Community Workshop Call on the FIP process and specification, here’s some thoughts:

Topic 1- Process for Approving FIPs

There was a lot of discussion on these parameters. There was a debate over which makes more sense for approving FIPs-

  • social consensus between either Community Workshop Call members, discourse users, or people in person

  • token-weighted voting (a.k.a. the onchain governance style) by developing a specialized governance module and interface for FIP decisions, or just by using the map to vote on FIPs (ex. placing a point on the map for an FIP and seeing whether it passes or is removed after initiating a challenge)

Our thoughts were that token-weighted voting is something to be explored long-term, but definitely too risky to use right now given the potential for malicious activity. For now, a soft social consensus approach without any formal vote may make more sense. This would be among Community Workshop Call members and the FOAM team, also considering Discourse sentiment. It would allow us to move quicker and avoid complexity that is probably not necessary at this stage in the project. This is also how Ethereum currently makes decisions on EIPs.

Over time, a move could theoretically be made towards a more formal style of FIP governance, whether it be to a “harder” social consensus approach or a more on-chain, token-weighted approach once such a system has been designed and battle-tested.

Topic 2- FIP Editors

We currently have 3 volunteers to be FIP editors. Let me know if you have any questions on what the role entails and if you want to become one.

Topic 3- Moving forward with proposed FIPs

Caleb made the point that we should set a date before which all FIP ideas should be considered, so that we can consider them all together and decide what makes sense in relation to all other ideas. The deadline is set to October 17th, 2019. Get your FIP ideas in before then if you have not yet. Here’s a list of everything that we have so far.

Either you (the proposer of the FIP) or someone else will need to formally draft it into an FIP using this specification on Github. It will then need to be submitted to the Issues tab on Github.

I can begin this process for the three FIPs that there was strong consensus around in the last call, here. As a quick recap, those were (1) allowing users to edit their own POIs before a certain time frame or for a small fee, (2) applying change to faulty POI during the challenge and having the changes take place immediately, and (3) removing the application period altogether from the smart contracts and making new POI visibility a UI developer decision.

8/22 Community Workshop IV - FIPs and Open Forum