UrbitGrants

Valuation Research Articles

Champion: ~simfur-ritwed
April 27, 2022
Bounty
Other

Overview

Create in-depth valuation models for Urbit address space, network effects, and commercial utilization.

Background

Understanding the economics of Urbit can be tricky; there are many different layers of analogy and historical comparison for how to value Urbit address space, network effects, and commercial potential. There is also potentially interesting territory around Urbit’s differences from previously existing infrastructure, land, etc paradigms, and the potential to unlock new forms of economic activity. Some thinking has been done here, including by Tlon and by Justin Murphy; but much more (and more detailed) work remains.

We’re interested in seeing detailed economic analyses of Urbit’s valuation on a macro scale. These can involve statistical models from areas often analogized to Urbit (such as network effects, land value, or NFT token economics), or they can propose new models or scenarios. We don’t ask that you come to any particular conclusion; all submissions will be reviewed by the Mars Invisible College Review Board along the following parameters:

  • Does the submission employ a systematic valuation methodology? Ad hoc analyses or purely verbal analyses without some kind of coherent first-principles framework will be rejected.
  • Does the review show a qualitative familiarity with Urbit sufficient for a plausible valuation? A valuation model that is purely quantitative and implausibly out-of-touch with relevant realities of the Urbit network will be rejected.
  • Does the review demonstrate familiarity with basic economics and finance? Clever frameworks that reveal significant ignorance about basic finance and economics—to a degree that would make them unintelligible or obviously erroneous to valuation experts—will be rejected.
  • Is the submission's spelling, grammar, organization and presentation of professional quality (at least that of an a paper in a college class)? Submissions that do not meet a professional level of legibility will be rejected.

Some possible avenues of inquiry:

  • Analyses of how the current Urbit address space market functions and implications for future value; how current market actors perceive value; implications for growth
  • Urbit ID as a decentralized ID protocol (including for protocols on top of Urbit)
  • Urbit as a cryptographic asset (rare sigils and names, galaxies as DAO voting shares)
  • Urbit OS as a stable computing stack
  • Urbit network valuation (Stars as ISPs, stars as CDNs, Urbit as tokenized DNS, software distribution, payments)
  • Urbit as ‘digital land’
  • Urbit as Schelling Point for various protocols, cryptocurrencies, DAOs
  • Emergent commercial use cases for Urbit which are difficult or impossible under current paradigms, or are highly competitive with existing businesses, and how to value them
  • Urbit (whether ID, networking, computing stack) as hedge against geopolitical, technological, etc risk

Qualifying research papers can be either in academic style and submitted to peer reviewed journals, or be narrative-driven for publication elsewhere, but in either case must be detailed, sober-minded, thorough argumentation with citations where appropriate. There is no firm length requirement, but notability, familiarity with (and explanation/citation of) relevant models and prior work, and familiarity with the relevant areas of Urbit being analyzed are all highly important. Likewise, there is no requirement that you have specific academic credentials, but a familiarity with economic models and financial markets is highly encouraged.

Responsibilities

  • Author detailed analyses of valuation models, commercial value propositions, or current Urbit market dynamics
  • Submit for publication (Personal websites/Substacks/Urbit Groups are fine, but a clearweb presence is strongly encouraged; the Urbit Foundation may also assist in finding venues for publication if so desired. Academics are highly encouraged to submit resulting research analyses to peer-review journals)
  • Answer questions from the Mars Invisible College Review Board, which is a collection of independent urbit academics, contributors, and developers who will ensure ethical and quality standards are met.

Milestones & Compensation

$5000 upon completion of each article which meet the standards of the Mars Invisible College Review Board

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