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Utopia

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Software for managing payment requests, payroll, and reporting for DAOs

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Founder(s):  
Kaito Cunningham
Pryce Yebesi
This post was written by 
Lucas Pontes
and edited by 
Justine Humenansky
 & 

Overview

What is it?

Utopia is an app that attaches to Gnosis Safes and allows DAO managers to set recurring payments (e.g. salaries), receive payment/refund requests from members, and create an annotated transaction history for approved and rejected payments.

What problem does it solve?

DAOS don’t have a reliable process to refund members for out-of-pocket expenses. Blockchain data doesn’t include metadata, complicating payment requisitions. Remembering and executing salary transactions for staff easily becomes unmanageable in DAOs at scale.

How does it work?

Payment Requests

  • Vault signers approve the connection between Utopia’s app and the chosen vault
  • Utopia generates payment request links
  • Vault signers share the payment request link for other members
  • Members use the UI to specify the date, receiving ETH address, amount, details and upload invoices of the refund or payment request
  • Vault signers accept or reject the payment requests
  • The approved requests are sent in bulk to the Gnosis Safe
  • Vault signers finally sign and execute the transactions from the Gnosis Safe UI

Recurring Payments

  • Vault signers configure salaries via the Utopia UI, where they choose the receiving address, frequency, amount and duration of the recurring payments
  • When the time comes, Vault signers approve and execute the salaries transactions
  • Transactions are sent to the Gnosis Safe in bulk
  • Vault signers sign and execute the transactions in the Gnosis Safe UI

Transaction History

  • Vault signers can access and revisit all of the requests registered in Utopia, and export them to csv, in this section of the Utopia app

How do I use it?

  • As of December ‘21, Utopia is in private beta, so you’ll need to request a demo on their website
  • Utopia will grant you access to their tool and Discord
  • A vault signer must integrate the Gnosis Safe with Utopia and create an account
  • That’s it, you’re in and can now share payment request links to the rest of the DAO and approve payments/configure salaries

DAO Masters Insights

Why it's cool:

  • Accounting and financial processes are often overlooked and end up snowballing into serious issues down the road. It’s hard to keep track of transaction data, without metadata, so it’s difficult to remember what transactions were for in a few months time
  • The tool is almost zen-like in simplicity, yet it’s super effective
  • The UX for making a payment request is intuitive and easy for newcomers
  • The team is very mindful and competent, and are super quick to attend to their users

Challenges:

  • Currently only works with Gnosis Safes
  • Currently, only transactions generated via Utopia can be annotated. Previous transactions are not imported (but the team plans to expand this feature in the future)
  • Still in beta, so some bugs still happen occasionally

Words of advice:

  • Create a new vault just for OPEX and immediately integrate it with Utopia for full accounting history
  • Still not an end-all-be-all for financial Ops or accounting; ideally pair Utopia with a dedicated database for proper and flexible transaction history
  • Instruct members on making proper payment requests so they don’t  put in the wrong addresses or forget to add important details
  • There’s very useful links explaining how to use their tools, but it’s all very intuitive and simple

Expected future updates:

Getting Started

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A special thanks to  the backers  who made DAO Masters possible,
and to the $DAOMSTR Guild Members who worked dilligently to bring you daomasters.dyx