OnionDAO: incentivising Tor exit nodes

Project Name


Project Description and why it’s classified as a Public Good

OnionDAO is a collective of Tor exit node operators, we hand out monthly POAPs for exit node runners. The DAO was founded in April 2022.

The Tor privacy network depends on volunteer node operators. Exit nodes are perceived as high risk for many people, and they are thus always in short supply. We make setting up a node easy and rewarding by having an easy setup script and monthly POAPs. Note: we are not officially affiniated with the Tor Project, we act as a decentralised and independent entity (though we are in touch).

The Tor network is a classic example of a public good: anyone is free to use it on equal terms.

Main Project Funding Sources

We currently have no funding. All development and activity since our April 2022 launch have been done through the generosity of community members.

Seeking project-specific funding or funding for general operations

We want to create a funding stream for exit node operators. We hope to investigate whether this causes more people to run exit nodes, and if so, we want to expand this exit node funding initiative.

Project Roadmap and Milestones

Our DAO is up and running, the goal of this funding is to run an experiment to see if providing (modest) funding for exit node operators makes more people create exit nodes. Our gameplan:

  1. Raise funds and stake them
  2. Reward node operators
  3. If this increases node operator count, attempt to raise more funding

We intend to set up an Ethereum validator that has a 0xsplits contract as the withdrawal address. That 0xsplits address will proportionally stream rewards to OnionDAO POAP holders.

Funding Request and Budget

We hope to get 11 ETH funding, which would allow us to pay node operators an estimated $6/year.

If we are funded with less than 11 ETH, we will use a sablier.finance wallet to stream rewards from a decentralised liquid staking token. If we are funded 11 ETH we aim to run a Rocket Pool validator, and if we raise more than 11 ETH, we will start with 1 validator and slowly deploy more. If we do not see an increase in Tor exit node operators, we will return the excess funding to Octant.

Team Information, including backgrounds and roles

The DAO initiative taker is mentor.eth, a fully doxed person who:

OnionDAO community members who very actively do DAO-related activities are gaditonecy.eth and @banj.

Social Credibility (development progress, awards, notable GitHub commits, referrals):

Discord contact

We gather in #onion-dao channel in the Rocketeer Discord server
User: mentor.eth

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Do you have a commitment to open-source (i.e. every open-source license accepted by the Open-Source Initiative) technology and sharing results publicly?
  • Have you provided transparency about how exactly funding will be used?
  • Are you advancing values of freedom and privacy (no surveillance and handling of personal data)?
  • Are you supporting decentralization in various fields (for example building Web3 projects)?
  • Have you provided social media channels to the extent that we can confirm social proof of your project?

Any thoughts on why this is a better approach than NYM which has an integrated cryptocurrency into its mixnet which is meant to be more private than Tor?

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