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Wrapping up 2021: A Year in Review

Ready for Launch

We began with a vision of a more egalitarian global employment framework, driven by our mission to bring powerful tools and infrastructure to independent workers, giving them control of their work-life in a way that has never existed until now.

2021 was an incredible year (spoiler alert: we saw tremendous growth), fueled by our shared passion to spread the word about the Opolis Employment Commons with as many independent workers as possible.

Thank you for being part of the community. We can’t say enough how grateful we are to be on this journey with you, and how excited we are for what’s next.

Employee Members

We started 2021 by running $58,338 for 15 Employee-Members on January 1, 2021. We ended the year by running $683,574 for 159 Employee-Members on December 17, 2021. This was a 1074% growth in payroll volume.


Brief Reminder: An Epoch happens when we grow by $50k in Periodic Commons Payroll Volume (PCPV). PCPV represents the total amount of payroll in crypto and fiat that Employee-Members run during a semi-monthly payroll period. In 2021 we completed 13 Epochs (50k, 100k, 150k, 200k, 250k, 300k, 350k, 400k, 450k, 500k, 550k, 600k, 650k), with our most successful growth period being October 15, when we grew from $373k to $517k, clearing the $400k, $450k, and $500k milestones in one pay cycle.

November 19 was another great pay period where we cleared Epoch 11 ($550k) and Epoch 12 ($600k) by running $635,902 in payroll. We finished the year strong by clearing the Epoch 13 ($650k) on December 17.

An Epoch closes when the Blue bar catches the orange line

Coalition Members

We launched our Coalition-Membership and Dashboard for community members to support our mission and ended the year with 2695 coalition members.

$WORK Stakers

756 of those Members staked over 29,000,000 $WORK on the dashboard, sharing 13,000,000 $WORK rewards for an average of 17,195.76 $WORK per staker.


Our following grew by 343% and we were mentioned over 2700 times on Twitter, thank you! You did such a great job, Mark Cuban started following Opolis, and he only follows 1.9k accounts! We attended/sponsored 8 events and were featured over 30 times in articles, podcasts, and speaking engagements. We loved seeing you in Denver, Paris, Lisbon, Miami, Los Angeles, Portland, and New York and can’t wait to see you again in 2022.


Every time we reach a growth milestone, 1,500,000 $WORK are minted and distributed among the Members who made referrals of Employee-Members who ran payroll during that Epoch. So far, 21% of our Members referred at least one new member. That number was both higher than we expected and inspirational about the upward growth potential.

An Important Update from the Employment Commons Board of Stewards

At the December meeting, a concern was raised that we were reaching our growth goals too quickly and that something should be done to either slow the emissions of $WORK or decrease the quantity being minted with each block. The Board decided to leave the emissions as is, with 5M $WORK being minted every time we reach a growth threshold, but voted to amend the white paper to increase the difficulty at the $1,050,000 threshold. In the white paper, at $1.05M the milestone increases from “every $50k in growth” to “5% growth.” The Board felt 10% growth would be more appropriate given our current growth trajectory, so as of the February 4th pay date, 10% growth must be achieved to mint a new payroll mining block.

Our most valuable metric is payroll volume

As an Employment Cooperative, our goal is to build a global public utility infrastructure for employment. Our goals are to maximize your savings, streamline your operations, issue a rebate on the 1% fee and continue to reward your patronage with ample $WORK rewards.

As a payroll company, we achieve all of these goals by focusing on and increasing the quantity of payroll we run each pay cycle, each month, each year. We had a goal of clearing $1,000,000 PCPV in January, and thanks to the efforts of our Membership Steward, our Operations Stewards, our Technical Stewards, and each and every one of you, reading this, who did everything from engaging with a Tweet all the way to referring your friends/colleagues and helping us grow the Commons, we fucking did it.

We tied our previous record

On January 7, 2022, we ran $837,457, clearing 3 Epochs ($700k, $750k, and $800k), tying our previous personal best growth pay cycle. In terms of $WORK rewards, on average, payroll rewards came out to 28,846 $WORK per member. 461 Members of the Cooperative staked, earning an average of 8,677 $WORK per staker. A total of 596 Members earned some kind of reward: payroll, referral, or staking.

It was almost higher, but due to Christmas interrupting our typical payroll creation cycle, Employee-Members who completed their onboarding with their bank account verified before December 23rd were included. Those who completed onboarding after Christmas but before New Year were all bumped to the January 21, 2022 pay cycle… you know where this is going:

Last week we crushed our personal record

In our January 21, 2022 payroll we ran $1,075,000 in payroll clearing 5 Epochs ($850k, $900k, $950k, $1M, and $1,05M). For those keeping score at home, that’s 25 Million $WORK we’ll be minting in the coming weeks. We didn’t think it would line up perfectly with the move by the Board to increase the difficulty, but it actually lined up PERFECTLY. We achieved the white paper’s growth threshold limit to switch from dollar amount ($50k) to percentage (5%) in the exactly right pay period. No additional math must be done or exceptions made. The next threshold that must be met to mint 5M $WORK will be 10% growth from the $1,050,000 milestone: $1,155,000.00.


Between end-of-year bonus amortization, closing out our annual books, processing the final paycheck of December, processing the first paychecks of January, finalizing our expansion to Canada, issuing and distributing W2s, facilitating HSA/FSA open-enrollment paperwork, and processing our largest single month onboarding ever (82 new Employee-Members), we fell a few weeks behind on $WORK distribution. We are sorry for the inconvenience and we thank you for your patience. We’re pleased to report that at the time of this writing we’ve finalized the accounting and that $WORK will be minted and distributed to the community in a few days.

We minted 5M $WORK for Epoch 13 (Dec 17) then we minted $15M $WORK for Epochs 14, 15, and 16 (Jan 7), and we bridged the 20M $WORK over to Polygon where 6M $WORK will be distributed to Employee Members, 6M $WORK will be distributed to their referrers, 4M $WORK are about to be distributed into the Merkle Claim for stakers, 2M $WORK will be sent to the Commons Treasury, and 2M $WORK will be sent to the Opolis Treasury.

Distribution will work the same way it has in the past with distribution being specific to each Epoch, with 14, 15, and 16 all triggering at once — meaning anyone who ran payroll, referred someone who ran payroll, or was staked already is sharing a larger slice of a massive pie.

You must now be wondering, “well what about the 5 Epochs that y’all just massacred through fortitude, weeks of 15h days of wall-to-wall meetings, some very effective collaboration with the Bankless podcast/newsletter, and sheer force of will?” Great question:

You have two days to Stake

Due to the backlog, we’re giving everyone until Friday to stake the tokens received via the past four Epochs to be considered in the pending five. 25 Million $WORK will be minted and distributed next week, and if you’d like your shiny new $WORK to be included in the staking rewards, please visit your dashboard and stake before Friday, January 28th at 11:59 PM MST. All $WORK that is staked before the snapshot will be included in the next epoch for staking rewards.

Looking ahead

Like the 10x we did in 2021, we’re looking to replicate our success in 2022 by scaling another 10x. That means we have 12 months (11 now) to grow from ~250 Members to ~2500 Members and from running ~$25M in payroll per year to $250M in payroll per year.

Within the next few pay periods, we’ll be adding support for funding your invoices in stablecoins on the Polygon network (with xDAI and Fantom not far behind). We’ll be announcing some exciting strategic partnerships we’ve been working on, launching an ambassador/affiliate program, and our UX and Dashboard are getting a facelift thanks to our friends over at Raid Guild and dOrg.

Our next stop is ETHDenver, where we’re hosting a Happy Hour, to serve as a meet-and-greet for our community (because it has been 2 years and we can’t wait to meet more of you in person) and welcome new members into our community. As users of the tech, members of the community, owners of the cooperative, there are no better advocates than you, just being you, talking honestly about your experience so far (and also free drinks).

We can’t wait to see you. We’re so glad you’re on this journey with us. You’re one of the first 250 Employee-Members of what will someday be the employment vehicle for tens of millions of freelancers, independent workers, start-up founders, creators, etc around the world. If you don’t feel like you’re sitting in a first-class seat on a rocket ship, stop by the happy hour and I’ll pour you some champagne myself. Cheers!

A Digital Employment Cooperative for the Independent Worker | health benefits | shared services | payroll | #ownershipeconomy #web3 #TheEmploymentCommons

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Joshua Lapidus

Joshua Lapidus

Executive Community Steward @ Opolis. Member of SporkDAO Board of Stewards. Buidler in the #Ethereum blockchain space.

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