This Week in DAOs - June 3, 2021

A Political Defense of DeFi, Gitcoin's Akita Deliberations, and KrauseHouseDAO

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Another exciting week of DAO governance is in the books. Keep scrolling to get caught up.

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📰 This Week’s News

Uniswap’s Historic Proposal

Uniswap’s governance forum has been an exciting place to be for the last couple of weeks. For a recap on the mechanics of Uniswap governance (which will be useful below), check out Uniswap’s page on the Boardroom app:

Uniswap Overview on Boardroom

As discussed in this newsletter, arguably the splashiest proposal in DAO governance last week was Andy8052 calling for Uniswap to deploy V3 to Arbitrum mainnet. The Snapshot vote passed and the Uniswap team has agreed to implement the proposal, which did not require an on-chain governance vote.

Then, late last week, another big proposal surfaced on the Uniswap forums. Authored by John Palmer, creator of Fish.vote, it would lower the proposal submission threshold (the amount of UNI that needs to be staked to an address making a governance proposal) from 10 million UNI to 2.5 million. The Snapshot vote passed the Temperature Check stage, easily reaching the 25k UNI quorum. It is currently being deliberated in the Consensus Check stage and will be put to an official vote once 10 million UNI are delegated to the proposal on Fish.vote. (<— Substack wouldn’t let us link to the proposal but you can find it by following the fish.vote link above.)

However, there was another Uniswap governance proposal that surpassed both of those mentioned above in terms of controversy and, depending on one’s point of view, impact.

On May 27th, the Harvard Law Blockchain and Fintech Initiative (which was delegated 10 million UNI from a16z in April 2021) put forth an ambitious Temperature Check proposal to fund a political defense fund, a 501(c)4, with 1 million UNI (worth ~$28 million at time of writing). According to the more detailed Consensus Check proposal, which was put forward four days later after the threshold for the Temperature Check was reached, the proposed organization would use the funds to mount a “regulatory and political defense of the decentralized finance ecosystem.” Activities include: funding thought leadership from policy think tanks and academics, hiring lawyers and lobbyists to influence regulators and legislators, developing messaging around the benefits of DeFi, and mounting grassroots advocacy campaigns.

If this proposal were to pass a formal governance vote, it would represent the largest DAO treasury distribution (excluding liquidity incentive programs) ever made.

As a result, as one might expect, this proposal has not lacked controversy. Several leaders in the UNI and DeFi communities - including John Palmer, DC Investor, and Robert Leshner - have come out against it. The chief objections are that (1) the requested amount is too large, (2) the oversight process lacks detail, (3) other DeFi DAOs should share the cost burden, and (4) the precedent set by the alleged rushed process is dangerous.

Nonetheless, at time of writing, the Snapshot poll stands at 77% YES / 23% NO. More than 40 million YES votes have been cast, meaning that the proposal has the required votes to pass an on-chain governance vote should everyone who voted YES do so again.

The significance of this proposal is not solely that it is requesting a large amount of money. As Leighton Cusack of PoolTogether notes in his post in support of the proposal, this is an example of “big thinking” for what to do with the vast DAO treasuries that we talk about so often in this newsletter. Indeed, we might look back on this proposal as a pivotal event in the history of DAOs: one that represents the start of a new era in how DAOs interact with legacy institutions.

Either way, the debate about this proposal has been fascinating to watch unfold. If readers here have not yet visited the Uniswap Governance forum to check it out and contribute, we highly encourage it. Also, the Consensus Check vote is still live, follow the link below to vote:

Funding a Political Defense of DeFi

Gitcoin Deliberates Akita Holdings

As Stateless readers know, Gitcoin formally launched their DAO last week. Hints that it was coming were being dropped for a while, but the formation of a Gitcoin DAO especially gained speed following Vitalik Buterin’s sudden and massive donation of Akita tokens to Gitcoin Grants.

This week, the budding DAO community has turned its attention to how to deal with those funds. A Snapshot Proposal, initiated by 🔥_🔥, looks “to finalize a decision around the AKITA tokens held by the Gitcoin Multisig” and considers seven different proposals made by members of the community.

To read more about the different proposals and take part in the decision, check out the Snapshot poll and the governance forum discussion.

Gardens by 1Hive

1Hive, a DAO that is creating a variety of applications around its digital currency called Honey, has introduced Gardens - an open-source “template for public communities to coordinate shared resources in a bottom-up fashion.”

At the core of Gardens are three tools:

  1. A novel voting system called “Conviction voting”

  2. A decentralized social contract, called a “Community Covenant,” based on Aragon Agreements.

  3. A dispute resolution protocol, called “Celeste” based on a BrightID integration with Aragon Court.

1Hive’s hope is that, taken together, these solutions form an attractive operating system for emerging DAOs.

KrauseHouseDAO

A fun story that came across our radar this week is KrauseHouseDAO - “a community of people crazy enough to buy an NBA team.” The name comes from Jerry Krause, former General Manager of the Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan era.

They only have 75 followers on Twitter as of time of writing but their meme game is strong.

If you like the NBA and DAOs and are a tiny bit crazy, join their Discord.

Aragon Launches Vocdoni

Earlier this week, Aragon announced the launch of Vocdoni - a voting solution for businesses and governments, powered by Aragon’s protocol.

What’s interesting about this is that it provides an easy way for traditional organizations to utilize some of the tools that thus far have mostly only been used by digitally native organizations. According to the Vocdoni page on Aragon’s website, these tools include: fully transparent yet anonymous voting, direct communication between organizations and their social base, and a suite of membership and financial management solutions.

DeFi Grants Aggregator

If you’re an individual developer or part of a team looking to build in the DeFi/DAO space, be sure to check out DeFi Grant’s Aggregator. Released this week, it houses a collection of links to most, if not all, of the major grants programs in crypto.

DeFi Grants Aggregator


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