VDP-14 Move Tier 3 Governance to Snapshot

Summary

In order to encourage more governance participation, and reduce governance friction, I propose we move our Tier 3 governance into Snapshot. This would not replace our current Tier 1 (Discord) and Tier 2 (Discourse) governance, and discussions at those levels would still need to happen prior to a Tier 3 vote, but the Tier 3 (previously on-chain) vote would happen on Snapshot.

Benefits

Snapshot governance requires no Ethereum gas to vote, and would serve the VitaDAO community far more effectively than Ethereum Layer 1 governance. We want to encourage participation in all governance levels by making the price of participation only the cost of the VITA a voter holds. This would mean people who earn VITA incentives through participation and who have no other crypto holdings (perhaps a researcher) could weigh in on significant proposals. For our mission and our DAO, the quality of our governance can only improve the more inclusive it is of the many people we incentivize with VITA.

VitaDAO’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 governance are set such that at those levels one person equals one vote. When we move to Tier 3, the voting becomes one VITA token one vote. Moving to snapshot for Tier 3 will retain this mechanic, and will not require staking VITA to vote. It will simply require having VITA in the wallet with which you vote. The name of the tool, ‘Snapshot,’ describes how the vote works. At a certain block on Ethereum Mainnet, the service takes snapshot of VITA holders and amounts. The voting power for a wallet is the amount of VITA the wallet has at the time of that snapshot. For this reason, I suggest we announce proposals as early as possible and that those announcements include the intended snapshot block number as well as the time the voting starts and ends.

Proposal Creation

Currently, proposal creation is done by the DAO exclusively, and only after discussion on Discord and Discourse. I propose we retain this workflow when we move to snapshot. In Snapshot, all stewards will have the Author role, and proposal creation will be permissible only for authors. This will prevent spam proposals from distracting the DAO, and will encourage the meaningful use of the other tiers of governance. The timeline for voting will still be the 14 days (or 7days if VDP-12 passes), with the voting delay being 2 days (or 12 hours if VDP-12 passes). Snapshot allows more flexibility on timelines than the Raphael contract did, but for now we’ll keep it the same and add more proposals to make use of that flexibility as VitaDAO sees fit.

Migrating Proposals from Currently Smart Contract

The current smart contract contains the voting information and a link to the proposal content on IPFS. In order for there to be a continuous governance record, I propose we take the current proposals and migrate them to Snapshot so people can obtain all governance records from one place. We will do this by copying each proposal over to snapshot and fixing the vote result to match the result from the on-chain vote (we will not try to match the amount of votes). To guarantee provenance of the copy, each of the initial snapshot proposals will contain a reference to the original smart contract proposal data and the link to the original IPFS document.

Effects on Smart Contracts

I propose the Raphael smart contract and the Staking contract be shutdown using the mechanism built into the contracts to do so. This will stop additional proposal creation on chain, and will immediately allow all VITA holders to unstake their VITA. We will do this during a time of no active proposals, and allow at least 3 days for everyone to reclaim their staked VITA before creating a new proposal that takes a snapshot of VITA balances.

While we can shutdown the smart contract, Ethereum doesn’t have the concept of deletion. All of the Raphael contract activities, events, and records are forever on chain, and forever queryable. In this way, our existing governance will still carry the same weight and effect as it does now, and we will reference that in the on-chain proposals we copy over into snapshot.

IPNFT Holder Change

One side effect the shutdown has is that the contract can no longer hold the IPNFTs. I propose we move the IPNFT(s) to the current VitaDAO Gnosis multi-signature wallet. This will allow for lower cost operations on the IPNFT(s), have the same security as current treasury management (5 of 8 signers needed), and allow the option of moving towards more decentralized ownership in the future if we choose to use Zodiac.

Snapshot Settings

Snapshot requires many settings, and most of them are self explanatory - you can find the docs here. The ones of note, how I propose we set them, and why are below:

  • Network
    • Ethereum Mainnet, because that’s where all the VITA live.
  • Skin
    • Aligned with current and future DAO web page design
  • Domain Name
    • vote.vitadao.com - and we will continue to support voting on dao.vitadao.com with implementation to support snapshot
  • Strategies
    • erc20-balance-of VITA - we will begin here, and add strategies to ensure we can vote with any staked VITA or tokens locked for other reasons VitaDAO governance decides upon in the future.
  • Admins
    • A small list of three stewards, to include @audieleon and @vincentweisser as technical working group leadership and @theobtl as the governance working group lead. This is a small, high trust group because admins and controllers have deletion rights on proposals. The group needs to be big enough to allow continuance of control is someone leaves the DAO, and small enough that misbehavior is easily auditable.
  • Authors (currently “Members” in the docs)
    • As described above, all stewards and only stewards will be authors of proposals. This allows Tier 1 and Tier 2 governance to continue to have its important place, and keeps the list of proposals on snapshot high quality.
  • Allow Only Authors to Submit Proposals
    • This will be true, to ensure only authors can submit proposals.

Final Note

The VITA token contract will remain unchanged by this proposal, and all of your VITA will remain yours. If this vote passes, we will announce the dates of the changes above, . We will also provide explainers on how to reclaim your VITA from the staking contract and how to vote using snapshot. All your previous votes are still in effect and will remain so. This proposal simply makes governance easier, free, and more effective by including more voters.

Author: Audie Sheridan (@audieleon)

  • Agree
  • Agree with revisions (please comment)
  • Disagree

0 voters

5 Likes

I fully agree that we would benefit a lot from gasless voting and second this proposal.

I wonder what’s the best way to handle IPNFTs when these are vital to VitaDAO and can be of extraordinarily high value where moving them to the multisig seems like a compromise. After all, while Snapshot is secure, it is not on the same level as Ethereum mainnet.

Could we keep the contracts in place just to hold and manage the IPNFTs?

Would this interfere with anything else you’re suggesting? I assume everyone could still unstake their VITA once proposals have passed.

2 Likes

Also agree that we would benefit a lot from gasless voting through snapshot… but think we should make it possible to directly make a proposal on snapshot without a governance post here before-hand… although I can also see why it makes sense to add the discussion (especially to increase odds of passing)… but i also see the benefit of less friction to get more people involved to create proposals… fully expecting that most would still go through the regular process

2 Likes

The Raphael contract would become a simple NFT holder if we keep the contract. In essence, the Gnosis contract wallet performs the same function, only it’s easier to work with because it’s listed as an asset on the wallet, rather than hidden in a contract that is only capable of receiving and sending.

Snapshot and the NFT will have nothing to do with one another. We would simply move the NFT to Gnosis, which would put us on a path to using something like Zodiac+ to give the DAO direct control over these assets.

2 Likes

I think it’s reasonable to try this, but it would be a change to the existing governance model we voted in. My proposal above attempts to keep the governance model the same, while changing the mechanism of voting for Tier 3.

My only concern would be spam proposals, so if we were to go that route, I think any proposal to that effect should limit the proposal authors to people who hold VITA. I’d likely support that governance change if we control for spam.

As it is, this proposal doesn’t propose to change governance.

1 Like

Sorry for coming in late and without an informed take but I share @theobtl’s concerns over the externalities of moving to snapshot. As long as this hardfork is backward compatible, e.g., still allowing us to eventually give the DAO direct control over the NFT assets, we should be good, right?

I’m not super clued in but how far away are DAO’s from performing governance on Layer 2’s? Wondering if we will eventually want to go back on on-chain to layer 2 from Snapshot when that’s available.

In my opinion, there is no benefit to holding the NFTs in the DAO’s contract and keeping the contract active. The IPNFTs shirt to direct control by the Multisig, which is the same group that controls the contract. The only functional difference is that we remove the need for an extra transaction to shift the IPNFT out of the contract. The security is not weaker.

In addition, this would be a step towards the DAO having direct control, if we were to decide to use Zodiac in the future. Zodiac allows increasingly direct control over a gnosis safe - ultimately even removing the need for signers.

Moving to a layer 2 is an option, but would still cost money to vote. We may want to move something there later, but most likely a move to snapshot is one way, because it’s unlikely most would vote to add costs to governance.

2 Likes