Anticapture Commission

Throughout Season 4, delegates provided feedback attesting to the importance of recognizing the highest impact delegates and creating standards around their expected participation. In Season 5, broadening the set of tokenholders involved in governance will be a focus, with a priority of ensuring that high impact individual delegates remain well represented in the Token House.

Considering both of these factors, Season 5 introduces an Anticapture Commission, comprised of the highest impact delegates. The Anticapture Commission will have a mandate to represent the interests of individual delegates as a key tokenholder group, and to prevent capture of the Token House by any one tokenholder or group of tokenholders (protocols, OP Chains, etc.).

We have run or proposed similar delegation programs in the past. The Protocol Delegation Program and recently proposed Chain Delegation Program are similarly temporary delegation programs aimed at increasing the representation of important tokenholder groups. If approved by the Token House, the Anticapture Commission would be delegated 10M OP from the Governance Fund in Season 5 and 6. After one year, the Anticapture Commission would need to propose any continuation of the program to Governance, but the intention is for this program to expire.

Anticapture Commission Charter

Goals

  • Uphold standards of delegate engagement for the highest context, impact, and participation delegates (you can think of the Anticapture Commission as recognized delegates)
  • Represent individual delegates as a key stakeholder group by holding office hours each week and escalating community concerns to be put forward as discussion topics or proposals. This should empower individual delegates as we broaden the set of protocol or OP Chain delegates involved in governance decision
  • Provide alerts to the Citizens’ House when concerns arise over significant imbalances in power between groups of stakeholders (for example, between individual delegates, core dev teams, OP Chains, and various other potential tokenholder groups.) Please note this commission’s duties are in service to tokenholders. The commission may not explicitly limit tokenholder power and may not limit the rights of tokenholders in favor of any other stakeholder group in any way.

Commission Structure

The Anticapture Commission would be comprised of high impact delegates (delegates meeting the membership criteria outlined below) and the Council Leads from all other existing Councils. Anticapture Commission votes would be cast based on a simply majority of individual member votes.

Membership

  • Members must be an individual or professional delegate and not a representative of a protocol or corporation
  • Council Leads from each existing Council will also be considered Members, even if they do not meet the below criteria, as their role as Lead may prevent them from meeting this criteria but they are some of the highest context delegates. If a Council Lead does not wish to be a member of the Anticapture Commission, they may select a replacement from the Council they lead
  • All other members of Councils are eligible to be members of the Anticapture Commission, so long as they meet the below criteria
  • Members, as described above, must be in the top 100 delegates AND
    • Maintain = > 70% voting participation from time of first vote cast, provided > 3 votes cast. Delegates that cast their first vote in 2022 will be eligible with = > 65% voting participation. This parameter may be updated in Season 6, if the program is continued, if it is found to be overly restrictive.
    • Have received retro rewards for governance contributions, whether as delegates in any of S1-S4
  • All qualifying members must opt-in to be part of the Commission. Any qualifying member may choose not to opt-in for any reason. If less than 50% of qualifying members choose not to opt-in before the start of Season 5, the Commission may be reconsidered.

Please note: All members will need to KYC to vote as a member of the Anticapture Commission

Membership will be determined based on the above criteria at the beginning of each Season and will be updated at the mid-point of the Season, based on performance. This periodicity is intended to allow for normal fluctuations in a delegate’s ability to participate while maintaining accountability and limiting operational overhead.

Member Responsibilities

In exchange for being entrusted with additional voting power, Anticapture Commission members will be expected to:

  • Attend an office hours at least once per Voting Cycle (every three weeks) to listen to community feedback and raise concerns to the broader governance community on their behalf. This is to make sure the concerns of individual delegates can still be heard as protocols and OP Chains gain more voting power and could dominate discussions.
  • Provide delegate approvals or a reason for not providing approval on >10% of the proposals requiring approval during the period
    • In Season 4, only delegates with >0.25% voting power could provide delegate approvals on proposal drafts. In Season 5, the top 100 delegates will be able to provide approvals, which will include all members of the Anticapture Commission.
  • If a Member does not meet the above expectations, they will not be eligible to be on the Anticapture Commission during the subsequent period
  • Members may designate other leadership roles amongst themselves as necessary/desired
  • Members will receive group delegation, but not OP rewards, for their participation on the Anticapture Commission. However, meeting the criteria required to be part of the Anticapture Commission may be included in the qualification criteria for retro delegate rewards
  • Members must elect a Commission Lead each Season, by simple majority vote among qualifying members

The Anticapture Commission Lead should:

  • Qualify to be a member of the Anticapture Commission
  • Organize regular commission meetings. It is suggested that meeting minutes or summaries be made available to the community.
  • Execute votes from the delegation wallet, according to the outcomes of commission votes (possibly via a commission snapshot space)
  • Author, or coordinate authorship, of any reports circulated to the Citizens’ House, according to the process outlined here. A report must have 4 delegate approvals from commission members to be considered valid.
  • Calculate qualifying delegates at the mid-point of the Season and before the start of the next Season, including assessment of whether Members have upheld the Member Responsibities
  • Exercise decision-making authority in the event that the commission cannot come to consensus on a matter (ie. serve as tie breaker)

Qualifying Delegates (Illustrative, to be updated below at conclusion of Special Voting Cycle #16c)

  • Grants Council Lead
  • Security Council Lead
  • Code of Conduct Council(s) Lead(s)
  • Linda Xie
  • Polynya
  • L2BEAT
  • Lefteris Karapetsas
  • Olimpio
  • Jack Anorak
  • GFX Labs*
  • Penn Blockchain
  • Katie
  • Scott Moore
  • Michael Vander Meiden
  • Carnegie Mellon Blockchain Club
  • Jacob
  • 404 DAO
  • Boiler Blockchain
  • PGov
  • Griff Green
  • Doug
  • she256
  • MinimalGravitas
  • Joxes DeFi LATAM
  • Solarcurve
  • gonna.eth
  • Butterbum
  • L222
  • StableNode
  • web3magnetic
  • Brichis.eth
  • Optimisticus.eth
  • ITU Blockchain
  • GFX was prevented from executing votes in Seasons 1 & 2, due to well documented voting issues on Snapshot

What Does it Mean for Delegates?

The Anticapture Commmission will go to a vote in Special Voting Cycle #16a.

20 Likes

This looks like such an interesting addition, and definitely well needed. I feel like we have danced around this topic in quite a few discussions over the last year or so, and therefore it is really sensible to build a more formal structure to it.

I’m interested as to what powers the Citizen’s House will have to deal with ‘alerts’ that are issued by this commission:

Are we thinking that this would link into the Code of Conduct council in some way (beyond having their lead as a member), perhaps flagging up issues for them to look into?

Really keen to see how this whole thing develops, and as always, loving the innovations of the Optimism Collective!

3 Likes

First of all, I think this is a great addition, especially given that governance capture is a problem we’d want to solve before its a real problem.

One thing I’m slightly confused about: are ALL delegates that meet the criteria going to be a part of the commission, or is there some kind of opt-in / voting process?

My understanding as of now is that it is “opt in” simply by fulfilling the member responsibilities.

7 Likes

Hi @MinimalGravitas! The MVP process for flagging issues to the Citizens’ House might help explain how we envision this process occuring: Anticapture Commission Reports. There are two instances when this might occur:

  • Statement of Concern: Early alert to badgeholders about imbalances arising in Token House
  • Request for Veto: Request for badgeholders to veto a specific proposal

The Token House and Citizens’ House will each have a separate Code of Conduct Council to enforce the Code of Conduct in each respective house. If a report is filed against a member of one of the Code of Conduct Councils, the other House’s Council will process that report.

Make sense?

4 Likes

Good question, thanks @Michael! The idea is that any delegate that qualifies is considered part of the Commission. It’s a more flexible structure than an elected Council, for example.

Commission membership will be determined at the start of a Season and re-evaluated at the mid-point of the Season to ensure members are upholding their responsibilities.

We could either add an opt-in requirement for qualifying delegates or simply add a quorum requirement for determining the simply majority (30% quorum with a 51% threshold.)

8 Likes

Great, yea I’d missed that post on reports somehow, but that clears it up.

This commission is such a sensible addition to the governance stack.

Thanks.

2 Likes

What a wonderful approach.
Since one or two months ago we were talking about governance capture and how the governance process in the protocols it’s being suitable for abuse of some individuals. And when i read this just gets me more bullish in what OP it’s working and how this experiments are being crystal clear and 101 to be understood for the mortals like me.
Gratz to the team that oversees this process and faces the problem before it’s a major one and how the governance process are more than advocacy and goods, preparing the field for the worst and enjoy the best.

1 Like

This post was updated with the above modification so as not to penalize delegates that have a relative long voting history

Have received retro rewards for governance contributions as delegates in any of S1-S4

The above was updated to exclude “governance contributions rewarded in RetroPGF Round 1 or Round 2,” as we did not previously have a governance specific category.

5 Likes

I find the introduction of the Anticapture Commission to be a compelling and thoughtful initiative. It’s clear that a lot of effort has been put into ensuring a balance of power within the governance framework.

One aspect I’m curious about pertains to the membership based on delegate rankings. If a member drops out of the top 100 delegates due to daily ranking changes, does this impact their membership immediately? Conversely, if another delegate moves up into the top 100 during the season, how would their potential inclusion be addressed? My understanding is that these changes only be considered at the specified checkpoint dates (i.e., mid-point of the Season and before the start of the next Season) as detailed in the post?

A bit more clarity on this would be great to ensure a clear understanding of how the commission’s composition remains dynamic yet stable. Thanks!

5 Likes

Good question @v3naru_Curia! Membership will be determined based on rankings at the specified checkpoints, so if I delegate moves up / down in the rankings between checkpoints, their membership status won’t be updated until the next checkpoint.

5 Likes

I love the intention of representing the interests of individual delegates. I would strongly prefer an opt-in requirement given there are additional member responsibilities in the commission that some may not want or are able to commit to.

11 Likes

We can definitely add an opt-in requirement!

8 Likes

Want to third some thoughts above, We would love to be on this anticapture commission, and believe that an opt-in feature is best!

1 Like

I want to +1 the opt-in requirement. I also want to add some food for thought for structuring this commission long-term:

  • right now, the top 100 delegates are pretty aligned with the mission of the OP Collective, but as the OP ecosystem matures, the top 100 delegates will maybe (imo likely) reflect the interests of wealthy investors more than anything else. Thus, the “anticapture commission” is susceptible to capture itself.
  • 70% from first vote cast is probably a good enough proxy for determining those high-context and committed to optimism governance, but as time goes on, it probably won’t be. There will likely be orgs or people who had to take a break from governance for a time, but have shown intense commitment for a reasonable amount of time. Further, there will be people (and already are people on this list I think), who voted on every proposal but sparsely contributed to discussion. We should brainstorm better metrics for capturing the type of people we want on the commission.

Last, a logistics question: does the 70% criteria include the upcoming votes? As in, will a delegate qualify if voting in this active cycle brings them above the participation threshold? Blockchain@USC is right below the cutoff I believe :slight_smile:

3 Likes

We will get some more complete thoughts out there later, but we don’t feel this is ready for approval.

The scope is not very well defined about what constitutes significant imbalances in power.

Perhaps most importantly, though, we don’t feel it is a given that stakeholders other than tokenholders should be favored. Tokenholders finance protocols through token purchases or activities that earn airdrops of the token. Token House, Citizens’ House, and all councils and future committees serve the interests of tokenholders. It is right and natural that tokenholders as a stakeholder class enjoy dominance in governance of the protocol. Creating checks to ensure that there is not major imbalances of power within the tokenholder group would be a concept we support, but that is not what this Anitcapture Commission is currently charged with.

Barring some compelling argument to the contrary, GFX Labs will probably be voting against the Anticapture Commission as currently defined.

Suggestions for revisions:

  • Its specific purpose needs more refinement, since reasonable people may have considerable disagreement on what the commission would be charged to monitor. Examples of power imbalances warranting an alert would be helpful.
  • Some mechanism to prevent this becoming either a political tool for those who capture the commission, as well as prevent an overactive commission attempting to justify its own existence through sheer activity.
  • Confirm unambiguously that its monitoring duties are in service to tokenholders, and that the commission is not used to limit tokenholder power in favor of any other stakeholder group. Uniswap is a good example of how tokenholders, who bear the financial and possible legal risk, can be outmaneuvered by other stakeholders. Protecting tokenholder rights is paramount, and all other stakeholder groups are secondary to that.
6 Likes

I would disagree here. The Citizens’ House to my understanding is very explicitly intended to represent other stakeholders than the Token House. The point of the bicameral structure is to NOT have tokenholders be the primary influencer.

I do agree, though, that the proposal could use clarity regarding its goals, the stakeholders its intended to serve, the definition of “capture”, and why this structure helps achieve its goals.

5 Likes

Thank you @lavande for addressing my question concerning the Anticapture Commission requirement of including only previous delegate reward recipients during today’s community call. You highlighted the aim to encompass delegates with a proven impact. However, I noticed that the rewards criteria in Season 4 were mainly centered around vote participation. I am keen on understanding how this aligns with the current delegate rewards criteria, particularly in acknowledging impactful contributions that extend beyond just voting.

On a personal note, I was an active participant in the previous season, yet narrowly missed the cut-off, ranking 103rd. Now having moved up to the top 100 delegates, I am left wondering—does this necessitate a wait until the next season for inclusion, or is there an avenue to recognize such advancements within the same season? Your further clarification on this would be incredibly beneficial, as it could illuminate the pathway for delegates like myself who are earnest in making meaningful contributions to our community.

Additionally, echoing the insights shared by chaselb and GFXlabs, the long-term setup of the commission and how it aligns with the changing delegate composition and the wider interests of tokenholders are important points that need more thought.

Given the above, and after a thorough consideration of the Anticapture Commission proposal as it stands, I feel the need to say that I will be voting against the current proposal. The existing structure might overlook active delegates who are moving up the ranks and are equally committed to promoting balanced governance. I believe revisiting or expanding the criteria could better achieve the goal of ensuring diverse representation within the Anticapture Commission, thereby supporting a more fair governance structure and clearer guidelines for addressing power imbalances.

2 Likes

The fact that this hasn’t been debated yet shows that this probably isn’t ready for implementation yet. There should be a discussion about whether tokenholders can even have an imbalance of power if they are meant to be the primary beneficiaries of the protocol. Or, as you are suggesting, tokenholders are just one of many equal stakeholder classes. It would be interesting to get the buyers from the recent token sale’s opinion.

4 Likes