Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

Scope: This Code of Conduct applies to all active delegates, badgeholders, grant recipients (“Optimists”). This Code of Conduct applies within all community spaces and when an individual is representing the community in public, either online or offline.

The Rules of Engagement apply to anyone using the Forum (Discourse), Discord, and Reddit.

Optimists should actively discourage others from breaking this Code of Conduct. Optimists should report serious or repeat offenses, as outlined below. Violations that are reported using any other process will not be addressed.

The updated Code of Conduct will go into effect immediately. Policies in the Code of Conduct go into effect at the time they are included in the Code of Conduct and do not apply retroactively.

The Code of Conduct will not cover all possible scenarios and edge cases. We ask that Optimists please act in accordance with the spirit of the Code of Conduct and refrain from exploiting loopholes that may exist.

Severe Violations

  • Mandatory (Violation 1): The following behaviors are severe violations and will not be tolerated:
    • 1a. Discrimination against any person based on geographical, ethnic, sexual, religious, or other identifying features
    • 1b. Public or private harassment (as defined here)
    • 1c. The use of sexualized language or imagery and unwelcome sexual attention or advances
    • 1d. Intentionally doxxing (as defined here)


  • Recommended: Optimists should be respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences and show empathy towards community members.
  • Recommended: Delegate communications relating to their role in the Collective should be transparent and public. Communication in public is favored over DMs/private communication, whenever possible.

Extreme Civility

  • Mandatory (Violation 2): Optimists must not make personal attacks on the opinions or merits of proposal authors or any other party engaging in governance activity. Optimists must not make unsubstantiated claims to advocate for or against any proposal or proposal author. Delegates may make inquiries to proposal authors to validate or collect information.
  • Recommended: Optimists should provide constructive feedback supported by high quality and well researched arguments.

Good Faith and Best Interest

  • Mandatory (Violation 3): Optimists must act with honesty, integrity, and transparency, at all times.
  • Recommended: Optimists should operate in a way and vote in accordance with what they believe is in the best interests of the Optimism Collective.

Due Care and Attention

  • Recommended: Delegates should maintain a working knowledge of developments at Optimism and in the wider cryptocurrency space.
  • Recommended: Delegates should make a professional and unbiased review of each proposal prior to voting. Delegates that are unable to review proposals should abstain from voting.
  • Recommended: Delegates are encouraged to maximize their voting participation rate, to the best of their ability.
  • Recommended: Delegates are encouraged to shape the development of Optimism’s governance structure by providing feedback during Reflection Periods.


  • Mandatory (Violation 4): Delegates must uphold all Delegate Commitments.
  • Mandatory (Violation 5): Those who serve on a Council must uphold the responsibilities outlined in the corresponding, approved Council Charter.

Grant recipients:

  • Mandatory (Violation 6): Must abide by the no-sale policy, outlined here
  • Mandatory (Violation 7): Must execute the grant in accordance with what is outlined in the approved grant proposal. Grant recipients that wish to change the use of the grant from what is outlined in the proposal must submit a new proposal requesting approval for the change. To do so, they must follow the grants process in place at the time. If the change is not approved, the recipient must execute the grant as outlined in the original proposal or return the portion of grant funding affected by the unapproved change.
  • Mandatory (Violation 8): Must distribute growth experiment or other user incentive grants within six months of the grant being made unless they give public notice to the community explaining any delay.
  • Mandatory (Violation 9): Must not self-delegate token grants for use in governance.
  • Recommended: Should abide by the Governance Fund public reporting requirements, if applicable.

No Self-Dealing

  • Mandatory (Violation 10): Optimists must avoid conflicts of interest where possible and mitigate their impact when not possible. We recommend over-communicating and disclosing potential conflicts of interest even when they do not warrant abstaining from a vote.
    • 10a. Any actual or reasonably anticipated conflicts of interest must be disclosed in writing and prominently displayed ahead of any voting (i.e. when submitting delegate commitments, when running for an elected position, when making public recommendations, etc.).
    • 10b. Any offer for external compensation relating to delegation or external compensation relating to the Optimism Protocol must be promptly disclosed.
    • 10c. Delegates are prohibited from approving and voting on their own proposals. Delegates may not vote for their own candidacy in an election. In the case of approval/ranked choice votes, delegates may vote for themselves, so long as they also cast votes for the remaining elected positions.
      • Example: I can vote for my own candidacy on the Growth Experiments committee, so long as I also cast 4 additional votes (a total of 5 votes, as there are 5 open positions on the sub-committee.)
    • 10d. Badgeholders should not vote for organizations where they expect any portion of funds to flow to them or any projects they are affiliated with. At a minimum, badgeholders must disclose any project they have a meaningful financial or reputational stake in.

Additionally, protocols participating in the Protocol Delegation Program must:

  • Mandatory (Violation 11): Abstain from using voting power delegated via the Protocol Delegation Program on any proposals that directly involve themselves or a direct competitor.
  • Mandatory (Violation 12): Abstain from providing voting recommendations to the general public, separate from any representative’s participation on the Grants Council.


All Optimists are expected to abide by this Code of Conduct. Any Optimist that is found to be in breach of this Code of Conduct will be subject to the below enforcement procedures.

  • Type of violation:
    • Standard: To report a standard Code of Conduct violation, use this reporting form.
    • Grant misusage: To report grant misusage, use this reporting form.
      • For both types of violations, please cite the specific violation number (and letter, if applicable).
  • The Foundation will review the submissions. The identity of a submission author will not be publicly disclosed by the Foundation without the author’s consent.
  • Submission authors and/or the individual(s) or project(s) in question may be contacted by the Foundation for additional information, if necessary.
  • Individuals or projects accused of a Code of Conduct Violation may choose to admit to the violation and forego a vote. To do so, they must post a comment indicating they are admitting to the violation in the relevant forum post before the end of the relevant review period. The suspension will begin on the last day of the Voting Cycle in which the vote would have occurred.
  • At this time, the Foundation will operate as a neutral administrator of this Code of Conduct, without adjudicating whether violations have occurred. The Foundation will only move forward with a submission if there is: (1) indication of a specific violation of the Code of Conduct; and (2) sufficient evidence to prove a plausible violation. If a submission moves forward, it will follow the enforcement process below.
  • In future Seasons, the Foundation expects to reduce its role in this process.


There are a variety of possible enforcement actions, depending on the severity and type of the offense. The Token House will vote on: (1) standard violation suspensions; and (2) grant misusage violations. Note this may be a joint House decision in the future.

Enforcement Type Type of Violation Enforcement Consequence
Standard Violations
Warning First instance of inappropriate language or other behavior deemed unprofessional or unwelcome in the community, which is not already flagged by moderators on Discord or Discourse. In Season 3, the Foundation will process and issue reported warnings. A private, written warning from the Foundation, providing clarity around the nature of the violation and an explanation of why the behavior was inappropriate. A public apology may also be requested.
Temporary Suspension A serious violation of community standards, including sustained inappropriate behavior. In Season 3, the Foundation will process and issue temporary suspensions. A temporary ban, lasting the length of 1 month, from Discord, Discourse, and Reddit. No public or private interaction with the community members involved, including unsolicited interaction with those enforcing the Optimist Code of Conduct. Violating these terms may lead to longer term suspension.
Suspension Repeated violation of community standards, including sustained inappropriate behavior, or severe violation. Token House must vote to suspend delegates that are reported to have committed severe violations, using the Code of Conduct Violation proposal type outlined in the Operating Manual. If a vote for suspension is approved by the Token House, the delegate will be suspended from Discord and Discourse and any sort of interaction within the community for a period of three months. Protocols receiving delegation via the Protocol Delegate Program will lose the corresponding delegation for the remainder of the Season.
Grant Misusage Violation
Future Grant Freeze Grant Recipients that have misused grant funding, as supported by factual evidence and/or on-chain data. Token House must vote to temporarily freeze future grant funding via the Code of Conduct Violation proposal type outlined in the Operating Manual. If a vote for suspension is approved by the Token House, the grant recipient will be ineligible to receive grant funding from either the Token House or Citizens’ House (including retroactive public goods funding) for a period of one year. This applies to affiliates, with shared multi-sig signers as well.

Please note there is a separate grant clawback proposal type, outlined in the Operating Manual, that addresses a grant recipient’s failure to execute on locked grants that have not yet been distributed.

Change Process

The Code of Conduct, the Rules of Engagement, and any other associated documents, must only be updated during Reflection Periods or following extraordinary circumstances that require immediate updates. In all cases, a change log will be published for delegates.



Can delgates abstain on their own proposals to maintain voting record. Currently indicated by a % in the agora UI?

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Perfect explanation OP

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