Conflicts of Interest - request for opinions

Hi all,

I’ve been thinking over the weekend about how we decide as delegates what represents a conflict of interest and how we should deal with them. In particular this relates to the section committees were required to complete, disclosing interests that may bias our judgments.

As you can read in our committee proposal [[DRAFT][SO2 Committee Proposal: DeFi: Group C]], I identified a single conflict of interest, but I’ve been pondering how it’s possible to view the question differently depending on your opinion of how much an interaction or relationship with a project matters.

The RocketPool Proposal this links to can be found at: [Ready] [GF: Phase 1] Rocket Pool .

Some different ways to view this that I’ve thought of:

  • As the proposal is to incentivize the use of the rETH it won’t actually be of any direct benefit to RocketPool Node Operators, therefore maybe this isn’t really a conflict of interest at all? This doesn’t seem to follow the spirit of what is intended and it seems better to me to lean on the side of declaring more and let the people delegating to me to decide if certain things are irrelevant… but I can see the other argument.

  • I argued strongly against the proposal to add incentives to Lido’s LSD, due to the risk they pose to L1’s credible decentralization, but if it goes to SnapShot, does the fact that I am aligned with RocketPool mean that I should abstain from voting on Lido’s proposal? That seems somewhat reasonable, but I would be hesitant to abstain unnecessarily on something that seems so important.

  • I would be keen to see StakeWise’s sETH2 brought to Optimism, but if a proposal was made, should I abstain just because I am aligned with a competitor? I would say that’s uncontroversial nonsense if I was going to vote for it, but what if the proposal is bad in itself (2 years of rewards, totaling 10 million OP or something)? Are my options in that scenario to vote ‘For’ or ‘Abstain’ because voting ‘Against’ could lead to accusations of bias? Again, I don’t think so, but you could rationally make that case.

Thinking even more hypothetically:

  • What if I worked for Balancer/BeethovenX or Velodrome? I’m financially incentivized to drive more volume to my platform, so should I abstain from votes that benefit my project? Even if I think they are beneficial for non-self-serving reasons?

  • Or the opposite? What if I worked for Curve, UniSwap (or another competitor) that wasn’t going to get the OP distribution from the proposal, but was hoping to bring rETH liquidity onto my dApp (especially as these two were initially going to be included)? Should I abstain rather than vote against to avoid appearing to be acting primarily in my own self-interest.

Anyway, like I said, those delegates who have formed committees have already had to address this question, but I’d be really interested in hearing the views of others in the community who haven’t been required to declare conflicts of interest, but are still likely to face the same decisions when deciding when to abstain or not. Looking through Boardroom it’s clear that lots of voters have been using this option, but I assume there is a bit of a spectrum of when you decide to. I think this might be the basis of an interesting discussion.


I am not a delegate, but I am active on the forum on those proposals that interest me.

Nevertheless, I have interests as an individual and I also have interest as an investor. I am not part of any specific protocols although I help out on many.
As an individual I should be looking in whatever proposals align themselves with my vision of what it means Optimism.
As an investor I should be looking in whatever proposals align themselves with the projects I have a stake in.

In those cases where there is conflict on the statements above, I abstain from commenting.
Is my comment needed in some way? On the proposals/requests maybe not, but I would be voice in favor or at the very least positive/neutral.

You do bring an interesting point of a third category, an interested party if you will. In the example you haven given, rETH adoption would not directly benefit you in any way. But since your knowledge would be above par for many issues related to staking, your VIEWS would be welcome.