[FINAL] Velodrome: Fostering Inclusive Governance through Leading Optimism Builders and Long-term Users

S4 Intent: Governance Accessibility (Intent 4)

Proposed Mission: Engage the leading protocols partnering with Velodrome and veVELO community to take an active and informed role in Optimism Governance

[Proposal Tier](Collective Trust Tiers - #2 38): Phoenix

Please verify that you meet the qualifications for your Tier: Velodrome Finance is a Partner Fund grant recipient

Baseline grant amount: 1M OP (Entire grant amount goes to participants, not Alliance)

% of total available Intent budget: 33%

Alliance: Velodrome Finance team

Alliance Lead: Tao

Contact info: Telegram - @Taowatts; Discord - Taowatts

L2 recipient address: 0xb074ec6c37659525eef2fb44478077901f878012

Please list the members of your Alliance and link to any previous work:

  • Alexander: Background in politics, technology, and consulting, including time working for the Obama campaign, Apple Inc, and consulting with numerous Fortune 500s.
  • Tao: Background in economics and finance; experience as strategy lead for a large asset manager in Switzerland and at Big Three consulting firm.
  • Jack: Optimism delegate and growth council member
  • Stas: Open Source contributor to Ubuntu, Mozilla, WordPress. Tech lead and maintainer of multiple open source projects on Github. Prior to Velodrome I led the architecture and integrated able.com with multiple banking/fintech services and wrote their initial US tax calculator.
  • ZoomerAnon: Software developer working in crypto on dapps, analytics, and open source tools since 2019. Maintaining free wallet tracking software and publicizing information about smart contract exploits.
  • GuyWithKeyboard: Long background in both traditional finance and decentralized finance, former financial advisor and large asset manager whoMast built a $1.2b practice.
  • Nick: Military aviation background, now investor with Spaceship and Onchain Angels, erstwhile developer and growth strategist.
  • Methodic: Enterprise tech sales background; experience across the full sales cycle, sales development team management and recruitment.
  • Dan: Data strategist with experience in the U.S. education sector at public, non-profit and private organizations. Educational background in economics and public policy.

Previous projects:

Open source projects we contributed to (PRs):

  • multicall.py (OP support, performance optimizations)
  • Dune Spellbook (pricing data)
  • Rainbowkit (Gnosis Safe connector)
  • Rabby Wallet (hardware wallet support)
  • smatcontracts/Simple Optimism Node
  • alchemy-web3.js (RPC retries support)

Our own open source projects:

  • API written from scratch (backwards compatible with Solidly forks)
  • Discord bots for trades, bribes and deposits
  • Sugar project (easiest way to build on top of Velodrome)
  • Protocol documentation

Our repository changes from Solidly:

  • Solidly dApp fork: ~497 commits, 120 files changed, 4768 insertions(+), 6690 deletions(-)
  • Solidly contracts fork: ~414 commits, 45 files changed, 3660 insertions(+), 1483 deletions(-)

Please explain how this Mission will help accomplish the above Intent:

Optimism Governance voting power remains too concentrated and inaccessible to many. We need to find more ways to get OP in the hands of the right kinds of users and builders. Protocols and users with a strong understanding of Optimism’s ecosystem possess valuable insights that can contribute to informed decision-making within the governance process. Their expertise and knowledge would ensure that governance decisions are made with a deep understanding of their potential implications, and would help promote an effective, sustainable, and diverse governance structure.

Velodrome will run a 10 to 12-week program that will delegate and distribute vested OP tokens to 1) newly onboarded, high-profile protocols that commit to take an active role in Optimism Governance and 2) users with demonstrated ecosystem alignment through token locks, such as veVELO locks, and active engagement in protocol governance.

Protocols and veVELO holders have a strong alignment to Optimism’s success, deep understanding of the Optimism ecosystem, and overall advanced awareness of the crypto landscape.

Velodrome is uniquely positioned to engage high-profile protocols and veVELO holders to take an active role in Governance, which would significantly boost the Governance Accessibility goals in the following ways:

  1. Effective Knowledge Sharing: Users with a strong understanding of Optimism can play a crucial role in facilitating better knowledge sharing among the community. By actively engaging with other participants and sharing their expertise, they can contribute to the development of more informed voters. This will enhance the overall understanding of Optimism governance and enable a diverse range of perspectives to participate meaningfully.
  2. Increased Votable Supply and Reduced Concentration of Voting Power: Allocating vested tokens to lockers and protocols, conditional their active participation in governance processes, will ensure wider token distribution and encourage broader diversity of viewpoints. This will dilute the concentration of voting power, promoting a more democratic and equitable governance structure.
  3. Fresh Perspective: Users with a strong alignment to Optimism but limited experience in Governance can provide feedback on the user interfaces and tools used for interacting with governance programs. By sharing their experiences and suggestions, they can help identify areas of improvement and advocate for user-friendly designs that enhance accessibility for all participants.
  4. Demonstrated Engagement: New protocols incentivizing on Velodrome and new veVelo lockers have recently made a significant investment in the Optimism ecosystem. They are primed to make a further investment in the success of that ecosystem through active participation in governance, especially when tied to vested incentives. New protocols will be able to be onboarded to governance immediately as a bridge to a future protocol delegation program allocation. New individual users are a captive audience we can connect immediately to resources and educational opportunities in OP governance. This will be one of the easiest to reach audiences compared to other outreach channels.

Velodrome will accomplish the mission by providing an end-to-end governance onboarding experience for both protocols and veVelo lockers, including infrastructure to claim and delegate vested OP. We will leverage our comprehensive experience in vesting contract implementations for governance to develop a new contract standard - govNFT - that enables the vesting and distribution of OP tokens contained within a govNFT. This standard will offer customization options including:

  • Vesting Time: Protocols will have the flexibility to specify the duration over which the tokens vest. They can set the timeline according to their requirements.

  • Transferrability: Users will have the option to choose whether the vested tokens can be transferred to other addresses or remain non-transferrable, ensuring control over the token’s movement.

  • Unlock Mechanics: Users will be able to decide whether the vested tokens unlock periodically over time or all at once after the vesting period expires. This feature provides flexibility and allows for strategic unlocking of tokens.

Additionally, the team will develop a user-friendly dashboard that will allow govNFT holders to delegate their positions and conveniently track relevant information, such as the remaining vesting time.

By implementing govNFTs, Optimism and associated protocols can incentivize and reward users with a long-term focus, ensuring the no-sale rule is enforced and contributing to a sustainable and stable ecosystem.

We will make all of our implementations available for all Optimism protocols to use. Our progress milestones detail the process. Beyond the delegation we will have dedicated communication channels on Discord and Telegram to keep new delegates up to date on key voting cycles and participation opportunities.

As we have done for our other grants, we will lead the way on grant use analytics and pioneer methods for tracking governance participation that can be used for our grant and other grants provided under this mission.

What makes your Alliance well-suited to execute this Mission?

Velodrome’s combined experiences make us well prepared to execute on this Mission:

  • Velodrome is the single largest protocol on Optimism and the largest DEX on Layer 2 Ethereum
  • Velodrome’s governance community is one of the most active and diverse in crypto, with 14,300 veVELO holders participating in Velodrome’s weekly voting epochs
  • veVELO holders, by virtue of their long-term locks, are uniquely committed to the success of the broader the ecosystem. The average lock time for veVELO positions is 3.6 years, and veVELO participants include leading protocols such as Synthetix, Stargate, and Lido

  • Velodrome has proven record of both educating and attracting new protocols to Optimism, successfully onboarding over 50 protocols since inception at a rate of approximately one new protocol per week
  • Velodrome has also been a continued partner in monitoring and analytics for grants, holding ourselves accountable to the metrics we lay out

Please list a critical milestone. The critical milestone should be a measure of whether you’ve made best efforts to execute what is outlined in this proposal or not. If you fail to achieve your critical milestone, your grant may be clawed back.

  • Develop a process for delegating vested OP to new protocols and users
  • Onboard at least 3 major protocols to participate in Optimism governance through vote delegation and engagement in active discussions (ideally new to Optimism)
  • Increase diversity of experienced governance participants in Optimism, as measured by the number of veVELO lockers eligible for this program, by at least 100 members by week 5

How should Token House delegates measure progress towards this Mission: These should focus on progress towards completion. Including expected completion dates for each is recommended.

  • Appropriate infrastructure for tracking and delegation developed by week 4 after receipt of the grant
  • Enlist at least one protocol in governance participation by week 5 of the program, 2 protocols by week 7, and 3 protocols by week 10
  • Measure increased governance activity through voting and comments from relevant protocols and veVELO holders in our communication channels
  • Measure quality of feedback and information sharing by veVELO lockers active simultaneously in Optimism governance and Velodrome governance

How should badgeholders measure impact upon completion of this Mission? These should be focused on performance and may be used by badgeholders to assess your Misson’s impact in the next round of RetroPGF.

  • Positive feedback or testimonials from onboarded protocols
  • Increased number of wallets directly linked to this Mission participating in Optimism Governance
  • Increase in comments and proposals from engaged Velodrome community members
  • Analytical framework for tracking governance participation through this program

Breakdown of Mission budget request:

  • 350K OP (35%): Budget to develop, audit, deploy and support the govNFT contracts that will enable the distribution of vested OP tokens (i.e., no-sale rule) to participants
  • 250K OP (25%): Velodrome will run a program to engage the top Optimism protocols in governance using vested OP tokens, incentivizing them to participate in the active discussions and decision-making
  • 400K OP (40%): Velodrome will also run a program using govNFTs to incentivize veVELO lockers, who have a long-term commitment to the ecosystem, to participate in the broader Optimism governance initiatives

I confirm that my grant will be subject to clawback for failure to execute on critical milestones: Yes

I confirm that I have read and understand the grant policies: Yes

I understand that I will be required to provide additional KYC information to the Optimism Foundation to receive this grant: Yes

I understand that I will be expected to following the public grant reporting requirements outlined here: Yes


Hi @tao! Thanks for this proposal, can you please provide a more detailed breakdown of the 1M OP budget? For example, what portion of that, if any, will be passed through to delegated to protocols and what portion goes towards lock bonuses?

Hi @lavande, apologies for the late response. We were heads down on V2 deployment yesterday. I’ve added some additional details on the technical development strategy and a detailed breakdown of the distribution program. You can see the details in the “How” and the “Budget” sections above.

Happy to share any other details.

Hey Tao, thanks for the proposal and good to hear from you again! I’m always happy to support Velodrome but this is a large request and I don’t fully understand the budget breakdown, can you please explain a bit more in detail for me?

Hi @tao! Wanted to make sure you were aware of the Optimism Season 4 Pitching Sessions to help find the 4 delegate approvals you’ll need by this Wednesday at 19:00 GMT for your proposal to move to a vote.

These sessions are happening in Discord on Monday, 26.06 2pm ET / 6pm GMT / 8pm CET and Tuesday, 27.06 11am ET / 3pm GMT / 5pm CET.

You can sign-up here!

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Apologies for the delay. We are working on an updated breakdown, just a bit overwhelmed at the moment with the V2 launch and migration. @tao will follow up shortly.

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Hi @katie , apologies for the late response. In simple terms the breakdown includes:

  1. Budget to develop, audit, deploy and support the govNFT contracts that will enable the distribution of vested OP tokens (i.e., no-sale rule) to participants
  2. Velodrome will run a program to engage the top Optimism protocols in governance using vested OP tokens, incentivizing them to participate in the active discussions and decision-making
  3. Velodrome will also run a program using govNFTs to incentivize veVELO lockers, who have a long-term commitment to the ecosystem, to participate in the broader Optimism governance initiatives

These three categories make up the budget outlined in our proposal. I’ll be happy to join today’s pitching sessions to discuss it in depth.

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Thanks @lavande , joining today’s session!

Hey @tao, I really like the idea behind this proposal, but I have few questions.

First, at the beginning you say:

Baseline grant amount: 1M OP (Entire grant amount goes to participants, not Alliance)

but later when presenting grant breakdown, you say:

  • 350K OP (35%): Budget to develop, audit, deploy and support the govNFT contracts that will enable the distribution of vested OP tokens (i.e., no-sale rule) to participants

so do I understand correctly that 350K will be used to fund the development?

Also @lavande could you provide some clarification regarding the grant policy here? Grant policy says that:

OP received through Builders Grants, including Missions that do not pass OP directly on to end users, should not be sold by the grant recipient for a period of one year.

but does it mean that only the part of the grant that is meant to fund the development is subject to 1yr lock and the other part that is supposed to be directly distributed might be delivered earlier?

Also the policy states that:

Token grants must not be self-delegated for use in governance

but how does this relate to this proposal? Are the beneficiaries of this mission (like the onboarded protocols) even able to self-delegate those tokens?

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I need to confirm this but I believe that the portion passed through directly to users would be subject to the growth experiments policies while the development portion would be subject to the one year lock. Until I can confirm, delegates shouldn’t block approval of this proposal based solely on this concern.

Based on recent feedback, we are actually going to remove the self-delegation restriction on builders grants, so that Alliances may delegate while their builders grants are locked and enjoy the benefits of OP being a governance token, but it requires a Code of Conduct update that can only be made during the upcoming reflection period, as outlined in the Change Process therein.


Heya Ser -

I think the note on the “entire grant amount goes to participants” might be a legacy of an older draft and @tao can update.

Insofar as the development cost, here is a deeper breakdown of estimates:

  • $50-80k audit
  • $20-40k bug bounty
  • A few hundred hours of smart contract dev cost, at $100-150/hr, plus ~indefinite bug triaging and support for third party integrations etc
  • A few hundred hours of front end/back end/smart contract integration dev cost, at $50-75/hr, plus ~indefinite maintenance for the UI, data indexing, and ~indefinite end user support

One thing that is unique about our alliance is that we have a good track record of developing user friendly products (contracts + UIs + data + partnerships + support) that achieve large scale usage. We also have already developed very similar NFT/vesting code on our own, have a strong history/relationship with the foremost auditor in the Optimism ecosystem, have ran bug bounty programs on Optimism, have secured the largest amount of $ TVL on Optimism with no exploits or hiccups, etc.

A product for making locked OP more liquid/usable is very needed in our eyes, and we believe we have the best experience/credentials to build a secure user friendly version of it.


I am one of the Synthetix Ambassadors, and a Optimism Badgeholder. I am an Optimism delegate [Delegate Commitments - #65 by mastermojo ] with sufficient voting power, and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.


Thanks @lavande for clarification. With policy issues set aside I am happy to provide my approval, I think this proposal is touching an important issue of handling vested/locked governance tokens and making them productive. I believe it is worthy of consideration for a vote by the delegates.

I am a delegate with sufficient voting power and I believe this should be put to a vote.


While I think the ask here is quite excessive, i will still help push this up for token house vote if others see it as beneficial, imo i don’t think top protocols need incentives to vote as many of the top protocols lack delegations to begin with. I am a optimism delegate with sufficient voting power I believe this proposal is ready for vote. Delegate Commitments - #71 by MoneyManDoug


I am an Optimism delegate with sufficient voting power and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.


I am an Optimism delegate with sufficient voting power and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.


Hey Everyone -

With voting underway, wanted to take a moment to reemphasize why we believe this proposal to be a compelling one for governance to support.

This season, over 11M in 1 year vesting $OP will be allocated to ecosystem participants. This is an amazing opportunity to bring more accessibility and diversity to governance participation. The problem is that as of now, the core utility of these tokens, to vote and participate in governance, will be inaccessible to those receiving those allocations until the 1 year vesting period is up.

Through govNFTS, we are proposing to build a new governance tool that will allow grant recipients to participate in governance. We believe that this will further align incentives between builders and the ecosystem, bringing more people and perspectives into the governance process, and helping recipients see the value of the $OP they will hold.

To be clear, this is a tool that we believe the entire ecosystem will be able to tap into to increase the utility/value of these grant programs. Locking $OP into govNFTs could unlock additional use cases in future seasons. For example, $OP holders could be incentivized to lock their tokens by giving NFT holders a greater votepower in select programs and votepower can be tied to the lock period. Rewarding participants with a long-term commitment to the ecosystem is an excellent way to foster a sustainable system.

We also believe this has the potential to dramatically reduce the overhead for the Optimism Foundation and decentralizes a core aspect of their current workload (managing and distributing vesting grants), isolating the governance power of the token while ensuring its use in a legally compliant way.

The Velodrome team has a proven track record in developing widely used smart contracts and dApps. This is one of the many ways in which we’re building on the Optimism stack to shape it into the best Layer 2 network.


Thank you for the proposal. The amount requested is extremely large and I didn’t feel strongly convicted enough to vote yes on such a large amount (understood that the grant amount goes to participants and not the alliance).

Linda - Totally understand that the size seems large in the context of other missions here, but I think it is worth considering that while most missions are highly speculative this is one of the few backed with data from running similar programs to date that demonstrate its ability to deliver multiples more in value back to the ecosystem than the underlying grant.

There are few valid points in this proposal, amount of delegated $OP going down is a concern and need broader discussion.

But I would vote against this proposal.

Protocols and veVELO holders have a strong alignment to Optimism’s success

Disagree here, protocol building on Optimism have a strong alignment and Foundation is already giving voting power to them.

Perhaps foundation could run an event like Uniswap did and delegate token or we can take approach similar to Starknet.

I am skeptical that, this proposal is focused towards boosting and speculating project native token(point 2 and 4) and second, team could only choose to delegate the token agreeing with their view of optimism vision.

We should not priorities, discriminate or reward users on how they choose to interact with a specific project native token.

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