GFX Labs - Delegate Communication Thread

3 Polls Ending December 21, 2022

Protocol Delegation Program
Summary: This proposal would allocate 5,000,000 OP held by the Governance Fund to be delegated to 23 protocols. Of those, 8 would be selected by self-nomination and then a vote, and 15 would be selected by the largest drivers of gas usage. Modifiers would be applied to those protocols that are native to Optimism or which already participate in governance. Some conditions and exclusions apply, which can be found on the original proposal.

Recommendation: Vote Yes. No funds transfer, only voting weight. This also provides a voice in governance for stakeholders other than token holders. Presumably protocols operating on Optimism will have some level of vested interest in Optimism succeeding. This experiment is worth trying, though we would request that evaluations of both voter participation and voter behavior be made available at the close of each season.

Grants Council
Summary: This proposal would create a Grants Council, comprised of 9 individuals. The lead for this council would be appointed by Optimism Foundation, and the other 8 elected by Token House. The Grants Council would have full control over the governance fund grant process, removing all other delegates from voting on governance fund grants.

Recommendation: Vote Yes. This was a difficult decision to make. On the one hand, Optimism’s grants process to date has been just short of an abject failure, subject to self-dealing, corruption, inefficiency, low-integrity voting infrastructure, and constantly shifting rules for applicants. The current process is ill-defined, procedurally unstable, and those tasked with overseeing it woefully undercompensated, leading to a lack of time, expertise, and attention to detail. Paid committees with no formal power beyond a recommendation began to address this, but it’s unclear at this point whether that would have been a long term solution.

On the other, this council represents the latest in a trend of walking back decentralization within Optimism governance. It’s possible that those who sit on this council are exposed to increased legal liability, and certainly reputational risk. It’s also unclear if this council will be run behind closed doors, and how they are to be overseen by Token House. It looks like fertile ground for corruption, backroom dealings, and centralized control by a few over millions of dollars’ worth of funding.

When weighed against each other, however, it seems clear that when faced with a problem that exists and a problem that might exist in the future, then it is better to address the problem that is right in front of us. Right now, that problem is the wastefulness and inefficiency of the current grants process. The proposal for a council does not strike us as adhering to best practices – grants have been given out for hundreds of years, but little effort has been made to do anything beyond reinventing the wheel within Optimism’s governance – but it seems difficult for it to result in worse outcomes than the recent past. With that in mind, we begrudgingly vote yes to this proposal.

Badgeholder Nomination Voting
Summary: Delegates are asked to vote for nominees they support to hold a retroPGF2 badge. For a full list of nominees, please refer to the Snapshot vote.

Recommendation: Vote Katie Garcie, Linda Xie, Bobbay (Stablenode), Fig (Flipside Crypto), Juanbug (Penn Blockchain), Jack Anorak, Millie (Synthetix), Mastermojo (Synthetix), Minimal Gravitas, Lefteris. All of these delegates have been exemplars of involvement and taking the Optimism delegate role seriously. We often have differing views from some of them, but they would all represent Token House well for the retroactive public goods funding committee.

NB: GFX Labs is again experiencing technical difficulty voting through Snapshot. Tagging @lavande for visibility in the event our vote would decide an outcome. Thank you in advance.

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