Governance Report: Optimism Special Voting Cycle #16b


The Special Voting Cycle in the Optimism Collective, as exemplified by Special Voting Cycle #16b, is a designated period during which members of the Optimism community engage in the governance process by voting on multiple proposals. For any non-grant proposal to advance to the voting stage in the Special Voting Cycle, it must receive explicit approval from four of the top 100 delegates. Proposals initiated by the Foundation don’t require delegate approvals and automatically move to a vote.

In Special Voting Cycle #16b, the Grants lead is elected. Cycle #16b involves critical steps like electing a Grants Council Lead, approving Intent Budgets for the Grants Council’s budget, and electing Grants Council Reviewers. These activities are crucial in shaping Optimism’s future and ensuring the effective allocation of resources within its ecosystem. Key proposals up for vote include Intent Budgets, Chain Delegation Program, Law of Chains, and Grants Council Reviewer Elections. The entire voting procedure takes place through the Optimism Governance Portal, reflecting the community’s active role in governance.

A look into the Proposals

A total of 7 proposals were eligible for the Special Voting Cycle #16b . The boardroom team has given a background and description related to each of the proposals to help community members understand the necessary details about the proposals

  1. Season 5 Intent budgets (proposed by Grants Council Lead)
  2. Vote on Chain Delegation Program
  3. Ratification of Law of Chains
  4. Grants Council Reviewer Elections
    1. Growth Experiments
    2. Builders
    3. Code of Conduct
    4. Milestones and Metrics

Proposal 1: Season 5 Intent Budgets

Status: Passed :white_check_mark:

The Season 5 Intent Budgets proposal for Optimism’s Special Voting Cycle #16b proposes allocating up to 9 million OP tokens across four main areas: Technical Decentralization (1.33M OP), Growth of the Superchain (4M OP), Consumer Experience Improvement (1.33M OP), and Governance Accessibility Improvement (1.33M OP), with an additional 1M OP reserved as unallocated budget. Unused funds from these allocations will return to the Governance Fund.

Key Points

  • Intent #1: Progress Towards Technical Decentralization This intent is crucial for enhancing network security and achieving true decentralization, key to maintaining trust and autonomy within the Optimism ecosystem. It also incorporates vital features like audit and security programs from previous seasons.
  • Intent #2: Grow the Superchain Expanding the Superchain is vital for increasing Optimism’s scalability and reach, essential for attracting a broader user base and fostering innovation through Builders and Experiments grants.
  • Intent #3: Improve the Consumer Experience Improving user experience is fundamental to making Optimism a preferred platform for Web3 participants, ensuring long-term engagement and satisfaction by responding to community-driven demand.
  • Intent #4: Improve Governance Accessibility Enhancing governance accessibility is key to achieving broad and diverse participation in decision-making, crucial for a decentralized and democratic ecosystem.


The proposal aligns with Optimism’s governance principles and constitution. It focuses on technical decentralization, Superchain growth, consumer experience, and governance accessibility, with flexible budget allocation and a repurposing clause for efficiency. The budget adjustments reflect past utilization and future expectations, adhering to principles of minimal governance, anti-plutocracy, and aligning collective impact with individual profit. Overall, it balances innovation, community involvement, and strategic resource management in line with Optimism’s goals and evolving governance model.
Proposal link | Forum link

Proposal 2: Vote on Chain Delegation Program:

Status: Passed :white_check_mark:

The Chain Delegation Program, part of the Optimism Collective’s meta-governance initiatives, is designed to enhance participation in governance by OP Chains, vital components of the Superchain’s future. Key elements of the program include:

Key Points

  • Role of OP Chains: OP Chains are integral in diversifying interests within the Token House, contributing to decision-making processes. They’ve shown early interest in participating in Optimism’s governance.
  • Program Mechanism: The program will delegate idle OP tokens from the Governance Fund to value-aligned OP Chains throughout Seasons 5 and 6, reserving a total of 10M OP for up to 10 OP Chains.
  • Qualification Criteria: Eligible OP Chains must run the governance-approved OP Stack release, uphold the Law of Chains, contribute sequencer revenue to the Collective, and be approved to join the Superchain. The first 10 OP Chains meeting these criteria and contributing a certain revenue threshold are eligible.
  • Delegation Details: Each OP Chain will receive a flat delegation of 1M OP. Eligibility for renewal requires maintaining a >70% voting participation rate. Total delegation for any chain is capped at 9% of the votable supply.
  • Accountability: Participating OP Chains must register as delegates, agree to a Code of Conduct, and face potential removal for severe violations.


The “Chain Delegation Program” aligns well with Optimism’s governance framework. It focuses on diversifying the Token House by delegating OP from the Governance Fund to OP Chains, enhancing decision-making diversity and votable supply. This approach is in line with Optimism’s goals of capture resistance and effective resource allocation. The experimental and iterative nature of the program reflects the principles of minimal governance and adaptability. Its success depends on continuous monitoring and responsiveness to feedback within the Collective’s evolving governance structure.
Proposal link | Forum Link

Proposal 3: Ratification of Law of Chains

Status: Passed :white_check_mark:

The Law of Chains for the Optimism Collective is a guiding framework aimed at establishing protections and principles within the Superchain ecosystem, focusing on user protection, decentralization, and economic autonomy. It’s designed as a living document, evolving with the protocol’s innovation.

Key Points

  • Covered Participants: Applies to users, chain governors, and chain servicers, with roles and scope subject to change over time.
  • Platform Expectations: Sets standards for the fundamental protocol underlying all OP Chains.
  • User Protections: Ensures user security, state transition, and messaging validity, and mandates universal, governance-approved upgrades.
  • Chain Governor Protections: Preserves economic autonomy and technical configurability for Chain Governors.
  • Chain Servicer Protections: Focuses on economic choices and technical configurations within the OP Stack’s framework.


The Law of Chains, as a foundational element of the Optimism Collective, strongly aligns with the principles outlined in the Optimism Working Constitution. It establishes a comprehensive framework that balances user protection, decentralization, and economic autonomy, crucial for a robust and resilient Superchain ecosystem. By encompassing a wide range of participants and providing clear expectations and protections, it lays the groundwork for a dynamic, secure, and adaptable platform. This living document’s ability to evolve with the protocol’s innovation reflects Optimism’s commitment to continual improvement and responsiveness to community needs, in line with its ethos of progressive decentralization and community empowerment.
Proposal Link | Forum Link

Grants Council Reviewer Elections

Proposal 4: Grants Council Reviewer Elections: Growth Experiments

Status: Passed :white_check_mark:, 5 Reviewers elected

The Growth Experiments Subcommittee within the Optimism Grants council is specifically focused on fostering growth and innovation within the ecosystem. This subcommittee is tasked with supporting projects or initiatives that can drive user engagement, protocol adoption, and overall network growth. The emphasis is on experimental or innovative approaches that can be tested and scaled if successful.

Key Points

  • Grant Size: Grants are capped at less than 250k OP (Operational Points or a similar unit).
  • Support Requirement: For a grant to be successful, it needs approval from at least 3 out of 5 subcommittee members in a final vote.
  • Use of Grants: Grantees are required to use the OP grants to incentivize user engagement with a protocol, platform, product, or service.
  • Milestone-Based Distribution: The grant distribution is milestone-based, with 40% provided upfront and the remaining 60% distributed upon achieving specified milestones within 3-6 months.
  • Election Process for Subcommittee Members: The Token House elects 5 reviewers to this subcommittee using approval voting, where each member can vote for any number of nominees. This includes the ability for delegates to vote for themselves, provided they also vote for other positions.


A total of 11 applicants had applied for 5 positions. The elected candidates are

Candidate Votes🗳️
@Katie 44.4M
@GFXlabs 40.8M
@MoneyManDoug 36.9M
@Michael (Michael Vander Meiden) 35.6M
@MattL 23M

Proposal Link | Forum Link

Proposal 5: Grants Council Reviewer Elections: Builders

Status: Passed✅, 5 Reviewers elected

The Builders Subcommittee is dedicated to expanding the developer base on the Optimism platform, focusing on forward-looking initiatives and projects. Unlike the Growth Grant that focuses on growing the number of users, the Builders grant focuses on growing the number of developers building on Optimism.

Key Points:

  • Focus: The main aim is to maximize the number of developers building on the Optimism platform. This indicates a proactive approach towards expanding the developer community and encouraging more technical engagement with the platform.
  • Non-Focus: Does not engage in retroactive funding.
  • Grant Proposals: It looks at prospective builder grants for new projects, hackathons, and technical content creation.
  • Grant Format: Proposers who are awarded grants typically receive less than 50k OP, which are locked for a period of one year. This lock-up period suggests a commitment to long-term development within the Optimism ecosystem.
  • Budget and Consensus: Allocated budget is decided by intents, decided by a committee of 5 reviewers

Analysis and Conclusion

The Builders Subcommittee of the Optimism Grants Council effectively embodies the principles of the Optimism Collective’s working constitution. Its focus on nurturing new developer talent and projects aligns with the collective’s ethos of decentralization and innovation. The strategic use of funds and emphasis on future-oriented grants demonstrate a commitment to sustainable, community-driven growth, resonating with the collective’s broader objectives.


10 Candidates applied for 5 positions on the Builders sub-committee

Candidate Votes
@jackanorak 38.7M
@kaereste 36.3M
@ethernaut 34.9M
@Gonna.eth 32.4M
@Joxes 28.2M

Proposal Link | Forum Link

Proposal 6: Code of Conduct Council: Member Nominations

Status: Passed :white_check_mark:, 5 members elected from 8 Candidates

The Code of Conduct Councils in the Optimism Collective are designed to further decentralize and democratize the governance process, particularly concerning the enforcement of the Code of Conduct. Established in Season 5, these councils represent a shift from the Optimism Foundation’s administrative role to a more community-driven approach in handling Code of Conduct violations.

Key Points

  • Transition of Roles: The Councils will replace the Foundation in processing reported Code of Conduct violations, shifting responsibility from the Optimism Foundation to the community.
  • Council Structure: Comprising five members and a non-voting Council Lead, the Councils will make decisions by simple majority votes.
  • Membership and Elections: Members are elected by the Token House, with the initial Council Lead appointed by the Foundation and later elected. Council members are required to complete conflict resolution training.
  • Responsibilities: The Councils process all Code of Conduct Violation reports (excluding Grant Misusage reports) and publish enforcement decision summaries.
  • Budget: Council members receive a stipend of 3,000 OP at the season’s end, with the majority of rewards granted retroactively based on activity levels.


Transferring the power of enforcing the Code of Conduct from the Optimism Foundation to the Code of Conduct Councils represents a significant step towards decentralization and community empowerment within the Optimism Collective. This move aligns with the ethos of decentralized governance, where the community takes a more active role in maintaining and enforcing standards of conduct. By involving community-elected members and establishing a clear structure and responsibilities, these councils foster a more transparent, accountable, and democratic process. This shift not only enhances the legitimacy of the governance framework but also ensures that the Code of Conduct is upheld in a manner that reflects the collective will and values of the Optimism community.


5 members were elected from 8 applicants

Candidate Votes
Oxytocin 42.5M
Axel_T 30.9M
Juanbug_PGov 29.12M
juankbell 20.5M
teresacd 15.3M

Proposal Link | Forum Link

Proposal 7: Grants Council Reviewer Elections: Milestones and Metrics

Status: Passed✅, 3 Reviewers elected from 9 applicants

This committee is tasked with overseeing the progress and impact of projects funded by grants in the Optimism ecosystem.

Key Points

  • Role of the Committee: Focuses on tracking and assessing grant-funded projects’ milestones and metrics.
  • Candidate Backgrounds: Candidates bring diverse experiences, from development of ecosystem-enhancing tools to experience in biochemistry and biotech industries.
  • Importance of Accountability: Emphasis on creating clear, measurable, and accountable milestones for grant-funded projects.

Analysis / Conclusion

The composition and focus of the Milestones and Metrics sub-committee reflect a strong commitment to transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness in grant governance within the Optimism ecosystem. The varied backgrounds of the candidates suggest a comprehensive approach to overseeing grant projects, ensuring they align with the broader vision and goals of the Optimism Collective. This indicates a robust framework for monitoring and maximizing the impact of funded initiatives.

3 members were elected from a pool of 9 candidates

Candidate Votes
Juanbug_PGov 32.5M
v3naru_Curia 31.5M
mmurthy 30.5M

Proposal Link | Forum Link

Closing Note

The Special Voting Cycle #16b of the Optimism Collective marks a significant step forward in the evolution of its governance and operational framework. The careful selection of council members across various subcommittees - Growth Experiments, Builders, and Milestones and Metrics - underlines a strategic approach towards fostering a vibrant, inclusive, and innovative ecosystem. The diverse expertise and perspectives of the elected members ensure a balanced and holistic development of the Optimism platform.

This cycle’s outcomes reflect a strong commitment to accountability, decentralization, and community-driven growth, aligning with the core principles of Optimism’s vision for a more open and collaborative future in the blockchain space.