Governance Weekly Recap

Hi all - duncand from Boardroom here :wave:

Part of our team’s mission is to increase informed participation in governance, and as a project supporting Optimism voters we thought it would be useful to provide a weekly recap of recent governance activity in the Optimism community. While the Foundation releases a fantastic general weekly recap, we feel a governance-focused summary will be useful for delegates and voters due to the rapid pace of governance news and updates. When appropriate we’ll also note a few specific areas for action on timely subjects.

Within our weekly recap, we’ll provide a look back at:

  • Proposals
  • Governance changes
  • Impactful operating suggestions, and
  • Critical governance-related discussions across Discourse, Twitter, and Discord.

The recap is intended to provide an overview of what’s happening in governance and easy access to the most critical information—so that it’s easy to stay up-to-date and make informed decisions.

The first recap will be posted today. We’d love to hear your feedback and any suggestions you have!

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Week of August 15, 2022

TL;DR: Optimism is in the midst of a reflection period and considering significant updates to the governance process. See below for all the details.

Summary

A brief recap of where we’re at (it’s been busy!):

  • Season 1 of Optimism Governance voting ended on August 3rd with Voting Cycle #4.
  • We entered the second week of a reflection period during which ideas about and feedback on the governance process have been actively solicited.
  • A special Voting Cycle #5 will be held from August 25 through September 7 to vote on proposed governance process improvements.
  • Season 2 will begin on September 8 with Voting Cycle #6, which will enact any governance improvements passed in the previous cycle.
  • See this governance update from @ben-chain for a full review.

Proposed Changes

Operating Manual

Optimism’s Operating Manual, which describes the mechanics of the governance process, is being updated by the Foundation in response to observations made and feedback received. Draft v0.2, will go into effect with Season 2. Among the many changes contemplated:

  • switching from a two-week to a three-week voting cycle
  • increasing to two the number of delegate approvals needed for a proposal to move to a vote
  • changing the quorum from 10% to 30% of votable $OP supply

:speaking_head: This is the time to provide feedback on the draft if you haven’t already.

Proposal Template

A new grant proposal template has also been put forward by the Foundation during this reflection period. The draft template incorporates a number of suggestions from the community and should make the merits of each proposal easier to assess.

:speaking_head: Provide your feedback here.

Governance Committees

In response to observations made of Season 1 and in keeping with their experimental spirit, the Optimism Foundation has proposed the use of Governance Committees in Season 2. The committees (five in different areas are suggested) are meant to help distribute the work of assessing proposals, which has been overwhelming, particularly for delegates.

:speaking_head: The details of committee formation and responsibility are worth an attentive read.

Proposals for committees are to follow a specific template and will be voted upon in special Voting Cycle #5 (which opens this week, on August 25). Here are the committee proposals that have been put forward:

In The Forums

  • Delegate updates: The Delegate Updates Thread collects communications directly from a number (currently six) of active Optimism delegates.
  • Delegate commitments: Keep your eye on this thread to learn more about each delegate.
  • Valuable observations: @raho and @tnorm provide productive commentary on Season 1 of the Governance Fund. They’ve also created a spreadsheet that tracks the participation rate (among other things) of the top 50 delegates.
  • Pause for decentralization? @polynya suggests pausing Governance Fund voting cycles until “minimum viable decentralization” is achieved.
  • OP for gas? Long thread about whether to switch OP from being a governance token.

On Governance Calls

Governance calls are an excellent way to stay up-to-date and contribute:

  • @katie is organizing and hosting bi-weekly governance calls, and they’re open to anyone.
  • Recordings of the first call and the second call are available.
  • The next call is scheduled for August 30.

:speaking_head: Download the .ics file, import it to your calendar, and read the previous call notes here.

On Twitter

  • Delegate dashboard: Michael Silbering points us to Optimism’s dashboard on Dune.
  • Poor participation: @polynya argues that delegate participation “is getting very low.”
  • Token transfers: The Optimism Foundation explains recent $OP transfers from a multisig.
  • #OPSummer is heating up!
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This is good summary, thank you for doing this.

We can also use such update to measure engagement, if same stuff is repeating or list is getting smaller, we know that the overall engagement is going down and vice-versa.

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Week of August 22, 2022

Summary

Season 1 has ended, and the reflection period is over. Welcome to Voting Cycle #5, which began on August 25 and runs through September 7 (7PM GMT). This is a special, two-week cycle dedicated to proposals meant to improve Optimism governance processes.

Proposals

We have five proposals up for voting, each one for a Governance Committee (the purposes of which are described in full here):

Up to four committees will be approved for Voting Cycle #6. Committee proposals must first reach quorum, and then be approved by majority vote; the top four proposals that have met these thresholds will be implemented for the next cycle. Keep in mind that this could mean that fewer than four committees will be in place.

:speaking_head: Vote now! (on Snapshot or on Boardroom)

Season 2: Voting Cycle #6 begins on September 8 (7PM GMT) and will run for three weeks until September 28 (7PM GMT). The revised Operating Manual will go into effect with this Cycle; read through it carefully and take note of changes.

:speaking_head: Provide your feedback on Governance Fund proposals being drafted for Cycle #6.

In Discord

There’s a new gov-temp-check channel with a bot that makes it easy to post your proposal for a temp-check.

Should delegates vote for themselves? @millie asks whether delegates who are on the proposed committees above should be voting for themselves—with all the voting power delegated to them.

In the Forums

What about the self-delegation of tokens received in grants? @Defi_LATAM_axlvaz raises important questions (some of which were previously raised) about a recent case of self-delegation, and the discussion that follows reveals different stances about how a governance token like $OP should (and shouldn’t) be used. The revised grant proposal template, which is now in effect, states that “the expectation is that token grants will not be self-delegated for use in governance”; but if you plan to self-delegate, “this should be made clear in your grant proposal along with your reasoning.”

Debate on the potential effect and utility of governance committees continues. The committees are an experiment for Season 2, at which point they will be re-evaluated.

On Twitter

The Optimism Foundation took stock: Check out the OP Summer thread here, read the summary, and examine the dashboard of ecosystem programs funded so far.

Governance Calls

Calls are held bi-weekly. Put them on your calendar.

:speaking_head: Join the next call, on Tuesday, August 30 (5PM GMT).

Quick Gov Links: Working Constitution | Operating Manual v0.2 | Proposal template | Delegates | Snapshot | Optimism on Boardroom

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Week of August 29, 2022

Summary

We’re nearing the end of Voting Cycle #5, and ramping up for Voting Cycle #6. Remember that the new proposal template is now in effect, as are the new procedures outlined in the updated Operating Manual.

Proposals

There are five proposals up for voting in Cycle #5, which ends this Wednesday, September 7 (7PM GMT). Each one is for a Governance Committee; the top four Governance Committees will begin their work with Voting Cycle #6 — later this week!

:speaking_head: There’s still time to vote on Snapshot or on Boardroom.

Over 9,000 wallets have voted for each proposal so far :100:

A new proposal rhythm will begin with Voting Cycle #6, following a three-week pattern as described in the Operating Manual:

  • Week 1: proposals labeled [Draft] are posted in the forum for community feedback (there’s also a dedicated temp-check channel in Discord).
  • Week 2: Delegate feedback. Two delegates with >0.5% of the current votable token supply must explicitly indicate approval of a given proposal in the relevant discussion thread in order for the proposal to move to the Voting Cycle Roundup thread in the forum.
  • Week 3: Voting. Proposals in the Voting Cycle Roundup thread that meet the above requirements will be moved to Snapshot for voting.

As per the Operating Manual: “Each ‘week’ runs from Wednesday at 19:00p GMT (12p PST) until Tuesday at 19:00 GMT (12p PST).”

The quorum threshold for Governance Fund (Phase 1) is now 30% of votable $OP supply.

The approval threshold is 51%.

:speaking_head: Provide your feedback on Governance Fund proposals being drafted for Cycle #6.

In Discord

Given the high number of delegates implicated in the Governance Committee proposals for Cycle #5, Reformed_Normie asks whether “abstain” votes count towards quorum. @diligit pointed out in the forum that the answer should be specified in the Manual.

In the Forums

Soulbound badges in Optimism? @0xbendo (from Otterspace) makes the suggestion.

This recalls the “crown for delegatesdiscussion — an idea to make it clear which forum participants are delegates with >.5% of voting power.

See recent updates from @Bobbay_StableNode and @GFXlabs in the collection of delegate communications threads.

On Twitter

@linda put up a poll asking whether DAO delegates should vote on proposals when there is a potential (disclosed) conflict of interest, and then observes some of the possible drawbacks to abstaining.

Boardroom spoke with @fig and @GFXlabs about their proposal for a DeFi Governance Committee in the latest Roundup (brief proposal discussion begins around minute five).

Governance Calls

Discussion of governance committees was the main feature of last week’s call. Notes and a link to the recording can be found here.

:speaking_head: Join the next call on September 13 (5PM GMT, though that may change).

Quick Gov Links: Working Constitution | Operating Manual v0.2 | Proposal template | Delegates | Snapshot | Optimism on Boardroom

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Thanks for your recap. Very good work.

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Week of September 5, 2022

Summary

We’re now in the first week of Voting Cycle #6, with new proposals being crafted and set before the community. @ben-chain has summarized governance process changes from the reflection period and Voting Cycle #5, re-iterated the purpose and goals of the Governance Fund, and provided a look ahead to the full Season 2.

Four Governance Committees have been established and will begin their work this Cycle. @lavande has provided guidance for the committees. Expect feedback from each committee before the third day of third week of this Cycle; committees will post their recommendations in dedicated threads, such as this one. This week’s governance call (Tuesday, September 13, 5PM GMT) may include discussion of how the committees will distribute their work.

Proposals

A number of proposals have been submitted for community review — collected in this thread.

Those proposals that are marked “[Review]” by this Tuesday, 7PM GMT will enter the second week of the Cycle, which consists of delegate feedback.

A retrospective and brief analysis of proposals approved in Season 1 has been posted by @jackanorak.

:speaking_head: Provide your feedback on Governance Fund proposals being drafted for this Cycle.

In the Forums

A serious, lengthy, and at times heated debate about Governance Committees took place in the forums and on Discord. It concerned, among other things, the level of expertise needed to participate fruitfully in committees, whether someone should be able to serve on more than one committee, and whether proposed committee members should or should not have abstained from voting on committee proposals.

:speaking_head: Keep questions and considerations in mind as we proceed through Season 2. Governance Committees are an experiment limited (for the moment) to this Season, after which the community will reflect on their utility.

Should protocols be discouraged from borrowing against their granted OP?

@diligit asks that we use the filters on the the delegate information page to promote “diversification of voting power and more decentralization.”

In Discord

A quick overview of Season 2 Cycles and dates is provided by @lavande.

There were issues in Voting Cycle #5 with certain multi-sig wallets not being able to cast their votes, and questions about how votes not counted would have affected the outcome.

Given the above problem, there were requests to approve all five proposed Governance Committees. The Optimism Foundation ultimately decided to stay with the original plan of four committees, as explained fully here.

Here’s another good discussion among delegates about whether those who were on proposed Governance Committees should or should not have abstained from voting on committees.

On Twitter

Governance Calls

:speaking_head: Join the next call, hosted by @michael, on September 13 (5PM GMT). The agenda is posted in this thread.

Quick Gov Links: Working Constitution | Operating Manual v0.2 | Proposal template | Delegates | Snapshot | Optimism on Boardroom

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Week of September 12, 2022

Summary

We’re reaching the end of the second week of Voting Cycle #6 — and about to enter the third (or voting) week. Here’s a handy Google calendar for Optimism governance, created by @bobby. Need to review the proposal and voting cycle process? The Operating Manual is the ultimate source of information concerning governance procedures.

:speaking_head: Keep an eye out for Governance Committee recommendations this week, and be prepared to vote on proposals that have made it into the Voting Cycle #6 Roundup thread.

Proposals

Roundup: At the time of writing there are two proposals that have made it into the Voting Cycle #6 Roundup thread, which is reserved for those that have received explicit approval from two delegates with >.5% voting power.

dHedge: dHedge describes itself as the “only decentralized asset management platform currently on Optimism.” This revised proposal asks for 350k OP to split across DHPT (dHEDGE Pool Token) Incentives (70%) and Liquidity Mining (30%) over the course of six months.

Otterspace: Otterspace is “building a flexible and easy-to-use infrastructure for DAOs to use non-transferable NFTs” (Badges), which have a number of different uses. The proposal asks for 100k OP, 70% of which would be used to incentivize user adoption, onboarding users to Optimism “with enough funds to mint their first badge and experiment with a few other transactions on Optimism.” The remaining 30% would be used to incentivize integration partner adoption.

:speaking_head: Provide your feedback on Governance Fund proposals being drafted for this Cycle (the relevant ones are tagged “cycle 6”).

In the Forums

Report: State of Optimism Governance. @tnorm and @raho from Messari have written up this insightful report, which reflects back on Season 1.

A helpful proposal process flowchart was posted by @OPUser in their delegate communication thread.

Anti-rug pull suggestion: @ovetta wonders whether a phased rollout of funds to grantees, as they reach successive milestones, might be worthwhile.

The grant proposal template was updated to include a field that asks the proposer to identify the voting cycle they are participating in.

Aelin Protocl GF Phase 0 Token Distribution. @OPUser has raised the question of whether the protocol has significantly changed how it had proposed to deploy the 900K OP it received.

In Discord

Optimism will be re-organizing the forum and moving it to a self-hosted site.

Here’s a productive discussion among Governance Committee delegates about how to sort proposals to review, and at what stage to review them.

Governance Committee channels: the Tooling committee as well as DeFi committees A and C have dedicated discussion channels.

:speaking_head: Check in on the #gov-temp-check channel to respond to proposals looking for feedback.

On Twitter

This week in Optimism.

Introducing OP Radio, a weekly Twitter Spaces event “covering a wide range of topics in the Optimism ecosystem.” First on deck, @qx_app, on Wednesday, September 21, 3PM GMT.

WTF is retroactive public goods funding?” @binji_x lays it out.

@flipsidecrypto highlights this Optimism dashboard by @SocioCrypto. (And, separately, all Optimism data has been backfilled at Flipside: “queries are now fully supported, from beginning to end infinity.”)

Governance Calls

The most recent call has been summarized by @michael. The conversation was lively, and included such topics as how the Foundation will handle voting problems going forward, creating the governance culture we want to create, and how the two DeFi Governance Committees will split their assessment work.

:speaking_head: Keep your eyes peeled for details about the next call, which will be on September 27.

Quick Gov Links: Working Constitution | Operating Manual v0.2 | Proposal template | Delegates | Snapshot | Optimism on Boardroom

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