How Base will participate in Optimism Governance

Written by Jesse Pollak, Creator of Base

Tl;dr. Base will participate in Optimism governance to ensure the stability and integrity of the OP Stack and Superchain. We are also helping create the Law of Chains to lay a foundation for defining the Superchain and backing public goods funding. As we further hone our approach for governance participation, we invite the community to share their thoughts.

Some highlights on how Base will contribute to public goods and the Optimism Collective:

  • Base will join the Optimism Collective and programmatically contribute 15% of net revenue to fund public goods.
  • As part of our participation and contribution to the Optimism Collective, Base will have the opportunity to earn up to 2.75% of the OP token supply over the next six years. This will enable us to participate as an active, accountable and engaged governance member.
  • As part of our continued commitment to decentralization, our voting power will be limited to no more than 9% of the total votable supply. This 9% includes both potential delegation to others and our direct participation.

Over the next few months, we aim to create a detailed plan around how we plan to participate in governance. Before we define our commitment to participation, we want to actively start a dialogue with the community and would appreciate thoughts, comments, and general feedback around the following points.

  • How do you think Base should participate in Optimism governance?

  • How can we further the Superchain holding true to our values of decentralization and neutrality?

  • What unique perspectives can Base bring to Optimism governance?

  • How would you like to see us show up? What have you seen work well with other participants?

  • What are ways we can better solicit input and feedback from the community?

We look forward to hearing your thoughts. Please feel free to share feedback by commenting on this post.

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Thanks Jesse! We are excited to see Base participate in Optimism governance!

I will reach out to the other Synthetix Ambassadors, gather their thoughts, then I will post back here.

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My initial notes and thoughts. This isn’t meant to be a critique of base specifically, but more so a contribution to discussion on how our governance structure should accommodate Base and future chains on the OP Stack:

This worries me because (as far as I know) it is unenforceable. By the language, it seems like this stipulation will be self-imposed, as in, Base is agreeing to not go over 9% of voting power, but technically they could. Of course, the foundation could step in to try and enforce this, but the whole point of the collective is to decentralize out of the foundation. Ideally, there would be a way to reward Base with non-voting token (much like stock in a company that grants no voting rights). OR, we figure out a way to make the grant to Base less impactful by increasing participation from others in the ecosystem.

First thing that comes to mind: Base is kind of analogous to province/state within a larger nation (the superchain). So Base should (and does) have authority over its chain (local decisions). It should have a portion of authority over decisions for the entire superchain (global decisions). But it SHOULDN’T have authority over decisions for other chains (such as OP Mainnet). I’m sure there are technical considerations that might change this view, but this is my initial thought. And currently, much of the OP Collective decisions influence the OP Mainnet, as opposed to the entire superchain.

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Want to start out by saying that am both optimistic both for Base as well as Optimism not just for the networks but the communities and ethos/values across both, have by far felt they have some of the best communities not just for technical skills in the community but also the open and welcoming approach to all.

  • How do you think Base should participate in Optimism governance?

One of the biggest concerns I have with larger stakeholders is who actually ends up making the decisions for how votes are used. Rather than a monolothic delegation to an address would be good to see Base use their votable delegation spread not just to potentially other community members to amplify independant voices seperate from itself to help offset impact, but also to potentially fragment the delegations within itself, delegating smaller amounts to seperate team members rather than a single delegation to the Base team, to allow for a multitude of opinions and votes to form.

This is mostly directed towards efforts like missions, where proposals were able to be approved with 2-3 of the largest voters, or in some cases NOT being approved because a single holder voted for other projects but not one, causing it to be ranked lower based on a single vote than what the majority voted. By fragmenting this to allow for multiple members to vote seperately effects like these can still reflect bases views as a whole, while allowing for a little more granularity when it comes to binary decisions whereby thresholds could be tight between yes/no and rather than just putting 10m OP votes behind a yes, there may be a distribution for say 4m no vs 6m yes.

  • How can we further the Superchain holding true to our values of decentralization and neutrality?

The only way to actually achieve this is to push through fraud proofs, sequencer decentralization but also to keep in mind fees. One key aspect people forget is that Crypto is most impactful to those who are unbanked or lack the tools for international payments, and fees are the biggest limiter for real decentralization, because the attach an economic barrier rather than a technical one, which to many cannot be overcome. As blob data brings down L2 fees, we should push to bring fees as low as possible, as tech is not the only approach to decentralization and permissionlessness.

  • What unique perspectives can Base bring to Optimism governance?

Hopefully Base can have a more retail focus and consumer focus, where Optimism may be more crypto native, Base is very well positioned to push through Crypto to non crypto users and helping bring these users into the space.

  • How would you like to see us show up? What have you seen work well with other participants?

The process is moreso about constant review and feedback than a single approach, as long as theres constant discussion, and actually taking the discussion and feedback into consideration then the actual approach is irrelevant, as there is no single way to act and have it be ideal, especially as the space changes.

  • What are ways we can better solicit input and feedback from the community?

Forum posts are good, Discord is good, but one way to ensure that is simply to continually interact with the community, usually projects end up with PR and marketing people managing channels, and having the leadership slowly push away either due to time, resources or simply apathy, which creates gaps between the community and the actual leadership. So the best way to approach this is not necessarily about the feedback itself, but ensuring that the lines of communication are direct, and not with middlemen, this approach works well in every vertical from gaming, to tech, to politics, the more directly involved leadership remain the better the alignment will be.

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I would like to see you guys participating in an organic, ongoing way. not so much in random, one-off participations.

also I would like to know how (in)dependent Base will be from Coinbase in governance aspects.
edit: does the Neutrality statement apply here as well?

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Welcome Base to the Optimism Collective!

  • How do you think Base should participate in Optimism governance?

Delegating your $OP to both active Base community members and Optimism Collective token house delegates. Provide detailed technical information, audit reviews and backgrounds on proposals. And of course, contribute to proposals to advance the Optimism collective. 9% is fine for now, but may need to be adjusted years down the line as the Token House decentralizes further. I’m disappointed the 2.5% wasn’t discussed or disclosed before, but it’s within Optimism Foundation’s rights. In future, I wish for better transparency.

  • How can we further the Superchain holding true to our values of decentralization and neutrality ?

Make decentralization a critical priority and get to Stage 1 & Stage 2 (per L2Beat) asap. Above all, an exit mechanism must come first, even if the sequencer is hostile. Until Base achieves Stage 1 decentralization, Coinbase should do more to make it clear it’s a centralized prototype and strongly caution users from using it in all marketing materials. I understand there’s competitive pressures, but arguably, this could also be a competitive advantage in fostering a reputation of transparency & honesty.

  • What unique perspectives can Base bring to Optimism governance?

Needless to say, Coinbase’s expertise and experience in legal & regulatory matters. Perhaps there’s a paradox here that you won’t be able to speak freely, but I hope the Coinbase team does. Beyond that, Coinbase can help evolve UX and onboarding, even offering seamless custodial options to interact onchain for those who prefer it. Not everyone wants self-custody, freedom of choice is more important than forcing people to self-custody.

  • How would you like to see us show up? What have you seen work well with other participants?

I think I answered this for the first question, or perhaps I misunderstood it?

  • What are ways we can better solicit input and feedback from the community?

These forums are a high signal venue, the Base account can expand on some of the discussions here for a broader audience on X.com etc.

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I am very insignificant in this fast moving space. Apart from my motivation to support public good and contribute towards dual house DAO as I find its unique and sustainable, I have no personal gain here, so please take my view with grain of salt.

  1. Identity - Gitcoin passport is trying to counter sybil but its also gameable, we can use the Coinbase as a bridge to solve the identity and its already in progress. On CW, connect your CB account and let them mint a SBT(Optimism Citizen). We just need to put more focus, one idea would be give those wallet priority when onboarding a new protocol.
    One simple example would be onboarding them on Farcaster.
    We have a chance to make a monumental change, you talk about 1B user, imagine if we have just 100M users. Unique users. Help us solve a common problem.

  2. Transparency - This is where Optimism gov is doing an excellent job, communication and feedback loop btw Foundation and DAO is a major pillar of our success but we can do more, take an example of Curve proposal, approved by DAO and still we dont know what stopping their fund release. Last update was months ago and generic. Help in making the process more transparent.

  3. Better use of grant fund - more novel use case, its too early to judge ROI of many proposal approved by DAO but I get better rate on DeFiLLama than our native dexes even after speeding so much on them.

  4. More ideas- Bring folks from other L2 and protocol, Dan, Varun, Jacob, they are one building and bringing value to OP Stack, lets hear their voice and get them more involved. I cant do this, but you Can. We grow together, stronger.

  5. Put token to work - A16Z is working but you can add nore - delegate, token you get, delegate % of it. You choose the candidate but please do it. We need more voice.

We took Matic approach which seems to be working but Base is centralized and so is Optimism chain, Bobby wrote about decentralization few weeks ago, work in tandam and share progress on what you are doing to make sure not only Base but SuperChain is secured, audited and moving towards decentralization.

Make all decision related to DAO and Optimism in general transparent, create a dedicated thread, use other social media to share your rational, view and progress.

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Hey Jesse,

This August month has been incredible, and aside of your ongoing onchainsummer campaign, i’m glad to see you coming here with an open minded spirit.

Here is my attempt at answering your questions.

  • How do you think Base should participate in Optimism governance?

Base has been incredible as onboarding web2 projects & personalities. I’d think that Base could bring his web 2 knowledge to continue driving Optimism and the OP superchain as the Home for projects & builders.

  • How can we further the Superchain holding true to our values of decentralization and neutrality?

As proposed above, delegating your voting power to active members of base and outside base would be beneficial towards neutrality.

  • What unique perspectives can Base bring to Optimism governance?

Your web2 knowledge, your appetite to onboard builders, your way to manage 100million users, all of that may need to be framed in a decentralized way, you could definitively bring added value to define.

  • How would you like to see us show up? What have you seen work well with other participants?

I really like community call. As one of the major delegate, i would love to see 1) the vision of Base: one paper showing how base will strive to achieve its vision about OP governance
2) during votes, issue a report document stating the reason of the vote, making sure it fits to the vision

  • What are ways we can better solicit input and feedback from the community?

This post here is already an amazing start, so thank you for this.

It would be amazing if you could attend the OP gov community call hosted by @Michael
As you could ask questions & get the sentiment of the community.

Finally, having base as a grant council member, should this setup continue for season 5, would be amazing as well.

Subli

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I mentioned this in the chat during the Q&A but wanted to get it in writing.

As a major participant in the OP Collective, it would be great to see Base active in the discussion here. The two major ways being here in the forums and also on the bi-weekly community calls.

Being that you all are a major stakeholder, our success is intertwined, and it would be great for Base’s perspective to be a part of the discussion of governance issues.

Hi Jesse,

Congrats on everything you are building. I really like the onchain vision and hopefully the Superchain will help enable it sooner than later.

  • How do you think Base should participate in Optimism governance?

In my short experience following Optimism governance, I’ve noticed it’s hard to get active participation from major delegates on some topics. I believe there are few delegates with major voting power and the incentives for them to participate are not strong enough, considering the required effort and time. In this thread @Joxes from @seedlatam addresses the problem with great detail and proposes a potential solution.

How could Base help on this? I believe Base has the chance to bring in many fresh delegates to OP governance by distributing it’s voting power. In my opinion, it’s a great opportunity to form a delegate team that:

  • incorporates already active community members.
  • brings in delegates with diverse skill sets and backgrounds to participate on different topics.

I really like @Pr0’s suggestions on this matter.

  • What unique perspectives can Base bring to Optimism governance?

Base has great experience attracting and providing value to retail. I think this perspective will be invaluable to the development of the Superchain vision. There are many ways in which this can be harnessed.

  • How would you like to see us show up? What have you seen work well with other participants?

I really appreciate the effort put by the Collective in experimenting with non-plutocratic forms of governance. Sybil resistance has always been a great obstacle in this regard. I think Base can help bring in both existing and novel solutions to this problem, adding to the set of tools that the Collective will be able to count on.

On a different note, I would also like to add that Base could be the perfect success story to attract other key players in the ecosystem to the Optimism Vision. Hope that happens!

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The below response reflects the views of L2BEAT’s governance team, composed of @kaereste and @Sinkas, and it’s based on the combined research, fact-checking and ideation of the two.

We have raised some questions in regards to Base’s participation in Optimism governance in the “Welcoming Base to Optimism” post, but we’d also like to respond to this post. Firstly to welcome Base in the Collective, and also to offer our feedback to the questions you’ve asked.

  • How do you think Base should participate in Optimism governance?

In a way, the way Base participates sets a precedent for future such cases. We’d love to see Base actively engaged with the community, frequently engaging with discussions happening in the forums with constructive feedback, analysis and solid reasoning.

We’re not entirely sure of how interactions and decision-making will be handled on Base’s side (whether through an individual or a team), and we’d appreciate a clarification on that.

An interesting approach would be to delegate a portion of the voting power to active participants in the Optimism and Base communities.

  • How can we further the Superchain holding true to our values of decentralization and neutrality?

We reflect @Polynya’s view that getting Base to Stage 1 & Stage 2 (as per our site) would be a meaningful step toward decentralisation. On top of that, helping establish the Law of Chains by firstly adhering to it, but also through helping create and establishing a process to enforce as many things as possible through trustless mechanisms would be amazing.

Base, being the first chain to be onboarded to the Superchain, can bring the perspective of the onboarded entity, which can help us better understand nuances in the process, or in the Law of Chains, for other chains.

  • What unique perspectives can Base bring to Optimism governance?

Base’s experience in retail UX and regulatory matters can prove invaluable to the DAO. It’s no secret that DAOs are very complex from a UX perspective and there’s no streamlined process for contributors. There’s also regulatory concerns surrounding funding mechanisms such as grants.

Having Base’s input on the above could prove invaluable to the Optimism Collective as we scale.

  • How would you like to see us show up? What have you seen work well with other participants?

We’d like to see Base actually participating in discussions happening here in the forums, and attending the community calls. The grant received by the Foundation puts Base among the top delegates and as such, we expect active participation in governance.

  • What are ways we can better solicit input and feedback from the community?

As already mentioned above, participating in the biweekly community call would be a good way to engage with the community and solicit feedback. It’s possible that not everything related to Base x Optimism can be discussed within the span of an hour that is the community call, but it’s definitely the place to start.

Another idea that we are experimenting with internally (and we encourage Base to experiment with it as well), is to making your governance team available for community through Office Hours. That way you can gather feedback from the community and raise it to the forum or delegate calls. It’s also a good opportunity to exchange ideas between delegates. Of course, feel free to join our Optimism Office Hours as well. :slight_smile:

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This is a great :+1: topic.

Adding my two cents here.

  1. Cross pollination between Base & Optimism can easily be coordinated through a channel system in discord that is specifically for delegates from each community.

Coordinated efforts are proven to have a greater impact.

  1. Meeting in OP Gov calls for all contributors of the Super Chain.

Currently the hosts for delegate calls are volunteer based and the same delegates are ending up having to host the calls.

Active participation in hosting the calls will enhance the knowledge of both ecosystems for better communication & understanding.

It would be awesome to see delegate members of Base answer questions about Optimism with an extensive understanding of the network or governance structure with continuity and fluidity during these meetings.

Helping to strengthen the value alignment of Base delegates with the Optimism community.

Hey @Base (and Jesse),

Thanks for drafting these questions!

Would also recommend that Base delegates a portion of their $OP to both Base active community members and to delegates in the Optimism Collective token house (@Pr0 suggestion is cool and worth exploring). It also makes sense to provide thorough technical insights, share audit results, and offer details on the proposals. I also encourage Base to actively participate in drafting proposals, all in support of the Optimism Collective’s growth and the enhancement of the OP stack.

From my perspective, there are three critical initiatives that could benefit the Superchain, and I believe that you are already considering them:

-Ship the Cannon upgrade to enable fraud proofs.
-Introduce delayed upgradability.
-Invite new sequencers to the Superchain.

On the third point, I find it interesting that the Optimism collective is leaning towards a sequencer leader election mechanism “enshrined” within the protocol’s governance for the Superchain. Blindly allocating rewards to large stakers/operators that are not contributing to the economic growth of the Optimism Collective is, in my opinion, a poor use of capital. I am confident that the Optimism community will avoid this scenario and hope to see Base actively participating in these dialogues.

It’s come to my attention that you guys are a bit into user experience :upside_down_face:. Given that some governance processes can be a bit clunky (like the voting process in round 2 of retro pgf), Base might offer invaluable insights to refine the UX across various governance stages.

I believe active participation is key. Engage in forum discussions and attend community calls. Remember, Base was at the forefront, expressing its intention to support the Superchain vision. It’d be great to see this enthusiasm reflected in proactive governance participation.

While this forum is a good platform, diversifying communication channels could be beneficial. Consider engaging with the community via Twitter (nah I’m not saying X), hosting AMAs, and making appearances on relevant podcasts when opportunities arise.

Hope that makes sense!

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Sounds like a great idea

Hi all, Saemi here from the Base team.

Thank you for engaging on this thread and taking the time to share your thoughts. We are actively following along and are already learning so much. We will synthesize and come back to you with a plan once we’ve ironed out some of the details. Please keep the feedback coming - we are here and we are listening!

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The most aligned and crypto friendly platform it’s now for governance proposal and decision making. Happy to read and learn from you guys.

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How do you think base should participate in Optimism Governance?

Base should create a method on how to identify potential delegates whether it’s individuals, protocols or others in either the Optimism or Base community. This makes it easier for the community to understand why certain individuals are being delegated to. Similar to how the a16z delegate program works in idea, but still different.

Any large delegations should be provided with a rationale for transparency reasons so Base’s “wishes” aren’t acted on through a delegate. All delegates who receive delegation should be free to vote as they wish and not be influenced by Base or Base contributors.

As mentioned, Optimism Foundation is free to distribute tokens as it wishes, but it would have been ideal to discuss this publicly and understand whether this will be replicated on a smaller scaler for other teams that use the OP Stack.

  1. I’d like to understand who from Base would be participating on Optimism Governance? Or will there be a mix of individuals - delegate, delegator, analyst etc.

How would you like to see us show up? What have you seen work well with other participants?

A good example is to look at the Builders Council in Starknet governance which provides a rationale report on large votes. They are also transparent with who is involved in the council and how they reach a vote.

Other questions have been answered thoroughly by other delegates, so I won’t repeat it.

Hi Jesse and @Base team; appreciated the intention to join the Optimism ecosystem and its Collective. Recognizing the substantial weight this collaboration and deal holds, as SEED latam delegation, we have sit down to reflect on each of the questions and answer them appropriately. As the first OP chain to get involved in governance, due to the commitment assumed from inception and the background behind the project, there are a lot of advantages and opportunities that cannot be missed. So:

  • In terms of voting power, echoing @polynya’s words:
    A part obtained should be used to empwopering Base community members to actively engage in governance and comply with its principles of neutrality, which is a truly valuable commitment assumed.

  • In terms of expertise provided:
    Base should leverage its extensive knowledge and proficiency in general infrastructure, understanding and maintenance of the rollup, which can positively contribute to understanding the whole picture of issues related to upgrades and how this can be improved, something critical today in governance, guiding informed decisions in this domain.

Superchain is not a reality today, but Base and governance can work together to get closer to an ideal initial model to launch: Base, as one of the first chains to potentially join into the Superchain once implemented, so we expect more contributions and ready to expand the discussions. Also, it would be beneficial to contribute and make available any tools and information that can help other future OP chains understand what it means for their project and potentially join it.

On the other hand, it’s equally crucial to unify our efforts to explore avenues for contributing to the Superchain codebase and OP Stack development in general. Addressing pivotal issues such as the decentralization of sequencers, fraud proofs, and advancing in on-chain governance is not just imperative but also timely. Collaborative endeavors in these domains will undeniably foster the growth and adoption of Superchain.

Agree with @polynya again here. Also, from a geographical point of view, Base, as a product created by Coinbase, could offer a strategic advantage in facilitating a more profound engagement with the US and Canadian demographics; very useful, especially for dApps on Optimism. Additionally, product design, marketing can help to diversify in the way governance thinks collectively.

Finally, experimentation is always important, any contribution at the protocol level and the Base ecosystem that can serve itself and the entire Optimism ecosystem, we will be eager to learn to make the entire ecosystem better.

Being vocals in every discussion of interest and transparency-first in actions taken, because, communication is the key (for example, it would have been a good first sign if part of this deal had been submitted for community feedback before). Additionally, encourage delegates to do the same, if Base decides to delegate part of its voting power. Last, collect feedback from Base users when necessary.

In the case of Base users, any channel that can engage with the current type of user that uses Base should work. Not all users are a good fit with all types of discussion channels, so we suggest that let the Base community decide how to do this. To be in touch with the Optimism community, other members above shared how the community currently gets involved and stays active.


With all of this, let’s hope Base results in a complete net-positive for the Optimism ecosystem and adds genuine value for the Collective to meet goals to scale Ethereum and its values.

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