Protocol Delegation Program Renewal

That is a valid point and active participation in gov does take significant amount of time, one way to tackle is to take approach similar to Uniswap.
Form a multi-sig of community member, voted by their dao, and they will participate on behalf of the protocol.

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Hi everyone, as the representative of one of the three remaining elected protocols I wanted to share my thoughts about how the last Season went for the Programme.

I think that the overall concept of the Protocol Delegation Program is one that is needed to ensure that a disconnect doesn’t build between the Token House and those who build in the Collective. Like @jackanorak already mentioned above, the program has assisted in providing more variety of viewpoints and participants, and I think that the option of letting protocols choose a delegate would just consolidate the current structures even more, which goes against the ideas of the Collective.

Now for the harsh part: Despite the idea of protocol delegation being a great one, I believe there were a few points that limited its potential:

  • Lack of protocol-significant votes in the Token House: In this season, protocol delegates only had two votes, one for suspending a delegate and a ratification of the Bedrock upgrade. I already shared my thoughts about these in my delegate update thread, but basically both of these votes did not really need input from anyone representing a protocol. This isn’t because of this season being unusually quiet, but rather because of my next point:
  • Delegation of funding decisions to the Grants Council and Citizen House: Full disclaimer, as an individual delegate I am in favour of both of these initiatives. However, the decision to take these votes away from the Token House has meant that the delegation of votes of this initiative has done very little in helping Protocols have their say in the vast majority of governance decisions happening this season. The only way to have any say would be to talk personally with the members of both groups, which is a very time intensive task which might not even have a considerable outcome and won’t help you hit 70% participation.
  • No significant benefits for protocol delegates outside of idealistic ones: Finally, it’s also worth noting that unless you already care about Optimistic governance, there was very little incentive to devote time and manpower to assist with governance. Protocol delegates didn’t have a say on funding either upcoming projects or rewarding existing ones, and they are the only major delegating power to be excluded from retroactive delegation rewards. Considering the opportunity cost of participating in governance, many protocols might have preferred being disqualified over spedning precious opportunity cost volunteering.

If the Optimism Collective wishes to get Protocols more actively involved, I believe these three points have to be addressed in one way or another. I personally have a couple of ideas, but I would rather let other governance members take the initiative to decide what actions could be taken. However, I think that in its current state the Protocol Delegation Programme is not ready for Season 4, especially since the Foundation will be requesting a KYC from now on from all future members, which will discourage even more protocols from participating and also introduce an additional risk for those who are.


Thanks for providing your perspective as a protocol participating in the program! To address the areas for improvement you cited:

Lack of protocol-significant votes in the Token House:

As you mentioned, this season, protocol delegates only had two votes: one for suspending a delegate and a ratification of the Bedrock upgrade.

The Bedrock Upgrade, and all other Protocol Upgrades, are of critical relevance to the protocols building on Optimism.

Since your concerns seem primarily related to lack of involvement in funding votes, this should be addressed in the upcoming Reflection Period and Season 4, as outlined below.

In this Reflection Period, delegates will be asked to vote on:

  • Protocol Delegation Program Renewal
  • Intent Budgets (including Grants Council Renewal)
  • Inflation Adjustment
  • Treasury Appropriations (annual Foundation budget approval)

In Season 4, delegates will be asked to approval rank Proposed Missions, a new mechanism to allocate the Governance Fund.

No significant benefits for protocol delegates outside of idealistic ones:

Since this concern seems to be primarily about incentives, I’d like to clarify that protocols participating in the Protocol Delegation Program were not outright excluded from receiving retroactive delegation rewards. All delegates receiving delegation at >0.25% voting power were eligible. We excluded delegations made by the Foundation in this calculation (so as to not disadvantage other delegates), but you’ll see that both 0x and PoolCollective still qualified for rewards based on their delegation levels excluding Foundation delegations.


Thanks a lot for the clartifications!

Let’s hope that the new proposal types are sufficient to hold interest of other Protocol Delegates. Personally, I will do my best to ensure the involvement of the ParaSwap DAO on this season as well :smile:

Thank you for the clarification, I missed those two protocols being nominated. While this is a good start, I feel that we could be seeing some survivorship bias if we focus on the 2 projects out of 22 that managed to be eligible for this. As you mentioned, these two protocols received these rewards despite of the program, as opposed to thanks to their participation.

I hope I am not coming across as too negative with these comments, I am just hoping to understand why 60% of all protocols (and 63% of elected protocols) disquilified from lack of participation despite clear communications and updates about governance. I don’t think that the requirements of this Season were particularly challenging for protocol delegates (only 2 votes in a similar time window), so I hope that with harsher time requirements this issue does not worsen. Perhaps with the introduction of Trust Tiers we won’t even have to worry about that, as Protocols might try to pursue higher tiers through this participation!

We’ve sent out a feedback form to all participating protocols asking them to please fill it out by Monday, so we can have a better understanding of what motivated participation levels.

Feedback from participating protocols, based on 12 / 23 responses

75% of respondents had participated in Optimism governance in some capacity before the program. 67% of respondents plan to remain active, with 58% of respondents indicating they are more likely to participate in governance after participating in the program. 30% said the program had no impact on their likelihood of participation, but every protocol that indicated “No Impact” was participating prior to the start of the program. 1 protocol said they are less likely to participate following the program. Several protocols said they’d like to see the program extended beyond two Seasons and extended to more protocols.

Reasons given for not participating more:

  • Unsure of how to add value and engage beyond voting
  • It was challenging to keep on top of information across multiple platforms (especially with other full time jobs)
  • Time constraints

To address some of the feedback as to what would make the program more successful, if renewed:

  • We will do another onboarding session at the start of the program and will also work with protocols to create some guidelines on how best to engage as a protocol delegate. Thanks for the suggestion @Oxytocin

  • We will create one group chat for all participating protocols, so protocols can help each other onboard and for more streamlined announcements and Q&A


Good morning! One question, the feedback is based on 12 responses. Does that mean that 11 protocols didn’t fill the feedback?

Я делегат и мне нужно голосовать


Thanks for this post.

The Protocol Delegation Program aims to recognize important stakeholders and allow them to participate in governance because protocols, as the proposal puts it, “value having a voice in the development of the ecosystem.” However, 60% of eligible protocols, which were delegated tokens, did not participate in governance and were subsequently disqualified from Season 4 token allocation. Although protocols may have perceived last season’s voting proposals as relatively uninteresting (an Optimism upgrade and a delegate suspension), they are given two seasons to participate in voting. Therefore, protocols lack interest in protocol governance participation, and we do not believe the current requirements to be eligible for the Protocol Delegation program benefit Optimism.

We agree that giving a 1.25x multiplier to Optimism native protocols and ongoing participants in the Protocol Delegation Program is a strong idea. These multipliers further incentivize protocols interested in Optimism governance. Some changes that the Optimism Team should consider are delegating tokens to protocols that participate in forums, discussion, and governance even without tokens. This change shifts the governance power from prominent protocols distant from the ecosystem’s well-being to active community members.

Only 12 out of 23 participating protocols provided feedback for Optimism governance. Lavande stated that the primary reason protocols did not participate was a lack of clarity on how to add value and time constraints around other obligations. Asking protocols to create a branch in their team for governance, having the Optimism governance team ping these deadlines to protocols, and funneling more time into protocol governance isn’t a reasonable allocation of resources or tokens.

Therefore, we will be voting against this proposal at its current stage.

Sincerely, the Carnegie Mellon Blockchain Governance Team


ty @Oxytocin for putting all these thoughts together in a coherent and succinct way and @lavande for your helpful clarifications/responses.

wanted to share my POV to your three points raised (in a less succinct but hopefully still coherent way):

  • Lack of protocol-significant votes in the Token House: I don’t agree that either of those votes did not need input from anyone representing a protocol.
    For suspending a delegate, I believe that it’s a decision relevant for all delegates to indicate that they are willing to uphold each other to the expectations we all agreed to - these social norms are not enforceable on-chain so I believe off-chain enforcement in this manner is necessary.
    For ratifying the Bedrock upgrade, fundamental changes to Optimism itself certainly impact protocols current and future development - I felt that it was implied from the Bedrock upgrade forum post that a buffer was built in to ensure that impact protocols had time to make sure they were ready for the changes to come.
  • Delegation of funding decisions to the Grants Council and Citizen House: While funding decisions did represent (and probably will continue to represent) a large portion of governance decisions, as a representative of a protocol, I’m not sure those are even decisions that a protocol should be involved in or really have much impact on a protocol so fully delegating those decisions to a Grants Council and Citizen House is a great decision.
    For the first point, these funding decisions feel more likely to have conflicts of interest (for example one lending protocol delegate voting against a team requesting funding to build a competing lending protocol) in ways that could be hard to establish/prove.
    For the second point, which teams within the Optimism ecosystem gets funding doesn’t really impact a protocol as much as say the Bedrock upgrade has and as such, those are decisions that feel less pertinent and thus less important for a protocol - I personally believe that not all delegates should need to be involved in all governance decisions, only the ones that impact them or would benefit from the skillset/perspective they bring so as a protocol delegate, I’d prefer to not need to weigh in on every grant proposal. I think that the votes in the current special cycle are a good balance of giving protocol delegates some say in how funding decisions are made but not overwhelm them with every decision.
  • No significant benefit for protocol delegates outside of idealistic ones: Building on my thoughts about the previous two points, I believe that there are important decisions wrt Optimism stack development that would bring significant benefit or hinderance to protocols that their delegates are incentivized to participate in. As an example, if there is a vote that removes an opcode or changes how timestamps are synchronized, that could have massive impact on the protocols that teams would need to adjust to and thus participating in governance to voice support for or against would be a very tangible benefit.

15 protocols filled it out, but only 12 responded by the deadline to be included in the summarized feedback above

Great points brought up by @Oxytocin, and @lavande thanks for addressing.

If the electorate is not called upon with regularity, participation drops. There is a sweet spot between too much, and not enough, thank you for continuing to try to find it.

I view this as an experiment in progress and I am looking forward to seeing if the retroactive rewards are enough to increase / sustain participation.

Although I have some reservations, I am voting for the renewal given it demonstrates a willingness to find the right solution.


Reading this thread I am not really impressed with how the program did since the last season and with the way the protocols engaged. So I am voting against this proposal.

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I appreciate the efforts made by those contributing to this initiative, and I’m grateful to everyone in this thread who has added further context and collected feedback from protocol participants.

From my perspective, the “likely suspects” in this program were those who successfully participated in governance and the results regarding the activation of new protocol delegates were quite disappointing, with an overall disqualification rate of 56%.

It seems plausible to me that any protocol on this list, if it were to seek delegation, could likely achieve it individually. There is an existing pathway for them to pursue this. From my perspective the data is clear in action (maybe not in response) that for those protocols not already active in governance, there’s little desire to be.

I will be voting against this proposal as a result.

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L2BEAT is voting FOR this proposal. Although we agree with the concerns that the Protocol Delegation Program has not worked as we as a Collective had hoped. We believe that the overall goal of the Protocol Delegation Program - to allow the most important protocols in our ecosystem to have a voice in shaping the future of Optimism - has not changed. We need to find ways to get protocol delegates more involved in all governance processes (not just voting, but the whole decision-making process, including public debates), and that’s only possible by experimenting with new approaches.

Season 4, with its expanded structure, will likely provide more opportunities for Protocols to get involved and make their voices heard. We look forward to giving the Protocol Delegation Program another chance to show its value.

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Hey I’m Max! I’m one of the ambassadors from Hop along with Franco. I fully agree with @GFXlabs that a lot that went into being ready for us to get to this point (creating an ambassador program and running elections), that we likely would not be involved in this capacity without this program, and that the cost of continuing this program is minimal.

I’m disappointed to see we have been disqualified for not having been able to participate sooner and hope that there’s a possibility for an exception so that we can continue being eligible. Regardless, Franco and I are excited to get more involved with Optimism and look for ways to enable Hop and Optimism to work more closely together moving forward.

Following the discussions had in this thread, I have decided to end up voting FOR the proposal.

Just to be fully clear, the comments I made above were less personal opinions, and more theories on why we might’ve had such a high dropout rate from other protocol delegates. I am hoping that the new changes happening this season for delegates help prospective users be able to be more actively involved, and look forward to seeing in what ways we can iterate the process to increase the representation of the builders that make this space so great.

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Hey just wanted to post a response from the Uniswap delegation side:

There were 2 votes during our voting season: Bedrock and Fractal Vision (banning the community members).

For Bedrock, we voted on chain and clearly communicated our rationale.

For fractal vision, we internally agreed that we would abstain from voting because it was a sensitive issue that we didn’t think the Uniswap community should particularly get involved in.

However, it seems like we didn’t vote “abstain” on chain, putting our participation rate at 50% (1/2), while the required participation rate for renewal is 70%.

With that, I think it’s okay if we do not vote for the proposal that is currently live as we are technically not supposed to have delegation for this upcoming cycle.

However, going forward we’ll actually put in the abstain votes to meet the 70% requirement.

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@lavande I would also love to discuss how we could reinterpret or appeal the disqualification for Hop given we only recently completed our governance process appointing ambassadors and just finished setting up the multisig today. We are similarly excited about continuing to participate and would be very disappointed to have this opportunity to participate cut short.

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