Hey, SR from Gamma. I stuck around for Season 2 to monitor OP governance and learn about your experimental process. It’s part of a larger scheme I’m doing to research for our future governance model someday. I must commend everyone on their passion and dedication to Optimism.
I will say that I have one major conclusion from Season 2: The Committee system, while well-intentioned, has been a huge net negative. I will explain my observations briefly below.
1) Committees make the application process confusing for all
I don’t think I need to offer much-supporting evidence here. Almost every project has been confused by the committee system. The deadlines, allocations, and pretty much everything has been unclear. While I respect the idea that “we’ll figure it out,” I think it’s far too confusing for the average applicant. Many of these projects are simultaneously doing a dozen other governance proposals, and forcing them through a complex committee process isn’t efficient.
2) Committees warp the free-market power structure of delegation
One of the cool things about DAOs to me is the free-market aspect of delegation. If I, SR, wanted to become a delegate, I would need to either acquire OP, or convince people to delegate OP to me. If a delegate wishes to have more governance power, they can use any number of strategies to work on that. The best delegates will be the most competitive for the delegated OP. We have delegates that are private holders, DAO enthusiasts, project leads, VCs, and more. That’s kinda how it should be IMO.
Unfortunately, committees create bureaucrats. Or, in layman’s terms, they create gatekeepers with a disproportionate amount of power than they should have. These committee members become lightning rods for controversy and gatekeeping.
3) Committees have brought out the worst in people
Issues #1 and #2 both invariably lead to issue #3, that the committee system has brought out accusations, corruption, innuendo, favoritism, Machiavellianism, brinkmanship, factions, and pretty much everything that poisons the governance process.
This process started during the heated election between the defi committees and never stopped.
It never recovered after that.
Twitter posts attacked the other committee’s recommendations based on thoroughness.
Users went to other discords to denigrate or discredit other delegates, despite their claims
People requested threads be brigaded
Requests were made to censor or ban users from the discord and governance forums.
It also just became childish with amateur attempts to humiliate delegates
Hey, you’re picking on Velodrome!
I know I’m picking on Velodrome and their attacks on @OPUser, but honestly, their actions (and specific reactions to me calling it out) demonstrated the committee system failure the best. That’s what I was trying to show the whole time. @OPUser rejected my original proposal rather harshly. I have no vested interest in any committee member.
I think Velodrome members are just doing what they think they need to do in a hypercompetitive space. They’re very pvp and they embrace that. Do I think it’s ethical? No. But I get what they’re doing.
My recommendation is to abolish the committee system ASAP.
Potential Solution: Recognized Delegates
Recognized Delegates (RDs) are a system where any delegate can go through the “official process” and become legit. RDs are required to vote and to write WHY they voted on proposals. They are then paid based on their participation rates and the # of delegates they have. This incentivizes delegates to write up their feelings on issues and spend some time going through the proposals. Delegates can also get bonuses for assisting users’ questions.
This is the system MakerDAO uses, and while not perfect, the RD system itself works pretty well. I think it’s an excellent alternative to the committee system. Every delegate has a shot to get paid for doing the work.
Thanks btw, everyone. It’s been a very fascinating experiment, and I thank everyone (even the velo guys) for the political intrigue.