Top 20% of delegates consolidate 82% of all delegated voting power. Is that concerning?

Great Points and thoughts!

I believe that the delegation is done basis common interest or know how as well. But a first step with Agora and then subsequent implementation of learning and making it relevant and interesting is must.


It is very delicate what you mention, I would mainly take into account that the governance process takes into account two votes, ours of the delegates and the council of the recently chosen protocols.

I don’t like it very much from the point of view that they are looking out for their own interests.


It will be interesting to see how the current governance will progress and innovate. I like the first step and support.


Interesting insights and thoughts. I hope the first step to creating open and transparent governance is taken and what follows from here will be interesting to make it decentralized.


I believe there are already at least a few delegates but most of them have very little shares (including me).

You can become a delegate too! I applied only a fews weeks ago and now I’ve been officially added to the new voting page (but close to the bottom)


I totally agree! The only point I’m trying to make is that the trend can (and will) manifest. The top 10 delegates today will grow exponentially. While the majority will remain unimportant.

I believe it is important in the early days to find ways of encouraging more ppl to participate in governance and thereby create more delegates that have a voice for those who do not want to deal with proposals and all that.

Glad that you engage in governance and be the voice for others!


Good arguments! You’re probably right, that currently there are not so many different opinions that ppl can have in this case. However, once there are different opinions we accept that few ppl have loud voices. Decentralization is about leveling out power imbalances, which I see at risk here in the long term (5-10 years).

Don’t get me wrong I am very convinced of the delegate system. Otherwise gov participation will be insanely low. I am just in favor of more ppl having sth to say, than a few that have all to say :slight_smile: This is the reason why I started engaging in governance.

Curious to see how things will evolve

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Sure, Here we were discussing about that:

Some suggestion was sort delegators by interest areas. My suggestion would be to delegate to some people around 0.05% so more of them could get that barrier to propose non-financial projects.

Anyway, Stay optimistic: there’s not other project like OP, sure next iterations are going to keep fixing some biases and bringing innovations in governance and decentralization. They know there’s no other way to survive.


Based on the initial message of the vote, there is no problem, because the concentration of voting power occurred because of the will of the voters themselves, who gave their power in favor of others. That is, the meaning is correct. But how to prevent the potential abuse of the power of the vote by those in whose hands it is concentrated is the big question? If there is no real instrument of such control (which is most likely), then probably for the sake of decentralization, transparency and fairness it is necessary to limit the maximum number of votes in one hand (and even in that case there can be coalitions behind the scenes to promote their interests - I think we all understand that)


Yeah, technically it is like that. But the point was that a new holder landing on the delegation page is not going to put so much effort in researching all delegates and as lazy human beings they’d choose among the top ones, creating some bias.


I absolutely agree, laziness is a hindrance in this case. But it is a human trait, unfortunately, inherent in many people. And with this there is nothing to do, so maybe you should limit the maximum number as a percentage of the total strength of the vote for the selected delegate.

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I completely agree that laziness can be an obstacle in this situation. However, it’s a common human trait that exists in many individuals, and it’s not something we can completely eradicate. Perhaps, to address this issue, we could consider capping the maximum percentage of total votes a delegate can receive, which may encourage greater participation among voters.

This is not necessarily true. Someone could create their own governance interface for optimism (or fork Agora’s, if it’s open source), which is something I would actually highly encourage. I think the Optimism collective should fund and promote multiple front-end governance interfaces in order to increase the resilience of Optimism’s governance.

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I like this conversation and think it is very important. How we set the foundation now will very much influence how our governance structures progress in the future. I would argue that, even with the bicameral structure of Optimism’s governance, the “token house” should look for some innovation other than delegated one-token one-vote (conviction voting, QV, others?), because this mechanism tends to concentrate power over time. Or, perhaps we should limit the scope of the “token house”, and expand the scope of the citizens house. I’d love to see some long-term future thinking about governance at Optimism. If anyone wants to talk about it, hit me up! I’m chaselb#8959 on discord.

ALSO, we’re talking about delegates here, but the elephant in the room is that the REAL power is in the large token holders who are delegating, because at any given moment they can take their delegations away to act in their self-interests. Many large token-holders play nice now, delegating to involved community members (or are involved community members themselves), but how long will that last?

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Hello everyone, we would like to share our perspective on the matter. For context, we fully buy into the idea of the collective as a common; which, in turn, requires proper governing for the benefit of all users. We believe that the best way to achieve quality governance is through comparison with existing governance structures and thought.

In The Politics, Aristotle discusses the typologies of various governments and concludes that the most just form of governance is the “Polity”. We believe that, intentionally or unintentionally, the bicameral legislature of the Optimism Collective is descended from Aristotelian thinking. Aristotle argues that there are essentially two ways in which a government can allocate power to its constituents: by worth and by number. Aristotle’s definition of worth is antiquated–it refers to nobility as well as wealth–but it is still useful in describing the underlying philosophy of the bicameral legislature.

Those who hold a significant voting share, delegated or owned outright, must be duly considered according to that voting share. If not, there is a significant risk that animosity will develop toward constituents’ allocated votes based on number (the Citizen House). However, as is clear both in history and especially in blockchain, this animosity will lead to more oligarchic governance. We do not believe that Optimism Governance has reached the point of oligarchism. If the top 20% of delegates control 82% of delegated tokens (32MM OP), this only amounts to approximately 11.2% of the circulating supply (~234MM OP).

Ideally, the Citizen House would be able to check this control, but they only have control over retroactive public goods funding. In The Discourses, Machiavelli, observes that one of the primary reasons for the liberty experienced by the Roman people in the Republican Period was the role of the Tribune of the Plebeians. In short, this was a person who had the ability to veto the actions of the oligarchical upper class, in defence of the people.

We believe that in order to create the most successful L2 protocol, it would be in the interest of all parties to expand the rights of the Citizen House to include the veto of a proposal, by the majority vote of a quorum of citizens.

This is not to say that we believe that the citizens should have outright control over the protocol–only that there should be greater checks against the ability to purchase outsized control over the ecosystem. We also believe that it would be beneficial to expand the number of delegates. This would further diversify control among the existing delegates and lead to a more pluralistic Token House.

Quentin Bazar, Georgetown Blockchain


I love :heartpulse: it … I am about to dive deep into old Roman literature and I find it fascinating.

The ideal situation is to have some sort of veto system or checks and balances in place that keeps any individual or group of delegates from abusing their voting power. Perhaps the token house could also vote in a similar proposal to create consensus among the users of the network with the citizens house in order to remain aligned with the people in order to veto a proposal successfully. That way even the citizens house would have less of a chance on corroborating to make the vote seem more or less one sided.

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I’m going to disagree slightly here. I don’t believe it matters how much OP is in circulating supply, if that OP is largely dormant in the voting process (and likely to remain that way), then all that matters in terms of power/control of the governing system is the percentage of delegated (or likely to be delegated) tokens. Also, if those in control currently acted purely in their self-interest, they would use their power to reinforce their own control.

Overall though, I agree that having checks and balances between the two voting houses is a critical next step. I also think there are innovations within token-voting that could promote better community governance (conviction voting, for example).

P.S. I’m a part of governance efforts at University of SoCal. I’d love to talk with yall!


Actually, a very good point and it would be great if this mechanism could be greatly improved with respect to counterbalancing most of the voting powers.

And in any case, it seems to me that if this issue is taken seriously enough, eventually the community and the team will be able to create a more balanced version of governance that is more democratic

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noturhandle from Butter here. Happy to see this being discussed.

I agree that participating tokens should be considered the extent of total voting power.

It’s safe to say that some percentage of OP tokens cannot participate in governance, e.g., exchanges and market-makers. Including these tokens in the denominator when calculating proportional governance power hides who’s in control.

Concentrating voting power in the hands of a small number of delegates absolutely threatens to entrench power, but alignment between OP holders is strong, and larger holders & delegates tend to have public reputations to uphold, so we hope :crossed_fingers: there are sufficient disincentives for any truly selfish voting.

We’re firmly in the increase delegates camp and recently proposed a pilot to test delegate incentives at Aave.

Unfortunately, it usually requires a crisis or failure of governance for these issues to be addressed.

Would love to talk to anyone interested in DAO Governance. I’ll reach out @chaselb :wave:


Before applying a new governance system to a project like Optimism, it’s crucial to thoroughly examine and understand the various governance options available, along with their respective advantages and disadvantages.

In my opinion, the specific governance system is less important than understanding the evolving needs of the system over time. Since Optimism is still in its early stages, it’s more akin to an early-stage startup than a mature society. Therefore, it’s vital to consider our short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals and determine what type of governance structure will best enable Optimism to achieve those objectives.

For example, there are several pros and cons to consider when adopting a mechanism that allows any user to veto decisions in an early-stage company.

On the one hand, allowing users to veto decisions can provide a greater sense of transparency and inclusivity in decision-making. It allows users to feel like they have a voice in the development process and can help build trust between the company and its users.

However, there are also potential downsides to this approach. Allowing any user to veto a decision can create inefficiencies and slow down the decision-making process. It can also lead to paralysis by analysis, as decisions may be endlessly debated and delayed, ultimately preventing the company from making progress. Moreover, not all users may have the same level of technical knowledge and understanding of the company’s operations, which could lead to uninformed veto decisions that harm the company.

In summary, while allowing users to veto decisions can have some benefits, it may be more practical to limit this mechanism to a smaller group of qualified individuals who have a deeper understanding of the technology and can make informed decisions that benefit the company as a whole.