Working Constitution of the Optimism Collective

The Optimism Collective is a large-scale experiment in decentralized governance. Our Vision is to sustainably fund those public goods that improve upon the well-being of the Collective and beyond. This Working Constitution enshrines governing provisions and principles that, we hope, are calibrated to the ambition of this Vision. It lays the foundation for a fair, democratic model of decentralized governance that’s built to last.


1. This is a “Working” Constitution. It is exceedingly unlikely that a fixed model of governing the Optimism Collective, defined at the outset of this experiment, can appropriately navigate the Collective’s future challenges. The problem space is too large. So we start from humility, beginning with a Working Constitution that is:

  • A commitment to experimentation. In its lifetime, the Collective will undertake a series of governance experiments. These experiments should help the Collective understand the balance and power dynamics within its ecosystem, and allow the Collective to define itself, evolve, and grow iteratively over time.
  • A transitory document. The Working Constitution will remain in effect no more than four years from the date of its adoption. After that, authority over governance will be ceded to a permanent Bedrock Constitution (that incorporates the lessons of the Collective’s prior governance experiments).

2. OP Citizens and OP Holders will equally coexist within the Collective. The governing structure of the Collective must balance short-term incentives with its long-term Vision. Too often today, simple token-based governance systems deteriorate due to misaligned incentives or excessive consolidation of power. The Optimism Collective will implement structural mechanisms to counteract those shortcomings, beginning with a bicameral governance system that checks and balances the power of OP Holders and OP Citizens.

3. The Optimism Foundation will be a steward of the Optimism Collective and its early governance model. The Optimism Foundation is a Cayman Islands organization responsible for guiding the growth and development of the Optimism Collective. Acting through its Board of Directors, the Foundation may:

  • Facilitate the administration of Collective governance;
  • Allocate treasury assets to fund public goods, incentivize participants in the Optimism ecosystem, or otherwise further its (and the Collective’s) purpose;
  • Amend this Working Constitution; and
  • Take other actions that are conducive to its stewardship role.

The Foundation will undertake all these responsibilities in a manner that is consistent with the mission of the Collective, and with a view towards increasingly decentralizing its role over time.

4. Rights of OP Citizens and OP Holders. Subject to the founding legal documents of the Optimism Foundation and the procedures outlined in the Collective’s Operating Manual:

  • Future OP Citizens may:
    • Allocate Retroactive Public Goods Funding; and
    • Exercise such additional rights as are provided to OP Citizens over time.
  • OP Holders may:
    • Remove a director of the Optimism Foundation; and
    • Veto changes to the founding documents of the Optimism Foundation, if those changes would reduce the rights of OP Holders in a material way.

5. Interpretation. In interpreting the scope, authority, and meaning of the provisions of this Working Constitution, the following guiding principles apply:

  • Governance minimization. Minimal governance is at the heart of the Optimism Collective. When multiple proposals achieve a similar outcome, the Collective should prefer the proposal with the least overhead. We strive to boil down governance to its essence and to avoid introducing regulation where freedom can achieve the same result. We believe this is key to creating the fertile soil for permissionless innovation.
  • Forking. The right to fork and the right to exit are critical to protect individual freedoms. It’s expected and encouraged that if the governance of the Optimism Collective is captured, members of the Collective fork the system and reinstate a new Collective which better serves the people. All of the core software and tooling required to run the Optimism network should be made open source, freely available, and easy to use such that a fork is always a viable alternative.
  • Anti-plutocracy. Influence in governance must extend beyond financial stake to value humanhood and intelligent life. The centralizing force of plutocratic token governance is a risk to the health and effectiveness of the Collective, and must be balanced with Citizenship.
  • impact=profit. The primary function of the Collective is to minimize the discrepancy between collective impact and individual profit. We believe this to be the most important target in the pursuit of solving global coordination problems and creating a better future. Our economy is an expression of our collective needs, wants, and ethics. We harm ourselves when we do not adequately, fairly, and consistently reward positive impact.

6. Always. Stay Optimistic :red_circle::sparkles:


Proud to be part of the Optimism Collective! Stay Optimistic, WAGMI!


excited to see how it will work in practice!


gm OP friends! can someone explain to me how I can participate in Optimism governance activities? Where is it possible to vote on proposals? ps: the democratic model that has been devised is really original, cool! is very similar to the governance system of cooperatives


This will be the beginning of a new season for Ethereum.
I’m glad to be here today



can someone explain to me how I can participate in Optimism governance activities?

Before Airdrop #1 we’ll post a Discourse thread & docs which describes: how to make proposals, vote on proposals, and commit to being a delegate. Before then the best way to participate is to read the Discourse :slight_smile:

Details on the proposals – We’ll be rolling out proposal types slowly over time. After airdrop #1 is released, we will start voting on project incentives and that will be a majority of the governance at first. The OP which is allocated in this way is known as the “Governance Fund”. We’ll release a bunch of details about the Governance Fund shortly!

Later on we’ll start seeing new proposals roll out which include protocol upgrades and retroPGF. It’s important that we roll out new proposal types slowly over time so that everything we do end up governing is done so in a thoughtful and effective manor.

ps: the democratic model that has been devised is really original, cool!

Yay!!! Really glad you like it!


ok all clear! thanks a lot:)



What’s the future about the Optimism Foundation ?
We have a “Working” Constitution for four year but what about the influence of the Optimism Foundation.
Maybe after four years the members of the foundation could become OP Citizens or the Optimism Collective can vote to employ the Optimism Foundation and continue as is.
It would incentive the Optimism Foundation to do well and prove it’s utility and not doom the members of the Optimism Collective if they have less right than the foundation.
I say that in reference to the Sushiswap drama and also if there is a collective managing a project it must be from A to Z. I understand the time period were we need to build a governance and operation framework but ultimately with just the Optimism Collective we would have a real decentralized network.

Lots to be done but the future is optimistic


Great start. Excited to add value to the collective.


Yes. I completely agree. The bias towards the collective health of citizens while securing a sustainable economy is,
In many ways, quite similar to cooperative governance…when it works.

Curious too if and how to participate going forward in the iterative refinements of the constitution.


I’m so happy to be apart of this! This is the future! LFG! I’m an Opti-Maxi all the way.


Super excited to see where everything will go in the future!! Our blockchain club is very interested :slight_smile:


Happy to see the commitment to anti-plutocracy and an approach to values outside of financial stake and simple token governance. I’m very excited to see what public goods funding can become through collective stewardship and co-operation, and to see the redistributive impact of alternative taxation through MEV auction and retroPGF!


OP are on the right path and will become the best L2 project in the future, we have always supported


after the merge OP ecosystem will go crazy!!!


It will be interesting to see how the two houses balance each other out. In the rare event of a gridlock decision, what steps will follow to mitigate this?


Stay Optimistic! The best community built project :boom:


I will join Optimism Collective. Best regards


Stay Optimistic :red_circle::sparkles: