Creation of group delegates

Group Delegates

The Distribution of Ownership workstream is directly trying to tackle expanding the distribution of voting power. The goal of the workstream is to help the RadicleDAO design & implement dynamic strategies for distributing native token rewards among network stakeholders, including contributors, users, and ecosystem partners. This group delegate idea is an additional solution that @matto and I have been throwing around for a few months that could already be set up and implemented in the current governance process.

Main Idea

Create a “group delegate” that token holders can delegate to for voting on governance proposals.

Within our current token voting and delegate systems we could create other structures for decision-making through the use of group delegates. A group delegate is an entity that acts as a delegate and is itself governed according to its own framework. The idea here would be to set up a group delegate made up of core Radicle contributors/developers, then lobby token-holders to delegate their votes to it, but this model could also be used for any other parties interested in creating a group delegate.

Current issues with delegation

While efforts to redistribute voting power via delegation through the Active Delegate Platform have shown success, there are still remaining challenges to distributing voting power to a wider range of contributors. The creation of group delegates could help solves this.

Issues with individual delegation:

  • Still creates centralisation - currently 2 delegates together can reach quorum
  • Not all individual delegates have the (technical) expertise to make certain governance decisions
  • Any change in support require token holders to change delegation to another delegate (costs gas)

Pros & Cons of Group Delegates

Some advantages to this approach:

  • Delegated tokens from larger token holders would get distributed to more individuals rather than one individual delegate
  • Exists within the current token-based governance system — low commitment and easy to try out
  • Can be easily adapted and upgraded
  • Multiple group delegates could operate along-side one another, each representing different ideas or interests.
  • Mitigates some of the centralisation caused by delegation to individuals
  • The concept of a group delegate is not new - other DAOs already have group delegates active in their governance process.
  • Radicle group delegate: Having a group of Radicle core contributors in a group delegate means people closest to the development of the project will be making informed decision around product and treasury.

Some disadvantages/risks:

  • Would require some lobbying token-holders to delegate to the group
  • Runs risk of turning into “political party/popularity contest” race between different delegate groups

What could this look like?

This group delegate could take many forms. Some questions to think about:

  • How many people should be involved?
  • What interests do they want to represent while voting? (i.e. core, devs, community, users, etc.)
  • Do they want to only vote on specific proposals (e.g. ones relating specifically to the treasury or product development) or all proposals?
  • What expectations do they have for each other? What is the minimum participation requirement from each member of the group delegate?

Sample Format:

A group delegate could be run by a multi-sig with 5-6 members. The group would announce themselves as an active delegate on the Active Delegate platform.

Example expectations of members:

  • All members read all new proposals as they go through the governance process (starting at temperature check)
  • Dedicate one person to commenting on new proposals on behalf of the group delegate to express support or issues with the proposal. (this could be a rotating or permanent role in the group)
  • Set quorum to participate in both off- and on-chain voting for all proposals

Proposal: Creation of a Radicle Dev group delegate

Radicle developers know the technical side of the project very intimately and would be very well positioned to make decisions on the future of development and use of funds for the project. A group delegate made up of some core developers would help encourage the distribution of voting power directly to core contributors! Would be curious to see if anyone already had interest in already doing this?

Please share thoughts and questions on group delegation and other possible formats you can think of!

:metal: :fire: :metal:

Ya, very interested in seeing this. It would be great to have some discussions around what it could look like.

I’ll throw out some ideas that I thought seem interesting & worth considering.

  • Open access to any core contributor – No limit on numbers
  • Membership grants the member an equal share of delegated votes
    • Rather than having the entire delegated vote pool vote as a single block based on internal governance
  • Public discord text channel – For operational transparency
  • Document/page – A public page detailing rules, processes, duties, members, etc.
  • Compensated – Members should be compensated for their time.
    • Are there any regulatory issues here?
  • Adaptable – The group should be able to vote to upgrade its governance model without requiring re-delegation.
  • Expectations / duties
    1. Reviewing proposals
      • Reading temperature-checks and formal reviews of proposals, commenting and feeding back where appropriate, especially any concerns, disagreements or input into contentious topics.
    2. Learning about the topics relevant to proposals
    3. Joining public discussion of proposals on discord voice chat and text channel.
    4. Voting on proposals
      • Voting no should usually only be a result of concerns that were raised in previous stages but were unaddressed
    5. Voting on memberships
      - Adding core-contributors
      - Community members (people who aren’t core contributors but are interested in governance)
    6. Fulfilling duties
      • Members should try to fulfil these duties as much as possible.
      • They can leave the group voluntarily at any time without any gov process being necessary.
      • If they repeatedly fail to meet these duties they should be asked to leave or voted out.

It looks like this one:

  • Membership grants the member an equal share of delegated votes

is not actually possible with our current delegation system. Shame as I think it could have some benefits :man_shrugging:

Where did you find this?

Compound governance only lets a voter signal for or against (link)

function castVote(uint256 proposalId, bool support)

So the group delegate could only:

  • Vote yes with all delegated tokens
  • Vote no with all delegated tokens
  • Abstain

This limitation means you couldn’t, for example, vote proportionally to the group delegate’s votes, e.g. if 3/10 delegate members vote yes then the group delegate votes yes with 30% of the delegated tokens.

Got it - thanks for looking into this. Too bad…it wouldn’t make sense to set something up like this with our current setup.

I just looked up one of the “group” delegates on Maker’s recognized delegates platform (GFX Labs) to see how they do it and it seems they make a decision offline and vote through one wallet.