Sparked by challenges to reach participation thresholds (4% RAD total supply - 4mil RAD) in past few Snapshot polls, the Governance Working Group has started a discussion around re-evaluating participation requirements.
In addition to reconsidering participation thresholds, we also want to explore new ways to activate larger RAD holders (e.g. investors, Radicle team members) to participate in governance via delegation. Some token holders have legal barriers or other challenges that disincentivize them from participating in governance voting. Delegation could be the key to unlocking the voting power locked up with these larger token holders. However, knowing who to delegate too and how can be a confusing process.
After spending sometime thinking it through, we believe that the need for better delegation infrastructure is multifaceted:
- RAD holders need better delegation onboarding to support active participation in the Radicle ecosystem. This includes education, accessibility, and tooling for self-delegation and community delegation.
- RAD holders need a simple & painless way to delegate (and re-delegate!) to community leaders.
- Motivated community members need a platform and process for becoming recognized delegates AND a set of expectations & responsibilities so they can participate effectively.
This post is a starting point for re-evaluating our delegation infrastructure and process to support healthy & active governance in the Radicle community.
The general idea forming is to develop a formal delegate platform/program that would allow community members to apply as “recognized delegates” for other RAD holders to delegate to for voting rounds. This would not only help make delegation easier to navigate for RAD holders who are unable to vote on proposals themselves, it will also empower motivated community members to take ownership in the Radicle governance process. We believe this would help reach the required participation threshold in voting rounds and will help prevent governance deadlock.
This would be different from the self-announced delegates on Discourse. These delegates would be curated community members who will have to fulfill certain duties and have an obligation to the community to be as transparent about their voting choices as possible.
MakerDAO and ENS have similar delegation programs that we can look to for guidance. However, it is important to mention that these programs themselves are very new (Maker’s “Recognized Delegates” launching in Aug. 2021 and ENS recently in Nov.) and are still works in progress.
The expectations and responsibilities of delegates should be well defined before getting started. Some initial thoughts for these expectations are:
- Keep public profile outlining background, core values and what you believe in as a delegate
- Active forum participation - contributing to discussions on proposals
- Share how you plan to vote for all proposals that make it to the Formal Review stage of the governance process.
- Active voting in formal reviews & on-chain votes
- Participation in monthly WG calls
We would like to develop a platform (similar to MakerDAO) where profiles from all recognized delegates can be viewed. This could potentially be a great project to propose to the Grants Program!
Despite a wave of delegation at the launch of the RAD token via sybil.org, only 4.3% of total token supply remains delegated across the Radicle community (with a large chunk of this made up of the top 7 delegates on Sybil). Once there is a place where community delegates can be viewed, we think it will be necessary to approach known RAD stakeholders with an ask to consider re-delegating any available votes to continue decentralizing influence within the ecosystem.
- What does the application process entail? Some ideas from Maker & ENS models:
- Inform governance facilitator (Shelby or Abbey?) of intention to become recognized delegate
- Agree to a “delegates code of conduct”
- Post application publicly (see Maker’s application template)
- Participate in introductory “Meet your delegate” meetings if accepted
- Who assesses delegate applications? Combination of Radicle team & community? What could this look like/are there any cool tools we could use for this? Maybe even just a Discord bot?
- How long can/should delegates be recognized delegates? Is the “term of service” capped or unlimited? Why or why not?
- Should delegates be compensated? Arguments for or against?