[Governance Update] - Testing Distribution of Influence


As part of the Distribution of Influence Workstream, the Radicle Grants Org (RGO) will act as the guinea pig with OtterSpace badges to distribute voting power.

For more details, please reference the Temperature Check on OtterSpace here.

Current Process

Our voting hinges entirely on Gnosis Safe with 6 owners.

These 6 signatories must (a) review all grants and (b) reach quorum.

As we scale, 2 key issues will continue to grow:

  1. Centralized Decisions: our decision will become increasingly centralized relative to the number of grants. It would be better if we had more eyeballs, minds, and votes weighing in on Grant funding decisions.
  2. Quagmire of Governance: on-chain voting can create a quagmire in governance when a vote is started and quorum is not met. Finding a way to easily gather input from many parties (off-chain) before finalizing (on-chain) would be better.

Proposed Process

Upon sending out badges, we will follow the 2 step process for voting, right-hand side below:

We will be distributing OtterSpace badges, which are non-transferrable tokens (NTTs), which confer voting rights within Radicle Grants.

For testing purposes, we will be running these votes on the Optimism Network.

1. Off-Chain Vote (Snapshot)

The distributed voting will take place on Snapshot. The RGO page can be found below:

We will have 2 types of badges:

2. On-Chain Vote (Gnosis Safe)

The finalized voting/funding will take place on Gnosis Safe. The RGO safe can be found below:


  • We may not testing this on 100% of grant applications. We may reserve it for select, larger grants where broader input is beneficial.
  • Some details above are subject to change as we continue testing and iterating.


Short-Term (2-4 weeks):

  • Onboard all contributors to badges (RGO Team Members + Grantees)
  • Setup voting policy on Snapshot
  • Create dummy test proposal → demonstrate proof of concept

Medium-Term (1-2 months):

  • Select 5+ larger grants to use this process on
  • Create write-up outlining learnings + proposals for wider adoption

Long-Term (3-4 months):

  • Migrate from Optimism to Ethereum mainnet (pending OtterSpace launching on mainnet)
  • Onboard the rest of RadicleDAO

Useful Links

You can find more documentation below:

  • Badge Management: technical notes on getting setup from A-Z. Notes here are transferrable to any other sub-DAO within Radicle.
  • Badge Onboarding: tutorial on how badge recipients can receive their badge. This is fairly easy and also transferrable to other use cases.
  • Grants Voting Philosophy
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Hi @bordumb and thanks for the updates here!

As far as I understand, and with badge-technicalities aside, the main change being introduced here is to the governance mechanism with which funding proposals are approved/rejected and the main difference is that grantees are now given some voting power over which grants are allocated.

Despite the obvious conflict of interest (which we could somewhat overcome with grantees not voting on their own proposals), the voting process / mechanism is also not entirely clear to me yet. Even though, Grantee Badges basically entitle the holder to a vote ( “Allow for one-person-one-vote governance participation” ) I don’t yet understand how these votes are counted.

How do we therefore decide whether a Grant is awarded ?

  • does a simple majority of grantee votes win? or is some enhanced majority required (e.g. 2/3)?
  • what happens if there are e.g. 10 grantees and 5 vote in favour and 5 vote against?
  • how do grantee votes affect grant committee votes?
    • are the committee members’ votes counted together with grantee votes (my understanding was they are not)
    • how much extra weight do committee member votes have over grantee votes?
    • to take it to an extreme, if all grantees vote against a specific proposal, is there anything that prevents the committee from funding a proposal they all want to vote in favour of ?

Thanks in advance!

Hi @yorgos


Does a simple majority of grantee votes win?

Yes, simple majority.
So if we had 100 badges in the wild and a vote got 51 for and 49 against, the 51 would win out.
See more below about the role of the multi-sig as a veto power.

What happens if there are e.g. 10 grantees and 5 vote in favour and 5 vote against?
There would also be the N-number of votes from Committee Member badges, which have equal weight for the off-chain vote.

My thinking here is (for/against):

  • If both Grantee badge+ Committee badge votes create a 50/50 tie: the grant is not funded
  • If the Grantee badge + Committee badge votes create a 49/51 against: the grant is not funded
  • If the Grantee badge + Committee badge votes create a 51/49 for: the grant is funded

Whatever happens above, the Committee takes and “rubber stamps” the funding via the Gnosis Safe using an on-chain vote.

The idea here is we are making a separation of powers between tools:

  • Badges + Snapshot (off-chain): distributes governance
  • Gnosis Safe (on-chain): largely becomes just “treasury management” (but some veto element - see below)

…to take it to an extreme, if all grantees vote against a specific proposal, is there anything that prevents the committee from funding a proposal they all want to vote in favour of ?

The Committee’s on-chain vote can act as a veto.

For example, let’s say there are 100 badges in total (6 Committee + 94 Grantee), and there are 94 Grantees in favor with all 6 Committee members against. It’s an extreme thought experiment, but in this case, the Committee could (in some rare cases) act as a veto and simply not take the off-chain results to the Gnosis Safe.

My thinking here is: if the Committee did this constantly or maliciously, it would reflect poorly and we could be voted off the Committee and essentially “fired”.


I’ll reword this + docs so that these ideas are more explicit. Thanks for the input and keep it coming :smiley:

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Thanks for the reply @bordumb - this is helpful!

Hmmm :thinking:
I do think I agree we want this, because we want the Committee to be the ultimate controlling body of what gets funded, exactly because of the conflict of interest with Grant recipients voting on where Grant money goes.

On the other hand, with this mechanism in place, it seems to me that a large part of the incentive for Grantees to evaluate other grants disappears (because their vote can get overruled anyway).

Thanks for reminding me this - I think it’s important to remember in the context of this discussion. How would that work with the multi-sig though? Can that happen with the existing multi-sig, or would it only be possible once some new funds are transferred to a new multi-sig wallet? :thinking:

That aside, it is now starting to sound as if we are looking for a mechanism that helps control the Committee’s decisions. I am not sure if Grantees are the best group to help establish that control…

On the other hand, it just occurred to me that perhaps the idea to include feedback from Grantees is not for control of the Committee, but rather to incorporate broader or specialised feedback … If that is the case, should we perhaps be looking at broadening the Committee itself as a different approach?

I think I would personally be much more comfortable contributing to Radicle Grants funding decisions in such a capacity. As a committee member, I could also be “fired” if I am doing a poor job. As a Grantee, I am not sure how my vote could be “taken away” in the case my voting history proves poor (or “malicious” intent).

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