TL;DR: We will be sunsetting the Active Delegates program & platform. The sunsetting of the Active Delegates program & platform does not affect the ability to delegate as usual.
In January 2022 we launched the Active Delegates Platform and announcement process. The purpose of this platform was to make delegation easier to navigate for RAD holders who are unable to vote on proposals themselves and to empower motivated community members to nominate themselves to be dedicated delegates in RadicleDAO governance. This platform has had little to moderate success. While we have seen a few select folks receiving more delegation from other token holders, the majority did not. Most Active Delegates also did not honor the duties that they had agreed to when announcing themselves. We have decided to sunset the Active Delegates Platform and archive the announcement posts for the time being.
There are a few reasons for why this program did not work they way we had hoped, including the limitations on incentives for Active Delegates and token holders from outside of the project were primarily delegating to those who had the loudest voices on our communication channels rather than based on reputation. Although delegation does help increase participation in terms of number of tokens participating in governance, it supports a politician-style consolidation of power that is assigned to whoever wants to take on the role of active delegate rather than on expertise on governance topics.
These challenges with delegation are not exclusive to RadicleDAO. Many projects have experimented with different ways of trying to use it more effectively. If we look to MakerDAO’s delegate program, their delegates are heavily vetted, handsomely compensated and also receive some degree of legal protection from MakerDAO in order to motivate ample governance participation and fulfilling of other delegate duties. Other projects, such as Optimism, have enabled group delegation to try to spread distribution of power amongst their delegates.
Although these experiments offer some solutions to more effective delegation, they also create others. There is a lot of oversight and gatekeeping involved in more formal delegation programs. Supporting recentralization of power, Our current Compound governance contracts don’t allow group delegation, but we are exploring other ways to distribute power & influence via reputation-based mechanisms. Defining reputation and finding better ways to distributing power & influence based on reputation and expertise will be a primary focus within governance work for 2023.
The sunsetting of the Active Delegates Platform & program does not mean that delegation will no longer be available! Delegation will continue as usual. EDIT/ADDITION: On-chain governance platforms (e.g. Tally, Boardroom) enable token holders to add personalized information to their delegate profiles which makes it easier for folks to add details about themselves to attract attention as a delegate if they so choose. Going forward, we will primarily be using Boardroom as a home-base for voting, - both on- and off-chain, as well as proposal creation & delegation. Boardroom has a lot of great ways to sort through delegates, including by voting power, votes cast, proposals made and addresses delegated. This combined with the ability for folks to add any detail they would like to their profiles on Boardroom will allow for a smoother delegate discovery process for token holders going forward.
- Make sure Active Delegates are aware of the upcoming change
- Link this post in the discussion on the Radicle Active Delegate Announcement Program & Platform, and Radicle Delegate Announcement Process posts on the forum as an FYI
- Archive the Active Delegates Platform, Radicle Active Delegate Announcement Program & Platform, and Radicle Delegate Announcement Process posts on the forum.
I am curious to hear any thoughts or comments about the Active Delegates program, how you think it went, what could have gone better and the decision to sunset it for now. It is definitely something we can consider bringing back in the future if we feel it would bring more value to the community.