[5.4.1] [Social] Funding Request: ENS Meta-Governance Working Group Term 5 (Q1/Q2)

Thanks, yes. We’ve been working diligently to do this very thing since the beginning of the term. It was one of the items this term’s Metagov stewards identified as a gap that needed to be a priority initiative.
The draft on it has just about been finalized and you should see it soon. I’m sorry we weren’t able to publish it ahead of this discussion.

I appreciate the participation in this discussion. I know your intentions are to help protect the DAO from abuse or fraud.

If you don’t mind I’ll step back from this conversation a bit to avoid it seeming like a debate, but I’ll try diligently to provide any specific data that’s requested on DAO rules, process, or history. :pray:

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Maybe I’m missing something here, can you provide information where was spending 40kENS as salaries approved?

I would think that that by the very least it would require another social vote, to override the previously approved budget.

Can you please share the links to this? I’m not finding it.

I’m looking at the previous Metagov budget request.

Here we see the following use of funds proposed:

Please note how nothing in the description of “Governance” suggests the distribution of 40,000 $ENS tokens as part of “Steward + Secretary Compensation”. “Steward + Secretary Compensation” is a totally separate category of expenses in this table.

Then I’m looking at the Etherscan link that @NameSys shared.

Here we see 40,000 $ENS being distributed to 8 stewards 88 days ago. At current value, that’s $891,600 of unvested $ENS tokens being shared as compensation to 8 stewards for 6 months of part-time work. This is beyond the $276,000 USDC that was approved by the DAO in the 4.4.2 vote.


Now I see the DAO is being asked to approve another 45,000 $ENS to be distributed to stewards over the next six months of part-time work. This is currently valued at $1,003,050 and goes beyond the $294,000 USDC in “base” compensation to stewards for 6 months of part-time work.

I see this new distribution of $ENS has been suggested by the ENS Metagov working group. However, the DAO is only now being asked to approve this expenditure as part of this 5.4.1. social vote that is currently ongoing.

Here’s a summary of what stewards are asking for as compensation for their part-time work over a 1 year period:

Term USDC $ENS $ENS in USD equivalent Total USD equivalent
Term 4 (6 months) $276,000 40,000 $891,600 $1,167,600
Term 5 (6 months) $294,000 45,000 $1,003,050 $1,297,050
Grand Total $2,464,650

Not bad for part-time work.


From the same link:

Proposed Addition:

10.4. The Meta-Governance working group are responsible for defining standards for fair compensation (‘Compensation Guidelines’).
10.5. The Compensation Guidelines shall be defined prior to the Nomination Window for each term and can only take effect for the following term.

Exactly, the way they were defined in previous budget as follows - Steward + Secretary Compensation reads as follows - Working Group Steward and Secretary compensation totalling $276,000 USDC.

It doesn’t say that Stewards will be compensated in ENS token at all, that’s the budget that was approved at a time.

Even if we stretch this situation and see who sold their tokens to test the assumption that “it’s for voting only”. I’m not exactly Ethereum forensics specialist, so please correct me if I’m wrong, and I don’t have time to do everyone now, but here is what I found out.

So to Stewards its just money, not an opportunity to have voting power.

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First I want to give major props to @James @5pence.eth @AvsA @accessor.eth @SpikeWatanabe.eth @estmcmxci and @NameSys for actively participating in this discussion. It is REALLY HARD to talk about money things like this in an open forum. Honestly, this is one of the HARDEST parts of DAOing and I want to applaud everyone for keeping a cool head and powering thru.

I only quoted this section of James.eth’s post, but it is absolutely worth reading the whole thing and I wholeheartedly agree.

The proposed ENS rewards for stewards are poorly structured.

Honestly, ~$300k USD a year for this work is a bit high, but not so bad. The DAO has an insane amount of capital and responsibility and it is important that the stewards are focused firmly on ENS’s success and are hard to bribe from outside forces. They should be paid well!

The tough part is that I don’t think all the stewards are firmly focused ONLY on ENS, a few have other part time gigs and that makes this payment too high… but it’s ok, I wouldn’t vote no just on that aspect alone.

Then there is this 5k in ENS, which is another ~$100k USD if priced today and IMO $ENS is going to the moon, so that tips the scale… This is just too much to pay part time contributors, even as stewards. The ENS really needs be vested just like it is for the other Contributors and Developers.

I couldn’t agree more. It’s a small, but an important change. If that 5k ENS was locked for a year and then streamed for 3 years, it would be ideal. Giving it as liquid tokens doesn’t achieve the stated objectives of giving governance to stewards.

I would love to see stewards have more voting power as a separate proposal, it shouldn’t have anything to do with giving stewards ENS as compensation. We have delegation in this DAO; having ENS that is delegated to stewards just makes sense. Maybe 30k ENS per steward?

I would love to see each steward be paid well for their position but $400k (which could easily become 500-800k) for part time work is a hard pill to swallow, especially when the stated purpose of giving 5000 liquid ENS per steward is governance. This is the wrong way to achieve that stated objective and it taints the whole proposal.

I have to vote against this, but would vote yes if the ENS to stewards was simply vested.


Thanks @griff,
Great response.

Can I ask you to be more specific in your objection?

The structures Avsa put in place are fairly elegant in that these amounts are decided before the term begins, to avoid situations exactly like this.

Is your objection that these values were set last term, or is your objection that the current Metagov group is executing on the guidance set last term? Or is your objection that these were the amounts set and used last term?

I think everyone agrees that there should be vesting, no one has objected to that. All guidance being given for the future includes that.

The current conversation is whether or not the existing Metagov group should execute on the guidance set last term, by the process set in the proposals that defined these things.

I guess I would ask you another question. Say we adopt exactly what you describe. Could that then be re-litigated just like this is in two more months if the token street price changes again one way or another? How many times per term can the guidance be changed? And how does that impact the human beings you’ve asked to serve under these terms?

We can always improve and do better. Nothing we decide or implement will be perfect, but shouldn’t we be focusing on future policy to build a better stronger system going forward, learning and iterating, as opposed to going backward to change previous decisions?

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Doesn’t mention the salary or compensation amounts, their distributions or even the link to the recommendation article. The EP 4.4.2 comments clearly have Katherine saying that they won’t disclose the salaries and compensations and all stewards liked it. That says everything about the inclination of stewards to divulge their salaries and compensations. Now that those numbers have been shown, the statement has changed to “the numbers were always on chain”. Goal posts have moved a lot and multiple times in this thread alone.

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I remember that. And it’s also one of the reasons that I proposed changes to the governance. Remember I wasn’t a steward back then.

The current snapshot is about budget only. These funds will not go out until the end of the semester (which was the end of the term before we extended it last year). The second half will only be sent in December. It’s impossible to know where the price will be then, which is why it doesn’t make sense to talk about it like this now.

Again, I want to reiterate: the current metagov stewards agree that in our interpretation of the comp rules mean that we cannot make comp decisions about ourselves and can only follow the decisions made in 2023. This will not change. If you want that to change the proper procedure is not to vote NO on this proposal, but rather to make a separate proposal asking for changes in ENS comp: including vesting. It only takes 10k votes to submit a proposal, which many of you have.


This is also bad and misleading data @Griff. I think you pulled that number from some of the other emotional or misleading posts in this thread.

No steward is being given 300k USD per year. A steward gets 4k USDC per month. That’s 48k USDC per year. (you’re conflating totals for the entire steward group)

In addition, they are awarded an $ENS token distribution of 5k tokens per 6 months. Do the math, and it’s actually lower than what you say you’re okay with.


At ENS lower range: 10$/token:

50,000 USD + 100,000 USD in $ENS = $150,000/year

At ENS price since Jan 2024: $25/token

50,000 USD + 250,000 USD in $ENS = $300,000/year

Numbers are correct.

No need to change. Vesting solves precisely this.

What impact, if I may ask for the second time? Did they consider the impact on others when others would see stewards giving themselves 6-figures while the developer teams are still maxed out at $10-50,000? Do the developers not make a contribution to ENS?; that thought went straight over everyone when money was flying around.

Sidenote: People are doing their research on this. It is better if you don’t accuse them of attacking you or getting emotional. Numbers are solid and on chain. You are gaslighting people by telling them that they are misleading others or lying or getting emotional. Stick to policy.


As I’ve been researching potential grant opportunities for my own project, I stumbled upon discussions related to budget allocations such as this one.

I couldn’t help but notice that there is an imbalance when it comes to the allocation of resources. From my understanding, the salary of a steward reaches up to a 25k salary per month compared to entire teams that are working within a 10k grant budget.

As someone interested in the community’s success, I think it’s important to address this imbalance and have a more in-depth discussion about the prioritization of resources to ensure that both stewards are fairly compensated for their contributions and that grants are allocated equitably.

Thank you for considering these concerns. :sparkling_heart:

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Ultimately, the question here is as simple as whether the DAO should honour its obligations. The compensation guidelines were set prior to the most recent elections, as required by @AvsA’s successful proposal in the previous term. Nominees very reasonably believed that the DAO would honour these recommendations when putting themselves forward, and factored the compensation into their decision to serve.

If the DAO now wishes to renege on the agreed compensation because the token price has increased in the meantime, it is able to do so - but delegates should think carefully about the precedent this sets, and whether we will be able to attract qualified stewards if they are faced with the possibility that the DAO will alter the deal retrospectively after they have accepted the position. I doubt anyone here would be raising strenuous objections if the price of the token had collapsed, so this amounts to expecting the stewards to accept the downside risk but not the upside risk, too.

Delegates can put forward proposals to fix steward compensation for future terms - and I think that this would be a good revision, as it would entail getting explicit buy-in from the whole DAO for future compensation packages. I would suggest requesting that the current MG WG stewards put forward a new proposal, and then voting on it explicitly as a social proposal, as well as changing the bylaws to require that all future compensation changes be handled in the same manner. The stewards can compose their proposal based on the feedback here and elsewhere from delegates.

As outlined above, though, I believe that delegates should think extremely carefully before Darth-Vadering the compensation that stewards relied on when accepting the position, and I would beg @Griff @James and others who have expressed an intention to vote against this to reconsider their positions.

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At the risk of tooting my own horn, I had brought this up in DMs with Avsa and Lefteris on the very day that 4.4.2 and compensation recommendation was posted in November. Price was $8-9 at that time. I didn’t post it in public fearing a backlash.

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Equity rewards are an excellent practice for motivating employees. Spencer is great for not selling his part, and this is probably what everyone should do to prove that they are working for the long-term development of the company.

But the following thing remains unclear. I have repeatedly heard comments about stewards: “he/she/they are so good that they are strict in the selection of grant recipients and do not give money to just anyone.”

But it turns out that the stewards receive huge amounts of money in $ENS and are not shy about selling. What is the logic of choking creators in order to pay more money to those who are choking? :thinking:

This is also complemented by the lack of elite rotation. A review of the term of office of stewards has recently been considered. But it seems to me that it would be worth considering, first of all, limiting the number of terms. The irremovability of power is a vice that is destructive not only for states, but also for businesses and communities.

Maybe that’s why there are no new talents appearing here and there are only more haters every day? Think about it.

Also I’d like to invite comments to this other temp check proposal on ENS distribution because I believe they are related and address some of the comp items.


lol, added that to my vocabulary


This post by @katherine.eth might be seen as a troll or some bad joke maybe, but I actually think that there is a lot of truth to it.

At east partially its about global income inequality, I can imagine that if you live in New York then everything is very expensive for you so anything bellow “certain level” feels like “shitty underpaid job” as she puts it.

For some of us, like myself I would be delighted to work as a steward, because I think its great professional development, pay is good and I can make meaningful impact.

I can’t help myself but wonder how many other Stewards share Katherine’s sentiment?

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It’s good if stewards are well compensated so long as that leads to highly competitive elections and stewards who are passionate to take on additional responsibilities to advance ENS.

Unfortunately, I don’t see evidence so far that either of these goals are being achieved for the 2024 cycle. Private conversations I’ve had with a subset of current stewards at ETHDenver were quite a shock. I was told by some stewards how they didn’t want to lead and instead that they were just going to follow whatever they were told as they didn’t see themselves as smart enough to think for themselves. Other stewards told me that they weren’t going to take responsibility to meaningfully oversee Service Provider performance as they didn’t see it was part of their role & responsibility. I’ve previously asked a related steward to define their responsibilities or metrics for success and they ran from the question with vague statements.

Why should the DAO appreciate and reward this approach? It’s political games that are focused primarily on doing as little as possible, personal preservation, and value extraction from the DAO, rather than acting with the highest responsibility and courage to be a servant leader for the good of ENS.

I assume that airing some dirty laundry here is not in my best interests politically, but out of a love for ENS and doing things right I won’t remain silent with these concerns. I have faith that with time a cultural change towards stronger leadership is possible.

Why shouldn’t we have higher standards and expectations for ourselves?

For the record, I’ve had great interactions with a number of the stewards and always assume the best of people until evidence demonstrates otherwise. Sadly I’ve had a few shocking interactions. These stewards know who they are and I hope they can positively demonstrate a change in their approach for the good of ENS. As for the other stewards who are really doing their best for ENS, I would ask for your support in holding your peers to higher standards.

I support the DAO following through on their obligations here, whatever they might be.

On the other hand, there’s two key unanswered questions for me here:

  1. Where did the DAO approve stewards to distribute 40,000 $ENS to themselves in Term 4? This action appears to conflict with the Term 4 budget the DAO approved. The related parties should understand how bad the optics appear here and clearly explain this.
  2. Where did the DAO already agree to distribute another large set of unvested $ENS to stewards in Term 5? I see a forum post suggesting that this distribution occur, but how does that equate to the DAO approving it? How is the DAO somehow already bound to this? Isn’t this vote the first opportunity for the DAO to speak their mind on this proposed package?

For the record, I’m in favour of distributing $ENS to stewards so long as it vests over a period of years. It’s not clear to me why there’s a problem rejecting this proposal and creating a new one with a proper vesting schedule.

Whatever happens here, let’s do it with a focus on setting and preserving good precedents.


@lightwalker.eth please let’s keep focused on the matter at hand and not make personal attacks. If it were the other way around (and it could very well be) were you were the one on the spotlight due to a compensation, you wouldn’t appreciate being called incompetent and undeserving by colleagues.