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

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.

I am against Darth-Vadering and will vote yes.

Assuming arguendo there is a legal agreement, in the interest of minimizing legal risks and potential liabilities one party shouldn’t unilaterally amend or breach the terms of said agreement.

In fact from a governance policy and organizational perspective, it is a little odd to think the DAO might vote down funding a contractual obligation.

Maybe something for Lemma to resolve in the bylaws or operating system.

This is the way governance token should be discussed, especially within the context of distributions.


@AvsA with respect, I haven’t made a single personal attack. These are critiques about shocking statements made by a subset of stewards at ETHDenver. It should be fair game to raise sincere concerns for how passively some stewards see their role. Let’s compensate stewards well, but stewards should be proactively taking on responsibilities for the good of ENS, not looking for opportunities to dodge them.

The two key unaddressed questions I shared above for this vote still remain unaddressed.

Until these are resolved I’m voting no on 5.4.1 and encourage all other delegates to do the same. I hope these are misunderstandings we can solve.


Hard agree with @lightwalker.eth. In traditional and semi-sane organisations, this kind of self-dealing is a very quick invitation for audit, lawsuit and fines (and potentially a very painful legal discourse ending with minor jail time). It is fraud by all definitions; this is not an attack, it is the definition of “fraud and graft by self-dealing”. Stewards are lucky that they are protected to some extent by the Cayman Islands legal wrapping gymnastics but it is only a matter of time before someone with deep pockets and strong morality takes issue with this and goes after US-based stewards at least (which is most of them!); all data is public on the blockchain and all conversations are public on this forum. Instead of supporting and defending mediocrity and incompetence (in the words of stewards themselves!), perhaps it will be useful to demand accountability. Popularity contests padded with self-dealings don’t run successful institutions.

I still have unanswered questions about the number 105,000 ENS in the table, which is 2x the previous term’s number. Were the stewards planning to double their compensation to 20,000 ENS?

I got the answer to my question ↓

Vesting for developers and contributors but not for stewards. I cannot imagine why; whatever contracts are used for 60k vesting can also be used for 45k vesting.


I misunderstood some of the numbers. Thank you to @5pence.eth for calling me out on it.

There are 2 things that still bother me about this situation.

#1 The Steward role is part time, and most stewards have other jobs, so $200k-$300k/year is going to part time contributors, and that just seems too high. 48k USD + 10k ENS for governance sounds reasonable but the 10K if it’s liquid doesnt seem like its for governance, which leads me to #2

#2 The intention of the 10k ENS was for governance, but honestly the way we are giving it just seems weird, and puts me off a little bit because its really small for governance… and it’s liquid, so its really just money. I think it makes sense for them to get the 10k ENS for governance, but it should be locked so it is used for governance and for long term alignment.

I would love to see a quick change to simply vest the ENS, so that there is long term alignment for the stewards and so that the ENS given meets it’s stated objective of Governance power. It sounds like that’s in the cards for future rounds, so maybe its not such a big deal to do it for this round?

I really like the idea of giving stewards more governance powers, we should maybe include a solid delegation of ENS to the stewards, and do it the way everyone else gets voting power, by delegating to them, not handing them liquid ENS, that really doesn’t meet the stated objective. I would totally support that they get this10k ENS as that was the deal, but that we vest it… and let’s be real and call it aligning the long term interests because thats what you do when you give someone custody of the tokens.

But then, let’s also REALLY give them governance power, we can quickly spin up some multisigs and delegate 20k-50k of ENS to each steward so that they have real voting power to engage with the other delegates.

It doesn’t seem right to make promises that rely on a future DAO vote, and if that was done, it was a mistake. The stewards most of all should understand that payments depend on certain DAO votes passing, I really don’t think its fair to say that voting no on this proposal is breaking some sort of previous agreement. The original agreement was that the DAO makes these agreements on-chain. Either we make agreements and there is an on-chain execution to back it up, or we just didn’t make any agreements. Maybe there was a plan… but the real agreement is the DAO vote that moves the money.


Whether the vote passes or not, everyone wants the stewards to get funded, we are only talking about some of the details, I would prefer they get exactly what they were promised, with one caveat, they can’t sell the ENS we give them right away, they just have to hold them for a bit, as that was the stated purpose of giving it to them. I don’t think that should be seen as a HUGE deal, it’s a compromise that makes sense given the change in circumstances.


Let’s give the stewards exactly what they are supposed to get, except, let’s add vesting to the ENS.

Side Note

I worry about the vibes on this thread starting to get a little heated. We are all on the same team, we all love ENS and all want what’s best for ENS. Talking about money is really hard for sure, so it’s understandable that things get a little rough. But lets try EXTRA HARD to assume positive intent and be excellent to each other.



Ok so i’m reading multiple things in this thread that seem to be interesting - But i think a clear next step is to put a snapshot vote up about adding vesting to all steward ENS allocation, especially considering the precedent around stewards selling a large portion of the ENS tokens distributed previously (then voting yes on distributing themselves more (currently 20-30% of all votes on the funding request are from stewards themselves))

Wondering what the best next step here is given the voting ends tomorrow - Just putting a proposal straight on snapshot? Or posting on the forum first? - Open to feedback from other delegates or stewards but at minimum will get a snapshot vote up in the next 72 hours. (Note; apologies for the time delay in me getting this up, have been IRL coordinating in Kenya for Magma which had some solid ENS conversations!)

Also the ask would be the Meta-Gov stewards don’t distribute these ENS incentives before the vesting vote has been discussed (and voted on) further by the DAO.

@lightwalker.eth voiced his opinion about current state of affairs within Stewardship institute, it is totally normal to criticise existing practices. Moreover I feel exactly the same way, I think he was absolutely spot on with his phrasing. His opinion is particularly important as he’s got stuff to loose as service provider, he put his reputation on the line and was not afraid to speak up. :clap: We need more people like him who are not afraid to call things for what they really are.


How lovely it is to wake up on a Sunday morning to see being called a Fraudster and a Grifter by people who only have a job at the moment because of a initiative I decided to take while I wasn’t even a delegate.

This thread is becoming circular, with a lot of questions on things that have been answered already, so in the light of the fact that we all here are locked in a working relationship for the next year or more, for which I hope will still be productive, I will be muting it for me.

The governance steps start by posting a temp check in this forum with a proposal. While anyone can post to snapshot it’s better to coordinate with Metagov stewards to make sure that multiple votes are combined in the same week, so that delegates don’t need to be always available. As the largest delegate opposing the budget I expect @Griff will be leading the initiative to write a draft policy on ENS disbursements, proper market pricing and vesting. After a feedback period then the new proposal would be put to vote in the next voting cycle, which would happen end of April.

I’m happy to make this proposal, will get it up on the forum for a temp check before the vote ends in 24 hours. Makes sense to coordinate with the meta-gov stewards and get the proposal live end of April - assuming we’re all in agreement that the tokens won’t be distributed (or move out of the meta-gov steward multisig) before the delegates have a chance to vote on vesting - Otherwise can get the wheels (or vote!) moving quicker if required :fire:


This conversation has shown me that I made the right choice by first participating as a contributor in January 2022, and it further reinforces my decision to have stepped up and nominated myself as a Term 5 Meta-Governance steward. I am grateful for this position, and I take the responsibilities that come with it very seriously.

If there’s one thing we can all take away from this discussion, it’s that we genuinely care about the long-term good of the ENS Protocol, its developers, contributors, stewards, and everyday users who passionately advocate for this technology in their everyday lives.

My intention is to continue holding this conversation in good faith and to extend the benefit of the doubt to comments that appear to undermine, trivialize, or disparage the efforts of the Working Groups in upholding and executing the mandates outlined in the ENS DAO Constitution. However, I will quickly call out any discourse that is inappropriate or crosses the line.

As a steward, I feel it is my responsibility to address some of the misrepresentations that have been circulating throughout this discussion. As a contributor, I see this as an opportunity to further strengthen the bonds that have been made throughout our journey together as we work tirelessly to ensure the success of the ENS Protocol.

Below, I will highlight a few comments that are personally upsetting to me or that I view as uncalled for:

This is a callous and sarcastic remark — while I partially agree with your technical evaluation of historic steward compensation, what makes you believe that stewards aren’t putting in their 100%? On the other hand, lightwalker.eth, I view this as an opportunity for Working Groups’ to more thoroughly communicate milestones they have completed throughout their term, as I suggested in the discussion for the Term 4 Funding Request Discussion.

There is currently no objective method to determine the level of each individual steward’s commitment to their responsibility based on signals alone. Thus, writing off the steward role as ‘part-time’ without any empirical or verifiable data seems brash, honestly.

If we want to justify steward compensation, then we should formalize a compensation plan, guided by a set of KPIs, that has been explicitly voted on by the DAO. We can talk more about this when discussing the DAO Bylaws which are being prepared this term.

Thank you for your participation in this conversation, but I encourage you to think more carefully before posting about circumstances that you may not be privy to. Stewards are certainly not earning $25,000 per month.

A standard monthly salary for a steward is approximately $4,000 in USDC as @5pence.eth mentioned above, and governance distribution should not be framed strictly as compensation. Instead, we should all begin to frame governance distribution primarily as a voting utility, which in truth it has always been.

I believe you are taking this out of context and misleading the readers. Katherine is speaking from her firsthand experience as a former Meta-governance steward and she may be alluding to previous disparaging and unnecessary commentary. To me, this includes your recent attempt to single out an Ecosystem steward on baseless claims.

Sorry to bring you into the line of fire again, lightwalker.eth, but I have to disagree with your comment. Just because stewards will not freely divulge their works in progress to you, it doesn’t mean they are ‘dodging’ your inquiries. Each steward has served the DAO well, and it does not bode well for you to throw shade on them based merely on an unfounded suspicion you harbor.

First, you state that you are not accusing the stewards of any malfeasance…

Then you quickly rebuke and even go so far as to allege fraud? You assert that you are holding a conversation in good faith, but I do not believe you.

I would like to remind everyone participating in this discussion that governance distribution is NOT strictly about compensation; it is far more nuanced than that. Governance distribution is about putting dedicated, hardworking, and competent people in a position to shape the future of the ENS Protocol.

As for the next steps, I agree with the approaches of both @nick.eth and @AvsA, and I look forward to helping coordinate the proposal from @James and discussing it during next week’s Meta-Governance call.