ENS Names to be used as Governance Tokens for all DAOs?

I have a vision that ENS names would become universal governance tokens across all DAOs and eventually there would be a super DAO forum built using IPFS with standardized rules and customizable options for their respective sub-forums.

Getting more people involved in DAO participation is challenging alongside striving to separate the financial aspect of governance tokens from voting power.

The higher the token price, the more costly it is to attack the DAO. The downside is that it leads to a plutocratic DAO. The lower the token price, the easier it becomes to attack the DAO.

However, the financial aspect of governance tokens can be leveraged to get more people involved as activist investors who are aware that the direction of the protocol is tied to the price of their investment and that any threats to the security of the protocol will negatively impact the price and intended utility of the ecosystem.

This the very reasoning behind the slashing mechanism and staking for Ethereum PoS.

ENS names as governance tokens provide a unique solution in that the price of registration is fixed and accessible. I think there is a better way to run things in a way that incentivizes participation and skews voting power in the direction of fairness, merit, conviction, and constructive contributions while leveraging the benefits of the price of governance tokens.

Quadratic voting for delegates

This is based on two factors left to the sole discretion of the delegates.

  1. A minimum stake of ENS, say one ENS. A delegate may choose to stake more ENS for more voting weight. There would be no maximum set.

  2. A minimum length of time staked, say one year. A delegate may choose to stake for longer for more voting weight. There may be a maximum time set.

A simple hybrid of conviction voting plus quadratic voting for everyone based on four factors

  1. The length of the name. More weight would be given to 3 and 4 character names based on the cost of registration.
  • 5 character names would have a weight of 0.005 units
  • 4 character names would have a weight of 0.160 units
  • 3 character names would have a weight of 0.640 units
  1. The time that has passed in years since the launch of ENS to when the name was set to resolve. The smaller the length of time, the more voting weight is given to the name.
  • Names set to resolve in year 1 receive 0.99 units
  • Names set to resolve in year 2 receive 0.98 units
  • Names set to resolve in year 3 receive 0.97 units, and so on until year 100.

When a name changes the resolving address, the time passed in years since the launch of ENS will change and this will affect the voting weight.

  1. The length of time the name is registered for into the future adds a multiplier of 1 per year extended to the voting units of a name.

  2. The earlier you vote on a proposal, the more weight your vote will have on that proposal. This aspect of conviction voting could extend across all DAOs in the forum.

More on conviction voting here: Conviction Voting: A Novel Continuous Decision Making Alternative to Governance | by Jeff Emmett | Giveth | Medium

Names would keep the voting weight based on name length and registration period, even if they aren’t set to resolve, but they can only actualize their voting potential by setting the name to resolve.

Three and four character names have more weight, but the counter to this is the shear amount of possible names available for cheaper and extending the registration is cheaper.

Even if someone spends $1M to extend a 5 character domain for 200,000 years to have a vote with a weight of 1000, it won’t matter because it would be up to the delegate team of editors to craft a proposal for the top post in a way that reflects the community discussion and consensus desire of that proposal. There could also be a report button that flags suspicious posts or anomalous voting activity, this would suspend the post from the top page until the matter is sorted out. Any wallets acting maliciously with hard evidence against them could have their ENS name penalized in some way in relation to voting weight.

The amount of votes each user has could be equal to the amount of DAOs on the forum. Refer to the conviction voting article to get a better idea of what I’m talking about.

I’d also like to use this post to discuss user attention and participation with regards to proposals and relevance. How do we get eyes on what’s important and filter out the noise?

Reddit has all but solved this issue in that the cream rises to the top. I want the DAO to make use of what has been proven to work, and in this case Reddit provides an excellent framework and I intend to convince you of this.

We need an upvote and downvote system for posts.

You can only have one weighted vote per post, but maybe for comments they would be unlimited yet still weighted. You could even make it cost 0.001 units of weight for a user to upvote or downvote comments.

It’s important to note that voting for individuals is only used to help manage, maintain, curate, and develop ideas on the forums. It will function as a rock tumbler that polishes and pushes to the top collective needs and desires relevant to the protocol.

The users entrusted to actually edit and pass proposals through as delegates will have to be staking the token of their given protocol following the rules of their DAO, rules that include some sort of carefully considered slashing mechanism.

I personally don’t like the idea of doxxing myself to submit proposals or applications for temp checks and the like. I’m not alone in that regard, so the forum would make use of “connect your wallet” in order to post (no ENS name required), alongside a captcha. However, in order to vote on posts you would need to SIWE with a resolved ENS name. The upvotes and downvotes would be weighted from a given wallet based on the four factors as I’ve described for ENS name voting power or maybe a flat weight fee like I described earlier.

There would be different sections for posts on the forum such as New, Hot, Controversial, Rising, and Top.

There would be metrics for Top posts that make them eligible to be reviewed and edited into a valid proposal. For example, the post must be on the “front page” in the Top category. At this point the a team can begin editing and revising the post based on community considerations and feedback.

I would suggest that this editing team be made up of delegates, since they are beholden to the community and are staking ENS to disincentivize malicious activity. This ensures that the proposal that goes through to be voted on by the delegates is the same proposal as intended by the community.

If development of this proposed forum gets to this point as described, it’s a small leap for other DAOs to join it. For example, a DAO could join and require their delegates to be staking the governance token relevant to that DAO.

It could be the frens forum. A user could SIWE and the Top page could be an aggregate of all Top posts across all participating DAOs. The common thread is using resolved ENS names to upvote and downvote posts on a community curated superDAO forum.

In this case, I would suggest adding a mechanism to accrue more voting power in a sub-forum based on contributions in that sub-forum. For example, each comment within a post can receive upvotes and downvotes and this could give a user 0.001 additional units per upvote that they receive in that sub-forum, or take away 0.001 units per downvote received. Remember, to upvote or downvote a post or comment requires a resolved ENS name.

A user may participate in several DAOs and have different voting weights in each of the DAOs based on their activity and contributions in the sub-forum of that DAO. Badges may be used as well to affect voting weight.

We could enable tipping as well. This would further incentivize constructive and relevant behavior in the forums in addition to a moderation team that is selected in each DAO sub-forum by vote. Irrelevant or malicious posts may need to reach a threshold of being reported before action is considered by the moderation team. Ideally, moderators, devs, and insightful posters would be tipped by users for their services and contributions to the forum.

Users may tip any crypto they wish, given that the ENS user they are tipping has the correct address for that crypto set up on their ENS profile.

I say we build something like this and invite other DAOs to register on our superDAO forum. We could even have a FRENS token that would be airdropped to users and DAOs that join by a certain date, the tipping could be exclusively in FRENS tokens and this token could be the governance token used to vote on proposals to change aspects of the forum itself and it could be involved in onboarding new DAOs to the forum.

Your ENS profile page could include DAOs (sub-forums) that you are a member of and your voting weight in each of them.

Now use your imagination and think of the implications and reach of this idea. A superDAO forum where you can join any DAO sub-forum all in one place. It doesn’t have to be exactly as I described but imagine Top pages for each DAO and an aggregate Top page that aggregates the best ideas and needs of each individual DAO and how we could all learn from each other to accelerate development and evolve the web3 space.

If you build it, they will come! @vbuterin @brantlymillegan @nick.eth


I like your Idea. This has obviously been on your mind. Although, I think a major overhaul like this probably won’t take place for quite some time. ENS name logistics need to be squared away, seamless and the kinks still all need to be worked out. I can see that ENS is something you really care about. I look forward to this thread gaining some traction.

-Hard Pass, will induce a lack of interactivity where as we need responses and authored responses.

I think the a large incentive is having the opportunity in being part of an early implementation of a hopefully more than successful project. Definitely a long term goal to achieve

[quote=“toshi, post:1, topic:10187”]
It’s important to note that voting for individuals is only used to help manage, maintain, curate, and develop ideas on the forums. It will function as a rock tumbler that polishes and pushes to the top collective needs and desires relevant to the protocol.

Overall I agree with what you are temping. I can see an issue with issuing voting weight that is proportional to overall contribution. This is a very dynamic space with that naturally will always ascertain complexities i.e,-- opinionated perspectives and what one is capable of offering can and will be valued more by some and others not so much. Perpetual consistent contribution may be viewed as equivocal to contribution that is intermittent or less often but holds the same contributive weight. This idea will absolute need to require a complex matrix for scoring.

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absolutely agree. but sadly, some of the dao directors, think that “price doesnt matter” its easy for them, when they got a bunch of tokens for free + collect millions in .eth registration fees.

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MEMORANDUM OF ASSOCIATION, ACCOUNTS, Article 70–I’m not to sure if that’s the the case. If what you are claiming is to be true; please clarify your statement and bring forth evidence to support your accusations because right now you are slandering “some of the DAO Directors”. Essentially you are saying is that—they are thieves. So please either retract what you are saying or bring forth evidence to support.

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I would counter this by pointing to Reddit as an example with the amount of responses and authored responses there (if I’m understanding you correctly).

Another thing I see being integrated or opened up with this idea is the market for “dev DAOs” where startup or established blockchain and smart contract development and auditing companies or teams begin their own DAOs and “farm” jobs based on proposals from other DAOs needing work done or looking to contract some of the work out for development.

These “dev DAOs” could bid on proposals and work with other DAOs and have the work be overseen by the dev team or delegates. These dev DAOs could accrue reputation metrics on the forum similar to Upwork or Fiverr.

So the forum would be sort of like a think-tank with a framework like Reddit but focussed on maintaining, developing, and evolving protocols in the spirit of a DAO with some aspects similar to Upwork.

This would allow DAOs a direct interface with freelance smart contract and blockchain agencies and facilitate the collaboration of ideas between other DAOs.

If the superDAO forum itself had a token (FRENS for example), there could be a flat percentage fee for jobs between freelancers and DAO clients. This fee could be competitive with Upwork and the proceeds could go to the FRENS treasury to maintain and manage the development of the superDAO itself.

I like this idea because I think it’s suited in a unique way to ENS, because it would make resolved ENS names an integral and standardized cofactor to governance across all DAOs (as described in the OP).

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I think ENS names are great for carrying your identity forward, but they are not meant to be sybil resistant–in fact I encourage people to have more than one online identity.

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I agree @AvsA, the quadratic voting in this case would be tied to the stake of ENS a delegate has and this also opens the door to some sort of slashing mechanism to curb malicious behavior