EP2.2.4 ENS Endaoment - voting explainer

The vote on EP2.2.4, the ENS Endaoment RFP is now live. This is the first time an RFP has been put to a DAO-wide vote, so a brief explainer is warranted.


What is an RFP?

RFP stands for Request For Proposals. It’s a request by the DAO for interested parties to propose a solution to a problem the DAO has. Anyone can submit a proposal during the submission period, and the RFP manager named in the RFP then decides on the winner during the approval period.

What is the ENS Endaoment RFP?

This is an RFP to find a fund manager who can manage the bulk of ENS’s treasury going forward, with a goal of creating a sustainable fund that can pay for ongoing development needs without depending on revenue from registrations and renewals. It’s a crucial part of securing the long-term future of the DAO and of ENS, whatever the broader economic conditions.

What am I being asked to vote on?

You’re voting to approve the issuance of the RFP. If you vote yes, the RFP will be active, and the RFP manager - in this case the Meta-Governance Working Group stewards - will be empowered to choose a winner from any submissions that were made without a further DAO vote. Their choice will be considered a decision by the DAO as a whole.

For this specific RFP, there are likely to be subsequent DAO votes required to execute the winning fund manager’s strategy onchain, but these will come after the Meta-Governance Working Group stewards have decided on a fund manager.

You can go vote here.

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Sorry in advance for the offtopic. The only perplexity is that we are going to rebuild a democratic governance system with many delegations and I fear that the final result will be a poor democracy like that of the current Western political system. It is just a thought for reflection … is it possible that a more liquid democracy system is not practicable? At the very least, we would need votes for the mid-term evaluation of the results.

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Hey Nick. We are empowering: @Coltron.eth @nick.eth, and @simona_pop to make the choice for us, right?

Why not vote on the candidates directly as a DAO?

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That’s right.

The selection process will require a lot of back-and-forward with the applicants to establish credibility, parameters, etc, and to make a decision. That kind of thoughtful decision making requires individual involvement and commitment, and I think past experience with design-by-committee shows that throwing it open to all-comers doesn’t facilitate a speedy or a well-reasoned conclusion.

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This is very reasonable, an example of a feedback vote I was referring to could be this: the Meta-Governance Working Group stewards make a preselection of the best candidates and then the DAO chooses among them (feedback of the pre-selection work and conscious choice of the DAOs). I repeat, mine is just an attempt to push the DAO to an active participation (the hardest thing) regardless of this specific case.

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I’m a Manager at a decentralized Asset Manager Platform called Dhedge. Would love to help in finding a Single Manager or Many for ENS. I believe the correct way to follow would be to invest in several Managers that are in the low risk Spectrum which manages to outperform Ethereum.

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I fear this vote puts too much control on the metagov stewards to choose the fund manager, which in turn seems to have too much unchecked power. At least the way it’s currently explained.

Instead would it make sense to structure this in the following model:

  1. snapshot vote (you’re erroneously using the term “on chain” here) to approve that the DAO agrees with the endowment goals and the following RFP for solutions

  2. metagov stewards will filter and vet proposal submissions

  3. make it clear that we are not asking for proposals for an individual or entity as “manager”, but rather a proposals for governance of the funds. How funds are set to be manager, who gets the keys, what are the on chain and off chain limitations and oversight etc. An acceptable governance would be “put it all in this compound contract, with these permissions”. An unacceptable proposal would be “hand over $20 million to managers at Compound and trust us”

  4. stewards select the top X serious candidates and put again to a vote for the DAO to select them, with None of the Above being one of the options. If “NotA” wins then the process starts over from scratch.

  5. final on chain vote to transfer the funds to the contract after it’s set up and audited.

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To be clear, we’re expecting proposals that severely limit the capabilities of the fund manager; ideally this will be fully non-custodial, with the manager only able to execute certain transactions without taking custody of the funds.

Any access to funds, or setup of a non-custodial system, will naturally require an onchain DAO vote to be executed first.

This would have been great feedback during the draft period.

I don’t think we’d get serious, carefully thought through proposals if we’re expecting people to write something up for potentially someone else to execute on.

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Dhedge platform offers a treasury management solution that managers do not have access to the funds and are limited to trade only the assets that the owner of the fund allows. I’ve been using the platform for over some years now to manage my funds any my clients and it works super well. Everthing is non-custodial and super easy to use. All trades are visible on-chain.

Yea I think as long as the DAO always has custody of the funds, and the fund manager is limited by smart contracts on what actions they can take with the funds, having MetaGov select the manager is ideal rather than having the whole DAO get involved in that process.

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Thanks. I trust that the Metagov stewards will pick a system with such limitations then. I do think it would be better to have a snapshot vote before the final on chain vote for the actual transfer, maybe with the top 2 or 3 choices selected, just to make sure the DAO agrees with the system. It’s better than to just have a simple rubber stamp approval.

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I’m curious why this has been categorized as a Social Proposal. It sounds as if there will be contracts to be implemented to enforce the custodial situation of assets on-chain, then this would be better categorized as an executable proposal. I assume that whomever will be assuming this responsibility will be conducting on chain executions so that their efforts for the endaoment can be completed. Maybe I am missing something.

As per the Governance Process that is outlined here

  1. Executable Proposal : This is a proposal for a series of smart contract operations to be executed by accounts the DAO controls. These can include transfers of tokens as well as arbitrary smart contract calls. Examples of this include allocating funding to a workstream multisig wallet, or upgrading an ENS core contract. Executable proposals have a quorum requirement of 1% and require a minimum approval of 50% to pass.

  2. Social Proposal : This is a proposal that asks for the agreement of the DAO on something that cannot be enforced onchain. Examples of this include a proposal to change the royalty percentage for the ENS secondary market on OpenSea, or a petition to the root keyholders. Social proposals have a quorum requirement of 1% and require a minimum approval of 50% to pass.

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It will be an executable proposal once they have the contracts set up and ready to transfer funds. Right now it’s mostly a social proposal asking if we agree on the general direction.

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